Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #22

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

Saturday, June 24, 1944

My Dearest One,

The darn mail is again fouled up as there was no letter from you today. Worst luck! No mail call on Sunday so will just have to read the old letters for consoling purposes.

Didn’t do much today. Spent the morning and afternoon on the beach, soaking up the sun and day-dreaming about you. Went to sleep this morning with you in my arms. What a disappointment waking up to find my buddy sleeping next to me!

In the afternoon two of the boys and myself took out a row boat. Needed the exercise as shown by the blisters on our hands now. Took the boat way out in the sound and played around, diving and swimming from the stern. The wind was fairly strong which made things much more interesting. Feel it tonight as I’m plenty tired. Some life, huh?

Thinking today about how easy I’m having it as of late and really enjoying life while those poor guys over there are being knocked off. Somehow it all doesn’t seem fair. God how I wish this damn war was over so we can all go back to normal lives again. If the war were over tonight, I’d be on my way to Washington to marry my little Darling. Wishful thinking, huh?

Nothing else much to say, Honey, with no letter so will make this one a short letter. Excused this time, Lois?

Am going to take some pictures tomorrow and will send them to you if they are okay. Your set should be here Monday. Can hardly wait to see them!

Night, Honey, going to turn in now. Be a “good girl” as I’m being a “good boy”. Even a halo is around my head, almost. Explain in tomorrow’s letter.

With Love Ever Yours,
Art

P.S. I love you Darling.

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Comment 1: I need to research what beach and sound is near Edenton as I want to definitely take in this view when I go visit NC.

Comment 2: I see Art is suffering from a bit of survivor’s guilt. Survivor’s guilt is something that happens to people who survive horrific events. You would think we would feel a sense of gratitude but instead we feel this awful guilt as if something is just not right in our consciousness knowing we survived and an equal soul in humanity did not have the same fortunate.

Comment 3: I am so curious what Art means about having a halo over his head. Somehow or other he was being like an angel and I can’t wait to hear about it in the next letter! Stay tuned!

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #21

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, June 23, 1944

My Dearest Lois,

All smiles today, two letters from you and my worries are all dissolved. Should have known but then that’s me. Received them at noon time, just going into the chow hall when my buddy called to me and held up those long envelopes. Made my heart leap to see them I guess you know.

Your Monday letter was something, like the one I sent yesterday. No need to worry now Darling, as my going over the hill is all water over the dam. Have to stay on the base this weekend but should be able to stand it one week. Right now am fairly confident of seeing you the following weekend. How does that sound?

Lois, every once in a while it might be a good idea if you did enclose a stamp because sometimes we get short handed on them. My folks have been sending me stamps but with all the letter writing I do now well you know how they disappear. I hate to send them free as they do take so long.

Yours truly is plenty caught up on his sleep. Take a little snooze in the afternoon and hit the sack real early. Tonight I think it would be a good idea to take in a show. Still have lots of ironing to do but that can wait until Sunday.

The play of yours must be big time staff if your even broadcasting it. Guess I’ll really be missing something by not seeing it. Nice anyway just seeing you on the stage. The sailor uniform must look awfully cute on you.

Glad you like the letters, Dear, as I like yours terribly much. Hope the letters start coming one a day as it is much better that way.

Okay, Honey, will hold off till I see you again. Not nice, I suppose by letter, besides someone might see them and start seeing wrong things, Right?

Yes sir, that’s all I want, Lois, for the letters is the kisses. Plenty of payment but it would be lots better if I were coming in on the beam for them. Have to do it this way!

Darling, I didn’t find out any faults this past weekend. All I found out was I loved you more and more. Maybe your folks did say a few things in fun but then they didn’t say anything bad.

Darn it, had to lend a fellow thirty dollars. Had sixty in my pocket and was going to send forty home but now I’ll have to wait. This is the only debt out now thank heavens. This boy missed the bridge last night in his car and went into the drink. It was a brand new car so I had to help him out. Every time I send money home to the bank will send you the stub so you can see how much money I saved, ok?

So, the old flame sent you his picture, well, I don’t mind, Darling, just so long as I remain number one. Keep writing to him if you wish to, Honey, as I have all the faith in the world in you. Wouldn’t be love if I didn’t have it.

Darn, wish the bracelet was coming sooner, Honey, but it takes a little while to get it done. It sure is a nifty one and I’ll always treasure it.

I did write home and explained everything but am still waiting an answer. Been getting lots of mail from buddies in the service, also received one from brother in Texas. He sounds a bit blue after the furlough and what with getting prepared to be going overseas but that’s to be expected. Will write him next and straighten him out a bit (Daddy talking now!)

