Oct. 11, ’44 Wed. 7:15 P.M.


A “bathinette” circa 1940s or 50s

Hello Honey –

I’m so sorry it’s late again – but things have quieted down at last – so maybe I can write you a decent letter. Helen & all left about 1:30 P.M. today. I guess they are home by now. We sure had a nice time while they were here. Sure hated to see them go.

We all went out to Mom’s today about noon. We couldn’t stay long cause they had to leve – but Mom was glad they came. George & Helen sure liked Mom’s house a lot! I took a few pictures again today – I’ll bring them with me, honey. Dot has a bad cold & I have a pretty good one too – I think we feel worse cause it’s so quiet & lonesome since they left. You know how we are! It takes a couple of days to get over them going. I hope Dot gets to feeling better with her cold cause that “shower” is Sunday & she has a lot to do. I guess Mom & Helen think it’s a complete surprise to me, so don’t say anything about me knowing in your letters to them, darling.

My letters to you the last 2 or 3 days have been so mixed up, I never even said anything about the Cards willing the Series Monday! Hope you didn’t lose any more money on the Browns. I’m sorry they lost – but, at least, our Cards won it.

Honey, I wish you could have seen the “shower” at Esther’s! It was just wonderful! I’ll tell you what Butch got but it will be much nicer when I can show you everything. A. Ruth game me a Baby book – it’s a complete “Life’s History” to keep for Butch. Wait til you see it! Mrs. Swanks & Dorothy gave me a beautiful, blue wool blanket & a little white wool sweater. Helen, Dot & Eileen went together on a beautiful pink wool “Baby Bunting” — Esther didn’t know Eileen would be here, so she bought 3 little extra gifts – a water thermometer from Eileen – a telephone rattler from Susie Gay & a pair of white “booties” from Jack! That was sure thoughtful of her, wasn’t it, honey? Cause she didn’t think they would be there. Then there were some little things like Powder, Pins, Bottle Cap covers, etc. laid in the “Bathinette” from her & Dad. Boy, that “Bathinette” is really swell & one thing I was intending to buy in Frisco – cause I’ll really need it! They cost about $8. or more. Dad is having it crated where he works & they are going to ship it to me. Dot is going to send all the rest of Butch’s stuff later when I get an address. That way I won’t have to bother with them now. We had ice cream & cake at the party & everyone had a nice time. Esther really worked hard & I thanked her & everyone for both of us. Everything I got was something I really needed, too! Well, I guess that’s about all about the shower.

esther dwyer

Esther Swank Dwyer, Jean’s father’s second wife

Joseph Francis Dwyer

“Daddy Joe,” Joseph Francis Dwyer, Jean’s father 

Today after Helen & they all left – I went to the Dr. – Dr. Riordan is back & I got to talk to him. When I explained about you having permanent duty there & us having a nice place to live – he said right away, “Why don’t you go?” He said the trip wouldn’t hurt me at all – but I should take plenty to eat with me or I’d starve to death! He seemed to know all about the Navy Hosp. there & said I’d be well taken care of. He said Captain Hood built it & it’s really a nice hospital. I asked him if he would give me my complete case history (operations, etc.) so I could give it to the Dr. there instead of explaining all myself. But he said I should wait til I get there – then write him the Hosp. address & he would send the Dr. my records. I told him I sure hated to leave him but promised him he would deliver all our other babies after we come home! Then I told him I wanted to settle with him for my care & treatment I rec. so far. He added up the visits & said they were usually $3. each – which made it about $24. But I had paid him $5. on my first visit – so that made it $19. Honey, I know it’s a lot of money but he gave me a good start & cleared up that infection, so I guess it’s worth it. I hope you’re not mad he charged so much but I really had more than 8 visits, besides the treatments, so I don’t think it was so bad. Well anyway, I feel better now, he said I could go – & said I should have a safe normal delivery. Everything’s been fine up to now.

