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
Tuesday, May 9, 1944
Two beautiful letters from you today. All your letters have been swell but these two I believe top everything. Gave me a much better footing, Darling, only hope my last letter didn’t change anything. Really regret writing that one but now all I can do is wait and hear for your reply. Has me quite a bit worried.
Yes, dear, I did go to church when at home. Believe I went regularly until high school was over. Then after, you know, I went into the service. Don’t blame the service, Honey, as the service encourages church. Simply a fault of my own.
Lois, Honey, think it will be better if you get the ring. Will be in Norfolk for sure the 27th and we can go out that weekend and buy it. It would be nice if you were to take a look at a few rings now, Honey, so when we get together you’ll be sure of the type you want. That’s all I care about is whether you’re happy with it or not.
This is a straight as I can possibly can get it Lois. We will be in Norfolk for at least four to five months. After that, Darling, we’ll we just don’t know. Maybe we’ll stay on the east coast longer or maybe a boat trip is in order. Hope not and it doesn’t seem likely, but this Marine Corps does funny things. Remember how sure I was that I’d see you that following weekend? Well, you know how I felt.
Here is something else that I’m depending on. I am due for a 15-day leave this year. My furlough was only for the past two years. I get fifteen days a year and I’m going to try like heck to get them. Boy, seventh heaven if I get them. Really could get somewhere couldn’t we Darling?
Lois, I’ll never go back to drinking, believe me, not as long as I have you. Hurting you Darling would be spiting the world. Never would think of it so, Lois, you can rest assured of that.
If yours truly does get that fifteen day leave we’ll be married right away. What do you say Honey? We could then have a short honeymoon. Would be something until the next thirty day leave.
Yes, Lois, think it would be best if we discussed things together instead of by mail. Sometimes words in letters can be taken wrong. etc. We really have a lot to talk over and lots of things to do. But the first thing I’m going to do is collect a few of those mail kisses. Owe me quite a few now.
My middle name is, and don’t call me it, “Henry”. Trouble with names is you don’t have much say about it at the time they are given. My serial number is 348754 and what may I ask did you want it for? Maybe curiosity, huh?
Quite a collection of nicknames you have. The best of the lot, to me anyway, is “Little One”. Would you like to know why? Well, when I was younger used to listen to a radio program, more less a love story (Don’t tell a soul). The fellow always called the girl, “Little One”, and I think about that program every time I call you “Little One”. The story was almost parallel with us two.
Hun, my head has swelled two inches since you told me what the girls said. Honestly don’t know, I just try to act as nice as the company I’m keeping.
Night, Darling, will write tomorrow. Hope I can get you out of my mind until my lessons are done. Remember me to the girls.
With Love Always,
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Question: What movie did Art watch that seemed parallel to his situation with Lois? Why would a man need to feel shame and keep it a secret that he enjoyed a “Love Story”? Did we only sell the love story to women and the war story was sold to men? My how far we’ve come in such little time!!
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