Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting To Paradise

Though I didn't find it until just a few days ago, it seems that this 1942 letter from Frank Stevens is the first one he’s written home to Will and Agnes Tully Stevens in Chicago since arriving at the Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, Illinois. He’s barely been there for twenty four hours, and though he claims no trace of homesickness yet, it only takes him a few paragraphs to drop the hint that after three weeks, he can have visitors.

I can have visitors after 3 wks. We are all doing our best work for the sooner we learn things the sooner we can get to Paradise (the name for the other side of camp where we get the most liberties). The camp is pretty, I imagine, in the summertime as there are trees all over. I received my uniform this morning and I look mighty sharp. If I do say so. The pants they gave me had to be cut off about ? inches.
            I told dad about the Bluejacket Rit I got, the lady’s name was
            Mrs. Benjaman Rosenthal
            Ambassador West
            Chicago Ill
She must have plenty of Rocks as they cost upwards of 80¢. I wrot her a not of thanks and invited her to write to me. Right now I have finished my work and most of the other fellows are waxing the floors, while others are washing windows.

            The C.P.O. just came in so I thought I would have to cut it short but he said he was just checking on the window washers. Tell John, Clara an Larry I said hello also Bill + Max and Jughead, + Ed + Mutz – Pat + ? ? ? ? , Jerry + Jaundice, Pa + Ma, Aunt Lill + Mr. Hills.
            Well I guess that covers about all of them. (thoes lovers) say hello to Mrs. Mason + Mary Grant also Mr. Dideck an everyone else. I guess I’ll have to sign off so tell all thoese Jerks to write.
                                    Your Brother in lay
                                    Your Brother
                                    Your Nephew
                                    Your Son
                                    Your Uncle
P.S. My adress is on the front page
P.S.S.S. send me some dough in about 5 days


  1. He was pretty funny in this letter today.

  2. Such a character!!!

    I sure would like to have had the chance to have lunch with him!

    Fascinating story about the Rosenthals too!

  3. Iggy, I found it quite fascinating, in reading the story in the link, to find that Frank actually must have met up with Hannah Rosenthal, by then the widow of businessman and philanthropist Benjamin Rosenthal. The last line in the article I linked to explained that Hannah continued to live at the Ambassador Hotel until she passed away at 100 years of age.

    I wonder if Frank ever wrote her that "not" of thanks--or if she ever wrote him while he served overseas. If so, that's not something I've found up to this point, but one never knows...

  4. Wow, Frank just pops off the page -- personality plus -- and a cutie too. Also loved the part about sending some dough in about 5 days. LOL.


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