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.
Well folks! It’s official!!! Lois and Art have become engaged from the last letter that I read. The engagement took place on Saturday, June 17th.
Today’s letter takes place after Art leaves Lois to return back to his duties as a U.S. Marine. His next assignment is to report to Edenton, North Carolina in the Marine Operational Training Group 81, where he will follow up his training completed in Englewood, California with additional training and instructing on B-25s bombers.
The Letter Transcript
Monday, June 19, 1944
Finally arrived here in Edenton at 2 o’clock this afternoon. Had a bit of trouble getting rides but finally made it. Am writing to you right away so I can retire early as I’m dead tired.
Three letters from you, Dear, and also the package. Gosh, Lois, the present was really letter perfect. Much better than the other one I have. You have a perfect taste for things I can see. Hate to part with it for awhile but want you to have it finished for me and then send it back right away.
No trouble as yet and I don’t expect any. Haven’t seen anybody as yet, tomorrow morning will be the test anyway. Keep your fingers crossed with me Darling and I’m sure it will all be okay.
Lois, Dear, it hurt me terribly to leave you last night. What a wonderful world it would be if the two of us could always be together. After this past weekend, the two of us understand each other so perfectly that I’m sure we would always be happy. Now all I’m praying is that I’ll be stationed at one base so that we can get married. I love you so much, Darling, that nothing matters anymore except you. You know that without me telling you but I want to tell you it over and over again, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Your mother and Dad were simply wonderful. Couldn’t imagine things would turn out so easy. It would suit me just fine to be able to call them Mother and Dad and I hope that day isn’t too far away. In fact, everybody was so swell from Margaret to all the relatives. Maybe we’ll be able to see them all soon again together.
There were countless things that happened during those four days and each one of them will be remembered. From the time I knocked on your door till you kissed me goodbye. The biggest thing was buying the ring and that was a big moment. I’m happy, Darling, that you’re satisfied with it. That’s all that matters.
Then our first down to earth talk and wasn’t it ever a blast? We really took in just about everything except for the real thing and that is reserved for marriage, right? I’m going to have to learn a bit more self control after that last evening but then you can control things better than a man can. That I will leave up to you as I don’t want it to happen again not in those circumstances anyway. By the way, it does stain the trousers but it will wash out. Noticed it when I took the pants out of the bag.
There is still a question I’d like to ask you but you didn’t answer it up in Washington. Maybe one of these days I will find it out.
Darling, tomorrow’s letter will be much better as right now I’m dead weight and hanging on my eyes. You know how tired you were last night and then I’ve been traveling since then. My buddy and I didn’t get a ride from Washington till late last night.
Will write my folks tomorrow and also your Mother. Have quite a bit of writing to do at present but my little Darling comes first.
So, Sweetheart, will close for now till the morrow. Think of you constantly, simply can’t get you out of my mind as if I wanted to do that. You have me, Darling, heart and soul. Night.
With all my Love,
P.S. I love you – XXXXX
Questions, Conclusions and Commentary
Commentary: I was simply overjoyed that my mother had pictures of the special engagement event and even had the ring that Lois picked out. It was more intricate than I would have imagined. I had envisioned a very simple one stone setting given the difficulty of the times and was surprised to find a multiple stone ensemble.
I also received an answer to a question from a former letter about who is this mystery Alice person that Art often inquires about who has been away sick. My mother found a picture of Lois with a group of other girls who perhaps served with her in Washington and one of those girls is named Alice McCullin. Here is a picture of the group of girls.
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