Fonville's Letters
{Mostly to his Father during the war years}
This first letter is from Lawrence Winans ( Fonville's Father)
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Lawrence Winans
Fonville Winans
I am currently working on this page and more letters are to come..Bob Winans.
I am currently working on this page and more letters are to come..Bob Winans.
Ft. Worth Aug 12, 1932
Dear Fonville,
We received your letter not long ago and I am glad that you are enjoying yourself_I hope you can get in a little more income soon tho.
If you want to go to L.S.U. hop to it. But be sure you are getting something from them that you want and can use either for your physical benefit or mental benefit. I haven’t much now as you know but what I have you can share whenever you need it. Lelia and Mother Fonville came here the latter part of july & Ladie Ruth was a had been for 2 weeks in a fit to go to California-We held her here for a day and then she left-going on the Santa Fe to Oakland-She got there OK and so far she seems to be getting on nicely.
That tall dark girl that played the piano in your Orchestra was here Friday and brought your Panama hat. Which you had left somewhere- Probably having something else on your mind_ She said all missed you and gave your music a good recommendation. I think you should keep up your music. It will give you much pleasure and if you go to college it might pay your way. I know several at Missouri made their way with their music and seemed to have the ability put music over- Don’t despise any of your talents.
I think I am going to get a government loan on this house OK- & if so I will get to live here 3 years longer anyway- Lelia & Raymond spent quite a bit of time together in strife & tumult. I don’t understand how these steadies still hang around my daughter considering the treatment they get.
You went to the Episcopal Church here& I hope you go there some. If they have none there go to the Catholic Church- it wont hurt you and you should go to some church-I did not for a long time for which I am now exceedingly sorry-I know that you will behave yourself from your own inclinations and knowledge.
Have you given up your boat altogether? Is it beyond repair? Maybe some parts could be put into another hull. Don’t spend any needed money on it tho  unless you can be sure to make it pay.
Write to me often and remember we think of you a lot.
Love from your Father

July 7, 1941
Dear Father, Mother and Dot,
Well, how was the Fourth of July way down there in the tropics? Helen, Bobby and I, accompanied by another couple and their son of Bobby's age took to the old Packard for all day outing in rural sections. We began by frying fish and swimming on a sand beach of the Amite River. Later on we just rode for mile and miles along quite Louisiana by-ways and toward dark we began to cast about for a likely place to fry some bacon. But a huge dark cloud rolled out of the Northwest and we barely made it to the shelter of our friend's home. There we remained, and fried our bacon, and waited for the rain to stop before going home and to bed.
We worked Saturday then had another day off yesterday (Sunday). In the afternoon we purchased a large watermelon of excellent qualities and ice cold and drove out into the country to a plantation where some friends of ours live. We spent the whole afternoon here talking and letting the children play in the spacious yard. Their little son is three years old. Bobby really got excited around all the chickens and hogs and geese, not to mention a very tame horse.
The little pamphlet on the Macqueripe Beach Hotel arrived a while back and we all enjoyed seeing views of the place Where you all are living. The scenery is really quite different from that surrounding 2741 Hemphill or 2812 Travis, don't you think? Tell the Macqueripe Beach Hotel manager
that if he will pay our way down there and put us up for a couple of weeks  pay our way back and throw in a case of coconuts I will make some snapshots around there for publicity use. Oh yes, and throw in an airplane while we are there.
By the time you all get back to the United States I hope to have a well established business and then I and the family can probably get away once in a while to visit youall and let you tell us all of your adventures.
The weather here has been very hot and sultry with more than plenty of rain. For days it just poured all of the time and I just about went nuts. Business has slowed down for the summer and I am planning a trip to Photographer's Ass'n of America convention next month in Chicago. Will take my developing machine with me and start pushing its exploitation. In the meantime,

