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Archive for the ‘From Zola’ Category

Friday 9:20 P.M.

Hello honey –

Know who loves you lots?  Even more than last time!  You’re such an elegant husband, I wouldn’t even trade you for my school girl figure.

What’s cooking?  Smells like something in the wind & not good.  Gosh, honey, isn’t there any way  you could gum up the works for a few months?  This will be such a nice apartment with you in it—Anything nice with you, cause I love you so much.  But any how you must have a crack outfit — and they know it — the way they’re rushing you around.

Anytime you’ll be able to call me honey, if you could let me know — wire or something — I’d go back over to Russels.  Until I find out about a telephone in this building.  I met one of the girls downstairs tonight, but didn’t think to ask her about a telephone.  Her husband is in the 797th at Haan.  And they get in twice a week — so Camp Haan isn’t a good bet either.  But it’ll be worth it if I can just see you.  Did you know you’re about the most permanent habit I have, and the best one.

Tonight Mr. & Mrs. Russel told me how much they liked my husband last weekend when they met you.  They’re such nice people, I really like them.   I stayed over there tonight after I talked to you & Wanda washed my hair.  She and Wanda are coming over some evening next week to see my new apartment.

Last night as I was coming from the store with my groceries I ran in to Mary Dike.  She was the girl at the office at March Field that I liked quite well.  Her husband is a Corporal in AAATC headquarters.  She came up and saw my place and talked for nearly an hour telling me all the dirt from the office.  Nearly everyone I knew are still out there.

Darling, do you get enough rest and sleep?  Did you get the overnight bag  you wanted?  Have you had any mail?  How’s your lips and nose?  I think about you every minute of the day and wonder how you are and what you’re doing.  I know you must be going almost every minute.  You sounded so tired tonight.  I wanted to have your arms around me so badly.  But it’s such a thrill to hear you anyhow.  Makes me love you a dozen times more, if that’s possible.  You’ll have to grow fast to hold all the love I have for you.

Rick is fine.  Yesterday I bought him two dozen diapers.  He’s starting to be expensive already, but he’s worth it even now.  Just knowing he’s coming is thrill enough.  It’ll be so heavenly to have your child.

Talk about experience!!  I don’t know where the money goes, but today I sure got rid of a lot.  I’ve kept track of it, but it sure amounts up.  I bought me a cute sun dress today.  Fine time for me to pick to want new clothes, huh?  Anyhow it’s certainly cool to wear around the house, and I can get in it.  That’s something, because I seem to grow by leaps & bounds.

Our place was so clean & nice to move in to.  I’m so anxious for you to hurry in and see it.  We even have a studio couch that folds into an extra bed.  It’s nice & soft, but as yet we haven’t any extra bedding — so no guests for a while.  I’d sooner have you alone any day — or night.  There’s no one in the world as wonderful as you—no one I could love a tenth as much as you.  You’re such a kind and thoughtful husband & I’ll love you always, more all the time.  I’m so proud of you & so thankful you’re mine.

You’re loving wife,

Zola

P.S. Did you’re tummy ache bother you anymore?  Please take care of yourself and hurry home.

Well, this is the last of the interludes.  Sorry it took so long to get back to it.  Next letter I type will be back in the sequence, nearly a year after these letters, when Zola is in Idaho and Dewain is abroad, after Rick is born.  It’s fun to hear that they were expecting the baby to be “Rick” so early on.   Maybe someday, I’ll end up with the rest of the letters and we’ll get more details in the story . . . letters from Dewain, or something.  I can’t imagine that they got to spend a lot of time in the new apartment that Zola finally found.

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Tuesday 9:30 P.M.

My precious —

Do you know there’s someone who thinks about you every second; and I love you more than life or anything in it.  If only there was someway to show you—time to do a million things for you and look at you and worship you for hours on end.

I was so disappointed to miss your call.  I’ve counted so much on talking to you and hearing your voice.  It helps so much.  But I know it couldn’t be helped, and I could kick myself for not staying home tonight.  Forgive me, honey, and love me lots, because I love you so much.

