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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Christmas Plans

Again, I don’t know the date my dad, George Edwin Farrar, moved to Chicago, Illinois to live with the Buslee family.  This letter from my dad to his mother does show he was living in Chicago in December of 1945 and records a planned trip home to Atlanta, Georgia for Christmas.

December 10, 1945
Neumann – Buslee & Wolfe, Inc.
Chicago, Ill.

Dearest Mother:

Received your very welcomed letter this noon, and also the package. While I am thinking of it, if you receive another check from the Government, do not send it here. Just keep it there for me until I get there, as I am leaving here the 15th. And if it comes after you receive this, it would not reach me in time, and they would just have to send it back to Atlanta, and I don’t need the money at the present any-way.

Was really wonderful news to hear Carroll was back in the states, and I know he is as glad as all of us put together, in fact that is the way it was for me. Hope he will be home by next Sunday, so we can all have Dinner together. I think that is the grandest bit of news I have had in some time.

In your last letter you asked if I had heard from Mr. Henson. As yet I haven’t heard from him, but received a letter from Jeanne, but she didn’t say anything about her Mother or Father. He must be O.K. or she would have mentioned it, I am sure.

About the turkey you spoke of. If twenty-two pounds is the largest Mr. Cobb can let you have, get it by all means, but if he should have another larger, get that one. I am going to pay for it. So just get the largest you can. I have had turkey about ten times, at dinners since Thanksgiving, and they are better each time. As you know Carroll and my-self will both be there at least a week after Christmas, and the bird will come in handy.

The formal Saturday night turned out grand. I didn’t tell you all about it, or I can’t now, but here is a little. If you remember when I came from Chicago last I rode with Bill Olson, the buyer for Curtis Candy Co. Well Bill lives in Park Ridge, and is about 47 years old. Mr. Buslee and me made a call on him, about a week ago and invited him to the party, but as he was going to be out of town he was very sorry as his wife would just love to go. Well, we talked a bit, and after a call to his wife, the conclusion was that I take Mrs. Olson. Well I did and we had a grand time. I drove Mr. Buslee’s car, and Mr. and Mrs. Buslee went with me, while Jan and Gene went in their car. We had a gay time, and did not come home until having breakfast at four thirty in the morning.

I sincerely hope Dad is feeling better by now. Hate so bad to hear he isn’t getting along well. He had better get better by Christmas, because he has just got to cut that turkey. He cut the last one when I was home for Christmas.

Went over to Bill Farrar’s yesterday for dinner. He has a nice little place, and isn’t a bad cook at all. He had a couple other fellows up, and his table is just right for four.

Don’t know if you will hear from me again, before I get to Atlanta, or not as I will be there a few days after you receive this. I would come there any-way now that Carroll is there. As it has been some time since I have seen him, and he never did answer my letters(S). I hope he reads this.

Well I had better cut here so take it easy, and don’t work to hard so you will feel good for Christmas. I have been looking for a call from Hugh all day as he was to come here for the Soft Drink Convention, to which I am going. He may be in tomorrow, I hope nothing has happened.

Love to all,
Ed

Please pardon my mistakes, as you know I don’t have a chance to type often.

Notes:

  • Carroll was George Edwin Farrar’s oldest brother who served in the Pacific theatre during WWII.
  • Mr. Henson was the father of William A. Henson, the navigator aboard Lead Banana on September 28, 1944.  Jeanne was William’s sister.  The Hensons lived near the Farrars in Atlanta.
  • Jan and Gene were Jan (Buslee) and Gene Kiefhofer.  Jan was John Oliver Buslee’s sister and she was married to Gene.
  • Bill Farrar was likely a Farrar relative, but there are many and I don’t know which one specifically.
  • Not mentioned in the letter, but Ed’s younger brother, Bob, was also supposed to be home for Christmas that year.  Bob was the third Farrar son who served in WWII, in the Navy.
  • According to my Aunt Beverly, Carroll and Bob both made it home to Atlanta for Christmas before my dad arrived from Chicago.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Buslee Visit

I can’t pinpoint a date when all of these events occurred, but I do know they must have occurred in the Fall of 1945.  My father, George Edwin Farrar, received his Honorable Discharge and Separation from the Army Air Forces on October 29.  The date he physically returned home – to his parents’ home in Atlanta, Georgia – from WWII I do not know.  I do know that Mr. and Mrs. Buslee traveled all the way from Chicago, Illinois to meet my dad and offer him a job with Mr. Buslee’s company, Neumann, Buslee, & Wolfe, Inc.  My Aunt Beverly, eight years old at the time, remembers Mr. and Mrs. Buslee sitting in the living room of the Farrar home and visiting with my dad and his mother.  Her father was very ill and bedridden and was not able to join the group.

The Buslees primarily wanted to hear anything my dad knew about the events of September 28, 1944, specifically, the mid-air collision over Magdeburg, Germany between the Lazy Daisy and the Lead Banana, on which their son, John Oliver, was the pilot.  My dad was the waist gunner on John Oliver’s crew and was the only survivor on the Lead Banana.

I don’t know if what my dad was able to tell them put their minds at ease, but it was something they wanted to hear in person.  As a result of their visit – and I don’t know if they considered this in advance or if it was just a spur of the moment decision – Mr. Buslee offered my dad a job.  Neumann, Buslee & Wolfe were “Merchants, Importers, and Manufacturers” and they made and sold flavorings and essential oils.  Mr. Buslee would teach my dad to be a salesman.  My dad moved to Chicago into the Buslee’s home and as my Aunt Beverly put it, he “lived in their son’s room, wore their son’s clothes, and drove their son’s car.”  He lived and ate with the family and was treated like he was their own son.

What a difference a year can make in two different families’ lives.  A year previous, both the Farrar and Buslee families were worried about their sons, missing in action after a mid-air collision over Germany.  And now, the Farrar family had their son back and the Buslee family knew that theirs was never coming back.  But the Farrar family was losing their son again.  Yes, a positive move for him and only as far as Chicago, Illinois.  But they were probably not ready to let him go even that far after what he had gone through the past year to make it back to them alive.

The Buslees had a temporary replacement for their son lost in the war.  Maybe my dad’s presence in their home softened the loss of their own son.  Or maybe it made it all the more painful, a reminder on a daily basis that their son was gone.  What a difference a war can make.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Caterpillar Club

On November 20, 1945, George Edwin Farrar became a member of the Caterpillar Club.  He was granted entry into the club due to the fact that a parachute saved his life on September 28, 1944.  Stanley Switlik, owner of the Switlik Parachute Company sent him this nice letter, certificate, and pin.  I have the certificate hanging in my home.

1945-11-20-Switlik-001

CaterpillarClub-002

Caterpillar Pin

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014