Harry Buzzell was my paternal grandfather's brother who died in France in World War I in 1918. His mother saved 60 letters from Harry in three small stationery boxes that were found in a closet many years after her death. ( A daughter-in-law was the last relative to live in the Buzzell home in Colby Siding, Maine before it was sold out of the family a few years ago.) I was fortunate to be given the letters in 2001 and transcribed all of them. I tried to follow the original spellings, grammar, and text of the letters as Harry wrote them.
In the following letter, "firing line cars" refers to the practice of hiring a worker to accompany a wood stove that was put in each railroad car to keep the potatoes from freezing on the way to market. My great-uncle Harry was hired to move from car to car to keep the fire going. It was a dangerous job with the possibility of falling off the moving train while moving from one car to the next.
I am well and happy wishing you all the same I go to work tomorrow don't know as yet ware but expect it will be in the holsale [wholesale] first.
Don't worey about me I've got a good neat little room in the same house with Mr Bradbery cousins to Phillips he looks out for me.
How is all the kids is buster still traning his calf. Whare are you going to spend thanksgiving this year. I wrote a card to Hanah yesterday to let them know I am near to them expect to go and see them soon. I did not like firing line cars . I got cold but is all gorn now I was about sick when I reached hear the dust and smoke made me sick one night.
Mr. Bradbery and I are going over to Mr Phillipps this afternoon, Mr Bradbery runs a small store for Phillips I was with him all day yesterday that is all but a little while.
He seams real nice I like him he watches me like a cat watches a mouse when we are on the street, he seams to think a feller like me cant look out for himself but I's no kid no never again. Give my best wishes to all for a
32 holyoke St
With love and all best wishes your
loving son Harry Buzzell