Dec 15, 1941
March 1, 1942
Dear Mother and Father,
Today is one of those very cold, windy, dreary, rainy days. I have been fooling around with my 1941 "books" preparatory to filing income tax report. I have hired an accountant to do this for me but there are cer¬tain things I must do before he starts. We don't have much of a bookkeeping system and I'm all in a muddle about the Whole thing. With my expenses run¬ning pretty heavy for my first year in business I don’t believe my tax will be so very steep, at any rate I hope not.
I got a card from Lelia the other day upbraiding me about not writing youall more often. I haven't had time to answer her card and probably cannot for some time to come. Never has time been at such a premium in mu life. The days are just not long enough. The country's switching from "Standard Time" to "War Time" (Daylight Saving Time) has given us an extra hour each day and it is really handy for us. We take appointments from 2 to 6 o'clock every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is from 15 to 20 sittings per week. We turn down at least twice this many each week. We just cannot possibly handle any more. That we are handling is still too much for us. I get down town not more than 3 or 4 times per month. As a result of trying to run this business without any help (none to be had) we are suffering terrific losses in lost motion (This also a result of inadequate space to work in) Bobbie is constantly a growing problem. We cannot find any time to devote to his training. We have a full time maid for him, also one for the house. Still he causes us great wastes of time.
I joined up with the Civil Air Patrol and am attending first aid classes three times per week. This is one of the requirements. We are having to curtail a bit of business in order for me to do this. Day before yester¬day U.S. sent out call thru local CAP offices for private pilots over 27 to volunteer for army service as instructors in flying (volunteers to be commissioned as 2nd Lts. and receive over $200.00 per month.) I turned in my name and if called I understand I shall leave soon for a training field "somewhere in Texas" where I will acquire my instructors rating.
Details on all of this are very scarce and perhaps I have it all wrong. I will let you know the developments. At any rate I wouldn't mind the change at all and I think it would be very good for us. At any rate we would have time to have another child which we very much want. And I could store all new equipment against the time when I would open up again. I have put down a very solid foundation for my business here and I could always return and pick up where I left off. And probably I would have saved enough money to have a ,much more advantageous set-up in regards to business premises and trained help.
Lelia was particularly concerned over my not having told you I received your Xmas present ($25.00 check). I thought I had told you. Anyway I found it sewed to your letter and got it O.K. Do you know now? And again, many thanks for it. It sure came in handy for our Xmas shopping.
Haven't heard a word from Dot since she left here. Assume she's--- doing alright over there in Texas. I'll bet her dentist has no fingernails left. I wouldn't if she was my sweety.
The snapshots you enclosed of you two sure did fill the bill. We have showed them to everybody. Father really looks like a jungle explorer. Look out, Frank Buck! And what did you  all do with Those beautiful bananas? Banana pie, pudding, jello, cake, ice cream sundae, split, and just plain banana.
Don' t you wish, as I do, that I could hop into a fast plane and run down there to see youall once in a while. Gosh, that would be great, wouldn't it? I suppose we'll have to wait until Axis’s shoulders are pin¬ned to the mat, however. Boy, with the way this country is swinging into action they had better hunt for shelter. Practically everybody's pitching in. Even Helen, in her limited time has knitted a sweater: for the Red Cross.
I am glad you all got al1 those photos o.k. it_must have been some fun going thru them, and I'll bet you do that often, don't you. The other day a photographer came by the house with his pony. When he learned that I was a photographer he lent me his pony so that I could photograph Bobbie on it. I have .made a large print for youall and am enclosing it. I guess I should make-the photos smaller but it looks so nice in the 8x10 size. Put it in an 8x10 frame and set it up somewhere. The gun is calculated to scare any Japs or Nazis away. Yes, Bobbie really means business, and he'll nab a Nazi or jab a Jap yet, you watch! Look how he handles that gun. He is a dangerous man and doesn't know his own strength. Why, he would just as soon nail a Nazi as slap a Jap, or eat an ice cream cone. Anyway, woe betides the man who crosses his path (including his papa!)
Now let me hear from youall so I'll have-an excuse to write again. And in the meantime all our love to youall.




