Dear Frances (A Sister)

Dear Frances (Her Sister)

Prelude: Here is another letter to Frances. This one was addressed to Mrs. R.W. Flannery at her family address of 345 Seneca Road in Hornell, NY. It was written on January 6, 1940 from her sister Lucille who resides in Helmuth, NY. Frances is married to Bob Flannery, and she is a mother to little Bobby, but she is living with her parents at this time.



Dear Frances,

I received your card and the stamps, the slip was too small, it is so long and I seen you wear a larger size.  Frances dear, I have always had a silent partner and I do what I can to help this hospital because this is where God sent me and He is so interested in me.

We have God’s mother’s picture hanging in our ward and it’s right up over my bed and it is so pretty and it makes me feel good, but it’s time that I was leaving the hospital. I’ve been here a long time now.

It is snowing awful hard here, I wish you and Bob would come and see me, but I suppose you have to wait ‘till the weather gets good.

I bet you have a great time rocking the baby. I hope Bob rocks him too.  O’ Gosh, I guess I want everybody to rock their children, because I don’t know, but I don’t believe anybody ever rocked me, But God is with me and O’!  He is thinking about me because He is interested in Ladies that are nice. You and Bob have been so much comfort to me.  Well, I am going out for a little walk.

Your Loving Sister,




This is a very interesting letter. I did a little research and found that the hospital in Helmuth, NY is now in fact the Mental Hospital in Gowanda, NY (Helmuth being an old name). It was a Mental Hospital in the 1940’s.  I do not know if Lucille was a patient or worked there. I read that part of the patient therapy at the hospital in the 1940’s was to do work at the hospital… I put a link to a historical study that was done on the hospital below… All that said Lucille’s letter was a little choppy and a little strange in my opinion. I’m not sure where she was going with the rocking thing…She is not mentioned in any of the other letters I have from the Fairfield family so, I know very little about her. Overall, the letter was sweet and I hope that Frances and Bob visited her often.  What do you think?



Here is the hospital history link:



Dear Fran (Early years)

Dear Fran (Early years)

Prelude: Here is another letter to Miss Frances Fairfield. It was written in 1935 while she was still in High school and before her and Bob were together. Frances was seeing a guy named Bud, but this letter was written by a guy named Bernie. Bernie is from Wellsville and He and Frances corresponded quite a bit.


Dear Fran,

Just a few short lines to send you an apology. Which I think I owe you.  Please forgive me for being so rude Friday evening when I talked to you.  The reason I did act that way was because I knew if I started talking very much I might say something that you might take wrong and cause trouble between you and Bud. You see, as you probably well remember, I’m always putting my foo t in to it by saying something I shouldn’t.  So, that is why I’m sending an apology. It was really the only reason for my being rude.

After being rude, I couldn’t very well tell you that I think you’re nicer than ever. I really do.

How’s your family and grandmother? Say “Hello” to them for me. Maybe some time I’ll drop in for a chat. I’d like to. Especially, to talk to you again for a while.

Please don’t say anything to Bud about my writing this. There is nothing wrong in what I’ve said and what he don’t know won’t hurt him.  He’s a swell kid, but every now and then I almost crown him and then we get to talking and I can’t help but laugh at the crazy nut.

Suppose your surprised to hear that Wayne & I didn’t click and so I’ve been quite a pansy.  I don’t go for the girls like I did when I was that way about you.  In fact, I don’t believe I’ve been out more than three times since I quit going to Hornell.

Well, here I’ve only meant to way a few words of apology and I’m over on the fourth page already.  Hope you don’t mind.

Are you still going steady with Bud?  I shouldn’t have said that. It’s none of my business.

I wish I had the nerve to ask you to answer, but as you said Bud wouldn’t like it so, I’ll have to do without.  Anyway, I meant to say “Happy Birthday,” in September and didn’t dare.

As Ever,



Fran was such a catch. Bernie just wants her to be his girl but she is not available and he can hardly stand it.  Young love is so full of emotion and it’s funny to see what Bernie is will to say to a girl that he wishes he could be with. I only wish we knew what kind of a response Fran gave him.  If nothing else, we know she saved his letter, cause here it is. What do you think?

Dear Mrs. Menchan

Dear Mrs. Menchan

Prelude: This is a letter from a dentist, Dr. H.H. Winkler of the Painless Parker Dental Practice. It was written on July 22, 1937 to a Mrs. Menchan of San Pedro, California. Painless Parker has several offices all over the west coast. This letter is from the San Pedro office.



