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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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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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