Baca County History

by the Plainsman Herald

Letters Home: The Process for this Project is Developing.


I am beginning the process of what I hope will be transcribing all of my Dad’s letters home from the Navy during WWII.   Since I don’t really know what I am doing I thought I would just start.  I don’t have a scanner with me so I will be adjusting some things I as I move forward with this project.  I snapped off some quick pictures below just to show the process. As I get going I will try and improve the quality of the images with a scanner.  I am using the Voice to Text capabilities within Google Docs as described on my tech blog here:

My Next Use for Google Docs is Voice to Text

I works pretty darn good.  If anyone would like me to help them get started doing this let me know.  Today is Sunday  April 13 and I will be in Springfield for a few more days if your are here.  If not I can attempt to help remotely.  If this helps anyone speed up the process of recording your family stories, please use it.  If there is any way to minimize the typing involved I am a happy camper so I suspect you will be as well.

Here is what I have done so far:

1) I started by organizing stuff as shown below.

Organizing Stuff by category
Organizing Stuff into categories

2) Putting all the navy stuff together:

CB Brooks Navy Photos
CB Brooks Navy Photos and Letter. There are really some amazing photos here.

3) I have determined I want to include the envelope associated with the letter and use that as the blog image and then convert the handwritten letters to a typed form to make it easier on the reader.  I suspect there may be several samples of the actual letters, but I will see how that goes.  This whole process may change, but I don’t have a better idea right now.

Sample Envelope:

Letter Home Envelope
Letter Home Envelope

4) Here is the text I entered using the Google Docs Voice to Text Capabilities.    It took about 5 minutes total to enter and edit.  This is the first letter after he arrived at the Great Lakes Training Facility.

Sunday February 8th, 1942

Dear Mom Pop &  All,

How is everybody. By now I am a long way from home.  I am at the Great Lakes and boy is it ever cold.  Got here yesterday about four o’clock.  Had quite a ride, everything looked a little different than it does down there.

There isn’t anything to do today only lay around.  How did Ray and Fay make it home the other day.  I haven’t learned much about this life yet but I guess we’ll start finding out in the morning.  The sun was shining a little while ago.  It’s about the first time I saw it since I left Denver.

We came to Chicago yesterday it’s a pretty big place.  I’m about 30 miles north of there. This is a different place than I thought I would go as I guess you can see.   We haft to sleep in a hammock,  last night mine jumped out from under me and this floor is ever hard. I’ve done little better than some of them, there are some who hit the floor about a dozen times. I don’t know how much of anything to write so I will  sign off for this time.  Write. when you can.

Love Charles

There are two great lines in this letter.  I think I am going to try and pull my favorite lines from each letter and turn those into a separate post.

“I am a long way from home. ”

“I haven’t learned much about this life yet but I guess we’ll start finding out in the morning. ”


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