Wednesday, June 30, 2010

lost letters

The next letter I have from him is dated June 28th..and he was already at Sonthofen , Germany...sooo...I must have lost some letters as I recall him talking about the trip across the Atlantic.  He has written an autobiography so I will share some of what he has to say about the trip from that source.

"We were in N.J. about two weeks  before embarking for Germany on the General Patch, a freighter that had been converted to a troop transport.  The most lonely point in my entire life was the day we sailed from New York and, about dusk, I was standing on the deck watching the U.S. fade from view.

     The thought occurred to me that for the next 18 months I was going to be several thousand miles away from home and, as far as I could tell, there wasn't anyone in the vicinity that really cared whether I lived or died.  I'm sure I must have cried that night from the loneliness.  Fortunately, they kept us busy with different tasks for the entire trip.  I worked in the  bakery and became popular because I would bring loaves of hot, buttered bread back to our compartment and share with the other boots.  I particularly recollect that Alex ate his share of the bread.
   The trip over lasted about a week and we landed at Bremerhaven.  From there we were transported by train to Sonthofen where we would be sorted out as to MOS and sent to our different assignments.  In Sonthofen we were at  a Hitler Youth Camp constructed during his dictatorship.  It was high in the mountains and a picturesque as a postcard.  It was built like a castle, out of stone and with high walls,  I recall that the huge dining hall had windows that reached from the floor to the ceiling, about 50 feet..  Looking out on the mountains was magnificent and appetite inspiring, as if I needed anything to improve my appetite.   At that time I was not a drinker, and it is good that I wasn't.  German beer was 12 to 18 percent alcohol.  Twice to three times as strong as American beer.  It affected some of the G.I.'s to the effect that one thought he could fly from the second floor, without wings, and he wound up dead. 
  Eventually we were sent to our individual assignments.."

A U.S. Constabulary School was, or is, located there...picture below...don't know if this is the same place where Bob was or not....I'm trying to obtain additional information regarding that.
 I found a website ffering some information about Sonthofen...


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday June 13, 1951 Camp Kilmer, N.J.

letter # 3
"Charlene dearest,
   This will have to be short, sweet and to the point as we are shipping out tomorrow for certain and you can imagine all the excitement that takes place the night before.  We have to pack our duffel bags, (the one I wanted to put you in), shine our shoes and also our brass before noon tomorrow.  For some reason I'm not as excited about this trip as most of the guys, and I think I know the reason for this lack of excitement.
   Hump told me about calling you today.  We were worried as we thought something could have happened to either you or Molly."

Molly and Alex...a.k.a.Hump

"I would like to go on and on with this letter, telling you how much I care, how I long for the excitement that goes with just being near you, but I could write an epic on this subject.  If this sounds corny forget it, but honestly it expresses my feeling for you.
  'Went dancing last night over at the service club, but it turned out very dull for me.  The floor was so crowded and the band so loud I was miserable all the time I was there.  Actually the only thing wrong with the dance was that you weren't there.
   Received a letter from you this afternoon and let me tell you how lucky I consider myself.  If I were twice as wonderful as you say you think I am I still wouldn't be good enough for you.  To me you're the best this world has to offer.  Just remember one thing.  If at any time you feel that you care for someone more than me please tell me so that I won't make a fool of myself telling you how much I love you.
   I would call you tonight but I feel lifeless after I hang up.  This is really mushy but again I say, it only expresses vaguely my feeling for you.
   I'm wondering if either of us will change much in the next year and a half.  Here's hoping everything turns out okay and I'm going to do everything in my power to make it so.
   Keep on writing to me sweetheart and send them to the same address as they will follow me wherever I go.
   Let me try once again to tell you of my love .  I keep remembering all the time we spent together and believe me darling if I wanted to I couldn't forget you.  Not even for a moment.  Just remember that wherever in this world I may be in body, in spirit I'll be at 520 W. Liberty, Covington, Tenn. with Miss Charlene Stallings."

520 W. Liberty - Covington, Tn .

  " Goodnight, pleasant dreams and sleep tight, Kitten.
  Much Love,
Bob" would be over two weeks before I heard from him again..

