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.
March 21, 1966
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:
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.