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Jimmy Ley Collection

James “Jimmy” J. Ley attended Grinnell College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. Ley’s papers include an extensive series of correspondence written by Ley during his time at Grinnell and in the army air force, as well as personal items, photographs, and military documents.

Jimmy Ley
Jimmy takes a bus trip across the country.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sees the Grand Canyon.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visits Boulder Dam and the Grand Canyon.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy recommends that his parents visit the Ozarks.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visits the Ozark Mountains.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy arrives in New Mexico.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells Ruthy and Bill about his dirty pants, beautiful mountains, and the dust bowl.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells Betty that he is having a good time on the trip.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy hopes to raise his grades, attend a cowboy themed dance, and asks for a change in his allowance.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy describes “Hell week” and the student assigned challenges he had to complete including marching down Main Street in a kilt carrying a sack of four bricks. He mentions his sister, Betty, and he moves to a new dorm room.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy plans to visit home. He decides to take chemistry instead of Spanish.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes home after his first week at Grinnell. He asks for curtains for his dorm room and looks forward to Christmas vacation. He mentions his roommate Jack Metcalf.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy writes home after two weeks. He says that learning Spanish is hard since he did not learn any language in high school. He visits a Ford dealership.

Ley, Jimmy
Written shortly after homecoming, Jimmy writes about his Spanish class and briefly mentions the progressing war and Hitler.

Ley, Jimmy
Mid-semester tests have ended and Jimmy writes about the football season and the six day class week.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy discusses various automobile brands. He describes changes at the college, his class schedule, and hopes to get a used car soon.

Ley, Jimmy
Almost half way through the spring semester Jimmy tells about his current grades and compliments Betty.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy discusses his grades again and asks about getting a new tuxedo to wear to formal dances.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy responds to news about the family and their hometown.

Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy looks forward to Christmas. He hopes Betty would fall in love with Jack. He is excited that Smith Hall is going to host a house party in the spring and will spend $700 to pay a band.


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