Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3 November 1944

Friday all day 
(if it don't rain)


My dearest & darling:
     Hello darling just a few lines to remind you once again that I love you.  Sweetheart in ten minutes after I was up this morning a fellow handed me a letter from you.  I didn't get to eat any breakfast but I would rather have a letter from you than all the food in Texas.  It makes me feel so releived to hear you are feeling better, it won't be long honey till you will be going to shows again and not by yourself either.
     I went into camp yesterday afternoon and took a shower & shaved and got all cleaned up then I went back out to my truck and I went to sleep till the sergent came and told me he was ready to head back for the desert. He said he would drive if I was tired and wanted him him to so I gave him the wheel for I was really sleepy but just as soon as we started rolling I got to thinking about you and the harder I tried to go to sleep the more I thought about you.  I might as well drove myself all the sleeping I did.  I just wanted to get my arms around you so darn bad I felt like jumping out of that truck and running all the way to Indiana.  
     Honey when I went into town last there was a letter there from my dad, I sure was surprised.  He told me if I needed any money to come home on just to let him know and if I didn't he would give it to me when I get there.  Sweetheart what are we going to do with all our money, it is simply worring me to death! Ha Ha  
     Honey you said you were in a cramped up position writing that letter now darn it all honey don't do them kind of things, it will just take you all the longer to get well. No darling I don't hardly believe I would go to a show yet either if I were you and honey there is one thing for sure I wouldn't walk across the street to see "The Impatient Years"  I wasted 15 cents once to go see that and believe me darling you aren't missing anything when you miss that picture.
     Yes honey I guess there is times in all girls lives when they don't care what comes or goes (Some boys too) Don't tell anyone though.  Glad you liked the flowers sweetheart, I guess that anyone that can put up with me for a year deserves a couple of flowers.  If I buy you a couple of flowers every year you put up with me it is going to run into dough you know it, for you are sure stuck with a mae for a long time.  And a lot longer than that too.
     No honey, as much as I hate to say it I haven't written Charles and I don't suppose he thinks he ought to write first.  I don't believe I would if I were in his place.
     So Roy is driving for the Fairmount Trucking now.  I sure do wish I was in his place.  How is all the folks at home any how?  Yes, honey I know only to well that you would of sent me the money to come home on but can't you just see me pulling a trick like that.  It was bad enough to have to ask mother for that much.  
     Well sweetheart it is about dinner time and as I didn't eat any breakfast I guess I better eat a littel something now.
      I went over to sign my furlough papers this morning but the first serg. had already done it for me.  Sweet of him, don't you think?  For now my darling I will say so long - All my love & kisses angel


Still Yours
First, Last, & Always

2 November 1944

Thurs. Afternoon
"Somewhere in Hell"

My dearest & darling:
     Darling I love you more everytime I think about you and that is all the time.  Honey just think tomorrow is Friday and a week from tomorrow I will be through with my basic training.  Some of the boys are signing their furlough papers today I guess I will go over and sign mine pretty soon.  I was sure glad to hear you are feeling better, just take care of yourself now honey and don't worry about my furlough.  Mabey if you are still in bed when I get home I can talk the preacher into coming down to the house but don't worry honey you will be O.K. by then.  Yes darling I have been told about your operation and sweetheart we sure are lucky.  As your mother said in her last letter we can still have those littel blonds, can't we?  Have you ever changed your mind about waiting awhile or do you think we ought to have them right away?  If you think we ought to have them right away its o.k. with me.  your the boss but first give me 33 good reasons why. 
     All the other boys think time goes fast out here on the desert but I have decided that there is at least 36 hours in a day and I am busy all the time too so I can imagine what it is like there in that bed.
     I haven't seen Jimmy or "Rusty" since I have been out here but I heard they sent Rusty back to the motor pool in camp the lucky stiff.  I was over to C Btry. yesterday after my pay but I couldn't find Jimmy.  There is a plane flying around here taking pictures and I know darn well he can see my truck but I don't even care.  I have got half of the cactus in the desert on it now and besides writing you is just about as important as winning this war we are suppose to be having to me anyhow. 
     These guys just remind me of a bunch of littel kids playing cowboy & indians.  Last nite D Btry. made a raid on C Btry but they didn't get very far with it.  This is suppose to be just like the real thing, we have to do all our driving after nite with our black out lights on and when we go to chow we have to wear our gas mask and everything.  If we were really across I wouldn't mind it but it is disgusting out here in the desert.  Now tomorrow nite we have to pretend we are retreating from the japs and we make a black out move at three in the morning, then we fire the guns for a couple of days and advance toward camp.
     Honey I just got a lucky break I think.  They put me on a Ration Run for D Battery and I will go to camp at least once a day and sometimes twice but I will be pretty busy driving if I just have time to write a couple of letters a day I will be O.K. or at least one. 
     Well darling I must close for now as I have to go to camp after supplies it is 4:00 now that means I will be pretty late getting back.  But I must close for now and get this in an envelope.  So long honey as ever & for ever I remain
Yours
First Last & Always

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

November 1, 1944

I wonder if our soldier's mother often
thought back to these days, when her boy
was only a few months old,  
Ft. Wayne

Dearest Son:
     Got your letter this a.m.
     I went up & wired money this P.M. now honey don't you drink nor gamble.  You'd better have it put in safe or somewhere for someone will roll you & don't let anyone see it, for you can't trust anyone.  And I have talked to 3 soldiers they say if you don't speak up, you won't get traveling time, just say if you hafto put in 5 or 6 days on road it leaves you such a short time at home.
     Saw Chas & Esther today they said they hadn't from you I don't know if they are dreading to see you or anxious.
     Well no news.  I'm going to Dr. and get my shot & go to GE & get my little ck.  I haven't worked for over a wk.  I guess I told you I've been eye trouble, supposed to get my bifocles tomorrow, mabey I'll be better.
     Georgia went to Chicago for a couple days with Connie, had a card from your girl yesterday, said she was fine but didn't know when she could go home.
     Well honey I must run, mail this.  let us know soon as you can when your coming.  Now honey don't squander your money there for you will need it so badly to eat & travel on. 
     I haven't saw nor heard anything from your Daddy, wish you could of been here while the weather is so nice.  Its sure been lovely.  We still don't have no heating stove.  Well honey I must quit.  Write soon as you can.

Lots of love,
Mother

P.S. No fighting, hold that temper.  I use mine enuf for both of us.

**There is also a letter, on the same date, written in his father's handwriting, from Converse, Indiana (where our soldier's sweetheart lived) but postmarked in Bryan (where our soldier's father lived.).  I don't know if I'll ever understand the man who was my great-grandfather.

Converse, Ind.

Dearest Son
Just a few lines to let you know we brought your girl home Friday.  She is felling pretty good only tired this morning.  She gets to get up a little Wed., but just sit up.  The Dr. gave her her orders for the poor kid sure had had a time of it.  She ask me if I would rite you a few lines so hey you can rite to her home.  I dont fill so good myself.  I guess I have had to much to worry about & do.  She sure has lots some weight.  I wont rite much as I have so much to do, and VonAunt from Kokomo is here over weekend.  So you know I am busy.  Hope you get to come home soon.  I got out of your girl what she wanted for xmas, a watch. 

Love Mano.