Honey, I rec. a sweet letter from you today written last Sat. at the U.S.O. You don’t feel any worse than I do, I didn’t leave Oct. 10th! Every time I think of it, I feel so bad.  But it sure will save us a lot of money now that I’m having a “shower” Sunday. I guess you know by now, I’ll arrive Tues. Oct 24th – at 8:20 A.M. Berkeley Station. I’m going to pack a box with 2 blankets & other things we will need, & send it early next week. I hope it gets there by the time I do. I guess I’ll just have them hold it at the Berkeley Station Express Office. I don’t know what else to do. If it doesn’t get there when I do, we’ll just have to freeze at nite! I’m sorry I couldn’t leave on the 17th or 18th, honey – but since you have to work Sunday, anyway, – I guess it’s just as well. I sure hate to get in on a Tues. but I sure didn’t want to wait any longer to see you, darling. I hope you can get a special liberty on that day! Do you think you can? Tomorrow, I’ll write the letter to show the “Housing Unit” people – then maybe you can use the same letter to show the Captain to get a special liberty that day. Let me know, if not, I’ll send a telegram like I did before, honey.

Gee, hon, I sure wish we could have a car to come home in. That would be wonderful!

Well, darling, I hate to quit but I have to get this in the mail in 10 minutes. So I guess I’ll have to say goodnite for now. Pretty soon I’ll be able to kiss you goodnite! Won’t that be swell? I can hardly wait, darling.

Please take good care of yourself & God be with you always! We love you & miss you so, honey! I can’t believe we will be together in 2 weeks! Goodnite, my darling.

All our love & kisses,

Jean & Butch.


Oct. 10, 1944 6:00 P.M. Tues. (From Frank)

Dearest Jean:

I received your nice sweet letter dated Fri. Oct 6. I’m glad to hear you got a reservation for Oct. 21st. I’ll still have to wait two more weeks before I can see you. But I guess it’s the best thing anyway. If everything works out the way it should, I will have the next two week ends off after you get here.

Smith told me this morning that Bea told him to tell me she would take her car to the station and help us with the suit cases. That sure was nice of her. That’s another reason why I asked you to try to get some gas stamps. Because if we have gas stamps we will be able to go for a ride once in a while. I sure hope you can get some. At least enough to take you to the Navy Hospital. It is a little too far to go by street car. I haven’t seen Vic’s wife yet. He never asked me to come over. But I’m sure when you get here, we’ll get together often. I hope I can get a Unit close to theirs. There is quite a few Navy fellows close to each other, and it makes it pretty nice. Say a prayer that there is still one empty around then, otherwise we will be a couple blocks away.

I’m sure glad to hear Eddie Rossfeld got a 15 day leave. Tell him I said hello. It is just one year since he was home. I remember because I left while he was there. I bet he sure looks good in Chief’s clothes.

Yes, honey, I took the foot ball pictures with Dot’s camera. I think they would have been better if they wouldn’t have enlarged them so big. The reason why I only had 14 is because I missed one and the other was for a buddy of mine. He asked me to take a picture of a palm tree so he could send it to his wife. She wanted to know what they look like.

Honey, did you see the picture “Arsenic & Old Lace?” I saw it last night. It was sure crazy. Cary Grant was really good, you would like it. Don’t miss it.


Well, honey, I guess this is about all again. This is my duty night and I have to be an Usher at the show.

About us going to the show on our duty nights, well, the fellows can go if they don’t have to work too late. Before I was an Usher all I did in Comp. Cl. was see that all the heads had plenty of paper. But the fellows that work on small boats generally have to work till 8:00 or 8:30. Some times they let them go earlier.

Well, I guess I better go before they come looking for me.

I love you and miss you so much, honey. Please take good care of yourself and Butch. And God be with you both.

All my love & kisses,


P.S. Honey, do you have a nice coat to wear? I hope so because you’ll need one in the evenings. It gets pretty cool at night.

I’m sorry I can’t send a paper again. We haven’t had any for 2 weeks. I heard they are changing it.

I hope you can read this. I get worse and worse.

I love you.


Oct. 10, ’44 Tues. 4 P.M.

