MS 1048 - Donald F. Rodawig Papers Transcripts (Letters 10 - 18)
|MS 1048 - Donald F. Rodawig Papers Transcripts (Letters 10 - 18)
Letter No. 10
My Dearest Wife
Tomorrow is Easter and although we are all far away from home somehow we realize the full significance of the day. The woods are full of beautiful roses, daffodils and camellias - as you know the Italians are flower lovers and will grow them even though there might be a food shortage. There will be a sunrise program at 6:15 AM in a lemon grove in this area which I plan to attend. We are now on daylight savings time and our watches were turned ahead one hour this week so now we are 7 hours ahead of you which means that if you go to bed at midnight I am just getting up.
Wayne McVay from Rockwell City was in on pass today and spent several hours with me and it is amazing how quickly you forget about people you have grown up with for I haven't been in Rockwell City very much since we have been married and lest I need to remind you honey it is almost 17 years but I love you now more than ever
Letter No. 11
My Dearest Wife.
A funny little coincident happened this morning - A Red Cross worker came in the wards with cigarettes for the patients and she handed me a pack. It was with the compliments of the people from Huntington Iowa. I believe I shall write them a letter of thanks.
Col. Wells is in a general hospital with an athlete's foot infection and I went over furing the noon hour and had a nice visit with him. I told him the tired Washington businessman's story and I thought he would die laughing. It is too bad that he had to be sick at this time for we have so much to do now. It is quite apparent that we will probably have a new address Some will go forward as an advance party so if you don't hear from me for 3 or 4 weeks don't become alarmed for you will know that I can't write. It is always such a job to get things ready for a change and then begin all over again. Naturally I can't tell you where we are going but the address sounds very good to me and will probably mean a chance to get home when the war is over. The news is extremely good and with the new air invasion of Holland things will be over before too long Don't you think
All My Love Roddy
Letter No. 12 [July 1944?]
Dearest Mary and Children
Do you remember me talking to you how many horse drawn hearses used to pass our hospital on the way to the cemetery? In a recent black market exposure it seems that some of these hearses were hauling grain and flour (of course American) to the black market. Now isn't that something.
Capt Mallo upon his return from our recent trip had not felt so well and today has a full blown case of yellow jaundice which will incapacitate him for some time. No replacement has been obtained for Capt Black, as the surgical service is short two men, which greatly adds to our administrative work.
We have all been so optimistic over the war out look since the fall of Cherbourg and the beginning of a successful summer Russian campaign at Vitebsk - How long do you feel that this war can go on? We are anxious to get this European phase over and concentrate all our forces on the Japs.
Our headlines this morning mentioned Gen Dewey's election as the G.O.P. candidate for the presidency this fall - somehow I am disappointed. Have always thought that Wilke could do a much better job. Write when you have the time
Your letter of the 30th arrived this afternoon and I can assure you that it is one of the greatest pleasures I have to write to you - However if days goes by without so much as a scratch it gets to be an old story. I am very happy to learn that you are making an honest effort to keep up the correspondence. At this time to my mind it is a very important job for as I have told you before I just live for some word from home. I don't believe that you quite understand just what frame of mind one gets into over here. It is the only favor that I will ask of you. You know full well that I love you and the children beyond words and if you will make letter writing your number one job it will make it ten times easier for me over here. We have been mighty fortunate that everything has gone so well for us while I have been over here. You know what a baby I am about being away from you for such a long time - so write every day. The news has been wonderful and I can see and early end to this thing. I sent Sandra a letter with pictures - did she receive them? Also some good pictures to Mother and Dad.
All my love Roddy
Letter No. 14
My Dearest Wife and Children
I was a little disappointed that there wasn't any mail at the hospital for me today when I was over there, as a matter of fact the mail situation is not too good at the present moment but perhaps there will be a lot shortly. I was walking down to mess today and met a fine looking well dressed American in civilian clothes, and previously having heard that Dr. Tommy Francis (Helen and Dick's friend from the Rockefeller Institute) was in the city doing a little malaria control work, so I stopped and asked him if he was Dr. Francis and sure enough it was he. He plans to come over to the ward and visit with me and I will find out more in detail about his work. It appears that we are now living in a comparably small world and you can meet someone you know even though you are a good long distance from home.
