Cutting Ties with Ancestry.com

I don’t have time for nonsense.

With three kids, a husband, a part time job, a full-time volunteer position…I don’t have time for nonsense, drama, or anything that adds any more craziness to my already hectic life.

First it was about a new Ancestry.com website.  This didn’t bother me so much, as everything is new at some point,right?  I mean the initial Ancestry.com was a learning experience that I got used to.  This is how I look at it when Facebook does an upgrade, or my Mac’s operating system is upgraded…it may take some getting used to, but you live with it, and hopefully you adjust.  However, there was also drama, because this was not, a popular change among the masses.

A short time later in the year,  I read of changes in Ancestry.com’s  subscription plans, and alarms went off in my head.  This sounded like drama.  This sounded like changes in what I was being offered as a subscriber.   I could have access to more databases, but my subscription rate would go up.  Or I could pay what I was currently paying (or pay less), and have less access than what I currently had.  Wait…What?  No Thank You!

I didn’t have time for that kind of ridiculousness, and I began to research my options.

Fast forward to just a short time ago when Ancestry.com (once again) came out with an announcement.  They were no longer going to sell Family Tree Maker nor would they continue to offer FTM support as of January 2017.

That was the final step.  I’m sure they had their reasons for doing everything they did, but honestly, Ancestry.com, it’s just too much.  I like consistency.  I like drama-free.  I don’t want to have to think twice or bang my head against a brick wall except for my ancestor brick-walls that I’m trying to knock down.

I merely want and expect things to work in the way they are supposed to.

My Ancestry subscription has lapsed, and I’m now a proud subscriber to two other sites, for LESS than what I was paying for a year of Ancestry.  There are less databases, but its a more intense focus on my New England ancestors, which is what I’m ready for in my current research.  And let’s not forget that I was doing genealogy via FREE databases for YEARS before ever taking a bite of the Ancestry.com apple.

My Family Tree Maker software is …ugh. Bothersome.  I’ve never cared for it, but after making the change from PC to Mac, it was the option that I chose.  A few things haven’t been working right on my version for some time now, and I could probably contact customer support to get it fixed, but I’ve found ways to work around the issues, as I had no desire or time to call some software geek who would walk me through varying steps of making me feel technologically challenged, when in actuality,  it was the product that wasn’t keeping up with my computer.

So change is needed.

I’ve found a new genealogy program in RootsMagic,and I’m using just the basic version as I begin to acclimate myself to this change.  However, today I read that RootsMagic is offering the upgrade of their program for only $20 to FTM users plus a free book on using their system.  SOLD!

I’m looking at the RootsMagic people saying to all of us genealogists, “Yes! We understand your frustration and it’s okay. Let us help you!”  In the meantime,  Ancestry.com is sitting in their tower looking over their spreadsheets of quarterly earnings saying to themselves “How can we increase this even more than what we already have?”

I don’t have time for that kind of nonsense.

Adios Ancestry.com.  It was fun while it lasted.

~C

Advertisements

December 4 – Christmas Lights

Tags

,

Picture with me for a moment – driving along a country road at night. It’s a pretty sparse country road, with the closest town being 10-15 minutes away.  The car headlights chase the curves in the road, unsure of what we may come upon. The road turns to the left just a bit, and up a hill.   Topping over the hill, you see it…the bright glow of a house that is on fire!

Oh….wait….no, that house is NOT on fire. It’s the glow of bright orange electric candles in every. stinkin’. window – causing the home to put out a glow, almost resembling a bonfire before a homecoming football game!

That glowing house was my house at Christmas time. And it wasn’t just a single candle in each window…it was a trio. Three. Tres. Do the math with me. 3 candles x 14 windows…yeah, you’re starting to see the glow now aren’t you?

Adding to that –  what I am certain were the oldest outdoor Christmas decorations left on earth.  TWO 4 foot plastic candles (more candles!) that read “NOEL” down the front.  ONE 5 foot plastic Santa Claus (with finger appropriately positioned against his nose, as if ready to take off through our non-existent chimney) – both candles and Santa, once plugged in looked more transparent as the paint originally used on their plastic bodies had worn off long ago.

