Introductions by Debra
This is a true, first-hand account of the innermost thoughts of Art to his beloved Lois, written while serving our country as a United States Marine during World War II. My name is Debra and I am sharing the gifts of Art’s Love Letters. Art was my grandfather and Lois was my grandmother. It was 1944 and they were 21 years old when the letters began.
To recap this Love Story thus far, Art and Lois met each other by chance. She was serving food to people at a church and he was a hungry, young marine who went into the church to be fed. They exchanged addresses. There were 3 letters by Art to Lois and then they spent 3 lovely days together. Art was given orders the very next day to report to California. It has been 2 weeks since they have seen each other.
The Letter Transcript
Saturday, April 29, 1944
Feel terribly lonely for you this evening, it being Saturday night. The barracks is absolutely empty and I am all alone with my thoughts to myself. Really shouldn’t feel that way after receiving those swell letters from you but I can’t help thinking about being in Washington with you tonight. “Sherman” sure was right when he said, “War is hell!”
Two of your letters were old ones. The one that was typed sure had me worried for a while. Especially after reading “Dear Art” and then hearing you weren’t getting any mail from me. My heart was beginning to sink down until I saw the 3rd letter had my right address on it. Commenced tearing that one apart pronto! Boy, I guess you know that was a real red letter day for me.
Felt really relieved to know that my first letter arrived there. Sounds bad, you going all the way home to get my letter Hon. I love it. Tell me more. Things like that make a fellows insides jump a bit.
Honey, I’d love to go down to Williamsburg on that day you said but heck, Lois, traveling back across country is going to take about five days. That sort of puts a crimp in getting there for the 20th. Maybe for the 27th as the first weekend in June positively. Hope the news doesn’t upset plans, Darling, because it is going to be impossible for me to get there the 20th. Look, Lois, I don’t care when you are in Virginia because I’ll get there when I get back if I must use a pack mule. Honey, do you suppose you could change dates a bit as I’d like very much to meet your Sis and Family. Let me know, huh?
One thing was missing in your letter. What did you do over the weekend?
I see from your letter you’re still not doing much at work. Made a parchisi game while at work rather takes the cake. Wish you were out here, I’d keep you busy. Have you typing my home lessons every night – how would you like that? Then this weekend you could help me study. Heck of a lot of studying I’d be doing. Take one look at the book, one look at you and the book would go flying. The next thing I’d know you would be telling me my liberty is up. Darling, I’d give anything to have you in my arms tonight. The more I think of you the more it hurts and to think that school is going to last another four weeks. Oh well, that much more we will have to make up, so what?
School was rather tough this afternoon because of the exams. Sweated through a few questions but believe I came out pretty good. Will know for sure Monday. This mornings instructor was really dry, talked in a monotone and what with the warm sunshine yours truly fell asleep. Had myself really bound up and was given an extra assignment. Usually don’t do that but have been studying pretty late at night and my eyelids had weights attached to them. When I finish this letter, aim to crawl in my sack and stay there until noon tomorrow. Was going on liberty by my financial status is again zero. Had to pay for my laundry today and that put the last touch on my pocket. Should be paid Monday as some of the boys I know in other classes received their checks from Norfolk today. Will still take some pictures tomorrow night on the base.
Oh yeah, I had a little fall today at exercises. Going through the obstacle course and I leaped over the water barrier. My toe got caught in the sand bag on top and down I went. One side of my leg looks like someone used sandpaper all over it.
Darling, even though you have told me you love me, please tell me in every letter. I want to hear it over and over again. I only wish I could tell you how much I’m really in love with you. Writing to you this way drives me crazy because nothing I put down seems to express my true thoughts that are constantly drumming through my head. Maybe you understand, hope so at my rate. Have so much to say to you Honey, but will save it for tomorrow. Writing to you is so damn easy, could just keep writing and writing. Every time I begin to get stuck, simply look at your picture and words start forming. Writing letters at one time would start me boiling but to you it is a cinch.
Darling, was wondering if possible you could send a snapshot or two of yourself so I could carry it in my wallet. Please if you can will you do it for me?
Think I’ll go to bed now and think about you. Do it every night and is such a pleasant way of going to sleep. (All good thoughts, of course). Send a few kisses my way in the next letter. Night
All My Love,
P.S. Regards to the girls and a special hello to Alice.
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Question #1: What is a pack mule? I know 1944 was a long time ago but I can’t picture my grandfather actually traveling by mule. Is a pack mule some kind of slang for a vehicle?
Question #2: Who is Alice? Last week we found out Art’s base/school was actually a camouflage fake city known as Wonderland and now we have an Alice? Interesting.
Conclusions: I feel sad for Art after today’s letter. I feel sad he is all alone with this thoughts on a Saturday night while the rest of the boys are on Liberty. I feel motherly concern he is so tired from staying up late studying that he falls asleep in class. I feel compassion for the worry he feels of not knowing where Lois’s mind is at with their addresses changing and letters not catching up timely. I feel a deep understanding when he expresses words seem insufficient to properly convey his feelings of Love for her. Truly language has its limitations in discussions that matter… Communications of the Heart.
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