Thursday, December 6, 2007


The most impenetrable black out of information was during the time of boot camp in Marblehead and the time immediately after. About the only information from this period comes from a long letter sent to him from his sister N. Part of that letter is reproduced for you here.

Post marked 10 October 1942, Marblehead, OH. Addressed to A. S. William Valencheck.


Hi Brother,

What do you suppose we have in our office?? Cuspidors!! Hundreds of them! They perch bold as you please, one at each desk - - grim reminders of the pre-war days when the B & W offices were the daily workhouse of only those humans who wore trousers. Now we women have invaded the joint, and try as we may, we can’t get rid of these “spit-tunes”. I find “Adolph” at my desk every day. Now I’m resigned to the fact that he’s waiting for his old “boss” to come back - - so I’m not trying to get rid of him anymore. Because I want is old owner to come back from the war some day just like I want you and Stan . . . to come home.

(edited paragraph)

Now - - your last letter was swell. Everybody says so - - even “your sister” Mary from 4th street - -she’s still in on all our family happenings. We’re glad that you’re getting along well at school because we all want you to make good. Especially Dad. Man - - that guy is so proud of you and Stan, he wears a smile on his face every time he talks of you just as if it were a badge of honor. You know, Bill, if you and Stan could understand just how much Dad is counting on you, you’d never let him down for even a minute. And Mom too – She “nags” too much at times but under it all, she wouldn’t trade sons for the world.

And talking of Mom - - Gee, did you make her happy on Mother’s Day! She was so pleased because you remembered her - - and the rest of us were please with you because you pleased her. You’re just proving that we’re right when we think that you’re a pretty swell fellow. The only thing was that your card didn’t come till Monday – Mom didn’t say a word but we knew she was disappointed. (edited) Mom had a nice day – Joe got her the most beautiful bouquet of mixed flowers you ever saw. Tee got her a dress, Oh gave her $5 and so did I. She got a permanent and looks snazzy - -she always did, if you’ll remember, when she took time out to dress up. We still have to give her “hell” every time she goes out of the house, in order to get her to dress up. Mothers!!

(edited paragraph)

The Valve is out on a strike again! Recently the government stepped in and it was decided that the whole shop would get a 9-cent raise. They still haven’t gotten it. Now some guys didn’t pay their union dues and the committee wouldn’t let them in to work; so the Valve fired the committee. Now they’re on strike again for that. Darn it, I hope they make it a darned good one this time and get everything they want. That joint is so stinken in its employee policy they ought to lite a match to it - - it’s own smell would be enough to blow it up!!


Just about there the bell rang yesterday and my time wasn’t my own anymore. Was going to finish this at home but did my washing and ironing (aren’t you glad you aren’t a woman?) and by the time that little job was finished it was 11 bells and I was too sleepy to write. So there you are.

Bob Johnson is home again. He must have had a 14-day furlough this time because he’s been home for about 10 days now. Johnny was supposed to be home too but won’t be able to make it till tomorrow so the boys will be together for a while anyway. I wonder if the furloughs mean that they’ll be leaving for overseas soon?? With the good news of the war over in Africa (comes the realization) that things will get even worse now with fighting in Europe and then in Asia with the Japs. We’re all praying that it won’t take long now but we’re afraid things will drag out.

Yesterday Mrs. Heimbaugh was here and she gave us the news that both Art and (?) are going to be fathers soon. My goodness, they still seem like kids, don’t they? The one that’s in Calif., now he is going to have to come home soon because he’s gonna have to go into the army. We saw some pictures that his wife sent form Calif. and now I can understand why you liked the place so much. It’s beautiful. I guess everything is pretty (high) now (though), so outside of the beautiful scenery and nice weather, I don’t suppose people there are any better off than we are. And then we don’t have earthquakes! Oh yeah - - - what about our tornadoes? Oh told you about that - - we never get in on the excitement! I slept through the “slight” earthquakes that shook Barberton.

(edited paragraphs)

We saw Galie Sunday and he told us that he’d be leaving for the service in two weeks. He asked about you boys. I guess he feels left out of things at home . . . he’s anxious to go. I guess most of the boys are because things at home just aren’t like they used to be and the sooner the war’s over (the sooner everyone does his part) the sooner things will be O.K. again.

(edited paragraph)

Do you suppose you might be able to come home next time Stan comes? It would really be wonderful if both you boys could be home at the same time - -we’d really have a family reunion!!

(edited paragraph)

Has Oh told you about how well Tee came out at bowling this year? With their league winnings, tournament money and everything, she won over $35. Pretty good, no? Oh and I haven’t done much bowling but I’m gonna join a league next season again - - or sell my ball.

(edited paragraph)

You know, Bill, I’ll just bet you do get a Petty Officer’s rating. That would be swell. I know a girl whose husband is a P.O. in Norfalls and it’s a stationary position. He’s making pretty good money too! It would be swell if you could get into something like that. But you’d be put into something which would include duty at sea, wouldn’t you? We all love to hear of your schooling and what things are like there - - so make your letters longer and tell us all about it.

Gonna have to close in order to mail this on the way home. I know that I’ll think of lots more to tell you but it will have to wait. Until your next letter then, love from the whole family and lots from me.


You remember Mary Bruriski - - Her stepmother died so Mary is home now. And Maine Zadel & Joe Nayeste got married. So did Ann Garbor. And Fran Udovich (DeBevec) is gonna have a baby. Time goes on (and life) war or now war doesn’t it??

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