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 11, 1951 Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

letter #2

"Hello Darling,
   I have never felt lonelier in all my life as I did after calling you yesterday.  All the things that I had planned to say just didn't emerge from my mouth after hearing your voice.  Unlike any other girl you excite me every time I hear or get near you...but enough of this mushy stuff.
  Say, how about sending the negatives of the photo's we took that Sunday.   I'm mailing the ones we took with Hump's camera along with this letter. 'Hope you like them although some are slightly blurred...they will probably get there Thursday or Friday."

note on back of this picture..I said:    "turn around Bobby"
 Bobby replied: "like this?"

wonder what I was laughing about???

Oh how I wish that his face had not been blocked from the picture by the grass!!!
"By the way, I wrote Dad and asked him to take you and Margaret to luncheon on Saturday.  He's a little shy about that sort of thing but here's hoping he will do it for me. I'm hoping that you'll remember me with the same feeling that I have when I think of you, and that is constantly."
"These northerners, or should I say, easterners, do not dance anything like the southern people do.  We went to a couple of dances at the service club and before we knew what the score was the girls were teaching us the old fashioned two step.  It isn't nearly as much fun as the free step style of dance, as you do the same thing over and over, and besides that, I can't imagine me  counting  the steps with you in my arms. It's ridiculous, isn't it.
   This camp is named after the poet, Joyce Kilmer who was killed in the first world war.  Do you know the poem "Trees"? That is his most famous work.
   You should see this camp, Kitten. It's camouflaged from aircraft.  You can't see it from the air.  This is a safety precaution from an air attack as we are only 30 miles from the ocean and this would be an ideal target.  I'm glad that we are still at peace with Russia, or at least, we're supposed to be.
   I've just heard that we probably won't ship out until Friday.  I suppose that it's better that way but I wish we were traveling.
   Don't know whether I've told you this or nay but they give furloughs overseas and if a person has the money he can fly home for a short visit. It would be wonderful to be with you during the holiday season of Christmas and New Year's.  I would manage to get you under the mistletoe at least five or six times.
Well, I finally found some decent stationery.  Sorry I can't improve on my penmanship but it seems as though Dad is the only scribe in the Peete clan.
   Let me apologize again for the telephone call Sunday.  Its just that I wanted to hear your voice again and I was slightly tongue tied after saying hello.
   Suppose that's about it for tonight so
      Good Night and Pleasant Dreams,
P.S. Be sweet, in other words, just be yourself."

I remember the phone left me a bit puzzled as he seemed to have very little to say...The Sunday afternoon he references...the four of us spent at a lake somewhere...I am unable to remember much about where we went, what we did, movie s?, ..I only remember how I felt...on top of the world from being in love for the first time...but feelings of dread because he would be leaving.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 4, 1951 Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

Letter #1

"Hi  Honey,
  Just a note to remind you of my love and how much I miss you.  I could write an epic on my devotion to you but it would  be mushy and you probably wouldn't appreciate the sentiment so I'll just tell you about the trip."
  "We arrived in Evansville, Ind. about 3 am Thursday morning. We had 5 hours to look the town over before the train left for Terre Haute.  We traversed Terre Haute for 2 hours then moved on to Columbus, Ohio. After we boarded the troop train we didn't get off until we arrived at Kilmer.  In the process of our journey we passed through Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Penn and New Jersey...then went intoNew York on pass. Let's discuss New York City for a minute.  There is a town for discussion!  It has a whole heap of everything a body could want or desire.
  We went to the Paramount Theatre on broadway and saw Ray McKinley, his band and vocalist, Peggy Lee.  She's a dream, especially when she sings something like "I Apologize" or "Too Young." I thought of you all the time she performed.  I'm not homesick at all but I wish I were with you.
  There isn't much I  can tell you except I love you honey.  That constitutes this letter, sweetheart, so I'll cease for tonight.
Sweet dreams,
write as often as you can"

I had been anxiously waiting to hear from him ...this man whom I had known for only eleven days but with whom I was madly in love ...and with whom I would spend the rest of my would be 19 long months before I saw him again...would he still feel this way when he returned? Would I even ever see him again? I was as heartaick as a 16 year old could was tough...but the heartbreak that I feel now is so much tougher....will I ever see him again? Will he feel the same about me??  Is it possible that the love we shared,...the "oneness" we had is gone forever? it really true that  all we have loved deeply becomes a part of us? I try to find him through the pain
 but he is not there

Friday, June 18, 2010

..I'm leaving on a jet plane...

