Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Below 2nd letter Eddie received from Stanley Thomas word for word when he first came to Memphis
July 2, 1944 Sunday

Dear Ed:

My wife, after much unsuccessful prodding to get me to answer letters I
receive more promptly said in great disgust that if ever I should answer a
letter pranptly she would drop dead from amazement. I am beginning to believe that if I should acquire that most admirable habit, not only she but I too would keel over from shock. I have just about resigned myself to my slow
procrastinating gait. Your letter was postmarked May 15. I am writing this
just a little over six weeks later Which, after all, is not so bad.

Your unexpected return to this country surprised me. I am sorry you weren't sent to California. I would have and will be glad to see you again. There is still some hope though, as the Army seems to have an erratic habit of Shuttling its men about the country in an aimless manner. So you may accidently land here yet.

As I suspected, my brother Arthur was bound for England when he was sent
to New Jersey. I feel confident thought that he was not directly involved in
the invasion of France. Those poor guys, especially those in the first waves,
took some very heavy losses. it sickened me to read how those damn Nazis
poured machine-gun fire into the landing craft when the ramps were lowered.
I still don't understand why the Americans can take any prisoners when the
only good Nazis are the dead ones.

I have been working at welding as usual. I worked for the Richfield Oil
Corp here for some months. I quit that job though because there was a great
deal of chrome steel and stainless steel welding. The welding rod used for
this kind of welding is coated with a substance which, when burning, gives off a poisonous gas which soon began to have an irritating effect on my lungs. The only safe way to use this type of welding rod is to wear a gas mask or use an airline which is flexible and through which there is a strong air suction. This airline is about four inches in diameter and is placed about six inches from the arc when welding. This air suction picks up all of the smoke as it comes from the arc and carries it outside. As the company refused to provide any of these safety devices I had no other alternative but to quit.

The Republican Party convention is over. They have nominated Dewey
governor of New York. He was "drafted". For months before the convention he very coyly and innocently maintained that he was not a candidate. So the
Republicans were forced to "draft" him. Out of sheer pity and compassion for the victimised tax payers he was compelled to accept it. In August the
Democrats meet in convention in an effort to keep their grip on those same
taxpayers. To me it all looks like a mess. "A plague take both their houses".

I compare the whole political stituation to a cartoon which a cartoonist
might draw. First he would draw a large feeding trough such as is commonly
used to feed liquid food to hogs. This trough is labled "Washington".
Crowded around this trough are a large number of big, fat, greasy pigs. There isn't room for all of them at the trough. They are piled up around it four or five deep and are bitterly and savagely trying to claw and bite their way to the trough. This group of hogs are labled "Democratic Party.

Off in, the distance there is another bunch of hogs. These pigs appear to
be different from the first bunch of pigs. They are lean and their bones
protrude through the skin. They are a very hungry looking bunch. In fact,
they look as tho they have had eleven years of famine. This bunch of pigs
are gathered at a place labeled "Republican Chicago Convention".

Now then, at the trough, standing in the midst of these fighting, squeaking
and caterwaling porkers is a farmer. On his face is a look of anxiety and
great concern, and he has cause to be worried, for he is holding a big bucket
from which he is pouring a stream of silver dollars into the trough. The farmer is labled "American Taxpayer" and the bucket "Graft, Patronage, Corruption" and the farmer is saying- "This bunch of critters is costing me plenty but if that bunch over yonder gets in after their long hungry spell they will break me." This to me seems to be the political situation. We lose regardless of who wins.

Now to change to a more pleasant subject. As I remember it, when I,l ived
in Detroit, you and I have had many long-winded and fruitless discussions on
immortality. Survival after death, in other words. I have forgotten your ideas on the subject but I have always maintained that man's soul or spirit lives after death. Now I say that consciousness goes on after "death", which is the same thing. Now, you are wondering "Why this particular subject? What is he leading up to?" So, before going further, I'll explain.

In the years since we last saw each other I have on occasion given this subject some fragmentary thought. I have heard and read of spiritualists or mediums who have produced psychic phenomena, but I have always considered their antics such as table tipping, horn blowing and shrouded ghostly figures as pure hokum to extract money from gullible people. There are sincere spiritualists, but most of, them are out and out fakirs. That the soul lived after death I had no doubt, but as it was too deep and hazy a subject for me, I didn't worry about it. Just took it for granted and went serenely about my busines, whatever it happened to be at the time.

About a year ago I turned on my radio and tuned in on a conmentator. Not a
news commentator, but one of those who speaks on a variety of subjects ranging from peculiar historical incidents, How and Why Shoe Laces are Made to How to Get Along with Your Wife.

