Letters From A Private
March 18, 2013 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Letters From A Private: "...[19 year-old Pvt. D. Bruce Hirshorn] was in the Army in 1944 and 1945. He wrote home almost every single day.... Today, Uncle Bruce is the same upbeat, funny guy. He’s 87 and he loves syrup and ships!" posted by knile (8 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
He’s 87 and he loves syrup and ships!

Of course he does! Ships are really dry without syrup.

(Going to read the links now.)
posted by xingcat at 7:29 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Kids, read these with some care, then ask yourselves: in 70 years will my Twitter feed be as fascinating & entertaining as this?
posted by chavenet at 7:32 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Not everyone can be a great diarist, and it's a good deal harder when entries are limited to 140 characters.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on March 18, 2013

Pvt. Bruce isn't trying to be a great diarist, he's just writing home. One fascinating thing about this collection is the sheer volume of correspondence -- everyone in the family is always writing to Bruce, too. Very few people do that anymore, we've all shifted it to digital versions. (Nothing wrong with that; it's just different.)
posted by chavenet at 8:06 AM on March 18, 2013

in 70 years will my Twitter feed be as fascinating & entertaining as this

No but will his correspondence in the 1940s give as complete a picture of his daily life, including but not limited to personal letters, as my email archive does today?

I love letters too. I've saved most letters I got after I moved out of my parents house, but the collection stops in the early 90s. I wish I saved everything. But I also marvel at how easily I can reconstruct my daily life on any given date 5 or 10 years ago by just looking at emails and calendars.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:38 AM on March 18, 2013

Personal letters like this are catnip to me. I love WWII history, but when I tire of grand, corps-level histories, reading some grunt's note to his mom always reminds me why the huge event is still so incredibly interesting and emotionally resonant.

We only have a few of my grandpa's letters from the South Pacific, and when I was researching his service I pulled out every noun and number I could find!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:53 AM on March 18, 2013

Bruce's letters are hilarious, but the photos of him today are awesome. I wish I could hook him up with my 89 year old grandma. They could go for a ride in her red Chevy HHR with the flames on the sides and have a grand old time.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:53 AM on March 18, 2013

I've been working on a pretty similar project and have been holding off on putting it online because I was hoping to come up with a way to give it more dimension or elevate it somehow, possibly through commentary and/or a narrative. However, this is a wonderful blog and I feel encouraged and think that maybe I can just let the material speak for itself.
posted by christopherious at 7:16 PM on March 19, 2013

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