Jan 17, 2013

Dad's Letters

Last week I shared, literally, a box full of my dad's memories. In it was a stack of letters that he had written home while in the Air Force during the 60's. I've decided to share with you those letters, one by one, week by week.

Dear, Mom, Dad, Sharon, Mary, & Grandma 
       Well here I am at Fort Garland, Colorado. We three our living at the old Fort Garland which is about 82 miles from Trinidad heading in a south west direction. Joe, Gary and myself are working for Trinidad State Junior College doing Archology & Anthropology work. In other words we are apprenitce anthropologists. Right now we are unearthing Fort Mass. which is about 10 miles from Fort Garland. It is in a valley which is surounded by very huge mountains. It is located on the R Bar ranch which is very large in area. The fort is very large and will take quite a long time to escavate. Right now we have only dug down about 10" and have found some very interesting archofacts. 
       Archofacts are what we find at the diggings. They range from small pieses of glass to beams, fireplaces, poetery, nails, bone, & etc. So far I have found about three breams, two nails, 101 bets of bone, & 9 bets of glass. The bone I found was in one of the fireplaces and is not human. It is most likely deer bone for there are countless numbers of deer in this area. Yesterday I counted 5 bucks and 4 doe that I saw. Every morning I see about 6 deer on my way to the diggings with the rest of the crew. Right now there are about 14 of use left. We we started out with 19. 5 are in the Hospital. All five took sick yesterday. Two were taken to Alamosa, & three girls were to Trinidad. Mr. Backes, head Anthropologist from Trinidad State Junior College thinks its a virus of some sort which is very catchy, so today the remainder of us cleaned up the barracks, scrubed the Kitchen, & and cleaned the girls barracks here at the Fort. It took about 5 hrs. We scrubed the whole place from top to bottom with chlorox. I'm O.K. so please don't worry. 
       This is very interesting work and I like it but the pay is low. We're starting out with $20.00 a week and if we do good we get $40.00 next week. But all I want to do right now is come home. I miss every single one of you. I want to leave as soon as possible. I don't like it here, theres nothing to do. It gets very boring. 
       Mom could you possibly Send Me 20 dollars so I can come home. Could you have dad pick up my check at the Eager Beaver R. and send it also. That money plus my pay check here ar the Fort should be enought for bus fare home plus food and lodging. O.K. I've been working here at Fort Garland for seven days. I started last Monday. Did you get my post card? I hope so. I sent you one from Illinois but I forgot to put the address on it. (What a nut I am!) Ha! Ha!
       Is everybody O.K, I hope so. Tell Keith & Barb, Norm & Betty, I said hi, OK. How is Mary?, is she being good?, she better be else I won't bring her anything. Is grandma OK, how dad and yourself? I pray for all of you every night. 
Well, I better close for now, its about time for supper. We're having spagetti & meatballs tonight. So please, if you can, send the money. I want to come home so badly. I miss you all very much. Mom please don't worry, Im alright. 
I love you all,
P.S. Tell everybody I said Hello 
P.S. My return address:
Fort Garland State Museum
Fort Garland, Colorado 
P.S. Did you call Linda?, What did she say? 
God Bless You All 
By 8/28/64

This photo from last week's post is actually my dad's little collection of things he dug up during his time "escavating" at Fort Massachusetts. 

My favorite thing about this letter is his admitting to sending a post card and forgetting to address it. This is funny enough on it's own, but being that I've done the same exact thing, it had me laughing. I'm also wondering about Linda. What message was my gram supposed to relay to Linda? Or what question? What did Linda say?!

(All spelling errors are that of my father's. He was often tricked by homonyms, so this disclaimer saves me from having to constantly type in "sic".)


  1. Your dad's memory box and letters are so neat and fascinating! My great grandma showed me her box last week and it was all Teddy Roosevelt pins and election memorabilia..I thought those were neat!..I love all of the things that your dad kept and left behind. So special.

  2. Oh, that IS neat! I really love looking back at old stuff. It's cool to see my family members' lives before I existed!

  3. That is so cool! I used to go through that kind of stuff with my grandma. Still do from time to time. Your last post actually reminded me to work on a family photo project, so thanks for that! :D

  4. aw that's so cool...$20 to get home...those were the good ol' days haha