Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Picture Far, Far from Home Made for one Important Letter Home

While on a recent visit home to
Yazoo City, while looking through some
old papers, I came across an old scrapbook
of pictures of Papa and crew members
and old newspaper clippings from the
war that Papa had saved.   One of the
paper clippings had come from
'The Jackson Daily News'.  It was
a picture of several Belhaven College
girls, and one of the young ladies was
Winkie Sample (Allen) from Belzoni,

Upon seeing this, I realized that this
was the very picture my dad had
mentioned in his memoirs.  He had
written to Winkie while he was in
stationed in Italy.  

Now, I had never met Winkie.  Hope,
my sister said she had spoken with her
but it had been some several years.
But within a few short weeks I was
able to locate her, and oh, how I have
enjoyed all our phone conversations.
I sent her a copy of  the CDs I made 
of  Papa's war memoirs, and she
tells me she has thoroughly enjoyed
listening to them.  

I recently asked Winkie to give me
her personal accounting of the story
of Papa writing to her after seeing
her picture in the paper.   Several
days later I received her lovely and
thoughtful letter along with several
pictures I'd like to share.  

By Winkie Sample Allen:

"The episode of Charles contacting
me at Belhaven College (in 1945)
after seeing a picture of me in the
old Jackson Daily News when he
was overseas in Italy, is a favorite
story I've loved to tell through the

My best friend in college that year
was Alice Hutchison of Crystal Springs.
On seeing my letter from Charles, she
commented that her brother, Fount
Hutchison, had the same APO mailing
address for his army base in Italy.
In writing her brother later, she told
him this. 

Well, almost no time after this, my
mother called to tell me the sad news
that Charles was missing in action,
the plane he was piloting having gone
down with all his crew.  Soon after
this Alice had a call from Fount
saying, 'tell Winkie we know that
Charles is safe.  He and his crew
parachuted from their damaged
plane and landed in friendly
territory.  We know he will be

I immediately called Annie and
"Big Charles" to tell them this news.
They were elated, as they had heard
nothing since the Missing in Action
message.  Very soon they did hear
officially that Charles was safe.
(How I loved hearing 'the rest of
the story' from the two CD's you
sent me telling the whole exciting
details.  As I told you, I listened
with my Atlas maps of Italy,
Austria, Morocco and Yugoslavia
in front of me).

The next ---and possible the highlight
of my freshman year at Belhaven---
I saw a car drive up to my dorm
a few days after my call to Annie.
Here came Annie, Bess and Mary
with a huge platter of homemade
candies of all kinds for Alice and
me.  What a happy day!"

       * * *

I am looking forward to my next
visit home to Yazoo City and
reminiscing with Winkie, perhaps
over some of my homemade
banana bread and sweet tea,
listening to all her wonderful
stories of our family.  

Liz Bacher
This picture was from the Jackson Daily News.
Winkie Sample Allen is on the second row far right.
This is the picture my dad saw while stationed in Italy and
upon seeing it wrote a letter to Winkie.   

The picture on left is a picture of Winkie on the far right.
The picture to the right is Alice Hutchison (Now
Ms. Jimmy Little from Crystal Springs, Ms. 
 Alice is the sister to Fount Hutchison who was
stationed in Italy with Charles.