In England, a mission is missed . . . .
Scratched from the mission and it turned out to be a milk run. Hated to miss it. Spent most of the day gambling. Repaid Goldberg £51 and Powers eight shillings2. Was paid, £9 yesterday3. Swell day out today. Almost like springing back home. Received a letter from Stocktons4 and a note from Bea Newton5 — Red Cross invitation to dance.
The Stocktons were Verne’s wife’s aunt and uncle. They were farmers who raised sugar beets, corn, alfalfa, wheat and barley. They also kept chickens, turkeys, guinea hens and peacocks, milked cows and raised pigs. They had two farm dogs, Queenie and Prince. The letter, a V-Mail, was written on January 18 – thirteen days earlier.
Just a few lines to let you know we are thinking of you every day and sure hope you come back with flying colors. Aileen & Allen were out here last nite and that Allen is getting cuter every day and we see [them] quite a bit and he sure is a fine boy. Chub6 is in the Army. They put him in the Inf. He had no choice and Bus7 will know in ten days whether he will have to go into the Army or Navy whatever they choose. I know we are going to have a hard time to get along them. Well we only can do so much and the rest will have to go undone so I expect some of the innocent will have to go hungry.8 Of course us farmers are going to have enough to eat cause we raise most of our food so don’t worry. We will see that Aileen & Allen will have plenty. Allen sure likes his milk. He sure [is] a real pal. Talks an awful lot about all the airplanes, his daddy and the trains too. Well Verne I hope this reaches you all O.K. and we wish you all the luck in the world.
Notes & Commentary
1 £5 = $20.15
2 8 shillings = $1.61
3 £9 = $36.27
4 Harold O. Stockton and Anna J. Stockton were farmers east of Longmont, Colorado.
5 Verne and the other members of his crew met Bea Newton in London on January 23 while on a pass with his crew mates. She worked for the Red Cross.
6 Chub or Chubby, Harold O. Stockton, Jr., was drafted into the Army. The war ended before he completed training; he never left Colorado.
7 Bus or Buster, Theron Raymond Stockton, never served in the military.
8 While Anna’s two sons contributed important help day-to-day on their farm, seasonal labor demands were being filled by Braceros, a special class of laborers from Mexico. These laborers took the place of native-born migrant laborers who were now in military service or who found employment in war-related industries.
“Bracero program,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bracero_program&oldid=638796665 : accessed 30 January 2015).