Wednesday, May 18, 2016

50) "I want to be my own boss" --Oct. 16, 1944

APO 920 = Base H, Biak, Dutch New Guinea- Schouten Islands
Mokmer Airstrip

Monday nite 10:30
Oct. 16th ’44


Suddenly found time to write again. Things have been very busy for me the last few weeks. I haven’t stopped ever since I got back from Australia. I sure hope things calm down soon so I can write you more often. I received your letter with the little notes from Ann & Bob & Bill. I really enjoyed the notes from the gang. Tell Ann that now that I have proof that she can write I better hear from her once in a while.

I don’t get to listen to that good music anymore in the evening. I really wish that this war would get over with so I can come back and live my life like I want to. Believe me after this is over I am never going to work for anybody. I want to be my own boss. I hope things are so that this will come true. Sometimes it seems like it will be so long till I see you again. Then at other times it seems like it will come soon, very soon. I guess it is all in what mood I am in. I haven’t read any books lately. I have “Botany Bay” and several others to read as soon as I find time.

I suppose you will have started school by the time this gets to you. Be sure to write me all about the school and the teachers & the people in you class. I bet you will be very busy for a week or so at the beginning. I hope you like it. School is lots easier to put up with when you like the school and the people. Will any of the kids you went to High School with be going out there this year?

How are my folks getting along? Have you seen them lately? They sure do write swell things about you and Ann.

I hope by this time you have gotten my letter with the money order in it. Be sure to pick a nice present for my Grandmother.

Just curiosity, but I happened to be looking at that last picture you sent me. Tell me honey just what is that you are holding in your hands, and speaking of pictures when is the next one going to get here?

Have you been to any good football games yet? Sure would like to see one. Don’t think I could play any football after being in this climate so long.

Darling the time is getting very late and I have to write to Mom & Pop before I go to sleep so I’ll close at the end of this page.

Remember that I still love you and that my one ambition is to come back and see how happy we can be with each other. I feel sure that I will be home before my next birthday.

Remember me to your Mom & Ann & the Gang,

Always thinking of you,

  1. "I am never going to work for anybody"---After the war Jack did become his own boss.  When Jack returned he took over business operations that had been started by his grandfather Clarence Merriman, and run by his mother and aunt after Clarence's death at the beginning of the war.  At first this was primarily the Louisville Loan Company and managing commercial and residential properties purchased by Clarence.  Later Jack, in partnership with his mother and aunt, started the Jefferson Development company, building houses during the post-war boom.  The Jefferson Company evolved into a general remodeling contracting company.  In the early 1970s Jack, wanting to be even more his own boss, so he broke out on his own (separate from his mother and aunt) to form Jefferson Kitchens Inc., a remodeling firm that focused on kitchen and bath remodels.  
  2. Football---Jack had played on the Anchorage High Football team.  However, I never remember him following any sports when I was growing up.  My mother was quite a sports fan and loved to watch baseball (she was a Red's fan) and college basketball (U of L-- of course), but Dad never talked about or showed any interest in sports.
  3. Next Birthday---Jack didn't make it home before his next birthday.  When June 21, 1945  (his 21st birthday) rolled around he was still with the 9th Squadron in the South Pacific.
  4. Next Post---I'll focus on what has been happening with the War in the Pacific and specifically with 9th squadron during this time.  October 1944 was a busy and dangerous time for the 9th squadron, as they moved from Biak Island to Leyte in the Philippines.  Remember Jack was not allowed to write about where he was or what was going on with his squadron.  The next post will provide some insight as to what was going around him during this time.