And then there were the lights. No, not the bright beautiful LED lights that are seen today, and not even were they miniature lights. These were the B I G C9 light bulbs that were strung along the shrubs in front of our house.

All part of the magic of the Christmas season, right? Tell that to the wisemen who stopped at our house, certain that the glow they saw in the sky was from a star. Boy were they surprised when they popped over that hill and didn’t find a King, but instead found our house – in all of it’s electrified, Christmas glory.

~C.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

 

December 3 – Christmas Music

Tags

,

(“Christmas carols, church music and even more modern novelty songs are all a big part of our Christmas memories. What songs were your favorites as a child and are they still your favorites or do you have new ones? What about your parents or family members – were there certain songs or types of Christmas music played during the season? And how would you describe the type of Christmas music you like?”)

When I was growing up, the very first record my mom would play was Lynn Anderson’s Christmas record. Yes, it was country music. Stop laughing. Yes, it was an actual record.  Really. Okay, yes it was old school country music. More twang and steel guitar than what should be allowed on one record album.

xmasalbum_lynnanderson258

Oddly enough, I still love that record. But, sad to say, I do not own a record player, and the album has been out of print for years. Thanks to an amazing little thing called iTunes, I was able to obtain a digital copy and burned my own CD, and I can get rid of that sad little cassette tape where I recorded that album years ago.

I’d say its time for the first Christmas song from the first Christmas record of my Christmas season…don’t you think??? Enjoy!!

~C.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.

December 1 – Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

As a young girl, I remember the excitement my brother and I felt when we realized that mom was heading out into the garage and bringing down the Christmas barrels out of storage. Before long, she would be coming into the house with arm-fulls of artificial tree branches, putting them on the living room floor and giving directions to “sort these by size!” before she would head back out for another bunch. I honestly don’t think there was any other time when we would comply so quickly or with so much enthusiasm. It didn’t matter that it smelled old and musty. I didn’t matter that they were prickly. The Christmas decorations were coming out, and the tree was going up!!

I loved our tree, always adorned with different colored lights and then getting re-acquainted with the previous year’s Hallmark ornaments. But there was one thing our tree didn’t have. It didn’t have that one special decoration that was only found at our grandparent’s house.

My Grandpa Parrish would decorate his tree every year and place a white dove somewhere in the tree. A dove, that with the flick of a switch, started to tweet and twitter (before Tweeting and Twittering as we know it today!!). I know that doves don’t tweet – they “coo” softly.  But there was nothing soft and quiet about this decorative bird, and it was exciting for all of the young cousins to make it over to our grandparent’s house each year to first of all locate the dove on the tree and then jump up & down excitedly while waiting for grandpa to flip on the switch sending it’s year-long forgotten sounds throughout the house. We would cheer, grandpa would laugh with a twinkle in his eye that you would swear came from Santa Claus himself, and finally when the tweeting had gone on long enough, grandma would yell in from the kitchen, “Paul – turn that thing off!”

I’m sitting here in my own house now, looking upon my very own tree that I decorated just a few days ago.  Just like my own mother did, armfuls of artificial branches were brought into the family room, and the command to “Sort these by size!” was given to my own children.  Almost like looking back through time, these children obey with more excitement and enthusiasm than what they usually do.

There is no tweeting dove on our tree though, for he continues to sing out only in my memories.

IMG_5634~C.

(The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history twenty-four different ways during December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.)

Homer Hulbert

Tags

, , , ,

I never knew him, for he passed away eight years before I was born.  There were times during family dinners when perhaps his name may have been mentioned, and for the majority of my childhood, that’s all he was – merely a name.  But families being what they were and are, mine had it’s own state of dysfunction.  I didn’t know my own paternal grandfather until I was maybe nine or ten years old, so it wasn’t odd for me to also not know the details of my great grandfather’s life.   But who was Homer Alonzo Hulbert?

