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
Thursday, June 1, 1944
As you know now things didn’t work out so well. Tried to explain what happened here but I’m afraid I was too darn excited on the phone. It’s a wonder you couldn’t hear my heart pounding. Sure was wonderful just to hear your voice again Lois.
This is the dope. My unit, the fellows are in one of those pictures, had already gone to “Eton” N.C. when I arrived here. Therefore, I have to join them as soon as possible. The reason I’m still here is awaiting my truck and sea-bag. After I get with my unit I’ll get leave as it has to come through my own officer. Now I expect to get leave, Honey, as the officer is a swell egg but let’s keep our fingers crossed until I know for sure. Will be going down there Sunday or Monday morning. I’ll wire or write as soon as I get there and let you know for sure and it had better be good news or all hell is going to break lose.
The picture with the swabbies is my class. And, Darling, this is no smoke talk but yours truly was top man in the class. The other picture was taken a while back when my boys graduated. I joined the picture so we could all be intact. In case you overlooked it, Lois, look under the pin in the small package I sent you. Let me know if everything comes.
As for my own picture the reason I haven’t sent it so far was that I didn’t like it. Honey, give me your honest opinion of it and if you like it keep it, if you don’t throw it away. Okay?
No fooling, Honey, sure will be glad to get away from Norfolk. (not too far from Washington though!) The Navy, while we are here, are in charge and I ran into a bit of trouble yesterday. I did my darndest to say things the right way but received no satisfaction what so ever. That was I blew up and was then told to leave and don’t come back until they are ready to fly me out. Eton is only 75 miles from here, so it won’t be so bad.
As to that subject you were discussing in the office, Lois, it all depends on the couple. Besides Emily Post says it’s okay on the second night and I’m counting the church canteen as the first night. Besides, “Little One”, who likes to go according to rules and regulations? I get enough of them in the service. If the feeling is natural then why not? Anyway I fell a bit more in love with you after the first kiss. By the way, what were those few other things?
You bet, Honey, I love Southerners, especially one I know. We have those same arguments and sometimes they get beyond the arguing stage but they mostly are a lot of fear. For six months in “fox” I was with all “rebels” but I took the riding and some of them are now my best buddies.
I hope you remembered me to your folks Lois. It still burns me up to think I could have been with you this week-end, except for the raw deal.
Thanks for remember my birthday, Honey, completely forgot it myself. I’m wondering just what you got for me. Maybe I’ll find out next week-end. I was on the train headed east when the sorry event took place. Now I am a man, twenty-one.
Say, is it very warm up in Washington? Boy, down here it is really terrific. Writing to you in a pair of shorts and I am still perspiring. Something like the islands muggy and hot.
How is your tan getting along? You have been trying to get one from the sound of your letters. I’m pretty dark myself. Had a bit of one in California and for the past two days have been in the sun quite often. Not doing a darn thing, playing horseshoes, reading and writing letters. My unit will be starting on the road in July sometime or so they figure. At “Eton” we’ll pick up some more dope on B-25’s and instructing. “Eton” is a big marine B-25 base.
Well, Honey, will write again tomorrow. Hope you wrote me a letter before you left for Harrisonburg. Night “Little One”.
With Love and Kisses,
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Commentary: Well it sounds like Lois and Art have still not been able to connect in person yet but have spoken on the phone since I see no evidence of Art’s fears that he will lose the engagement to Lois.
Speaking of fears, I find it deeply understanding of Art to recognize that beneath all of the arguments he has been participating and witnessing that it is a lot of fear. Truly, fear is the underlying cause when an exchange of words turns from communication to argumentation. Such a wise man my grandfather was!
My only other question is regarding the new base Art is headed to called “Eton”. He specifically puts the word in quotes each time he writes it. I tried to research this big B-25 marine base and could find no evidence of it anywhere whereas many other bases in the North Carolina area are well documented. I find this to be a bit mysterious.
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