About Friday— I’m not sure about a telephone in the building where our apartment is, so I’ll come back up here.  Friday evening about 7:00 or 7:30.  Probably it’ll be 6:00 or 6:30 because I’ll be so anxious for your call.  In case there’s a telephone up there I’ll wire you Thurs. or early Friday, but Mrs. Russel said I say as well come up here, so call here unless I let you know different.

I’m sorry I didn’t get the shirts altered, darling.  The few places I tried either didn’t work on shirts or couldn’t get them done in time.  I’ll inquire around though and get some place in mind so when you decide to have it done I’ll know where to take them.  I know they’re about 10 inches too large.   I hope they’re alright otherwise.  March Field didn’t have any in your size & I called Camp Haan & they had only one, so I didn’t  think it worth while to go after it.  And I hope they arrive to be some good before the weekend.

We’ll be lost in our apartment, dearest— there’s so much room.  I almost wish there wasn’t because I want you close when you’re home and it’s possible for you to get so far away in a big apartment like that.  I couldn’t tell much about it because the other girl was partly packed— they had the curtains down & it was quite a mess.  But the furniture is nice, nicely carpeted; we have a nice service porch on the back with a laundry tub, all screened in and we don’t have to share anything.  Even the stairs are all our own.  The kitchen is nice— has a nice Electrolux gas refrigerator, stove, and a little breakfast set—then there’s the dining room, living room & bedroom & bath.  I can hardly wait to move in and see what it’s like then Lt. & Mrs. Silvester live there.  It’ll be so heavenly to have you in a place to myself, because you’re all I ever want and no matter where you are, or what happens I’ll love you—always.  It’s just like breathing, my loving you—only it becomes more a part of me all the time.

It’s too bad about little Buddy Graham.  Walt must hate terribly having Annette go back to Denver, but these things happen.

Today I had a letter from Clo Hall & one that Kaye, Helen, Cleo & the gals had written on a get-together.  no new news though, except Evelyn Karlson (remember, she worked at Joe’s store) Anderson is expecting a new baby this fall.  Do you think I should shock them all with our news—or should it wait?  That would probably be more of a shock.

Today was my day at the Doctors.  He’s not so bad—his office isn’t at all nice, but he seems to know his business.  Wish someone in town would tell me about him, though, because to me he seems alright.  I’ll have to ask someone at Church.  And can you guess what I weighed—the same as five weeks ago—126.  Of course, I realize my figure has changed, but at least I’m not getting fat all over & I should with the amount of ice cream I eat.  Mil Laney is a bad influence on me.

We had dinner at the Club, Camp Haan, tonight.  She stopped by about 6:00.  And afterwards I went to the show alone.  That’s why I was so disappointed to miss your call, because I was missing you so much & could have been talking to you.  I just can’t enjoy shows without you.  I find myself day dreaming instead of listening and it’s always about you.  You’re such a perfect husband and I’m so lucky to have you for my own.  I’m so fortunate in so many ways, and all because of you.

Take care of yourself, my dearest.  I’ll be waiting here for your call Friday unless I hear differently.  I’m hoping & praying you’ll be able to come in Sat.  But if not, remember I love you more than anything.  Always, your wife.

Ahh . . . It’s good to be back again.  I needed to read through this sweet letter this morning.  It takes me to a time and place where I don’t have to worry about destroyed landscaping or graffiti on the utility box outside our house.  Where water rationing and questionable school curriculum aren’t pressing concerns.  There are certainly other, great events happening in 1944 (you know, like that war thing) . . . but there are also small, simple, sweet things going on too (along with too much ice cream and shirts 10-inches too big).

And aren’t you happy to hear they finally found an apartment and are getting out of “the room?”  I make no promises, but I hope to be back more regularly than I’ve been over the last month.

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“Just after you called.”

My dearest,

I can’t tell you how your call made me feel.  Will you understand if I just say that I miss you more than I’ve ever missed anything in life, that you’re the most perfect thing that God ever created, but words are so inadequate to express the complete, sacred feeling I have about you.  Someday I hope to show you how much and how big my love is.

