Archive for March, 2009

Monday, 11:35 P.M.

My dearest husband –

Guess I can’t get away with this night life without confessing.  I almost got in bed without writing and then I couldn’t.  Just had to tell my honey “good night.”

Bet you’re getting so you can almost tell what I’m going to say, “Hunted again today — no luck.”  You’ll never dream of the places we’ve been and the blind leads we’ve followed.  But leave never a stone unturned, we’ve decided.  But I don’t get nearly as discouraged now as I did before, when I first got here.  I’ve just decided if nothing turns up, it won’t be because I haven’t tried & at least we have a place to sleep even though it is as hard as nails.

Today (rather this afternoon) I went with Mil every place we could think of looking for her.  This morning I talked to Mr. Copley – who was very nice.  He said they had 4 apartments filled with civilians & only 2 with soldiers & they weren’t apt to leave soon.  He talked to me a long time & said he was sorry he couldn’t help.

I called Mrs. Dobish this morning.  This is the best news I’ve had yet, but who knows how it will work out.  She talked to the couple in the apartment yesterday & they expect to leave the 18th.  She says if they leave that we may have the place.  So keep your fingers crossed darling & pray hard that nothing happens.  I don’t know how nice the place is but I’d be happy with anything of our own.  I won’t feel safe about it until I’m sure they’re going to move.  Hope you don’t mind me pouring out all my woes on your shoulder.  And darling, don’t worry about me.  This business of finding a place is doing me good.  and it’s making the time pass so much faster than it would otherwise.  Two more weeks is going to be a long time, though, because I miss my honey already so much.

Tonight Mrs. Arthurs had us all out there.  Bette, Mil & I didn’t get there until after 8:30 cause we chased down a hot lead the last minute after making sandwiches at Bette’s apartment.  There was a note here when I got back saying Mrs. Baker had telephoned while I was gone.  She wasn’t at the party.  I guess Mrs. Arthur’s didn’t know where to locate her.  I’ll have to call her again tomorrow and see how she’s doing.

Mil & I are going out to Camp in the morning to check with at W.O. at Camp Headquarters who is supposed to help with rentals, and also at the hospital to see what prenatal care is given there so maybe she won’t have to go back up to Cooke this week for her X-Ray.

I made an appointment with a dentist for Thursday but I still haven’t decided what Dr. to go to.  I’ll decided soon;

Take care of yourself precious.  Do write soon.  I miss you so much.

Love always, Zola

Sounds like good news in the apartment hunting world.  I’d hate to think of them having to continue to sleep much longer on this bed that’s hard as nails.

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“The Room”
8:30 P.M. Friday

Hello my dearest husband–

Know who loves you lots? Even a million dollars worth?  Know who’s being a flop at apartment finding?  (Not only me, on that one.)  Anyhow honey, I hope you won’t be too disappointed over my lack of luck.  Everyone seems to be having the same sort of trouble and I’m trying every day every place I can think of.  I’d like so much to find us something nice.

Today I went up to see Mrs. Dobish at 10:00, but she didn’t know anything definite.  She made me discouraged because she didn’t sound very encouraging today.  I was hoping so much that she’d having something for us.  I’m going back up in the morning & see what she says though.  She owns several apartment buildings in town so it won’t hurt to keep trying.

I hope more every day that you won’t have to come to this dinky little room.  The bed is so hard & so lumpy & there’s hardly any closet room.  I haven’t unpacked anything except as I wear it and don’t plan on getting the bags from

[missing page – I’m sad about that]

one else is having trouble.  Mil was able to get a one room Motor Court at the El Camino Motel but she has nothing permanent.  I feel lucky when I see her condition & the circumstances.  Bette has nothing yet either.  She’s sleeping at the Johnson’s on their back porch.  Everyone is trying to help her but no one has anything.

I rode out on Magnolia with her to Lara Endicott (I went to a baby shower for her last Dec.).  Her husband was in the 816th, but it’s been broken up &  he’s with the 212th now.  We also saw Bette’s old landlady.  She was very nice and promised us the next vacancies.

Then Bette, Mil & I finally ate a sandwich about 7:00, did a little window shopping & here I am.  We also waited at the news office for the paper to come out this afternoon.  Ruth Horvoth was there waiting for the paper to come out, too.  But there was nothing in it, except an unfurnished farmhouse – 3 rooms & a path – & out quite a ways.  & an apartment vacant for a month which had been rented before we arrived.

Tomorrow noon we’re going out to Camp to have dinner [unreadable word] & see if anyone there handles rentals or can help us.  Honest, honey, it just looks hopeless.  There’s several bunches leaving but we just don’t happen to be at the right place at the right time.

