It seems like every time I look for something in particular, I run across something else that would make a good column. When you write two a week for 13 years now, you pretty well cover a lot of history of Denison and the surrounding area. I have written a lot about veterans and observances, but very little about individual veterans.

It seems like every time I look for something in particular, I run across something else that would make a good column. When you write two a week for 13 years now, you pretty well cover a lot of history of Denison and the surrounding area. I have written a lot about veterans and observances, but very little about individual veterans.


Those who know me and my family probably know that I only had one uncle, R.C. Vaughan, and I shared him with the citizens of Grayson County for many years as he served as 15th District Judge. He passed away three years ago. My mother, Inez Vaughan Hord, was his only sibling. He and Mother were very close.


In a file of papers that came to me when R.C. passed away, I found a letter written to him in 1943 when he was stationed with the U.S. Army in Roswell, N.M. I also have a number of his letters home and even a couple written to him by this writer’s 8-year-old hand.


It seems that The Denison Herald had printed a newsletter weekly talking about what was going on in Denison to keep men and women in the service informed. This particular newsletter was dated Nov. 1, 1943. The letter began with "Dear ____" (a blank to be filled in by the sender). This particular one was sent to R.C. and Ona, his wife, who was in Roswell with him. Since it covered local news, I’ll reprint it to let you know what was going on as World War II was winding down.


"Denison has raised more than $15,000 of its $20,000 United War Chest drive. Dismantling of the Highway 91 Bridge across Red River at Preston Bend has started. S.R. Bishop, veteran Denison feed and seed dealer, died suddenly Friday. E D. Schroeder, owner of the Seven-Up bottling plant, has been released from the Army.


"Among new Denison selectees entering the service are C.R. McNeely, Junior W. Roberts, Robert Barbour and James Hudgins of the U.S. Engineers, Ralph A. Porter, vice-president of the State National Bank, James McGeehee, owner of the Grayson Hardware, and Bubba Whiting, owner of the Midway Grocery. In closing out his business, Whiting held a two-day pointless sale of rationed groceries and meats that caused a mild stampede until the OPA stopped it.


"A.B. Shanks has retired as general master mechanic of the Katy to be succeeded by J.W. Chapman of Parsons, Kan. The Rev. J. C. Oglesby has returned to Waples Church for his fourth year and the Rev. Hugh S. Porter, Trinity minister, has been sent to Jacksboro by the North Texas Methodist Conference. The Rev. Guy Perdue of Jacksboro was sent to Trinity.


"Gov. Coke Stevenson will be here next Saturday to see the dam. Denison Boy Scouts returned Sunday after a week’s training camp at Lake Murray. The temperature dropped to 33 degrees Wednesday, bringing a heavy frost. The Denison district ration board issued 28,873 copies of Ration Book IV. Lt. Col John H. Anderson, former Denison U.S. Engineer, has been transferred from Baltimore, Md., to Galveston as district army engineer.


"The Yellow Jackets suffered a setback Friday night at Paris when the Wildcats held them to a scoreless tie. Each team had one penetration but the Jackets scored three more first downs than Paris. Denison meets Gainesville here Nov. 11.


"About your buddies in the service: Capt. Carl Taylor of the air forces and his brother, Capt. Bobby Taylor, met in the Southwest Pacific…Bill McCune and Luther Brown chanced to bump into each other in Egypt…Sgt. Neal K. Moore has reached England…Eugene (Bitsy) Marsico has been promoted to first lieutenant in North Africa.


"Harry Wingren has been promoted to captain with the signal corps in Washington…Theodore Wilson and Charles W. Scott have been promoted to sergeant at Perrin Field…Lawrence Metcalf has joined the marines…Sgt. Ben F. Hearn J., has been transferred to a post hospital assignment at Tinker Field.


"John Clark has been promoted to first Lieutenant at Camp Adair, Ore…Lt. Fred W. Brunson has landed overseas…William W. Corbett is somewhere in the Pacific as seaman first class.


"Until next week:"


In the same envelope was a real, handwritten two page letter written to R.C. by my mother. There was a lot of family talk but some information that would go along with The Herald’s letter. My folks had gone to the Paris Football game mentioned in The Herald’s letter. Mother said it was "good even though it was 0-0. She encouraged R.C. to try to be home for the Sherman game because it would really be a good one. "I’m sure, it usually is."


She told him that the big bridge at Carpenter’s Bluff had burned the week before and it was almost worrying "Pop to death." Pop was their father, S.B. Vaughan, who was serving as Precinct 2 Commissioner at that time. She was hoping that he would not plan to run for commissioner again and instructed R.C. to give him "a good talking to."


One bit of personal information I thought interesting was news that Mother was getting eight eggs a day from her pullets. She said she was really proud of them and the past weekend was the first time she hadn’t bought egg forever. She said they were selling for 50 cents a dozen too.


On the same page with The Herald’s letter was a column by "Torridora," whoever that might have been. It was sort of a "brief run," column of later years that I wrote for a long time.


One item of a little interest was the first of that day’s offering. It related how costumes were in the minority at the Tropical Garden’s (a local night club) big masquerade party and the crowd was in a typical pre-war Halloween mood. Carl McCraw was unable to secure enough hats, noisemakers, souvenirs, etc., to go around because the crowd was so large. None-the-less, a "good time was had by all." The most comic couple of the evening was Mr. and Mrs. Boyd H. Fowler who came dressed as the Mullins of the funnies. The article said he made a "very charming and gracious lady and she was a very charming freckled-faced man."


In those war-time days, it’s good to see that things at home were going on as normally as possible.


Donna Hunt is former editor of The Denison Herald. She lives in Denison and can be contacted at d.hunt_903@yahoo.com.