Wednesday, December 25, 2013

God Bless Us

                                             God Bless Us...........

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Life Is Short

                                          Life is short so open all the presents that you can.
                                                                       Jasmine, Age 9

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recycled Rosemary Wreath

  Rosemary is known as a symbol of remembrance, friendship and love. A story of rosemary tells that the flowers were originally white but changed to blue when the Virgin Mary hung her cloak on a bush while fleeing from Herod's soldiers with the Christ child.

  This is a simple recycled, artificial evergreen wreath that has been carefully hung and sprigs of fresh rosemary added to the frame. This adds a nice touch to an existing wreath and fragrance to the area where it hangs. In this case, it's my front door.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day Uncle Robert, Welcome Home, Love, Cheryl

  I took a wet washcloth and washed his face. I prepared his coffee the way he liked it. I placed a straw into the coffee cup and put it to his lips. He was to weak to drink it. In a few hours I would be sitting across from the man behind the big desk down at the funeral home where he and I had sat together 4 months earlier for my Dad.

  He told me he was tired. I kissed him on the forehead as he lay in the hospital bed. As I sat quietly beside him there, mysteriously the door to the hospital room opened slightly. I thought about how odd that was as the door was heavy and had to be opened deliberately. After it had stood open for awhile I got up to close it. I wondered who had come to get him before the Nurse, the Doctor and the Chaplin arrived.

  It was August 25, 2005 and it was Friday. His chest still heaved as if he was breathing. The nurse said it was reflex action from all of those 71 years of breathing in and out.

  I wrote his obituary from the template he and I had used for my Dad, his brother. I said he had "crossed the river". As General Stonewall Jackson lay dying he was still shouting orders to his men. It was said that he suddenly laid quiet and said," Come, let us cross the river and rest 'neath the shade of the trees."

 A fitting reward for any good soldier.

 Rest well Uncle Robert. I'll see you soon.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dear Folks, I Will Probably Leave The Company Next Monday, August 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,
  Well I don't know
how to explain this.
The army is something
else. If have 5 days
left in this company
before I rotate. Just
about everybody has gone
home and I am next,
but instead of going
home for discharge like
everybody else I go for
reassignment. I think
at first when they cut
this to a 13 month tour
they knocked some time
off of your tour, but
you couldn't leave Korea
and when you reach the
states if you had less
than 90 day to do,
that is from the day
you hit the states until
your Enlisted Time served
when you first come into
the army.
  OK so I extended until
Aug 16, so I would have
less that 90 days and
go back for discharge.
Well when I leave I
will have less that 90
days, but with something
new. They say you must
have 30 days or less to
go back for discharge.
In other words they haven't
any replacements over here
they want us guys to
either extend over here
until 30 prior which
would give me about 18
months in Korea 5 months
over the tour, or leave now
for reassignment in
the States. Well just
as soon as they ask me I
am going back to the States.
I may get reassigned
but it will be less that
two months because
I will take 30 day leave.
  I will probably leave the
company next Monday
so I will write you when
I leave Korea.
  I don't know whether
all of this is clear to
you in a way it's not
clear to me. I will
just have to wait and
see what happens, but
I will leave in about a

                 Love, Robert

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dear Folks, I Have Paid A Debt, August 3, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,         3 Aug 58

  Today is the third
of Aug, this is the month
I leave Korea, Saynora,
goodbye. Even with
just 13 days left it
it tough. We have
our annual big inspection
the sixth of Aug. We
have been working pretty
hard for it, but I don't
mind because the
harder I work the faster
the day goes by. My arms
and hands, my clothes
stay dirty with dust
oil and whatever you have.
You have to change clothes
at least once a day.
This army is great
you work all week long
for about 14 hours to
get ready for some
goofball to just walk
by and just look at
your equipment for
about 5 seconds.
  The hutch where I
live has a capacity
for about 25 people there
are four of us who
stay in there. I feel
good though we got two
brand new recruits
in just fresh out of
basic training and
they walk around like
they don't know what
in the hell's coming off.
  I listen to a good
joke the other day. My
platoon sergeant came
up and told me that
I would make corporal
this month. I just
about laughed in his
face. In this company
you just don't make
rank unless you
bow down and that
is something to me
which is beyond the
call of duty.
  I think the boat
which I will catch
will probably go
to Seattle, Washington
which is OK with me
just as long as it's
one of the 49 States.
I think that we will
probably stop off in
Japan. If we do and
the sun is shinning
I am going to take a
lot of pictures. You
know what I want
when I get back, a
good steak, about 3 or
four good cold beers
and my bed. I want
to sleep in that nice
bed without having
to get up and go on
guard or out into the
field during the middle
of the night. It might
not sound like much
to you but it seems
like a luxury to me.
For Twenty months now
I have had to wake
up about 5:30 and
be out in a formation
at 6 o'clock. Did you
know that every night
at 11:30 some officer
comes through my hutch
and check to see if
everybody is in bed. Did
you know my platoon
Sergeant has a 6th
grade education, did
you know that the medical
corps guarantees your
health over here for
12 months. There is
one thing that I have
learned to do since
being in the Army
and I think it is an
important lesson, that
is to survive and live
wherever you may
be. I have met and
become good friends
with a lot of guys
in the army over here.
I have seen guys so
drunk worst that you
have really seen, and I
have seen the same guys
from all walks of life
get woke up at about
2 o'clock Sunday morning
saying theres an alert
on, moving out during
the black of the night
over rugged mountain
roads which are either
icy or muddy and
setting up 80 4.2 mile
mortars capable of
killing hundreds of
people in one barrage.
  Guys who hate the
army, would never
stay one minute past
their time. This to me
is the backbone of the
US Army. I have just
about finished my
service to my country,
but it is not to the
army. I have perhaps
lost 2 years of valuable
time to a person of
my age, but I have
paid a debt, and
maybe later on I may
be called upon to
fight a war. I hope
not, but I will
stand up to anybody,
anybody who thinks
different about guys like
me who were drafted.
  I got drafted into
the army which
might have been a
mistake, I cannot
say yes or no, But
I do know this
whenever you receive
this letter from
that day forth do not write
a letter after it because
I will be on my
way home. You
probably will get maybe
one or two more letters
from me, but they will
not be from this company.
my port of of departure.
                    Love, Robert

