Monday, February 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Uncle Camey Writes Home

Amanuensis Monday

What's an Amanuensis, you say? It's a copyist: someone who sits like a crazy person squinting their eyes and probably ruining eyesight to read that old document hand-written so very long ago and type it out. We do because we love:)

It's World War II and Grandma Kelly's boys are ready to go do their duty. They gather with the family before everyone goes off, and take photos so that they can all remember the last time they were together. Everyone puts on brave faces but you can tell, the women in the family look worried but mostly smile hard. So do the Old Folks.

On the Williams side, Mom's family, was doing much the same thing. Once the boys were off for training camps the letters started coming back home. Dad had some medical issues that kept him out of the draft. Later he had a war job in a munitions plant so he was really out of the action. But the brothers and brothers-in-law didn't yet know that so they wrote to the only man their age back home. Mom has a treasure trove of letters from this time.

Here's a letter from Mom's brother Camey who was training in Riverside County, California, at Camp Haan, and not too far from where I now live.

Camp Haan CA
Desert RAT (ME)
Friday Sept 3

Hi Folks,
Well I received your letter today and was glad to hear from you. Glad Ginny is getting along good. Not much news here. I leave for Camp again tomorrow for a period of two weeks and then come back out here again for anywhere from 8 weeks on up. This time has only been for 3 weeks, boy the next time it will drive me nuts I guess. I like it here though its hot. I want to hear about Pat soon as he gets examined and when he leaves for the Army.
If I was to have it over again I would take the Navy. I could make something. Lot more chances than the Army. I know you would make good anywhere though. I may as well have two Lieut.’s as brother in laws than only one. Petie’s Cousin is out here, he’s (???)in an office also and she wrote for me to come see thou I know him well. Well I must close now. I’m busy packing, I write late.
Lots of luck,

Uncle Camey in Uniform, location unknown.

A souvenir scarf sent to Mom by her brother, Camey Williams from Camp Haan, CA.
He made it home! 
Here's a video of a Jack Benny broadcast from Camp Haan in 1942! How cool is this?

Ananuesis Monday is a weekly blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers. You can find the whole week's list of prompts here. Thanks, GeneaBloggers for being you!!


  1. What a treasure to have this note! I actually read "Peties cousin is out here, her husband is a Officer also and she wants for me to come see them, I know her well."

    What do you think?

    1. Of course! Clear once I've been shown;) Thank you so very much, Heather!! That's great! Now it really makes more sense.

    2. I'm so glad to help! I've noticed that when I have trouble transcribing something another set of eyes often helps.