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Archive for December 21st, 2008

From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
BtrY.C.778AAAAwBn(sP)
A.P.O. 655 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York
To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho
U.S.A.

England, Letter Number Twelve

My Darling Wife,

I hope and pray that you are well and happy.  If things went according to your schedule, the baby was born four days ago.  It is good that I simply have had no time to walk the floor and worry as other expectant fathers do because my wait is so much longer.  The most important message I await is that you are all right.  Then of course, as the the traditional proud father I want to know of our wonderful offspring.  You dominate all my thoughts.  I sincerely wish I could tell you how much I love you.  I hope so desperately that this war will soon end so that I can return to my beautiful family and be the kind of husband and father I want to be.  Know always of my desires and I love you so deeply.  I shall write again soon and try to do more justice to the feelings of my heart and mind.  I’ll say goodbye for now to the most beautifully perfect wife in the world.  Take care of yourself always.

Your wandering husband, Dewain.

This short letter is the first one in my binder, is written on a form that says “V ···—MAIL U.S. Government Printing Office: 1942 * 16-28143-4.”  Because the baby’s birth is pending, I’m dating this letter in December, 1944.

UPDATED NOTES on 12/21:

When I very started this project, 11/11/08, this was the first letter in my binder.  Since then, I rearranged the letters to be in chronological order.  This is one of the very few letters without a date, and one of the very few with a number on it.  Context lets me place it here . . .because I have letters from 12/5 and 12/26, 12/27 and then 1/6.  We’ll be out of England, going to Luxembourg and France.

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10:15 P.M. Tuesday
5, December, 1944

Hello Darling,

Are you happy tonight?  I hope you are.  I wish you had been with me tonight.  Excuse pencil, please, my pen went dry and I came away and forgot my ink.  Anyhow, the reason I missed you so much more tonight is that I went to a very funny show.  I can’t remember it’s exact name – it was The Ghost of Sir something or other with Charles Laughton, Robert  Young, and that cute little tiny gal actress.  I nearly died laughing.  The other feature was “The Gay Desperado” with Leo Carrillo, and Mischa Auer and some other guys.  I didn’t care for the last one much but we were kept entertained.  Lt. Toffenetto and I went together, and believe it or not, honey, your old man was flirted with tonight by a cute little usherette in the theatre.  Now don’t get ideas.  I did everything I could in a nice way to discourage it by telling her I was married, showing her my ring to prove it and even the pictures of you in my billfold.  Told her that I was going to be a pappa in about a week.  She flattered me by saying that I looked much younger than Toffy and he’s only twenty-two.  Had either Toffy or I been the long eared and pointed nose type we would have had ourselves a partner tonight.  But you know me – all I do is look and talk if I’m spoken to first and Toffy is the same.

The radio is playing a record of Bing singing Going My Way.  It’s beautiful and it reminds me so much of you, my sweetheart.

Zola, I love you so much.  I realize it more and more every day.  You’re the sweetest angel in the world and I’m so lucky to be your husband.

I hope this letter doesn’t depress or worry you.  While I was with Tommy I argued with him several times on to treat a wife.  Of course, he doesn’t do anything bad, but he persists that it’s better to keep a girl guessing a little on the what they don’t know won’t hurt them idea.  I can’t believe that.  It’s true that there are many girls who will take advantage of a man if he makes them absolutely sure of him, but if that

[. . . .page 5 is missing. . . .]

self.  You’ll be a glorious mother without even trying so don’t try to hard.  I need you well and happy more than anything else.  When I think of being a father I get a feeling like a stomach full of feathers.  It’s going to be so heavenly.  I’ll try so hard to be a good father.

I’ve got a great deal to do tomorrow so I must quit.  I’ll tell you tomorrow night as much as I can about the City I am in.  Don’t forget for a second how truly much you mean to me.  My heart and soul belong to you my darling, you are so very, very perfect.

Your adoring husband,

Dewain

The movie Grandpa referenced is “The Canterville Ghost” and the “tiny gal actress” is Margaret O’Brien.  It would be fun to have a 1944 night and watch the movies Grandpa watched and listen to the music he listened to.  I would love to have Grandma’s responses to these letters – especially this one about Grandpa’s experience with the usherette.

The next letter in the sequence is the very first one I typed – I’ll copy it into a new post and then my next letter is a  V-Mail from 12/26 in Luxembourg, the day after Christmas and 4 days after the baby’s birth (which we’re celebrating tomorrow!!!)

Happy Birthday Dad!  We love you!

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