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Archive for November, 2008

Camp Davis
Sunday, 11,29.42
10:10 A.M.

Hello Sweetheart,

How-ya-doin’ this morning.  As always happens, I tell you I’m enclosing something then I forget to do it.  Anyhow, that picture of Bill is in this letter.  I’m going to start this morning and finish it tonight. It makes me feel so good to at least make believe I’m talking [to] you first thing in the morning and again in the evening.  I love you so terribly much, you’ll never know.

I had a wonderful sleep last night.  When I quit writing to you, I came over, made my bed and took a warm shower, brushed my teeth and went to bed at 8:30.  I was in bed thirteen hours.  Boy!! I feel much better this morning.

I was very sorry to hear that Cal is being drafted.  It’ll really be tough for him.  I do think it slightly unfair.  I wish it could be avoided.  Give him my wish for luck.  If he hasn’t already decided definitely what he wants to go into, I can tell him this.  Anti-aircraft is the best outfit in the army for advancement.  By simply getting in and pitching he could really go to town.  I might also say that because of A.A.’s extensive enlargement, he can get into it by simply asking for it at the Reception Center.  A.A. is expanding slightly faster than the Air Corps.  Of course, these are merely facts as I have found them.  He may have different ideas as to what he wants to go into, and of course, I may be a little prejudice.  I’d surely like to talk to him.  I hope he can hang on till I get home.

(So long for a while, I gotta write to mom and Zelda, then I’ll finish yours later.)

4:20 “What’s up Doc?” I guess you know I went to a show too.  It was Abbott and Costello in “Who Done It?.”  The cartoon was about that rabit [sic] (hare).  Anyhow I nearly laughed myself sick.  Really, if you have trouble with your time dragging either during the week or on week-ends, you’d better come down here.  I’ll guarantee that (how do you spell it?) “Phft” — and an hour is gone.  “Phft”-“Phft” and a day is gone.  “Phft”-“Phft”-“Phft” and a week is gone.  Just like that.  It’s amazing.

Oh, hon, please come.  I’m asking a lot I know, but I think you’d like it.  Really, I do.  If you’d rather wait till I come home of course that’s the way it’ll have to be but really it would be so heavenly.  I love you so desperately.  No other girl I have ever seen entices me even slightly.  I only want you.

In a couple of hours I’ll be starting my fourth week.  It seems so funny.  I just can’t explain it.  When I first came in, I looked up to the boys who were in their fourth week and up as though they were kinds.  If only I can hold out.  Gosh, darling, every time I think about it, I realize how teribly good the Lord has been to me.  If it hadn’t been for His help I hate to think where I would be now.  He’s given so many opportunitites and guided me in taking advantage of them and given me happiness and piece of mmind all the while.  I think He had this whole thing all planned out.  First of all that under certain conditions, I would stay at Ft. Douglas.  Somehow, and I think both of us know how, He decided that it would be better if I were some place else.  So everything has . . . .

[[MISSING PAGE 4]]

For some reason I didn’t get a letter today, but what am I kicking about?  It’s a feeling of complete happiness to write you a letter.  It just makes it so much more wonderful to hear from you too.

So, Cal Davenport has to come in (into the army), eh?  That’ll really fix the Stoddard family’s son-in-law.  How have he and Effie been getting along? Or have they? (Catty, aren’t I)  What are “Cloee” and Ben doing?  Don’t have much time to think about anyone but you but ocassionally I do wonder about the kids.  It would be swell to see them when I get home, but there probably won’t be anyone around by that time.  All I really care about is my honey though.  She’s simply got to to be there.

I really wasn’t surprised at that story about Dr. Oliver.  I had my own ideas all along.  Things just didn’t seem right.  His background and his actions I mean.  I really caused a disturbance, eh?  I’ll be it did.

(Gotta go to chow now.)

I really believe I’m still gaining weight.  I haven’t checked since I left Stewart but I feel like I’m up around 190.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Of course, I would would feel that way right after chow.

You know, I didn’t realize my posture was so terrible.  I’m surely finding it tough to take these braces here.  In case you are or are not interested what a brace is, I’ll tell you.  First you find a flat wall, no baseboard or anything, then stand with your back to it and by a series of motions I cannot describe you arrange it so that you touch the wall from your  heels to the back of your head; this includes the small of your back and the back of your neck.  Sounds easy – maybe you can do it, but I can’t.  I have to spend at least five minutes trying each day though.

