Peter and Rebekah Laue - 965 Cloud Cap Avenue - Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA

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Letters from a Soldier

Active Duty in Germany
September 1954

September 2, 1954

My dear Mother,

Got a letter from you today which sounded as if the picture was brighter again as far as Hellmut and Arthur are concerned. Sure hope so. The strongest horse canít last under those frictions. I am not entering the picture. I got my own sweet and sour little troubles.

I got several letters from you lately. I donít have them with me now, and I donít recall any questions. I am writing this letter while a lieutenant is lecturing about independence. Thatís what I call real freedom, when I can even write a letter now and get away with it.

If there is anything you want me to buy for you while I am still here, then let me know now. The time is going fast now. Now that I have my cycle all paid and all bills paid, I can buy a few things for myself. Today I have bought something I have always wanted. I have bought an ďOmegaĒ wristwatch. It is a 17 jewel self-winding watch. Itís a honey. In the States it coast about 15 to 20 percent more. I could manage without the Marks now. But I am happy there are still four hundred more Marks coming my way before I leave. There are still a few more items plus a furlough for which I can use the money.

I am getting along fine here these days. There is plenty of work and more than enough amusement to keep me busy and entertain me. But all this work and fun wonít and canít keep me here. There are a few certain ďsomebodiesĒ whom I just got to see in the States as soon as possible.

I got a letter from Ernst today. He told me how he was getting along. And he also wrote me in regard to Sonja. I feel there is no harm in letting only you read the letter. I must agree with what he has written. I feel that Sonni is sick. These mental conflicts and disorders are frequent in our age. People, though, are afraid to admit to themselves or others that they are living under terrific mental strain. Many of us live under tension, but within normal limits.

I often feel that there is a great strain on my mind and I become depressed. If these depressions become too severe, there is something wrong. It is only slowly that I have extricated myself out of these depressing feelings. It was till last March that I had a consultation with a psychiatrist almost every two weeks. The thing is when you live under a bunch fairly normal and healthy individuals, you find by and by your way to the even road. If you live alone, your eccentric feelings will multiply. Sonni has been too secluded in her world. To live by yourself results with many complications in yourself. We need people to talk to and share our thoughts with. I would be like a chicken with his head cut off if I had to live all alone. In my estimation there is no use to argue with Sonni.

Another wind than that of the Laue family has to blow through her mind. Unconsciously she may feel that her parents are responsible for her present way of life. And therefore she will not accept advice from you. She is not sure of what she wants, otherwise she would have settled down ten years ago to pursue her goal. In an undirected life there cannot exist real happiness. A woman who is not a mother must have a very satisfying job in order to direct her creative feelings.

So long, best wishes,

September 8, 1954

My dear Mother,

Thank you for your letters. I always enjoy to hear from you. The news is very dramatic. I am keeping my distance altogether as if I did not belong to the family. Maybe Papa will leave his hands off, too. He cannot gain anything out of it. He never wanted much money. Working twenty-two hours a week will be enough. But Papa should have a nice garden he could take care of. A house outside of L.A. would be much nicer.

I am happy that you have come to see that S.R.F. was not the ideal solution to all problems. It is too complicated and too fanatic and too emotional. I agree with you. I need something simple in the way of religion. You know, I donít care a bit if I have 100 more lives on this earth. It is not a bad place to be where we want to escape from.

I have no other wish, dear Mother. I am inquiring though at the moment what the difference of prices of motorcycles is between here and the U.S. I want to buy a new one.

Best wishes to Hellmut and Papa,

Your son Peter

September 12, 1954

My dear Mother,

My little sweet Mother has a few grey hairs; I am sorry to hear this. That is no wonder, though, since the excitement at home has been great. I have nothing to add to the excitement; I have nothing to say. The children will come back in time. You will have to let them wander into life. One day they will come back to you. But you have Papa. He is a good man. He needs your love, dear Mother. He will not ask for it, will you Papa? But you are happy when Mother brings your slippers or when you love each other.

Helmut is smart to let Arthur try to manage alone. He has fought with him long enough. The whole thin isnít that important. There are other ways to earn a buck. And Hellmut is smart enough to know this.