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Small Town USA

  I was in Eva, Alabama the other day. I was startled when I pulled up to the gas pump of the local convenience store and a lady came out and asked, "Can I help you?"  I said, "Uhuh, we were going to get some gas." She replied, "Oh, we pump gas if we aren't busy in the store." I was in shock, as well as my Niece Gabrielle as she rounded the front of my truck with the money for gas.

  Later as we ordered our lunch at the local Wagon Wheel restaurant- a grilled chicken sandwich and a patty melt. I pondered small town America.

  They call it The Little Town With A Big Heart. I saw men sitting on the benches in front of that same convenience store with I was through there last. I wonder what they were talking about.

  They say that the heart of America is on Main Street USA and it's being lost to perfect instant subdivisions and shopping malls. That would be a shame. I don't think you will find many grey haired ladies pumping gas for you there.

  It's nice to have a pleasant shock now and then.

  America hasn't lost her heart as long as there are some Eva, Alabamas' that have a beat.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dear Folks, I Have Never Spent A More Miserable Time Than In This Place, July 20, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,              20 July 58
  Here it is past one
week after I cam back
from R & R and I am
feeling mighty low.
  After this week I probably
will be the longest person
in this company, by that
I mean to be here longer,
but after that lookout
because I shall soon be
sailing. I hope a little
less than 9 weeks
before I leave Korea,
and I pray to God that
I don't go from Korea
to Lebanon. I think
that during all of my
life time I have never
spent a more miserable
time than in this place.
I believe that it is worst
now than during the
Korean War because
everybody takes advantage
of the Americans. I
agree whole heart-idly for
President Eke sending troops
to the Middle East because
I think that if we don't
start now everybody will
try to take everything we
have got. Maybe I am
wrong in saying this but
I don't think we should
bend over backwards anymore.
  Well pretty soon
I will be starting
for home but
don't quit writing
until I tell you so.
                Love, Robert

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dear Folks, As Clean As I Got In Japan It Took One Day To Get Dirty Again Over Here, July 14, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robertl

Dear Folks,     14 July 58
  Well I am back in
this rotten hole. As
clean as I got in Japan
it took one day to
get dirty again over
here. It never did
sun shine in Japan
so I didn't get
in pictures which
made me disappointed.
I hated to ask for
the money but
was practically out
of money. I had a
couple of beers that
night but I didn't
call just for the money.
I was having a good
time. I spent every
last cent but I
don't regret. I didn't
get around to buying
the China but I will
at the end of the month.
  In Japan you can
spend money, but it's
not because you are
unwise, it's just
because you have
seven beautiful days
in which to crowd
a lot of living in. I
don't regret one
second that I spend
over there. You have
so much to see and
do that you forget
yourself. And In
seven days it's hard
to do everything because
I tell it is just a
blessing to leave this
unforsaken hole.
When you get back
over here it's like
hell. It's hot as hell
over here, they have
millions of mosquitoes
and flys. Oh well enough
of that.
  Well here I am
broke, 16 days to payday
32 days before I kiss
this place goodbye. Keep
writing and sending that
paper until that
day comes when you
will get that letter
saying send no more.
I am on the way
home. It's down the
block and around the
corner. Breaking off
now expecting to go
to the field early in
the morning.
       Love Wayfaring Son,


Monday, September 2, 2013

Dear Folks, The Time Is Getting Shorter, June 22, 1958, 38th Parallel, South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,                  22 June 58