On this particular day I tuned in mile he was speaking of a certain book.
It was "Uninterpreted Universe" by what seemed to me "Paul Kelly", tho I caught just a hazy mention of it. I was not sure. Anyway, he was telling how this author whose wife died and fifteen minutes after, he definitely felt her presence, a sort of glowing feeling which be had never before felt. The commentator earnestly advised those who liked good books to read this one.

While I was at the library about four months later, this book popped
into m yhead. The librarian had never heard of it, nor was it listed. However,
the Central Library might have it; so she ordered it. In a short time there
came a note that there is no such book. So I forgot about the matter.

About a year later I was browsing through a magazine in a dentist's waiting
room when I cameto the Book Review Column. As is my habit I have [gave] it a quick glance and turned several pages when I stopped short. One of the titles in that long list of books had a familiar sound. I turned back to the Book Review page and looked more carefully. The title which had lodged itself in my brain during that quick glance was "Unobstructed Universe" by Stewart Edward White. The brief review below the title identified this book as the one I had been looking for.

I immediately ordered the book at the library. When it came there came to
me an entirely new line of thought on the subject which has puzzled me for so long. I did not read the book in full acceptance of the phylosophy taught therein, but wih skepticism. As I went along I was becoming impressed. But,for a brief description of the contents:

Stewart Edward White is well known to both of us. We knew him since
childhood through his books. It is this familiarity with him which made me
eager to read this book. Well, White's wife, who found that she had psychic
qualities has been exploring psychic phynomena with her husband for twenty years. They have, through her, conmunicated with people who have died, and they claim have been given by these "Invisibles" a phylosophy of life. White's wife died at Burlingame, Calif, in 1939, and, White says, fifteen minutes after she died he knew she was with him. He felt her presence and so did other persons who visited the house long after. Friends living great distances away wrote to White to say that they knew positively that Mrs White visited them. They didn't see her, but her presence was felt and they knew instantly who it was. These letters, not from one, but many people. White goes on to say that he could not feel the least bit sad or despondent at his loss. He would go into his garden. Sometimes she was there and sometimes she wasn't, but she always came when he called. About six months later she communicated with him through a woman who was a good friend of the Whites.

Steward Edward White wrote previous books on this subject. The first was
"The Betty Book" giving detailed descriptions of his wife's psychic explora-
tions. The next book "Across the Unknown" was completed just a few days before Mrs White died. "Unobstructed Universe" was written in 1940.

White mentioned a book "Our Unseen Guest," by "Darby and Joan" (anonymous). Joan is the woman through whom Mrs White communicated with her husband. This book was written in 1916 and reprinted by public demand when White's latest book came out. The reprint has an introduction by White. Darby and Joan are anonymous names. They are well known to White and he vouches for them.

their first experience with psychic phenomena came when they were having
dinner at a boarding house a short distance from their apartment. A storm sprang up and they were forced to wait for it to abait. White waited for it to stop. They were in the sitting room when they noticed (of all things) a ouji board lying on the table. Jokingly they picked it up and reading the instructions, placed their fingers on the flatiron thing which was supposed to move from letter to letter. For perhaps ten minutes tliey sat thus and were about to quit when the thing moved. Both were startled and accused each other of moving it. They tried again and it spelled: "Quality of Consciousness". Startled, they again accused each' other of moving it. Another try brought the same results."Quality of Consciousness". Then there came a name. The authors give this name as "Stephen L." in order, they say, to save this persons family from notoriety. They are well known to the public, they say. The name given by the ouji board is a well known one. He was an American killed while serving in the Allied Army in 1916. A few months before the ouji board incident, he began to expound to "Darby and Joan" a phylosophy of life and the hereafter. According to this there is no "death" but a "graduation' to a higher plane of life. He speaks of "Quality of Consciousness", "Quantity of Consciousness" and other new terms.

Now,all of this while interesting to me, is by no means fully understood
or accepted. It certainly gives brand new food for thought on a subject which every one, sooner or later must face. And I, for one, certainly would like to know what lies beyond that veil through which all of us must sooner or later pass. I must say tho that the ideas presented in these books sound much more plausible than any of the bunk and poppycock we have been taught in school. According to Steward White's wife, death or graduation is something to welcome and not fear. There is no hell fire and brimstone. We make our own "hells" here by our foolish and ignorant actions. If you believe these books or not, they make interesting reading, the best in their class, I think.

I don't know how you will receive this long-winded spiel of lnine. If you
would like it, I could give you more infonnation in future letters. There is
no room or time now. It is 1:30 AM.So-----

So Long and Good Luck

Eddie's First Letter to Mom, Harry & Izzy From Memphis

Go back Go forward