Monday, October 22, 2018

May 22, 1944: Happy 24th Birthday Opa

Letter from Opa to Grandmother


Manhattan, Kansas
May 22, 1944

Hi Monkeytail,

Since your name was not mentioned in the news tonight, I assume that you arrived home safely and without major accidents. I also assume that you sat right down and wrote me a letter, maybe?

Do you know what the mailman brought me this morning? He brought me a blue-white card with a sailboat on the outside and an anchor and the nicest birthday greetings on the inside! Thanks, honey, that was such a pretty card!

I was glad you folks could stay at least for the forenoon, so we had breakfast together, if for no other reason than to keep our old tradition. Hubert and I had dinner at Zimmermans'; somehow we managed to keep out of the way and sight of the Old Devil. I worked in the afternoon, and at night, Eilleen, Hubert and I dined at the Wareham and went to about the dumbest show I ever saw: Sahara, at the Carlton. We had a fine time anyhow, though; the only thing that was lacking was you.

Well, I believe the ball is rolling. Miss Derby received a letter from the Army Service Forces, in which she was requested to give some detailed information concerning me, and whether she considered it dangerous to the Allied cause if I were employed in work of importance to the war effort. The two-page questionnaire was filled out right away and should arrive in Topeka early next morning. It may still take quite a while, but at least I know now that something is being done.

How did Euphrosine survive the trip? I just could not find a second of rest, so much I worried about the poor little bisexual creature. I know how much it would mean, especially to your mother, if your beloved zoo would pass away. Did you take him (her?) out of the cage and gave her (him?) the necessary exercise? And how about vitamins A to Z? Did he (she?) get them? Oh please, get me out of these suspenders and tell me!! How about those mice your mother promised to get for you? Are they good chums of Euphrosine by now?

Hubert is leaving this morning at 9:45. We shall make a big night of it and I guess I'll be pretty tired after this last week, but I shall have plenty of time to rest now; only eight hours of work and no gal to take out (maybe).

Even the greatest of mind finish their letters somewhere.



May 22, 1944 is Opa's 24th birthday. He's been away from home now for 6 birthdays, spending his 18th birthday at home in Berlin just before he left for Holland. He's had five birthdays in the US. Does it now feel normal, or does he imagine what his mother would be doing if she were near? He hasn't heard from her since she last wrote him on November 18, 1943. She has been in Theresienstadt Concentration camp now for four months. I imagine she knows the day is her son's birthday and celebrates in her own way- mentally making note of her love for him.

Opa's mind (at least in this letter) seems focused very much in the present. His fiance has left school for home, not without remembering to send him a nice birthday card. He is working his library job and looking for a full time job post-graduation. The questionnaire from the Army seems to be a step in the right direction; if he wants to work as an engineer, there is a good chance he'll be working on something that benefits the Allied war effort. Opa's funny little jab about Grandmother's "pet" Euphrosine is likely a jab at her fear of mice. Perhaps he joked that a mouse would be following her? No idea- but Grandmother, for as long as I knew her- was deeply afraid of mice. In fact, she had a friend with whom she shared a funny long-running joke. The friend hated birds, and Grandmother hated mice- so all of their correspondence with each other would be on notecards or postcards or even stamps with the offending creature on it. Cracks me up.

Because my husband is funny and feels I should fully immerse in this project, we now own the movie, Sahara. I watched it to see if Opa's assessment of this "dumbest" movie was accurate... it's actually not that bad of a movie. I'm not sure why Opa had such a strong reaction to it. It's pretty typical of most war movies made in the US: an American is brave and the Nazis are evil. There are stereotypes, but I'm not sure if by those standards any movies breached the mold. I don't know why he found it so dumb.

Even the greatest of mind finish their blogs somewhere.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

May 17 & 20, 1944: Staying in the US

Letter from INS back to Opa


Immigration and Naturalization Service
70 Columbus Avenue
New York 33, N.Y.

May 17, 1944

Mr. Thomas Walter Doeppner
1011 Moro Street
Manhattan, Kansas

Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of May 7th, I suggest that you forward to this office a letter setting forth what you expect to do after your studies are completed at the end of this month. Consideration will then be given to change your status from that of a student to that of a temporary visitor until such time as you have been admitted for permanent residence.

