Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2, #12
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
June 11, 1945
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
Summer put in a belated appearance today, and we hope it's here to stay. That popping noise is the corn coming out of the ground, and the gardeners are bragging to one another about how well the carrots and beans are growing. It's good to have it hot and clear after many weeks of almost constant rain.
Amy Randall, who will be long and well remembered for her poetry. her patriotic parades, her work in the Grange, the choir, the Sunday School, and for her lovely voice, died last month. Our sympathy goes out to her parents, with whom she made her home, to her brother, and to her many friends.
The last Newsletter was barely out of our hands when we heard the good news that Bill and Martha Thompson had become the parents of a baby boy, Lester Lionel Thompson, Jr. was born at the Hartford Hospital on May 11, 1945. Martha and Lester are doing very nicely, and Bill has almost recovered. His friends had been predicting a girl, and Bill was so sure it would be a boy that he packed a suitcase and said he'd leave town if they had a girl. So, when he got the great news, he drew a sigh of relief and went home to unpack the bag. Now, the friends are warning Bill that sixteen years hence, he'll have to supply the cash for young Lester when he dates the daughters of the neighborhood.
Gordon and Dorothy Whitcomb of Rocky Hill announce the birth of a daughter, Nancy Gail, at Hartford Hospital, on May 10, 1945. Gordon and Bill Thompson, who hadn't seen each other for a long time met in the corridor of Hartford Hospital in time to swap congratulations.
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Carter of Andover Lake celebrated V-E Day by honoring a visit from the stork. Their second son was born at the Hartford Hospital on that day.
Mr. and Mrs. Ted Watts sent a telegram from Florida to announce the birth of a daughter, Margaret, on June 8, 1945.
On the Sunday preceding Memorial Day all of Andover turned out to pay homage to those who have given their lives in all of the wars since Colonial times, and especially to those who have died in this war. Dr. Tuthill called the roll, which included Russell Friedrich, Maurice Levesque, William Johnson, and George Wilson. The rain came pouring down, and the exercises were started in the Church, but the sun came out in time for the parade to form, led by George Nelson, as marshall, Bill Thompson, Leslie Billings, Rufus Grant and Ellsworth Covell. The Memorial Stone was decorated, and the parade proceeded to the honor roll, where a new flag pole and flag were presented and dedicated. Then the marchers, followed by a long line of cars, went on to the center cemetery, where, under the spreading branches of the great oak on the edge of Mr. Bartlett's lawn, the program was completed. There was a short address by Major Nathan Gatchell, and appropriate music was furnished by Ellsworth Mitten's band.
The Andover Grange sends greetings to all the servicemen and women of the town. At a memorial service, which was held at the Grange last month, 28 made answer through their parents or wives. The program was arranged by Miss Anna Lindholm, Chaplain, and Nate Gatchell was again the principal speaker.
Nate's furlough is over, and he left for Texas. He has been having such a good time since he came home that he said he would get rested as soon as he is back on active duty! Nate joined the Sportsmen's Club while he was here, along with Leslie Billings, Bill Thompson, and Donald Smith.
Pfc. Bud Brown had a fifteen day furlough, and he has gone back to South Carolina. He wasn't seen by many of us, so we can't give you a complete report on him.
S C 1/c Alma Smith was home for a few days last month.
Waldo Nichols died very suddenly on May 27. He and Dorothy Bausola had been married only three months, and to say, "We're sorry!" sounds pretty inadequate, however sincerely it is said.
George LaChance writes from New Guinea: "I haven't many things to bust down my morale in the first place. Things are as nice as can be here, and if I get lonesome, I hop in a jeep and run over to see Joe Gasper...The last time I saw him, he introduced me to Australian beer. It's really something, too...In regards to Mr. John Phelp's letter...you expected some retorts and here are the views expressed by a few of those guys who are 'in the way' as he puts it. As we aren't familiar enough with the war dept. to ask favors of them we'll write this to you to show our feelings in the matter." From there he wrote a splendid letter, in praise of all the branches of the service, which we would like to quote in full. However, we haven't space for all of it, and short parts of it could never do it justice. The letter was signed by George and ten of his buddies. George, the letter has already been read by Barbara Covell, as you suggested, and when the Newsletter goes out, she shall have it for her scrap book.
