John D. Goodin collected numerous postcards of his travels to various places in Europe. His parents, T. E. and Glenna Goodin, encouraged him in their letters to "see as much of the world" as he possibly could. Goodin took their advice, sending home postcards in order to share his travels with his parents.
In a letter dated October 18, 1943, Goodin tells his mother he is "somewhere in England" and that "pictures are heavily censored even more so than mail."
Westminster Abbey, London, England 1943-1945
In this postcard to his mother dated January 30, 1944, Goodin says he is "taking a short vacation in Torquay," located on the southwest coast of England, and his dog Stinky is with him.
The handwritten note on the back of the postcard dated June 2, 1945, says "Dear Johnny, Well, this is where I'm hiding myself right now and it's a thousand pities you can't be here too, to enjoy this veritable earthly Paradise. If only the sun would shine for two minutes together instead of dodging behind clouds every few seconds! I've done so much walking and have seen so many wonderful things. Even saw a snake which a man identified as a viper. I was trotting along this path, and there curled up so snuggly was this darned thing. I was too petrified to move... card is not signed.
Germany - Undated - Possibly February 1945 as Goodin sent a letter to his mother from Germany telling her he was enclosing postcards.
Belgium 1945 - In October 1944, Goodin tells his family he is "somewhere in Belgium." In a letter dated November 10, 1944, Goodin tells Anne Carter that "Belgium is a beautiful country but the Nazis have sewn seeds of distrust."
These postcards were sent home to Goodin's mother with a note stating: "Going back to duty today - feeling good - went to Versailles yesterday - had a swell time! Johny"
The palace of Versailles is located approximately nine miles from Paris in northern France in the city of Versailles in the Ile de France region. Versailles was the royal residence of Louis XIV.
Paris, France - 1945 Postcards from a woman in Paris named Janine are written in French. Translations are provided.
Thursday March 8, 1945
My dear Mr. John,
[I am responding a little late] to your kind letter. I am very happy to have your photo. Every [time] I look at it, I would like to see you in person [all the more]. I had my photos made in Paris, and in fifteen days I will have them. So I will send you one right away with pleasure. You are going to think that I do not want to send them to you. You tell me that with permission you hope to come two days to Paris like your comrade [did]. If you do come, whatever you do, tell me quickly and you should tell me where I could see you. What a [thrill] for both of us. I see that you are still healthy but sadly always on the
front. It's not a happy [thing] now that you are in Japan. I work in Paris. I am in a Parisian school where I am learning hairdressing. My job [goes] from 10:00 A.M. to noon and 2:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. At noon, I eat in Paris and in the mornings, and evenings with my family in Maureaux where I sleep forty kilometers away. [It's a] two hour journey by train each day and ,at any rate, I like that better than sleeping in Paris because it would not be good for a young woman all alone to rent a room. I am too young, and even so, I prefer to go join my family. I think of you [constantly].
I am going to give you my parents' new address so that you can write me. I can't wait to [hear from you] to know if you will come see me. When is the war going to be over?
I hope that you will receive this letter because I put something in for you as a reminder of the one who still love you, if you will let me. Without a doubt. When I see all the Americans in the arms of a young girl, I think of you [and] if [we will be together].Maybe some day. You [can only] hope.
Right now, I am at the post office. I am [just finishing up] this letter. It is 4:30 P.M I am leaving beauty school. I am placed in first. I am happy. I hope that I will be successful in this career. It is necessary to spend money to make money later. You must have struggled to write me this letter. What a complication that we do not speak the same language. If you do not
want to tire yourself out writing in French, write me in American. Like I told you. I can have it translated. It would be easier for you. When I to talk you in person, we will understand each other maybe. [As far as this letter goes], I do not [have] anything new to tell you, only [that I am] thinking always of you - and I leave you, dear John, sending you [big] kisses from far away and maybe soon [we will be close by]. Whatever you do, respond to me [so that I will] know if you will be coming. I hope that you did not come without telling me. What a great sorrow.
Once more, I kiss you with all my heart.
See you soon, Janine
The unique pictures on these postcards portray a lighter side of war - a break from the grueling day-to-day. In a letter dated February 24, 1945, Goodin tells his mother he is "going to Paris to see a girl who keeps writing him in French." He is stationed in Germany at this time.
Paris, the 24th of April 1945
My dear little John darling,
I have not had any news since your last letter but I think of you in good health. I hope that your morale is still good but unfortunately still in battle - take courage because the end must be near and maybe we will have the opportunity to see each other again one day.
I hope that you did not come to Paris because I will not have seen you and I would be very annoyed and I hope that you still think of me and that you received my last card with what I sent you to make you happy and this time I am going to put in a branch of lily of the valley for you to wear. Happiness and hope that you finish this war.
I am still working in Paris and I am going to have my hairdresser job soon. My sister is with me too she is learning this occupation, my parents will come without a doubt to to live in Paris because we do not have a habitable house and that's not a life for them to live among the ruins.
You will excuse my writing because I did not have any more ink in my pen and I hope that you understand all the same, especially if you come to Paris tell me in advance so that I can see you. I send you this card as if I know that you are in the storehouse if that can make you happy. I am going to leave you in hope to have your good news and to always have good spirits to the bitter end and I kiss you with all my heart.
Paris, the 14th of March 1945
My dear John,
I hope that your travels went well - that must have pleased you when you all brought the end of the war, but the most unhappy thing is that you left, still in battle - what a relief for you when all that will be over and that you can see your family again in America. I send you simply this card. The next time I will write longer I hope that you respond to me more quickly.
My brother Guy has arrived to work in Mureaux in an aviation factory he is very happy.
We are still working at the hair salon - for me it will soon be finished and I will have a job in hand that will be better than being in the coiffure like we were - you are going to say that that does not interest me very much. I do not see any big news to put for you for this time so i leave you kissing you fervently and being always in good spirits.
Do not think of death as you told me and Good luck.
Paris, June 4, 1945
My dear John,
It is with great pleasure that I received your letter and in the same way, I am sending you this card with my photo this time. For now, I am still staying in Paris for my hairdressing. Sunday we are going to going to communion Sunday at home. You will excuse my writing because the card is rambling. I ask myself if you are going to understand. If by chance are you coming to Paris, tell me. My cousin is asking me if you could find him a gun. You will tell me your response. I do not see any big news but to tell you that I will kiss you soon.
Many kisses, Janine (illegible text next to signature