Letter to Wilfred R. Franson
1505 South Broadway
Dear Bill —
Four letters from you today. Four! Bill, you're wonderful.
The room at no. 1 Rutledge [in Charleston] sounds nice. A room will do us very well until we find something bigger. I suppose the defense apartments are all unfurnished. Is the room in a house or an apt? Of course, the best part of town would have to be the farthest from the field. [Charleston Army Air Field.] I've been looking at the map, but I can't find any ocean. It seems to be mostly rivers. Isn't Charleston on the coast? What is the population?
I wonder who these Myers people are. I used to know several families by that name.
Today in the PX [Post Exchange store and services] a soldier came up to me. It was a former student of mine in junior high school in West Allis [Wisconsin]. He's been at Chanute for over a year.
No, I haven't seen any movies since the one we went to. I enjoy them a lot, but I can get along without them, too.
You fairly wax eloquent about picturesque Charleston. The Chamber of Commerce ought to put you on the payroll. But why do these charming Southern places have to be so dirty and buggy?
I was afraid that airmail would be no faster, because I looked up the route on the map at the post office, and it seems roundabout.
Mother sent me a book, so I'm going to read in bed if I can keep awake. Got up at 3:30 A.M. No seat on the bus. Fortunately, this afternoon the bus stopped. [When busses are packed with passengers, they may skip some of their stops.] I was worried about getting back to town, it being Saturday, and the day after payday. Of course, I had to stand.
The weather is perfect. Just like spring.
I miss you, honey.
Your ever-loving wife,
Wilfred R. Franson and Vera Howe Franson met at the beginning of 1944 in an airplane hangar at Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois; and married 25 February 1944 at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Among other common interests, both had been hobbyist small-plane pilots before World War II, and each had been a member of a small club which owned a plane: Bill in Oregon, and Vera in Wisconsin.
At the time of this letter, Bill is a U.S. Army Air Force instructor in celestial navigation for pilots, recently reassigned to Charleston, South Carolina. Vera is a civilian instructor in celestial navigation for Army pilots in the ground school at Chanute Field.
Bill has only a rented room in Charleston, versus the current apartment Vera still has in Urbana.