There are so many letters I should write, but I can’t make myself want to write anyone but you.  It’s next best to being with you and talking to you.  Oh honey, your voice sounded so wonderful tonight.  That’s the most thoughtful thing a man could do for his wife, and I have the most wonderful  husband in the world.  Honestly, I don’t know how I ever lived all my life without you.  You’ve added so much happiness and perfection, more than anyone will ever know.  It’s so hard to write the words that are my heart.  Soon, I hope to have you close, with your arms tight around me and never move from you.

I was so excited when I discovered it was you on the telephone I couldn’t realize where you were or anything.  If I’d stopped to think I’d of known you weren’t at Haan but your voice sounded so close, as though I could reach out and touch you.  It’s such a beautiful night.  I’m glad I could share it a little with you and enjoy it more completely.

Mil and I went out to Camp today but to no avail except that we got there just in time to buy a large box of Kleenex.  We considered it well worth our trip.  Imagine the girl had the nerve to ask us if we wanted the large or small box.  But the W.O. at Headquarters who does help with rentals said he hadn’t had a listing in 2 months.  And at the hospital they said they’d discontinued prenatal care 2 weeks ago.  There was a large troop train loading out there.  That’s the 3rd one we’ve seen.  Looks as though they’re cleaning things out & you’d think there’d be some opening.  Mil is a bad influence on me ~ we stopped at the club & had a sandwich & huge ice cream sundaes.  I’ll be looking like a barn before you know it.

I talked to Mr. Baker this morning.  She said she’s decided to stay with  her aunt because they have such a nice yard & she doesn’t think she’d be able to find anything if she did look.  she’s been having the car fixed for Bert so she hasn’t done much running around.

Miss Romage – the landlady – came in tonight after a week at the beach. She never spends more than 2 days here & the rest of the time at Laguna.  She must have scads of money and doesn’t mind spending it to enjoy herself.  She’s a very religious person, and talks to me about how much she believes in prayer and how the Lord keeps her from being lonely.  She’s a very devout person.  On the inside of the stone wall around the yard she has bible quotations & a scene painted from her beach cottage at Laguna, and one of her mountain cabin.

Darling, I love you so.  I’ll be so disappointed if I can’t at least be with you on your birthday.  It’s so hard to think of anything to get you & I’d like your birthday to be so super & I’d [missing line at the bottom of the page] so — but I

[missing page or lines? bottom of the page here]

so much grander than I ever thought it could be.  I can never get tired of the beautiful things you tell me — never.  You trill me so, I’m so thankful that I am your wife and have been as long as this.  It can never be too long for me because it’s so perfect being married to you.

Is your platoon Sgt. a new one?  And did you ever do anything about Sgt. Rice?  I’m so glad you’re back with your boys.  How does Mick like being exec.?  Do they still spend their nights playing poker?  Did I ever tell you how much it means to have my husband different than the others?  I’ve always been so glad and it’s meant such a lot.  It helps me such a lot when I have to be “different” in a crowd of women.  However, it’s not so hard for me because I’ve always had you to back me up.  Smoking and drinking aren’t so hard, but not drinking tea or coffee is what women can’t understand.

I’m glad you liked the book, precious.  I’d like to do so many things for you, but loving you seems to be the only one I can do now.  And that never stops.

Well, I’ve rattled enough for one night.  I hate to say goodnight.  Did I tell you that Bette started back to work on Monday?  And that Mil & I stopped out at Annette Graham’s last night & I saw their little boy for the first time.  He & Jackie Lancy are nearly the same age, but so different in size.  And Buddy Graham talks & says all sorts of things, but Jackie is so quiet & never says anything.  They’re both cute kids though.

I’m so glad we’ve had a little of the beautiful life that we have to look foward to.  I’m so happy in just loving you and dreaming & waiting for that wonderful time.  Being with you is all I ever ask.

It’s late, dearest, so night for now.

Always,

Zola.

