Letter to Dennis Raettig from his father



Letter to Dennis Raettig from his father


Title 'M.V. Trocas, at sea, 14 June 1939' Chides his son as poor letter writer and comments how useful a typing book is and that crew mates had also got typewriters. He goes on to discuss difficulties of female visiting the ship due to authorities and nature of his ships crew. He goes on to talk about sun bathing and that it is not advisable in Singapore. He concludes catching up with family news. In the left margin a hand drawn diagram.



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One-page typewritten document


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At sea 14-6-39

Dear Dennis,
I wonder why you should be surprised that your father should write to you. Isnt [sic] it fairly natural? Still if you were pleased it was not a letter wasted. I wouldnt [sic] exactly describe you as a “Black sheep” at writing to me, say a brown lamb.
The typing book is doing more work than it has ever done. I have leanrt[sic] the rudiments of touch typing from it, my last second mate did, and the other day in Southampton the new third mate went ashore and bought himself a new Empire typewriter. I have lent him the book and he is going ahead like fire with it, He told me last night that he can do the asdfghjkl; line and words likeflask without looking at the machine. he was very proud of his work. The mate is going to buy one, but I should like to tempt him to buy this one from me as I do not like this “Elite” type. I dont do enough typing to ever be fast at ttbut [sic] at least the way I manage the machine now shows that I have had someone who knows something about it showing me the stuff. Can you still type, orith [sic] not working at it have y you lost it? Jack is always at it so he is fairly fast. I bet 99% of the captains in this company would turn green with envy if they saw me typing, and it is all due to your book. Will you ask Marion to put that kiss promise in black and white, talk is cheap.
Marion and Joan could scarcely visit my ship if we came to Saltend, you know yourself how sticky the authorities are about letting females on the jetty, in any case I should not be on board I should either be doing the ships business or at Raeville.
Do they want to startle the natives by sunbathing here. What would 14 European and 39 Chinks think to two naked beauties lying on my deck. They would probably say that the old man was a Morman.
The medical authorities in Singapore put the patients out in the sun to heal up operations, [underlined] BUT [/underlined] sunbathing is inadvisable (in Singapore) after 8 a.m. and before 4 p.m. the suns rays have to pass through so much of the atmosphere before they are any use medicinally and when the sun gets too high they do not pass through the requisite amount of it. [sketch it margin to illustrate this] how do you sunbathe in Barbers garden, do you put a bathing costume on.? [sic]
I think it is a good idea of Marions to learn to drive she can join up then and do something useful, if the mess comes. Well it is noon and I have a date on the bridge to do a spot of navigating so I will make a noise like an egg and beat it.
Bye and best of luck, regards to Marion P.S. and kisses too large ones.
Your loving parent.



“Letter to Dennis Raettig from his father,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 4, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8317.

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