We are not too busy at our hospital at the present time and somehow I feel that I have chosen a good time to be away. Col Wells has asked me to send you his regards - we have had several new officers assigned since being away and with Hugh gone the place just doesn't seem the same.
All My Love to you and the children
I was so thrilled today to receive 7 letters from home and so am all caught up with the news until Aug 23rd my last letter. Was sorry to hear that Suzanne was in bed for two days while the Baums were visiting. Can imagine how disappointed she would be. Just so she is all right by now. Apparently she lacks resistance to upper respiratory infections? Were the children's chest x-rays all O.K.? You must assuredly have an abundance of vegetables and how gratifying it is to see. The fruits of your summer labor begin to materialize. Can imagine that your grocery bill now is practically nihl.
You just have to conclude from Joe Bradfield's history that she has ...malignancy of the uterus for at her age it would be rare that it could be a uterine polyp.
ALL MY LOVE Roddy continued
Letter No. 16
My Dearest Wife
Received 4 swell letters from you written Sep 3-4-67th and everything is on the up and up today. Your story about the tired Washington businessman was cute I am very sure that I could not think twice about what I wanted to do if you were near. I doubt if I would take my pack off my back. War is hell isn't it honey! But I have every reason to be optimistic and we will spend a lot of time getting acquainted again soon I hope!
I was glad to hear that the loan on the Equitable Life Ass Society had been paid off. By now all the policies should have a loan value of 7000-8000.00 but I never want to use the money again except in extreme emergency. You have no idea how comforting it is to me that if something happened, you and the children will be adequately taken care of. But I am not planning on this but rather using it together in our old age. It is an amazing thing how much you day dream about the future and believe me I have had plenty of time to think. If anyone had told me that I could stay away from you and the children this long a few years ago I would have thought them crazy but somehow you just steel yourself to the emergency
I love you sweetheart more than words can tell
Letter No. 17
Dearest Mary continued II
It is consoling to me that our children have not caused you the least bit of trouble in this respect. I can now [sic] that our farm will be of value to us in more ways than one for it will keep them busy and their minds occupied.
I would think that the sad reports of men being killed in action and missing in action would have a sobering affect on the entire community and as I have written before there will be many more to come before this affair is settled.
Do you plan to keep both of the ponies for the children? I would think you would like to get a nice saddle horse for your own pleasure and am sure that Ray Scheuerman would help you get a good horse so that both Don and you could ride.
Enjoyed Sandra's remark about that marble game in which she won all the marbles from Joyce Cox, perhaps Bill and she have many the same qualities of thrift and conservation that obviously they have inherited from their mother!! Perhaps the gambling from their father? From the report cards they have received all have had a good profitable school year. We should be mighty proud of our school faculty especially men like ... Mohammad and Webb who have been leaders for so long
With Love Roddy (continued)
Letter No. 18
Dearest Mary continued III
The contents of the box came through in grand shape and thanks a lot. I will save it until I get back to the apartment and have a little homecoming party. We had the rarest of treats today. A glass of ice cold milk that had been shipped direct from the states. It had been frozen and you have no idea how good it tasted - my first in 17 months. We have always used condensed milk or powdered for coffee and cereal. Fresh eggs are very scarce over here and sell for 15 to 20 cents each so we all look forward to fresh shipments from the hen department. As a whole food is a lot better than when we first arrived, there is more variety.
You will have to decide about the management of our income taxes and if you feel that Walt Bexel can do a better job for us, he should be employed especially after mentioning the $400.00 tax return. Let's save this money and put it away in a manner that I have suggested in a recent letter.
You have done such a marvelous job at home in so many ways that I will have to depend on you more than ever when I return for you have done them better than I.