Well, I hate to , but I gott quit now.  If I don’t put anything else across in this letter, thiis one thing simply  has to go over.  That is that I love you from the very bottom of my heart.  I’m working n ow and always will work to make you happy.  Please let me.  Of all the t hings in life that are fine and beautiful, you are the finest and most beautiful.  Without you in it, my life would have simply been an idle wait for eternity.   Now I have so much to live and die for.  You know I shall always love you so deeply.  Goodnight.  Know and and don’t forget I’m

Always yours, Dewain

Wow – we just jumped back two years from where I’d been, and exactly 66 years ago today.  I’m curious what’s on page 4, but when we’ll find the originals, I’ll get it together.  This letter takes place the Fall before they were married.  It’s fun to compare where we are with the letters after they’ve been married . . . this letter still talks more about what’s happening at home in Idaho and some of the people.  I know I still have two November 1944 letters, but since I found this one I wanted to get it in.  My family’s getting up for the day, so I’ll get to the next letters later.

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Second-hand scanning

I came home from Thanksgiving dinner with lots of leftovers, including an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo scanner.  It installed successfully this morning, and I’ve been able to add some photos that I’ve had.  Now, I’ll have to see what else we can add to this site.

From talking with Melanie on Thursday, I learned that there are many more letters from this time than just the ones that I have.  The letters were copied (but there were too many to do all of them), and then were going to be sent around to the uncles so everybody could have a chance to see and read these.  I would love to find out where the originals are, copy them and get them all typed up here.  Does anybody know who has these letters now?  I would love them, please, please, please.  I’m trying to get them all together on place.  I’ll take really good care of them while I’m compiling information.  Please, please, please.  (I know – I’m begging.  It’s for a good cause, right?)

Here are the only two photos I have from this time.  I’m guessing they’re both taken in Southern California, but I don’t have any details associated with time, place or circumstance.

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

Dewain & Zola

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I woke up around 5:00 this morning to soothe a troubled boy . . . and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Instead, I came down and typed up two new letters since I missed a couple of days.  The first one is from 11/19/1944 (8 pages) and then nearly a week later from 11/24/1944 (7 pages).  It’s amazing to me as I type these letters how much of my Grandfather’s voice I hear as I recognize his words and phrases.  I’m trying to catch up so that Grandma & Grandpa’s letters are from about the same time frame, so we’re getting a lot of Grandpa’s letters here.

Forthcoming will be long letters from Grandpa from 11/25/1944, 11/30/1944 (Thanksgiving Day that year) and 12/5/1944, and then a series of V-mail letters (one-pagers) as Grandpa’s gone out into the field.  After that, it looks like I need to finish sorting the binder, but I’ve seen February, June and July of 1945 as I flip through.  [I just finished sorting, and I found a letter from 11/29/1942, a couple of years earlier – I’ll type that one next, and just throw everybody off.]

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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England, 11:00 P.M., Friday, 24, Nov. 1944

My Darling,

If you knew how much I love and miss you and want you, you’d hop a plane and come and see me.  Would you do that? I wish you could.  How do you feel?  Is my chubby wife happy?

Guess what? When I got back tonight from town there were two wonderful letters waiting for me; number ten, written on October twenty-third and number thirty, written on November twelfth.  I don’t know why it always skips so far.  I have yet to receive numbers twenty-two through twenty-nine.  Evidently someone put them in the wrong bag again.

I do miss you very much though, sweetheart.  You mean everything to me.  I’m so thankful to know that you are waiting for me and that you belong all to me.  It’s such a glorious feeling.  You’re such a beautiful and sweet wife.  I’m kinda glad I married you twice.  In fact I’m awful glad and if I though it would make it more certain that I would have you forever and ever, I’d marry you four or five more times.