He was the son of Charles and Florida (Kerr) Hulbert and he was born on November 3, 1887 – some say in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia and some believe he was born across the Ohio River in Gallia County, Ohio.  That confusion of facts is an ongoing disagreement between my grandmother and I.  Perhaps she is just determined to maintain our family’s Buckeye roots for as many generations as possible.  All I know is that I have a birth record for both places.  Personally?  I wonder if the family lived in Ohio, and happened to travel to Huntington (for whatever reason) where Florida gave birth (hence the West Virginia record).  Upon returning home, they recorded the addition to the family in their county of residence.  But that’s only my opinionated guess.

Tragically, when Homer was just a year old, his mother passed away, as did an older brother at the age of about 8 years old. Whether the two deaths were related is as yet unknown, but the loss of the two left Homer and his (barely) older sister alone with their father who was not yet 30 years old.  His father, Charles, remarried in 1890, but the two children seem to have disappeared for a short time, as they are a vivid absence on the 1900 census that only shows their father with his new wife and the six  children they had together.  I can’t help but wonder, being small children at the time of their mother’s death, if Homer and his sister, Della, weren’t sent to live with a family member while their father attempted to restart his life with a new bride.  Wherever they ended up, I have no record of his childhood years.

By 1910, Homer was now 22 years old, a newlywed and a new father as well, his little family of three living in Piatt County, Illinois.  He had married Miss Carrie Hill in September of 1909, and their first born son, Charles, was born in January 1910.  Three more sons would quickly follow – Wayne in 1911, Donald in 1912, and Homer Jesse in 1914.

Hulbert,Homer & Family

In a strange twist of fate, not long after this photo was taken he found himself in the same tragic situation that his father had been through many years before.  It was in 1917 – not long after the above photo was taken, that his wife passed away, leaving this young father to raise four boys on his own.

Homer would marry a second time, in January of 1919, a young 16 year old, Helen Allen – the daughter of Herman and Sarah (Rentfrow) Allen.  I often wonder what it was like for this young girl to come into this ready-made family with four young boys all under the age of 10 – boys who were certainly missing their own young mother.  Although I can certainly understand that times were different, and perhaps it was “normal” for young women (girls) to be considered as replacement mothers for the children of widowers.  What was their life like as a married couple when Homer was almost twice her age?

Somehow, they made it work, and Helen raised those boys as if they were her own.  In 1925, she and Homer added yet another son to their family.  Robert was born in January 1925, but then tragically died in the spring when he suffered from whooping cough and pneumonia at just five months old.  He was buried next to Homer’s first wife, Carrie, in an unmarked grave in Cerro Gordo.

The following year, 1926, Homer and Helen once again welcomed another son, my grandfather, to their family.  What soon followed was a series of moves across multiple states for this family.  The first was away from the state of Illinois and into northwest Ohio in the late 1920’s.  The same unknown reasons that led my great-grandfather to Illinois as a young man, are probably what led him to relocate with his wife and five boys 20 years later.  Perhaps it was to be close to his sister, Della, for they had made their way to Illinois together, and in 1930, they are both found in Northwest Ohio – he in Bryan, and she is in Defiance County.

In 1934, in a Tucson, Arizona city directory, Homer & Helen and “Homer Jr.” are shown as living in Tucson, Arizona.  Whether this was actually his son, Homer, or my grandfather, I’m not certain.  My grandfather was living in Tucson, Arizona with his mother and father in 1935 (according to the 1940 U.S. Census).  Whoever was living there with Homer and and his wife, Helen, the stay did not last long.  By 1940, they had set up housekeeping in Steuben County, Indiana.

As has happened many times in my Hulbert family line, it was a short time later that Homer and Helen would end their marriage.  In 1942, Homer was living in Fulton County, Indiana, very possibly with his sons, Don and Warren, both of whom were working in the area at that time.

Sometime in the 1940’s, his son, Wayne, made his way to California for a short time.  The story within the family is that on his way back from California, Uncle Wayne decided to stop in Missouri and he purchased a farm there.  He asked Homer to join him, and for a short time, both father and son had a farm in the “Show-Me State”.  It was approximately 1948-49 when they both returned to Ohio.

