There’s History in Those Love Letters Part IV

In the past I shared 3 love letters that my grandpa wrote to my Grandma Charlotte when they were courting back in 1936. My grandma was 17 at the time and my grandpa was 23. She was still attending high school and he was a school teacher in a one-room school house. If you haven’t had the chance to read those letters; you can do so here:

There’s History in Those Love Letters

There’s History in Those Love Letter Part II

There’s History in Those Love Letters Part III

Soon after he wrote those letters they got married. The letter I am sharing today is a letter written in 1943; 7 years into their marriage and with 2 of their 4 children being born (Janet and Judy). By this time my grandpa had quit his job as a school teacher and since work was somewhat scarce in the rural area of Wisconsin that they lived, he had taken a short-term job in Omaha, Nebraska helping to build their airport. He went with his brother, Denver. I guess in a way it is not a true love letter but by all accounts it shows that my grandpa was still very much in love with my grandma. There is also some important history in this letter. I thought about omitting a part where my grandpa made a comment about African-Americans. Although his comment wasn’t intended to be racist and merely indicated that rural Wisconsin did not have a lot of African Americans at the time; he used a term that is no longer acceptable. After some consideration I decided it was important to include it and to show how far we have come as a country.

Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Ed

Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Ed

Plattsmouth, Nebraska

May 31, 1943

Dearest Charlotte, Judy and Janet,

Denver is writing to Marie so I thought I would write to you too. I have just began to get rested up so I feel like writing.

Well I went to work today. I worked in the shop with Denver, helped on the trucks, took care of the gas pumping and fixed tires and things like that. I sure was a greasy mess when I got done work. I don’t know what I will get to do yet. Swanson isn’t here; he is in Minneapolis. I am staying in a room with Denver and a fellow by the name of Ed Jacques. He is a big fat fellow.

We eat at a restaurant downtown. It sure cost a lot to eat. It is awful crowded in our room. Denver and I may get a room to ourselves right away. One fellow from Arkansas thinks he may go to Asnaha (?) and stay.

Right beside the place we work is a bomber plant. They say they make eight planes a day there. They are taking off and landing all the time. They also try out their guns there.

There is only about two weeks of work unless something else turns up. I will let you know if there is. Some say there is an airport going in at La Crosse. I would rather go up there then. It wouldn’t be so far to take the kids.

I sure miss you and the kids. I sure hope your are well. If the kids get sick be sure and let me know as soon as you can.

Tell Janet there sure is a lot of negroes down here. I looked downtown for something to send home but I couldn’t find anything but I will look again tomorrow night. Maybe I can find something.

Did you go to the Cherser’s Memorial Day? I wished I hadn’t come down here when I did. If I had waited until now I would have known it would be a short job. The company put the bid on a lot of work but did not get it. Unless they can sub contract, the job will be very short.

Well honey, I guess that is about all I know. Take good care of yourself and the kids and give them a big smacker for me.

Are the berries ripe? I sure would like to have a big dish full with a little sugar and cream.

Write soon and tell me something.

Denver just asked me if I was getting homesick and I told him I wasn’t, but I really wish I was going to crawl into that old bed of ours instead of this bunk in the cabin.

When you get this newspaper read you’ll probably need a pair of specks. So I will quit.

With All My Love,

Ed

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There’s History in Those Love Letters Part III

I have been sharing the love letters that my Grandpa wrote my Grandma back when they were courting back in 1936. Today you are getting the third installment seeing as though it’s Valentine’s Day and what better day to see some expressions of true love!

I have had some inquiries as to whether or not there is any letters that my Grandma wrote my Grandpa and I am sad to say there isn’t. We found these letters after my Grandma passed away and were tucked in a dresser drawer. No one knew they existed before this.

Grandma Charlotte

Grandma Charlotte

To catch you up to speed; my Grandma and Grandpa grew up on neighboring farm houses so they knew each other since they were children. My Grandma went away to a nearby town for her senior year of high school. My Grandpa stayed at the farm house and taught school at a one room school house nearby. Many of his students were related in some way. My Grandpa’s Mom passed away a few months before he wrote these letters and he is currently living with his Dad and little sister. In the following letter my Grandpa makes mention of a hired girl. They hired someone to live at the house to do the cooking, cleaning and taking care of my Grandpa’s little sister. My Grandpa also talks about Ruby and Arthur which is my Grandma’s sister and her husband. I imagine my Grandpa saw them more than my Grandma because they were still living in the neighboring farm house. Another person mentioned in the letter is Bob which is my Grandma’s little brother. I suppose my Grandpa had to pick him up and bring him to school sometimes.

Grandpa Ed

Grandpa Ed

Enjoy another sweet and funny love letter from my dear old Grandpa:

March 30, 1936

Dearest Charlotte,

Is I ever blue, and this terrible snowing doesn’t help my feelings any. It sure is a gloomy day, and these restless kids almost drive me nuts.

I sure was glad I came up Sunday night. I sure did enjoy myself. The show was good and being with you took care of the rest of my desires.

Ruby and Arthur was up to the show Sunday night. I guess they saw us. Anyway they asked me how I liked the show. They went up with Bill & Irene.

I was down after Bob this morning. Your mother didn’t seem to have much to say for some reason. I hope she doesn’t give me a bawling out. I get too many of those anyway.

This week is going to be better than last for I know you are coming home this weekend.

Our new hired girl was there this morning. Gee I hate to see Ruby and Art leave, but I know they are glad to get away.

I got a note from Mrs. Crumerine so I suppose I shall have to go over there after school is out.

I suppose you are tired of reading this letter for I know it is not interesting at all. I am in such a hurry. I have missed 5th and 6th grade spelling now.