This last letter of yours made good time, but I’ve gone and talked myself into feeling slighted and sorry for myself because you didn’t make love to me in it.  I’m a big baby, I guess, and very selfish too.  But I need your loving so much.  I’m going to keep my requests down to a rock bottom minimum.  You’ll be busy enough with that offspring of ours without worrying about getting things for me.  But there is only one thing I really need all the time now and that’s lots of love in your letters.  I realize that is probably the hardest thing to ask for because you more than likely get tired of writing it, but I never get tired of reading it and it does help so doggone much.  Can you forgive me for being so selfish? I know that you do love me even when you don’t say it but I want to hear it often.  I hope I’m not being unreasonable.

I went on a sightseeing tour today and saw many historical and interesting things and got some more items for our scrapbook.  Of course I’ll have to save them until after the war or at least for some time yet before you can see them but they’ll be good for more reminiscing.  I hope and pray that someday I can bring my precious family and show them all these things.  Not too soon, of course, you’re going to have an old stay-at-home for a husband again, only more so for a while.

Darling, I hope you don’t feel too badly about us not being any further ahead that we are.  I suppose if I had been ambitious we would have more of the material things.  I do hope with all my heart that you have been happy though, because as for myself, I honestly can’t imagine whatever would have happened to me if you hadn’t been so doggone swell and weakened to marry me.  It’ll take all my life trying to make it up to you for that happiness you have given me and then all of time and eternity to make up for what is going to be a lifetime of happiness.  Looks that that’s one debt I’ll never get out of and I’m glad, ’cause I love you, Zola, with all my heart and soul.

You asked about my teaching certificate; it is for five years beginning September, nineteen forty-one.  That means I have almost another two years.  You might ask Gene if you think of it, what and when I should do about it.  As far as teaching goes, I’ve had a full year at least of good hard teaching.

Those gals are really making good money all right, but it’ll take most school districts at least fifteen years after the war to get over this shocking raise.  That is another reason for me getting back into school and trying for something bigger.  Though it’ll be so darn hard on you in the beginning and perhaps for five or six years, we’ll surely be benefited in the long run.  At times, I feel like a heel for causing you to have to put up with this and what will be then too.  I hope I can make you happy enough to overshadow, slightly at least, the discomfort of being my wife.

I must quit now, precious.  It’s after midnight and I am gabbing on and on again.  Thanks, so much, for the letters.  They mean everything to me.

I pray to God that He blesses you with all the countless blessings you deserve; of health and happiness; of wisdom and guidance, that when our baby is born it may be beautiful and perfect and that you may be inspired to care for and train it well.  Accept my love, my darling.

Your adoring husband, Dewain

It’s interesting reading these letters from the past, reading when they talk about the future, which also now the past.  I wonder if life met its expectations.  I’m pretty certain Grandpa didn’t take his family back to England to show them around . . . but he did move on beyond teaching, with television (KID TV) and the travel agency (Magic Carpet Travel).

It’s early Thanksgiving morning in California as I sit here today.  I’m so grateful for my family . . . for those who lived the lives they lived when that was what they had to do.  I’m grateful for the love my grandparents shared, and the seven boys they reared and raised, and the examples they are for me.  My grandparents served in the temple (Grandpa was a sealer for many years) and Grandma worked avidly on family history.  They had a beautiful home in Idaho Falls (Ammon) and Grandma grew a big garden.  I remember picking raspberries and helping make jam.  I hope someday to have a garden as prolific and sustaining for my family.  We may not have as much land, or a place to park an old bus (which probably wasn’t as old once upon a time); there won’t be a large inner-tube to wash at the beginning of each summer and jump on.  I probably won’t ever have the coolest basement in the world (with traffic sign wallpaper in the bathroom).  But I hope to take the legacy of love and life that my grandparents left and leave my children and grandchildren with something of it.

I’m grateful for my Grandpa’s distant, loving and powerful prayers for the protection of his family.  I’m grateful for his testimony of the power of the temple, and his concern for obedience, even in a far and distant time and place.  I am a small part of the future he couldn’t see when he was alone in England over 60 years ago.  Thank you for all you did Grandma and Grandpa.  We couldn’t have made it without you.

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England, 11:00 P.M. Sunday, 19 Nov. 1944

My precious darling,

I can’t understand how it always is so late when I get started writing to you.  Tonight there is a reason though, because today has been one of my busiest days for a long time.  To begin with, Tommy was gone, then it was Post Exchange day and I had to handle about a hundred dollars worth of merchandise as well as the money; in addition we had a sanitation inspection of our area; Chaplain Kissinger came out to give Protestant Church services; and to top everything off, the extremely heavy mail.  Have I complained enough?  I guess so.

