Andover, Connecticut Newsletter #3
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
August 30, 1943
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
Maybe you enjoy receiving this sheet from the home town, but your enjoyment is not a whit keener than ours at receiving letters from you. Some of you write directly to us, and we hear from several others through their parents.
Congratulations are in order for several who have advanced in rank recently.
It's Corporal Mort Friedrich, now. He is expected home on furlough in September, and will then go to North Carolina for advanced training.
Alex Fox has been placed in command of his ship, and although we haven't been informed of his correct title, we believe it's lieutenant-commander. Nice going! How about a note from you, Alex?
Editor Phelps is having a vacation at one of the loveliest spots on Columbia Lake this week. He is accompanied, of course, by Ruth and Sandra Jean and the new black cocker spaniel puppy, Sambo. Sambo nearly came to grief on the highway the other day. He was struck by a car and remained unconscious for several hours. He recovered during the night, but it will be a long time before Johnny gets over the shock and anxiety.
We hear that a certain sales manager for a popular bakery in Hartford is in the dog house with the rest of the company. It seems that an irate customer called up to say that she was having trouble with a cake, which was made of whole wheat flour. After having kept the cake for nearly a week, the customer found it full of worms. She wailed about her loss of appetite and cash on the deal, and the sales manager tried to interrupt her tirade with an explanation about the rapid germination of wheat. "None of that makes sense to me!" snapped the customer at last. "What shall I do about the cake?" The sales manager, in a state of nervous exhaustion, stuttered, "S-s-sift if and go f-f-f-fishing!"
The Andover Fire Department tore up the ground to get to the Town Hall when it was struck by an incendiary bomb at the time of the last practice air raid. It seems that the direct route to the Hall had been demolished by a bomb, which landed in front of Connie Schatz' place. At the same time, the Andover Lake Dam was blown up. So the Kelly and all the fire company had to go via the Boston and Wales roads. In spite of such handicaps, our valiant fire ladies had water on the Town Hall fire and on one at Rosenbloom's exactly seventeen minutes from the moment they were called. Water was obtained from the brook down the road toward the church, and the boys laid all the hose they had. No record was made of the time and conversation spent in getting the hose back in shape for our next disaster.
There was a neighborhood calamity on the Hebron Road the other day, when Frank Chase's cows broke out of the pasture and paid a visit to Percy Cook's garden. The garden is now sporting a three-strand barbed wire fence.
Some of our important citizens have been traveling lately. Thomas J. Birmingham and his son, Stepen (Birmingham), recently hurried down to Washington, DC, to make sure that all was going according to schedule there.
Bill McCarroll visited the Kansas City, Mo. plant of the United Aircraft Corporation. He flew out and back, and returned with many a tale of the gaiety of that fair city. Helen McC(arrol). was enjoying a vacation with her parents at the beach at the time.
The Finance Board met in dismal session last Saturday night and recommended a satisfactory distribution of the town's funds for the coming year, with a minimum of bickering. There will be a special town meeting on Saturday to make the findings final.
Mrs. E.M Yeomans and Mr. L.B. Whitcomb are co-chairmen for the war bond drive, which begins September 9. The men have charge of such things as house-to-house canvass, payroll deductions, etc., and the women have charge of special rallies, school participation, posters, etc. The women have already turned in $301.75 as a result of the Molly Pitcher Day activities of the Girl Scouts, under the leadership of Mrs. George Nelson.
Corporal Stewart Dougan reports from Camp Maxey, Texas, that he is sporting a brilliant suntan. He says, "We have the best army in the world, believe me." He is so enthusiastic, in fact, that he plans to remain with the army when the war is over. Congratulations, Corporal Dougan, on the new rating! Keep it up! It was good to hear from you.
Mrs. Hilliard has heard that Henry, somewhere outside of the good old USA is in high spirits and good health.
It's Corporal Lawrence Moe now, still somewhere in England. Nice going Lawrence! Let us hear from you.
