Dear William

18th June 1934,

Dear William,

                I do hope this letter finds you, and finds you well. I’ve directed it to your Mother’s home as your last letter did not give your address where you are and I’m sure you’ll find your way there before too long. It seems an age since you headed east last fall and we hope you can find a way to be home before too long.

                Thank you for the money you sent with your last letter. As you’d probably expect it didn’t last very long. The children are doing their best to help out, Jennifer and Susan have been helping Mrs Wallace with some sewing and housekeeping which brings in a few coins each week and young Billy is working the sawmill. I know he should be at school but he’s 14 now and needs to be paying his way. He fixed a leaky roof for the neighbors last week too and brought home a chicken for his trouble. They couldn’t pay him with money but the bird lasted us three dinners.

                I do wish you’d come home Bill, I know you’re looking for work, but so is everyone else. I just think if we’re going to be cold and hungry it’s better for us to be so together. You’re so much better with the boy than I am. He’s working hard and Mr Sanders likes him, it’s just when he has nothing to occupy him he always finds trouble. Goodness Bill he came home with the police on Saturday night after fighting in the town. I’m not sure if I can cope with him if you’re not around. Bloody noses I can clean but he’s getting big enough to really hurt someone.

                Do you remember old Mr Mercer who had that old cabin up in the woods my brother helped build? He passed a couple of weeks ago. I went to the funeral and do you know how many turned out to pay their respects? Three. Me, Mrs Wallace and the Pastor. Three people after he spent his life around this town, I won’t hesitate to tell you I was appalled. They buried him with his wife and son. I don’t know why I’m telling you all this but I thought you’d want to know.

                Just yesterday the Jefferson’s left town. They packed everything up into that old truck of theirs and headed for California. The towns emptying out William, folks heading east like you or west like the Jefferson’s, three families have headed for New Orleans, some hope for new deal work rebuilding the levees. There’s talk of some work coming here soon, up in the woods. I know every man and boy will want it but it’s something at least. Billy reckons it’ll bring more work to sawmill so you might get your old job back? Anyways, we just want you home. We’re grateful for the money you send but we’d sooner have you here.

                I wonder if you’re missing me as I miss you. I’m sure it’s difficult being so far from home and your family. Please write as often as you can, even if you can’t spare any money, please just write. The girls enjoy reading their Daddy’s letters as do I. I have just enough money to post this, and Billy gets paid tomorrow so please do not worry, just stay safe and come home when you can.

As always, your loving and faithful Wife

Jenny

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6 thoughts on “Dear William”

  1. I thought this was a letter written in the time of the great depression, and your tag confirmed it. Great job creating a time and space that the reader could understand without telling them outright that this was historical fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

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