Dear Mrs. Menchan:                                                              July 22, 1937


When you recently had some dental work done at this office, there was other needed work which you decided to have done at a future date.


This letter is to remind you of the importance of having this dentistry taken care of, and to urge that you make arrangements as early as possible so that work may proceed.


Good dentistry means so much from the stand-point of health and comfort.  On the other hand, neglected teeth are certain to mean poor health, if not actual sickness and disease.  Delay so often results in added trouble, and greater expense.


Will you kindly communicate with this office as soon as possible for an appointment, to have this important work completed?


Very Truly Yours

H. H. Winkler. Mgr.

Painless Parker, Dentist





Well, don’t we all love a letter from our dentist! Basically, get your butt in here and get the work I started done. Today, it might be a phone call or an email, but most dentist will still call you to get your work finished. Why is it we just don’t like going to the dentist? Who wants someone playing around in their mouth? Not me! Anyway, it’s an interesting letter from the 1930’s. What do you think?

Dear Fran (From Corning, NY)

Dear Fran (From Corning, NY)


Here is another old letter to Fran, but this time the letter is addressed to Mrs. R.W. Flannery, Care of/ Mrs. Fairfield, Hornell, NY. The letter was written on November 23, 1939 (Thanksgiving) and it’s from a woman named Betty who lives in Corning, NY.



Dear Fran,

Yes, I’m finally answering you letter. Really, so many things are happening around here, it’s hard to remember whether I’m doing the same thing over or just catching up.  In this case, I think I am catching up.

What did you name your baby? Gosh! I’d love to see it. I’ve been thinking about getting up to see you, but things just don’t fall that way.  I’ve been wanting to go roller skating too, But I haven’t done that either. I’ve been playing quite a bit of Badminton lately. It’s a good game. We’re also getting a basketball team together, kids in the Glass Works who haven’t played for some time.  The team won’t amount to much for that reason, but we’ll have fun.

I just finished my Turkey dinner.  We had to work ‘till noon darn it.  Also, they changed the academy – Northside football game to Armistice Day, that makes today seem less like Thanksgiving than ever.  If we only had a little snow, it’d be all right.

Gosh, Tuesday I put in a full day.  Worked ‘till 5 and then practiced basketball ‘till 7, then played badminton ‘till 10:45.  After we got dressed we went out and bought some supper. By the time I got home it was 12:45.

Monday after work we had a spaghetti dinner which Mr. Robertson made for us.  I had to buy the stuff that noon and did I rush around.  I took the car to work in the morning so I could get everything done.  You must know Earl Roberson.  He was a coach at Hornell and side with Cook (The Principal) when he was kicked out.  He’s now athletic director of the Glass Works Club House, doing a good job too.

Well, are we up to Wednesday? I had to head downtown last twice last night for groceries, then went to see a friend home from college and then I bowled in the Glass Works league from 9 – 11:30.

Did I tell you our play came off pretty good! We had a turkey dinner at the hotel given to us by our pastor, Father Raivlinson.

Right now, I think I’m going to clean up a little and go seek amusement.  If the Club House is open, maybe I’ll play badminton, or if it isn’t, I’ll go see people. I can’t sit around much longer or I’ll go to sleep and that, of course, would never do.

Well, squirt, write and tell me where you are, what you know and stuff. I read Rebecca. I didn’t like it ‘till about a week after I finished reading it through. Particular book, didn’t you think?

As ever,



Well, isn’t Betty an active girl? She plays badminton, basketball, and she bowls. Not much about any of her friends or such, but a lot about her activities. She seems to be in quite a different world than Fran is currently in. I love how she said “Gosh, I’d love to see it!” referring to Fran’s Baby… Maybe she didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy… Anyway, it makes me wonder if Fran, would have been at Glass Works with Betty working and playing sports if she wasn’t married to Bob and a new mother… Just a thought. What do you think?


Dear Fran (From Meatballs)

Dear Fran (From Meatballs)

Prelude: Here is a letter written to Miss Frances Fairfield of Hornell, New York from someone who calls themselves “Meatballs.” It was written on May 20, 1938 on stationary that says Parks Air College, East Saint Louis, Illinois… Be reminded that I transcribe the letters as they are written with spelling mistakes and all.


Dear Fran,

I think it’s about time I answer your letter, two weeks is fast for me to answer a letter.  It usually takes me about a month to get around to answer my fan mail – but your special.  I just know you like to figure out puzzles.

