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
Friday, May 19, 1944
One more day and yours truly will be finished. Can hardly wait till I board the train. Will leave for Norfolk Monday I believe. The course out here was wonderful as far as an education etc. was concerned but how I missed my little Honey! Maybe leaving you like I did was a good thing in a way, as it did make me realize how much I loved you. God knows how miserable I was the morning the orders were waiting for me.
For the past couple of days thought sure you were through with me. Really was worried until a letter came today. Figured the letter in which I told you about drinking a couple of beers had ruined everything. Darling, I’ll play fair and tell you everything I do etc. Haven’t touched a thing since those beers. Will probably go out one more time tomorrow night but only to collect a few things to take back with me.
We ran the two mile run for record today and tomorrow have our final physical test. I ran the two miles in thirteen and twelve seconds which isn’t too good and not to bad, just so-so. We also get our diplomas etc. from the school. I’ll show them to you when I get back there. The graduation picture is pretty good. I look all out of place with the sailors but they are practically brothers to us. This one sailor, Tom Collins, is one swell egg, really get along with him. Had a few pictures taken with each other and if they only will hurry up and get them finished, I’ll be able to show them to you.
My picture finally came from home today and I think I’ll bring it with me. Be about the same time anyway. This traveling alone should give me a chance to get to your place before reporting to Norfolk. Have so much to say to you that I probably won’t know where to begin when I see you again. Bet I’m speechless for a while, you’ll have to help me out.
Happy to hear you had such a wonderful week and Little One, always sure to see the family again. Nice of your Mother to give us the green light. Only hope she approves after I have met her. Probably will feel like I’m going through the third degree.
Darling, the first night I’d like to talk with you awhile, you know about everything. Then the first chance we have the two of us will go out and buy the ring. Seed a beautiful ring today at any rate I thought so. It wasn’t for sale though, as it was bought by a sailor in my class. He is getting engaged tonight. I’ll go and help you buy the ring, Darling, (and also put it on you) but you had better take the one you like. After all, Honey, a feminine taste is a lot different than a males. Personally, I think you already have seen the one you like best but are just waiting for me. Simply sets me way up in the clouds to think about becoming engaged.
Say, Lois, have you told the girls about us at home? I know you told all at work but you didn’t say anything about Nelda or Alice?
Darling, will finish off now, can’t seem to write any more as the time grows short. Saving everything up till I see you again. If I leave Monday will write once more, otherwise if I push out Sunday will send a telegram. Hope this is the final letter.
Night, Darling, will see you soon, for Washington here I come!
With Love and Kisses Always
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Commentary: I think I am detecting a bit of insecurity in Art in this letter. He mentions that he might be speechless when they meet again. I can imagine having the same kind of fears with someone I only met a few months ago and have barely seen. He also reveals he imagines he will be going through the 3rd degree meeting her mother. Quite the pressure this young man feels coming upon him soon! Knowing my grandmother and her happy, light-hearted nature, I bet she puts Art at ease in no time!
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