**It's a confusing letter, even without the bad spelling.  I always believed the relationship to be better between our sweetheart and her future mother-in-law...not our soldier's father!  And yet, it appears that he was there to help bring her home from the hospital and get her settled, while his mother still did not know that she was coming home.  Quite honestly, I was always under the impression that the relationship was better between our soldier and his mother than with his father...but yet his sweetheart asked this man to drop our soldier a few lines for her.
     I have no idea who VonAunt in Kokomo is, or why he would be involved with him, and why did he sign this letter "Mano" instead of "Dad" or even his name, "Homer". 
     This is one of those letters that makes me wish I could have known my great-grandparents.  Both of them died before I was born, so I never had that opportunity.  I would have liked to have really known them both a little better to understand their relationship with one another even after they had divorced.

Monday, March 26, 2012

October 1944, one more time

**The last in a series of letters, written in October...his sweetheart was sick in the hospital, but he continued to write to her as well as the occasional letter from home via his mom and dad.

October 26th - ...I have to write mother and have her send me some money to come home on.  I would rather take a beating than do it though.  I'll tell you the reason why when I get you in my arms.  You know I have began to wonder where Jimmy is at, he only had fifteen days and it seems like he has been gone a lot longer than that.  He is just about as slap happy as Laverne and I am afraid he might put a littel extension on his furlough.  There is a kid sitting here cussing because he is restricted.  You see his wife is here in town and he can't go in and see her.  He is going to send her home as soon as he can get into town because the next two weeks we will be on the desert.  They live in California.
     I wish there was some way of knowing where my next camp is going to be.  It doesn't make much difference though for where ever it is I will have you with me.  Some gal on the radio is singing "It Had To Be You" and one of the boys just said he didn't know how they expected a fellow to write with her doing something like that.  It is pretty hard to do....


October 27th - Honey I received a letter from mother today and she said you were feeling better, I was so glad, I hope you are still improving darling.  Dearest I love you so much I just wrote mother and told her what tomorrow is but it seems like it ought to be tonight.  It was a year ago I cussed dad's V8 that nite but I would kiss it tonite if I could.  I would rather kiss the one I wanted to that nite though.  But I was satisfied enough that nite just to get my arm around you and I would be thankful if I could do just that much tonite.
     Darling I always adored you but I didn't know until I had to leave you and be with out you just how much you meant to me and how much I loved you.  Sweetheart just think how soon it will be that we are together...I can't believe it, it seems too good to be true, just two littel weeks yet... 


October 28th - The wandering boy returned awhile ago, yes Jimmy is back.  We sat up stairs and talked for a long time and then we came down.  He is laying here on my bunk reading his mail that I saved for him.  He says its pretty cold in Indiana.  We have talked about everything from the weather to ----...you guess, honey.
     In a way I am glad I didn't take my deferment cause I really got a good deal on my basic but I can think of a million reasons why I wish I had of.  Darling I love you so much and want to be with you so bad.  But it won't be long now will it, these two weeks are going to sail past pretty quick.  Don't forget now honey and try to get well.  I want my "delay in route" awful bad but I don't want you to have a "delay in getting well"...

(a note from mom to our soldier boy)
     Saturday night, October 28th - We got your letter, glad to hear and glad you are about to finish there but I guess since it's cooler it isn't so bad only so far from us.  But of course if they send you to calf. you won't be any closer, but I think soon as our girl is able she will come and be near you.  
     We went over and saw here Wednesday and she was doing good her Dr. said.  She looks quite bad but every one does after an operation, and she was sick before she went to the hospital but mabey poor kid can be well now and you can't get any better letting something like that go.
     Pres. Roosvelt stopped and talked from the train this P.M. on his way to Chicago, won't be long now till he'll start his new term I suppose.  
     Your Dad sent her a doz. pretty roses, red.  We took her a pretty potted plant Wed., it blooms all time and cut flowers soon die due to so much ether.  We aren't going tomorrow she has so much company on Sunday.  Will go next wk. I suppose....

(a note from dad to our soldier - the spelling is...rough at best.)
     October 30th - Dear kid, will try and answer your letters.  I wrote to you 3 weeks ago and send you Sherry pictures ditent you get it now?  I am not mad at you, I will give you any thing that I have got you now that iff you need any money to come home you write to me and tell me you now that you can and if you don't I will give you money when you get home.  
     I think I will have a home that you can come to when you get here don't get me wrong I am not going to get married but I am going with a woman that has a very nice home you will see her when you get here. Now hery and get here for my sake.
     I sent yor girl one dozen roses but I have not heard from her, you know that I cant write but I will tell you all when you get home.

And then...finally...the ONE letter our soldier was waiting for...

October 30, 1944
Dearest Darling,
     Honey, I'll never be able to make up for all the letters you've written, I mean Honey I'll never get them all answered I don't think.  You know that show called "Impatient Years", well it is on here in Peru at the Roxy.  I would sure like to see it but I don't think it's hardly possibly right now.  Boy it gets so lonesome up here.  I guess I really am feeling better cause I know there for awhile I didn't care what came or went.  I never before realized what an operation was.  I know I'm not the only person that ever went through with one and I imagine there has been people worse than I was but I sure know how to feel for ones who go through with it.
     I got another letter from you and what do you know my boyfriend sent me one dozen roses.  Yes he did and are they ever pretty.  This morning one of the nurses said I sure had an attended boyfriend.  I also got a card from your mother last nite, and a letter from Charlie this morning.  He asked about you.  I'll be you never have written him or he never has written you just by the way he talks, or rather writes.  
     Honey you said you were going to ask your mother for the money to come home on.  Well honey that is up to you.  But if you want me to I'll send you the money.  I bet you won't get 15 days at home if Jimmy didn't.  But I sure hope so.  
     I'll close for now and honey I can hardly wait till you come home, but we will have to wait.  I love you from the very bottom of my heart, and I am always yours.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

October 1944, continuing on

October 19th - ...last night I got to see Kay Kyser.  I didn't have to really but all the boys wanted to get over there early so they could get a good seat and of course I wanted to sit with my own gang.  We did get a good seat too and I thought it was a pretty good program.  I really enjoyed myself.  Did you listen in to the broadcast?  I don't suppose you had a chance but I hope so.  He was only on the air for an hour but he put on a show for us before he went on the air and after he signed off.  I think all together he entertained us for about 2 hours and fifteen minutes.  I sure was glad I went to see it.  Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are on the radio now so you can expect anything in this letter.
     Honey I would give anything if I knew how you are feeling.  I hope you are feeling fine, but I suppose that is too good to hope for.  You know what, we had another inspection today, yes sir, tractor and tool inspection.  The major couldn't find one bit of dust or rust.  I still think it was a good thing he had on colored glasses.  They say War is hell, and if they have inspections like that in hell just between you and me I think I will start in reading the bible.  President Roosevelt said War is hell, now I wonder who has been telling him about Fort Bliss.
     A fellow just walked in that has been home on furlough and he is four days late.  He is going to stay here in the barracks tonite and will no doubt spend the next few in the guard house.  I just had another one of those feelings dear and I mean to tell you it does things to you.  Two sisters just sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" and they could really sing.  Oh my very dearest I do love you so much and I want to be with you so bad.  Thank God it wont be very long yet....

October 20th - Honey I don't know what to do, I mean about getting a transfer into the tank corps.  You see if I do that I won't get to be with my buddies that I have here and if I don't I am afraid I will go to the infantry.  They are shipping all the boys from here to Camp Carson, Colo. which is an Infantry outfit.  If I went there I might go in as a truck driver and there is also the chance that I might be a foot soldier.  Being a foot soldier wouldn't be so bad for I would only take eight weeks of basic, but I crave excitement.  Since I am in this thing I might as well get all I can.  I don't know I suppose I had better go ahead and try to make the tank corps.
     I am glad Jimmy got a furlough too but I sure wish he would come back I miss him more than I ever thought I would.  Jimmy and me and another kid here is just like brothers.  When we got money we have it together and when we go broke we go broke together.  There has been times when we would have had it pretty tough if we hadn't stuck together....