7-29-1942
Wednesday afternoon
(and I should be working)
Dear Ruth and family:
Your letter just arrived a few minutes ago, and it had been so long since we had heard from you that we practically had a battle to see who would read the first page, first. Notice how my extravagant typewriter double Spaced at the beginning; No more of that nonsense until MacArthur radios his okay from Berlin.CUSTOMERS
Well, they are gone now, and they had a lady with them from Trinidad, but she was born on the island. Her mother was English and her father Spanish—her name was something terrific so I can't possibly spell it. I've forgotten all the millions of things I had planned to write before I was interrupted---so-o-o-o I will start all over again by answering your question about Cloteel. Cloteel was an ancient, genteel, lady Packard automobile that we bought second-hand. She finally wearied of the demands made upon her by her hustling owners, and we were forced to turn her in on another model. Needless to say our second second-hand number was a more rakish number, and her Brakes not being what they should we found that she had an alarming tendency to pull to the left into the oncoming traffic: After we had her for a 'while we sent her to the hospital for wayward cars, and had her overhauled, but we continue to call her Jezebel. So do not be alarmed if we should write you at some future date to say that Jezebel having reached her dotage had been sent to Japan care of Jimmy Doolittle.
Fonville is busy in the darkroom and I not only have to Answer the phone and wait on customers while trying to write this but I also have to attend to peddlers, yard-boys, the cook and Bobby's nurse-maid. The cook and nurse maid never bother me unless I try to write a letter or talk on the phone or take a bath. Then---heaven help me. Every letter I have had from mother for weeks has been full,--how is Ruth? Have you heard from her recently? I wonder why Ruth hasn’t written. Do you suppose they can't get mail over there? She is practically stewing in her own juice. MORE CUSTOMERS
We are beginning to get used to scares now. Bobby never does anything gradually. He even swallows his food whole; He has fallen on his face so many times that his upper front tooth is gray and dead. We told you about the Sun-stroke—well. a week later he runs out and steps on a thorn . It was over an inch long and broke off in his foot. That was another mad dash, first to the doctors because Fon couldn't budge it. It had reached the heel bone. Of course the Doc had an emergency at the hospital and we had to go on over to the hospital to see him, and it took a minor operation to get that darned thing out. Also they had to give the baby two anti-tetanus shots and he was ab¬solutely furious. He told Doc, "If you hoit me, I'll tell my Daddy" Bobby pronounces hurt like the first part of the word loiter. His foot healed rapidly and if it hadn't been for the siege of boils (small ones) he had in his hair, maybe we would have been a little bit recuperated by the time he got the whooping cough However, we are doing nicely. I do hope he will hang onto the whooping cough and not try to experiment with any new disorders until we get to Donna. Don't think me heartless, because his whooping cough is a light ease. We had given him shots to prevent his getting it, but it just goes to show you--- shots or no shots, when my son runs out of trouble he can find some and overcome such scientific handicaps as preventive shots. Fonville breeds like.
Why just a few weeks ago we were practically out of debt the orders and money were pouting in and we were sitting pretty with a nice vacation planned, and he goes out and buys an air-conditioner. You know one of the refrigerating type that chills the air. We only had a ventilating fan, and Macy’s in Chicago had a refrigerating unit. Now we have one, and what a headache. Now you can't use it says the War production board, and the electric company. You see our house was wired with a 110 line and the unit required 220. So Fon scratches his head and my nerves for a few days and ends up with a trick gadget that works the thing on 110. Then he sells Up the company and says oh yes 1, can. They come running out and they say "You can't do this to us" .0h, yes I can says Fonville. I've been trying for two years to get you to put in a heavier line here I need it, and if you used the material already involved correctly you could Give me two twenty. So they Go away and Fon sits down to draw to scale his side of the argument and I drag myself off to bed to fight a nervous collapse: Next day Fon dashes joyfully off with his proof all to scale, and they decide to give him the heavier line, but he has to rewire his unit now and after all we are only a few weeks behind in our work as a result of his making this "good buy—that's going to mean dollars and cents to us” So here I sit on a solenoid valve instead of a chair, hoping I can clear off enough of the bed to get a nap tonight before Bobby wakes up and wants to tee -tee or play Or just be plain ornery. 0h, well, you know that helpless feeling too. I remember the dish pan of cracked wheat that used to sit under the sink on Travis when the ice box Was full of good things to eat. That's just the fate of women that have the audacity to marry these gorgeous men with looks, personality, and complexes. Anyway, I guess I can took it. Fon can still kiss the Klondike to spring.
Everything is just grand here we’re tired, but we've got a good bit to show for it and a vacation to repair damages in, and always that eternal hope that the next post will bring a letter from Ruth. Kiss the family round for me, and I'll do it myself at the first opportunity I have.
Love, Helen
.



