July 5, 1943
To the Families of Andover Servicemen and Women:
We are enclosing a copy of the first newsletter which we are planning to send monthly to the servicemen and women of Andover, for the sake of keeping them in close touch with affairs of the home town.
Many of you have been asked for addresses of your sons, daughters, and husbands. We shall appreciate your cooperation in informing us of any change of address. You are invited to communicate with the editors, Vera Cross Taylor (1867-J3) and/or John Phelps (1068-J2) if you have any news or personal items to contribute. We shall be glad to hear of marriages, births, furloughs, promotions, etc. Any items of local or family interest will be accepted.
Although this sheet is sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee, it is not a political organ. The committee felt that this would be a means of showing our interest in the work that our men and women are doing and a means of exchanging news.
If you would like to receive a copy of this newsletter regularly, please let us know and we shall be pleased to send it to you.
Vera Cross Taylor and John Phelps, Editors
June 28, 1943
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover:
This is the first of a series of monthly newsletters sponsored by the democratic Town Committee for the purpose of helping you keep in touch with affairs in the old hometown.
Unpleasant news first: Lieutenant Billy Johnson has been reported killed in action over Africa. To date, no information has been received to raise any hope that he might be alive.
Lt. Walter Krozel, who made a miraculous escape from his burning ship in a crash in the European War zone was awarded the Purple Heart in ceremonies at the Halloran General Hospital, New Jersey, on June 15, 1943. Walt's injuries were severe, and complete recovery will take considerable time. He has just been transferred to a hospital in Ohio. He has been made a first lieutenant. He expects to be a papa soon.
Larry Sheehan is home on leave.
3rd Class Petty Officer Sonny Covell is stationed down south, and is really doing a great job, as can be attested to by his quick rise in rank.
Ellsworth Mitten, Burt Lewis, and Ed Whitcomb are all 1A.
Andrew Gasper and Jean Shepherd are now one. Married May 15, 1943. Betty (Shepard) was maid of honor and John G(asper). Best Man. Joe Gasper is expected home soon with his wings. If he flies like he drives, God help the enemy.
Ed Merritt and George Tedford are all anywhere but in the USA
Harold Smith is still the king pin of the Fire Dept. and the Fire Commission. The big question now is--Does the Fire Dept. or the Fire Commission buy a new seat for the toilet? To date there ain't been none. The Fire House is a mansion now. New floor, dishes, tables, china, silverware, glasses and fluorescent lighting. No pool table as yet.
An organization known as the Andover Sportsmen's Association has been formed. John Gasper, President; Bill McCarroll, Secretary. Better hunting and fishing is its prime objective at the minute.
A short while ago three men residents at Andover Lake heard Gabriel blow his horn, when the boat from which they were fishing turned over. Their cries were heard, however, and they were fished out and revived by State Policemen, stimulants (tea) and the warmth of Mrs. Van Deusen's home.
Clara Savage and Steve Ursin were married Saturday June 26. Wilma was maid of honor, and Steve's brother, Andy best man.
Lt. Henry Hilliard is somewhere in the European war zone.
Ed Sheehan and John Bausola are now buck privates.
Andover chose dungarees for its wardrobe this spring, and the women as well as the men have taken to the hoe and/or grain bucket. Very few have any lasting regrets for the temporary passing of the era of the horseless carriage.
The War Council solemnly discusses the problems of agriculture, special police, land army, and all the related subjects. All of Connecticut is covered by an Observation Post system, but Andover is again among the leaders, even in this respect. The success of the post is largely due to the faithful work of George and Mrs. Nelson.
Town Meetin" ran true to form one evening last month. Road funds were quickly spent; the Secretary of the Board of Education received a 100% raise in salary (Don't gasp--it's only $100 per annum even now) and garbage disposal was disposed of in the usual manner. Lyman Smith's committee, which gathered a great deal of valuable information, was discharged with a vote of thanks. It was then voted to have the Selectmen look into the matter of buying a lot where tin cans at least can be dumped without polluting the town's brooks and cluttering up the highways. A system or fund was proposed and accepted whereby the firemen may be reimbursed by the town (rather than an insurance company) for injury or death while in action.
The Andover Grammar School graduated the following on June 22, 1943: Frances Anderson, Anna Basko, Elizabeth Ann Bramhall, Dorothy A. Caye, Clifford H. Erickson, Helen G. Gasper, Alton Lathrop, Barbara Samuels, Dorothy Lee Slappy and Mona R. Williams. Let's see now, how many years since you stepped carefully up the aisle?
Harold Smith's daughter, Alma, joined the Waves very recently.
Sorry, Bib Gatchell, we can't complete this letter according to your specifications. We'll save it till you get here.
Bulletin: Joe Gasper arrived July 2, wearing wings, and gave his family and friends a grand surprise.
Clarence Savage will take the fatal step, immediately upon the arrival of his fiancee in Honolulu.
The Andover Sportsmen's Club and Fire Dept. threw a joint barbecue at the Gasper cabin Saturday afternoon and evening. Nearly every able bodied man in Andover attended, with varying results. The main point of interest was the glorious food. A lamb and sixteen chickens, along with assorted salads, rolls and two kegs of beer cheered the beings of some 56 men. A double-header softball game, with tackling and interference the main features of the game, could be heard as far as Hartford. The Kelly was one means of transportation, and it returned to the firehouse at 2 a.m. with the siren wide open. A horse and buggy brought an overload of six men, and one bicycle that arrived by manpower had to be taken home by truck. One young man walked home through the woods. Since he was unable to read the compass which he carried, he wandered, lost, for a half hour before finding his residence.
J. Russell Thompson has assumed the duties of Deputy Sheriff recently relinquished by Ellsworth Mitten.
If you have a change of address or any news you wish to exchange with your fellows in service, you are cordially invited to communicate with the editors--Vera Cross Taylor and/or John Phelps
Aside from the echoes of the barbecue, the July 4th holiday was very quiet. Not a single piece of fireworks was displayed in the town. Jean Shepherd Gasper did shoot one large woodchuck. Her fond husband believes she did it with two shots, both of which hit the creature in the head. Witness, however, testify that it took ten shots. At that she did very well, considering that she had never used the revolver before.
Any suggestion for the betterment of this sheet will be gladly received.