A collection of 53-year-old letters from a navy sailor to his beloved wife addressed to Bakersfield were discovered on eBay by a curious Facebook group of Kern County locals.
Kern County of Old is a Facebook group dedicated to the history of our county. Members contribute old photos, videos and stories from the past. Recently they stumbled on a ad selling the priceless war correspondence: Packs of hand written letters written by Charles Edward Allen for his wife Mayvis.
“Some of it gets lovey-dovey,” said Linda Dudonis, member of the Facebook group. “He’s always talking about how much he loves her and how much he hopes she loves him.”
The letters are addressed to two different locations in Bakersfield. Some are addressed to 2141 South Union, Space 10. According to the letters, at the time this was the location of a trailer park, now it is a salvage yard. The other address is 204 Price Street, a home still stands here.
A member of the Kern County of old Facebook group discovered them and posted about them. The post then gained the attention of the entire group.
“I wanted to get them because it was on the enterprise, which my husband was on, and these letters were dated 1966 and my husband was on there in 1966,” said Dudonis.
Both Allen and Dudonis’ husband served on the USS Enterprise. She says the possible connection led her to buy two of three packs of 10 being sold. She paid around $40 for each and got to work. With the help other group members and through Ancestry.com she was able to learn more about couple.
“I found his son who is Chucky, he was married and had a son and a daughter: Jacob and Sherri. Jacob was killed in an auto accident and Sherri seems to be the last living relative that I could find,” said Dudonis.
The letters gave her personal look into their lives
“He wanted to start a car sales business when he got out back in Oklahoma,” said Dudonis. “And, in his obituary it mentions that he was the owner of ‘Allen’s Auto Sales’ back in McAlester for 20 years. So, I guess, he fulfilled his dream and they were living happily ever after.”
According to an obituary, Charles Edward Allen passed away in 2003 and Mayvis passed in 2011. Dudonis was able to find their granddaughter Sherri on Facebook and plans to contact her and pass along the letters.