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To Leonard (my 5 yr. old son) Mar. 21, 1942

To Leonard March 21, 1942 – WWII Journal Entry

Well, son, since, I’ve “talked” to Leland and to mother
You can be plenty sure, you bet
That there is always still another
That daddy would never forget

This is about the only way
I can “talk” to you these days,
But every night for you I pray –
And I think of you always.

I’ve been with you so much always
That it seems so hard to know
Just how to spend the time, these days
– because i miss you so

In fact we’ve always needed you,
And long before you came,
We felt that we were all too few,
And we’ve never been the same.

So you were welcome, when we got
another guy in our home –
We couldn’t wait believe it or not –
Till the time when you would come

And then I recall the night
When mother and i left home –
We were really quite a sight
And certainly had to go some

How proud I was next Sunday
to tell the people who came –
An assistant preacher today
I had – by the same last name

Of course i was only fooling –
For I want you guys to know
That i want you to make good schooling
Then – in your very own work to go

Another thing I hope you guys
Always will keep in mind –
Remember you mother – & you’ll be wise
For such love you’ll never find

How proud she was – on those bright days
When i went to see you then –
But never forget what a mother pays
To give, the world it’s men

It made me mighty proud to hear,
“He looks just like his dad” –
It’s about the biggest thrill, I swear,
That a fellow ever had

But even though i try to be,
the very best man I know –
I fully expect someday to see
How much farther you can go

But it looks as if I’ve got ahead
of the story that I began –
For I recall things done & said
As only a parent can

It didn’t take you long at all
To make yourself a part
Of our household – I recall
that you were plenty smart

Grandma Brewster was there you know –
And how proud she was to come
For conference – and the “show”
And a “visit” – before going home

I remember how she would call
You (as she always called big brother)
“sugah boy” – and that’s not all
Pet names! She always had another

Then Grandma Traver had to come
To see her new grandchild –
And did she ever “take on” some!
With joy she was nearly wild

And your Grandad, who is quite a guy,
Didn’t see you for a while —
but when he did – well, my oh my –
Say – how that guy did smile!

It wasn’t long till you became
Well liked in Church and town –
For you were always found the same
With a smile and never a frown

We had a new car – we had a new house
And they were fine in their place
Though we had to be still as a mouse,
It was best to have your new face

It may be that you do not know
How proud your bud could be
But he was always anxious to show
You off to our company

And you began to go with me
So soon – ‘most everywhere
And you have never ceased to be
A pal beyond compare

On Ventura Pier how we used to stroll
Oh, every now and then,
And although we had no fishing pole –
We would watch the fishermen

Sometimes there would be big ships
With oil and lumber, too —
And we would [unknown] to our fingertips
Watching – as “boys” always do

And i had to take you to the store
Each time that I was sent,
And you would get just awful “sore”
– if alone I ever went

I remember, too, the new sand-pile
I fixed you in the yard,
And how you would play and smile
– to amuse you was not hard

About this time your new “trike”
Became your greatest joy –
And you were just exactly like
A regular three year old boy

Another thing that comes to mind
Is the pup that we called “zip” –
Together you two I’d always find
– she surely was a “pip”

I can “zip” now when we go out the grass
– as she would bark and run –
Mother and Leland wouldn’t pass
The chance to have some fun

You had your little mower too,
The neighbors thought it fun
To watch you do as I would do –
As behind me you would run

I remember lots of “stuff”
in Santa Paula Valley –
Although I’ve mentioned ’bout enough
Somethings are down your alley

I remember when you ran from home
– one time to my study –
I was surprised to see you come
– byut tyou were such a “buddy”

You followed Bud to school one day
– “and that was ‘gainst the rule
I hope you’ll always be that way
– I mean – anxious to go to school

I remember trips and things
We took while in that valley
-like getting water at the springs
– and how about little “Sally”?

And when they built the house next door
– was it hard to keep you away!
“What do you call him back home “for”?
– the carpenters would say.

But before the house was quite completed
And before the “kinds” moved in –
our moving was again repeated –
Naval Duty would now begin.

So we went to Coronado town
– And I hope that you’re there still –
We liked the city of the crown
And I’m sure we always will

You always had such good times there
With “Georgie” – your next door pal
And going places everywhere
“Us Guys” – and “Rosie Gal”

to the training station, too
And down to see the ships
And the animals at the zoo –
We were always taking trips

And how you liked to ride the ferry!
You always jumped at the chance
– it would make you so gay & merry
That your eyes would sparkle & dance

Did you like to go to Long Beach!
– and especially by bus –
And when that city we would reach
Your grandparents would make a “fuss”.

When a fellow goes to Grandma’s
Those are red-letter days –
No doubt it is because
There’s lots of fun always

Another thing you sure did like
– for you were just like brother
– was to take Grandaddy to the dike,
To you guys there is no other

You took in all the rides & stuff
Until you had your fill –
Grandad was always tired enough,
But he seems to like it still

I’ll always remember, too
Our walks on the silver strand –
“Rosie”, Leland, Daddy and you –
I usually held your hand

When I get back to be with you
(For I think it very wise)
One thing I will surely do
– spend more time with you guys

For one thing I’ll remember
-’twas so hard to leave you three
The 10th of last September
– when I put out to sea

A day that will always mean so much
to us – as well as you –
the day you started to school & such
A thrill it gave us, too

I can see your eagerness even now
As i sit here thinking today
As mother and I went to see how
You’d act and what you’d say

And I am so glad that i was there too
to take you the first few days –
I hope your eagerness is always so new
– that you’re anxious to learn always

Well, son, I can’t say more just here
– But I’ll have lots more to tell
When I get back – so don’t you fear
– Oh , boy it will sure be swell

in the meantime I will do my best –
For God, you guys and nation –
I want to be equal to the test,
Which is a great consolation

Of course it’s hard to be so far
From a guy as swell as you –
Without knowing how you are –
And without your knowing, too

So I am hoping for the day
When we can write, at least,
My, how much we write, at least,
it will surely be a feast!

And I am hoping every day
For the time when i get home
To be with you – and hear you say,
“Oh, boy, my daddy’s come”!

And I’m sure that you’ll not forget
Your dad, & sweet little mother –
As I recall, I can see you yet
– you and your big old brother

So – so long, son ’till a better day
– and may we all be blest
And while we have to be away
– God will take care of the rest