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Letters from home provide comfort to WWII servicement

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Published on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 by BY KELCEY HATCH | REPORTER

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The cover of Home Front News from the second anniversary edition November 1944. Each picture had to be glued on by hand and each edition was hand typed by Charlie Cobert.

During World War II there was a man in Lake Stevens, Charlie Cobert the town banker, who started “Home Front News”.  This was a collection of letters and stories about and from the residents of Lake Stevens.
This newsletter was sent to the over thirty Lake Stevens residents that were serving in WWII.
The letters started in 1942 and continued through 1948 acting as communication between families and former soldiers. 

“All the boys from Lake Stevens were thrilled to receive the letters,” said Jim Mitchell, long time Lake Stevens resident, hall of fame inductee, and World War II veteran.

Mitchell joined the Navy after high school and served four years, he is mentioned in Home Front News.
A August 1943 edition read “Lynn Cockburn and Jimmie Mitchell home wearing sailor’s uniforms. They are going to university and will go east to midshipman’s school in the spring if they make the grade.”
Home Front News read like a story book. Highlighting small town life in Lake Stevens and giving those overseas a little something from home to hold onto.

“It [Home Front News] was well appreciated by the Soldiers and their families,” said Mitchell.
A June 1945 edition read “from somewhere, not deep in the heart of Texas, but from somewhere deep in the heart of China comes a letter from Albert Kenenvelopes to be sent out,” Mitchell said.  “They were just as excited as we were.”

The 1944 two year anniversary edition of Home Front News talks about Raymie Anderson from ‘somewhere in Germany’ and Denman Knight who hadn’t written in ten months.

An earlier edition talks about the “world renowned” traveler Durward Sayer. Sayer was in the jungles near northern Burma and the letter talks about the natives, the strange noises that fill the jungle and a seven foot snake.
Once and a while Cobert would include pictures in the Home Front News of the town and residents.
This collection of stories and letters is an incredible read. It gives you a look into our towns past and the people who lived then.  It talks about the progress the town was making and the changes that were happening.
A November 1943 edition read “Mrs. Florence Ronning of Monroe seems to be doing a good business in restaurant in Coles Service station building.  Pies 13 cents a cut. It’s terrible.”

In the first Home Front News Cobert wrote “You would see quite a change in the traffic if you were here now. Everyone drives at the thirty-five mile an hour pace. The fine part of it is that everyone, or nearly everyone, enjoys it. We were going too fast before.”

A complete collection of letters can be found at the Lake Stevens Historical Museum on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum is located behind the Lake Stevens Library on Main Street.

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