....we'll be airborn to Dallas tomorrow....leave 7:30 am from Birmingham...that's about an hour and half from that means we're going to be rising very, very early...what was Barbara thinking!!!! I know what she was thinking...she just wanted to have as much time there as possible as we will be returning on Monday....We just wanted to spend Fathers Day at our church at his church....and see some of our friends that we have not see since before he started his treatments last June. We've been gone so long I bet someone else is even sitting in our spot ...third row from the front, piano side... :)...
And thats not all...our "care group" meets every third Saturday night of the month...and tomorrow is the third Saturday !!!! That will be so nice seeing everybody and also having my girls with us.....
and it goes without saying that I'm excited about seeing my boys also!

Barb purchases a new "coffee table" this week....leave it to her to find something that looks like this!!!...I told her if she wanted something that did not resemble a coffee table she certainly succeeded!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seek Not My Heart

"If love is a universal emotion, then the pain it often causes (some might say inevitably causes) is equally universal. Yet, that only begs the more important question: Why do sad poems and stories of emotional pain bring each of us a strange kind of pleasure?
I'm sure the psychologists have an answer to that question. And I'm just as sure it's a different answer than a poet would give.
Maybe, in the end, the answer really isn't so complex. A burden born by one can often grow too heavy to bear. Maybe, in the end, each of us knows that sharing our pain is the only way we can live with the pain."

Seek Not My Heart
by Kit McCallum

Oh gentle winds 'neath moonlit skies,
Do not you hear my heartfelt cries?
Below the branches, here about,
Do not you sense my fear and doubt?

'Side glistening rivers, sparkling streams,
Do not you hear my woeful screams?
Upon the meadows, touched with dew,
Do not you see my hearts a'skew?

Beneath the thousand twinkling stars,
Do not you feel my jagged scars?
Seek not my mournful heart kind breeze,
For you'll not find it 'mongst these trees.

It's scattered 'cross the moonlit skies,
Accompanied by heartfelt sighs.
It's drifting o're the gentle rain,
A symbol of my silent pain.

It's buried 'neath the meadow fair,
Conjoined with all the sorrow there.
It's lost among the stars this night,
Too far to ease my quiet fright.

No gentle winds, seek not my heart,
For simply ... it has torn apart.

Monday, June 14, 2010


This computer is trying my patience!
My trusty 'ol camera ..Kodak EasyShare"...refused to download pictures...'thought it might be the software so uninstalled and re-installed I've had it since 2002 I just assumed it had finally played out.......'was my first digital camera and I have really enjoyed all the benefits that digital cameras offer...after being without a means to share pictures I caved in  and purchased a new one...Nikon Coolpik L110...
Over the weekend I've had two opportunities to do some picture-taking.  On Saturday I was out most of the day on an "daytrip" with three other women...friends of Barbara's and now, friends of mine. We drove around the nearby countryside...mostly in Tennessee...The Cumberland Plateau is the southern part of the Appalachian Plateau and offers some lovely scenery...especially in Sewanee Tn....the Sewanee College has a beautiful some great pictures.
Last night Barbara had a party for her best friend, Lorie...who celerated her birthday last week..There were around 25 people in was a "cook-out"...she had a large pool inflated for the kids, a hugh slip-and-slide, strung lights through the trees, purchased a new unbrella for her outside table and some new, colorful yard chairs..took the kids for rides on the golf-cart...all in all many opportunities for pictures...I didn't take any because I had previously tried to download the pictures from Saturday....and no luck...wouldn't the problem must be in my computer, not the cameras...
I've only had this computer for two did crash last month...took it in for repairs to a local repair shop and had the hard drive re-installed....o.k. for a few days but now having some of the same problems as before...Oh well....what to do next?

