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.

grinnell:11422
Jimmy Ley
Jimmy takes a bus trip across the country.

grinnell:11430
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy recommends that his parents visit the Ozarks.

grinnell:11429
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visits the Ozark Mountains.

grinnell:11434
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy arrives in New Mexico.

grinnell:11433
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells Ruthy and Bill about his dirty pants, beautiful mountains, and the dust bowl.

grinnell:11439
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy tells Betty that he is having a good time on the trip.

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Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy sees the Grand Canyon.

grinnell:11445
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy visits Boulder Dam and the Grand Canyon.

grinnell:11448
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.

grinnell:11451
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.

grinnell:11454
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy plans to visit home. He decides to take chemistry instead of Spanish.

grinnell:11457
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.

grinnell:11463
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy hopes to raise his grades, attend a cowboy themed dance, and asks for a change in his allowance.

grinnell:11480
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.

grinnell:11483
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy looks forward to going home for spring break. He talks about the war getting serious. He wants to get a job on campus and asks how the family business is going.

grinnell:11487
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy responds to news about the family and their hometown.

grinnell:11492
Ley, Jimmy
Almost half way through the spring semester Jimmy tells about his current grades and compliments Betty.

grinnell:11496
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy discusses his grades again and asks about getting a new tuxedo to wear to formal dances.

grinnell:11500
Ley, Jimmy
Jimmy attended a dance wearing his new tuxedo. Betty got a new job.

grinnell:11518
Ley, Jimmy
Written shortly after homecoming, Jimmy writes about his Spanish class and briefly mentions the progressing war and Hitler.