Prelude: Here is another letter from young Hank, a solider stationed somewhere in Italy during most of World War II, but this letter is from before he was stationed in Italy. He was at Camp Pickett in Virginia when he wrote to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fairfield in Hornell, NY. It was written in April of 1943.
It’s been a long time since I have written you. As I have told everyone else, I guess I must be getting a little lazy. Maybe it’s because of the warm weather we have been having. It really has been swell lately. This morning was a little cool, but it’s getting nice out now.
I received your box of candy. Thanks a million. It’s really swell of you. They tell me Bart Weise was in Hornell for a day or so. I sure would like to see him and Clarkie again. Mother said he was looking fine. Bart always looked nice.
Everything is just about the same around here. That is except for a few things. We have to work six and a half days a week now. That means getting up at 6:30 every morning in the week. It doesn’t give you much time to yourself. I guess we’ll live through it though.
How is everything going at the garage? From what Mrs. Horton says in her letters, business must be pretty bad. Someday it will be different, maybe. We hope anyway.
I’m feeling good now. I had a slight cold, but that’s all gone now, and at best it’s almost good. How are you and the mister feeling? I hope good. Tell him I said hello. I was hoping I could get a pass and get home for a day or so. But I guess I won’t be able to. We don’t get much of any passes now.
Well, I guess that’s about all for now. Tell everyone I said hello. Good luck and be careful. Thanks again for the candy.
These letters from Young Hank are always great to read. He’s always using phrases like “Thanks a million,” and things are “Swell,” it’s exactly how I would expect someone from the 1940’s to talk. It seems to me that communication was much simpler then. What do you think?