October 22nd - Honey I received a letter from mom yesterday evening, your mom I mean, and she said you were to be operated on Saturday at 10:00.  I don't know if she meant yesterday or next Sat.  Since it had to be I hope in a way that it was yesterday, mabey you will be well now when I get home just take care of yourself darling and don't worry about anything.
     Darling, I am no doctor, but I don't believe people has told me everything about your operation and I do believe you are doing a lot of unnecessary worrying about me.  Sweetheart regarless of what they do to you when they operate it won't make a bit of difference in my love for you, believe me honey it won't.  I will always love you regarless of what happens.  Now dear mabey this isn't very plain to you and mabey I am wrong but I think there is something you have been keeping from me and I think I know what it is.  So don't worry about what I will think about it if what I think does happen to be true.  Nothing will make any difference as long as I have you.  You are all that makes any difference to me.  I want you to be well darling that's all. You just get to feeling good enough to go up and pay the preacher a littel visit when I get home.  As I have said a million times before, don't worry about anything.  It doesn't help any.

(From our soldier's mother) October 22nd - I expect you have been looking for a letter, but I was between the devil and dark blue sea.  They didn't know just when they would operate.  We were over to see her on Wednesday, but I told her to wire me and I'd come.  They decided on Saturday and we went.  Couldn't stay long, Ezra had his fellows to take to work and I felt so rotten, and ether gets me so, I almost passed out on way home just nerves I think. She got along fine of course everyone is very sick for 3 days after an operation.
     They just took one tube.  I was worried they mite take both, but this way she can still have children.   I sent you a wire today about 1 o'clock, I didn't want you to go thru all that worry you had once, and I didn't want to tell you till I saw if they are ok.  After 3 days they're ok unless something unusual should develop.  Your dad sent her a dozen roses, and we will take some when we go so she has flowers all time.  It cost you so much to send them.  Her mother and aunt got her a lovely boquet the day she was operated on.  she has everything and seemed very happy so don't worry she will soon be home now...


October 25th, Wednesday Eve - Honey I wanted to send you a littel something just for old times sake you know but now I won't be able to get into town until Saturday.  Don't you think for a minute though Angel that I have forgotten our anniversary.  Sweetheart I do love you so very much.  Every time I want to do something the Army wants me to do something else.  I planned this morning that I would get a pass tonite so I could send you something and you would get it by Saturday.  But sweetheart remember you have all my love if I can't give you anything else.   **(Looking at a calendar, I believe he is referring to October 28th as being the anniversary of possibly their first date.)
     I got a telegram from mother this morning and thank God it said you were getting along all right.  These darn idiots around here don't know anything.  They got the word over at the battery office last nite and they didn't even try to find me.  When I went over to the office this morning to see about a pass they said "well, well when did you get back there is a telegram up to the message center for you"  I said, "get back.  hell, I never went any place."  They said they didn't try to get me because they thought I was out on the desert.  I phoned over and had them read it to me then I went over later and got it.
     Honey if you remember last wed. night I told you about these girls singing "Back Home Again in Indiana", well the same girls just sang "Girl of My Dreams".  They keep that up and I just won't listen to them anymore.  They can't do that to me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

October 1944, still.

**I'm using my authoritative power as blog owner and editor, as well as being the one who currently has possession of the letters, to save you all 3 weeks of a one-sided conversation between my soldier and his sweetheart.  The fact of the matter is, she spent an extended period of time in the hospital in October of '44, and was unable to write and respond to the letters her soldier boy sent to her until he finally received a reply from her dated October 31st.   All of this time that he was writing to her, they both knew his furlough would be soon arriving, and I believe they were planning on being married as soon as he got back to Indiana. 
    In the interest of my free time, and you're boredom - I am editing and combining the 20 letters that my soldier wrote to his love as well as the correspondence from his mother between October 11 and the 31st.

(From mother)
     We got both your letters this a.m. so sorry you hafto have so many worries and I know just how blue you are for I know how I worry when I think of you being sick, but I hope you don't worry to much for you know she is getting good care and will till she's well.   We don't plan on heading to the hospital till Sun. unless she does have her operation and wants me to come be with her there thru it if she does I'll go.  I think she was just laying in Converse with a quack Dr. and getting no better.  This Dr in the hospital will bring her out of it I think.
     Well Dear this month will be half over this weekend.  I figured your 17 wks would be up about 13 of Nov.  What do they do wait till the last minute and tell you when your furlough will be?  I'm so glad she will be over her operation and can be around then, and I hope she can go back with you...

(From my soldier to his sweetheart)
     October 11, 1944  - ...try to think about our future angel for we are really going to enjoy ourselvs, startin in the day I walk in that door at home.  It isn't very long either darling. 
     Honey, thank god I do believe Sherry is going to leave us alone.  She has had plenty of time to answer my letter and she hasn't, so I guess I made it plain enough that I didn't want her. 
     You know what beautiful? I signed the pay role tonite for the last time in good old Fort Bliss.  Don't forget honey, that means you have to take it easy and rest up for I will soon be agrivating you again....


     October 13, 1944 - Honey I am so excited I can hardly sit here.  I have been shaking hands with Jimmy and crying.  I guess I never will grow up.  I just couldn't help it though we were always so darn close.  This afternoon at 3:30 they called him over to the Battery office and told him to get his duds on that he had a furlough if he wanted it.  I helped him pack his things and at 6:30 he crawled on the train headed for Indiana.  His grandfather died is what called for all this excitement.
     My instructor said I was just the kind of driver the Army needs.  He also told me that I should get a transfer into the armored division but I don't know if I would like it or not.  I would like to stay on the trucks but I am afraid they will put me in something else, and if they did that then I would be sorry I didn't try to get in the tank corps or something like that.
     A couple of guys just came up and looked at my tatoo, one of them said he would like to have one but he was afraid to get it because he would have to carry it the rest of his life.  I told him to go ahead and get it for they wasn't very heavy.  I am sure glad I got mine.  Just your name written across my arm means an awful lot to me, but why shouldn't it?  Isn't it my whole life?
     I haven't found out for sure if they had to operate or not.  I sure hope they didn't.  The sooner you get well the better it will suit me.  I sure wish I could be with you darling, while you are in the hospital.  I'm glad you like the flowers dear, you were suppose to of had them last Sunday by noon.  Wasn't there a card with them? 

(Yes there was!)

     October 15, 1944 - Hello my littel darling, here it is Sunday again.  What do you want to do today go to Marion to the show?  Basil said I could use the truck today if I wanted it.  Oh you want to go to Wabash, huh?  OK honey, we'll go to Wabash then, you're the boss.  I know what you are thinking by now hon, but I haven't went clear batty yet.  No I was just wondering what it would sound like to talk that way on Sunday again. ... you know honey when it comes right down to facts I really have quite a lot to thank Don for.  If it hasn't of been for him talking me into coming to Converse and going to work for Basil I would have never met the sweetest girl in the world.