It was a month from to-nite I’ll be leaving for home or Chicago.  I might go to Chicago to the airport for a couple of days on the way home.  I get two weeks vacation so, I probably will fool around Chicago a couple of days, cuz I couldn’t find anything to do for two weeks home. At least I never have when I have come home before.  I don’t know anybody in the place.

We are really having weather here now. It is so warm to-nite that I have to keep my fan blowing on my face to keep from dripping sweat on the paper.  I wouldn’t want you to think I was crying or sompthing.

I get through school this September 23rd. I don’t know where I’ll be going then.  It might be Chicago, Newark, Miami, Brownsville, or to the west coast, at least that’s where the school gets most of the student’s jobs. They have placed all graduates in the last four years except for four.  They also send quite a few to South America, but not me, I am not very keen on going there. Where I want to go is Miami on the coast, or anyplace, I don’t care, one place is just as good as another to me.  Most of the fellows get jobs before they leave school, so this summer will probably be the last time I get home for a while.

I get mad last night trying to study that dam Spanish. So, I went out and gave the night watchman a work out when I came in at four this morning. He isn’t much of a runner though, the sisy. I got 90 on the test today so, I guess it wouldn’t have done me any good to study anyhow.

Well, If I see you when I come home, I’ll tell you all about everything.  Be careful and take good care of everything.

Sevidor de usted,


PS. Don’t get me wrong, I think it means yours truly. Write sometime Fran.



Well, I’m guessing “Meatballs” is a man. He sounds like a friend that lived in Hornell and went away to some kind of Air Collage in Illinois.  I have a link below with more information on the collage. Meatballs seems like a fun kind of guy. He doesn’t seem to like Spanish, but he can’t be too bad at it if he got a 90 on his test. I’m guessing that he was a friend to Fran. This was the same time when Bob and Fran were writing each other. I believe Bob was finishing school in Brooklyn and then moved to Rochester. Fran was home living with her parents in Hornell, NY.  It seems she liked to write letters.


Here is a link to information on Parks Air Collage:,_Aviation_and_Technology


Hello there (Germany)

Hello There (Germany)

Prelude: Here is another letter from young Hank. This time he is writing from Germany. This letter was written on February 8, 1945. The War is winding down and young Hank finds himself in Germany. He is writing again to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fairfield of Hornell, NY.


Hello there,

I only have a few minutes so I figured the best thing to do with that time is to answer the grand letter I received from you last night.  Thanks a million.  It found me feeling fine and getting along the best.

Our weather here has improved a little. We had quite a bit of snow and cold weather there for a while, but right now the snow is gone and it’s a lot warmer. When it gets warm, we have rain so it’s hard to say which we are better off with.

We’ve or I should say I am having it sort of easy right now. They keep us pretty busy, but that’s to be expected.

You sure are having your share of winter weather this year, aren’t you? From what everyone writes.  There’s plenty of snow there at home now. I wish I could see it. For some reason or other, I always liked snow. Sometimes, over here, it gets in our hair, so to speak, but that’s all in a day’s work. I still would like to be home with all of you.

You wondered what or how we were Christmas and New Year’s.  Looking back on them now I guess they weren’t too bad. At the time it was hard to say.

We did eat good both days. We had turkey and all the trimmings.  Really it was grand.  We also had a house to stay in. That means a lot in the winter time.

I was glad to hear you are all well and that everything is going along good. You’re right about our “end” being the best “end” of town.  At least we think it is. Don’t we?

There really isn’t much I can write. There’s lots I could write but it would never get through. So, there’s no use in writing it.

I have to close now. Good luck and keep happy. Tell Mr. Fairfield I said hello and to be careful.

As Ever,




There’s an unwritten sadness to this letter that I felt when I read it, do you feel the same? The war has been dragging on and young Hank is homesick. I wish I could tell him that the War is going it end in about 8 months. He is always writing such positive things about how everything is fine and he seems to look on the bright side of things in all his letters. I am sure he is just happy to be alive. “There is lots I could write about, but it would never get through,” I think that line says it all. What do you think?

Hello There (before Italy)

Hello there b4 Italy

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.



Hello there,

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.

As ever,

Little Hank



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?



Hello Ray

Hello Ray

Prelude: Here is a short, second postcard I have from Private Harold Sisson a soldier in training in Illinois in 1942. The letter is written to a Raymond Sisson, in Almond, NY.



Hello Ray,                                                                                Sat. p.m.

Just passing the time away, until I go to school tonight.  Schedules is changed so I have to go to school on Sat. night, have Sun. night off. Received a letter from Luela today.  We actually got paid yesterday. Got $53 after deductions were taken out.

