May 2 – 1943
Dear Daddy –
Sunday afternoon (3:30) I have been doing some figuring and with bills all paid we have a balance of 100⁰⁰ in the bank – however I haven’t bought any bonds this year so far I have been waiting for that uniform & travel money to come, but I suppose I should get busy and start buying the regular $18.75 per month like we did all last year. There is much talk about people buying bonds – H. Foulkes told Mr. Zell the “Little People” weren’t buying like they are expected to. We are in that group and I feel we should buy all we can manage but I feel I should keep an emergency fund on hand – Not, that I anticipate using it but it is best not to be close. Do you think a bal. of $100⁰⁰ is too much to carry. Of course something may turn up during the month to take that down, but can’t think of anything now.
Mark is out of doors – It has cleared off – rained and blew this morning more like a fall day than spring – It stays so cool – we haven’t had many very warm days yet – the trees and shrubs
[page 2] are rather slow. The yellow forsythia that is usually in bloom in Mar or Apr is just about over now. Our grass is in a bad shape but all the lawns around here are except for Mr. Zell – as I mentioned before – they raise frys and keep them in a brooder house all the time – They clean the floor 3 times a week and have their own fertilizer – He spread that all over his lawn early in the spring and it helped a lot. I tried to get Vigario but it isn’t to be had. Link is out working around on his yard today. I haven’t seen Bill out today – he must have gone to meet Arlene – she has been in Green Bay for a week or more. Her brother’s baby had to have an eye operation – The mother took the baby to Madison and Arlene went to stay with her brother during his wife’s absence.
Eddie Roy Wilson fell out a tree at McGraw’s and sustained a broken arm & brain concussion. They have him at the Presp. Hospital in Chicago. He has been in a coma. I haven’t heard many of the details. Those things always are magnified – and I don’t know if this is as bad as I have heard. I just hope it isn’t.
(8:30) Mark and I took David for a walk – The sun came out so nicely – David is getting such a healthy tan. He is doing so many little things now and the boys talk to him so much he seems to understand more than a 7 mo old should (proud parent). I had started to feed him cereal and put his bottle down in hot water and the bottle broke and the
[page 3] milk all spilled – so I had to hurry to mix the next formula – which meant boiling water, bottles, etc. He was good for a few minutes after he finished the cereal then he began to remonstrate over the delay – I tried to talk him out of crying but he was hungry and finally when I had the bottle ready he gulped it down so fast he nearly choked – then when he finished was very happy – then to bed – We just put him to bed and leave him to go to sleep. Sometimes he plays a while but usually goes to sleep right away. When I take him up at 6 a.m. to feed him I put him in bed with me and sometimes he will go back to sleep and let me have another nap but not often. John & Mark usually hear him and come in and play with him. they are so very fond of him – yet John insists we must make him mind when he gets old enough to correct – He says we don’t want “a mean little kid” – He certainly has been that today about his cereal. Very hard to feed. That is something new because J. & M. ate anything I gave them but he seems to have some pretty definite dislikes already. He doesn’t like Pablum but Gerber cereal is about the same and he eats it OK. Still have to give him Vit C. tablets. Orange juice won’t stay down. He eats canned fruits, apple sauce, apricot, peaches, etc. and takes prune juice, weighs a little over 18 lbs at 7 mo & 1 week measure 28 ½ inches.
[page 4] John went with the band to North Manchester to a contest yesterday. I thought I would have to take a load but they had enough cars without ours. I was glad not to go. Mark & I washed and it was such a nice day got things dry. The ground was too wet to work in but after looking over the garden this evening Mark will have to do some weeding, if it doesn’t rain tomorrow. There are a lot of wild parsnips in our garden – and I wouldn’t care for them if they weren’t wild. John will write you about his trip – He said he really enjoyed it. Mark is uncertain about whether he wants to keep the cornet or try something else. He says he wants to take piano lessons this summer so think I’ll try him again. Won’t hurt anything for him to try. He is out in the kitchen now frying him an egg – this being Sun. evening you know how our suppers go here – everyone for himself. I believe Mark’s appetite is better and he is getting a tan – as he always does. I hope to be able to devote more time to Mark this summer. Fix up a work shop for his model airplanes. He clutters up their room too much. I haven’t figured yet where I’ll arrange a work shop for him but we’ll get some good place for him. The room over the garage gets too hot in summer and I don’t like the idea of him being in the basement, but I’ll find some place for him.