Gonna drive into Huntsville with Barb in a while...she has to go to the courthouse to prosecute  some bad checks she has received and I'm going to apply for my Al. drivers license.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

True Love

True love. Is it normal
is it serious, is it practical?
What does the world get from two people
who exist in a world of their own?

Placed on the same pedestal for no good reason,
drawn randomly from millions but convinced
it had to happen this way - in reward for what?
For nothing.

The light descends from nowhere.
Why on these two and not on others?
Doesn't this outrage justice? Yes it does
Doesn't it disrupt our painstakingly erected principles,
and cast the moral from the peak? Yes on both accounts.

Look at the happy couple.
Couldn't they at least try to hide it,
fake a little depression for their friends' sake?
Listen to them laughing - its an insult.
The language they use - deceptively clear.

And their little celebrations, rituals,
the elaborate mutual routines -
it's obviously a plot behind the human race's back!

It's hard even to guess how far things might go
if people start to follow their example.
What could religion and poetry count on?
What would be remembered? What renounced?
Who'd want to stay within bounds?

True love. Is it really necessary?
Tact and common sense tell us to pass over it in silence,
like a scandal in Life's highest circles.
Perfectly good children are born without its help.
It couldn't populate the planet in a million years,
it comes along so rarely.

Let the people who never find true love
keep saying that there's no such thing.
Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die.
Wislawa Szymborska

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Walk With Me

If you have learned to walk
A little more sure-footedly than I,
Be patient with my stumbling then
And know that only as I do my best and try
May I attain the goal
For which we both are striving.

If,  through experience, your soul
Has gained heights which I
As yet in dim-lit vision see,
Hold out your hand and point the way,
Lest from its straightness I should stray,
And walk a mile with me.

 The author is unknown.

Catching up

this little red-head is my latest great-grandchild!!

Memorial Weekend:
Eddie and the boys drove over ( twelve hours, each way )..arrived Friday evening and returned Monday AM. It rained most of the weekend but, on Saturda,y, the boys were able to enjoy a swim and cook-out at Laura Leigh and Jason's..Also, took the  traditional visit to Krispy Kream's...

my youngest grandchild, Bobby and one of my greats..Thomas
again...a grandson and great-grandson....Brian and David

Last month Barb and some of her friends gave me a 'house warming" shower...I received some nice things for my yard...Tomorrow I'll try to post some pictures of them on Peete's Landing .

some of us "girls" 

and they even brought food!

On May 22nd. Barb and I went to Nashville to see one of my favorites...the ever great, one and only....James Taylor and Carol King... What a wonderful show they put on...they entertained us for almost 3 hrs....We spent the night and before returning home on Sunday went to the Nashville Flea Market. I found a few new things for the house and yard.

Here are James and Carol...then and now..

On Barb's day off she takes care of her four grandchildren...ages 6, 4, 4, and 5 mo'a...There are presently four little children living across the street from her now..soooo...this is what her "day-off" usually looks like...

I let them take turns riding on the golf cart...

and looking ahead for the remainder of this month...

next week...I believe on the 14th, 15th and 16th., my brother Nick, his wife Anna and granddaughter Katy will be here for a few days...'really looking forward to their visit.
the following weekend, 19th and 20th. Barb and I are going to fly to Dallas to be there on Fathers Day...
the weekend after that , 26th. and 27th. we are going to spend some time in Scottsboro at a cabin on the lake with Lori and her mother, Sue...JuJu and her mother Ruth,.. Laura and Nicki will be joining us for a mother/daughter weekend.

In July Barb is going to Atlanta for the Gifts and Home Furnishings Market...I haven't yet decided if I will go..

The middle of July Bobby and Brian will be here for a few weeks..

Sometime this summer, probably the later part of this month, I will be having surgery on my hands for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm everything I am because you loved me......

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'coz you believed
I'm everything I am Because you loved me


You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right For every dream you made come true For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful baby