November 11, 1941
Dear Father, Mother and Dot:
It is now 7:00 A.M. and I have been up about 45 minutes. Bobby got me up by making a lot of loud noises. He had wet pants as usual and I got up and pulled them off as usual, and then put him in bed with Helen, naked. Hope he doesn't wet her. Then I made coffee, as usual, and drank a cup of it. And it just so happens that I have been thinking a lot about you all lately and wondering how you all are making out in your new home down there in the tropics. Just finished reading over your letter dated Sept. 24th. and notice that a point of humor of mine, in my last letter, didn't "get across". Mother mentioned some time back that several letters intended for us had been returned to her by the censor. So when I answered I humorously referred to this situation as "copy clipping", like newspaper editors do when preparing "copy" for publication. So you, Father, write me thus (quote):"I can' t think what was cut out of my letter as I don't think I have given any (or tried to) information of our activity here," Well, as a matter of fact your letter did divulge that "most tropical products are poor imitations of potatoes with some special flavor. Potatoes are the best after all. I sure miss our soft sweet potatoes." If I had been the censor I would have "clipped" that piece of "copy" as it is very poor advertising for Trinidad. Why, if such information as that fell into the hands of the Huns they might lose interest in this half of the globe, then where would your defense job be?
Old man winter took a swing at us recently and it looks like the fight is on. We had high temperatures •during October, then the wintry winds blew in on the first of November.
Now for reports on my invention: Of course I was pretty excited about it on my return from the convention, and when I wrote you. This excitement has subsided into hopeful waiting. At any rate, following are some excerpts from letters from the interested parties.

MEDO PHOTO SUPPLY CORPORATION: With reference to your developing machine, per our discussion, will you be kind enough to submit to us blueprints and copies of your patent so that we may submit the same to the engineers in our manufacturing department. We will then inform you whether we might be in a position to manufacture and mar¬ket the same for you(next letter): We are in receipt of requested material, etc....We will no doubt require additional information, etc

AGFA ANSCO: Our technical and Sales Departments have now studied your patent. Although the device is considered entirely practical, we have concluded that the commercial possibilities of this tank are not great enough to justify our exploitation of it, etc

EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY: We have your letter...regret belated reply ...investigation required more time than expected... regret that findings not sufficiently optimistic to justify our active interest in your machine from a manufacturer’s viewpoint. We do realize that there is an increasing interest in methods of automatically processing film under close control but in most cases the requirements are for specially designed equipment. It is well to mention that these are unfavorable times for taking on new projects because available manufacturing materials have been seriously limited by the national emergency. You are to be commended upon the model which you have built, and we have likewise heard favorable comments regarding the merit of the device: However, we do not believe that we are warranted in taking
an active interest in the invention as we see it now.........
but we will be sure to keep it in mind for future consideration.
There! You have the exact picture of the situation and so I have made up my mind to sit pat.
Shortly after receiving your letter I made some shots of Bobby especially to send to you. T have made them into a small gloss prints so that I can tuck them in this,, letter, Hope, soon to include a photo of Helen and me so that you can see that we are "growing up", too.
Our business is coming along nicely now. We had an
awful slump during the month of September and early October but
business since then has compensated. My colored boy 1,eft me to take a gov't job at $80.00 per mo. That Sept. slump really had us going. It was all we could do to meet notes, pay bills, etc. But we are really doing nicely now. I'm beginning to stock up on materials for the first time. With Bobby growing up and our business expanding, our house is beginning to apparently diminish
in size. We are on the verge of rearranging the whole set-up in
the house so that things will be more convenient. As it is now, it is very clumsy at its best. Eventually, as our business warrants it, we will make a change so that our home and business will be separate. Also we will have to have an air conditioned establishment if we are to work in comfort during the summer heat waves. Last August was terrific with the thermometer soaring into the upper 90's most of the month. To put it mildly, it was HELL! Lots of my film was, ruined by the extraordinary heat, not to mention my, temper!
  But we are, in general, so pleased with the way things are going for us that we find little time to complain about the rough spots. In fact, we find it a lot of adventurous fun getting ahead in a business in which we had such a tough start. We are really enjoying a sense of accomplishment and independence, such as we never had before. My getting laid off at the State was a blessing in disguise, and believe me, it was really very well disguised, for I had a three month headache.
Last week-end (about 10 days ago) we spent on the Mississippi gulf coast with a young couple and their two children. The young man, Hudson Wolfe, is the one who replaced me at the Highway when 'I lost out. They have a camp on the coast and
generally go there every week-end. We enjoyed our visit there very much and Bobby had the time of his life. Wolf is the one I pilot for whenever the Highway needs aerial photos. Also I bought a lot of my photo equipment from him. He used to be in private business but it folded up.
Oh, by the way! We have heard by the grapevine that Dot is thinking of marrying her boss!
AM I ABOUT TO GET ANOTHER BROTHER-IN-LAW WITHOUT BEING CONSULTED?
Well, who is he? Is he a TAMALE? How many teeth can he pull in one day? ETC?
Helen just got thru reading my first page and said I was a great big he-man taking care of the baby every morning, and then I re-read the beginning of this letter and saw her point. As a matter of fact she has the baby, or Bobby, on her neck the rest of the day. He is really growing up now and de¬manding just a bit more attention than we are able to give.
Well, this letter has only been interrupted about six times since I started it this morning and it is now 11:25am. The dinner whistle is about to blow and before it does, I have to get a photo ready for the newspaper.
Let us hear from you all soon and enclosed you will find photos of Bobby and also enclose is all of our love to you all. This latter is intangible and, of course, you won't be able to find it in the envelope.
Your son,


Fonville
Oct. 31, 1942







Dear Mother and Father,
I so much enjoyed the recent letter from you all, that I am at loss for words to express my appreciation. It was I who owed the letter, not you. It is a source of great satisfaction to know that you two are so satisfied and happy with your situation and the work that you are doing, and I are real proud of you, Father, and the fine record you are establishing there. Your mentioning of the possibility of my ferrying planes down that way quite meets with my adventurous leaning and it would surely be a happy day that I would first land on Trinidad and have a reunion with you. This rationing business is clamp¬ing down all around us now, and very soon it will be applied to films. Coffee will be rationed very soon now and today, for the first time, we have had no coffee and are unable to purchase any anywhere in town. So we anticipate becoming Postum addicts. So with things getting so tight, and my business showing no signs of a let up so that we can get some rest, I have been steal-ing time off to do quite a bit of flying. It isn't much but is a great deal more than I have been doing in the past. Last week I flew a friend of mine twice to Shreveport and back. It was lots of fun and added 12 hrs, to my log book. I now have 130 hrs, logged and am driving toward 200 hrs. when I will then have the required hours to try for a commercial license. With a commercial I will be in a position to take on some responsible flying and it could well include being a ferry pilot. There are other fields of flying that are very interesting and that I could get into such as instructing, service pilot, coastal patrol for subs, etc. The latter is very much a Civil Air Patrol activity, and to get into this actively one must have logged at least 200 hrs. and hold a private pilot's certificate. Of course, I already have this but I do not yet have the 200 hrs. Pay for this type of work is $8.00 per day but of course it allows one to remain near home, or at least have his family with him. But if I eventually get into some branch of war flying it is my desire that Helen and Bobby go to live with Bob and Edna. As you already know we are expecting another baby in May. Although this baby was deliberately planned we know that its arrival in this household will greatly complicate matters, inasmuch as our business already overruns the premises, as well as does Bobby. So we know positively that there are going to be some changes made before May, even if it is to remain here and take my business to other premises. The work is really bearing down upon us and poor Helen has been constantly fatigued and frequently nauseated since she became pregnant and on many days has been forced to retire to the bed for rest in spite of the business stacking up on our hands. We have the business pretty well planned and under control, but our planning was based upon the assumption that both of us would always be in the pink of condition. However, she has been holding up wonderfully under the strain. We have two maids but that still doesn't relieve her of directing the household, and in these war times that is getting more compli¬cated every day.
I have finally decided why I am so poor at writing you all. Because you all are so far away in a foreign country I feel that when I sit down to write that I should write a book, whereas if you all were in New Orleans, instead, I would write a few lines frequently, and not let events and thoughts stack up so. Don't you think that this is right. So not long from now I am going to see if I can't put this new knowledge into practice. Bobby just ran into the house, returning from town where the maid had taken him for an outing. He said there were lots of people and cars and little boys and little girls down town, too. He also said somebody stepped in the middle of his foot and that he stuck a sticker in his finger. Then he had me hold his hand for a few mom¬ents before he was gone like a shot to play with some kids outdoors. He sure' is a pleasure to have around- When Edna brought him home to us she had really become attached to him, and when she left she surely did want to take him back. She put up a real stiff argument, too.
I'll close now and look forward to hearing from youall again sometime.
All my love to you both,

