Sunday, July 30, 2017

Jesse Joe's Letter

This week, I thought I would go back to revisit my first post and highlight the relationship between my grandparents. A few years ago, I was at my grandmother's house looking for writing samples to add to my family tree. I love seeing how different people write, and seeing signatures in particular. My grandmother showed me recipe cards her mother had written. She showed me letters between my great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. Then, she gave me a letter my grandfather had written her while he was away on duty for the Coast Guard.

He started writing on 13th of July 1987, and he writes a little bit at a time so that it ends 23 July 1987. He is traveling across the Atlantic Ocean during the trip headed towards Thule, Greenland (which he writes as Tule Greendland.) All spelling is as he wrote it, except that he writes in mostly all capital letters, and I capitalized as I saw necessary instead.
Photograph of letter and envelope, taken 2017
It was written on standard yellow notepaper. (I say "standard" because I always remember it being at the house growing up, but it is larger than your typical 8.5"x11" paper. It's even longer than A4 paper.) It is written in pencil (except for the LOVE YOU DEAN at the top of the first page which is written in a pen or marker), and it's four pages single-sided.

13 July 87 
Hey Dean, 
Well today is Monday evening, just a few lines to let you know how things are going. We are off New York about hundred miles or so, it has cool off nice now--when we departed Norfolk it was really hot. In my forward engine-room it was 127*F--the sea's have be flat, and a little foggy. Hope your operation will go ok for you. So far the engines are running fine. it was good to hear your voice Sat. befor we departed. How is David do-ing now? Throught I write you a little each day if I have time, and let you know what going on. Well untill later, miss you. 
It's now Thu. 16th. All this week it been really foggey. This morning is the first time it's been clear no fog. We are about 1 1/2 days behine our schedule due to operating slow in fog. Other than the fog the weather and sea's have been good. The temp is cooling off 50 and 60*F now. Well today you go to the doctor, I hope and pray everything will go well for you. Miss you alot Dean, I be so glad when you and I retire so we can be together and do all the thing we want to do together. How is the house floor support job coming along? So far all the engines and propulsion system's are operating good, no real problem's. I am go-ing to try to loose some weight this patrol if I can. I would sure like to get down to about 180 lbs. instead of 195 to 200 lbs. range. Sure wish I were back home, so I could do all the things I want to do. But I just have to wait. Well Dean, I write you more later on. Miss you and love you. 
Well, it's Saterday now, this morning the first iceberg was slicated. The sea's are picking up and it is raining. We got about 1,200 miles of open water untill we get to greed-land. My engines are operating good. Well that about all that is happening out hear. I hope and pray this letter will fine you doing ok. Sure wish I was back home instead of being out hear. There so much I want to do around the house, and be with you. I miss you alot's. As Brittany spend the night with you in our big bed? I bet she will be walking when I get back in Sept. We should be back sometime the first week of Sept. and are scheduled to go yard's for three month's Oct. and should be finish in the yards befor X-mas. Don't know where the yards will be, or what the ship will do after the yard's. Boy sure hope I can get the Gentian out of Ft. Macon Mar. 89. That would wipe my 30 years up. I sure going start putting the wheels in motion to get the Gential after the Northwind, I should be able to get it. How is David doing? I hope he got over his cold. Sure glad he got that state road job. Well Dean, don't know what all to say at this time, other than I love you and miss you. I write you tomorrow on Sunday. 
Hey Dean, it's Sunday evening, we are back operating in the fog real slow, it's raining out and it's getting colder in the 30's now and the rain is turning to ice on the deck's. Nice and warm in the engine-rooms. We are now schedule to get to Tule, next Sunday the 26th. There are alreadly two icebreaker up there from Canada. Really don't know why we are still going. If the Coast Guard alreadly got two icebreaker, other than to show the U.S. flag and say the North-wind made it to Tule Greedland. I hope it's asn't been too hot, like it was befor we departed on patrol. If I could send you some of this cold wether I would. Don't know what all to write about, other than to let you know I am thinking about you, and wish I was there with you. Sure do miss you a lots. I bet you have been staying busy around the house, cutting class, going to Jacksonville seeing my mama, taking your mama shoping, going to work in Morehead, ect. Try and take it easy some, and maybe take a weekend off and go see Frank and Fay, you need to get away some. Well Dean I close for now and write you more later on the week before we get to Tule, so you have a long letter from me. Miss you. 
Hello again, it's now Wednesday 22nd. We are operating real slow due to heave for and ice berg's. The temp. is in 30's & 40's. It now staying daylight almost 24 hrs aday. I been busy standing underway watches and doing paper work. The time seems to be going by petty fast. I know I be glad to get back home and see you. Then I got to drive my new truck some, sure have nice truck when I get that body put on. I miss you alots and think about us alots. Dean I love you. Well almost at end of this page, so I say buy for now. Write you a little more later. 
Hello again it's Tue 23th, we are schedule to get to Tule tomorrow evening or Saturday morning, and turn right around and escort a ship back out to sea. Then back to Tule and do it again. Hope we get mail call each time in Tule. Well Death as it now stand's will should be back in Wilmington Labor Day weekend sometime. But it don't look like we will have bery much time in our homeport, for we are schedule to be in the yard by 21st of Sept. and we won't know where the yard period will be untill first part of Sept. What little time we do have in our homeport should be maximum liberty time off. I talked to the EO today about taking 3 wk's off in October during the yard period, for I wanted to build another building. He said it should not be any problem taking leave in the yard's. So maybe Jr. and I can get started and have the foundation all done before the ship depart's for the yard's. Dean I sure will be glad when I can retire and stay home, and then when we want to go somewhere, we can do it together. Only 3 1/2 more year's. You think we can make it untill then? Looking forward of getting to Tule for mail call, and sending this letter. I hope everyone is doing ok, and thing's are going good for you. I know you have a lot on you. Dean take care of your-self, for I don't want anything to happen to you. Well Dean I close this letter for it's 4 pages long. And start another letter. Write when you have time, for as always getting mail from you makes my day brighter. 
Love always

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