About this blog

As the author of this blog, Karen L Garner Martin Messick, I am the daughter of an American soldier, Wilbur (Bill) C. Garner, Sr. and Women's Royal English Navy service woman (British Wren) Gwendoline Rosa Wilkins, who met and married during World War II. They lived and loved for over 50 years before Mother passed in 2000. When she did I helped Dad with every day chores when I could. One day I was helping him clear things out and I lifted a plastic bag out of the seat of Mom's piano stool, asking Dad, "Whats in this bag?" to which he replied, "Just some of Mary's old letters." Mary, his older sister, was still alive at the time, residing in an assisted living facility, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I put the letters back in the piano seat thinking he did not want me to open the letters.
When Dad passed two years later, I inherited Mary's letters.
When I began to read them, I found they were mostly letters from Dad to Mary while he was in World War II ("The War"). I could not put them down. I wished I had opened them the day I first saw them so that Dad and I could have had conversations about them, but that was not to be...so as I read through these "Letters to Mary" I began to get a glimpse into Dad's young years when he met Mom and his time as a soldier. I have researched events during World War II to enhance my understanding of what was happening in the war as each letter came to broaden my understanding of what he might have been experiencing. I knew he landed on the beaches of Normandy, France D-Day plus 1 as he recounted his memory of that day to me when he was dying from Leukemia. It was horrifying. There were also letters from a companion Mary had met while in Minneapolis, he had been deployed overseas. I have entwined them chronologically with Dad's letters as it gives a greater dimension to the war itself. I intend to editorialize as necessary to explain personal relationships and situations as the story unfolds through the "Letters to Mary." I welcome any questions, comments and feedback. As the "Greatest Generation" fades away, I felt compelled to share these letters and story in hopes of continuing the legacy they left for the world. Let us never forget the untold years and lives that were sacrificed for freedom!
If you have stumbled upon this blog I have added a blog archive at the bottom of the blog page. Continue to scroll down to access the Blog Archive. The posts are chronologically listed and to follow the story it is best to start with the first post in December 2013.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Letter #80 from Joseph Randolph Garner 9 April 1945

This letter from Joseph R Garner, while not addressed to Mary, instead Mary and Joe's mother, was saved by Mary and found among the other "Letters To Mary."
J.R. Garner
6500 29th St. South
St. Petersburg. Fla.

Mrs. S. Wade Garner
2425 Calverton Heights Ave.
Baltimore 16 Maryland 

April 9, 1945 10:45P.M.

Dear Mumzo,

Neither of my two recent letters have been intended to hurt you or Dad in any way. As you well know, I've always been a very poor hand to express myself on paper. Many things have an entirely different sound when spoken. I do want you & Dad both to know & believe me when I say that I deeply appreciate any & all efforts that you have made to aid & assist me in the many jams I've gotten myself into.

As I've said however, there is nothing that you could do in this case. I am sure and you would only cause more embarrassment for yourselves, there's been too much of that over me in the past. I have no information as yet as to what action is to be taken but will keep in touch with you.

If it is not too much trouble you might when you have time, put any of my clothes that are there into a box & express them to Souil at home, so all of my things will be together once more. 

Send them C.O.D. There's no rush about that. 
I'll say good night & thanks for everything.
Love, Joe

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