Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Can’t, Don’t Want To, Can’t Afford To

When I found the stash of additional letters home from my father-in-law, Frank Stevens, I guess it rattled me so much that I bolted straight into posting those new finds while I was still in the middle of another letter. Since I’ve finished the series on the letters from that third discovery, let’s pick up where we left off: in the middle of a letter from Frank to his brother Ed and his wife. Dated July 15, 1945, it picks up in our timeline right where we left off with Frank’s last letter home on July 9. This one reveals a bit more of Frank’s thinking about plans for his future, and what is to become of his relationship with Jeanne. I wonder how much of this is the result of his parents’ advice to remember he is still only twenty years of age.

            You’re right in thinking that I want to get home but I think civilian life is going to be a bit tame for this kid when it is all over, besides I’m strictly a sad sack when it comes to having a trade or being interested in anything but what I’m doing right now. On top of that I kind of like to travel 

and see the rest of the world and I’d never be able to do that if I were a civilian, I’d just never have that much money. No kidding Mutz I haven’t saved a damn cent since I’ve been in this outfit and I don’t think I ever shall, the folks sort of keep me drained, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitching or anything but that’s the way it stands. I know that I owe the folks a lot and I also realize that Pat is going to get married some day and she rates that much out of life. I’m sort of holding the bench down till Chip gets big enough to support Mom and Dad. Wish that I could help them out with more than I do but right now its out of the question, just so they are comfortable and happy is all that I care about at present. Now I find that the little woman is starting to dream of hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet and they aren’t mice. Mutze just howinhell does a guy go about giving a gal the brushoff by way of letter. I don’t want to hurt her feelings because she really is a nice kid, in fact one of the nicest girls I’ve ever gone out with BUT I can’t get married, I don’t want to get married, I can’t afford to get married and last but not least I happy the way I am. Love em all is my motto, can I help it if one loves back. I might have gotten a little ardent but not that ardent. I mean no feeling hurt on either side and I was always a (I blush) gentleman if a Stevens can be one. If you don’t believe me ask me older brudder but then again I have always been called wilder than he, at least that’s the way I heered it. Suppose you give me your version of that?

One other piece of news that Frank included in this letter has me puzzled. 

            Yeah it too bad about the skipper and I have the unhappy task of writing his parents a letter, really don’t know how too start it or for that matter how to write any of it, guess I’ll blunder through it some way.

I’ve tried to examine names on the Navy Muster Rolls included at, but can’t locate any changes that would indicate a death or serious injury on board his ship at such a ranking level, nor any reason why Frank would be the one tasked with sending a personal note. Perhaps, in addition to the official notices, there might have been a tradition of making a more personal contact from among those who served alongside the man—something I’m entirely unsure about. At any rate, someone thought that Frank’s letter-writing skills would be adequate for the sad occasion.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... a mysterious Skipper...

    ...and a poor Jeanne... I see Frank's wife name was Jeanne... do you suppose...


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