In another letter you will be given information regarding preexamination.

Very truly yours,

W.F. Watkins
District Director
New York District

By: Helen Herckt
Chief, Status Section

Another letter from INS to Opa


Immigration and Naturalization Service
70 Columbus Avenue
New York 23, N.Y.
May 20, 1944.

Mr. Thomas Walter Doeppner
1011 Moro Street
Manhattan, Kansas

Dear Sir:

In accordance with request contained in your letter of May 7, 1944, there are transmitted herewith Immigration and Naturalization Forms I-55 and I-155, General Information and Application for Preexamination forms respectively.

These forms should be carefully executed by you, and when fully completed should be forwarded, in duplicate, to the Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Preexamination Unit, Philadelphia 2, Pa., 1500 Chestnut St., and in due course you will receive advice as to the action taken.

It is suggested that you write to the Visa Division, Department of State, Washington, D.C., and request sufficient copies of Form BC to enable you to apply for advisory approval for the issuance of an immigration visa. Simultaneously you should write to the American Consul in Canada, to whom you propose making formal application for a visa, and inquire what documents should be submitted to the Consul prior to your appearance there to file formal application.

When you are in receipt of a letter from the American Consul in Canada that the documents submitted by you have been examined and found to be satisfactory, and that a visa will issue to you within ten days of your personal appearance at the Consulate, send a copy of that letter, as well as a copy of the letter received from the Department of State granting advisory approval, to the Commissioner at the address given above, and request that preexamination be authorized at one of our offices nearest to your home. You should also furnish him with information as to your proposed method of travel to Canada and intended port of entry to that country and request that special permission be obtained for your entry into Canada.

When our Central Office at Philadelphia, Pa., inform you that preexamination has been authorized in your case, and that special permission has been obtained from the Canadian Government for you to enter Canada, please communicate with our office nearest your home where preexamination has been authorized, and a date will be set for your preexamination hearing.

Very truly yours,

District Director, New York District
Patrick King, Supervisor, for Chief of Entry, Departure and Travel Control Section.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: the first letter was written out by Helen Herckt on behalf of Watkins. She is clear and concise. The second letter was written out by Patrick King on behalf of Watkins, he needs to take lessons from Helen. Patrick is the ultimate government wordsmith, but it is not helpful to anyone. Whew those long sentences and long words! 

Back to the letters: it looks like Opa has some real possibility of staying in the country legally and finding a way to become a citizen! First, he has to get a visitor's visa (because his student visa is set to expire), which should hopefully hold him off until he can get the complicated process of re-entering the US from Canada on an immigration visa. That process is very complicated (still is), but Opa has a ray of sunshine in the idea that the visitor visa could hold him until he gets through it. 

There is nothing in either letter that indicates that Opa should be concerned about not being able to stay in the United States. Even through all the garbled words, there is hope and a confidence that this process will see Opa to the path of citizenship.

I bet that lifted a huge load off of Opa's shoulders. Right now, everything feels hopeful: he's engaged, he's about to graduate, he's looking for jobs, the big D-Day invasion is about happen- hopefully facilitating the end of the war. The light is at the end of the tunnel. All Opa needed to know is that for now, he can stay in the US. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

May 14, 1944: Signs of the Apocalypse

Article by Opa in the Manhattan, Kansas Newspaper: The Mercury Chronicle


D-Day Awaits a New Blow By the Russians

By Thomas W. Doeppner

Two days ago, the Allies launched their big offensive in Italy. It is the fourth major offensive so far in that sector; the first one came when the invasion of Italy had just started; the second one at the time of the establishment of the Anzio beach-head, and the third one in concurrence with the obliteration bombing of Cassino. These three have been only partially successful; did not gain any strategic territory beyond Cassino.

The latest offensive so far has made slow, but constant progress. About two miles of rugged mountain terrain have been gained, and the Germans are becoming jittery, not knowing what connection this offensive has with the upcoming invasion.

