Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2, #7
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee.
January 11, 1945
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, GREETING!
It came upon a midnight clear
The little bundle of Taylor Cheer
Karleen Joan--- without a bounce
January 4th ---- 7 lb. 4 0z.
So you see fellows & Alma & Irene if this issue turns out to be one of Bob Hope's eggs the fault is mine as Co-Editor Mrs. Taylor is at the Hartford Hospital receiving congratulations. Papa Harry's condition is reported as being as well as can be expected under the circumstances.
While I'm on the subject -- Willie Covell is an Uncle again. Mrs. Carolyn White Mortlock gave birth to a 7 lb. 13 oz. boy at the Hartford Hospital at approximately noon January 8, 1945. Walter Morley Mortlock is the name and mother and son are doing fine but father Peter (at least when I talked to him) was recuperating a little more slowly.
Speaking of storks, there's a little matter that's been bothering Mrs. E.M. Yeomans lately. Seems that back in the roaring twenties she visited Strasbourg, France and was much impressed by the numbers of storks (the real McCoy this time) which inhabited the chimneys of that city. Since there has been so much fighting in that area, she naturally wonders what has become of the storks? If any of you should happen to be in the vicinity and know the answer, Pass it on.
The community was shocked to hear of the death at the Willimantic Hospital of Mytice Matheson on December 28 after an illness of only 3 days. She had lived in Andover over 30 years and had many friends. The funeral was held at the Congregational Church December 31, Rev. Dr. Tuthill officiating. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mr. Bishop and Annie.
January 2nd brought us the greatest disaster of some years, tho we are happy to report that no human lives were lost. The barn and attached house and garage owned by Mr. Mark Bass and leased to Mr. Frank Chase burned to the ground. The fire evidently started between the boiler and the chimney in the central part of the barn and had gotten completely out of control before it was discovered. Mrs. Chase was barely able to get herself and her three youngest children (age 4mo., 2 yr., 3 yr.) out of the house before the fire had spread over a wide area. About the time Mrs. Chase was headed for Mr. Bass's house, Mr. Bass who at the Cook's noticed the fire and Mrs. Percy B. Cook called the fire department. Mr. John Gasper was the first fireman on the scene and rushed to barn and with fire all about him managed to release some of the stanchions. However the fire was so advanced that the cows were unmanageable and John was forced to withdraw while there was time. Of the 36 head of cattle in the barn only 3 were saved. Four horses also perished in the fire. Mr. and Mrs. Percy Cook promptly took Mrs. Chase and the three smallest children into their home. Mr. Chase had recently bought a farm in Somers, and was at work up there with his three older sons at the time of the fire. They had planned to move within a few weeks. Although the family lost all their personal belongings with the exception of the clothes they were wearing, the townsfolk rallied round, and clothes started rolling in within half an hour after the alarm. The young mothers of the town rustled round, and provided essentials for the baby - even to bottle and formula for the next feeding! Since the day of the fire, over three hundred dollars cash has been collected for the unfortunate family as well as a great quantity of clothing, furniture, and canned goods. The ladies of the Town have even thought of such essentials as needles, pins and threads - and, of course, toys. It is understood that the Red Cross will also be able to assist to some considerable extent. Since the fire, Mrs. Chase and the younger children are staying with Mrs. Chase's mother in Norwalk, while Mr. Chase and the older boys are living with the Cooks until the family is able to move to their new home in Somers.
The annual Christmas play program of the Andover Grammar School was presented to a capacity audience in the Town Hall Dec. 20. Lolly pops, French dolls, Rabbits, Toy soldiers, Little picaninnies, Candles, Clowns, and Jack in the boxes all cavorted about the stage in cleverly designed costumes made by the teachers. The middle room was equally good in their presentation of The Christmas Pie where the Queen of Hearts had to call on Little Jack Horner to make a Christmas pie to please the King. The singing of the Big room was even better than usual this year, and they also put on parts of The Birds Christmas Carol which some of you who had your first learnings at A.G.S. will remember.
A round and jovial Santa Claus arrived at the Andover Church Friday evening Dec. 22, 1944 a few minutes after the siren had called papa firemen from Church to put out a fire in Bob Seyd's chimney. Santa seemed undisturbed however at the temporary shortage of fathers and went about his business without delay to the delight of the children. Dr. Tuthill led the short service while Mrs. Birmingham the Church Organist accompanied a choir made up of Grammar school pupils.
AN ITEM FOR THE SOCIETY SECTION
2nd Lt. Irene Willis A.N.C. was married to Captain Robert Murray navigator A.A.F., on Christmas Day. Irene has been overseas since Feb. 1943 and met her husband at Casablanca. Captain Murray is a graduate of Georgetown U. and hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The ceremony took place in the Cardinals Chapel of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, Italy at three in the afternoon. We aren't quite sure what the bride wore, but we believe it was her O.D. uniform. We do know that she carried a bouquet of tube roses and orchids, that the reception that followed was plentifully supplied with the traditional champagne, and that the bride cut the wedding cake with a sabre. The honeymoon? Oh yes! (and we ain't kidding when we tell you) --- Ten day leave to spend in a spacious, servant-equipped villa on The Isle of Capri! Our very best wished to you, Irene, and our heartiest congratulations to Captain Robert Murray!
