November 8 1944
Dear Mom and Dad,
I received your letter dated September 26th today. I guess these war ballots have a priority on all shipping space and that’s why it took so long for your letter to get here.
I’m in favor of that service station but good. It sounds like a good spot for me at Union Grove. When this things over I want to go into business for myself. I’ve got plans just newly formulated. It took the ?Glider Bar to finally convince me what my future will be. I’m going to find out about learning to fly a glider. In another ten years a glider-freight train will be a common sight and if everything goes right ill be flying one of those gliders. It’s a job with future possibilities. All I’m going to have to do is learn how to fly them.
Ok, so I’m sorry I misinterpreted your “I hope your satisfied” line. Its just that I didn’t know what think. I was completely satisfied the wallet was swell and so were the pen and pencil. The caps were Ok till I had them washed. Both of them are now to small for me though. It doesn’t make much difference though because I no longer can wear the green and white armored force braid. I now wear the infantry blue.
I haven’t been feeling to well for the last couple of weeks. I had a cold and was almost finished with it when I took an African to town one night and he forgot all about me waiting out in the rain for him. Needless to say my cold came back and then some. I had quite a fever but I didn’t turn in with I just fought it down. If a guy don’t go on sick call he suffers, if he does go he’s considered a goldbrick so he can’t swim. That the army for your.
I may have quite a surprise for you within the next few days. In fact I may have two surprises if my first deal goes through. I wont tell you what either of them are till I’m absolutely sure but I should no within two weeks and I’ll write us soon as its confirmed, if it is.
I read the news article on Jimmy’s wedding and I certainly hope the guy knows what he’s doing. By the way, you must have missed my own news article. The lacko’s had my picture put in the journal, along with a swell little paragraph. I’m a hero no less. Keep watching the journal for a complete article on me. One of the guys up here is backing for a job with Stars and Stripes and he had to turn in two articles. He picked me for the subject of one of them and it was accepted. He said it would be sent to my home-town paper.
I’m at a loss as to what else to write so I’ll close for now. Keep sending the letters and I’ll keep right on answering them. Keep everything ? and I hope that tavern deal goes through. By now.
[SM1]Page 10. How interesting! Talking about future aspirations, I wonder what influenced this discussion! What did he see? Who did he speak too about flying?
(end of letter)
Observations by Opa Fritz
1) Dad often spoke of owning/operating a tavern at Union Grove, WI and this message seems to confirm that at this time in dad's life he was finally trying to settle down instead of working seasonal jobs. I remember him talking about having trucks filled with German POW's stop by the tavern apparently so the drivers could get some refreshment and a rest stop. Dad also remarked at how he would give the POW's something to drink as well or perhaps some soup.
2) Ray mentiuons he's no longer wearing the 'armored force braid' but rather the 'infantry braid'. ???? I wonder what happened there.
3) Ray's description of getting real sick and not going to sick call is a sober reminder of what it must've been like at the front - damned if you do and damned if you don't!
4) I wonder if there ever was an article about Ray in The Milwaukee Journal. He already seems to have had a picture of himself appear and now he speaks of a follow-up. Again, more questions!