  In one more week
and a couple of days that
will be all for June
then July and August is
it. The Dept of Army
came down with a
new tour of duty for
Korea, 13 months instead
of sixteen. But I rather
stay over here an extra
couple of months
here than in the States.
  Well I don't know
for sure but I think
I might be going to
Japan the 27th of this
month. If I do look
for a telephone call from
5 o'clock to 10 o'clock between
July 1 through July 3. I
have done took one
reel on my camera and
sent it off to be developed
and then to you. It is
Mostly where I live
and stay at, just experimenting.
I hope some parts turn
out fair at least. I hope
you can see it and write
me about it. I have another
reel about half finished.
It is all of the Demilitarized
zone scenes. I hope
the one does turn out good.
There is only one
thing I don't like about
going home is that boat
ride, they are pitiful.
I have about 55 days
left but I don't know
for sure. It's been
hot over here. I will
be glad when the
rainy season comes
the time is getting shorter.

      Love, Robert

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stop The Waste/Recycle

  I took My Bestest Friend And Blackberry Picker dumpster diving this Summer and then I had to repent of it later. We were scouting what we call the "hell" road for blackberries this Summer and came upon a dumpster teeming with items that could be recycled, and went to work. We pulled out all we could without actually crawling into the dumpster itself. I felt a little let down after she dropped me off at my house. My Bestest Friend And Blackberry Picker had a dignified job and didn't need to be seen crawling around in a dumpster but that's what Bestest Friends do- they help friends crawl around in dumpsters.

  We have mandatory sanitation service here in this county. I wave at the truck as it passes by my house on Tuesdays if I'm out in the yard and I write them a check every 3 months because they are going to send me a bill but I don't care.

  I've decided I can't do anything about all the dumpsters in the world.

  The only dumpster that I have any control my own.   Thanks Suze.



Dear Folks, Brother It Gets Cold, June 14, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                                         14 June 58
Dear Folks,
  Haven't had to much
time to write. I got the
money orders and the
ten dollar bill. I don't
know exactly when I
will go on R & R but
I am going. This week
I went up across the
river, that means going
close to the border. There
is nothing up there. No
Koreans can live there just
a couple of Army units
and the DMZ police. Me
and this Sargent we
are forward observers, we
went up on one of the
observation post. I could
see the North Korean
communist. They were
building concrete bunkers
at the bottom of the
OP was the taped line
showing no mans
land, no one past
the tape except authorized
personnel and you had
damn better be sure
you are authorized. At
night time you can
hear the communist
artillery firing. Well
enough of the war stories.
  I sent the package this
week. I hope you
receive it. Not much
time left, 64 days left
before I leave Mortar
Battery. So Stanley
Smith might come over.
It is not to bad for
the Air Force though
they don't have to
live like the Army.
He is coming over in
January and I know
he ain't going to like
the cold weather and
brother it gets cold.
Well I'll close for now.

         Love, Robert

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dear Folks, I Can Send A Reel Home And See What Good It Is, June 1, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea

                                     1 June 58
                                      24 years

Dear Folks,
  I got the two money
orders and I am pretty
sure I will go to
Japan this month. Today
I bought a 8 mm camera
which I should have
bought a long time ago.
It cost $30.00 maybe.
I can send a reel home
and see what good it is.
  Well today is my
birthday. I was on
guard last night and
6 hours today, but I
could care less 77 days
left. There has been a
lot of things I have seen
and done, I just guess
that the army has
given me a experience
which I never could
have gotten otherwise.
  Well I wrote you
about turning down
the track team, but
I also found out that
I stood a good chance
of going to the Asian
games. I haven't yet
mailed the package yet
that I told you, but I
am this week. It probably
will be by boat. How
is Earl getting along in
his married life. Well
I'll close for now I
am pretty tired.
                       Love, Robert

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Red Hat

  I love the band RED. I got to see them in concert. I got to go see them along with my brother Richard, A Human Being, and my youngest niece Gabrielle, The Only Girl Who Could Sharpen A Knife. We made it to  the Workplay venue in Birmingham in time to get a seat in the balcony area. I  made a red hat to wear to the concert.

  I observed that almost all of the "under 21" crowd was standing in the lower level next to the stage. I've enjoyed heavy metal music ever since it was invented. At what age am I supposed not to?  Especially a band with all the talent and energy of RED. My brother Richard, A Human Being, and I were rockin' and rollin' live with Van Halen in concert back when David Lee Roth had hair and Eddie was breathing life into "Frankenstein". How could I just SIT HERE!!??

  Finally I couldn't stand it any longer. Near the end of the concert I made my way down to the floor and found a spot close enough to the stage to read the tattoo on Bassist Randy Armstrong's arm. The vibration was amazing from that spot. I could have reached out and patted him on the foot. I wish I had extended my hand to Lead Vocalist Michael Barnes as he screamed "Feed The Machine". I could barely stand up.

  Dear Abby got a letter recently from a 59 year old baseball fan who still takes his baseball mitt to the games in hopes of catching a ball and wondered what age should he stop doing it as they usually sit in the lower level near the front. Dear Abby wrote to stop taking it when you have grown so aged and feeble that when the ball comes your way you can no longer fend off the younger fans who are also diving for it. And not one moment sooner.

  I wonder if that guy wears a red hat?

I wonder if that guy wears a red lly
Finally I could stand it no longer.
  FF   f

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dear Folks, There Ain't A Damn Thing In The Army That Bothers Me Except Maybe A Little War, June 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,

I sort of thought that you may
have given up on me, some times
writing does get a little tedious.
I haven't mailed the package yet
but I will this week. I am
pretty damn sure that I will
have a R & R this month (June).
  You know I wrote you about a
month ago I thought I would try
for the track team. Well I went out
for a week then quit because I
decided I wanted to see Japan again.
The other day I got a set of TDY
orders sending me to the track
team and I had quit a month
ago. I must have made a good
impression, but I turned down the
orders, even having so much guard.
  I figure it this way I have
played my share of sports and
I may continue after I get out
of the Army. I played Army basketball
and made the track team, even though
I quit.
  I am 10,000 miles away from
home and I never will see Japan
again, so I refused the TDY orders
for in hopes of going on an R & R
to Japan. Japan is the most
fabulous place I have ever been
to or seen. It's so close to home
from this damn place (Korea) but yet it
has the beauty and mystery in the
Orient that one expects in the far
  The last time I went I stayed
at Mt Fuji for 3 days. The army
had a special service hotel up there
which there isn't a damn thing
which nothing in Alabama could
compare to. It used to be for
officers, but they let both enlisted
and officers go there. Rooms cost
$2.00 a night, buy a steak for $1.50
just ring a bell for no extra
charge and get breakfast in bed.
Hell I could write a book about
 it, but I'll just tell you about
 it when I get home. As it stands
now I have 85 days left. It
might be earlier but I ain't counting
on it. I know in 6 more days I
will be 24 years old my second
birthday in Korea.
  I I just got off guard my duty
for Sat & Sun but I don't
give a damn and I could care
less. There ain't a damn thing
in the army that bothers me
except maybe a little war. I
might get out of the Army with
a slightly different attitude, but
I have seen it and seen enough.
I have seen human beings act
like animals and animals act
better than humans. I'll close
for now "Gerry Owen" best for
the battle group.

        Love Robert,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Wanted To Live Amongst My People

  That is the answer that people get when asked why a college graduate wanted to go home and live on a farm.

  I met some of my people today. They came and fixed my perpetually stopped up kitchen sink, replaced a water hogging, leaky, cracked, stained toilet and put a new metal roof on my tool shed and didn't charge me enough.

  I made out a check payable to the local building supply company where my Grandpa had bought nails from the current owners Grandpa and left the amount blank so they could fill it in later after all of the necessary items needed to complete the job were purchased.

  On breaks we talked about the price of horses, the fatness of commercially grown chickens and the wholesomeness of fresh cows' milk and the delight of homemade buttermilk and when it was paired with onion and cornbread was once called "supper".

  Honest, hardworking, good tempered. You know, the kind of folks that made this country great.

  I think about what my farrier once said after his mule-wrestling to get "Happy Jack Frost" to stand still while he had his hooves trimmed:  "One lady I shoe for asked me if I thought it would be alright if  her 18 year old son could cut the trees in her backyard down with a chainsaw." I told her, "that depends." He then told me a story about how when he was 14 years old and went to work with his Dad and Uncles and they put him out on an old road bed with a chainsaw, bottle of mixing oil and a baloney sandwich and told him to clear it by dark and they'd be back to pick him up later that evening.

  My people have character or are characters. Not just a homogenized blend like "that skim milk you get from the grocery store these days" "tastes like water".

 At least that's what my people say.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Folks, It's A Hell Of A Life, May 15, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

 Dear Folks                15 May 58
 Well this letter is overdue, but
I can't help it. We are going to
be busy the rest of this month. We
are pulling guard almost every night
and at different compounds. It's
really bad to, especially when
the breaks are far and few between.
I am so sleepy now I can
hardly see the paper. 5 hours
average sleep a night just ain't
to much.
  I see that B'ham is
first place in baseball, but I
could care less about that. I tell
you one thing my little radio
sure does help on those 2 long
hours of guard. I am still using
the original battery. They have one
G.I. Station over here and at night
time from 12:00 to 6:00 in the morning
they play only music, and it sure
does get lonesome out there by yourself
with only your thoughts. Well guys
have started to leave Korea to
go home and it's going to continue
all summer. The thing which hurts
is that we haven't had a replacement
since 1957 around November. In 6 more
days I will have spent exactly 1 full
long year in Korea and its been a
rough year. Sleeping on a mountain
snow all over the ground. Zero
weather out in the open its
been a hell of a life.
  Give Earl my congratulations if
you ever see him again 3 down
1 to go Ha! Is Billy racing
his car now or what. By the way
what ever happen to Sullivan, is
he married. There must be
somebody I can go out with and drink
beer with. It's May now, but
it's still in the low 40's. Give
me the Sunny South. (Captain Patton speaking I do not know
whats wrong but I have been getting
the paper on Monday instead of Sat.
Well there is no excuse. If you have
to get up at 4 o'clock Sunday morning
and read the paper it should be finished
by 5 o'clock and mailed by 6 o'clock no excuse.)
That is the way it is in the Army and
the way it has been with me for 17
months. Re-up, never a hatchie G.I.
                                           Love Robert

