Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Letters From When I Was Overseas"

I've been pining for weeks trying to decide how to start this thing...

My father, Sam T Graham Sr was born in 1925 to the late Earnest Dewey Graham and Lonie (pronounced "Lonnie"- she'll haunt you if you say it incorrectly) Eubanks Graham in Okolona MS. He passed away in 2008, six months after my mother passed. Maybe it's becasue they were both born in poverty and couldn't stand to throw anything out, maybe they were both closet historians; either way, they left behind a house filled to the brim (literally) with objects and items from decades long passed. Among these treasures was a box yellowed with age labeled "Letters From When I Was Overseas."

My father volunteered for the United States Army shortly after his older brother Pete in 1943. He was placed in active service in January of 1944. He was 18 years old.

In the "Letters From When I Was Overseas" box, I discovered an accidental memoir comprised of letters from my grandmother (Mrs. E.D. Graham) to my father (Pvt Sam T Graham). What follows is an insight into the lives of ordinary people in an extraordinary time.


  1. i'm looking forward to this project of yours...

  2. What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sam, This is such a treat for me. I had known your grandparents from the time I was in elementary school. I can clearly imagine them; Mrs. Graham at the cash register and Mr. Graham always on the move around the store footprint. To me, they were like characters in a storybook. I never knew them as regular people. The store had closed before I graduated from high school, although I can't remember the exact year.

    Your doing this project is just fantastic! thank you for sharing this insight. I enjoy stumbling across names that I have either heard of from my own grandmother or knew in their late years.

    Joyce B.

  4. Sam, I have really enjoyed reading the letters that you have found in 'the house'. I understand completely as my wife and I had to go through my mothers home and my grandmothers home and also found similar items of their past.
    Reading the letters, I can visualize your father and your grandmother writing him back. She was so small in statute but proud and very much alive even in her last years where we would sit in the living room or her kitchen and visit. I just remembered that I have even stayed the night there and helped her with things around the house when I was a youngster. But watch the back porch, you might fall through.
    There was a green couch or chair if I remember right and as a child I would sit in the chair at the little table by the bottom of the stairs and draw in the notepad she kept by the old rotary phone. Just past the phone was your grandpa's room. I remember him in the hospital bed before his health began to fail him.
    Oh yea, and the truck, he drove that old thing to Okolona EVERY time he came home.
    Anyway congratulations on the project and I look forward to reading any more letters or any other memorabilia you discover.
    Take care.
    Bobby B
    PS I like Joyce don't remember the store but I do remember the stores sign in the garage behind your grandmothers house.