     October 17, 1944 - Will scratch you a few lines dear just to let you know I love you more than ever and darling I think of you all the time. I want to be with you so bad honey I don't know what to do.  Time will go fast and it will just be a short time till we are together but it is sure going to seem like years.
     The truck drivers are going out on the desert again tonite.  They sure are catching hell.  It will be a littel better for them this time though for they are taking our battery out.  I sure hope they have better luck to nite than they did Sunday nite.  I'll bet there was at least $25,000 worth of Uncle Samuel's equipment tore up.  There sure were a lot of wrecks for some reason.  A boy that sleeps just two beds from me is laying in the hospital with a fractured chest and a broken nose.  It's no wonder they are having wrecks though for when you drived for three and four days at a time you get pretty sleepy.
     Oh darling I love you so much.  Darling I would give anything if you could be here but I would give more to be where you are.  Kay Kyser will be here tomorrow nite.  I don't know for sure if I will go though or not. I would like to see him though and it might be a long time before I get the chance again.  This is the first chance I have had in about nineteen years to see him....

**admittedly, I had to Google this one.  I could not recall ever hearing the name Kay Kyser prior to this.  How have I never heard of him?  My musical tastes include, honestly, EVERYTHING...even country...and the Big Band "sound" ranks right up there for me.  Anyway - Kay Kyser was a popular band leader in the 1930's and 40's with 11 #1 hits and was also well known for his "Kollege of Musical Knowledge", and he was coming to Ft. Bliss, Texas to entertain the boys!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

9 October 1944

**What started as a seemingly minor infection to be treated with antibiotics, now has our soldier's sweetheart bedridden in the local hospital, and she's been there two days, still awaiting her surgery...a surgery that by any rights would be devastating to any young woman who is months away from marrying her sweetheart and starting a family.  He couldn't be with her during this time, but his family stepped in and spent much time at her side in the hospital.

My dearest and Darling:
    I hope this finds you feeling better darling, a whole lot better in fact I hope you are at your best.  I have been feeling pretty good since I got my stomach straightened out.  I received a letter from mother today and she said that she was going to stay with you.  I am sure glad she is too.  Nobody knows what I would give to be in her place.  I love you so much darling.
     I should get your package tomorrow that you gave mother to send me.  It just seems like your not happy if you aren't doing something for me.  Honey you ought to quit being so good to me I will never be able to repay you for all you have done for me already.  There is one thing for sure though I am going to put in the rest of my life trying.  It may be a littel bit like the song "I can't give you any thing but love" but darling you will always have all my love.
     I just heard one of the boys say that it was 815 miles to his home.  I wish I was that close he said he had a notion to walk but I would crawl if we were that close.  After I get home I don't think we will ever be that far apart again.  When I get home honey we will have such a wonderful time we will think we are dreaming.
     I sure was busy today, I'll sit to will tell you what I did.  This morning another fellow and I put a windshield in an 18 ton M4 tractor, that took us all morning where as if I was back in civilian life I could put it in by myself in an hour.  Its a darn shame the way this army works me don't you think so too honey?  This afternoon I took a truck and went after a barrel of gasoline then I painted two small parts of the tractor.  I didn't even do enough to get hungry today.  I'll be though that if I could sit down to a meal tonite like you used to fix me you would of thought I hadn't had a bite to eat for a month.
     I have heard people say that know one was perfect but when it comes to you I will be the difference with them.  To me darling you are perfect in every way and if you think you aren't try to make my mother believe it.  You better not though honey for if you do you will certainly have an argument. She sure is crazy about you sweetheart if you don't believe it I have some letter that will prove it.
     Well darling I will have to quit for tonite I guess as there is only one thing left to say that I know.  Angel, I love you.  Just think honey only four more weeks and you will be in my arms.  That will be one of the happiest days of my life.  I say one of the happiest because I think the happiest will be when we come back from the preachers and say "We did it!"  Darling I love you so much but for now I will say G'nite Dearest.  More tomorrow nite

Yours
First, Last, and Always
I love you

Friday, March 16, 2012

8 October 1944


What does a soldier in training do when the girl he loves is not feeling well?  He sends her mail to cheer her up, of course! But what does he do when he gets word from home that the girl he loves is not only sick but has been admitted to the hospital?  There's not much he can do. Except worry.  And continue to write and remind her of his love - even if that meant multiple letters in one day.  One that was written early afternoon, and another that was written that evening.


Sunday
I love you darling

My Dearest Darling
     Oh honey I am so blue and broke up I don't know what to say but maybe I can think of something. I had written a pretty big letter to you yesterday and was just ready to mail it when I received Mother's letter saying you was in the hospital. I hope you have went through the worse part and feeling better by now. In that letter I wrote you yesterday I warned you about taking care of yourself. I guess there wasn't much use in sending it now but honey I did send it. I went into town as soon as I got mother's letter and wired you a couple of flowers and went and got a few littel pictures for you. I also got my tatoo last night honey. I decided it was about time. I promised you I would get it a long time ago. I know you won't like these pictures honey as I needed a shave but I did shathve this morn. and I will try to send you some more pictures tomorrow that look a littel more like yours truley.
     Honey you don't know how much I would give to be with you. I love you so very very much darling. After I get my furlough honey you will be with me where ever I am at and that's for sure. Where ever I am you will be, we may go hungry but we'll go hungry together. They say everything is for the best, you hurry up and get well sweetheart and maybe you will feel better in a lot of ways. We sure have had some tough breaks but I told you once darling that together we could whip the world and we can.
     My two buddies Jimmy and "Dink" are sitting here on my bunk talking about buying rings. I sure wish I had the money to get your some ones. Darling I have heard some wonderful news if it is true and I believe it is. I will get fifteen days at home besides traveling time. Won't that be swell honey? You will probably be going home in a couple of days angel and when you get there I don't want you to do like Caroline did. I want you to take care of yourself. If you feel like it darling we will really have some fun. I wrote dad here awhile back and ask him if the Plymouth was in good enough shape for a honeymoon. I don't imagine we will be useing that car though.
     Dearest why didn't you tell me you were going to the hospital, I know why, you were afraid it would worry me and as always you were right.
     Darling after you look at these pictures tell me, just what has Clark Gable got that I haven't? HaHa You littel angel don't you dare answer that. Sweetheart I love you so very much. Now darling if there is anything you can think of out here that you would like to have you just let me know. If there is anything back there you want you just have someone get it for you and don't worry about it, we will pay for it.
     I don't know why but I just can't keep my eyes off of my tatoo. It is a heart with an arrow thru it and your name written across it and it has four stars. The heart is red and the rest of it is blue.
     Well angel you keep pitching and don't worry we will win in the end. If there is some way I can call you at the hospital let me know darling and I will if there isn't I will call you as soon as you get home. Well my one and only I will close for now and go to town and get you some civilized pictures. Don't you try to write me sweetheart till you get able I will understand. I! Love! You!

Yours
First, Last, and Always




Sunday

My Dearest Darling:
     Sweetheart I just came back from town and decided the only way I could possibly sleep would be to write you first. It is a little after nine now. I hope this finds you feeling really good. I went to the show while I was in town honey, and I seen Betty Grable in "Pin up Girl" It was a good show but every time I do something like that I just want you all the more. The next camp I get in I won't mind going to shows for every show I go to you will be by my side. I guess maybe it is a good thing you didn't come out here the way things turned out but I still wish now that you had.
     I told you this morning I would you some more pictures darling and I did, but I hate to send them to you for they don't look anymore like me than the others did. I don't know why I look like I was always drunk in my pictures but I do. I quit my drinking a week ago today. Some of the boys tried to get me to take a drink last nite they said it might make me feel a littel better. But I knew better and so they didn't insist.
     I suppose you have been pretty blue today darling. I hope you have felt good enough to be blue, that doesn't make sense I know but I hope you understand what I mean. I know you will too honey for you always do. THere is some talk going around about us going out on the desert tomorrow, I sure hope we don't. It doesn't make much difference though for I will write you every day honey if I have to walk into camp. How long do you have to be in the hospital darling?
     You know I just found out something about the state of Texas, it is really quite a wonderful state after all I guess. I mean it has more rivers and less water, more cows and less milk, and you can look farther and see less than any statein the union. Oh boy what a state.
     Sweetheart I love you so much and want to be with you so bad I know what to do. Well my littel blond angel I guess I had better sign off for tonite and go over and try to get some sleep. Now don't forget darling, don't try to answer my letters till you get to feeling better. I don't want you to do anything that might possibly delay your getting well real quick. If you think you feel like getting up one day just put it off for another day. You have a lot of things to do and a lot of places to go when I get so I want you to be feeling at your best and you may have a long train ride too if they ship me back out west again. That's one ride I won't mind for you will be at my side.
     Well Sweetheart I have to say, "G'nite dearest" I Love You.

