The Monticello Area Historical Society is proud to present "The Monticello Drizzle," a series of newsletters produced by our former postmaster, the late Roswell S. Richards.
"Roz,"--the nickname he was fondly known by--was the focal point for distribution of far more than the U.S. mail during the W.W. II period from July, 1943 through November, 1945. He spent time corresponding with 10 - 12 local friends serving in the Armed Forces, using "carbon paper" to create typewritten, duplicate copies for each. As the demand for his brand of "home town news" grew, the "printers ink" that flowed in his veins inspired him to create "The Monticello Drizzle," a newsletter containing quotes from his many correspondents, home town gossip, and general leg-pulling designed to cheer up the servicemen. It grew from a monthly "drizzle" of 10-12 copies to a "DRIZZLE" of over 250 mimeographed newsletters.
His initial "pressroom" crew consisted of his "press foreman", Yolanda, and his "copygirl" Rosanda Rae. Even many of Monticello's townsfolk and school children helped with the mundane jobs necessary for regular monthly production and distribution. The high school commercial classes addressed envelopes. Several young men faithfully operated the mimeograph machine month after month, while others stuffed and licked envelopes. Families from Monticello and the surrounding area gave money to offset the increasing cost of production.
Praise for the Drizzle was fast coming from the European, Aleutian, and Pacific battle zones, warships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, bases in Iran and India, training bases scattered throughout the United States, and even from coastal shipyards where defense workers from our area labored to create the tools of war.
"Roz" made the newsletter a labor of love, producing it even when in the early stages of lymphatic cancer. He succumbed to this dreadful disease less than a year after the final copy of the Drizzle was sent to press.
The Monticello Area Historical Society thanks Mrs. Yolanda Richards, "Roz's" widow, for generously donating a complete set of "The Monticello Drizzle," other printed material, and publication rights for this book. Her generosity and enthusiasm for this project have made this job a pleasure.
We thank Tommy Brusveen for first bringing this valuable series of documents to our attention.
Most of all, we belatedly thank the talented author of The Monticello Drizzle, "Roz" Richards, for his vivid prose, humor, and time spent doing his part to make the life of the serviceman just a little cheerier.
Last, but not least, we thank the Monticello men and women in the armed forces who, through their letters, shared a part of their lives with "Roz" who then passed this information on as a legacy to the future.
We hope this book helps the current generation understand the eccentricities of their parents, grand-parents, aunts , uncles, and cousins who coped with life at the battle fronts and accepted food and material rationing at home so that Monticello's military men and women would be supplied with the best.
Without their sacrifices, what and who would we be today?
August 4, 1998
Roger P. Dooley
President, Monticello Area Historical Society