Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Monday, March 27, 2017
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Caton
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brandon Collins
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Carson M. Lamb
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Parker
  • David Roberts
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana
  • Diane Rooks
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Donnie Register
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Dorothy Ann Boyd-Bragg
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • Dr. Ravi Batra
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jaz Brisack
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jeffry Scott
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Allen
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • JL Strickland
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John Hickman with Sarah Bartlett
  • John Huie
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Jonathan Odell
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julian Riggs Smith
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Katherine A. Edmonds
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Ken Hawkins
  • Ken Peacock
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Leon Galis
  • Leonce Gaiter
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Crew Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Bailey
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick Andendall
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Buchheit
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • Polly
  • R S
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Ric Latarski
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert E Hunt Jr
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Sean Manion
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr




  • Writer Login


    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    the deceased speak

    War Letters

    by | 4 | Sep 26, 2016
    • Author’s Note: Childhood friend, Amelia Blakey Wheatley, shares her late father’s letters from North Camp Hood Texas. The letters give us a sense of what life was like for Private Charles A. Blakey, his family, and friends during World War II. We thank her.

    “Letters to and from the front lines were a lifeline for service men and women fighting in World War II. Few things mattered more to those serving abroad than getting letters from home, ‘mail was indispensable,’ one infantryman remembered. ‘It motivated us. We couldn’t have won the war without it.’ The mail, whenever it arrived, also helped reassure the worried families of servicemen back home.” – “The War, Letters & Diaries,” PBS

    War Letters – Photo by Tom Poland

    The year was 1944.

    War was raging. The U.S. bombed Tokyo for the first time. Glenn Miller would go missing. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent a month at Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown, South Carolina planning D-Day. LSU beat Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl, 19 to 14. Life went on best it could. Back home, friends and family were writing brothers and sons sent to fight World War II. Such was the case with Charles A. Blakey’s family.

    Age yellowed the envelopes you see here. The envelopes, four inches high when stacked, amount to a time capsule, for the ensuing years brought change. Seventy-two years ago stamps were 3 cents. ZIP codes? No such thing. Airmail was getting to be a big thing. New words brought home the realities of modern war, “buzz bombs,” the nickname given Nazi Germany’s V-1 rocket bomb, heralded the advent of death-delivering missiles.

    Times were treacherous. Some freedoms were suspended with good reason. An envelope from Charles’s brother carries a circular blue stamp. “Passed By Naval Censors.”

    To hold Private Charles Blakey’s letters is to hold history. At the time they were written, small farms dominated the South and folks still chopped cotton. People regularly wrote letters. They corresponded, something few do today.

    I sorted through the correspondence and selected passages that convey things that mattered back then. The passages provide a sense as to what concerned people in 1944. Then as now, it was daily life, work, health, weather, the safety of loved ones, fun, gossip, romance, and family.

    Let’s return to 1944, the sixth year of the seven-year global war. February 8, Charles wrote a letter to his mother from North Camp Hood Texas with a simple request. “Send coat hangers.” He had lost his while in sick bay. He needed them for his uniforms.

    His dad wrote February 13, 1944. “My Dear Charles … Received three letters from you at once the other day. Intended writing you right back but I am trying to get you out to help me farm. Had some papers fixed up and got to have some more fixed. I did just what the Red Cross lady said for me to do. They say that I can get you out but I don’t have much hope of it, although it could be possible.” After some talk about sawmilling, getting up the hay, and the death of Uncle Will Walker, Charles’s dad writes, “I am glad your money lasted until you got paid off. Don’t worry about me trying to get you out. It will just be luck.”

    Brother Roy Blakey Jr., who was in the Navy, wrote Charles, postmarked March 28, 1944, a Tuesday, “I asked you in one of my letters if that Smalley boy is with you. How many boys that you knew are with you. You never mentioned who went from Wilkes County.”

    Later Roy refers to his and Charles’s anxious parents. “Yes, I know that mama and those worry about me. I have told them thousands of time that I am and will be all right. No need to worry about me. I am well and I write often so why worry? I’m looking forward more and more each day that we both may return home and everything will be as it was before. I can’t say I like the Navy but I like it better than I do the Army. Why didn’t you join the Navy? I didn’t even know that you were being drafted.” Roy closes with a good-natured admonition. “Be good for mom and dad’s sake.”

    March 27, 1944, Aunt Mattie writes Charles. “The Grand Ole Opry will come to Washington tonight but we won’t go. I can’t leave Thelma now.” She continued, “Old Bunk Aycock stole him a car in S.C. Saturday. Come riding home and in about five minutes the state patrol rode in behind him and caught him. So now he’s locked in the Washington jail house where he belongs.”

