Friday, June 2, 2017

The mailman brought letters Dad wrote 72 years ago


Recently I received an email from a first cousin who told me she had discovered two letters that my father had written to my maternal grandparents, along with a few photos of me and my twin brother from the early 1950s. These discoveries were made as her family was moving her mother to another apartment. This cousin and I share the same grandparents.

My cousin offered to mail these treasures to me, and they arrived today. Pictured above is one of the envelopes I received. It’s very small, only 3.5” x 4.5“. It was mailed to my mother’s mother, Mrs. Milo Flanders, who at that time lived at 208 E. Morrell St, Stafford, Kansas. The postmark says Dec. 6, 1944. At that time, Dad was serving in France with the US Army.  This is the entire letter:


This second letter was written to my mother’s dad, Milo Flanders and mailed on Dec 9, 1944.



The expressions Dad used in his writing were quite colloquial for the time, terms such as “feller” and “Swell”. What I’m most happy to read are the words he wrote at the end of his letter to my grandmother: “ the Chaplain was to come for our service but he didn’t. Hope he finds us by Sunday cause one or rather about my best physical comfort and satisfying acts here is attending a service and Sunday, I think, is Communion. So keep faith.”

Dad was such a good man and a strong Christian. It’s wonderful to see that he was nourished even in France during World War II by his Faith in God. And his upbeat attitude shows in his closing wish to my grandfather: “Keep Smiling”.  I don’t think Dad would have offered that wish if he hadn’t “kept smiling” himself.

I’m grateful to my cousin for sharing this great find. Thank you, Mary Anne!


Shanon Martin said...

What wonderful treasures. I love the little pieces of historical interests you glean from the letters too. These truly are "really swell".

Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

What a wonderful and fun experience for you to be able to read your father's words in his own writing. I love being able to see a little of their personality come out in the way they expressed themselves.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Marvelous Treasures!

Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your wonderful blog post is listed in today's Genealogy Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

faustinlondon said...

Must be really nice to get these at this point in your life, for you to know what a big and positive influence your father had, and to see this afresh. Makes you wonder what else is out there!