[page 5] I may have to go to T. H. this week to get Mother but she is going to come to stay so will have more things to bring than she can carry – and will need the car. I asked Servies if they would like to go – I don’t want to make the trip along so Rev. is to go along. If I had known what I know now would have brought Mother back with us when we came back from C.C. but she said she wanted to visit a while – and she has been sick and didn’t go any place. We are to go to Wilmington after the 15th to take sweet potatoe plants to Mutch. He & a friend have a garden out in the country about 5 miles.
Ruth & Floyd have moved to Bluffton so we won’t see much of them this summer, as that is across the state. Geo Burnham is at Flora now.
Tonight President R. is going to give a talk – the miners (as you probably have heard) are out and there is a lot of discussion about them going back to work or not etc. – of course by the time you get this it will be settled (I hope) for the good of all. So we are watching the clock, to be sure & get the President’s message – John is practicing and the radio is turned off, since we haven’t anything we care to listen to after 8 P.M. on Sun Eve. – I’ll be glad to hear the radio as John’s practicing isn’t too soothing (this particular piece)
[page 6] It was so chilly this morning then all of a sudden the clouds cleared away and it was warm – so the furnace went out – as it does in such weather, so J. & M. had to start a new fire. The first of May and still need a good fire most of the time.
Mon. Morn – Four letters came this a.m. of Apr 10-13-14 & 15 so I feel well up on news now. Still a few missing but maybe they will trail in later. You had mine of Mar 24 and mentioned measles. Well up to now no more cases here and just hope we don’t get any delayed action on them. About the ins. Dividends – I have it fixed so they will take the dividends of the prem. each Dec so we won’t have to go thru all that writing each time. And about the septic tank again – There must be something “screwy” about the set up for that to need cleaning so soon – but just hope it doesn’t stop up again for a long while. The mound where he dug to get the lid off is about down level again – I am going to transfer some sod so it will look right again – as soon as it quite raining & I can work in the yard again – Looks like rain this morning but none yet –
I told you before Jim is going to be a C.P.O. in a few weeks – then he doesn’t know where he will go. He is in school at Camp Peary – Williamsburg Va.
Have some errands to do so must stop the “gab” and get going.
Love – Mother
Roosevelt’s May 2, 1943 speech titled “On the Coal Crisis” can be found here.
An audio recording of the speech can be found here.
© 2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/05/18/sunday-afternoon-gladys-2/
WOW: “H. Foulkes told Mr. Zell the “Little People” weren’t buying like they are expected to.” A few years back Leona Helmsley (NY billionaire) went to jail for tax evasion, and she remarked that paying taxes was for “the little people.” Mr. & Mrs. Foulkes were the wealthiest people in Kentland and flaunted it. So they had their own idea of what the little people should do.
“The yellow forsythia that is usually in bloom in Mar or Apr…” This is one thing I definitely have a vivid memory of.
Ha ha: “he began to remonstrate over the delay” 🙂
“The room over the garage gets too hot in summer ” ….that was eventually turned into my bedroom, but I don’t recall a problem with the heat. Of course it was my father who did the carpentry work to make the transformation.
How cool to hear her mention waiting to hear president Roosevelt on the radio.
I always love it when they make references to historical events that I can document. So many of Roosevelt’s speeches were recorded and easily retrievable.
The uniform and travel money is one of the subjects from the very beginning of the letters. The military reimbursed the officers (at least) some money for the cost of their uniforms. He had to buy blues, khakis and whites right when he got to Norfolk in May 1942. The Navy also reimbursed travel expenses, in this case in July 1942 when Roscoe got new orders that he was shipping out. He had been at home on extended leave when the telegram/orders arrived to return to Norfolk immediately. Gladys went with him, presumably to help him pack up his room at the boarding house. Then they returned to Kentland, and Roscoe traveled onto Chicago (Great Lakes station) and was then flown to San Francisco for a few weeks until the unit was ready to sail from Southern California.
His pay checks mostly went to her. She had two allotments that were deducted each month. One for $170, and a second one was added for $30. He needed very little from his paychecks. He did have to pay a mess bill, and then extras, like postage stamps.
This is actually a fairly typical letter. We got into a run of v-mail, but most of her written letters were typically four pages long. 🙂 I liked transcribing the v-mails because they were quick. Her letters take longer!
She keeps mentioning uniform and travel money, do you know more about that? Did Roscoe’s paychecks go to her? This is quite a long letter for her, lots of good details.
It’s interesting how she was worried about whether $100 was too much to have in her bank account. $100 must have been worth a lot more back then.
I just transcribed a letter in which Roscoe’s monthly salary was $220. So $100 would have been half of the month’s income. Their mortgage payment was about $35 a month. Just wrap your head around those figures! She was also concerned than $0.39 was way too much for a pound of strawberries.