    Later Aunt Mattie writes about the war in Europe. “I haven’t heard from Buddy in a long time. I am worried about him for the old Germans are playing the wild, bombing London and places close around. They bombed it three times last week. I mean bombed it hard, too, so the newsman said. Churchill made a speech Tuesday P.M. but was so much static, we couldn’t hear him.”

    March 3, 1944, Private Blakey wrote his dad on United States Army letterhead. One sentence jumps out. “We have to get up in the morning at four and go out on the rifle range.”

    A day later Charles’s Aunt Mattie wrote him a letter about his helping out on the farm. “Well, it has rained so much until nobody has plowed any yet so you see if you were at home you wouldn’t have anything to do, but, oh my, after while when the grass starts growing.” Later, she turned her attention to his girlfriend. “I know your girl is sweet. I haven’t seen her but I heard Leila say she was pretty. You are more homesick to see your girl than anyone else I bet. Maybe she will wait for you. Maybe she won’t do you like Cooter’s girl is doing him. I hope Cooter will find him another girl.”

    Next, she turns to war and a boy who was stationed near London. “I sure will be glad when this war is over. I feel like my worries will be over then. I sure have worried about Buddy lately, for the old Germans have bombed London lots in the last few weeks.”

    Before closing, Aunt Mattie wrote a sentence that caught this writer’s eye. She mentioned my mother and one-time neighbor, Lois. “Wish you could be here this weekend for Lois Bolton is coming home with Leila, also Mary Strother and Ruth Walker. I can’t find a boy apiece for them for there isn’t [sic] any boys around here now.”

    “War Letters, Part I,” closes with words from brother Roy Blakey Jr., a man who would become a Georgia State Patrolmen. His May 31, 1944 airmailed letter, written on Navy letterhead parchment, talks about his trip home to Danburg. “I arrived here Friday night. Had a tiresome and lonely ride. Everything around here is dull and lonesome as can be. Just about all I can do is to go to see Edna. I don’t know what I will do during my stay here. Nothing much.”

    Roy goes on to express either a bit of frustration or his reluctance to discuss war matters. “I have two campaign bars for the American Theater of War and the Pacific. Also two stars for two major battles. No one around here knows what they are all about.”

    As we see, life’s concerns three-quarters of a century ago were not that different from today’s. As the old cliché goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Save

    Save

    Save

    Save

    ###
    • Click to read War Letters, Part II.   Image: the feature image, "War Letters," is a photo by Tom Poland.

    Tom Poland

    Tom Poland, A Southern WriterTom Poland is the author of twelve books and more than 1,000 magazine features. A Southern writer, his work has appeared in magazines throughout the South. Tom grew up in Lincoln County, Georgia, where four wonderful English teachers gave him a love for language. People first came to know Tom’s work in South Carolina Wildlife magazine, where he wrote features and served as managing editor.Tom’s written over 1,000 columns and features and seven traditionally published books. Among his recent books are Classic Carolina Road Trips From Columbia, Georgialina, A Southland, As We Knew It, and his and Robert Clark’s latest volume of Reflections of South Carolina. Swamp Gravy, Georgia’s Official Folk Life Drama, staged his play, Solid Ground in 2011 and 2012.He writes a weekly column for newspapers and journals in Georgia and South Carolina about the South, its people, traditions, lifestyle, and changing culture and speaks often to groups across South Carolina and Georgia.Tom earned a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Media at the University of Georgia. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina where he writes about Georgialina—his name for eastern Georgia and South Carolina. Visit my website at www.tompoland.net Email me at tompol@earthlink.net

     

    Print Friendly

     

    • Ernest

      Tom, where and when will this be shown on tv?
      thanks

      • Wouldn’t that be nice. I’ll have a sequel to this soon.

    • Linda

      I love Aunt Mattie’s tidbit about “Old Bunk Aycock.” It’s a short story in just three sentences!
      Another good essay, Tom.

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Please subscribe to our free Dewsletter

    To subscribe to our Dewsletter (it's free), just enter your email address and click Subscribe. You will be sent an email requiring you to confirm your email address (protects us both from spammers).

    A note on privacy: We respect your privacy and will never sell your information or pass them onto any third parties without your permission to do so. You may also unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time simply by using the link provided in our email communications (bottom of each email). For our complete privacy policy, click here.



  • Please Help Support the Dew

  • %d bloggers like this: