After writing last week’s column with excerpts of George Hormel’s letters to his son Jay while he served in WWI, I found a few more parental tidbits that you might enjoy and relate to.
George was very concerned that Jay, and all soldiers, would get enough rest in order to perform at their best. Good advice for all of us was written on April 5, 1918.
“I am pleased to note the vein of good spirit that runs through your letters. They do not indicate that you are despondent, even though things do not always run smoothly. One surely must expect to put up with many disadvantages under war conditions and I am glad to have you take the attitude you do under the condition in which you are working. The only thing I am afraid of is that you will overdo yourself. There is a limit to what you can endure, and the redeeming feature of your while line-up is that you have all agreed to go to bed at a seasonable hour, which is the best rule you have adopted, providing you follow it out. You should do this for the best interests of your country; and men can endure lots if they can have plenty of sleep, under wholesome airy conditions, so they can be rested and full of energy for the next day’s work. If you overreach yourself and take on more than you can stand, and should break down under it so that you would be laid up for a while, you would not be as successful as if you conserved your strength and lasted on through.”
On May 13, George suggested Jay work on his command of the French language. This was probably good advice since Jay would soon meet and marry a lovely French lady, Germaine Dubois.
“We were all very much amused at your French letter, and we come to the conclusion that your French was so punk that even though your friend can scarcely read or comprehend your letter in English, he figures he will be less persecuted if you omit the French. It seems to me now ought to be an opportune time to learn French, and if I were you I would make it a point, all my spare hours, to get in touch with some genial Frenchman who will be good enough to tolerate your French.”
Each letter George and Lillian received from their son was a treasure, and they didn’t pass up the opportunity to continue sharing their parental wisdom with him from afar.
Tuesday, July 17
Jack & Kitty Day
10:30 $3/$5 Instrument Making for pre- and elementary aged kids. Please register at www.hormelhistorichome.org.
2:30 FREE Sounds So Sweet! The History of American Jug Band Music of the ‘30s. Perfect event for music lovers to reminisce over familiar tunes played in unique ways.
6:30 FREE Peace Garden Concert for all ages to enjoy.
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