Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Old letters: Sgt. Freddie Cagle to his wife, Mattie, 1949

In this post, Sgt. Fred Cagle writes from Fort Bragg, NC to his beloved wife, Mattie, in Rosebud, TX.

[FROM: Sgt. Fred Cagle 384187214, "C" Company, 758th Hvy. Tk. Bn., Fort Bragg, North Carolina, TO: Mrs. Mattie Cagle, Box 353, Rosebud, Texas / April 25, 1949]

Sgt. Fred Cagle
Co C 758 Tk Bn.
Fort Bragg NC.

My Dear Wife:

This is my second letter to day and my second day has now gone by since I heard from you. Well I don't know what's happening but to me you are messing up. When you left me you said you would write me every day, and that is what I expected but you have failed. Well you have fail in things before and that just bring back memberese. 

Some how I don't think you will ever understand me, but if I were you I would try. In the past I have done a lot of thing out of the way just to try to keep that impression on your mine. But when it look like you are failing I began to think it was all in vain. Now if I were you I wake up and stay awake. Now I don't want to have to warned you anymore, and do believed me that I will check and check good when I come. So be careful. 


Nice as I have been to you means one misstake can mean all of me far as you concern.

Now before you decide to do what you are big enough to you better think about how many chances you have to get by with it.

Sweet letters are alright but some of them will lead a weak man wrong. But I am wrong. 

Now I will close hoping you and family are well. I don't expected to do this again (that is warned you). Well the boys just called me and told me that I had a letter so you can just forget about what I have said in this letter. (smile) I also read it you were telling me about the radio well if you get any thing let me know for I want to get a combination from the PX for $97.00. I finally got off for the week end. 

I am writing by a home made light some time I see and some time I don't (smile)

The shoes that I picked out for the kids will cost me $27.25. For I will get enough for them to change every once in a while. I don't want them going barefooted for it don't look good for little girls going that way. It makes them have big feet. (smile)

I am getting three pair for Jean and three for Jane and four for Betty. You can look for them right after pay day. I ain't going to take any weak chances this pay day but I will try to when me a thosand dollars with my cards. (smile) That sound like a lot of money but I will go over and play with the white boys. If I win pretty good I will get and send you that combination. (smile) So keep your finger cross. Well baby I still love you, and I know you still love me don't you. (smile)

Now I'll say again for you to keep sweet and remember the first day that I come. (smile)

Love Freddie



Can you BELIEVE what he wrote??


Obviously we have no idea what was going on between him and his wife but HOLY CRAP, he is MEAN!!

Also, why would he have sent that letter when, halfway through it, he got Mattie's letters and was like, "nevermind what I said earlier, hahaha." Why not just throw away that first letter and write a new one, starting with, "I got your letters, yay!"

I tried to find some information on Freddie and Mattie Cagle. Ancestry.com has a record for a Freddie Mozelle Cagle born 26 Sept 1923 to William Asberry Cagle and Nettie Mae Hendricks. That would put him at about the right age for being in the military and writing this letter in 1949.

I couldn't find anything on a Mattie Cagle, or their kids. So maybe this isn't the right Freddie Cagle, because it doesn't even show that he had a spouse or children. :-(

All it said about Freddie Cagle is that he died in Texas, but nothing for when and where. 

I clicked on his father's name and if I have the right Freddie, he had a lot of siblings, of which he was the youngest.

Clara Anna (b. 1907)
Vanie Viola (b. 1910, d. 2001)
Frank D. (b. 1912, d. 1977)
Bernest William (b. 1914, d. 1967)
Leona (b. 1918, d. 1993)
Freddie Mozelle (b. 1923)

His family's records go way back, at least on Ancestry.com. Generations going back to the 1700s, all in Tennessee.

Just Googled Rosebud, TX and now I am feeling like I need to make a road trip this weekend. Just for fun. 