Yours
First, Last, and Always

Thursday, March 15, 2012

October 1944

October 2, 1944
Converse, Indiana

Dearest Darling,
     Well Sweetheart here I am again, back in bed. Imagine that. Do you think I'll ever get all right. I'm about to give up all hope of ever being so I won't ever have to go to a Dr. I am feeling better today than yesterday, it isn't my leg either. Yesterday I started having pains in my left side and it never let up on me all day and mother made me go to a Dr. last nite. I know I never had anything to hurt me so bad not even when I was operated on....


She goes on into detail about her visit to the doctor and after I did some research on the symptoms she described and what she vaguely referred to as the diagnosis in her letter, I believe that she was most likely diagnosed with a pelvic infection and was given antibiotics to clear it up at this time.

     ...I didn't want to tell mother but since Pug went to the Dr. with me she told mother and I am in bed. Aunt Ruth is helping mother out today. Honey if it doesn't get any better I don't care what happens to me. I can't stay here in bed cause there is too much to do. I washed Sunday and there is ironing to be done. So what the heck.
     Darling I received a very sweet letter from you yesterday and I'm very very sorry for not writing. If you want to think there is another, there is nothing I can do about it. But when I tell you there isn't I do wish you would believe me. Pug came yesterday, she is going to stay a couple weeks. Honey you remember how big she was when she was here the last time. She only weighs 115 now. Her mother is getting along pretty good now.
     Darling I want you to know I love you very very much and Honey I do miss you. So you got some more mail from Sherry. Have you ever written her yet. I told you I'd write and tell you what I thought. You know Honey I think I would write her a letter but I can't think of her address. I mean the name of that town. No wait a minute it is Blakeslys isn't it. So you are wondering wether I hear from Paul any more. As a matter of fact no I've not heard from him for about 3 weeks or more. He wrote me five letters I believe since I wrote and told him every thing, and I must hand it to him they were very nice and reasonable letters. He said if I loved you enough, to marry you because he wanted me to be happy although he would give anything if he could share my happiness with me. Well they were nice letters, he didn't write and give me hell or he didn't write and beg for me to give you up for him. If I have Sherry figured right, why if you wrote her a letter she would go around showing it to everyone. I hope you know what I mean.
     You wanted to know what became of "Skinner" I don't know. I rekon she is in Ohio, she hasn't written me since she left. When am I going to your mothers? As soon as I get out of this bed. Or I hope to anyway. Well Sweetheart I'll close for now. I love you very much Darling.



His reply came just a few days later...


Friday nite
Oct 6, 1944

My Dearest Darling
     I am writing you tonite for many reasons but the two main are because I love you and it is friday nite (Sat. afternoon)

     I sure did get a lot written last nite didn't I honey? I had good intentions though, you see they were supposed to leave the lights on untill eleven and at nine they called "lights off" I had a notion to finish it though for I think I could write just about as good in the dark as I do in the light. I just heard some good news if it is true I will get to be with you fifteen days instead of the small ten. Even fifteen days don't sound good enough to suit me. In fact the only furlough what will suit me is the one where I can throw these damn clothes away and roll up my sleeves. Darling please don't ever tell me again that you see a pretty pair of brown pants up town. These uniforms are nice for a change but I am right here to tell you I am ready to change back to my new suit plaid shirt and all. Don't you wish I could? Or do you?
     I got a letter from mother yesterday which I will enclose. Boy honey if I ever quit you my family would sure disown me. I wrote mother and I think I made it pretty plain that all hell couldn't part us as far as I was concerned. I have an idea you feel the same way about it. I am not going to ask you if I am right for I know I am.
     Honey I don't know what to do about your health. Mabey there isn't anyone back there that can keep you off your feet but I bet by god I can. I sure wish we were married - if you have to go to the hospital I won't get to be with you or anything. If they would just station me a littel closer to home it wouldn't be so bad. They better not though or before long there will be changing my name to A.W.O.L. I will be gone so much.
     Well we got moved and naturally it was a change for the worse at least I think so, I even hated to leave the other barraks. That sounds silly but its true. Well I guess I will try to answer your letter and get ready to go to town. I want to get you some pictures and a few other littel things. I promised mother I would get her a pillow cover. I just read your letter over again and if you don't want an operation like Caroline you had better do as the Dr. says. Now darling please do it if you don't give a damn about yourself at least think of me. Honey if you only knew how I felt about you, you would listen to me. I don't even want you to get a scratch much less an operation. Mother says I have been through more hell than the average man at thirty, and I guess she is about right. Now don't forget darling please take it easy for while. That damn work will keep and as the army says if it don't that's just tough shi-.
     Honey you must of thought I was really serious when I said something about another guy. I know darn well there isn't. You must not think I trust you darling but I do honest I do. And when I say that I am not just saying it to hear myself think I mean it I really do. Honey I can't figure out any reason why you should want to write Sherry. I ought to be just as good to you as you was to me. Remember? You wouldn't let me write Paul. But I will give you her address and you write if you want. But will you tell me what you have to say to her before writing her? So Paul was pretty nice about our littel affair, glad to hear it. Some guys probably wouldn't understand. Here is one guy that sure just ain't about to quit worrying about him. If something happened that I got shipped across without getting a furlough I know I would go just plain crazy. After we are married all the men in the world will be the least of my worries. I have heard it said that it was a womens privilege to change her mind but I can promise you one thing after we are married you are just plain stuck with me. If we fight like cats and dogs you will always be mine. I don't believe Sherry will show that letter to very many people for I don't think she will be very proud of it. It was a nice letter but I had to make it plain that I didn't want any part of her....


For whatever reason, the letter stops there. There was nothing else written on the page, no signature, and no other pages in the envelope. This letter tells me that each of their former significant others were still somewhat or just freshly out of the picture.  This letter does say a few things to me that saddens me a bit, for I know how this story ends. As I mentioned at the beginning, this is not a fairy tale romance with a Hollywood ending. But it is real, and the love they shared was very real at that time.  

17 September 1944

**There was a large gap in the dates of the collected letters, I have to think that many letters were missing.  The next dated letter comes from our soldier's grandmother. (My Great-great grandmother!) I personally love this little piece of correspondance that I have from her.  She speaks of Georgia and Aunt Opal, both aunts of his, and Bud being the brother of the girls.

