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Lake County Past: Alfred Sonju tells of life in France

Lake County Past, from the Lake County News-Chronicle archives

Dec. 19, 1918

Alfred Sonju tells of Life in France

Soldier boy writes to parents and tells of life and experience he encountered in the service.

Somewhere in France. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1918.

Dear Folks: At our destination in france at last. Arrive here Sunday evening, spending three days and nights in a box car and at that we only made about 300 miles.

The railroad sure are a dinky looking outfit, but there are some American locomotives and cars that are pretty good sized.

I caught a bad cold on the trip, but am feeling better today.

We are located over 200 miles from the front, so don't worry about me getting shot. This place is a large hospital center. I am enclosing you a piece cut out of a paper that tells you all about the place. Would like to tell you the name of this place, but you know we are not allowed to.

Our hospital buildings are not entirely finished yet, so it will be some time before we get much work to do.

We get real good eats here, but it is hard to buy anything on the outside accepting grapes, cookies, etc. One thing that is plentiful is wine, but you know how much I care for wine.

We have good sleeping quarters, spring cot, mattress and five blankets, so things are not so bad as they might be.

I was just thinking that it is only four days until the hunting season opens. Wish I was there to enjoy some venison.

The way the war reports look now, I guess it won't be long before we are back in the good-old USA.

One thing I don't like here is that it take so blamed long before we get any mail. Have many things to write about , but will save them until I get back home. I guess the censor will be tired by the time he gets through reading this, so will close for this time.

With love to yourself, mamma and Marn.

—Pvt. Alfred J. Sonju

Dec. 16, 1943

Ice cause of near tragedy

A head-on collision on Seventh Avenue on Friday night resulted in the almost total demolition of a car driven by Robert Lindsey, severe damage to a truck with which he collided and a narrow escape from death for himself and his companions, Chester Peterson and Clarence Brassill.

The wreck was caused by skidding on the slippery street. The truck and trailer laden with Christmas trees going west at a slow rate of speed simply got into the path of the Lindsey car when it skidded to the left. The impact crushed in the front of the Lindsey car and tore loose the left wheel of the truck. Out of control, the truck collided with the curb and tore off the right front wheel and axle.

Lindsey and his companions were taken to the Two Harbors hospital. Lindsey is suffering from severe chest contusions and several broken ribs. Peter Sono, whose head went through the windshield, and Brassill were treated for minor injuries. Spectators declared both cars were going slow at the time of the accident.