When I was born, I was named for his wife, Rose, my great-grandma who died when my mom was 14. But being the "history buff" of my family, I am ever grateful that wonderful lady saved his letters home from the war.
One of my favorites happens to be his account of V-E day in Paris. He paints quite the picture.
Some time before, he put in for a pass and made a few trips to Paris to visit friends and people he knew stationed there. He sent some of those pictures home to my great-grandma Rose and their son, Don (Butch). He didn't take any that I know of on V-E day, but a description tops a picture any day!
9 Mar 45
Dearest Honey + Butch
Well here I am again back from Paris and still able to get around. I really hit the right day to be there – (V-E day -) and plenty of things were happening. I’ll bet I walked 10 or 12 miles around that town trying to see everything in a short time. There was plenty of celebrating all night long. I didn’t get to bed till two in the morning and there were still enough people out to make it look like a Sat. afternoon at home. I don’t know how late they stayed up, but things were pretty quiet when I got up at seven this morning. It take long for the tho, by ten o’clock the streets were crowded again with a lot of people who didn’t seem to know where they were going.
Last night there was a street dance on almost every other block. It seemed good to see all the street lights on again, and I think they had every light they could find in Paris lit last night. That plus all the G.I.s that were lit (to the gills) really made for a big time.
Oh yes, honey you remember Rev. Fleischer who use to be in Ventura. He’s the fellow that went fishing with Geo and I. He’s a Maj. and the head chaplain over all these replacement pools around here. His offices are in Paris so I went in to see him this morning. He is the first person I have seen since being in the army that I knew back when? He said if anything ever came up and I needed a little help to let him know. No he can’t get me a discharge so get that idea out of your head for a little longer now. It shouldn’t be too long tho I hope.
He also told me that Geo had been to Paris shortly before Easter, but it had one of those queer tricks of fate that he had to be out of town the week Geo was down. Maybe we’ll all get together again one of these days At Home.
Well honey you should gather from this that I had a pretty good time. I hope I’ll be able to make that trip again one of these days.
The big clock on the church just struck ten and as I didn’t get much sleep last night I’d better roll in toot [sp?] sweet. So till next time all my Love and Best Wishes.
So that's my current project actually... typing up all of his letters and stringing them together in order with all the pictures he sent home and received. It just gets me all fluttery inside to think that this is REAL history and from my relatives' perspective.
I love it when history gets personal.