Bement, Ill
Sun nite

Hello sugar, how are you?  Hope you are fine.  I have one of those colds I grab every winter but I started early this time to avoid the rush.  We are having grand weather.  Georgia is in Ft. Wayne, she is working.  If you have time write your aunt Opal.  Her address is RR 4 Tucson Ariz.  she was wondering why she had not heard from you.  Bud R isn't getting much better and Opal is working in a office.  Poor kid, it has been an awful job for her as Bud never was sick and this worry must keep Opal up set. 
I hope it isn't so hot down ther by you, or does Texas ever cool off.  I am here alone my renters moved to Decatur. 
Well honey the way our boys are going I think this war will soon be over I am sure hoping so just keep your chin up, and take time to write me for I think of you every day and every  night.  They are giving news now, they are giving old Hitlers H---.  I hope they get him while they are at it for they are right there now.
Well honey I am going to retire.  Write me soon for I worry if I don't hear from you.  Gobs of love and a good nite kiss to my big soldier boy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

4 August 1944 - Ann, Mother, and Bing!

Oh what a day it was.

On this day in history, Nazi Gestapo would find and capture Anne Frank, her family and other Jews who had lived for two years concealed in the attic of a building in Amsterdam.  She would remain in German Concentration Camps until her death in March 1945.  The diary that Anne kept for 2 years while in hiding would eventually be published by her father, Otto. 

Ft. Wayne, Ind.

     Read your letter this a.m. makes me feel very badly to think of you being so unhappy but dear when you start feeling down in dumps always try to remember you are far from alone and so many others are so much worse off.  Those poor fellows across who are really going to town and I feel sure are soon going to make it possible for you you to come home and have life and things you want and are entitled to. 
     I am so sorry you couldn't have been sent else where.  I have planned on coming to see you as I don't see why I should stay away from you while you are in the states.  Well honey you sure aren't alone suffering with heat.  It's been round a hundred here for a wk. and I'm just sick and crops and gardens are burned up. 
     It does make me very happy to know you stand in so well for I know that will make it easier for you and honey we always crawl before walking of course the 1st is worst while you have so much to learn and do.
     I am very unhappy living as I am but I feel when this old war is over we can all live again. 
     I hope I feel better next week I want to go to work.  I guess waitress work as I don't stand factory work.  Ezra is good to me and I don't hafto work but I know we won't be able to get this money long and I don't want it if it takes war to get it.
    Its 12 mindnite I've ironed some and cleaned bathroom shelves and put up clean curtains, cleaned silverware and worked all eve.  I hafto take a bath yet and I'll just get to sleep when Ezra comes.  I'll be so glad if I can ever have meals and go to bed again like a human, but when I start to complain I just say I have a big brave man who sacraficing more than I am so I can live as I'd like again.  Some of these mornings I'll awake to find my little man and his future wife and some sweet little blonds (I hope) living around the corner from me and all these blue days will just be dim memories.
     Well honey I'm so tired and you must be tired of this nonsense.  I don't know any news.  Write when you have time.  Here's hoping your spirits are higher and I'm sure they are, we all have our meloncoly days.

Lots of love and kisses, good nite,
Mother

And to end on a happy note, the #1 song of the day was Swinging On A Star...another Bing Crosby hit! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Road to...1940!

Taking a step back from 1944 just a few years ~ Thanks to my friends over at the History Channel for the heads up and the laugh this morning...

On this day in 1940, "The Road to Singapore" premieres, starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour. This film was the first of seven "road" comedies featuring the trio.  Enjoy!!

(And while you're in a 1940 frame of mind...only 20 more days before the 1940 US Census images are released!  Have you signed up to help index yet?  What are you waiting for?)

Monday, March 12, 2012

27 July 1944

(The next letter from our soldier to his sweetheart - typed here "as is")


Thurs. Even

My Darling:
     Just a few more lines to the sweetest and dearest littel thing in the world.  Hope you are feeling as good as you was one nite when you were in my company at a certain skating rink.  I will never forget that nite how could I when I have something as wonderful as you to always be reminding me of it.  Everytime I look at your picture I think of how we started our future we ought to have a good ending for we sure had a hell of a beginning. 
     Honey I believe I must be slipping I didn't get a line today from anyone.  But it is no wonder because I can't find time to write anyone but you.  If I have my way you will always come first so I am not complaining.  Hon I don't know any news so please excuse me if my letters don't sound very interesting.   I have been out on the rifle range just about all day.  I was on the machine guns for awhile this morning but as soon as we got them cleaned we had to start in messing with those darn rifles.  I don't know for sure what it is all about but they took some of us guys over to the speriscopic specialist training school and gave us a test there was for of us that passed it out of about twenty.  I don't know if I was lucky or not but I suppose I will before long.  This damn Army is going to give me the big head if it keeps on.  I sure would like to get the tripel A though instead of just the double A.  The tripel A stands for Advanced Anti Aircraft.  I will get you some pictures honey if I go to town over the weekend.  I sure hope I get a pass sat nite and it looks like mabey I might.  You probably wouldn't know me now I have got so brown and a littel larger also. 
     Hey toots guess what, Oh don't bother I will tell you.  I get paid Monday.  Look out Converse here I come.  Wish I could.  I wonder if I am the only one that does.  Well, darling it's the same old storey Jimmy wants me to go to the show again.  I want to tell you something everytime I tell you I am going to a show don't think I am going to town for we have six theaters here on the post.  I didn't know if you knew that or not and I know you wouldn't like the idea of me going to town that often.   Well dearest this is just your littel private and I mean Just Yours.  First. Last. and Always.

Signing off for now with all my love.  Write soon dear as I know I can't have you with me for a while yet your letters mean everything to me.  Good nite dearest, I love you more than you'll ever know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My 1940 Cast of Characters

I love this photo - it reminds me of my "Ohio Farmers".
www.census.gov
Taking a moment to make a public notice of those family members I will be looking up in the 1940 Census when it's released on April 2 (a mere 23 days away, but who's counting?)

Who am I kidding?  I'M COUNTING!!

I'm counting down the next 23 days as if it were an impending birthday - like my own (which by the way is 157 days away and it will be, oddly enough, the big 4-0)

I know...you don't know those who came before me, nor do you probably care.  BUT, if I take the time to make note of these loved ones here, it serves a two-fold purpose.  First of all, if I happen to lose the sheet of paper where I have written down the specific names that I will be looking for, well now I have a back-up list.  Second (and this is the important one), IF one of my fellow genealogy peers has extra time on their hands and wants to search for a name or two....well here they are.  Please.  Feel free to grab a name and start searching. :)

I have one set of grandparents who were already married by 1940 and had 3 children at that time that will be listed with them.  I think these are the ones I'm most excited to see, and will probably be the easiest to locate. I remember hearing the story that they lived with his parents when they were first married, and I  know where the homestead was where they lived and raised their family for a number of years.  So Jackson Township in Paulding County, Ohio is where I will look first and am quite certain that's where they will be.

There's also grandpa's parents, Charles & Clara Parrish.  Again, another fairly easy locate since 1910, 1920, and 1930 they were in the same township and county, and great-grandpa passed away there as well in 1944.  It's almost a gimmee.  Great-great grandma, Melissa Shisler Parrish was still alive and well in 1940, and was last living with her son, Joshua Parrish in Paulding County, Ohio - the same township as the other Parrish's.

On the other side of my maternal line, Nay and Goldie Thrasher, located in near-by Brown Township, Paulding County in 1930.  That's my first obvious stop in my search for them in 1940.   Considering that my aunt pointed out to me the land where she remembered her grandparents living when she was a young girl, and that was the same area.  It's a safe assumption to start there for grandpa and even his parents, Wesley and Martha Thrasher who lived a country mile away.

