This website is the culmination of 7 years of digging through basements, reading, scanning, archiving, and storing over 600 letters, photos and other memorabilia that members of my family had saved during 1941 to 1945. The result is 8 boxes of archived letters, carefully organized by family member and date written, as well as numerous boxes of old photographs, brochures and other souvenirs.
Little did I know that I would get sucked in to what is now referred to as “The Letters” project. It started with a call from my mother’s cousin telling her that he had an old shoebox full of family letters. The letters were written to my mother’s uncle Jerry and his son had kept them stored in that old shoe box in the garage for many years, and was now about to throw them out. Thank goodness he called my mother’s cousin first, as many of the letters were written by his father Cliff and my grandmother Milly.
I was hooked from the moment I began to read the letters as they painted such a vivid picture of what life was like for an ordinary small town family during times of war. I decided the letters should be digitized and archived in order that they could be preserved, but also so they could be shared with the rest of the family and anyone else who was interested.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will introduce each member of the Nelson family so you have an idea of who they were and the circumstances they lived under. I don’t claim to be a World War II historian; there are countless other sources for details of the war, specific battles, and military strategy. This is simply a story, in their own words, of a family touched by war.