Rome First

All along, Britain's military circles held that the capture of Rome should precede the invasion of the continent because of the tremendous amount of prestige this would give to the Allies. U.S. opinion was centered on the idea that Rome is strategically rather unimportant and that the advantages to be gained from this capture would not balance the great losses in manpower which the capture would involve.

It seems probable that the offensive in Italy has been started in conjunction with the invasion, as one of the preliminary actions and diversion movements which is designed to extract another four or five divisions from the invasion coasts.

As such, the offensive does not necessitate culmination immediately or in the near future in the capture of Rome, but it would mean that invasion is not more than two or three weeks at the utmost from being staged.

Await Russian Blow

In connection with this Italian move, it is interesting to recall a statement made by Soviet Foreign Commissar Molotov, just about a week ago. Molotov prophesied that invasion, when started, will be accompanied "by strong and largely increased activity on the existing Allied fronts in the east and south..." The increased action in the south has come about. It now means to await a new Russian blow, which usually does not take any time for the Russians. Russia's recent success in the Crimea involved hard fighting so that the Russians are not taking a little time out for the re-concentration of their forces. It seems apparent, though, that Russia will not hesitate long to fulfill Molotov's promise, and then the time for D-day will have definitely come.

The invasion approaches, and no one can think or talk about anything else. Things are happening along all the fronts, with Germans watching every corner and anxiously waiting for the big invasion. 

I feel a little bit like the whole world is under an apocalyptic spell, looking for signs that tell them the end of the world is here. Perhaps what the apocalypse brings depends on who is watching. The Allies see freedom, an end to the war, and hope for a Western/Democratic-controlled Europe (with the exception, of course, of Russia). 

Signs start popping up: the Italian front sees a little activity. Though the Allies seem to disagree on the goal (to get Rome, or not, I agree with the US)- there is movement in the South. 

Opa wrote that the Russian, Molotov, "prophesied" that there would be movement on all fronts when the big invasion from the west came. I don't think prophecy is the word if it's a plan. However, the world averts its eyes from the south to look East and see when the Russians start moving. The minute the Russians regroup and forge ahead, they'll know the time has come for D-Day. 

What are the Germans doing? Are they scared or confident? Do they have their own secret plan or is the plan just to hold ground? Are they sure they can hold off the enemy at every front? This is how you lose a war- by making enemies all around you. That's what the Allies are hoping anyway, and they'll even pretend to like the Russians for a little bit to make it work.

Friday, October 12, 2018

April 28 & May 7, 1944: Expiring Visa

Letter from INS to Opa


Immigration and Naturalization Service
70 Columbus Avenue
New York, 23, N.Y.

In replying please refer 
to file 99503/254 ST
Dear Sir:

The records of this Service show that the time for which you were admitted to the United States temporarily as a non quota immigrant student will expire 6/30/44. If you are going to continue your studies beyond that period, the enclosed application for extension of stay (Form I-535) should be completed in every detail and returned to this office. Your passport or other travel document valid at least to the date to which you seek an extension must accompany the application.

A male noncitizen person within the registration age who is in the United States for more than three months must register for Selective Service unless within three months he has filed with his local draft board an Alien's Application for Determination of Residence, Form 302, and be issued an Alien's Certificate of Nonresidence, Form 303.

If you have completed your studies or expect to do so before the period of your present stay expires and you plan to leave the United States, it is requested that this letter be delivered to an officer of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the port of departure. Unless you are a citizen of one of the independent countries of the Western Hemisphere, Canada or Newfoundland, or are a British or Netherlands subject domiciled or stationed in the Western Hemisphere departing to a destination in the Western Hemisphere, it will be necessary for you to obtain a permit to depart from the Department of State at Washington. You should also consult your local Selective Service Board regarding the possible necessity for obtaining permission to leave the United States.

If you leave the United States and thereafter desire to return, it will be necessary for you to have in your possession an appropriate visa obtained from a United States consular officer and a valid passport.

Very truly yours,

W. F. Watkins
District Director, New York District

Helen Herckt
Chief, Status Section

Letter from Opa to INS


Miss Helen Herckt
Chief, Status Section
U.S. Immigration and 
Naturalization Service
70 Columbus Ave.
New York 23, N.Y.