Been warm and rainy here the past few days.  Have been sleeping pretty good this week. Getting used to it.

As usual,



COMMENTARY: Harold seems like a typical soldier in training to me. He’s just letting his hometown folks know what is going on. I wonder if his pay of $53.00 was for a week or two weeks or more? 1942 was only a year into the war for America and Harold was getting some kind of special training before being deployed. The life of an American soldier in 1942.

Hello there 2

Hello There 2

Prelude: Here is another letter in my series of letters from Young Hank. Young Hank is a soldier from Hornell, NY who was stationed in Italy during World War II.  This letter was written on April 23, 1944 to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fairfield, in Hornell, NY.




Some where in Italy                                                    April 23, 1944

Hello there,

I received a swell letter from you last night. Thanks a million. You sure have been swell to me.  I’m sorry I can’t write more often, but I’m lucky to get all my mail answered as it is, I’m sure you understand.

Everything here is fine. I’m feeling swell and getting along fine with the world. The boys are all fine, they ask me to say hello for them.

Yesterday I had to haul mules they’re about, if not the meanest things in the world. They want to do everything but what you want them to. The countryside for miles and miles around us is covered with ashes from the volcano. In some places we went yesterday it was between two to four inches deep. That’s a long way from the volcano too. I guess as it gets nearer to the volcano it gets deeper.

The weather has been fairly nice lately. It rains once in a while but that’s to be expected.

For a while there, I didn’t think it would ever quit.

I see you have a lot of jobs to do now. If you asked me you always did do a lot of work.

I’m sorry that Lew had such a time of it. Here’s hoping he’s alright now. Lew was always swell to me. I cleaned cars for him for four years and he never said anything mean to me. He never bawled me out for anything and heaven knows I had them coming. He’s a swell guy to work for and to know.

We just had supper and we had cherry pie and ice cream. That’s not half bad. Do you think? Of course, that does not happen very often but it’s darn nice when it does. We do have pie a lot though.

You spoke about the fire tower up in Canada, I sure would like to walk up to it about now.

Lu and I had such a swell time up there.  I guess a lot of people didn’t think much of us going up there like we did, but with Lu’s folks and mine thought it was alright. And right now.  I have some swell memories and believe me I can use them.

How is Mr. Fairfiled feeling now?  Good I hope. Tell him I said hello and that everything is going along swell. The boys are all fine and are still getting into trouble. You know boys.

I guess maybe I had better close and write to Harold Graham. You remember him, he used to drive for lightning express.

Good luck and take care of yourselves. By the way, how is Frances these days. Tell her I said hello.

As Ever

Little Hank


These letters from little Hank are so polite and he writes just like I would imagine a guy from the 1940’s would write.  I wonder if he is in Sicily near Mt. Etna. It was and still is an active volcano. Little Hank always seems to say that him and the boys are fine. I guess that is what you say to loved ones when you’re in the middle of a war. I don’t know. What do you think?


Hello Mom

Hello Mom


Prelude: Here is a post card written in 1942 from a man named Harold Sisson who is in Illinois. It’s to his mother who is in Almond, NY.  It’s written on a USO postcard and it seems that Harold is in the military.



Hello mom,

There ‘aint much to write about, but I will drop you a card, here from the y. Took another physical on Friday, I don’t know what for, but I suppose it’s to find out what fixin-up we need. I hope they get around to fix my teeth. One of them is going to need pulling pretty soon. We are having a very cold spell now. Hit a low of 20 F last nite, but we didn’t mind at all with all of our warm clothing. Was issued a winter caps last nite, to keep our ears warm. Took some pictures yesterday with movie camera. It was a nice sunshiny day but very cold. Qualified myself for a blue pass by having marks in the highest 10% of the class for the last 2 weeks. This pass allows us off the field, anytime, on off duty hours. Got a card from Amy Housser the other day. Just a letter from H. Chapman today. They put on a show for us called “Chicago” here at the y last nite. It was very good.

As Usual,




An interesting letter from Herold. What’s weird is he says he’s at the y. Is he talking about the YMCA? He talks about physicals, and classes and being off duty, which makes me believe he is in some kind of military training. So, I looked up military locations in Illinois and only found the regular military bases and one program called the V-12 program where military classes were held at a university (IIT).  Anyway, wherever Herold is he seems to be doing okay. He got a blue pass and is in the top 10% of his class. His mom must have been proud, but he could have signed the letter a little more lovingly than “As Usual.”  Just another glimpse into the lives of people living during WWII. What do you think?