The man in New York is the man I meant. He is negative about life. You remember how I used to be. I loved everyone, especially those with problems. This is a fire which has burnt itself out. My love is a steady one now for a few people. I like people and love to be able to do something for them. A sudden big enthusiasm never lasts long. But a little likening has a chance to get bigger.

No thanks, Mother, I do not want the book you mentioned. I have all the books here I need and that I have time for. But thanks anyway.

Kleins have received a print of those pictures, thoughtful Mother. I will also let you know as soon as I cancel my membership at S.R.F. It will be very shortly. Itís good to hear that you enjoyed Dr. Bailís talk. I am always happy when you report to me about good movies you saw, etc. You should drag Papa more often to the movies and to the drugstore.

I am buying myself a reward for being such a good soldier. I am taking a brand new motorcycle along with me. I have selected the type already. Itís a honey. For your comfort, dear Mother, itís not the fastest one either. Please donít make it tough for me with the money. I do not know how much of my money you have saved. But I can console you by telling you that you can have 300 of the 500 dollars back when I am discharged. I will need the $500 the 15th of November.

Tell me, is the Pontiac still in running condition? It will be rather awkward to take my sweetheart for a moonlight ride on the cycle. It is past one oíclock in the morning. I wrote my sweetheart a letter first; thatís why it got late. I also went to the show this evening. I saw an Indian picture. It wasnít good but exciting and got my mind off of California. Last night I saw Quo Vadis. It was good. Returning home on my cycle, I got soaked. But this morning everything was dry, except my trousers lost their crease.

And now I will give this sheet of sharp their crease Ė and greet you.

Good night,

Your son Peter

September 14, 1954

My dear Mother and Papa,

I received your letter from last Tuesday and was very happy about it. I am glad you are getting out of the hurricane of excitement. Let them all go, those affairs which are connected with Sonni. I have begun to settle down to a more even pace myself. I was wearing myself out with all the fun and excitement. Now I am eager to sleep more and just take it easy. I hope to be leaving the middle of December; however, it may be delayed till the 2nd of January 1955. You seem to have a big surprise for me in store. If it is connected with money, and the $500 Ė if it interferes with that surprise, then let me know right away. I do not want to interfere with the surprise because I have a hunch it may be bigger than the motorcycle. I am getting anxious to know what the surprise is. It is not easy to wait. Thanks for your letter. Regards to Papa.

Love, Peter

September 14, 1954

My dear Papa,

I am writing you these secret lines to get a hint about those secret plans which Mother has for me. Are they really so good and exciting? And are they worth it for me not to buy a motorcycle here? From my letters you must have guessed by now how I love to ride a motorcycle. Sooner or later in the States I want to earn myself a motorcycle. With shipping costs the motorcycle which I was planning to get here comes to about $650. I wrote Mother this morning to forget about sending me the $500, because she says she has something special planned for me and I donít like to cut into her finances too deeply. But I was just wondering if this surprise is worth it for me to renounce that motorcycle which I would just love to have gotten. Motorcycle riding is a sport for me which I love. I was planning on the newest NSU model, 250 ccm (cubic centimeter of piston displacement.) sports type.

So long, your son


September 25, 1954

Dear Mother,

I received your letter from the 20th and I was stunned by the way approached me. You say that you do not care what we do, but Know that your care a lot. And you could hide that in your lines. Motorcycle riding is a sport for me. I love it so much that sooner or later I want to get one for my fun and leisure. I do not expect to take my girl for a moonlight ride on the cycle. But there will be a backseat. But do you know how much I hate to ask for money; also if it is only a loan for a few months. I would have loved to take a cycle from here along, because I can get just the size I like. I have not bought a cycle yet. You misunderstood me. I sounded a bit peeved, I guess, but donít let that upset you. I donít know how much it hurts Papa to lend me the money. If it does hurt him then please donít send it to me. I have patiently stayed in the Army two years, and won't mind to wait a year for a cycle. But I love you despite what I wrote.

