Sunday, September 14, 2014

6. 'Be sure to pose pretty'

My grandfather, Evert F. Nordstrom, was a card and a photo nut. Both qualities show up in this letter, which he addressed to his granddaughter. Being just 22 weeks old when he wrote, Bonnie couldn’t read, of course, although I’m sure my mom was working on it.

Evert also mentioned his desire to see more pictures of Bonnie and promised to send his movie camera to Oregon with instructions on how to use it.

                                                                         Bridgeport Sat. Feb. 26, 1944

Dear Bonnie:

I suppose you’ll have to let your ma and pa read this letter but it is just between you and me anyhow. I have been writing to them just about once a week now for a year or more so I think they can forgive me this time if I write to you instead of to them.

Bonnie in a satchel, 1944.
So you are a big girl now. Over eleven pounds. I imagine some people would think that is still pretty small but there are not many grown ups who could double their weight in five months. And even if they did they wouldn’t be happy about it and worse than that they sure would be awful masses of fat. But for you it is all right and I for one think you are doing all right.

And I guess you know who is the boss there. I have looked a long time at the pictures your mom has sent here and I can see by the look in your eyes that you know very well how to take care of yourself. And while that may be an accomplishment, I can see that you also know how to take care of your mom and pop. It may be a little hard on them at times but it won’t do them very much harm. And besides, I’ll guess they even have fun doing things for you. Of course, you could ease up on them once in a while. Let them have a little fun. You will enjoy giving it to them.

Your uncle Dodie [Joseph A. Nordstrom, Mom’s older brother, had joined the Navy] is getting acquainted with lots of people in San Francisco – object, Sunday Dinners. And from what he says he is achieving his object with reasonable frequency. Also, he is meeting some California beauties now and then but I think his heart his still in the east somewhere; Brooklyn at last reports.

My cousin Joy Nordstom, better known as Carla, tells me her father was the shortest GI in every picture ever made of him. Here Carl Nordstrom stands second from left in the first row among fellow members of the 722nd Tank Battalion. The picture was taken June 9, 1943, during the battalion's training at Fort Campbell, Ky. When Carl he and my Aunt Jane visited Lindsborn, Kans., as  mentioned in this letter, he was stationed at Fort Riley. 
A closer look at Carl Nordstrom
And your Aunt Janie and Uncle Carl have become real natives of Lindsborg Kansas even to the extent of having coffee every afternoon. [Jane and Carl Nordstrom. Carl was the middle child of the three Nordstroms; the Nordstroms were Swedish in origin, and Lindsborg was known as “Little Sweden.”] Janie says that the town quits work at 3:15 P.M. daily in order to drink coffee. And Janie has enrolled in a couple of classes at Bethany college, one of them being piano. She practices all day and Carl plays the piano every nite so with the racket they make and the racket you make in the state of Washington, I’d say that our descendants are being heard from.

And back at home here, we are getting along as usual. And I am going to send my movie camera out there so your folks can take some movies of you. You can tell them I’ll send the instruction book along too so they can find out how to run it. I won’t attempt to tell either you or them by means of a letter. I’ll get it under way probably Monday or Tuesday.

Be sure you pose pretty when they have it. I want to see some nice pictures of you and I know from the still pictures they have sent that it should be no trouble for you to look nice and pretty. In fact I have been showing those pictures of you sitting in the big chair to such an extent that everybody in our office would know you if you walked in there some day.

Your grandma wants to go to bed now so I guess I’ll have to relax from this for a while. It isn’t too late but just the same you know that us growing adults should have our rest.

We are having a little snow and sleet tonite but we have had spring like weather for a week or more so we really can’t complain – not that it would do any good if we did complain.

So . . . adios now. All OK here. Love from us.


Next: To War in the Pacific

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