Carl Booth Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.1014

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 97 letters written by Carl Booth to his wife of 18 years, Betty, while serving in the Vietnam War from 1967-1968. The letters discuss Carl's work, Vietnam as a country, problems with the army, and missing his family back home.

All the letters are addressed to Betty who was living in their family home in Orlando Florida and dated between 1967 and 1968. Many of the letters are on Vietnam or army stationary with maps of the country on the envelopes. The letters discuss Carl's work, Vietnam as a country, problems with the army, and missing his family back home. He tries to not worry Betty saying that he's "in a safe place" despite "Charlie being active" in the distance. Occasionally the couple have arguments, usually about Betty being jealous of what she believes to be "entertainments" while serving overseas. He answers that he loves her and is hurt by her accusations but eventually he says he "gets over it." In a letter dated January 20, 1968, marked "personal" he says he's "stoned" but seems to have meant drunk, regardless of the substance he is more open. Here he writes about his deep affection for Betty and how much he misses her and not just sex but everything about her. Booth also discusses the war more in depth saying, "I want you to know my frank opinion and that is that we sure as hell are not winning this war. The situation becomes graver each day. If I get home in one piece or alive it will be close to a miracle in my estimation. Old Charlie is getting to where he plays with us all the time. As Charlie plays he gets stronger and the danger becomes greater." He continues, "I don't normally write and tell you what is going on ... sometimes it is because we are on alert and Charlie is playing hell with us." Carl lets her know that if anything happens to him, he loved her and their children and wants to be remembered as a good husband and father. The letters end in the summer of 1968.

Dates

  • 1967 - 1968

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions or to request a collection, contact specialcollections@vanderbilt.edu.

Biographical Note - Carl Booth

Carl was career military and joined in 1948 where he was sent to post-war Japan, which he references throughout the letters. By 1955 he was a communications chief in Weapons Company of the 3rd Infantry Divisions Battalion. In Vietnam he was stationed in Qui Nho'n with the US Army Support Command as a Sergeant working with security plans and operations. He retired from the service in 1974 and worked with Disney World's security branch.

Extent

.42 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger box)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection contains 97 letters written by Carl Booth to his wife of 18 years, Betty, while serving in the Vietnam War from 1967-1968. The letters discuss Carl's work, Vietnam as a country, problems with the army, and missing his family back home.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives
Title
Finding Aid for the Carl Booth Papers
Status
Partially Processed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

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