Hello Honey –

The house is quiet-Susie Gay is sleeping & all the rest went over to school to hear the records Vic & Bob made. I was supposed to go along but Vic Sr. had to make a call, so I had to stay & watch Susie. I was a little disappointed not getting to go – & Eileen offered to stay home – but I’ve heard them before so I said I’d stay home.

I guess I’ll just give up trying to go to the Dr. til tomorrow. I didn’t go again today! Helen looked all over downtown yesterday for a dress & hat & couldn’t find a thing. So I took her down to the “Modern” Dress shop on Gravois today where I always went, & we found a pretty dress & hat right away. By the time they shopped around a little on Gravois, it was too late to go to the Dr. again. I guess I’ll just wait until they leave – they are leaving tomorrow around noon. I want Helen & the girls to go out & see Mom either tonite or tomorrow morning. Maybe I can go to the Dr. tomorrow aft. I hope so, anyway.

Daddy Joe just came in – so I’ll have to finish this later, honey.

7:30 P.M.

Well, supper’s over – I’m still at Dot’s – & everyone is in the front room singing songs with Suse Gay. I’m in the kitchen writing this. Aunt Ruth just came in. Honey, I had the swellest surprise last nite! There’s so many around now & so much noise I don’t know if I can explain it all, but I’ll try. Well, while Eileen, D.A. & M.H. & I were getting ready to go out to Esther’s last nite, George took Helen, Dot, & the boys out there – we couldn’t all get in the car at once anyway. Then he came back for us. And honey, when I walked in Esther’s — there they all were — Helen, Dot, the boys, Dad, Es, Mrs. Swanks, Dorothy (Esther’s sister) & Ed, & A. Ruth! Dorothy Swanks started playing the piano & all of them sang “Rockabye Baby!” Esther had the table decorated & made a fresh flower centerpiece with a pair of china Baby shoes in the middle. (I’m going to take a picture of it – so I can show it to you!) There were a lot presents & sitting in the corner was a “Bathinette!” Honey, everything was so wonderful I wanted to cry! When all of them were singing “Rockabye Baby,” I think they all were crying a little. Frank, it’s getting so late & there is so much noise around here, I guess I’ll have to tell you about all the presents Butch got, tomorrow. Dad & Es gave us the “Bathinette,” tho. I’ll tell you all about it in my next letter.

Besides, your 3 sweet letters I rec. yesterday morning – I rec. another one yesterday aft! But I didn’t get any today. Maybe I’ll get 2 tomorrow. I’m glad you liked the pictures, honey.

Frank, I know this is a lousy letter but it’s impossible to write with all this noise going on! I’ll write a long letter tomorrow. Please take good care of yourself, sweetheart, & God be with you, always! I love you & miss you so much! We’ll be together soon, darling, then we won’t have to write letters! Goodnite, honey!

We love you so!

All our love & kisses,

Jean & Butch


Honey, Dot still hasn’t found her money. Please keep praying we find it!

We’re not going any place tonite. Just stay home & talk. We all wish you were here, honey!

Oct. 9, 1944 7:00 P.M. Mon. (From Frank)


Dearest Jean:

I received two nice sweet long letters from you today. I hope I can answer every thing.

I’m sure glad to hear you and Butch are feeling swell again.

What do you mean Mr. Keely thinks he can get you a reservation around the 17th? You just said they didn’t have a thing until the 29th. I hope I don’t have to wait that long, honey. I’m about to go crazy.

Honey, about our money, just put it in T.G. Bank. Then we can get it when ever we need some. You did the right thing. I just liked the way Father. H. did it and hated to change.

I’m glad you got a good pair of shoes. Because if you come out here you will sure need them. We will do a lot of walking. I wish we had a car tho. It’s pretty hard to get around without one. But we’ll have a lot of fun, even if we don’t have a car.

I sure am glad to hear Dr. Winter said your teeth are in good condition.

Well, honey, Nielsen and I are going to the show here on the base again. So I guess this is all for now. I’m so sorry it’s so late already. I wrote Mom a letter before I started yours. I’ll try to write some more after the show or tomorrow morning.