Homer soon found and married his 3rd wife, Hannah (Schlosser) Allomong.  They were  married in Arkansas and returned to Ohio – for a short time returning to Gallia County, where Homer began his life on the banks of the Ohio River, until finally returning to Bryan and Williams County, in 1959.

The last five months of his life were spent as a resident of the Williams County Home where he passed away in 1964.

This great-grandfather of mine seems to have been a bit of a restless soul.  Constantly going wherever the wind would take him, packing up the family and moving on to where he could find whatever opportunities were awaiting him around the next bend.

~C.

Will The REAL Warren Hulbert…Please Stand Up?

Tags

I recently sat at my desk and looked up on my wall where my Settlers & Builders of Gallia County certificate hangs. These were ten ancestors that made their mark in Gallia County, Ohio and they were ten ancestors that I proudly researched and helped to find their place within Gallia County history. I wanted to make sure that they were really known within Gallia County history.

On this particular day, however, I was bothered by a different ancestor – from the same family, but an uncle from three generations before me. I had never located evidence of him marrying or fathering a child, and at the time of my earlier research, there was no sign that he ever left his surroundings near the Ohio River prior to his death in April of 1920.  That was the extent of the life that I had heard of and researched of my 3rd great-grand uncle.  An uncle who could have easily slipped through the cracks of time as un-noticed, or labeled as too “unimportant” to be nothing more than another name on a single line in the family tree report.  As far as I could tell there was no story to tell.

But what did I know? I was merely going off of what the family historian (a.k.a. Grandma) had – or rather hadn’t told me about any military history with this ancestor.  Basically, if grandma hadn’t found it, it was probably because it wasn’t out there to be found. The “genealogy bug” had only bitten me a few years earlier, so I relied on Grandma to keep me up to date on these details. When I had inquired, she didn’t know anything about his military history, and therefore, in my young genealogist’s mind, there wasn’t  a military history to discover.  

EXCEPT…(Which is kind-of like a “but”.  It’s a big “wait a minute, look at this!” in our genealogy world.)

Except…I was contacted by a stranger through my Ancestry.com family tree who was wanting to share information that he had collected on my ancestor, Warren Hulbert. He had been working on a listing of Civil War soldiers, and wanted to pass along to me the tidbits that he had gathered with regards to the service of my 3rd great-grand uncle.  Unfortunately, the details he shared with me didn’t make sense. Even to my untrained genealogist eye, I questioned the validity of his claims that my ancestor had been a Civil War veteran.  An ancestor whom I should have been proud of in finding out that he served in the Civil War.   However, I wasn’t completely certain that he actually did.

The documents that were shared with me stated that Warren Hulbert had served in the New York Volunteer Infantry.  I would have expected him to have enlisted in Ohio where he was actually living.  Perhaps he had “gone home” to place his service in the state where he was born and spent a large portion of his childhood – but it still seemed highly unlikely.  What I realized was that if indeed my ancestor had served his country during the War of the States, then there was certainly more about his life that I had yet to reveal and discover.

*         *         *        *        *      

Warren Hulbert, MY Warren Hulbert, was born 25 September 1838 in Steuben County, New York. He was the fifth child born to Lester and Feronia “Laura” (Henshaw) Hulbert, and he was their third son. The Hulbert family would grow to 11 surviving children and one infant child who died in 1854. It is believed that shortly after the death of this last child, the family moved from New York to southern Ohio where they settled in Green Township, Gallia County.  That’s what I knew.  That’s all that I knew.  That’s all that I thought there was to know.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was informed otherwise by Mr. Ancestry.com Stranger, that there was a possibility that I had an ancestor who was a Civil War veteran that I was not previously aware of. Perhaps “intrigued” is a better word to describe it.  As previously mentioned, the tidbits presented didn’t seem logical to me.

A few years later, I was once again presented with this scenario – that MY Warren Hulbert had served in the Civil War.  I decided that I would pull all the documents and evidence of my ancestor’s life in Gallia County.  I also was able to make a connection at the National Archives who was able to provide me with the Civil War pension file of a Warren Hulbert of New York.  Laying it all out in front of me, I set out to find exactly what the truth was.

