Page 1

letter to Earl

Pfc. Earl J. Pontius MP Section 1540 SW Fort Thomas, Kentucky Lewisburg, Ohio January 17, 1943 Dear Earl, Well another dreary Sunday is over. Tonight it is just icy enough that people who have no business out had better stay at home. While Ralph (2) and I were at church it began to rain and freeze as it came down. I cannot walk without scattering ashes where I want to travel. I hope you will not have ice as we have here. While we were at church Bud come over and got Pop (3) to come over to look after Lady she was sick. They could not get Dr. Schaffer as he had gone to church. After dinner they had Doc (4) to come up. They do not know if it is indigestion or it might be she could be like our Frank was as she is no better tonight. Bud (5) was hauling corn cobs yesterday afternoon while he was getting cobs he was overcome from the gas of the engine. He was so bad that they called Dr. Hearst to the elevator and he did drive his machine home but part of the time he could not see the machines that met him. He told Jos[i]e (6) he was not drunk and handed her the medicine that the doctor give him. Ralph and your dad went over to help him get down feed as Jos[i]e did not want him to go up in the hay mow. The Cowan boy (7) was getting cobs before he did and he got sick too and Mr. Cowan took his boy to the doctor and then took him home and put him in bed. Bud and Mr. Cowan both say they will never get any more cobs while the engine is running. Bud was feeling pretty good today and is about alright again.

Bud talks about having sale next month and then Forest Krietzer (8) is going to farm for him. Jos[i]e had to help so much in the corn this fall that you can’t blame him for letting someone else worry about his farming work. He would keep his horses, a wagon and a manure spreader. He told some of this news to Young (9). He don’t tell us much. Jos[i]e asked me today what I thought and if I blamed them if they had a sale. She said Reitz (10) was supposed to come about the sale but he had not come up yet. Well I heard Mrs. McKee tell Effie Wikle (11) tonight that Lowell and Merriel (12) both were examined and classed and placed in 1A. You see how farmer boys are kept out of the draft. Lowell has Clara Ehler’s (13) farm rented just as the past summer and don’t know if that will make any difference. Merriel works in Dayton. Dick Hieter (14) goes back to work but he had to notify the draft board that they would not accept him at the Great Lakes so I bet he will be drafted into the Army. Well, Susie Leiter Petersime (15) died Friday morning and her funeral will be at her home in Lewisburg where her daughter Helen Paul (16) lives. If the roads are so icy I will not get to her funeral tomorrow afternoon. Earl you scare me where you get into it as you did last week. I am afraid they will take advantage of you some time when you can’t help yourself. You bet I would never budge to go down in the cellar or even outside to settle something. I think they had better give them a job so they wouldn’t have so much time to get into mischief. I suppose about

next they will try it on you. If they do I would go to the boss and show it to him. I would not fight them or say much to them about it unless you just have too. Don’t tell them that you went to your boss last week. We don’t know what they will do about Stoneburner’s (17) corn but I guess it will be shucked if they ever get to it. Anna Cassidy (18) told me today that Harold is in India. She got a letter that was written Christmas and another that was wrote since. Clarence Geeting (19) told Pop that James (20) is still laying on his back and cannot walk yet but he is improving slowly. They can’t go to see him as he don’t want them to come. When they leave he is always so much more nervous. In the “Leader” it tells how many places he has been at. I will send a church program. I guess this is all for tonight. We send our love and best wishes. Your folks, Dad (2), Ralph and Mother (21) Monday morning. Everything is a glare of ice everywhere and we will not go to Susie’s funeral this afternoon as it is too dangerous to get out with a machine. I called Josie this morning and she says the horse is better and is trying to eat some they think she will get along alright now. Your Mother note: each numbered person in parenthesis is represented in the painting on the corresponding page.

letter to Earl Patricia Sahertian bought a stack of forgotten letters. They were written to a soldier, Earl J. Pontius, in 1943 by his mother, Ida. After reading them, one in particular (featured here and presented in full on the opposite page) stood out because it referenced so many people from back home in Lewisburg, Ohio. From Sahertian’s collection of random old photos she created a casting call, selecting people to play the characters that she imagined to be the folks from Earl’s hometown.

Sahertian uses acrylic paint directly on photo paper to create these miniature 3 by 3 inch portraits. cover image: “it is too dangerous to get out with a machine” © copyright 2012 designed and edited by Patricia Sahertian this catalog can be viewed in its entirety on and ordered in print from


“tonight is just icy enough”

“got pop”



“they do not know if it is indigestion�

“bud was hauling corn cobs”



“don’t go up in the hay mow”

“they will never get any more cobs while the engine is running�



“he would keep his horses, a wagon and a manure spreader�

“he don’t tell us much”



“and i don’t blame them”

“what i heard tonight”



“kept out of the draft”

“hit the road”



“lacks lake luster”

“it was so cold”



“no one came”

“if they ever get to it”



“did he ever come home�

“not now”



“been so many places”

“it is too dangerous to get out with a machine�


letter to Earl Patricia Sahertian is a native New Yorker, now living in Phoenix, AZ. She has extensive experience in both design and fine art and is currently focused on painting. Follow Patricia Sahertian’s work on her website: there you will also find links to her blog, flickr, facebook, twitter and more. If you are interested in showing this series or purchasing any of the work please send an e-mail to or call 631.384.2067.


Letter to Earl  

Patricia Sahertian bought a stack of forgotten letters. They were written to a soldier, Earl J. Pontius, in 1943 by his mother, Ida. After r...