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Spring is Here

Posted by on April 6, 2014

March 11, 1943. Dad writes home as Lent begins. The day before was Ash Wednesday. After a day of fasting he went to St. John the Baptist Church in Savanna for services and to receive ashes.  Afterwards he went to the Savanna U.S.O. club where you could get ”coffee, eats, read magazines, play ping pong, lounge and what not for nothing.” He raves, “The people around here in the State of Illinois give the servicemen the best treatment that I have ever seen and that goes for Chicago.”

St. John the Baptist Church in Savanna, Illinois. Image credit: Diocese of Rockford

St. John the Baptist Church in Savanna, Illinois. Image credit: Diocese of Rockford

He notes, “Tomorrow is my turn at K.P. and a test happens to fall on that day so I am excused from the test. I do hope to get somewhere in this Army, since thy pulled me in. What else can you do? The more you hate it the worse it seems to get so I just forget about the whole thing.”

He continues, “Spring is here and I am as usual getting my Spring daydreaming going. I can visualize the greenness of nature cloaking the earth and the birds floating in from Eden and emitting their melodious songs. The babbling streams will again arise from under the ice and will keep up their eternal flow while the banks become picturesque scenes as if drawn by an immortal artist. How can I be lonesome with such thoughts as these?”

He also mentions the dream that Anna wrote about in her March 8th letter. “Say, the next time you dream of me can’t you make me anything higher than a Navy Officer? How about a General? And poor Stanley, you certainly could dream up something better for him. Once in a while I dream that I am home but I just exactly don’t know what it is I dreamt since I think it was just a few days ago.” He also says, “I wish someday you would dream of doing away with Hitler and wake up to find it was really so.”

As far as his training, “I am about halfway through with my course and I have certainly learned a lot, but by the time I get assigned to some base and the way the Army works I will probably be a machinist. I should be a clerk in the general supply department of Ordnance, you can bank on that.”

He tells Anna, “I am glad to hear that you don’t intend to move out and as for your wanting a home and things of your own, you will get that someday. Just be kind to Mama and you wll see how heartily blessings will come. When Mama feels down bring Theresa-Marie around to her and I’ll bet that things won’t be half as bad.”

He thanks Anna for Billy’s address and tells her, “I hope to get closer to home after going through everything but that is up to matters beyond my reach. I hope Stanley gets all he wants and all the luck in the world.”

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