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.
The Letter Transcript
Sunday, May 7, 1944
It is a nice warm day here in California and your truly is out sunning himself while writing the letter. Have actual proof of that for we took pictures. They’ll be ready about Wednesday so maybe I’ll be able to send them this week. The picture from home hasn’t arrived but I’m expecting it any mail call.
Went on liberty last night for the first time and had a fairly good time considering my “Little One” wasn’t with me. Had for company a couple of swabbies. They are in my class and are swell fellows. Went to a show and then bowling. To tell the truth, I did have a couple of drinks while bowling. Nothing serious, mind you, just thirsty while bowling. One thing I’ll never do Darling, is lie to you. I hope you don’t mind too much, Honey, as it was the first time in so long. Not that I craved it just had to be sociable with the boys. Cannot wait now to see what you say, bet my ears will start burning.
Lucky to get your May 4th letter today. Some fellow spotted it in the mail offices and got it for me. Don’t usually get mail on Sundays but the fellows know your name and also know how important those letters are to me.
Darling, prepare yourself for another whack and this hurts me to tell you as I promised you. Darn it all, I simply slept in this morning. Could have lied to you but as I said before don’t care to do that. Yes, I missed going to church again and I ought to have my head examined. I did talk with the chaplain a few minutes ago. He was across the way also sunning himself and he came over to us. He started asking us questions, etc. and finally gave us a little talking to, in a very nice way of course, but it hurt nevertheless. Boy, am I going to catch heck in the next letter!
Gosh, Honey, to hear your in love with me really sets me on fire. God, I hope nothing changes after this letter. Darling, wish I were there now so I could tell you my love. Writing about it hasn’t that certain something. Next time I’ll say those three important words with some feelings. Should be able to as I’ve been practicing it often enough. Keep saying it to your picture. I love you, I love you until those words are forever in my mind.
I’m afraid I don’t know that Dr. Lois, but my sister probably does as she was a nurse there for a while. Will ask her in my next letter. That other boy, Artie Scott, is a stranger also, gets a number of men in a division.
Start electrical course tomorrow. Don’t think I’ll like it as I never did like electricity. Hope I do okay.
Everything alright with you, Darling? Must have been when you wrote that last letter as the mood of it was mighty happy. Hope a letter comes soon with a few answers to a letter I sent you. Will write again tomorrow Lois, so will say bye for now. Take care, Honey, and it won’t be long now!
With Love Always XXX,
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Question 1: Included in the envelope with this letter is a piece of what looks like photograph paper from back in the day. I would love to know does this vintage photograph paper have any value? I looked on the internet and e-bay and there is nothing. Zilch. Is it a one of a kind artifact of photography left from that era? To me the value is priceless. It is something that I will cherish because it passed between them and pictures are clearly important to both of them. I also love photography and appreciate it’s worth so much!
Conclusion: Well, it appears that Art broke not just one promise to Lois but two. He touched the “stuff” alcohol but it seems as if that was a harmless act and he was only trying to fit in with the fellows and be sociable and it was nothing serious as he says. However, he also broke the promise to go to church because he slept in after his night out with the fellows.
It sounds as if Art’s conscience is really bothering him and he is looking for freedom from guilt by attempting to be outright honest with Lois, which I respect about him. Dishonesty is something I also cannot stand and I would rather be truthful at all costs.
I find it no coincidence that a Chaplain should happen to be sunning himself in the same area and be a presence gnawing at Art’s conscience some more. As if that was not enough to see the Chaplain looming across the way, he addressed the boys and gave them a moral discussion which made Art feel even more pain for his actions. The silver lining is… despite Art’s broken promises and critical thoughts about himself, he was able to see outside of himself and acknowledged the kindness of the Chaplain who delivered the message.
We can learn something from Art about his feelings and the interaction with the Chaplain. If we want people to feel how their actions impact us, we must deliver the messages in a kind way. They will hear it and feel it in a way that reaches them deeper. It is in reaching such depths that change can actually occur… the very change we desire. We just have to be patient and wait for them to process our words and their own feelings about our messages.
This is a Hard thing for us to do because we live in a world where most “things” we want, we can have fairly quickly but people are not “things” and we need to give them Time to Heal from their own actions or inactions. The world is in the process of healing from a great deal of pain right now. Let us all have patience with each other and deliver our messages nicely.
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