We've had a lot of fun with the letters we've received in reply to swamp-jockey Phelps'original and playful slap at the Army boys, but now we must end the controversy, (if there ever was one) by quoting our latest from Sea-weed John, who has been ill with scarlet fever for nearly six weeks. He writes from the hospital at Great Lakes, Illinois,: "Tell the boys that now the war is over in Europe and the newspapers have released the fact that the Army did it, I will take back what I said and bow down to each and every soldier or Marine...Hello to John Y., the worker of the 3 Mus keet o's--he is the hero who never gets any of the credit."
Carroll Friedrich was last month's victim of appendicitis, It's getting so we have to list those operations the way we do babies. She made a quick recovery, and seems to be her old self again.
The Andover Baseball Team has a splendid record of consistent defeats. They have bowed to the boys from Bolton and Columbia, and we can only hope for the best when they meet Hebron on June 17.
We recently had a serious accident on the railroad tracks, near John Yeomans' place. No human lives were lost, but five head of cattle (oh, tragedy in these meatless times!) were mowed down by a train. The neighborhood dogs have been taking care of twenty unsalvaged hooves. Well, maybe the dogs needed a treat.
Nine Andover boys and girls have graduated from Windham High School, class of 1945. They are Rose Ann San Giacomo, Susan Kukucka, StanleyGasper (now in the Navy), Glenn Griswold, and Walter Tedford (expecting to leave for the Navy soon), Lois Dougan, Jean Stanley, Anthony Perritt (an English boy, who makes his home with the Walter Smiths).
The Center School is practicing madly for graduation, which will be held at the Church this year, There will be thirteen graduates.
ARM 1/c Sonny Covell is back at Norfolk, Va., and it won't be long before he'll be spending a thirty-day leave in Andover, with his wife and son and his parents.
Larry Sheehan was last heard from in Heidelberg, but Eleanor doesn't know now where he is going, or what he is doing, or when he'll be home.
The Ladies Benevolent Society is planning to hold a strawberry festival at the Town Hall on June 16. Doesn't that make your mouth water?
Center School children presented three plays, under the direction of their teachers, Miss Bowman, Miss Adams, Mrs. Chamberlain, and Miss Harrison, Music Instructor, at Town Hall on June 1, playing to an audience which overflowed the hall. The Little Room gave "The Cobbler and the Elves"; Middle Room took us to "Story Land", and the Big Room presented "Rip Van Winkle". They were all very well done, and, although the house lights were put out, there was a soft glow, anyway, emanating from the faces of fond relatives of the performers.
Ed Whitcomb of Austria, has been transferred to the Third Army. The newspapers call that one of the armies of occupation, and that would indicate that Ed is in for a long job in Germany. We are all wondering if Ann and the children will be able to join him in Europe some time in the future.
Congratulations to Joe Gasper, for he's Captain Joe now! He's still in New Guinea, and, in part of a jolly letter to John, he writes: "I initiated a squadron barbecue last Saturday, and we had a pig for meat that we shot up in the jungles. Everyone threw in some beer from our issue, and we had quite a party...Bert Wright dropped me a line the other day, and I must drop in and see him one of these days..."
Cpl. Duane Faulkner writes from China to give us a new address, and to say that he has missed the last few issues of the Newsletter. Well, Duane, we hope this one reaches you, and that the others will catch up with you soon. Charlie Michalik is probably feeling the same way about the last few Letters, for his have been returned to us. We'll do what we can to locate Charlie, too.
John Kukucka, wrote from somewhere in Germany, that it had taken a month for him to reach there. We'll be waiting for the wild story of your travels, Sarge, as soon as censorship permits its publication. He says the German cities are certainly messed up, and that living conditions are pretty bad, in the places he has seen.
Ed Merritt, G.M. 3/c is still in San Diego, and he writes; "The fixing of the baseball field made me a little homesick to get home to try it out. We find time once in a while to play a few games around here. By the way, where does Bud Brown get that stuff that he and Charlie K. will have to be satisfied to be Andover's bachelors? I think Tedford and I will be the bachelors of Andover. What do you say, George?...Say hello to all the boys--Pop Tedford, Ed Sheehan, etc."