Christmas dress defying every attempt to be made

My Christmas dress project is never-ending. I was sooooo excited to start it. I had visions of a stunningly feminine gorgeous confection, and I'd been planning it for so long. I was going to use the bodice from McCall's 5094,the skirt from Butterick 8160, and the blouse from McCall's 4310. It was going to be SO CUTE.

I started with the bodice. I was on a roll, too. I accidentally almost matched the stripes from the plaid at the seams:

Then when I attached the bodice to the midriff band, this happened:

So I learned the hard way why some patterns are NOT suitable for stripes or plaids.

Oh, and before any of this happened, I discovered that my fabric, which I bought as a 7-yard remnant at a thrift store a few years ago, had been used as something else, probably a Christmas swag or something, and cut down from its original width to 33" wide. So it wasn't going to work for the Butterick skirt anyway.

I thought I'd just gather the fabric into a fabulous full skirt, and still make the 1950s blouse to wear with it, not to mention a big long sash to spiff it all up. So I cut off enough yardage to make the sash, and gathered the rest into a skirt, and when I was done, looked in the mirror and realized it made me look really fat.

I should have just given up after that, but I'm crazy, so I'm currently working on a third attempt at a Christmas dress, which I will hopefully have finished by tonight.

Meanwhile, I need a break. So I'm going to work on a special old letters post.

Monday, December 2, 2013

McCall's Magazine - July 1902 - Part the Second

I finished my project for the vintage sewing contest on patternreview.com and hated it, so I didn't enter it after all. I didn't even take pictures. That's all I'm going to say about that.

MOVING ON... Let's take a look at the rest of my July 1902 issue of McCall's Magazine. I have to start with this crazy article: "Toads as Domestic Helpers."

"A lady who lives near me has a toad so well trained that it jumps upon her lap and then upon a table near her in order to catch flies," writes August R. Pinney in Good Housekeeping.

I admit to being quite taken with the thought of having a troop of toads as little helpers, especially when the article went on to describe them as being "very orderly and clean. When they wish to sleep they go to their basin of sand, and when to wash, they go to their pan of water for a bath." AwwwwWWWW. Please, please click on the picture and read the whole story, it's ADORABLE.

Next up: advertisements. Check out the "Cozy Homes for a Dime," where houses cost anywhere from $300 to $2000 (that's $7835.30 to $52,235.36 in today's money).

Some of those "Useful Recipes" sound pretty good, particularly the recipe for Fig Cake. I might try that some time.

That buggy is cool. $60 in 1902 = $1567.06 today. Not a bad price, I think! I wasn't sure if this was before cars were invented, so I did a quick Google search and found the answer but didn't retain much of what I read except that cars were invented in the 1880s in Europe, and became popular in the US with the Model T around 1908. So this buggy must have been horse-drawn. The first cars looked just like horse-drawn carriages, to my untrained eye. But the best thing I learned was that the first long-distance driver was a woman! Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz, who is acknowledged as the inventor of the modern automobile.

More, with comments in the captions since I'm a bit rushed today.

Hah! Inflatable bras! Also, Tutti Frutti Ice Cream sounds yummy. I might try that. I bet it's good with the fig cake.

I always love looking at old-fashioned home remedies. Also, these are boys clothes. I didn't realize that until I looked at the descriptions.

That corset with the wrap-around belt closure looks really interesting. 

"Delicious Desserts for Summer Dinners." Chocolate jelly should sound unappetizing, but reading the recipe makes me want to try it.
And that wraps up my issue of McCall's Magazine, July 1902 issue. It's missing several pages, but what surprises me is how completely they cover the bases in their pattern listings--baby clothes, girl clothes, boy clothes, teenager clothes, women's, men's, fashion, underclothes, nightclothes, aprons, bonnets, etc. Also, was it uncommon/non-existent at this time to have separate pattern books? What were the other pattern companies? Did they put out magazines of their pattern collections including household tips, celebrity news, recipes, etc. too?