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CHRISTMAS 1944 Newsletter from Coach Fox to his former athletes serving in WW2

[Editor's note: As explained in the Preface, none of Coach Fred Fox's letters had been recovered by the time these letters were posted on the Delaware County Historical and Geneological website. An appeal was made in the Deposit Courier in July 2003 searching for any of Coach Fox's newsletters to the troops. Soon after the first batch of servicemens' letters were posted on-line, Coach Fox's son Jim received an email from a nephew of Bob McMurray, (DHS '34) explaining that when going through his deceased uncle's papers, he recalled reading a letter my father had written to his uncle in the Army, and that if it could be recovered, he'd send it. Mike McMurray's 2004 Christmas trip to Deposit sixty years after it was penned to his uncle, produced this precious dog-eared ditto. (Cartoon by Coach's wife, Ruth C. Fox.)]

1944 Cartoon - Coach Fox


Hi yah Gang-

How could it be anything but a Merry Christmas with memories like these. It sure is a pleasant feeling to be able to look at my scrap books and see what you kids have done for the past twelve years. I must confess that I am slipping and cannot remember the games as you do but I looked them all over yesterday and really was surprised to see what a lucky bunch you were, or perhaps there was no opposition.

Have been seeing a few of the boys who are close enough to get home and have received mail from all the fighting fronts. There are too many boys overseas to name them all, more over I guess, than in this country. The only one I know of who is settled is Sally Steinman in Rome, so if any of you are near there look her up at the Red Cross Canteen.

School is still keeping and things seem a little more settled than last year although we still lose someone now and then to the Armed Forces. You would laugh to see the janitors we have had since school started. Guess I have hired at least six men and four different kids and they have lasted from one day to one month. For a time I even wondered if they would finish out the day but hope we are set now for Alton Dennis came to work last week and he is still here, or he was on Saturday. Miss Dunn, the nurse, has resigned and is waiting to be called by the Navy and Mrs. Bill Marshman is attendance officer in her place. The rest of the staff has changed so that you would know very few.

The kids had rather a tough time in football losing all of the eight games played. They had one nice ball player, Al Kenrick who is captain of every sport this year as well as President of the Student Council. The boy really has something on the ball and I felt sorry for him losing all the time he played his head off. In fact the whole squad looked pretty good but they just couldn't win. Bainbridge won the league and beat Deposit for the first time in 25 years. Windsor also beat us for the first time in football.

The basketball team started last Friday and they took a close one from Greene 32-26. The kids looked pretty good and should win a few. Kenrick and Charlie Ward at forwards, Bob Smith, Raymond's brother, at center and Jack Hall and Lovell*, a kid from Windsor at guards. One kid on the jay-vees reminded me of "Long John" VanPelt. He is Dickie Thomas, Gleason Thomas' kid, and he is about as lazy as Pete was so he is pretty good under the basket. There are no Conklins or Judds or Carls or Hartz or any one like the old gang so don't worry about your records.

You know, I have often wondered what would happen if Jack O'Rourke's 1940 Club ran up against Beefy Steinman's '33 outfit or if Pete* and Skinney*, Keith*, Ralph*, and Charlie* tangled with Bucky*, Tubby*, Legs*, Tom*, and Beefy*. We will have to settle that at the Varsity "D" Reunion and what a bull session that should be. There is only one thing cock-eyed about the affair; you guys are so indefinite about settling the date so I'll fix it for you. I'll see you all next year during Christmas vacation and the boy that doesn't show up is kicked off the squad. You know, like I used to have to kick off Buchanan and Johnny Brown (he just got the D.F.C.) and some others whom I thought were just born to give the coach headaches and grey hair.

Have you heard that Bucky (Paul) has captured the objective - one of those sweet Irish Colleens - and is going to tie himself up to more trouble than he realized. And the VanPelts have another boy, number 3. I guess Pete started out for a baseball team but the delay will cut it down to a basketball quintet.

Would like to mention all you kids who have written to me but I have to stop someplace. Thanks for the Christmas cards and I really do wish you the best Christmas possible. I want you to have it as bad as I ever wanted to beat Walton. Nuff said!!

About myself, I had the crowning glory this fall - shot my first buck, after chasing the darned thing for the past 8 or 10 years. Of course everyone tells me he was lying down asleep, etc. but nuts to them - it was hanging in my back yard. Otherwise nothing exciting happens to me. I have started to get my finger back in athletics by refereeing, worked 11 games of football last fall and now have a few to work in basketball, a dandy this Wednesday - Walton at Hancock. So if you don't hear from me again it is because they never could find my body.

Inclosed are the addresses of some to the kids. Maybe you can look each other up.

Happy New Year. Good luck and God Bless You.

I'll be seeing you,
(Signed) Coach

*[Jack Lovell, Pete VanPelt, Vere "Skinney" Conklin, Keith Hartz, Ralph Carl, Charlie Williams, Everett "Bucky" Buck, Delos "Tubby" Briggs, Lowell "Legs" Frank, Tom Pierce, Albert "Beefy" Steinman.]

[Addresses attached for Lt. John J. O'Rourke, PFC Justin W. Buchanan, Lt. George G. Judd, Sgt. Paul C. Buck, Pvt. Edwin Martin, A/C Gleason C. Judd, Cpl. Grover J. Pratt, Cpl. Richard Knapp, Sgt. L. E. Page, PFC Ervin Tuttle, Pvt. Clinton Vere Conklin, Cpl. Richard S. Judd, Pvt. Kenneth Crowley, B/Sgt. Arthur L. Bonker, Pvt. Earle Houck, Pvt Jackson R. Bennett, Sgt. Paul VanPelt, Pvt. Everett H. Buck.]

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