Tuesday, August 25, 2020

June 20, 1944: Charm

Letter from Opa to Grandmother, June 20, 1944.


USO                            Topeka,June 20


The U.S. Attorney was out somewhere, but I got along swell with his secretary. After 10 minutes, I had the permits for Dallas and Conway, both. I also found out the reason why I never received my permit to go to K.C.: They received the application too late. As far as they know, I never was at K.C. (The way I found out was by looking through my file while the secretary was out of the room.)

I'm leaving for Dallas this afternoon at 6:24 and shall be there at 11:30 in the morning. I hope I get a seat. Stood up most of the time in the bus from Lawrence to Topeka; finally, an old negro lady took her brat on her lap, so I got that seat.

Had a good dinner at Kresge's for only 35 cents, but am still hungry. Right now, I am at the YMCA, shall try to do some sleeping, for I may have stand up in the train all night.

It was fun to visit the nursery school; how did Lancy and Elsie get along?

Next letter from Texas.



I'm not entirely sure why Opa is going to Texas. Is it about a job? Maybe, I wasn't paying close enough attention. Either way I learned something new: Opa had to get permits for every place he traveled. I did not know that! I wonder if that was standard for all immigrants or just "enemy-alien" immigrants. 

Opa complains about standing up on the train (I can't imagine buying a ticket for standing room only for such a long ride). I was annoyed with his comment about the woman, but I will say as a caveat for him that he regularly (in his letters) called other children "brats," so that was a blanket term he used for all children. 

I did laugh as I imagined his meeting with the secretary of the US Attorney. There's Opa being charming and cracking jokes, and also looking at his file while she's out of the room. Cheeky.

Whether we like it or not, charm helps. 


  1. Interesting that he had USO stationary. Brought back memories because I've eaten at Kresge's, too!

  2. Oh my goodness, looking at your file while people are out of the room must be a Doeppner thing. Lol


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