How is my sweetheart tonight? Are you taking exceptionally good care of yourself and our offspring?  Please do, always.  I love you both so doggone much.  As a matter of fact, I love you more than anything else in the world.  You’re such a wonderfully perfect wife.  I’m so lucky to be your husband.

Tommy came back tonight all full of vim and vinegar and desirous of going to London tomorrow.  Though I hated to do it, I had to let him go with my blessings.  Heaven only knows when he’ll be back.  I presume when he runs out of money.  It’s a good thing we aren’t with the Colonel.

I’d better get back to answering your letters or I shall never catch up.  I received none today and I missed them so much.  These last few days have spoiled me.  You mentioned wondering if I tire of your sweet talk.  Wonder no longer darling.  It’s like a transfusion of life-giving blood.  I love it so much.  I could whip my weight in wild cats after reading each one of those glorious epistles.  Never stop making love to me, please.

You mustn’t tell people that I drank milk in the Astor bar.  They’ll think I just did it show off and I didn’t.  I was thirsty for milk as only you can understand.  I’m not strong.  It only takes strength to overcome desire, and I certainly have no desire for partaking of anything less wholesome than milk.  I thank God that I don’t have that desire.  He gave me you and at that moment took away [the] greatest part of desire to do wrong.  For a while at first it was hard but as I learned to love you more deeply, my greatest desire became to live worthy of the angel that you are.  I love you, Zola, with all my heart.

I’d like to see the kids’ pony.  I’ll bet they have a time with it.  Tell them hello from their most loving uncle.  Will you?

You asked about Tush [spelling?] so I shall send his letter to you tonight.  It’s quite a souvenir in itself.  I don’t know where he gets his stationary.

So you want our boy just like his daddy?  Well, now, I wouldn’t say that.  After all, give the poor kid a break.  I guess you’ll just have to flip a coin if it’s a girl on Christine or Marilyn.  I can’t decide.  I like them both.

I thought Kathleen looked matronly the last time I saw her.  Didn’t I mention it then?  As catty as I am, I must have.  She could never hold a candle to you to start with though, so you’ll never look like that.  I’m going to insist on that hundred-eighteen or twenty pounds if it’s possible to do so without impairing or endangering your health.  You’re always so beautiful anyway so it doesn’t really matter.  Honey, please be careful and don’t ever do anything that will harm you in any way.  When you mentioned raking the lawn with Gordon a pang of fear went through me.  I don’t know what I’d do if you hurt yourself.  I’m so helpless now.

Let’s name the Panda Geechie after my Hungarian machine gunner.  We already have George the Cadilac, on pictures at least, and Butch the donkey paperweight, or do you still have that?  How is Jullie doing?  I don’t suppose she’s very much interested in anything at the present time.

I’m surprised that people are surprised that I’m still wearing my garments.  I respect them and believe in their power.  And though at times I think how much easier and more comfortable it would be to wear shorts, I fear God and the harm that might befall me if it were not for those garments.  I shall always wear them until extreme necessity forces me to take them off.  It isn’t strength or fineness; it’s more like vanity and selfishness.  I do wish I could become the kind of man I want to be for you.

It’s after midnight now.  I’ll bet you get tired of reading these long drawn out letters. Don’t get too discouraged though.  It probably won’t be long until I’ll be lucky to get a V. mail off to you.

Were the trinkets I bought you all right? I’m sorry I didn’t get more.  It’s because I’m too selfishly extravagant.  Forgive me, please.

Darling, what’s a husband for if he can’t give his wife a few firsts such as orchids or roses?  Besides, you’ve given me so much happiness that nothing I could ever do would half repay you for it.  You can never know what a heavenly difference you have made in my life.

It’s getting so late, honey, and six-o-clock is my rising hour.  I’ll write more tomorrow.  I have to answer mom’s and Edith’s letters too very soon.

Oh, God, watch over and protect my priceless wife and infant child.  Grant blessings of health and happiness on them abundantly.  Keep them fine and beautiful for my return.

