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 14, 1944 (Mother’s Day)
Went to church this morning on the base. Barely made it but you my dear woke me just in time. Did me a world of good, certainly felt better than I have the past few days.
Sorry about not writing you last night, Honey, but came back after lights were out. Went out to get the pictures and darn it they weren’t ready. Sounds like I’m lying about this, Honey, but honestly it’s the truth. And the reason the picture from hasn’t come as yet, my sister held out on me. It is on the way now, about time too as I was beginning to get a little hot under the collar. Received a letter from her today and of course the explanation. She said it simply was overlooked but personally I believe sis waited until your picture arrived home. They all think your cute as they come but I know that already. So, Darling, please don’t blame poor me for everything.
Went to the U.S.O. Club in Inglewood last night. Shot some pool and played a bit of ping pong. Was beaten almost every game by some shooters. Much rather play with my “Little One”, as I can win a game once in a while. Now don’t get mad cause I think you play swell, just my speed.
Certainly was glad for the past week to go, wasn’t very interesting and most of it was dry. Got by all right but didn’t head the class, of that I’m sure. Just think one more week and I’ll be coming back to Washington. Graduate this Saturday and will probably will be on the way Monday. If only this week will fly by! Lois, if everything works out will come from Chicago and I’ll let you know if I’ll stop off at Washington.
Wasn’t nice, holding out on the May 10th letter. Darling, don’t blame you though as I know how it is to look forward to a letter. Honey, I do write as often as I possibly can so please understand. Your the only one I write to during the week. Made me feel rather bad when I read in your letter that you thought I didn’t care to write.
Enclosed is a poem my brother sent me. You know he is in the Army and we ride each other quite a bit. Do me a favor, Honey, type me a copy and send it in the next letter. Want to pin it up for all hands to see. It is true though I can’t see anything wrong with thinking we are the best outfit. If the rest of the outfits walked around as though they were proud of their uniforms maybe they wouldn’t have an inferiority complex. Wait until I write back to that brother of mine.
Sorry my letters have been so terrible of late, Lois, but now every time I sit down to write you start thinking about seeing you again so soon and I can’t write. Well, only one more week and then happy days are here again. Oh I could write reams of pages about having you in my arms, kissing you, just being near you Darling, but I can’t write it. I want to actually be doing that again.
Hope all your girls get back together again, Lois, so you won’t be so lonely. You said only Doris was there and she is the real quiet type.
Night, Honey, think of you always and please keep writing. Your a wonderful, sweetest little girl in the world.
All my Love,
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Question: I still haven’t researched what movie Art watch that seemed parallel to his situation with Lois where the man calls the woman “Little One”. I would really like to find this movie and watch it. I will make it a point to do that over the next week.
Comment #1: How exciting that it is only ONE more week before these 2 will finally see each other again and then go off shopping for the engagement ring!!! Things are about to go up a notch on the Love scale.
Comment #2: At first, I thought Art’s sister delaying sending a picture was perhaps Art’s own inner fears thinking his girl had to be “pretty” in order for his family to accept her perhaps. Then I began to ponder if his sister simply loved her brother so much and only wanted to spend the money to get a picture of him that could be provided to Lois if she seemed worth the investment by what she could capture from seeing a picture of Lois. After all, we snap pictures with our phones like nothing but in those days, I would imagine to come by a photographer with the technology and to pay for the processing must have been no small price to pay. Something else to research! I am also still curious about the photograph paper I showed in a prior letter. I still cannot find any such paper that exists. It is as if it is a one of a kind golden ticket!!!
Comment #3: It has been such a long time since I played a game of pool. I need to do that real soon!!! I wasn’t a half bad player and would love to get in a league when we can all gather again.
Comment #4: The Poem that was enclosed was a newspaper clipping and is below.
All I can say is… WOW!!!
Marines “Those Brass-Button Queens”
The Marines, the Marines, those blasted Gyrenes*
Those seagoing bellhops, those brass-button queens.
Oh! They pat their own backs, write stories in reams,
All in praise of themselves—the U.S. Marines!
The Marines, the Marines, those publicity fiends,
They built all the forests, turned on all the streams,
Discontent with the earth, they say Heaven’s scenes
Are guarded by—you guess! Right! U.S. Marines!
The moon never beams, except when the Marines
Give it permission to turn on its gleams,
And the tide never rises, the wind never screams—
Unless authorized by the U.S. Marines!
The Marines, the Marines, in their khakis and greens,
Their pretty blue panties, red strips down their seams.
They thought all the thoughts, dreamed in their dreams,
Singing, “The Song of Myself” — the U.S. Marines.
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