7:30 A.M. Tues.

Well, honey, it looks like I’m always running out of time. Last night we didn’t get back from the show until 9:45 so I couldn’t write then. And now it’s almost time to go to work. I sure will be glad when you get here. So we can talk to each other instead of writing.

Well, I got to listen to all the ball games. They sure were good but I would like to have seen the Browns win.

I’m sorry, honey, but I have to go now. I love you and miss you so much. Please take good care of yourself and Butch. And God be with you both.

All my love & kisses,


Sat. 8:30 P.M. Aug. 19th, 1944 (To Frank from his sister Helen)

Frank with Reichs

Frank’s sister, Helen Reich with daughter Terry Jean, husband George, son Bobby, and Frank

Dear Frank,

We received your letter & money this week Mon. Was very glad to hear from you again.

There isn’t much new around here, just the same old routine. I guess you’ve heard by now that Frank Blackshaw passed away last Mon. at 1:30 P.M. It sure is very quiet around his corner now. They were closed all this week.

Mom & Dad got a letter yesterday from Geo. said everything is O.K. and that he wished he could write where he is, says it’s beautiful country.

Well, we had a busy week going out. Am trying to get to all places before school starts. We went to the Highlands Mon. and, of all things, Bobby wouldn’t ride on the Kiddie Rides, said he just wanted to watch. That was O.K. for my pocket book, Ha! Ha! But I did have to ride with him on the choo choo trains, four times in succession. And then he didn’t want to get off.

Tues. we went downtown and got the kids some shoes and T.J. a winter coat. Wed. we took Mom out in the country for a long ride, and I mean long. The first ride like that this year. Went on the new High Way that goes to DeSoto. Dad couldn’t go he had to be on Goener Ave that afternoon to meet a carpenter to give him a bid on repairing the screens which a wind storm damaged. Thurs. I was at Moms from 11:00 till 3:00. Then at the park from 7:30 till 9:30. Fri. my cleaning day, and evening T.J. and I were invited to be Mary Neubert’s guests at the opera. What a week!

Geo. is just as busy as ever, and keep beer on ice. He sells it as fast as he gets it. It’s terrible. The old grandpas are always thirsty. Ha. Ha! (Roeder & Rossfeld)  Geo is breaking in a new boy again, Howard is going away to a Military School. This boy seems to be alright.

We haven’t heard from Doc for two weeks, but heard that he was in England.

If you care to write to his address is

Capt. H.A. Reich M. Co 1699936, Company D 319 Medical B.N. , A.P.O. 94 90 , Postmaster, New York, N.Y.

Last Wed. Aug. 9th we took Dot. Kohrman to see “Going My Way.” And she really enjoyed herself. She couldn’t thank us enough, she said, for showing her such a swell time. I hear that Arlin is moving into the Salon Hotel, furnished apt. Says the hotel rooms are getting too expensive. I guess you know Dot got her divorce.

Bobby is getting so big. Grandma calls him “String Bean.” He don’t eat, guess when it gets cooler he will. I sure hope so. He feels alright. And he plays with the kids just as rough. Ed Menzie is his pal, you should see them rassel around together.

The rest of us are O.K.Well, Frank guess this is all for now. Bye, Bye! and God be with you.

As ever,

Helen & family

Sept. 10, 1944 (From Eileen to Jean)


This is from Jean’s sister-in-law, Eileen Butterworth Dwyer, who was married to Jean’s brother Jack Dwyer. I don’t have pictures of Eileen and Susie Gay but hope to soon! 🙂

Dear Jean & “Butch” –

Your sweet letter received this morning. You can write the nicest letters – Dot and you, both. I never seem to be able to put on paper just what I mean.  Anyhow, I’m glad you’re feeling okay. That really counts.

About your going out to Calif. to be with Frank, in one of my letters from Jack today, he said he thought you should get yourself out to Frank. I know it isn’t as simple as that for you to decide, but it certainly reflects the masculine view.

Even though I’ll be repaying financially for a couple of years, I would not trade anything for the 5 months Susie Gay & I had in Fla. Although you never know from day to day what is going to happen, the time you can have together is wonderful.

