Archive for November 27th, 2008

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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