Stories from the Front
Letters Home was one of the most emotional exhibitions ever displayed in the Keller Gallery. The program showcases the stories of Stark County’s veterans, as told through their own words in the letters they wrote to friends and loved ones during a time of war.
Nothing illustrates the human side of war more than the words of the soldiers and sailors themselves. Letters Home includes some very moving stories. John Sharritts, a World War II veteran, was drafted at the age of 31 and had a young son at home. He wrote letters to Jimmy several times a week, even though the six year old had not yet learned to read. Eugene Swearengin, a sailor aboard the USS Healy during World War II, was surprised by his brother Jim, whose Navy ship was briefly docked in the same bay. They wrote a joint letter home to their parents that is featured in the presentation. Brothers Albert and Ed Watson, who both served in the Army, had a wonderful reunion on an island in the South Pacific. It had been several years since the men had seen each other. The exhibit also includes love letters from Lloyd Seifer to his future wife Rhoda Mae during World War II (including one where he asks her for her ring size!), a Civil War letter to Mrs. Cornelius Aultman from her brother, and letters during World War I that make reference to the flu epidemic that swept through this area. The fee for this program is $50.