99503/254 ST NIU
Dear Miss Herckt:

I received your letter of April 28, 1944, concerning my stay as a non quota student. My studies will be over on May 21, 1944, at which time I shall receive my B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering at Kansas State College. For this reason, I shall no longer be eligible for an extension of my student visa.

Due to war conditions, I am unable to leave the United States at present. Also, more than four years of residence in this country have made me realize that I cannot conceive of a higher goal than to become a citizen of this country. I understand that the ordinary procedure to obtain citizenship would be for me to leave the United States and reenter as an immigrant. Since this is not possible at present,  would appreciate if you will send me application blanks for the pre-examination of my case.

Also, what steps should I take to obtain a legal permit to bridge over the time from the expiration of my present permit (i.e. June 30, 1944) until a decision has been reached in my pre-examination case?

I shall appreciate any advice you can give me.

Very truly yours,

Thomas Walter Doeppner.

I'm always surprised at the short notice that Opa is given when his visa is about to expire. Luckily he has had a fairly quiet time with the INS for a while. 

I don't know if June 30, 1944 was looming in Opa's mind as a date upon which he had to do something, or if he was a little taken aback to get this letter and deadline. My heart kinda skipped a beat when I saw the word "expire." This letter from the INS was very confusing. I have no idea how people navigated this paperwork (then and now) without fluency in English, multiple degrees, and experience in government work. 

From what I could gather, Opa has a handful of options. He can further his studies and extend his student visa. He can go home, if home is in the Western Hemisphere (really, northwestern). He can leave and then come back as a bona fide immigrant (with a quote from a US consulate in a foreign country). 

Then the options get more muddy. He also might need to sign up for conscription with the United States. This part confused me a bit. How is it that a non-citizen visiting for 3 months or more could be drafted into the US military? But that's what it looked like, in fact, it looks like all eligible men have to sign in. There was another option about a certificate of an Alien but I have no idea what that meant. I'm sure someone smarter than I am can decipher.

Opa completely ignored that paragraph altogether. He wrote back to the INS and stated simply that with the war going on, there was no way he could leave America. He cleverly left out his country of origin, and the fact that he no longer had valid travel papers. His German passport was destroyed and his Holland Identification certificate long expired. Opa announced that he would graduate with a BS in Electrical Engineering and had no further education plans, so a student visa was not a viable option. He then declared his love for the United States and wrote that he wanted to become a citizen.

Part of becoming a citizen is coming to the United States as an immigrant (not a visitor or on a special visa like the one he had). The only way Opa could come to the United States as an immigrant was to leave and then come back. Magic happens when you step over the border. All of a sudden, you are a new person when you come back with a different sheet of paper. The problem was he had no country to walk into, and no hope of getting that beautiful piece of paper that would allow him back in. The refugee crisis was temporarily at a standstill, as the war prevented pretty much all movement across borders, particularly enemy lines. I'm not sure if this would have maybe been an opportune time for Opa to apply for an immigration visa. The problem of "where are you from?" is still there, though. Part of the process of leaving the country and coming back as an immigrant interested in citizenship, was that you could get your case pre-examined. Kind of like a pre-approval, but less solid. 

Honestly, I think Opa was trying to buy time. He didn't know when the war would end, what his status would be after the war, and how the rules would change. He might have hoped to buy some time until he got a job, when he might be able to apply for some form of a work visa. 

In all of this, I can't help but wonder, where was Grandmother in this? Did she know that Opa's residency in America hung by a flimsy thread? Did Opa have a plan that he shared with her? Did they know how this was all going to work out? Did Grandmother ever for a minute think she might have to leave the United States to follow her German husband? Or did Opa keep it all hush-hush until he had a plan? 

I have no idea. I know that this INS path is not predictable. I wonder how scared they were about it.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

April 27 & 28, 1944: Elaine Disapproves

Letter from Opa to Grandmother


Margie, dear,

I called Brewster today; he gives you his regards and wants you to get better; and I know some other people who do too. I tried to get your paper today, but your mail box was empty. I assume that the girls got your mail for you.