Who was the REAL Warren Hulbert?

A quick comparison quickly pointed out that we were indeed talking about two different individuals:

  • Warren (OH) was born in 1838, while Warren (NY) was born in 1842.
  • In 1840, Warren (OH) was living in Steuben Co., NY , while Warren (NY) was not yet born.
  • In 1850, Warren (OH) was still living in Steuben co., NY while Warren (NY) was just down the road in Wayland, Steuben Co., New York.  Close proximity, two separate individuals.
  • Warren (OH) left no evidence of being married, and Warren (NY) had a wife and child.
  • Warren (OH) died in 1920 (I have a death certificate and his Will), Warren (NY) died many years earlier, in 1890. (shown by record of Veteran’s tombstone)

Many other documents presented themselves such as census records, tax records, veteran’s pension file records – all showed these as two different individuals.  I suppose if I’ve learned anything in researching my family, it’s never to assume anything – but short of Warren Hulbert hatching an elaborate plot that consisted of a completely separate family and faking his own death 30 years prior to his actual death…well, that logic just simply escaped me.

Still…there was one particular record.  A record that actually referred to MY Warren Hulbert as a Civil War veteran.  A “soldier’s burial card” that meant his grave was registered with the County Recorder’s Office as a soldier, and in this case …in the Civil War.  I wanted to know more about this card that was registered to him, and was told that sometimes no other information can be located, but it does show that he was a potential soldier or he would not have had this card otherwise.

That led me to inquire at the County Recorder – what kind of registration information did they have for my Warren Hulbert to warrant this card?  The response I received was disheartening, but yet one more step in the direction of finding a final answer:

“I’m sorry, but I have no discharge for a Warren Hulbert.  I do have a listing for a veterans gravesite for a Warren Hulbert for 10/11/1920.  The listing I have does not specify in what war this Warren Hulbert served.  The listing indicates Mound Hill Cemetery but does not specify a grave location.  Wish I could be more help.”

Problem #1 – again, no record to verify that he was a soldier.  Problem #2 – Mound Hill Cemetery?  I don’t think so.  I have a photo from the Hulbert Family Cemetery where he was buried – which agrees with the death certificate that I also have.  So…no.  IF there is a mystery Warren Hulbert buried at Mound Hill, again – it is NOT my Warren Hulbert.

As I try to put into practice the genealogy skills that I learn, I know that there is always a level of family history that we may not know about our ancestors.  We didn’t walk with them to know every single detail of their lives.  But we can research thoroughly, and come to a well thought out conclusion.

For me, I believe that there are just still too many questions, and not enough complete answers for me to believe that MY Warren Hulbert was a Civil War veteran – and that any reference to such is actually a reference to another individual with the same name who lived in the same approximate area where another by the same name once lived, and one who did serve  and sacrifice during the Civil War.

Each man was a real Warren Hulbert in their own right, but still two very separate individuals.

~C.

A Whole New Set of Questions

Genealogy questions, of course! (What else!?!?)

I’ve been actively tearing down, brick by brick, my ancestral wall…or on a more positive note – building my tree, limb by limb? However you might want to phrase it, for the past 5 years or so, my family’s history has been my passion. Maybe “obsession” is a better word for it.

Not to brag, but I was feeling pretty confident of my abilities to maneuver around a Google search engine to find my ancestors! (The real ones…not just the ones that so-and-so says we’re related to).  So when a friend of a friend of a friend inquired about me taking on the task of helping him with his family tree, I thought “sure! How hard can it be?”

Let me tell you how hard it can be. I know that my ancestors were all dead and gone long before I came along, but I had my family’s oral history being passed down to me. Little tidbits about great-grandma or that cousin that made finding out more about their lives just that much easier. I “knew” them.