Our other servicewoman has also made the headlines this month. The Hartford Times -- The Sentry Box --"...Ship's Cook Alma Smith is one of the first five Waves to receive a cook's rating in the Navy. She recently was in charge of "Joe," (coffee to Navy men) at the Navy exhibit to open the Sixth War Loan Drive in Chicago, Ill., and gave out more than 2,000 cups of coffee in the first hour and a half..." unquote. So that's why your card had a Chicago postmark Alma!
Alice Moe has left for Chicago to meet her hubby Cpl. Lawrence Moe. He has a fifteen day furlough from Kearns, Utah, and they plan to spend some of it in Wisconsin with his family, and later, come on to Andover for a few days.
Captain Henry Hilliard has been transferred from Ascension Island to an Officer's School in the South.
Ed. Whitcomb has an A.P.O. number.
John Bausola Jr. and Andy Kukucka were together on the same boat going across the briny deep. Andy is now reported in Belgium and Johnin England. By the way I saw Charlie and John Kukucka at the Hall the night of the Christmas plays and they both looked pretty snappy in their uniforms.
Marine Corp. Charlie Johnson spent Christmas in Andover. Charlie is an instructor in Aerology at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station.
Master-at-Arms Carol (Monk) Wright was home on leave back before Christmas. He looked fit as a fiddle and it looks as though the California Chamber of Commerce sent him here as an advertisement. Monk's back at Fort Huemene, Calif., at 1st report.
SF1/C Bud Bramhall is at Camp Endicott, Davisville, R.I. awaiting assignment. He recently returned to the states after spending a year in England.
Pvt. M.B. Hutchinson somewhere in Germany writes that when you are as far from home as he is the "doggone little sheet" (Newsletter) is really a strong tie with Andover. Hutchie is located with the 95th and was at Metz for all the fireworks. He says that that deal gave him a personal grudge against the Jerrys for they put a hunk of shrapnel through the only raincoat he had that was any good. (Hutchie was in the raincoat but he's O.K. now). Enclosed in the letter from him was a clipping from the Stars & Stripes to, as he puts it, "sorta illustrate our present foray." The clipping is captioned - PRE-DAWN TRIP ACROSS THE SAAR NETS 1 BRIDGE - and tells about "The Victory Division's" 1st battalion, 379th inf. bagging an undamaged bridge at Saarlauten along with 6400 lbs. of egg-shells (dynamite & TNT) in the piers. Although he is at the front Hutchie reports that he had Christmas dinner with all of the fixings - even 1/2 bottle of good wine per man.
When the Tedfords answered the telephone early Friday Morning Dec. 22, 1944 GM3/c George Tedford was at the other end, in Calif., having just arrived there after spending 18 months in the Pacific. The first thing that George wanted his father to do was to go to the bank and forward some money to come home on. However, it being 4 A.M. in Andover, Mr. Teford informed George that he would have to wait until the banks opened their doors at 9 A.M. George expects to leave California for Andover - Jan. 13.
ARM2/c Willi Covell is still in England.
Bettye Tedford Dowling expects her hubby T/S Don home for 15 days in February.
S/Sgt. Earl Dougan landed in Andover Dec. 29 for a 30 day furlough after spending 26 months in Persia.
Correction: In previous newsletters we reported Major Nate Gatchell in Australia. Our error -- It should have been New Zealand.
T/S Stewart Dougan is in Belgium. His mother received a V mail letter from him last week and in it he said that where he is it is very hot and that he wasn't talking about the weather.
Pvt. William H. Dougan is now an instructor in the electrical shop at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.
Mrs. Emily Yeomans Barefield has had letters from her husband Captain Barefield telling her that he has reached England safely.
The Moffets who lived near Kukuckas have moved to Plainfield.
Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Willis (Lt. Irene's parents) are planning to move soon to their new home in Rockville.
Mrs. Katherine Mitten who was taken seriously ill last month is improving.
A short note from Joe Remesch, Jr. saying all is well with him.
Well we had a "look see" at Nate's collection of War Trophies on display at Mr. Mustard's office on Main Street, Willimantic, and it would require the Major in person to fully describe it. However Mrs. Avis Gatchell told us that there were 78 items on display, comprising approximately 75% of the Gatchell collection. I guess Nate and the Mrs. will need a Hobby Room when he returns, as he has sent home a rare collection of sample woods from all over the world, a coin collection, Pacific Islands shell collection, numerous inlaid articles hand-carved by natives, many Jap souvenirs from Munda airport, oil paintings executed by a famous New Zealander, also a New Zealand lambskin especially prepared for Avis by New Zealand friends of Nate. No doubt some others of you have started collections and if so we would like to hear about them. Nate had Christmas dinner in the Philippines.
The townspeople can now keep warm while waiting for trains,. Mr. Con Schatz has a new stove in the R.R. Station and keeps it well fired at train time. It seems good to have the station open again after having been closed for so many years and it will be all warmed up to welcome you --
J.F.P.for the editors