Be listening for the echo of wedding bells on Saturday, June 23, for Warren Jurovaty and Wanda Salukak will be married on that day at St. Joseph's Church. There will be reception at Andover Town Hall, and there promises to be fun there for all their friends.
Walt Cornwell, BM 1/c, wants to be remembered to all his old friends here. He has a San Francisco address, but he can't tell what goes with him until later.
Pfc. Bill Dunnack has sent us one of those change of address post cards from Ft. Sam Houston, Tex., and we wonder what it's like to hit the heat of Texas, after a long stay in Norfolk, Va.
Don Parks, at Oahu, Hawaii, sends, "To the civilian men and women of Andover, Greetings! Well, Don, Glenn and Fuzzy haven't departed for the Navy yet, but they are all set to take out as soon as they get the go-ahead sign. Perhaps we can send you their addresses in care of Uncle Sam next time. Your Hawaiian sunshine sounds wonderful, but you'll have to go some to beat the suntans that are developing among the local gardeners since summer showed up in these parts.
Lina Bathrick is having a painful bout with a form of pneumonia at the Manchester Memorial Hospital. Link is keeping the home fires burning and the twins in trim while she's away.
Walter (Gramp) Tedford was getting very impatient before he got the final nod from the Merchant Marines. However, he left for training at Sheepshead Bay, L.I., on June 5.
A/C Walter Parks has sent us a change of address card from Minter Field, Bakersfield, California. There's one boy who's hard to keep track of.
Harold Fuller, a former resident of Andover Lake, whose home is now just over the Columbia line near Highway 6, has left for duty for Uncle Sam. We haven't found out yet whether it's Army or Navy.
Stanley Gasper (S 2/c) is home on furlough this week, and on Sunday he will return to Memphis, Tennessee.
Julian Krzewski writes from the Southwest Pacific: "Have had a wonderful trip out...good weather all the way, and not too much work to do. Have been to Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach...The natives out here are real friendly, and most of them know how to use the signal flags...As yet we're not doing very much, but I sure was happy to know that cold beer could be had..."
Ed Jurovaty has been in two invasions--Luzon and Okinawa, and seems to expect to be in more of them. He says he has seen "plenty, but believe it could be worse." We hope he doesn't run into anything worse, and that he can run across Ed Merritt and George Tedford, or almost anyone from Andover, it that will cheer him on.
Thelma Breen writes from South Windsor, a jolly letter that bears repeating. "We 're especially thrilled to learn that Mr. Tedford has enlisted in the Merchant Marines. He has excellent taste! Since July 1943, George has made several trips to England and France, to North Africa, twice, and once to South America and the Dutch East Indies. In December 1943 he was in Bari, Italy, and he flew to Naples on the chance of meeting his brother Jack there. After he had searched fruitlessly for some time, he started down one of the few streets the R.A.F. had left in Naples. Suddenly a hand clapped him on the shoulder and a familiar voice said, "Hey bud, that's my tie you're wearing'. As you may imagine, he and Jack spent a happier Christmas than they had thought possible...At present George is attending school in New York City, and unless my prayers are answered, he'll be en route to the South Pacific some time in the summer. If you have room in one of your newsletters, give my best wishes to all of Andover's GI's, wherever they are, and my prayers for a speedy homecoming for them all."
We've even heard from the Office of Censorship this month, and we have a list of do's and don'ts, to which we will pay heed when sending out the news.
There are a few long skips in our index of soldiers, sailors, and marines, and we do urge you to let us know what you are doing, where you are, how you are, and anything you care to tell us. The people who have written never fail to say that they are anxious to keep in touch with any of their old friends from Andover, wherever they may be.
There's a grand new pool table at the fire house now, where you can enjoy some good games when you come home again--soon, we hope.
Vera Cross Taylor and John V. Gasper
P.S. Be watching for a report on the annual barbecue, now being planned for by the Sportsmen's Club and the Andover Fire Department, in the first issue of ANDOVER NEWSLETTER, Vol.3.
VCT & JVG