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Maitland Newsome, Home Economics Teacher

  Maitland Wadsworth Newsome went peacefully into The Arms of her Maker December 30, 2011 at the age of 92.  The daughter of a prominent family in our community went off to college at the University of Montevallo and returned home to raise a family, make a garden and teach Home Economics, when most of the areas's families lived on dirt floors.

  Mrs. Newsome taught the daughters of the pioneers and their mothers were just as eager to learn. My Granny did not know to rise dishes, my mother taught her. It was something she learned in Home Ec. class.

All the girls looked up to Mrs. Newsome. "Do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again" was a favorite motto.

  She represented all we aspired to be- ladies. Kind and gentle and patient, she had her standards and stuck to them. She taught us all of the skills necessary to keep a home, as well as the fiber arts.

  I often think about how she brought an entire generation, plus one, out of the dirt and into the twentieth  century. What a privilege it has been to have been one of her students. She taught my Mother when part of the class period involved the lighting of a wood burning cook stove and she taught me in a brand new, state of the art Home Economics building that she had had a hand in designing.

  It was in this building we stitched our very first aprons. Rest in Peace Mrs. Newsome, I still am wearing mine.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Folks, It's April But It's Still Cold At Night, April 13, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,                     13 April 58
  Well I didn't get
the paper this Sat
which was somewhat
of a disappointment.
  Every day over here is
just another day to
exist. At night time
there is nothing much
to look forward to except
the end of day and guard
duty if it's your time.
  The end of this
month up until Sept.
I guess 75% of the
guys will all leave to
go home including
myself.  I will be glad
when the new recruits
start arriving in this
god forsaken place.
  I have been trying
out for the track team
for a week. I don't
know whether I will
make it or not. We
practice in the evening
but still are required to
train and walk guard.
If I do make it, It
will be the same as
basketball I think, or
at least I hope. I
stand a 50-50 chance.
  So I am holding
off on R & R at least
until I know how
I stand. 16 1/2 months
in this army seem like
an eternity. Eating, sleeping
doing almost everything
wearing the same clothes
with 150 people. It
seems to me there is
no other life. A civilian
and a soldier is a
distinction between night
and day.
  My advise to all
young people such as
Betty is to make merry
while the sun still
shines. Who is the
guy she wants to marry
she better get wise
working ain't too good
especially when the money
you make goes to the
things which are necessary
to existence and not
luxury. Well I know
I haven't sent much
money home but with
the $200 at home I have
about $250 here. I expect
to get at least $200
when I get my discharge
because they will owe
me about 45 days leave
time. I figure I
will have $700 maximum
$0 minimum. I know
I will have to buy new
clothes because at the
present time I stand
165 pounds and unless
I began to get some
exercise I don't know.
I know nothing will
fit me around the
  As far as school
goes I don't want
to make any plans,
because I just don't
want to think. I wish
I could get a
job when I get out
and work through the
winter until summer
school, because I
can't see going a
full semester for 6
quality pts, but I
will try to work that
out when I get home.
In about 47 more days
I will turn 24 years
old. Two birthdays in
Korea. those years
do add up.
  If I stayed in
the company and didn't
try out for track I
probably could get another
promotion, but with
the time I have left
to do it wouldn't
help me any. It's
April but it's still
cold at night time walking
guard duty. this is a
long letter ain't it. Those
long underwear you
sent me were lifesavers
though, they are alright
for situation such as
mine. Earl is getting
ready to join the ranks
of the living dead. I
guess he is getting
pretty settled, I figure
I am the only real
wild one in the family.
By the way
how is Jena getting along
maybe I might have
a chance to go to
through Texas if
possible. By the way
do I still have a car?
What shape is it in?
Does it still run? I am
planning on using that
thing for awhile. Well
I guess I'll close for
now. Try to keep the
paper coming.
             Love, Robert

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Make Your Words Sweet

                             Make your words sweet.......for tomorrow you may have to eat them.