Goodnight for now, my precious.  Remember that I am always

Your adoring husband, Dewain

Again, it’s the details that really grab me – drinking milk in the bar, naming the Panda and the Donkey, flipping a coin between the names Christine and Marilyn.  There are phrases in the letter that I remember I hearing my grandfather day (“whip my weight in wildcats”).  It’s fun to see how over the years, some essentials never changed.

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England
Thursday, 745 PM
16 Nov. 1944

My Precious Wife,

I love you.  Are you well and happy tonight?  I hope and pray that you are.  Notice that I’m starting much earlier tonight?  Reason?  Guess.  Right, I got a whole bunch of heavenly letters from my sweetheart this afternoon and if I’m going to answer part of them and describe my London trip, it’s going to take quite some time.  The letters were numbers eleven, eighteen, nineteen, twenty and twenty-one, and the newsletter, which had me fooled because it was your handwriting but it wasn’t numbered and didn’t have the right box number on the top.  I also got two letters from mom, the first I’ve heard from that quarter.

Darling, I was so trilled and excited when I received all those letters from you after three or four days with none that I could hardly contain myself.  I was charging six-pence for people to touch my arm.  I ate my supper so fast that I got a slight but uncomfortable case of indigestion.  Any how, honey, it was glorious.

I had better begin putting on paper my impressions of Europe’s largest city before they slip away and are forgotten.  Please save this letter because it will be the only written record of what I have seen.

I was impressed greatly by the scene I saw as I approached the outskirts of the city.  I had heard of the damage done by these robot bombs but had hardly known what to expect.  Hundreds of buildings in these residential districts had been gutten and torn to shambles.  It started me thinking, of course, about the futile waste of life and property.  Enough for now on that.

I entered London through Waterloo Station, a huge, well-arranged station but of course nothing to compare with New York’s Pennsylvania or Grand Central stations.  From Waterloo, I proceeded, via underground, to Piccadilly Circus near which was Jermyn Street and the Jules Red Cross Club where I stayed.

At Jules, I was cordially welcomed and shown to my room.  Early in the afternoon, I had a ticket reserved for the The Duke of York Theatre, the play, Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary.  It was delightful and provided my first real enjoyment in the United Kingdom.

The next day I went first to the officers’ quartermaster sales store where I purchased a battle jacket or short blouse, and another pair of pinks.

After depositing my purchases in my room I made my way to the old church headquarters at one forty-nine Nightingale Lane.  The building itself was under repair and of course is no longer used as headquarters.  Church is held there each Sunday still and there is a keeper there at all times to greet visitors, answer questions and give addresses of branches in the United Kingdom.  Fortunately there is a branch near here  that I should be able to attend from now on.

By using London’s buses and again the subway, I made my way back to Piccadilly hwere I had luncheon at the Criterion.  A good meal, served well but not large.

I had made arrangements to meet Lt. Gober, Lt. Watson, Let. Carlson and Lt. Alexander after lunch to make a tour of the city.  When the time came, our guide showed us to a huge Packard and we started off.  First, around Piccadilly Circus, then to Charles Dickens Old Curiosity Shop.  It stands still as pictured in the book though showing it’s age perhaps a little more.

From there a short distance to St. Paul’s Cathedral, our first stop.  St. Paul’s is second only in size to St. Peter’s, the world’s largest cathedral.  It’s very impressive and looks much more immense from the inside than from the outside.  In there is a spot about four feet in the diameter which is the exact centre of the City of London.  Directly under this spot is the grave of Lord Nelson, Britain’s famous sea Lord.

London itself is made up of about fifty-cities of which the City of London is one.  The City of London is one mile square and is presided over by about two hundred-forty aldermen or councilors with four or five other officers and Lord Mayor.  It has been established as precedent that the King of England must be granted permission by the Lord Mayor before he can enter the City of London.

The Lord Mayor is chosen each year by popular vote of the business men of the City.  He is paid a salary of twelve thousand pounds a year but in order to be elected,  he must show that he has at least thirty thousand pounds of his own to survive and entertain on for the year because as a rule, the salary of twelve thousand and that much more is spent the first week he is in office for entertainments.  It is said that the present Lord Mayor has spent over two-hundred thousand pounds this year for entertaining.

