Monday, May 28, 2012

Sixty-two years ago......


A letter from my cousin to our grandmother (whom he called Mom), during World War II. It is dated July 23, 1944 and is a little over 62 years old. He mentions that he was in a battle, but he cannot say where or what happened. On the second page, he tells her how much he would like to have one of her chicken dinners. I have written before of her chicken and dumplings; they were legendary in our family. I don't know if he ever got to eat her cooking again, but I sure hope so.

The young man who wrote this was killed in a motorcycle accident just about a year after he wrote this letter. He was home on leave from Pearl Harbor. I wrote about him before, and you can find his photo in my post for Feb. 3, 2006.

I have two more of his letters and I cannot bring myself to throw them out.

30 comments:

Tracie said...

What a treasure to have these letters.

Michele sent me!

Carmi said...

You have an innate ability to relate history to those of us who weren't there. Your words and images resonate long after we've finished looking at the page.

Thank you for sharing your cousin's letter, and his story. May you always hold onto his treasured letters. May we always learn from them.

kontan said...

I wouldn't be able to throw them out either. There is something really special about the history explored through the personal writings of others.

Here from Michele's

Mrs. Fun said...

Wow, this brought tears to my eyes. My brother was klled n a motorcycle accident just after his 19th birthday.
This touched me. thanks for sharing.

here via Micheles :)

Jay said...

That's got keepsake written all over it.

Yaeli said...

You have so many treasures in your family!!!
I love reading about you family history Judy. It's just all so interesting!
Michele sent me today!

PI said...

Don't throw them out Judy. What about contacting any War Museums either here or there?

ET said...

Don't throw them out. Your unborn great-great-great grandchild will want that letter.

Alan G said...

Hi Judy....

Think it is great you keep those things. I have a few old things such as newspaper articles and the like of people from our families past. I don't have a clue who some or them are but like you, just can't bring myself to get rid of them.

And speaking of "chicken & dumplings"...well that is just my most favorite meal in the world. My mother was the master of that meal in our family and on any birthday I ever had from a teenager on, she would fix me chicken and dumplings if I was in town. She past away nine years ago and I have been trying to reconstruct that meal ever since. I've gotten close a few times but am not quite there yet. And no....no written recipe. She did it by feel.

Aging Fabulous said...

I wouldn't think of tossing them. What an incredible glimpse into your past. I can't remember the last letter I wrote and that is sad.

yep, it's me.... said...

a treasure indeed.
My dad was in WWI, yes survived, but he had volunteered and went in the day he turned 17.
Just a a baby!
He wrote to grandma often and she saved every letter. When she passed, sisters tossed them all.
We all wish we could read just one.

rashbre said...

Definitely keep letter and the memories. Poignantly written, too.
Here today from Michele's.
rashbre

cyndy said...

How beautiful and treasurable.
I'm glad you have them and that you shared them. Thank you.
Here from Michele

colleen said...

Never throw them out! They are historic. I have one that my grandmother wrote to my dad when he was in WWII that he kept. She was from Ireland and was using the word YE for you. I once read it aloud to my dad in an Irish accent and it choked him up. She was telling him to be a good boy with some strong Catholic overtones and undertones.

the frog princess said...

I adore chicken & dumplings ...

It's amazing to have those sorts of treasures ... hold on to them!

Via Michele's ...

mar said...

keep them! I could not throw them away either. Such treasures... and a letter doesn't take up much storage space!!

moon said...

I am amazed how many things u keep all with prestine order and care. I can become such a clutter queen in a short time if I am not staying ontop of it all lol. I love all your bits of this and that, thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

Terri said...

I also have a fair amount of letters, etc. from WWII that my uncle sent and also can't bear to part with them.
One in particular is from my uncle to my aunt...after his troups discovered the concentration camps.
I still canNOT read it without filling up with tears. Memories like this need to be kept.

Sue said...

Precious memories and little parts of history. I have many things from my still living 98 yr old grandpa. He was a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Sorry about the loss of your cousin...

Sandy said...

Another story that takes something so removed from some of us and makes it personal and poignant.

Oh, and I so very much wish I could have some of that chicken and dumplings now!

Michele sent me over again. Glad she did.

Anonymous said...

Although in today's USA, a 17-year-old male is, in general a boy, the story was different for WWI. A 17-year-old of that era would have been born in about 1900 when the average life expectancy for males born in the USA was (according to the CDC) 46.3 years (all races) - a bit less if Judy's cousin was black and a bit more if Judy's cousin was white. Thus, Judy's cousin had already lived over a bit more than 1/3 of the average time his cohort could expect to spend on earth.

That said, it is always tragic to have a life cut short. A personal letter makes the tragedy even more apparent.
Cop Car

Pat said...

After surviving the war - that really is a tragedy. Every mother's worst nightmare.

Gilly said...

You CANNOT throw them out - they are History! The personal bits of history, like letters, diaries, and what makes it all so much more interesting, and because it was written so close to whatever event it was, can throw a window of truth, instead of those in authority throwing a propaganda screen around.

I do hope you see what I mean, its difficult to explain!

Kay Dennison said...

I wouldn't part with those letters. They are important records of your family history.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This is such a treasure, Judy...And the other letters, too. It is such a part of the History of our country and your family...I hope you never throw them out and that you pass them on to your children. How sad that he died so young.

Darlene said...

I agree that the letters are treasures to keep and pass down.

What sad irony for him to survive battle, but die on leave.

Star said...

Lovely post for today, Judy.

Beverly said...

I would not be able to throw them out either. So precious. It's good we have a day like this to reflect.

LL Cool Joe said...

I don't think you should throw them out. What a wonderful piece of history.

sage said...

Don't throw those letters out--there may be a nearby veteran museum interested in them.