Do you want me to write to your folks again? I think, though, that you may be able to leave Monday, at least that's what the nurse told me.

This is the first day of nice spring weather; it is going to really clear up for the time you get out. Now don't take a notion to get sicker, for I won't stand for it!

You certainly have a great number of friends on the hill; everybody is inquiring about you. Miss Roberts especially is very concerned.

Tomorrow night, we were invited at Wallen's for dinner before our German lesson. Well, I'll go without you. I know how hard it is for you to skip a German lesson.

Be good and GET OUT!!


Letter from Opa to Grandmother



You did pick a bad time for your measles; I just received a wire from Winton saying he will be here tomorrow. I don't know how long he is going to stay, but I don't think it will be more than till Sunday.

This morning, I got scared to death. The Student Health Dept. sent me a notice to come up. I went, expecting to have my temperature taken every morning at half past seven, like Herb had to when I had the measles. It was only a report on my x-ray picture, though, which shows that I may have a chance to live another week or two. My heart, according to the radiologist, is rather small. It didn't use to be; I wonder where the rest of it went??

In that Strength quiz we took yesterday, I got a 95. 5 points were taken off for a question I asked him during the quiz. I am going to shoot that son-of-a-(censored).

Up at the Student Health Dept. I had a nice chat with Dora Lee. She thought she was going to have the measles too, and went up to the doctor all equipped with pinochle cards. I am glad she didn't get them, though, for if she had, you two would never have gotten out of that room.

Helen congratulated me yesterday rather nicely. Elaine Hershey, ordinarily so super-duper friendly, hardly looked at me, though. She is the first one I encountered who did not appear to approve. Well, I agree, we should have asked her consent first. Ruth Achelpohl called me the "guilty victim."

Tonight, I'll go to the Wallens for supper, so I may not be able to come up. If I should, it would be around 5:30, but don't look too much for me.

I wrote a note to Miss Harman. Do you want me to write to your mother?



I believe these notes were passed to Grandmother through the nurses to her confinement. I'm not sure if she's allowed visitors yet, but it does seem that Opa has found a way to visit within the rules of her measles containment. 

Opa keeps Grandmother up-to-date with the weather and general daily activity. She's missing a visit from their old friend Winston, and the first days of spring. He is ready for her to join him, but doesn't miss an opportunity to tease her at a distance. He jokes that she would "hate" to miss a German class, and I remember that she said to us that she never could pick up the German language. A linguist she was not. 

I loved Opa's response to Elaine's disapproval: "I agree, we should have asked her consent first." Sarcasm is a family trait for me I guess. 

Opa keeps asking Grandmother if he should write her folks. I imagine he's trying to balance himself between aloof and too much. He wants them to approve of him, but he may have to hang back and give them a little time to adjust. Do they know that they are engaged?? Who knows what Grandmother is writing or doing in the measles contained room.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

April 25, 1944: D-Day Bets

Article in Manhattan, Kansas Newspaper: Mercury Chronicle by Opa


Reporters In Washington Fill Jackpot With Bets on D-Day

Editor's Note:

By Thomas W. Doeppner

Reporters in Washington are engaged in a bet. Each set a day on which, according to him, the invasion will start, and each put a dollar in the jackpot. The one who hits the D-Day on the dot, will receive this jackpot. The way things have been stacking up these last days, it seems as though the winner will be known very soon.

The chances are better than 50-50 that the invasion will start within six to eight weeks at the utmost. There are several reasons for this assumption.

England's restriction of foreign diplomats was a step far more unique and far more radical than many people believe. The freedom which the diplomats enjoyed so far was decided upon during the Congress of Vienna in 1815, at which European powers set rules of international and diplomatic procedure which are kept to this very day.

The freedom of diplomats to send code messages to there government and to travel about as they see fit was one of these rules which has never been broken since by any of the powers participating in that Congress. The fact that England deemed it necessary to break that rule indicates that some very important and secret movements are going on at the present.