If your Dr. says it’s okay for you to go, that’s worth something.

I am so happy for you and Frank. It seems almost like a miracle. I pray for you two (I should say 3) every day. These little ones are really blessings.

I’m enclosing a snapshot of Susie Gay & me. We’ve got some more pictures of her and I’ll send you reprints as soon as they’re made.

Everyone says Susie Gay has the most beautiful eyes. They are very large and a real dark brown. When she finally gets her hair, I think it will either curl or have a tendency to curl. I can’t get her “fuzz” to lay down and the hair in back curls easily.

Jack sent Susie Gay and me each the cutest bracelets. They are like charm bracelets except British 3-pences and 6-pences are used instead of charms.


We expect to move the last of this week or the first of next. We are really looking forward to it even though it will be a big job. I will really be glad to live downstairs. Susie Gay needs to get outdoors, too.

Oh, yes, before I forget, will you send me Frank’s address? I want to send him some candy for Christmas.

I guess this is about all I know now. I want to write Dot and then see if my wash is getting dry. It’s cloudy here today and rather cool.

Write to me as often as you can. Also, let me know if you go to Calif.

Love to you and Butch,

Eileen & Susie Gay

P.S. Have you chosen names for the baby?

Sept. 9, 1944 (From Doris Ann to Jean)

Doris Ann Schierbaum

Dear Jean,

Well how is everything? I’m really sorry about not writing sooner, but I have two letters for you in my purse. I just keep forgetting to mail them.

I bet your really happy. I sure hope we can come up soon. I think the names you picked are really pretty.

I got your card, I liked it alot. I got a red dress from Mary S. and some shoes and purse too. Mother gave me the cutest blouse. It’s pink and high neck with a bow.

I like school lots better than I ever had. I go at 9:20 and get out at 2:45. I have 2 periods before dinner and 2 after. The day sure does go fast. I’m taking French, it sure is the nuts.

I wrote to Jack about the boy friends and he said I shouldn’t go steady. He sure put me in a mess. I quit one boy and now I’m not going with anyone. I like a boy in my home room. He’s on the foot ball team & I think he may get to be capt. He’s real bashful and I can’t get him to talk to me.

The foot ball season starts Friday for us so _______. I can hardly wait.

I’ve lost 8 lbs and I weigh 107 & M.H. 113, but I still look bigger than she does.

I still have the kitchen to clean but thought I’d write while Mother’s upstairs.

I really missed coming up there this summer. I guess I’ll have to work next summer. I might come up before I go to work tho. (I can just see that.)

I got my class ring and its sure a honey! Its gold with D.S., 1945, Central, in black. Their small and better than last years.

We should get our sweaters next month. I sure hope so.

There’s not much doing around here thats of any interest. We have to go take care of Norman Krauss tonight. I don’t want to, but I guess I’ll have to put up with it. Hes older than S.G. and all he says is “Huh!”

I guess “Butch” will be just like S.G. smart and all that. I guess it runs in the family. Hope hes not going to be as spoiled as her tho. Is he??

I found a picture of Jack when he was in St. Louis and I’ve been telling every body its my boyfriend. All the girls sure think he’s cute. They really like his nice curly hair. If they only knew. I’ll have to write and tell him.

I sure hope we can come up soon. I can hardly wait. Hope we don’t fight too much. How’s Bob & Jr? I bet they’re really grown up. Jack sure does enjoy their letters. I haven’t written to him this week.

I hope you can read this. I’m holding on my lap and it keeps going up and down.

If you can think of any way to get a bashful guy to talk to you, please let me know. Will you?

I’m going to try and write every week. I may have to do it in class so don’t mind the paper or how it looks.

It’s really been cold here, how about you?

Well I guess I’ve mess enough for now so I’ll close and write again soo.

Bon Jour, which means Good Morning in french. It’s the first word I’ve learned.

Lots of Love, Doris Ann

P.S. I just read this over and it sounds like heck. I just write down what I think of so I hope you don’t get bored.