Those are the easy ones.  I've often gotten frustrated at my "Ohio Farmer Ancestors"...each generation I'm able to dig a little further back, always only to find that once again, they were farmers.  With the release of 1940 census images looming ahead of me in only a few weeks, I'm suddenly very grateful for the roots my Ohio Farmer Ancestors put down for their families.

Now...about my paternal side.  It might be slightly trickier with a few of them.  My grandparents (all 4 of them, as a divorce and remarriage blessed me with an extra grandfather and grandmother) were a bit more...complex.

Grandpa was in Williams County, Ohio in 1930 and I'll definately start there in my search for him, but his parents divorced sometime after then and I'm unsure when.  In a perfect world, they will still be married in 1940 and living in the same area, but I'm just not feeling very certain that I'll be that lucky.  In 1942, his father, Homer A. Hulbert was living in Fulton County, Indiana and gave the name of another son as his "next living relative".  So where was his (probably) ex-wife Helen?  The address on her letters to our soldier boy are Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Until I find another clue leading me elsewhere, I guess that's where I'll go.

Grandma (our soldier's sweetheart) was in Sugar Creek Twp., Clinton County, Indiana in 1930 with her mother who, in 1940, would now be married to her 2nd husband since February.  Other than going back to look in Sugar Creek Twp., I will also be checking the small town of Converse, Indiana which is where grandma was living with her mother and step-father (Zettie & Vaughn Lane) in 1944 prior to getting married.

My great-great grandparents, Herman and Sarah (Rentfrow) Allen didn't make things easy for anyone who was trying to keep track of them.  For whatever reason they didn't spend a lot of time living together as man and wife.  In fact, prior census records show their son living with Herman, while Sarah had the girls living with her.  I don't know why.  I wish I did.  Was it another divorce in the family?  Herman is in Edgewood, Effingham County Illinois in 1942, and was listed as married (although living alone) in Mason, Illinois in 1930.  Sarah shows up in Bement, Piatt County, Illinois - and her marital status, although difficult to read as it was written and rewritten over, appears to me to be "divorced".  Perhaps a look into a possible divorce record is in order for a future research project.

Harrison and MaryAnn Bingle might suprise me by being easier to find.  My great-great grandparents hung around the Cleves, Ohio area most of their lives.  Whitewater Township, Hamilton County, Ohio will be my first stop in my search for this generation of ancestors.

Finally, Elizabeth Fulton Peak Mason, another great-great grandparent, whom I don't believe passed away until after 1950.  She will be a challenge to locate as I found her to have remarried after her husband's death, Mr. Nathaniel Mason.  She had roots in Indiana growing up, both of her husbands were from Kentucky, and they spent some time living in Ohio.  I do believe that her 2nd husband passed away in Cleves, Ohio in 1945 so I'm hoping that they were spending their latter years there and she remained there after his death.

Now, if you've followed along this far AND managed to stay with me, then you're obviously interested!!  May I suggest that you head on over to the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project and sign on to help index the 1940 images when they're released on April 2nd.  Come on....you know you want to...and think of all the time you'll be helping to save me from flipping from one village and county to the next in a desperate search!!  :D


Friday, March 9, 2012

22 July 1944

The #1 song at the time was sung by Bing Crosby ~ "I'll Be Seeing You"



Ft. Bliss, Tex

My Darling:
     Well darling I will start you another letter.  Jimmy just went down to take a shower and then I guess we are going to the last show if we have time.  I got another letter from you at the evening mail call and you talk as if you might be getting a littel disgusted with me.  But I sure can't blame you I know I didn't do you right I should have taken time to of dropped you at least a line or two and I promise to do better from now on.  I received your money and those seven wonderful letters today.  Who did you borrow the money off of?  Dearest I love you so much.  I will never be able to repay you for all you have done for me.
     Honey in my letter from mother she told me Sherry was home.  I will enclose letter and you can read it for yourself.  But you don't need to worry I made my decision along time ago as you know and I am going to have you nothing would or could ever change my mind.  After I write Sherry I have a feeling she will change her mind about coming out here.  I intend to make it very very plain that I have the perfect girl and that I don't want know part of her.  I am going to write a letter just like you did here awhile back only I'm afraid it won't be as nice. 

     Well you littel angel here I is back again.  It is about 8:30 Sun. morning.  Jimmy has gone to church.  He is a Catholic and he wanted me to go along.  Sometimes I think I should join something like that. 
     Dearest you seem to do a lot of worrying about me going out with some girl please don't ever think things like that.  I have heard a lot about these girls out here and my future means too much to me to do anything like that.  I know you wouldn't go with anybody, that alone is enough to make me contented and if it wasn't for that I still wouldn't mess around with these kind of girls.  I'm not stuck up or anything but the best of girls aren't to good for me and as I have the best being true to me the least I can do is be true to her.  It won't be very long till we will be together and if it was going to be ten years as long as I knew you were waiting I would wait.  Well dear as I have to enclose that letter from mother I will close this letter and start you another. 
     As I still am and always will be yours First. Last. and Always.

This place is full of love and kisses for the only girl in the world as far as I am concerned.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

18 July 1944

A quick note from our soldier's mother ~

I wish if they had to take you so far they would make it Calif. I would of come. I'll come later sorta divde up the time mabey we won't get home sick that way. I'm hoping and praying your furlough will be more than 10 days they sure seem to be going after them germans now.
well bye bye.

**Although she lived in Indiana, his mother mentions wishing for California.  The trip would have been a welcome opportunity to not only visit her son had he been moved there with the Army, but also to travel to Hollywood, California where her sister was living at the time.
    This was only a brief note that he received from her, but she also made sure to include the addresses for his grandfather, grandmother, and his two aunts to make sure that he would write to family members.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

13 July 1944

**Today's letter included a little secret message on the envelope that I've never been able to decode:

"D.D.C.Y.K.B.M" - I believe it may be "Darling Dottie"
...but I don't know what the rest stands for.
  "Can You Keep Being Mine"?  "Can You Kiss Bulldog Monkeys"? 
Any ideas or creative suggestions?  Leave a comment! :)
My Darling Littel Angel:
     Just a hurried line to let you know where I am at and where you will probably be able to find me in case you want me in the next four mojnths. The reason I am in such a hurry I want to write mother and I haven't much time and I had to write you first because this is the most important. I could put hers off for a couple of days but I need three of four dollars right away if you have it hon. Now don't you wish you had picked soemone besides me about nine months ago. It looks as if that skating trip is going to be pretty damn expensive don't it. But hon, please believe me when I say I will pay it all back with interest some day before to long I hope.
     I am in the anti-aircraft out where the men are men and the women waiting on them back home are glad of it. I told you I would go to Texas didn't I. I will have 14 weeks of Basic training starting on Mon. I am just 5 mile from El Paso and 6 mile from the Mexico Border. They got me in quaranteen again for 2 wks then I can start in getting passes if I know my general orders and I already know them. But passes won't do me much good and you know why so I won't have to tell you. If I stay here in a couple of months when it gets a littel cooler you and mother are going to move to Calf. or somewhere out here closer to me or I am going to quit this job of mine and I don't think I will do that. Darling since I am out here we are going to have to get married before I get my Basic over with because I am afraid if we don't I will wake up in Japan one of these mornings and honey I am going to have more than anybody else in the world to come home to and I do mean you. Dearest I don't know what I am going to do with out you. I would gladly take the infantry if they would only put me closer to you and I wouldn't gripe a damn bit about walking 25 miles if I had to do it every day. Although I do believe I am going to like the A.A. Especially after I get an arm full of stripes. That's another laugh ain't it.
     I suppose I have got a lot of mail at Fort Benj. by now sure do wish it was here. I have about got all your letters worn out reading them so many times. Please write often now dear I don't know where when or how I will find time to answer them but I will do it some way. Tell Don that I suppose it will be a couple of more days now before I get to write him but I will as soon as possible. Is Helen and Scotty both with him? Say Toots if you don't send me those pictures pretty soon I am coming after them. (Wish I could) I would rather be with you than have all the pictures that ever was or ever will be, But I am anxious to get those. I suppose Skinner is still in Ohio isn't she? How is sis getting along with her love affairs. O.K. I hope. Tell her to write me. I am not with any of the gang I was at Harrison mainly because I was the only one out of my barracks that came out here. Tell Roy the first trip he gets to El Paso to stop in and we'll have a beer on him as usual. I sure wish I was there shooting the bull with him if I lived to be a thousand I don't think I would ever forget them two Lane boys. Send me Nettie's address and mabey someday I will find time to write her. How has mom been feeling, O.K. I hope, give her a big kiss for me and tell her I could stand some of those old lines of hers also. I wish I could find someone to give you a kiss Darling but by the time you get all I have saved up for you, you never will want another kiss. It is coming up a hell of a storm sure wish you were here to worry about me or would it be the other way around? Either way I wish you were here. Well wishing won't do any good or I would of been out of the army by now so guess I will close for this time. More later as usual. I am yours First, Last, and Always.