To get back to St. Paul’s, we saw where a two-thousand pound bomb had dropped but had not exploded and so removed.  Also where a five-hundred pound bomb had landed and exploded causing a great deal of damage to the Cathedral on one side.

In the basement or crypt, along with the monuments and burials of many famous men, was the funeral car of the Duke of Wellington made of guns captured in the wars he fought.  It weighs eighteen tons, was built in eighteen days and only used once.  On the front of it is the shield of the Knight of the Garter, the highest honor bestowed in the United Kingdom.  Inscribed on the shield in Latin is the phrase “Evil is He Who Evil Thinks.”  The history of that phrase is that at one time while the Duke and his partner, a princess, were at a ball, they were dancing and her garter fell off.  The Duke picked it up and made that statmeent.  Only twenty-seven people have held the honor of the Knight of the Garter.

The Cathedral itself took thirty-five years to construct, sixteen sevent-five to seventeen ten.  To from the ground to the top of the tower takes nearly a half hour of walking upstairs.

From St. Paul’s, we drove down King William St., which is similar to New York’s Wall Street, across London Bridge, viewed Lloyd’s of London, down the East Side warehouse district, across Tower Bridge, which is the draw bridge that runs parallel with Lond bridge across the Tahmes, to the Tower of London.  The Tower is a massive affair with a huge deep mote [sic] around it, was built in ten fifty-eight.  We was a cross section of one of the walls where it had been bombed and the walls are from four to eight feet thick.

Near there we saw the meagre remains of the oldest church in London, built in six hundred seventy-five, which had been destroyed in the blitz.

In our drive along the river we saw the ship The Discovery which was Captain Scotts arctic expedition ship; crossed Waterloo bridge, a new one, built since the start of the war; saw Cleopatra’s Needle, a monument brought over from Egypt.

From the river we entered a section called the Temple in which is located most of London’s better known law offices; then to White Hall, the government section; Number Ten Downing St., the prime minister’s residence, Scotland Yard; the wandering House of Parliament; and to Westminster Abbey.

While St. Paul’s is the burial place of mainly military and naval heroes, Westminster shelters the Royalty and the people of the fine arts.  In it near the front is England’s grave of the unknown soldier; farther on down the center is the epitaph of David Livingstone.  In the rear on one side is the Poet’s Corner and on the other, the Statesman’s Aisle [spelling?].  I have never seen more beautiful and silky fine sculpture than the one ofr Shakespeare in the Poet’s Corner.

The Abbey is sevon hundred years old and indeed shows it’s age.

We came out just in time to turn and listen to Big Ben strike four o’clock.  It was a sensation I shall never forget.  A smokey fog had just begun to move in and through the mist came this weird, breathtaking gong of the largest clock in the world.

Our drive then took us by St. James Park, Wellington Barracks in which the Palace Guard is quartered, Queen Victoria’s Memorial, and Buckingham Palace, the home of the Royal Family.  In this I was disappo8inted.  It isn’t nearly as impressive as it’s publicized.

St. James Palace was our next point.  It used to be the King’s palage before Buckingham was built.  From there through Pel Mel, the club district and abruptly to our hotel.

Forgive me darling, for the crude way I put this all down.  I had to write it while I still remembered.  I wrote down of the names of eahc of hte places as we hit there and had to trust my memory for the rest.  There may be some parts that do not conform with facts but I’ll have to either blame it on the guide or my faulty memory.  I hope it doesn’t prove too uninteresting to you.  Some day I shall try to rewrite it in better form.

I have been writing now two hours and forty-five minutes and haven’t yet begun to answer those prescious letters or make love to my darling.  I think I had better close this one and start another short one for tha tpurpose.  I love you sweetheart.

Dewain.

I really enjoyed typing up this letter.  I was having great fun finding links to the different reference points, and was surprised to the restaurant still there.  It would be an excellent adventure to recreate Grandpa’s tour of London.  I researched the play mentioned at the beginning, and it is by Vivian Tidmarsh, and was turned into a movie in the 50s, but there wasn’t much information beyond that.  I didn’t look for and include links for all of the sites mentioned, but they are out there.  Grandpa mentioned that he wrote his letter in about 2 hours, 45 minutes – I think I spent just under two hours typing and researching what he wrote about.

