Tag: Fort Polk

Amanuensis Monday – Sister Irene

On March 8, 1966, Dad’s sister Irene wrote him a letter from her home in Sacramento. Dad was in basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Irene was the second of Dad’s siblings, born Dorothy Irene on November 11, 1929 in Winner, South Dakota, the child of Grandpa Montgomery and his first wife, Antonia Marie Jelinek. Irene spent part of her high school years living with and helping out a family in Albany, Oregon. In August 1948 she married Vern Jenness, whom she later divorced.  In 1961 she married a second time, to a man coincidentally named Robert Montgomery.  That marriage ended as well, and then Aunt Irene married a final time on July 20, 1969 to Hugh Myers. Irene was also the second sibling lost, dying of cancer on August 24, 1985 at age 55.

[Postmarked Sacramento, Calif., March 9, 1966; Addressed Pvt. Theodore R. Montgomery, RH 19882937 2nd Training Brigade 2D Battalion Co. B, Fort Polk, Louisiana 71459; stamp torn; Return address label on back flap:  Irene Montgomery, 1731 ‘N’ St. Apt. 10, Sacramento, Calif. 95814; envelope and signature handwritten; remainder typed]

                                                            Sacramento, March 8, 1966

 Dear Ted,

            Received a letter from Mom, giving me your address. I am happy to hear that you will be coming home to get Linda. Where in Texas will you be stationed and for how long?

           Do you ever hear from brother Gene? I wrote to him a couple of times, but I imagine he is busy and does write to the folks.

            Are you going to keep your house and rent it out, or sell it? It would be nice to be collecting that rent on it, but then there is the chance the tenants may not take good care of the house.

            I received a letter from Linda Lea last week with a picture of herself. It was very good. She certainly is a young lady and on the honor roll too. Of course that isn’t anything new, most of you were when you were going to school.

            I sing 1st Soprano in the St. John’s Choir in downtown Sacramento. I enjoy it very much. We are getting ready for Easter and of course we have special services for Lent—Wednesdays and Sundays. I have a music lesson on the organ every week. I am able to play some favorite songs, but I have to go to the church to practice, so I don’t practice as much as I would like to or should to progress more.

            We have been having beautiful weather here recently. A little crisp (which I like) but the sun is bright most of the time.

            It is Camellia time. They had the Camellia Show at the Memorial Auditorium Saturday and Sunday of this past week. Then next Saturday they have the parade.

            Will you by any chance be coming through Sacramento in your travels in the next few months? Would love to see you and I am sure Myrtle and children will be happy to see you also.

            I must say so long for now. Hope this letter finds you well and as cheerful as possible. 


                                                            Your sister,


Amanuensis Monday – May God Bless You

On March 21, 1966 my paternal grandfather, Lawrence Theodore Montgomery, wrote to my dad, then in the Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana and approaching his 24th birthday. Grandpa’s letter cost 8 cents to send air mail to “Pvt. Theodore R. Montgomery, RA 19882937 2nd Train Brig., 2D Battalion Co. B., Fort Polk, Louisiana 71459.” Grandpa mentions Linda Jo (my mother, waiting in Idaho to join Dad once he was out of basic training), as well as four of his twelve children: Laura, the youngest; Linda Lea, then sixteen; Gene, about 18 months older than Dad; and Flo, Grandpa’s eldest, 38 years old and with seven children of her own.

Caldwell, Idaho
March 21, 1966

Dear Ted:

We ran into trouble trying to transfer the Studebaker to Gene. We must have a sales tax exemption signed and notarized by you or pay the sales tax on it for the full book price. Request that you get this form signed and your commanding officer can notarize it for you. Gene is planning on going to work right away and will need the car. He may go to work in Nampa.

Linda Jo said she missed your phone call yesterday. Gene said you were probably still in the field.

Gene, Laura, Mom and I went out to Flo’s yesterday all afternoon and evening. Linda Lea stayed home to study.

Spring is showing up here now the mountains are pretty white with snow but it is 45° here in the Valley. We are going to plan garden this week, if the moon is right.

Everyone is O.K. here now. Laura is home with a sore throat but not serious. Bob Baird left for San Diego yesterday morning. We plan on a birthday dinner for you and Laura at McGarvins about the 3rd of April or when it is most convenient for you.

Must close and get this off to you as soon as you get this back to us we can get a license on the car.

May God Bless You
Dad, Mom, Gene & Gals

Also included in the envelope is a letter from Aunt Laura, Dad’s handicapped youngest sister, then five days shy of her fifteenth birthday:

Dear Ted

I Miss you very much. Be glad when you come home. Maybe we can have a Birthday Party to-gether after you get home. Love Laura

Interestingly, the envelope also contains a self-addressed stamped envelope as well as the Idaho Sales Tax Vehicle Certificate Dad was supposed to have notarized and return. I know Uncle Gene ended up with the Studebaker somehow; Dad may have to explain that one.