Carolyn Porter | Handwriting
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Handwritten Letters, World War II, P22 Marcel, Typography, Love Story, Reunion, Daimler, Berlin, Marienfelde, STO, Forced Labor, Service du Travail Obligatoire, WWII
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“Nowhere in France”: Letter written by Emery Porter March 24, 1918

This letter was written and mailed by my grandfather, J. Emery Porter, to his sister, Lois Bayley. Forty or so of Emery’s WWI letters to Lois have survived (read more about these letters here). On the back of the envelope (shown above), he included a return address: “Pvt. Emery Porter, 646 Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces, via New York.” I never met my grandfather, but I heard he was a life-long French speaker and unabashed Francophile, primarily due to the experiences he had while stationed in France.

 

“Nowhere in France”
March 24, 1918

Dear Sister,

I was the happy recipient of your letter today. It is the second I have received from home folks. I received one from Mother two weeks ago this morning but nothing since. Evidently you have written others which I may yet receive. This one was dated March 2nd or 3rd. Emily K. has written six but I have received two so far so you can judge why I don’t respond often.

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“My father was friends with Marcel Heuzé”

Our conversation began with this astonishing claim: “My father was friends with Marcel Heuzé.”
(Cue the sound of a needle scratching across a record.)

Let me back up. Two weeks ago, I picked up my office phone to hear a 90-year-old woman with a crisp French accent state her name — Nelly Trocmé Hewett — followed by the astonishing claim her father had been friends with Marcel.READ MORE

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December 26, 1944: Somewhere in France

12/26/44
Somewhere in France

My Dearest Wife:

Well Christmas is here an gone. It didn’t even seem like Christmas just like another day. Christmas Eve we didn’t get in till about six. After we ate I washed and shaved. Was [illegible due to paper damage] to a little party they were having over in his Co. Then we were going to go to midnight services. READ MORE

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Dec. 24, 1943: I’ll say a prayer for the best little family in the world

24 December 1943

Dearest little Mother,

Just a short time ago we finished with morning (9 A.M.) sick call. I have had indications that today might be a very busy one so thought I’d better get off your daily letter early.

Tonight is Xmas eve and I can just see you hanging up a little pair of stockings by the chimney with care. What are you giving Mike for Xmas dear? Pretty hard to think of things for a little tyke like that isn’t it? Gosh I’d certainly like to be with you tonight. I will in spirit anyway, especially when I am in church tonight. I’ll say a prayer for the best little family in the world.READ MORE

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I wish I could put into words what I have in my heart: Dec. 22, 1942

Dec. 22, 1942

Dearest Wilma:

Received two letters of yours, today. One written the 23rd of November, the other a v-mail letter written the 31st of August, the new and the old.

Don’t you ever change the way you have been writing your sweet letters! I’ll admit they just about knock me off my feet, but it’s just what I want to hear. I wish I could put into words what I have in my heart and mind, but I am afraid I would make a mess of it. Perhaps you’ll remember some of [the] things I told you a long time ago. It all goes double, now.READ MORE

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Interview with Ann Marie Ackerman, author of Death of an Assassin

 

CP: Congratulations on the release of “Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee” (Sept 1. 2017, Kent State University Press). This fascinating story would have been entirely lost to time if you hadn’t put together these German and American puzzle pieces — congratulations! Tell us a bit about the mystery you solved:

AMA: Thank you, Carolyn! Actually, it was two mysteries, one on each continent.READ MORE

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“A card to you from not too gay Paree…”

February 15, 1945

My dear young men:

A card to you from not too gay Paree. But it is a beautiful city filled with beautiful women, beautiful buildings, beautiful stores, everything beautiful, no Frenchmen, and a lot of G.I. soldiers. I wish you both could be here to enjoy it. I wish I could enjoy it, too, but I am too busy with my work. Some other day, maybe 

— Dad

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