letters from my father – letter 0

January 18, 2012

In trying to figure out the order of a bunch of the undated letters, I ran across what looks like the first letter Dad wrote home, or “letter 0” as I’ve decided to call it. It seems like a fitting thing to post on the 3rd anniversary of Dad’s death, as it marks the beginning of the experience that, according to Dad, shaped his life more than anything else.

Dear Ganther and Granpee,

We left the station at about 5:10. This is a very tricky train. Our car is made up of eight litte compartments. Each one has a toilet and wash bowl. The boy I am staying with is 18 and is very nice. We were late getting into Chicago so we missed the Santa Fe. Our car was attached to an express. I slept well last night and was wakened up by McCormick a 6:30. We ate breakfast in a restaurant in Fort Monroe, Missouri. I just got back on the train and wrote this. At 5:30 this morning I could here somebody yelling “Poker players this way.” Some of them played poker all night. The presents we got at the station had razor blades, shaving cream, paper and pencil and candy in them. It is just now getting light. Take good care of my chickens and yourselves. I will let you know as soon as I get to San Diego.

love Truman


2 responses to “letters from my father – letter 0”

  1. Joe Breach says:

    Liz, you are doing a great job here publishing and preserving these letters.Truman would be proud of what you are doing.The WWII vets are dieing at the rate of one every 45seconds. Ironically the same rate they died on Iwo Jima.Truman fought on Pelieu and Okinawa, two of the bloodiest battles in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps.Yet he survived and he remained human.In fact I think he embraced his humanity even more.When I read his letters from boot camp they are almost identical to the ones I wrote 23 years later from the same San Diego quonset huts in the Vietnam era.

    Same as it ever was,
    Joe Breach

  2. liz says:

    Thanks so much Joe for reading these. It means the world to me.

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