      "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body."
                                                                                                  Proverbs 16:24                                      

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dear Folks, During The Time It's Warm Over Here Guard Isn't To Bad, March 21, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                                   21 March 58
Dear Folks,
  We went out into the field
last week and didn't get back
all Tuesday night. It has
been pretty nice weather. The
day we left for the field the
sun was shining, but damn
if it didn't snow. This weather
is all messed up. We have to
go out again next Tuesday
and I think that will be the
last time for awhile.
  So Joe Williams called up
and said he had a brain operation.
When I knew him, he needed
one. I guess the weather is
getting real pretty home. I want
to go the Japan next month
if I can. I haven't made up
my mind whether to go out for
track or not. During the time
it's warm over here guard isn't
to bad and the field is all right.
The time passes faster
in the company.
  I want you to send me
$20 so if I do go in April, I
will have enough to get there. I
will call the first day over there
and get you to send some money.
I don't know what got into me
but I took out an allotment
to buy stocks.
                        Love, Robert

(Note: My Uncle Robert continued to work the stock market all of his life, and he made it work for him. C.P.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dear Folks, This Is A Different Way Of Life, March 12, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                                 12 March 58
Dear Folks,
  I got that Sunday paper and
really enjoyed it. If you can
try to send them as much as possible.
Ensley seems to be pretty good.
I hope they begin to be like
they were before. I also saw
where one of my Fraternity brothers
is getting married. I don't understand
why a lot of guys that went to
school with me at the same
time aren't drafted into the
  I figure at the most I
will be out of the Army in
6 months. May 22 I will have
one full year in the hole.
Easter it will be one year
since I saw 27th Street last.
I don't know whether I will
go out for track yet because
if I do I probably won't get
to go to Japan and I sure
want to go back real bad. I
haven't bought a camera yet.
When I went out for basketball
it seems I stay broke all the
time now. I got a letter from
Sam when he was in Miami.
He says he might get out of the
Service in 6 months off his time
so he might be out by now.
I got a letter from Allamel
He says he is getting
married maybe in March. I
don't know whether to believe
it or not because its been a
long time since I was in
  Well I guess I'll get
drunk and burn my correspondence
course because it makes me sick
everytime I look at it. Working
on something like that is
almost impossible over here because
if you use your brain you
really begin to think about the
Army and Korea. I don't know
what will happen from one day
to the next. When they start
playing around over here they play for
keeps. We have a lot of trouble
with South Korean thefts. When
I first got here you shoot them.
For awhile they were shooting
them every night. Now if you
catch one, if you find one stealing
you treat him very respectful, turn
him over the the Korean Nationalist
Police who are just about as
bad. They had one compound where
the Koreans had stolen something
out of it 20 times during 2 months
so they caught a 14 year old kid.
One night they packed him into
a box and flew him by helicopter
for about 20 miles. A Major, Captain,
and Master Sargent are getting
court martialed for it. You walk
through a Korean village or town
and their top merchandise is usually
stuff which has been stolen or
got off some G.I. We have Korean
soldiers attached to our unit. If
we lose a piece of our equipment
we must pay for it. I he loses
it, which he probably sold it,
they just get sent
back to the ROK Army. they
have stolen goods worth over a
100,000 dollars at one time from
a P.X. We are now allowed
to go the anywhere in Korea. In
the Capitol City we can walk
down just one street. the rest is
off limits. These are just a few
things out of many why I don't
want to do anything but keep myself
busy physically, because this
is not a place to think. This
is a different way of life, a different
philosophy from the one I came
from, that is why I am over
here now, to fight here instead
of 1522- 27 st. Ours is the greatest
nation in the world, and I sure
would hate to mess up my
country fighting the Reds
there. End of Speach.
                                  Love, Robert
P.S. I am a little tead off because the Jacket
I got for playing basketball was all wrapped
up addressed, ready to send to home. Somebody stole it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

R.I.P. Buster The Wonder Goat

Buster The Wonder Goat
                                      "He causes vegetation to grow for the cattle, ... Psalm 104:14

                                                             Photography by Jean Dent

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dear Folks,The Month Of March Is Here And It Snowed The First Day, March 2, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                                2 March 58
Dear Folks,
  The month of March
is here and it snowed
the first day. Whats bad
the wind is blowing very
hard. I had guard this
weekend 24 hrs of it.
I don't know whether
I will try to run
track or not. The facilities
over here are not to
good for any kind of sports.
Just like during basketball
the gym was never heated
except during game time
so that made practicing
very rough and cold.
  There are some good
guys in my company
who try to make the
best out of a worst
time so its not too
bad as long as you have
friends like these.
  The only bad headache
it the Regular Army
people. The are exactly
stupid. You see a lot
of people get messed up
over here, Oh well
enough of that.
  Just about 7 or 6
more pay days left in the
Army. So Earl gets married
in April or May. Ha! That
leaves just me. I hope
he makes a good going of
it. I met the girl only
once if its the same
one and she seems real
  If I don't go out
for track in March
I am going on R & R in
April. So I will want
you to send me about
$100. I can get some
nice gifts over there.
Well I close for now. Oh
yea keep the newspaper
clipping coming. Ensley
seems to be doing good.
                      Love, Robert