Nov. 22, 1942
Dear Mother and Father,
We received your most interesting letter a few days ago and read it over and over, and are so happy to learn all about the details of Dot's happy marriage. Lelia sent us a copy of the letter you wrote her and it handed us the greatest laugh of all. We can just see Dot on her wedding nite sweetly telling Manny goodnite and then locking him out.
Guess what? I bought a plane! It is an Aeronca C-3, two place, 36 hp two cylinder motor. Along with its smallness comes economy of operation. Using only 2i gallons of gas per hour, it cruises at 60 mph. I paid $300.00 cash for it, and hanger rent will be $10.00 per month. I just bought it yesterday, and flew it about an hour and a half following the purchase. It was lots of fun. My primary purpose in buying this plane is to build up my flying time and at lowest possible cost. Planes rent for $6.00 per hour and I need a minimum of 70 hours more would figure better than $400. My plane costs 75 to 80¢ per hour to operate, outside of hanger rent. When have acquired the necessary time I can sell my plane for practically what I put in it. Besides, gasoline isn't restricted in planes like it is going to be in autos and any short trips I have to make can be done in this plane.
This is Sunday morning and a cold drizzle, accompanied by gusty winds is sweeping this section. The Civil Air Patrol was scheduled to accomplish a flying mission this morning but we are all grounded by the weather. I am reclining in a chair in the front room with the typewriter in my lap. Bobby is playing with a ball of yarn like a little kitten, and Helen is knitting a beautiful blue slipover sweater for me and it is almost finished. She is reclining on the divan. In fact, this is a rare domestic scene for this commercial household. Bobby, now, is almost three years old and talks quite well and is in fine condition. We have little time to devote personally to him but we think he'll make out. Helen has been pretty ill these last several weeks due to a bad cold as well as frequent nausea due to her pregnancy. We got the bright idea the other day that we three would load into a plane and fly down to Donna for the as holidays, so we decided on a test flight to see if it would make Helen sick, on account of her pregnancy. We got about 10 or 15 miles from the airport and she got very sick. I swung around and headed for the airport and she lost everything she had on the way back. And when we were returning to town by car the poor girl continued, to react as if she were in the plane. We decided against trying the plane trip to Donna. She was really sick. She doesn't get much time for rest as customers are continually in and out of the house all day long. I sure will be glad when I can change this set-up, get the business out of the house and hire some help so that I can have a home separate from my business. I know Helen is looking forward to this possibility, too, as she will really be in her element managing a household for our little family. She is a natural born home manager and meal planner, and I am anxious, as is she, for her to return to this basis 100 %.
But this war situation has us stymied. It is definitely not wise at this time to make any business changes. And severe rationing of my film is threatened in the offing. It may soon develop that it is non-profitable to operate a private business and in this case I will be prepared, I hope, to take up flying in some branch of the service, possibly ferrying, as you suggested.
Every once in a while I have occasion to bring up the subject of my father and it is with great pride that I say "he is chief engineer in charge of construction of the U.S. Naval base at Trinidad". And to think that ten years ago, in order to get a few cents for our "bare" cupboard, you delivered handbills door to door.
Yessir, that depression sure got you into ,a tight spot, but it sure didn't hurt your spirit and imagination. I am particularly proud of the way you came up out of that tight spot.
Well, let us hear from you all when you get time to write, and in the meantime we're sending you-all all of our love.
Lovingly your son,