Guess this is one time I’ll go to church without you to check with everyone there.

I think about you all the time on that hot old desert.  I love you & miss you so much — you’re a wonderful husband to have, and I’m so thankful that you’re mine.



Now, I’m still not sure if this is the letter that came the night before the previously posted letter, or if this one comes nearly a week later.  I’m also sad there’s a page or more missing.  I feel like I’m caught up in a tiny drama – will they ever find a place to stay and get their bags out of the express office?  What’s going to happen to Bette and Mil?  Is there a baby coming for one or more of them?  Well, whatever the missing details, we can enjoy what we have while we have it.   I’m off to have lunch, whatever leftovers can be found, and enjoy a few more minutes of toddler-naptime.  It’s gorgeous and sunny outside, and really chilly because of the wind that’s blowing.  Definitely a reminder that we’re still in winter on the calendar.  We have a projected low of the upper 30s tonight.  That’s definitely not spring weather.  I hope it’s enough chilling time to wake up my peach tree.   Sorry – getting off topic, but it is the details that the make the story when you’re looking at it 65 years later.  I wonder if anybody will be able to read this 65 years down the road?

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The Room
Saturday, 8:35 P.M.

Hello my honey!

I’ll bet you’re a tired, hot little chicken tonight, after a big day of unloading.  I’ve thought about you all day on that hot old dessert.  I’d be so glad if you’d have cool weather for a while.  How was the trip down?  Did you get any rest?  How long did it take, and how are things going at camp by now?

I wish I knew what to do about our bags.  They arrived today and would have been delivered if I’d been home to pay for them when they stopped.  There isn’t room in this small room for them & I asked about just leaving them downstairs – but there’s just a hallway to the kitchen that everyone uses — so guess I’ll have to leave them at the express office until something turns up.  I want to send your clothes to the cleaners though & hang the rest of them up, but no room.

I was out before 9:30 this morning, making the rounds & checking on people.  I called on Mrs. Dobish who seems to be about the last straw again, but she knew no more than before.  Wish you’d come home & spread some of that Silvester personality around.  Oh well, I’ve been there enough that she won’t forget me, but she says there’s one girl ahead of me.  And if she’d see you she’d be impressed, I’m sure, because she’s awfully nice.

Tonight honey, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  I’ve been with Bette & Mil & Jackie since about 11:30.  We went out to the Camp Haan Officer’s Club for dinner & called at the Special Services Office AAATC just as everyone had gone out to lunch.  Someone told us they might be able to help.  Then we sat around the swimming pool until Jackie decided to go in.  There were a lot of people in & the water looked wonderful.

Then we came back to town & drove along streets & knocked on likely looking doors until this late afternoon.  We shopped for Bette a dress & Mil some clothes for “afterward.”  (Forgot to tell you I bought a cute cotton dress this morning.  Got mixed up with a sale & so weakened & got this for $3.95.  I really went in to buy a blouse — because I packed most of my clothes in my big suitcase.)

I had no trouble cashing a check on the Santa Maria bank for the dress so don’t you think we may as well leave it there for a little while.  Bette checked before she left & they said she could make deposits thru this bank here & do most everything.

We saw several of the other girls out at the swimming pool  Lee Neuenhaus, Ruth Starr & Harvath & Bernice Arthurs & Jimmie Arthurs — None of them have more than rooms except Mrs. Arthurs.

I’m really not too discouraged honey, because I’m sure something will turn up.  If not, we’ll just have to make the most of what we have.  It could be worse.

I’ll go to church in the morning and see if that helps at all.  It’ll seem so funny going without you.  I miss you so much and love you so terribly.  You’re such a kind, thoughtful husband in so many ways, and I love everything about you.

It’s only 9:00, but I’m tired, so night for now, darling.  Remember always that I love you & take care of yourself for me.  Always,


I love the little bits and details in these letters.  There are 5 more for this interlude, and then we’ll go back to baby Rick, Idaho and Europe and the “real” parts of the war.  And, if you’re feeling stuck in the middle of winter, enjoy the Southern California dessert sunshine.  (I know that most places are feeling pretty springy this week, but it is still winter.)

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Since I finally started Grandma Zola’s letters, I’ve been reading through her binder.  There was a stack of letters with no dates, just time and place notes such as “The Room, Saturday, 8:35 p.m.”  Last week I read through those and realized that those letters all came from a similar place and time.  I was able to put them in order, as best as I could, from context clues in the letters.

We’re going back to the summer before Grandpa left for Europe, while he was still training in Southern California.  These are all letters from Grandma.  She knows she’s pregnant, and she’s trying to find a place for them to live.  I  enjoyed this break, so I’m going to post these next, probably several letters at a time.  I hope you enjoy them too.

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