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dear Folks, I Have Just About Had Enough Of The Army To Last Me, February 24, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                              24 Feb 58
Dear Folks
  Well it must have
been real bad. I saw
your papers. I went
to Soeul on a
weekend pass and
had a pretty good
time. So they are
just working 4 days
a week now. Well
I don't see how
it can be to bad.
I guess I will send my
jacket home some
time after this
  I have just about
had enough of the
army to last me
for awhile. I
hope my friends
and neighbors will
be satisfied. Just
think I made $1000
for 1957.
  It's starting to
warm up a little
over here but its
still cold at night
time for guard duty.
Well there is not to
much time left, but
still it's a long time.
Earl will probably
be an old married
man, and I won't
have anybody to get
thrown in jail with
but that's the breaks.
                     Love, Robert

(Note: The jacket he refers to is the awards jacket that he and his teammates each received for winning the Division Basketball Championship. Earl is a one of his 1st cousins). C.P.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dear Folks, There Is A Lot To Tell About My Tour In Korea, February 18, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks
  Well it's nice to get
a letter saying that
it is also cold over
there. We stay very
much out in the
field so it's hard
to get good writing
habits. I don't think
there is no way to
meet in Calif, because
I will get my discharge
in the 3rd Army Area
which will probably
be Fort Jackson S.C.
  I wish you could
send me just the
Sunday Paper if
anyway possible. I
don't know whether
you know it or not
but I got a letter
from one of my buddies
telling about Gene
Mitchum getting
killed in an auto wreck.
He was from Ensley
and I knew him very
well. Ask Billy if
he knows him. He
ran around with
Jame Holliway. I
understand Bull
Conners is back in
office again.
  Well when I get
back I don't think
I am going to worry
about anything for
about 3 months. See
what It's like to draw
unemployment insurance.
The army wouldn't
been to bad if they
hadn't put me in
the infantry stationed
in Korea. There is
a lot to tell about
my tour in Korea
but it is not writing
material due to the
length. So I will
say goodnight. We
have to be in bed
by 11:00 o'clock so
the Officer of the
day can come by and
snug us tight under
our little sleeping
       Love, Robert

P.S. Happy George Washington
Birthday we get off
for it.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dear Folks, You Should Sleep On Top Of A Hill, February 10, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                          10 Feb 58
Dear Folks
  The last letter I
received from you
I was on hill 15
that thing was just
about straight up and
down. You should
sleep on top of a
hill especially when
its cold and nothing
over top of you. There's
a lot of things you
do in the army. I
have just about had
enough of the army
and Korea. Days are
getting longer and
longer with the less
time you have less.
I think we go
back into the field
this coming Thursday
stay out about seven
days. I am sending
this income tax form
home and let you send
it in.
  Well how are
things back. Have they
started soup and
bread line? I don't
care if I have to sell
apples. I ain't coming
back into the army.
I think I am going
to bed, been out on
range all day. 9 o'clock
going to bed. Ha!
                      Love, Robert

Thursday, February 14, 2013

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

  In the quest of finding our true love it's important to define the difference between potential suitors.

  Let's compare it to retail.

1) Window Shopper- He's not interested in buying or even browsing- he's just looking.

2) Browser- He'll come in and look around- but he's not interested in buying anything.
3) Try Before You Buy- He will take you home- but he'll return you if you don't fit.

4) I'll Take The Warranty Also- This guy's committed.

  And remember, you have the right to refuse service to anyone.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Water From The Branch With Friends

  This is me, Mac and Moses obtaining a water sample from the branch behind our house for a young lady out in California's 5th grade class project.

Dear Folks, Our Basketball Team Had A Banquet Friday Night, February 2, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

                           2 Feb 58
Dear Folks,
  This is my 15th
month in the army and
I am about ready to
get out for a summer
vacation or something.
I got the five dollars
the other day and it
came in real handy.
Tomorrow we go
back into the field
for about 4 days. The
weather is not to bad
the snow has melted
  Our basketball team
had a banquet Friday
night Two Generals were
there, five Colonels, Majors,
Captains and us PFC's.
I was really shook up.
It didn't last to long
though. They gave us
a real nice Jacket and
Cigarette lighters. I am going
to send the Jacket home
because it is of no
use to me here.
  February should go by
pretty fast because we
are going out into the
field 3 out of the four
weeks, real clean fun.
Ha. I don't guess
I'll go to Japan until
about May then I'll
really need it.
Me and this other kid
took some pictures
in our basketball uniforms
the background ain't to
good, but hell it's
Korea. You will notice
in the pictures I am
losing a little bit
of hair but that is
also Korea. Let's write
for it is real nice
to have a letter waiting
for you when you come
             Love, Robert

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fear No Evil

       "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:..."
                                                                                         Psalm 23:4