So when I started the journey of locating ancestors from years past for my friend, I quickly became overwhelmed. Not only did I not have a clue about these people and who they were, but unlike my family members who spent a great deal of time up north in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (to name a few), I was suddenly thrown into the deep south of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama trying to locate records and online resources for a group of people I did not know at all. Throw into that, the other side of the Civil War, a world of slavery, and a completely different cultural attitude. This was a lot harder than what I ever expected!

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve been able to uncover 5 generations for my friend.  I don’t know how far I will go for him, after all, my family is still sitting here on my bookshelf waiting patiently each day for me to return and uncover a new relative, or another intriguing story. But I know that when one search goes dry, and I need to refocus, I can pull out my new “family”…the one I’m slowly getting to know more and more each day. Who knows, maybe one day our family lines just may cross!!

In Memory…

In memory and in honor of the ancestors who have gone before me – the ones who died before their time.

  • Infant Hulbert – son of my 4th great-grandfather. Never knew about you until I happened across your stone in the cemetery. Died at only 1 day old.
  • Ferona Margaret Hulbert – daughter of my 3rd great-grandfather. I have a picture of you as an infant, and you only lived to the age of 3, probably the only picture taken of you.
  • Florida Kerr Hulbert – 1st wife of my great-great grandfather. You died shortly after giving birth to my great-grandfather. Thank you for your gift of life into our family.
  • Robert Allen Hulbert – great uncle – another one I never knew about. You died as a toddler, and when you were buried a stone was never put in place to honor your memory.
  • Charles Orville Bingle – my great grandfather – the story of the fall to your death was one told often in our family, you left a young wife and 3 small children who missed you greatly.
  • Nettie Peak – my great-grand aunt, killed at the hands of her husband. Your death was not spoken of, and it’s tragic knowing that domestic violence was just as horrific an act 50 years ago, as it still is today.
  • Sarah Lucretia Comer – my 2nd great grandmother who died shortly after giving birth to my great grandfather. You were loved and greatly missed by your family.
  • Jessie Parrish – my great uncle who died at only 2 years of age from a tragic railroad accident.

Although all of the ancestors I research are special to my family and their history, these are just a few of the those that have always saddened me with their stories.

~C.

Just When You Think You Know Someone…

Tags

,

I grew up out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of corn fields. Two houses down from us sat a little house trailer with a couple of newlyweds. An older couple, but newly married to one another in 1980. Many times my brother and I could be found down at that little house trailer, usually underfoot of this couple, but always having a blast. They did more than tolerate us, they loved us. We shared our holidays together, they got my brother his first job, and when we were old enough they were the ones who bought us our “big kid” bikes – mine was a 15-speed Schwinn.

Here’s the thing – this couple was my grandmother and her husband. Not my actual grandfather, as they had divorced in 1977, but being as I was so young when Art came into our lives he was still known as “grandpa” to me.

Grandpa Art was quiet and didn’t say much. He loved going out to his woodshop and spending an entire day doing…well, he spent a lot of time out there tinkering on this, working on that, repairing something, building anything…just working. He had a smile that made his eyes squint into little lines, and when he laughed he would lean back and give his knee a little slap while he chuckled to himself.

He was also Hawaiian – straight from the islands, Hawaiian. All of his family were still living on the islands, but here he was in Northwest Ohio where many times he was seen as a black man married to a white woman. We all kind-of wondered about his life, and my parents tried to get him to open up, but the most we ever found out was that he had come from a large family with many brothers and sisters. He also told us that after the attack on Pearl Harbor he worked with the Army Corp of Engineers. Then he would often clam up, we assumed the memory of what happened there was too vivid, too disturbing for him to want to share any more.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I had started working on my family’s history, Grandpa Art had passed away a few years prior, and the idea of trying to research Hawaiian records to learn more about this quiet man was too good to pass up (and how great would THIS genealogy field trip be if I just had to go to the islands!). I had no idea what I was about to find.

Little did I know that the birthdate he had given us was not his true birthdate. I was able to track down a great-niece of his who was wonderful in helping me fill in the blanks on grandpa’s extended family. She also went to her mother who was able to tell her the family stories on her “uncle Art” – the man who left the island and went to Indiana to work and was living in Ohio.