I will note that the link on the “pinks” is an eBay auction that will expire 11-23-2008, so I imagine that will disappear quickly.  I really wanted some idea of what he was talking about.  Here’s a picture from that auction:

WWII Pinks from eBay Auction

WWII Pinks from eBay Auction

I think I’ve enjoyed this letter most of all, because of the details and the places.  There are still wards meeting in that same meetinghouse in London on Nightingale.  I have been to a few of the places mentioned when we went to London in 1984 (or 1983).  If we had a working scanner, I might consider adding those photos (after I figure out what box they’re hiding in).  Still working on the scanner.  The new one has been uninstalled and will be dealt with when I have more time and patience.

Just so you have some idea, this one was a 16 page letter.  The last two have been 6 and 7 pages.  Enjoy your history.

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Hello beautiful,

How are you tonight?  It’s about a half hour passed noon where you are, but by the heading of your last letter, I see that you are a night owl so I don’t suppose you care about the time.  Midnight!  Honey, what are you doing?  I can tell you need me there to see that you go to bed at nine-o-clock.   I wish I were there.  I love you so very much.

Incidentally, speaking of your last letter, I got it today and it made me feel so good.  It was number fourteen.  What happens to the ones in between, I want to k now.  I hope they will eventually catch me.

So, you’re making the rounds sewing?  What do the gals have to say?  It’s been quite a long time since you got together with them.  What’s your main topic of conversation?  Babies?

Darling, every time I look at this little snapshot, my heart flutters and I get weak all over.  I wish I had my big pictures.  My footlocker and bedroll haven’t caught up as yet, so I have to content myself with a snapshot.  Zola, you’re so beautiful.  I still find it hard to believe that I have for my wife such a beautiful girl who’s so fine and glorious and adorable besides.  It all seems like a wonderful dream, with a to-be-continued sign when I left you.  I’m sure that the second chapter and third and the fourth and on up through the millions will be even more heavenly than the first.  Darling, do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how much I miss you?  You’d better because I could never find words to tell you.  Don’t you know that you mean more to me than anything else in all the world; that without you life for me would be useless; that my  heart is yours forever and always; that my one aim is to make you happy?  Sweetheart, I hope you know these things, know them as surely as we live and breath [sic].  I’m going to be a good father for our children because their mother is the finest and most perfect in all the world.  I love you, Zola, so deeply I can not express it.  I love you.

I guess I’d better get back to your letter subject.  So Ivan is in Paris?  What is his address?  Maybe I can look him up.  I’m going to try to get into London the first of the week and see if I can’t find someone I know at Mutual.  I’d like to be in over the week and to get to church on Sunday but I doubt if that is possible.

Speaking of moons, there has been a beautiful one over here for about a week also and you know I thought about you.  Moon or no moon, I think of you every minute.  I love you so much.

In letter number nine, you mentioned Bob Ricks.  In Tush’s [spelling?] last letter, he said he ran into him over there.  Did Bob mention anything about it?

Darling, I must quit for tonight, much as I’d like to keep writing all night.  There’s work to be done and I’m tired and sleepy already.  Don’t forget for a minute how much I love you.  Your Christmas present will probably be way late.  I never have a chance to look for anything if I can buy it.  Know anyway that I’m thinking of you and loving you more each minute.

Yours, Dewain

I’m always amazed at the depth of love that flows through these letters.  I know the separation was one of the hardest things thousands and thousands of families had to go through, but with love that blossomed like this, I’m sure that helped many survive.  My favorite part of the letters, though, are the little details . . . wondering what the “gals” are talking about, knowing that the bedroll and footlocker haven’t caught up to Dewain.  I will always wish I knew more about who the friends and acquaintances are that are mentioned.  This letter was a 6 page letter.  The last one was 7 pages.   The next letter to be typed will be 11/16/44 . . . a week later.  I plan to type it up tomorrow.  I missed yesterday – short school days, dentist appointments and a couple of quick sewing projects took precedence.  I’m trying to keep it all balanced . . . not always an easy task.  Luckily, my sweet boy is willing to go down almost an hour early for his naps, so when I wake him up at 12:15 (instead of 2:15), he’ll have had a couple of hours (but it’s not usually enough – he’s a 3-hour napper).

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