A family trip

A Visit West to see Marcus Zill

Miss Rosalie Nash

610 Ardson Rd

East Lansing, Michgan


Jan 3, 1950 (51)

8 P.M.

Dear Rosalie,


I think you forgot your boots in my car this afternoon.  I found them in the trunk when I took my suitcase out.  I took them to the people next door, for they are taking their girl up to M.S.C. early tomorrow morning.  She is either going to call you or bring them over to your house.

It was kinda nasty on the way home tonight.  In fact it took us just two and one-half hours to get to A2 after we left East Lansing.  It was fogger than heck all the way home so we couldn’t do over 40 mph after we left Williamston.

Also I’ve still got your walnuts in the car.  I’ll bring those up to you in a couple weeks.

I’ve got to close now and start packing.

Good Luck in your registering, I hope your (sic) get a few of the classes that you want.

                                Be good,

                                                Will write more Later





1713 Maryfield Drive

Ann Arbor, Michigan



January 4, 1951

Dear Kennie,

                Well, I survived it – registration that is and it wasn’t so bad after all.  My enrollment officer was very pleased about my marks going up but wasn’t in favor of my carrying anymore credits so I’m still taking 16.

                You know it’s kind of hard to write a letter to a person for the first time – especially if they don’t understand your “style” – well, I just babble on and on just like I do when I talk – however in a letter you have the opportunity to stop reading when you get bored, please feel free to do so.

                It took my housemother and I quite a while to catch up on everything.  Barby wasn’t at home, I went with her mother to pick her up and was she surprised.  They didn’t expect me until late last night – I had forgotten when I told them to expect me so it was a surprise to me too.  We had a late dinner because Mr. Booth had to go to the doctor’s.  After dinner I was so tired I could hardly wait to get the dishes done.  Laid down until nearly nine, then unpacked, took a bath and shampooed my hair.  I remembered to bring back everything except bobby pins so I looked and looked for pins – found about 20 but that doesn’t go anywhere on this mop of mine and it looked it today.  Mrs. B told me to sleep in – so I did until 9:00 – by the time I got downstairs she had left for downtown so I was alone all morning and I enjoyed it.  Did dishes, ironed and cleaned a little but I’ve never seen so much Christmas stuff in all my life – cards, papers, ribbons, decorations etc. 

                Registration wasn’t so bad – not as bad as I had expected – I didn’t have to change much (my schedule) from my trial schedule.  My darn Phy. Ed. course took longer than all the others put together.  And then I had to settle for fencing – dumb sorority girl’s sport – I swore I’d never take that or Modern Dance and I had to there was nothing I could do about it.  I will do my best but heart isn’t in it.  My schedule is good – M, W, and F 8-11 then back after dinner 1-2.  T and Th 12:30-3:30.  That’s how I like them, full and compact.

                I can’t imagine where you and your mother are tonite – but at least your trip must be third over.  I hope you’re enjoying it – do try to even if you don’t think you are now, you are bringing a lot of happiness to your mother and brother by doing it.

                I guess I forgot to thank you for everything yesterday.  I had a wonderful time – I wasn’t very anxious to come up here and be “pushed out” right away.  I enjoyed dinner with you guys – I’m glad you brought Gus along- we were able to become better acquainted and I also found out a lot about you thru our conversation – it seems like we’ve known each other for a long time but when you stop to think about it we don’t know hardly anything about each other – not that it matters.  Anyway I had a very nice time yesterday and I sure appreciated your bringing me up here.

                I decided I’d better find out about Sat. the 13th while the getting was good – asked her tonight and she said as far as she knew I could go home – she thinks I should go home Fri. too but as long as she is doing me a favor by letting me go home I would prefer just to take that one night.  As far as stuff’s doing up here – nothing special Sat. as far as I can find out, I could come home and you pick me up there but we’ll see what we’ll see.  You can write and let me know what you want to do.

                Well golly kiddo I can’t think of anything else – write soon.  I’ll write again while you’re out there but not much happens.  Have fun-





Jan 6, 1950 (51)

9 A.M.


Dear Rosalie,

                How is everything up in East Lansing?  Did you get the classes you want or did you get stuck with a lot of bad ones?

