Archive for November 11th, 2008

From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
A.P.O. 655 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York
To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho

England, Letter Number Twelve

My Darling Wife,

I hope and pray that you are well and happy.  If things went according to your schedule, the baby was born four days ago.  It is good that I simply have had no time to walk the floor and worry as other expectant fathers do because my wait is so much longer.  The most important message I await is that you are all right.  Then of course, as the the traditional proud father I want to know of our wonderful offspring.  You dominate all my thoughts.  I sincerely wish I could tell you how much I love you.  I hope so desperately that this war will soon end so that I can return to my beautiful family and be the kind of husband and father I want to be.  Know always of my desires and I love you so deeply.  I shall write again soon and try to do more justice to the feelings of my heart and mind.  I’ll say goodbye for now to the most beautifully perfect wife in the world.  Take care of yourself always.

Your wandering husband, Dewain.

This short letter is the first one in my binder, is written on a form that says “V ···—MAIL U.S. Government Printing Office: 1942 * 16-28143-4.”  Because the baby’s birth is pending, I’m dating this letter in December, 1944.

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Some thoughts as I begin

I’m going to start typing the letters in the order they appear in my binders.  I think there may be some that aren’t dated . . . hopefully context will sort itself out as we get going.  My plan is to categorize these by dates as well as I can.  I can’t guarantee that I’m going to type a letter that is answered by the next one . . . that may not be possible.  I saw one note from my grandfather who said he had 25 letters to answer from my grandmother, and just as he was sitting down to start writing, a chatty major came in, and my grandfather had to wait to answer until later.  I don’t know what we’ll discover as we go on this journey because I haven’t read through all of these letters yet.  That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to type them up, just so I’d get to read through them.

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It just came to me today how to do something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.  For Christmas several years ago, Melanie made copies of letters my paternal grandparents, Dewain Silvester and Zola Rudd Silvester, wrote while my grandfather was away during World War II.  These letters encompass the time when my father, Richard Dewain Silvester, was born.  I’ve wanted to type these letters and share them with others.  It’s been a bit of a daunting and overwhelming task, but if I break it down into a single letter per entry, I can work on it during quiet times around my home.

Please excuse my typographical errors and my legibility errors (some of the photocopied handwriting is hard to read – I’m sure I’ll get better with practice).  Also, if you have any additional stories of my grandparents that you’d like to share, please let me know.  I would love photos, stories, experiences and more.  These are two of my favorite people that I’ve ever known, and I want share their memories and experiences with others.

Some quick vitals:

Dewain Silvester, born 16 July 1921 in Rexburg, Idaho; married 3 April 1943, Riverside, California; died 10 October 2001 in Rexburg, Idaho.

Zola Rudd Silvester, born 5 August 1921 in Parker, Idaho; died 3 October 1995 in Ammon, Idaho

Richard Dewain Silvester, born 22 December 1944 in St. Anthony, Idaho; still living (hooray for my dad!)

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