Russia Now Silent

Another indication that invasion is just around the corner is the fact that Russia, finally, has become silent about a second front. It is certain that Russia would never have given up demanding one, and also that Russia, even though knowing that invasion will come sometime, insisted that it come immediately. Apparently, Russia is now fully informed as to the time of invasion, and seems to be satisfied with that time. If Russia is satisfied, it will start very soon. These weeks will mark the beginning of decent weather, if not for Kansas, for the Channel and the entire western European coast. Last of April and first of May, storms become rather scarce, and spells of good weather last for a fairly-long period of time. The chances are that no definite day has been set for the invasion, but that it is scheduled to occur at the tie of most favorable weather conditions within a certain number of days or weeks. 

Prestige Enters Picture

Prestige enters into the picture, too. For over a year now, occupied people of Europe have been looking forward to this spring. Rumors had it for a while that the invasion would start in February, but it didn't. If the Allies should, for some reason, have to postpone the invasion again, it will definitely hurt their prestige on the occupied continent. This is a rather important factor, because the aid of these people is definitely being counted upon.

It is possible that, once the invasion has started, the Allies may force a breakthrough at their first major offensive, and finish the war in a hurry. This, however, is very improbable. Even the more optimistic...

(Sorry- the rest of the article is cut off.)

I just realized that I never knew what the "D" in D-Day stood for. Turns out it's just a military way of numbering the days before, on, and after a major event happens. So "D" = Day. D (-1)-Day is the day before, D1-Day, the day of, and so on. This seems weird- but it works for them. The first Day of the Big Day, that's what the reporters are betting on. That's the day that the occupied countries are waiting on. That's the day that Russia has been asking for (as they fight on the Eastern front on their own). D-Day is looming, and there is more speculating than ever. 

Things are becoming eerie, the diplomats are no longer allowed to move freely. The Russians have been uncharacteristically pacified. The weather is clearing. The world is waiting.

I thought about who is waiting. Do the people in the camps have any wind of this news? Are newcomers able to bring any hints to the possibility of a break in their nightmare? Are the people of the underground movements detecting a change in the air? Are they preparing for it, or is their business the same as usual in their resistance? 

Is hope rising? 

Opa talks about prestige, as if the occupied countries care about prestige. I think it may just be a poor choice of words. But like the Polish underground who don't care if Russians or Unicorns come around fighting against the Nazis; the occupied people of Europe are anxiously waiting for their freedom, from occupation, but ultimately, from war. I can't imagine that they are concerned with the prestige and promises- they want effective action as soon as it can happen. 

I watched old reels of the preparation for D-Day on YouTube (isn't technology amazing?!), and the sheer volume of soldiers, ships, airpower, planning is astonishing. In the videos I see the English channel filled with massive ships (which have tanks inside!). I saw the jets, the blimps (had no idea they were still a thing), the smaller boats meant to run ashore, filled to the brim with soldiers like sardines in a tin can. 

I can't imagine the fear of the people preparing, sailing, flying on that day. Not only were they running towards the danger, but the entire world was watching. 

Reporters made a game of putting money in a pot for the right day, just like we make jokes when things get too serious. I knew, but I don't think I understood the extent to which this specific invasion was a make or break moment in the trajectory of the war. A failed invasion would be a massive blow to the Allied morale. It absolutely HAD to be successful.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

April 18-27, 1944: Happy Engage-Measles!

Letter From Opa to Grandmother, April 18, 1944




I'll start it. Whether or not I'll finish it, depends on the comparative frequency of library customers. So far, business has been extremely dull, with Art Pryor the only interesting visitor.

In the first place, I think you are advertising your preference for anything German just a little too much. Learning the German language is all right; so is going with a German; however, catching a German man and German measles the same day is just a little too obvious. Your close connection to the term German might be misinterpreted into membership to the Nazi spy ring. I suggest, therefore, that you at least get the German measles over with as fast as humanly -- or with other help -- possible.

I called  Mrs. Rog twice, without luck. Finally I got hold of Rog himself and had him carry the message down to Kappa Phi. I hope he delivered it all right.

Miss Roberts was everything but surprised, but she seemed very glad about it. I also told Art about it and gave hi the 5th cigar. He congratulated me and spent about ten minutes telling me what a nice girl you are. (How does he know so mc about you???!!!)