William Dougan, Jr. married a girl from Willimantic shortly before leaving the home town for Camp Devens, recently. Good luck to you and your bride, Bill, and do let us know how the army is treating you.
How these young people do get around! Lt. Irene Willis is at Casablanca doing her bit.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Gasper gave a garden party in honor of Wilma Savage, who will soon be in the services of the Hartford Hospital relieving the shortage of nurses. The distinguished guests included the members of Wilma's family, Mr. and Mrs. John Phelps, Mr. Winthrop White, Mr. and Mrs.Guy Bartlett and family, and Mrs. Rose Gasper. Conspicuous by the absence were John V. Gasper of the Coast Guard Reserves and his fiancee, who spent a dignified evening at home entertaining the Libby's, who have recently returned from Arkansas.
Alma Smith of the Waves spent a furlough with her parents on Hebron Road, Andover, during August. She's doing all right, and writes that she enjoys the letters she receives from her fellows in service.
John Bausola is home from Mississippi for a furlough with his family. He must be having a good time, because many a phone call has failed to find him home for a personal interview.
Sorry, George LaChance, John Phelps has been unable to contact Don, at Betty Tedford's to date. Perhaps we can give you more on that later. George is at school at St. Bonaventure College, and not too keen on it. he is hoping for "another boat ride soon".
Lewis Brown, Jr. is classified as an Air Craft Mechanic at Keesler Field, Mississippi, now. He urges the boys at home to keep building them, so that they can keep 'em flying.
The censors had chiseled a neat piece out of Maurice Levesque's last letter. He's somewhere in the Asiatic war zone, and we'll have to wait until he comes home to find out what it is that they furnish at a dime a dozen.
We also had a short but cheerful note from Lucien Levesque, from Durham, NC
Oops! Here's Johnny Phelps on furlough from vacation! He reports that Seaman 2/c George Tedford was around town during August, looking like a million bucks in his "whites". He was wearing campaign ribbons to designate action in the North Atlantic patrol, North African campaign, and American defense. He has seen action in the Mediterranean Sea. He is now a First Class Gun Pointer. Good hunting, George.
Johnny has also had a letter from Pfc. Russel Friedrich,1st Marine Dog Plt., 2nd Raider Br., c/oFPC, San Francisco, California. He has little or no time to write, but he's so anxious to hear from some of the gang that he'd willingly swap some swell addresses in North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Omaha (especially) and California for a good letter.
Charlie Kuckucka writes the breeziest letter on record. He must be in tip top condition to be in such high spirits. Keep it up, Charles! We're all guessing as to where you may be. We'll keep that assignment on WACS in mind, although we can't make any definite recommendations yet.
About fifty of the local yokels gave Ed Whitcomb (army) and Billy Merritt (Navy) a big send-off from the Gasper Cabin. They all had a feast of hamburgers, sweet corn, and boiled potatoes, cooked in the open. A barrel of beer produced much the same results as were attained at the July 4th party, and they had a rip-roaring good time. At the close of the party, about a dozen of the guests retired to a nearby home, where they split the echoes with song until about 4 a.m. Ed Whitcomb has already had a short leave, and Mrs. Whitcomb has visited him at Camp Edwards.
Remember, everybody, we enjoy hearing from you, and we hope you'll continue to swap news through this letter. Let us know of changes in addresses, so that the sheet can get to you promptly.
The A.F.D. saved the foundation of a large barn in Hebron, which was struck by lightning, last night. They were ably assisted by the Hebron F.D. Water was pumped through a half mile of hose. Farmer Goldstein of the Hebron-Amston Road is the loser.
The "Willimantic Normal School" lost their original building by fire one night this week. The A.F.D. maintains it could have saved the place, had it been called. Sometimes I think they aren't fully appreciated.
The preserve cupboards are full to overflowing now, and the women of Andover are beginning to think in terms of house-cleaning again. Aren't you glad you're not here?
Vera Cross Taylor & John Phelps