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear Folks, I Am Getting Ready For Guardmount, January, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

Dear Folks,
  Well today is Sunday and I
am getting ready for guardmount.
It sure is nice to be out
of the field. We stayed for about
five days. Night time it dropped
down to about 5 degrees it was real
cold. I guess Earl is enjoying
his fireman's pay. January is
almost over, there is about two
cold months left. Time goes
by pretty good in the company because
you are always busy. This time
last year I was taking basic
training. When does Johnnie
Frank get into college or gets out
of high school.
  It snows just about 3
times a week now. I guess
I have seen enough to last me
a lifetime. Well it's just about
guard time so I will close for
                    Love, Robert

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dear Folks, That Is The Way The Army Is, January 17, 1958, 38th Parallel South Korea, Love, Robert

                                                          17 Jan 58

Dear Folks,
  Well I am back in the company.
It was nice while it lasted. Sunday
we go on field manuevers for 7 days.
There is about 8 inches of snow on
the ground. It stays below 10 degrees.
I have already had guard again. I
hope to go on R & R in Feb. I am
about due for another. All my
company does now is go out into
the field. My new job is with
the Forward Observer section. We
go out and watch incoming rounds
and phone back an adjustment.
  About Grandmother, I am
glad she is better. The only way
I could come home for an emergency
is for Mother, Daddy or Billy to be
very, very sick. That is the way
the army is so please don't send
me letters unless something really
bad has happened. Over here you could
get shook up about home. If an
emergency does come up notify
the Red Cross, that is the only way.
I can't do anything it's up to
you, but it has to be a very
bad situation. Enough of that, you know
when you went me that two dollars
it seemed like a gift from heaven. How
about sending me one 5 dollar bill
because when I get back from the
field it will almost be the end of
the month. I am going to have to thaw
out after the field. Well this will
be the last stretch and I just hope it
will be as quick as the past
                        Love, Robert

Dear Folks, This Was The Shortest Basketball Season I Have Ever Been In, January 11, 1958, 38th Parallel, South Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton
                                               11 Jan 58

Dear Folks,
  Well in one more day I go back
to the old Guard duty. We won the
division championship won 16 lost 2.
This was the shortest basketball
season I have ever been in but
I guess I have no cause for
  So Earl has become a fireman.
I hope he doesn't have to answer
any calls from Midfield. Tell
him to save me a vacancy, I
might join the force myself.
What does Billy do with himself now
days. I can imagine that the garage
is still cluttered up with everything.
I am glad my car is running well.
I think that you should sell
your car and get another even though
it might be second hand.
  When does Johnny Frank go to
college. We might be going
to school together.
I don't know what kind of job
I will have back in the company
I guess I'll be walking the
hills again. I got the books
I don't need anything but a
airplane ticket home. I guess
I'll close for now give my regard
to everybody.
                        Love, Robert

Note: Earl and Johnny Frank are his cousins and Billy is his brother (My Dad).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dear Folks, It's 1958 The Year I Get Out Of The Army, January 5, 1958, 38th Parallel, South Korea, Love, Robert

                                       5 Jan 58
Dear Folks,
  It's 1958 the year I get out of
the Army. I know that I haven't
written to much the past 3 weeks.
We went to a basketball tournment
after Christmas, then during New
Year we went to Soeul for
four days. Soeul as you know
is the Capital of Korea. It is
a lot better as far as Korea
goes than were we are. We had
a ball there. That's the first
time I have been in Korea and enjoyed
myself. Actually you couldn't
even compare it to the Bessemer
Super highway, but hell it's Korea.
Enjoy yourself the best you can
no matter where you are.
  New Years day we had our
biggest snow. All roads were shut
down there was no way to travel
except by train and you should
travel over one of those things.
I go back to my company in one
more week and boy at night
time it gets below zero.
  I have been meaning to get
me a camera and send the picture
home but I just am lazy I
guess. Next payday I am for
sure going to buy a motion picture
camera. A good one costs about
30.00 dollars and takes about
20 reels. The summer time over
here wasn't to bad, but this
  Well about this time last
year I just was leaving
home off my big 14 day leave.
O well all I have to do
is just wait and I will be home
for good just only 228 more
days before I leave.
                          Love, Robert

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chocolate Pie

  I don't know where I got this recipe but it sure is good.

Chocolate Pie

3 T Cocoa
1 c Sugar
3 Eggs, well beaten
3 T Flour
Almost 1 stick butter
1 t Vanilla
2 c Milk

1) Mix all ingredients, then add milk & well beaten eggs.

2) Pour into cooked pie shell and bake 325 degrees F 30-45 minutes or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

(Ingredients can be combined in a blender and mixed for about 30-45 seconds adding liquid ingredients first.)

Note: Choose natural or organic ingredients for maximum nutrition.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Is There Anything Too Hard For Me?

          "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh:
                                                                       is there anything too hard for Me?"