Two more letters in the interlude section.  I’m sorry I left my cousin hanging while we went on vacation, but we’re back again now (and we got to see her in person), so she can be slightly less bored at work for a few minutes today.

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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.

Always,

Zola

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,

Zola

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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Parker, Idaho
February 18, 1945     7:55 P.M.

My beloved,

Here we are alone again tonight.  These evenings that I’m alone with you make such an ache inside of me — and yet I love them.  It seems so strange to be lonely with people around all the time — friends and family, too.  But with me, there’s only one person who can fill the need of that special sort of loneliness.  I could be alone with you forever and never grow tired.  I’d be happy with you any place, any time.  You’ve always filled every quality I’d ever dreamed or hoped for in a husband it would be possible to gain such joy and happiness.  And darling, you’ll make such a wonderful father.  You’ll be kind and understanding, and yet firm when it’s necessary.  You won’t leave the rearing & disciplin of our children to their mother as so many do.

I’ve sent cards to Esquire, Reader’s Digest & The Improvement Era.  Is there anyone else I should notify of your  new address.

I’m so anxious for you to receive the pictures I mailed yesterday.  Let me know as soon as you get them – and if they don’t, I’ll send more.  I’ve decided it’s easier to take snapshots of Rick that to try and get a photographer down her when he’s in a happy mood — until he’s a little older.  And I’m sure you’ll be able to determine just as much about him.  He’s so darn precious.  You couldn’t have given me anything more wonderful.  I’m counting on you being here for his first birthday at least.  That’s not too optimistic is it?

I’ve had quite a day today.  Dad and Myrtle went to Sunday School.  Mrs. Barnes came over to see Rick & I visited for quite awhile.  They’re living in Pocatello now & she’d some up to see Dallas (she’s expecting any day).  After noon, it was so sunny & nice, that I bundled Rick up and went over to Ruth’s.  We took the babies down to the store with us, and weighed Betty.  Rick went to sleep on the way down so I didn’t waken him to weigh him.  Betty weighs nearly fifteen pounds and is now five months old.  Lawrence went fishing — and then Helen stopped to take me to the show.  Ruth watched Rick so I went.  “Frenchman’s Creek” — with Joan Fontaine.  It was an adventure story, with pirates & all that.  Helen had just had a letter from Ivan saying their winter had turned into mud, so I can imagine your difficulties.

Darling, I can’t help but dream and pray that the day will be soon for your return.  The hour, the second, cannot come too quickly for me.  It’ll be such heaven to have my arms tight about you and feel you close, again.  You’ll always be the most important part of me.  the part that radiates life and joy & happiness.  I adore everything about you with all my heart and soul and always will.  There’s nothing could ever change that love, only to increase it.

Myrtle expects to teach this week and then quit.  I think Mrs. Harold Davenport is going to finish the year out for her.  Just think — Myrtle will be 43 when the baby is born.  His parents will be older than yours when  you were born.  It hardly seems possible it’s going to happen, but to watch her expanding waist line you can’t help be see it’s true.

Afton Remington is bringing his wife & new daughter home from the hospital this Wednesday.  I told you wrong on the name — It’s to be Katherine Jenetta, after her two grandmothers & to be called Kathie Jean.  Raymond Parker’s wife is expecting too, I hear tell.

Wilford is bringing a play to Parker tomorrow night.

Sweetheart, remember always, that you mean all the world to me — God be with you always, protect you, and return you safely home to–

Your love wife & son,

Zola & Rick

Hooray!  I’m up to Grandma’s letters now.  We get to hear more about what’s happening on the home front now.  We also get to hear about baby Rick.  I love the imagery of weighing the babies down at the store . . . if somebody did that today, there’d probably be some sort of action taken against them.  There’s a lot of news about family and friends and their babies.

Over the weekend, I heard from a 91-year-old gentleman, Ray Manuel, who trained, for a short time, with Lt. Dewain Silvester who was the platoon leader.  He also ran into Grandpa again at a reunion in Philadelphia.  He’s going to try to find pictures he has with Grandpa in them from that reunion.  I’m excited to make connections like this.   More to come soon.

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