Tell everyone Hello and don't forget to kiss mom for me. Honey I love you more every day and I always will don't forget it. Please answer soon and not just on account of the money although I do need it. As much as I hate to I guess I will have to say G'nite dearest to the sweetest littel thing in the world. Sweet dreams my love.

Monday, March 5, 2012

11 July 1944

**Today's letter was addressed to our soldier, as usual, at his Ft. Benjamin Harrison address.  That address had been crossed out, and stamped  to:

AA RTC
Ft. Bliss, Texas

The Army had separated our loved ones even more.  What once was a 60 mile distance in the same state between the two, had now grown to a 1,500 miles chasm through the states of Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas all the way to the Mexican border.  As she wrote this letter, she had no knowledge yet of where her love had been sent.

My Darling Sweetheart,
     Here I am as usual, So lonesome I can hardly stand it and no bright remarks honey I can't lay down to it either.  I mean cause I'm lonesome.  Darn it all anyway honey I've been in this darn old bed for a week now.  But as soon as I get them x-rays taken I hope I won't have to stay in bed.  Gosh honey I miss you so much and I love you too.  Yes I do.  But I don't suppose you'll believe me.  I'm still writing not knowing where you are or nothing.  I got a card from your mother today telling me she got the telegrahm ok.  She wrote it yesterday and said she got a letter from you.  I'm hoping this finds you feeling fine honey.  My leg hurts pretty bad.   Worse than it ever did, I guess some people have got the impression that I'm laying here because I'm to lazy to do anything else.  Gertie got a letter from Jim today.  His is some where in England.  Mother went to lodge tonite I went last Tuesday. Same thing like it's always been.  You know how old women are when they get together.  
     You know that guy called Bunk?  Well he is working for Basil and Scottie goes with him to make Don jealous. Honey I guess marriage is what you make of it, and if I can possibly do so mine will be the right kind.  I just can't see this running around with some one else and always having trouble, it just isn't right.  So many young couples marry and the first thing you know some things gone wrong.  I may be young in fact I am but I know it isn't right to live like some people do.  If you get what I mean.  Say honey I'd still like to know what you had in your pocket book that Sunday that was so personal that I couldn't see it.  You may not of had a letter in there But I dread the thought of you getting letters from Sherry or any other girl.  I know maybe I shouldn't be this way But it can't be helped.  Honey I'm going to close for tonite cause the bugs around the lite are bothering me.  Sweet dreams Dearest I love you Darling and I wish you were here to kiss me goodnite and  - oh well, goodnite Darling.

     This is Wedsnday morning Dearest and I just received your letter.  I feel like bursting out in tears for some reason.  Here all along I thought you'd left Saturday cause that's why you never came home.  This letter will make three of them I'm sending out today.  I don't know yet where you'll be when you get these. But I'm going to send them to Ft. harrison.  Darling how can I tell you how your letter made me feel.  You know once I told you I had a lumpt in my throat and a pain around my heart.  I guess thats the way it is now.  Only you aren't here for me to put my arms around you and kiss you.  I just oh honey I'm going to cry.  I love you so much and honey I sure do miss you.  I feel so sorry for you having to stay in that darn old place.  I'm pretty sure honey when you get away from Ft. Benj. you'll like the army a little better anyway.  I wish it were so I could be with you every nite.  Well honey maybe it won't be long till what we both want will happen.  Honey if there is any way possible will we get our little house like I've always wanted? 
     Honey it's about 8:30 and every body in bed.  Of course Le Roy and his Dad were up and now gone to tend to the horses.  Thoat's how I got your letter.  When I get this finished I'm going to call Gertie and see if she will go mail these letters.  There are three of them.  I would of written you more, But I thought surely you'd get shipped before now.  It rained a little last night and it looks like rain today.  Thank God cause we really  need rain. 
     Say honey it sure didn't take you long to eat chow.  Only 15 minutes.  Honey maybe the food they feed you isn't so good.  But please take your time eating and Darling you aren't going to H --- when you die.  You shouldn't say things like that.  Honey I love you and wether you believe me or not I don't know.  But Darling I do.  
     Honey you asked who Erma was I though you knew who I meant any way it's Francis's little sister I think she is 12 so don't go getting any ideas.  Remember me.  Darling I am staying off my feet, In bed all the time.  But I'm going to get up this afternoon cause I've got to go to the Dr. and fill out some Insurance papers.  I get to go to Peru Hospital and I'm sure glad of that cause I know that Dr. over there and I don't know any of them in marion.  You'd think I was going to have a critical operation or something as much trouble as I've got to go to.  Be in one of them beds at least one night.  I'll let you know as soon as I find out what shows up.  Probably tell me I'm to heavy to be on my feet and they aren't strong enough to hold me up.  Yes Darling I hope there is some way of curing my leg.  But what do I keep telling you about it.  Darling I guess maybe it's because your the only one who ever listens to me.  I was so mad at you last nite I could of rung your neck if I'd of found you.  I was dreaming again.  I thought we went to a fair or something and you run off from me and I didn't have the money to pay my way in.  So I sneaked in and was caught.  Just then Daddy woke me up and he must of been the who had a hold of me. 
     Honey this is all the stationary I have right now.  So I'll try and get some up town this afternoon and write you again.  But Darling listen, you've got to believe me, please don't be afraid of me changing my mind.  Yes honey I remember what you said that day in the park too. It just sounded like if I quit you, you wouldn't give a hoot.  You'd go on having your fun.  Believe me honey if any thing like that would happen, I don't think I'd be worth much for some time. But also Darling I remember lots of other sweet things you told me.  But it's funny how you wouldn't let up on the subject of getting married.  From the time I got there till I left I think you really wanted an answer.  I'll never forget the first time you aske me to marry you.  You just kept asking me over and over. Like I told you, you should of knocked me in the head and as you said say "I do" for the both of us.  Sorry Honey you've not gotten any letters from me the first of this week.  But really Darling I thought you would be shipped out before now cause you said Friday over the phone you were pretty sure you'd be shipping the next day.  Well Dearest I'll close for now and see if I can get Gertie up to go mail these.  So long Darling with love from your little to-be-wife. 

I'll always remember you love me and try to do the same for me Darling.

Your Darling Little Sweetheart