Feb 7, 1944
Dearest Mother and Father,
Sorry you were so late getting our last letter, etc., and we'll be more careful in addressing in the future. Am-always pleased to get a letter from you, Father and I believe your last one was the most interesting and enjoyable one yet. I could stand a few more of those.
Your letter gave me moral support in the several decisions on policy I have had to make concerning my relationship with current war problems. I have had to make ticklish decisions from time to time (which I did by holding my breath and crossing my fingers) and so far it would seem that I haven't decided wrong yet. Many other fellows have thrown in the towel, and are now finding themselves behind the 8-ball. For instance, men are being drafted from so-called "defense" jobs after quitting their so-called "non-essential" occupations. When I was notified to register with the U.S. Employment Service for war work I did so but made it plain to them and to my draft board that it would have to be a mighty good job and mighty essential before I would consider any change. Happily enough, both of them agreed with me. Shortly after registering, I received a card from the employment bureau notifying me to report for an inter¬view with a Standard Oil representative. I reported, naturally, and was amused at what they offered: assistant to photographer making pass photos for employee badges at $125.00 per month. At one time I toyed with the idea of becoming a flight instructor. Flying schools are now closing down all over the country and the instructors are wondering what they're going to do next, if anything. What you hear about the industrial plants being overmanned is correct. Everybody talks about it. It's called "labor hoarding".
We haven't heard from Dot and Manny at all so cannot give you any information.
I have a new car now. 1941 Oldsmobile Club Coupe. It's a honey, has radio and heater, cost me $1545.00 cash. They allowed me $225.00 on old car. We visited (children and maid, too) the Collins' for a week, week before last. Was a good rest after the Xmas grind. my business did very well for 1943, almost $13,000.00 gross sales. My gross for 1942, in our house, was $7,500.00. Of course I have two full time employees now and a little more rent, etc., to increase my overhead. My 1943 net income will probably figure to about $5,000.00. I don't waste any time figuring the taxes. I keep good books and turn them over to a tax con¬sultant. I would go nuts otherwise.
The Civil Air Patrol still flys on but our value to the war effort is on the wane, or has waned. We are still active, but are more like a private flying club. We are not financed by the gov’t, foot our own bills.
The book, "Who's Who in American Portrait Photography" was delivered two months ago. 261 pho¬tographers are included. Each of us has a full page, which includes portrait and biography.
I am still playing in the dance orchestra, and enjoying it very much. Sometimes it runs into work, though. It really ran into work during my Xmas rush when folks were having so many dances.
Am enclosing recent photos of us. •
In case we did not write our thanks for the check you sent Xmas, here 'tis: Many many thanks.
Please write again soon.
Your son,

Fonville           

Helen Winans
Cast of
Characters.





