Friday, May 03, 2013

"It is a Remington Hand Portable, and I am crazy about it."

Yesterday, while revisiting the oral history that Grandma and I compiled about her life a few years ago, I stumbled back across the following letter she'd kept from my late grandfather, Willard Hemphill, written to family on the Kansas farm during World War II:

"You mentioned in your letter of 29 June, which arrived yesterday, about this rain. Come over to Normandy and I’ll show you some real rain. We have certainly had our share since arrived. Today has been an exception, though, and it has really been nice all day.

"You would enjoy watching these French farmers making hay, with their little one-horse, two-wheeled carts and their big awkward wooden forks. They seem to manage quite nicely, however. Often their orchards and their hay fields are combined.

"I just got a new typewriter. It is a Remington Hand Portable, and I am crazy about it. I have worked for a long time to get a decent one. My old one was really beat up. I can no longer blame my mistakes on the machine.

"Jean [Grandma] seems to be very happy in her new work in the Employment Office. It seems to me that they are keeping her mighty busy though. I was so glad to hear of her promotion. She certainly deserves. She is meeting an awfully lot of people she knows there in Wash. I am so glad. It will help her keep from becoming too lonesome.

"If you are worrying about the part that you are playing in this war, Dad, you can stop right now. You folks back there are doing a big job and doing it very well. You are seeing to it that we, over here are getting good food and lots of it. We can’t ask more. Love to all."

We miss you, Grandpa.