Friday Night Heirlooms: Letters & Papers from the Trunk in the Hall: V-Mail Letter; Dec. 15, 1944

Friday Night Heirlooms: Letters & Papers from the Trunk in the Hall: V-Mail Letter; Dec. 15, 1944

The “Trunk in the Hall” held the letters and papers my grandparents saved – and they saved everything from canceled checks, postcards telling of the next VFW meeting, receipts and family letters. My mother reminds me, of in those days, people didn’t throw things away like today. My grandmother unraveled burlap sacks and reused the string, the muslin tobacco bags were saved and sewed together for quilt backs, old clothes were ripped apart and re-used; the list could go on and on.When I think back now of how granddaddy’s farm looked, I can see various items laying around. There was always a pile of scrap metal pieces behind the smoke house – I guess that was his work-pile when he needed to repair something. My grandfather, like many others during those years, were very conservative people; mama still calls herself today a frugal person!

 The “Trunk in the Hall” will be an Heirloom post in the future.


V-Mail Letter

  • To: Miss Helen McKinley                                                         December 15, 1944
  • Greensboro, GA.
  • Rt. 3

Dearest Sis,

Will write the little girl a letter tonite hoping you are doing fine. I am OK. Learning a little French once in a while, but not too much. You are still going to school and having a good time getting a case of that Puppy Love once in awhile, but just don’t let it get the best, because you know how that love affair of mine turned out and that wasn’t long ago and you are just too young. I bet you are getting to where you can help “mom” now but I bet you really put a grumble? Well, that’s what mother needs, is someone to help her around the house and you are just the little girl that can do it and it will keep you busy.

Your Loving Brother,

Lee Roy

  • From: Pfc. Edgar L. McKinley
  • Co. B 2nd Inf. APO 5
  • C/O P.M. NY, NY


Every letter was signed with either “your loving brother or son and he always signed his name as “Lee Roy” – writing it as two words; he actually had very good cursive handwriting. It’s a shame that many schools today no longer teach cursive to our children. How will that affect them as genealogist in the future? Will it become a class later in college for those wanting to learn or will it be the responsibility of their parents or grandparents to teach them?

Leroy Mail_0006 (800x747)

It seems he liked to write his name as “Lee-Roy”

My mother always talked about her brother and how she never felt close to him as he didn’t spend time with her. After reading the letter, you can see the love and how he thought of her and worried how she might end up in a too-fast relationship like his marriage. Even this short letter shows the love for his sister!


For more, click: Letters and Papers from The Trunk in the Hall

For history on V-Mail, click  WWII: The History of V-Mail

© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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4 Responses to Friday Night Heirlooms: Letters & Papers from the Trunk in the Hall: V-Mail Letter; Dec. 15, 1944

  1. True says:

    What a Treasure! I now have that Trunk in my Office! Love his handwriting! Your making me think of all those times just gazing at all their things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret says:

    Yes, my dad kept tobacco sacks, paper bags, bread ties, bread bags, all scrap metal, broken pieces of everything and yes, it laid around the yard in piles and he would be so upset if we threw something away. I just burned income tax records from 1950 forward. I hated to get rid of the treasures, but I don’t have an archive to put all this good stuff. My house is overflowing as it is with all the treasures I have salvaged.


    • Hi Margaret. Love to see you reading. Yes they saved Everything! They were truly the “green” people, not like today when things are trashed so quick and often. My house overflows too and sometimes it’s depressing, but I just can’t part with it yet. Guess my kids will have a good time throwing out, but that’s why I’m writing my Heirloom Posts to let them know what’s trash and what’s not. I’ll give them a book of the stories at some point. Hope they read it!


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