Feb 7, 1944
Dearest Mother and Father,
Sorry you were so late getting our last letter, etc., and we'll be more careful in addressing in the future. Am-always pleased to get a letter from you, Father and I believe your last one was the most interesting and enjoyable one yet. I could stand a few more of those.
Your letter gave me moral support in the several decisions on policy I have had to make concerning my relationship with current war problems. I have had to make ticklish decisions from time to time (which I did by holding my breath and crossing my fingers) and so far it would seem that I haven't decided wrong yet. Many other fellows have thrown in the towel, and are now finding themselves behind the 8-ball. For instance, men are being drafted from so-called "defense" jobs after quitting their so-called "non-essential" occupations. When I was notified to register with the U.S. Employment Service for war work I did so but made it plain to them and to my draft board that it would have to be a mighty good job and mighty essential before I would consider any change. Happily enough, both of them agreed with me. Shortly after registering, I received a card from the employment bureau notifying me to report for an interview with a Standard Oil representative. I reported, naturally, and was amused at what they offered: assistant to photographer making pass photos for employee badges at $125.00 per month. At one time I toyed with the idea of becoming a flight instructor. Flying schools are now closing down all over the country and the instructors are wondering what they're going to do next, if anything. What you hear about the industrial plants being overmanned is correct. Everybody talks about it. It's called "labor hoarding".
We haven't heard from Dot and Manny at all so cannot give you any information.
I have a new car now. 1941 Oldsmobile Club Coupe. It's a honey, has radio and heater, cost me $1545.00 cash. They allowed me $225.00 on old car. We visited (children and maid, too) the Collins' for a week, week before last. Was a good rest after the Xmas grind.
My business did very well for 1943, almost $13,000.00 gross sales. My gross for 1942, in our house, was $7,500.00. Of course I have two full time employees now and a little more rent, etc., to increase my overhead. My 1943 net income will probably figure to about $5,000.00. I don't waste any time figuring the taxes. I keep good books and turn them over to a tax con¬sultant. I would go nuts otherwise.
The Civil Air Patrol still flys on but our value to the war effort is on the wane, or has waned. We are still active, but are more like a private flying club. We are not financed by the gov’t, foot our own bills.
The book, "Who's Who in American Portrait Photography" was delivered two months ago. 261 photographers are included. Each of us has a full page, which includes portrait and biography.
I am still playing in the dance orchestra, and enjoying it very much. Sometimes it runs into work, though. It really ran into work during my Xmas rush when folks were having so many dances.
Am enclosing recent photos of us.
In case we did not write our thanks for the check you sent Xmas, here 'tis: Many many thanks.
Please write again soon.

Fonville's Sisters
Ruth Fonville Winans
Father
Mother
Wife
Hand painted Oil by Hellen






July 8, 1958
Dearest Mother and Father,
You should see the house now, you'd hardly recognize it Plenty of wide open space. The remodeling has demanded so much of Helen's time that she has had little opportunity to put in her usual time here at the studio. I have had to battle this circumstance by putting in much more time at the studio than I am accustomed to. I do this by getting to the studio very early every morning (on the bicycle) and usually can get in about two hours uninterrupted work before the studio "opens". But work is about all I have done. Weekends are usually disrupted by Saturday weddings, and I usually come down some time Sunday's to get out the pictures for the paper. Next Saturday I have three weddings and that is WORK. Several weeks ago I had three in one day and OH BOY! I have never had so many weekends goofed by weddings and I don't see a let-up until early September. So the prospects of my getting to the re-union sure do look dim. Helen's folks are somewhere up in Colorado and seem to be having a really great time. I think they are somewhere in the vicinity of Colorado Spgs. and don't know how long they will be there. I think you have heard from them.
No High school boy passed the exams to enter Annapolis. Thus, we are sending Bobby to the Columbian prep school in Washington D.C. this fall. Having nothing to lose he will again take the exams late this year end, if he passes, I believe it won't be necessary for him to complete his year at Columbian. Senator Russell Long will sponsor him and it is his suggestion that Bobby try the fall exams.
The other day Bobby won an outboard motor (retail value $234.50). It had to do with navy recruiting. He recruited one guy and so his name got in the "hat" once. And his was drawn! Since we have no use for it he advertised in the paper and sold it for $180.00. That will give him a little travel & misc. money.
The house has lots more to be done, drapes, etc. and I will take pictures when it is "finished" and send them to you.
I went to New Orleans the other day for some new Chinese supplies. I made some sea weed soup. It had dried shrimp and beat-up egg in it. Didn't look so good but was delicious. Also I got some dried squid which I haven't tried yet. I'm sure the kids "just can't wait"!

All my love to you both and love to Dorothy, Manny, all their kids and animals.






P.S. Thanks for the $20.00, it purchased beautiful greenery for the house.

Lelia
Lady Ruth
Dot
Bobby the Nazi Nabber.