                Got to Kinnear about 4 yesterday afternoon.  What a beautiful trip and the scenery is lovely.  All there is, is broken down houses, beat up farmers and sagebrush.  It’s the worst darn country I have ever seen.

                I guess I’m going home about Wed and arrive in A2 about Fri morning.  It takes exactly 40 hours to go home.

                I just got back from hunting, didn’t get nothing though.  Went peasant (sic) hunting and saw 10 hens and one cock, missed them all too.

                They are really out of season but no one seems to mind too much.

                I’ve got to close as this letter has to be in the mail by 9:30 and its 15 after now and it’s a ten minute walk to the post office

                                Lots of Love


P.S. See you next Saturday nite.



New York City

January 7, 1951


Dear Rosalie:

                Here I am about 2500 miles from my beloved brother Ken.  Had an enjoyable trip, and have a big week ahead.

                I have written Joan and plans are now made depending on your ability to get off.

                I sure hope you can make it, for it certainly would be sweet. Enclosed is a news item, I know you would be intestered.

                                Best Regards


                                G. W. Heins




Jan 8, 1951

8 P.M.


Dear Rosalie,

                I was pleasantly surprised to hear from you today, not once but twice, both letters were in the mail today.

                You didn’t do bad at all during registration, you got a pretty good schedule.

                I spend the whole day looking at mountains and wild animals.  The play out here is just running over wild moose and elks.  You can find them all over the country.  My mother changed our minds so we’re arriving A2 early Sat morning, so I’ll call you up at East Lansing sometime around noon on Saturday after I talked (sic) to Gus.  Let me know if you ain’t going to be home Sat, (If you ain’t write a letter to my house in A2).

                Tomorrow I gotta get up early and to ice fishing.  I don’t have no license, but neither does anyone else and it doesn’t seem to bother them in the least bit. Everyone is just setting around out here writing letters.  No one has worked exceptional hard this week and I’m no exception. I think the only work I’ve done since I got here is to wash dishes one noon.  Now I’ve retired for good.  It’s getting late so I better close





Jan 9, 1951


Dear Rosalie;

                I hope your (sic) not too hard these days, I know I’m not.  We went fishing this morning and caught about 25 fish.  The worse part of it was I had to clean the darned things.  It was colder than heck standing out on the cold ice, but it only took a little over an hour to catch them.  Out here they don’t use little fishing houses to sit in,  they just stand out on the ice and fish thru a hole.  It’s a lot of fun but its (sic) cold.

                I got an invitation to come back some day and go elk hunting.  The boy I went fishing with today makes his living by being a guide in the mountains.  He takes the rich guys up in the mountain and charges them from 15 to 20 dollars a day for each one.  He usually takes from 6 -12 guys up at a time.

                I got a letter from Heinleg (Gus) today.  He is coming home Sat morning some time.  I’ll still call you about noon if its (sic) OK with you.  There should be something to do in East Lansing or Lansing.

                I hope you’ll excuse the poor writing but it’s the best I can do. Everyone else in the family has real nice handwriting, I took a course in Penmanship last year at M.S.N.C. but I don’t think it did any good.  I should quite now get back to my loafing


                                                Love Ken

P.S. Be good, but have fun

Ken and Gus singing. Not sure when, where or who the other fellow is!
Something I didn't see very often. My dad hated to sing, ever since Pastor Brauer told him he couldn't sing!
Ken's student activity card for the year he was drafted. At just 20, he made it through fall term before being drafted.

Copyright © 2013 Mary Elizabeth Zill VandenBerghe

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Latest comments

04.10 | 19:01

Of course, thank you for asking! Would love to see what you write if you can share when you are done.

04.10 | 18:39

I'm writing a book on Christmas in Wartime. Would it be ok to use a couple of comments in your dad's letters related to Christmas in the book? Many thanks!

09.07 | 22:16

If your related to Celia Gearhart Nash 1913-1988. Please contact me. I have a self-published book of poems written by her titled the View From My Window

05.09 | 07:05

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