According to my calculations, computations, and measurements, you ought to be out of that institution by next Monday. If not, do not act surprised if I have my Fuehrer send a Messerschmidt over to bomb the entire building into the air and catch you on the rebounce.

It was a pity that we could not have a little more of a celebration for our engagement. We shall have make it up when you get out. So far, none of the times I gave you a ring have been any too romantic. Be careful you don't get the mumps on our wedding day!

Do you want me to call Brewster, or shall I take care of the kids next Sunday? There is probably no chance at all that you may be out by that time. Also, I would not want you to contaminate the twins, for they are supposed to be in tip-top shape for our wedding.

I assume you wrote to your folks about us. If you want me to write to them too, tell me. I ma even show you the letter before sending it. (May be.) Miss Roberts and I were discussing the question whether your parents would really be reconciled, or whether they just have given up hope for you entirely.

All right, you little monkey tail, get out of that prison as soon as you can, because I am getting just awfully lonesome.



Letter from Opa to Grandmother


April 19, 1944

My poor little sick honey,

The nurse told me you are feeling rather tough; what's the matter? German measles are supposed to be nothing but a good week's rest!

It sees as though the good news is spreading rather fast; I am getting congratulations from all over the campus. Rog came and talked to me for a while; he said he was especially glad that things turned out that way; he would like to talk to you when you get out.

Otherwise, nothing exciting is happening. I wrote a postal card to your mother, just told her about your being sick, though. You better write her yourself about the other news.

I shall try to see you through the window of your hospital room. I tried before this noon, but the nurse won't let me. Do you suppose I shall have to shoot them nurses?

Well, the is just a little bit of a letter. If more happens, I'll write more. If you want to know all of it, you've got to get out of that place.

I'm lonesome for you!



Article Announcing Engagements


Chocolates were passed at Kappa Phi meeting Tuesday night announcing the engagement of Marjorie Sloan and Thomas Doeppner.

Article Mentioning Students in the Hospital


8 Students Confined in College Hospital

Ada McDonald, freshman in the School of Home Economics and Nursing, was taken to the Park View Hospital Tuesday where she underwent an appendectomy. 
The eight students in the College Hospital this week are Glen Thomas, Mary Hodgson, Elizabeth Button, Doris Williams, Erlene Lipscomb, Mary Jagger, Marjorie Sloan and Floyd Beaver.

Article of Announcements in Engineer Publication, 
announcing Grandmother and Opa's engagement


After looking over the events of this semester, one is apt to say, "What is this electrical department coming to?" Now this is all with due reason, for the spring term saw the engagement of five of our best boys: Warren Rolf, Norman Graham, John Pollock, Darren Schneider, and Tom Doeppner all passed out cigars to their classmates. We all wish you fellows the grandest of luck and hope the years will smile on you as we know they will.

Opa and Grandmother are engaged! The word is spreading like wildfire across campus with chocolates and cigars being shared. The only ones not together in the celebration are.. Grandmother and Opa! Grandmother is locked away in confinement with the measles at the college Hospital. I'm super sure that the article listing the students in the hospital, including the medical procedure one had- is 100% a HIPPA violation. But I'm guessing HIPPA wasn't a thing then. (Short version: HIPPA = Medical Confidentiality.) 

Poor Grandmother! She's missing out on all the fun! 

Opa mentions Grandmother telling her parents, and the discussion he had with Miss Roberts (the librarian) about whether or not they will approve. So far Grandmother's parents have not been wild about Opa and his German-ness. For good reason. The country is fighting a whole bunch of them at this moment, they don't seem to be too nice from what people can read in the news, and Opa in particular doesn't even have a guarantee that he can stay in the United States. What if Grandmother follows him to Europe?! 

Opa lets Grandmother be in charge of contacting her parents... from the hospital. I wonder if word got to them through the grapevine anyway? Everyone on campus knows!

I think it's a little bit funny that Opa keeps writing to Grandmother as if she's on some spa trip. I know it's all tongue-in-cheek meant to cheer her up. It's a good thing she shared the same sense of humor. 

Oh Happy Engage-measles to the both of them!