You see, he didn’t cross the Pacific willingly. There was a reason he remained quiet about his life before, and there is a sad story of his life since coming to the mainland. A story that involves the wrong group of friends, and a cross-country trip trying to find his way afterward. There is the tragedy of his father coming all the way from Hawaii to Michigan to visit, only to die of pneumonia after he got here.  All of these are just tiny puzzle pieces of a life that I have yet to put together to see the entire picture of my grandfather’s life.

But I know my grandpa, and there was a reason Grandpa Art was a quiet man. His memories of his life’s choices were his own demons that seemed to haunt him. As a genealogist, I can’t ignore the facts of his life, but I do choose to look at these details as the parts of the story that helped him to become the man we knew – the man who cherished our grandmother, and the quiet grandpa whom I loved.

Wright, Gpa & Gma

Military Monday – 4 July 1944

(Continuing the letters written by our soldier to his sweetheart – “as is”)

My Dearest little Darling:

Just a line to the brightest little ray of sunshine in my life on the darkest day I believe. Now aint that a hot beginning but I mean it dear. But I sure am blue and home sick today. If I was the kind of man that indulged in intoxicating refreshments I think I should be tempted to get on a real one today. I went over to beer city with Sparks and had a couple of beers last nite then went to the 8:00 show. They sure do have a nice theater hear. I came in the Rec. Hall writing this and the boys are practicing for a littel program they are going to put on tonite. I just wrote dad a letter and told him we were going to get married. I might not have you but I will have the papers to show that you are mine. Have you written that letter we were talking about Sun.? I hope so as I think we should have decided to of done this a long time ago. I don’t know if I will be able to get a pass Sat or not, but if I feel like I do now I will be home one way or another if you get what I mean.

Good morning sweet heart this is the 5th. I was call out yesterday and didn’t get to finish this but I am going to finish it now if I have to whip the whole damn army and I feel like mabey I could do it today, of course I would probaly change my mind before I got through. I should have my ___ kicked for not finishing it. last night I went to a damn program instead I sure am cussin this morning aint I.
I sure do wish I could re-arrange the alphabet so I could put U & I closer together this morning. Honey if I ever get out of this Army I won’t even go out on the porch unless your along. I miss everybody but I miss you most of all. I don’t know what I would do if they shipped me out west or some other far away port and it would be just my luck for it to happen. I am planning on getting it this week or the first of next.
Chap Taylor got shipped Mon. so I guess it is a good thing he did go home over the wkend, if you happen to find out where he went to let me know will you. I was sitting out in the park yesterday watching all of the boys with there folks and sweethearts and wives and I got the strangest feeling I wanted to call you so bad but it cost so much and I decided I hadn’t better do it. It makes me feel like I was a tramp or something of that nature any how because it has been a long time since I couldn’t spend a dollar or two and not miss it, but I suppose I might just as well get used to it. It wouldn’t be so bad if I was training or something to help get this war over but I’m not doing anything and this damn sitting around is about to get the best of me.
I don’t think I will ever feel right till the day they tell me that I can come back to you. I was showing your picture to some of the boys the other nite and I told them you were my wife. Please don’t be mad at me for telling them that. if I hadn’t they would of wanted your address and honey I guess I’m powerful selfish but I don’t want any of them writing to you. I know it wouldn’t hurt anything if they did but if you have any time to write any body I want it to be me. I will probably find out someday to my sorrow that I am just to jealous of you. Dearest if anything ever happened that I couldn’t have you I don’t know what I would do I love you so much. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t have anything else when I got out of here if I had you to help me I could get the rest. Honey please don’t ever change your mind about wanting me.
Honey have you taken those films in yet? I hope so I am very anxious to get those pictures. Well toots I suppose I had better close this thing because I have to write mother a letter. I have only written her once since I have been in here.
I hope you have seen Don by now. I have to write him a letter two so this is me signing off with all my love and with but one thought in mind and that is of a gal that is going to be my wife soon I hope.

Yours
First, Last, and always
I! Love! You!