Write soon,

Love Eddie

P.S.  nite 10 bells

I didn’t get anywhere to mail this tonight so probably I will mail it tomorrow. It sure is a lovely evening except just a little cold. I just went outside (don’t ask what for) and did that moon look at me. Made me feel sorta (rumatic) I guess so I thought I would express myself but just can’t do it. Words fail me.

Lester has been kidding me tonight about you, but I don’t care I like it. In fact I like everything about you. Don’t forget I love you, and I think you are the sweetest darn kid. I have got to stop!

Yours,

Eddie

To read the previous letters:

There’s History in Those Love Letters Part I

There’s History in Those Love Letters Part II

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There’s History In Those Love Letters Part II

I wrote a previous post about my Grandparents and shared a love letter my Grandpa sent my Grandma. I have another one to share with you today.

My maternal grandparents started courting in 1936 when my Grandma was 17 and still in high school. My Grandpa was 23 and had a teaching job in a one room school house a few towns away from where my Grandma was living.

My Grandpa in his school room in 1937

My Grandpa in his school room in 1937

Even though this is when they started dating they knew each other since they were children because they grew up in neighboring farm houses. My Great Grandma never liked my Grandpa but I don’t know why.

My Grandpa’s Mom, Alice passed away on January 9th, 1936 leaving her husband, my Grandpa and a young daughter Bonnie to live at the farm on their own.

Even though I don’t know for sure, I would think all of these circumstances play a part in my Grandpa’s following letter to my Grandma. I mentioned in my last post that my Grandparents did not express their love outwardly but this letter truly proves that my Grandpa was a very sensitive, emotional man and loved my Grandma very much.

My Grandma Charlotte's Senior Picture

My Grandma Charlotte’s Senior Picture

March 17, 1936

Dearest Charlotte,

Well I hope you are not disappointed in finding this letter is from me instead of some other guy.

I got home o.k. last night, but I had to get up and get breakfast. Ruby and Art didn’t come back last night. Bonnie and Dad were back sick this morning. And I felt so darn blue I cried all the way to school.

It is noon now and have I felt mean this forenoon. I bet the kids think I am terrible. They have all gone out of the school house; because they are afraid of me I suppose. I wish you were down here; I would have you make out some tests for me. Not only that but I would just like to have you here. You seem to make my heart beat faster, and I feel as though it should.

I have got to take Dad to Readstown to-night. I think I will mail this then if I don’t forget it.

Gee I wish I could come up some night this week, but I am afraid I can’t. I have got to go to bed more and redeem myself for things I have been doing. I can just imagine what your mother thinks of me.

Well I know what I think of you any way. I think you are the sweetest darn kid I have ever been with, and I was never so darn crazy over anyone in my life. But the question is just what do you think of me. I have thought a lot about it and have come to no definite conclusion.

I shall be expecting a letter from you; if I get it I will be surprised and if I don’t I shall be disappointed.

Write Soon

With Love

Eddie Heal

Love Letter

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To read the first love letter click here!

There’s History in Those Love Letters

Of course I never knew my maternal grandparents when they were kids because well, that just wouldn’t be possible now would it?

Grandma & Grandpa in 1936

Grandma & Grandpa in 1936

My memories of them are when they were in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

They were extremely hard working. They were running the all-in-one store/tavern/gas station in their small town. Plus my Grandpa was a farmer raising cows and tobacco. My Grandpa was a big burly man with muscles like an ox. My Grandma was a slight little thing with a ton of energy.

When I think of my grandparents I don’t conjure up images of romance. They certainly had a union that worked and I thought of them as a great team. They raised four children together and shared plenty of hardships and victories with one another. But I’m sure I never saw them kiss or hug. I never overheard an “I love you.” There was no gift giving among the two and no elaborate anniversary celebrations.

But I know how in love they were. I have the proof. I have a handful of love letters my Grandpa wrote to my Grandma when they were courting. He was 23 and she was 17. My aunts have the originals and my mom made me a binder of copies of them all.

When my grandparents were courting my Grandpa was a school teacher in a one room school house and my Grandma was still in high school. They lived a few towns apart so were only able to see each other on the weekends.

Enjoy reading the following letter my Grandpa wrote my Grandma and see how their love started and went on to create their family and many more generations. Their legacy lives on even though they are no longer with us. I have their memories forever in my heart and I have these words to know that my family was built on true love.

March 23, 1936

Dearest Charlotte,

Well Monday is almost past and all I can say is that it was just another blue Monday.

The kids were real good to school today, and I didn’t have to keep fire either so that helped. I had a new scholar to school today. It was Bobby Crumerine. He sure is the berries. He came up to my desk and asked me why I didn’t come over and take Marie K. to town anymore. I didn’t know what to say.

Gee I wish I could come up, but I don’t know when I will get to. I think I will have to take Dad to Viola tomorrow night.

George said he wasn’t going to Viroqua any more this week so I suppose I will have to come alone.

I sure wish you were coming home this weekend. I am afraid it will be an awful lonesome weekend.

It is almost eleven o’clock and I am sitting here thinking a lot and writing a little and all I can think about right now is you.

I am just wondering what you are doing. Probably out with some darn nice guy, and thinking how foolish you were to go out with me.

You said you liked me a little, but I just had a feelin you were foolin, but I hope not for I like you so darn much. I have been wondering whether or not it was love, but I guess it can’t be for I haven’t broken out with a rash yet although I have been looking for it.

I must close for it is getting my sleepy time.

With All My Love,

Eddie

P.S. Please Excuse Scribbling I can’t do better I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.

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