Love, Peter

September 26, 1954

My dear Mother,

Your last letter still bothers me. And I have to speak out my mind about it. You have written me that you have been slapped so often by life, and I imagine that you meant your children in part by this, that you can take this, too, what I have done now. I was indeed hurt by your remark, because I felt that I have so far carried myself in such a way that you can be proud and respect me as I have love and respect for you. Have I not stood my man where I have been placed? Out of respect to my parents and my own self I have always been eager to do right. Indeed I have had many bitter pills to swallow, especially during these last twenty months. But I know it has been worth the effort. And in part I have tried hard that my parents may be proud of their son. That you may know that you have brought up a child who is a credit to you now, and later, when you may not be here anymore.

I know you are concerned about my life and my health. You do not want to see me get hurt. I am just as concerned about my health. I want to be strong and able in every way. But if you mean this, then please do say this. Do not say that I have hurt you. Believe me, Mother, the mental suffering which in part was brought about by S.R.F. has been far greater than any physical pain which I have known so far. And how well did you mean it, dear Mother, only to realize yourself that it was not the right thing.

I have driven a scooter for three months and a motorcycle for almost four months. I have driven over 6,000 km. They have been 6,000 happy kilometers. Arenít you happy that I have enjoyed the 6,000 km? My motorcycle has been my joy and pride. I am very sad that I have to sell my motorcycle tomorrow morning at eight oíclock. I will be loosing too much money if I wait til December. Now I will be riding the street car again. I have made many excursions with my cycle; and someone was always eager to come along and ride on the backseat. I looked

yesterday once more at the cycle I had planned to buy with rather sad eyes, remembering your letter. It took a chunk of my joy. I will not proceed with anything now until I receive a very frank answer to this letter. I will not take any more furlough. I still have two weeks coming until I know what is what. So that in case I do bring a motorcycle along, I may pay you back as soon as possible. Please write me soon about this.

Did I tell you that I spent a three-day pass in Bad Oberdorf? I took a hotel room in a fine hotel Ė Alpendorf Ė itís on the way to Oberjoch. They were three wonderful relaxing days with breakfast in bed. I saw Mrs. Brutscher for a few minutes. All we did was reminisce a bit. I only stayed there for twenty minutes. Her husband died last year. Sonthofen is only a five hour ride by train from Nuremberg; and there is no changing of trains. While I was there I climbed the Isler (a mountain) with a friend. Do you remember that mountain? (Many of the higher peaks in the Austrian Alps have crosses at the very top. Many hikers who reach the top like to carve their names or initials into the cross. That is what Peter is doing.

I have not inquired about the pins yet. The girls in the office have never heard about garnet. Your jacket costs about twenty-five dollars.

Well, dear Parents, that is about all for this Sunday. I have spent a very relaxing day. I went to clean my cycle a little yet since I am selling it tomorrow. However, the rain makes this job rather unpleasant.

I have a short three months left over here. I will be very happy to return. I know our differences will be ironed out by then. You know it is a bit unpleasant to know there is a difference or misunderstanding if you have to wait a week, or rather two weeks for a reply. You and I both mean well, and we will get our differences ironed out.

Best regards,

Your son, Peter

September 26, 1954?

Dear Papa,

Thank you for your quick answer to my postal. I am happy you are so nice about the matter. The money is what draws me back. I have not earned it yet and would have to borrow it. My sole purpose is not to have a cheap transportation, but the pleasure I have riding a cycle. Southern California is the best place to have a cycle because there is so little rain. Very plainly, my position is this, if it is too much of a burden for you to lend me the money, I will wait till I have earned it. But, Mother, please donít calculate that later on I will have become more sensible.

I am glad you are happy when I return. My sweetheart tells me that much more often. I have received the two books. Thank you.

By-bye, your son Peter

September 28, 1954

My dear Mother and Papa,

I received your letter from the 21st today. I see that you will be able to send me the money, and I am very happy about it. Donít you worry dear parents, you will always be proud of me; that is part of my aim in life. In small things I may have disappointed you, but on the whole, canít you be rather proud of me? Money I will always be able to earn, but that is the least. I have proven to you and myself that I can hold a job and do it well during these twenty months in the army. I may honestly say that I have become rather proficient at office work. I will ask you to send me the money as soon as possible, so that I can send the cycle over soon before I will arrive once more in the country and to the street which is so very dear to me. This week I will be arranging the sale. I am happy you are well, Mother. Please donít get grey hair on account of me.

With love, your son Peter

Peter-The Lords Scribe and Storyteller

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All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.