Tell me how the play comes out Lois. How you do in it etc.? Will write again tomorrow, sweetheart. Bye for now.

All My Love,
Art

P.S. The poem was pretty good. I know what you’re talking about!

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Comment 1: Well now we now all of the fears Art had in yesterday’s letter were unfounded about Lois being sick. Perhaps one of the letters got stuck in the mail yesterday and that is why he got none since today he received two letters from Lois. It sounds like Lois also sent him a letter where she was having a bad day.

I cannot imagine having such barriers in communication since today we have the ability to send messages instantaneously around the world. If we are worried about what our partner is thinking, we text or call them and all of our worst fears are instantly dissolved. These two young lovers have to grapple with their monkey minds with no reassurance until a next letter comes to them and that can be days later since Art is reading Lois’s Monday letter today on Friday. We are so fortunate not to have these challenges. Instead, they’ve been replaced with new fears of why is the other person taking so long to respond to us when so many of us lived attached to our phones 24/7.

Comment 2: I find it interesting that soldiers could send out letters for free if they could not get stamps but they letters would simply take longer to get to their destination. It would seem fitting to me that since these boys (and girls now) are separated from their loved ones that they should have the benefit of sending letters whenever they wish for free and they should be sent timely. Seems the least we could do for our soldiers during their time of sacrifice away from loved ones in exchange for their dedicated service to our country.

Comment 3: I wish I knew the name of the play that Lois performed in. If it was broadcast, perhaps I may be able to dig into getting a copy of it. I have so many of her old films in the attic. I wonder if perhaps one of those little reels has the play on it. I am now much more motivated to fix my attic stairs so I can get up there and get to all the old films of Lois and Art.

Comment 4: I love how mature and confident that Art is in Lois. Many men would get very jealous and feel extreme emotions inside of them at hearing that an old flame was sending pictures and wanting to write letters to their new fiancé. This is the second time Art has revealed how free he wants Lois to feel in this relationship. Last time it was accepting engagements to go out. This is a very healthy aspect of their relationship and I admire him very much for it.

Comment 5: I wish I could see what the bracelet looks like that Lois gave to Art. Perhaps there are pictures of him wearing it that my mother has. It is engraved with Lois’s name on the back and has his U.S.M.C. number on the front based on what Art and Lois discussed in a previous letter. I wonder where that bracelet is today and if still exists.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #20

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 22, 1944

My Darling Lois,

This was a bad day for me for one reason. I didn’t receive any letters from my Honey. This morning didn’t get any mail from you but figured sure that it would be there this afternoon but no soap. Cannot help worrying now whether something is wrong with you. I know Darling, you would write every day if it is at all possible so that is why I’m really guessing.

The mail might be fouled up again but not likely as the other letters came from you yesterday. Maybe practice on the play is keeping you from writing but then there is the office. That leaves nothing else but you are sick. I hope to God that isn’t true Lois. I’m more than likely become worried over nothing but missing your letter is of some importance to me. Well, we’ll see tomorrow.

Lois, how is everything going in the home? Has Alice said anything? I’d like to know really out of curiosity. Say hello to them for me.

The play must be tiring on you there as I know you didn’t care too much for it all. Grin and bear it, huh?

Skipped school this morning in order to finish my laundry. I sure was in fine voice while scrubbing, so good that the fellows all said I should save my voice for a more appreciative audience. Finally am finished now, all I have left to do is starch and iron the khakis. Wish you were here, Darling, you could really have practice on my clothes. You iron from the bottoms to the knees and I’ll take it from there. Not that you couldn’t crease pants Honey, really you do a good job of that, simply too many of them.

Sorry, Darling, my mind isn’t on the letter writing this evening. Been happy as a lark till this afternoon. No letter sort of took edge of things.

Oh yes, I’ll fill out that form you sent. Looks like a lot of red tape to me, Honey. Hope they never open that package!

Every night before I go to sleep Lois, I think over the past weekend. Still seems like a wonderful dream. Makes me yearn to be with you always. Regardless of whatever happens, Little One, I’ll always love you.

Darling am going to close now as nothing seems to come out right. Tomorrow will be another day. See you in my dreams. Bye Honey.

With All My Love,
Art XXXXXX

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Commentary: Well it sounds as if Art is not feeling very good on this particular day and it is getting the best of his thinking. This is the 4th day in a row that he has written to Lois since leaving her after their engagement on the weekend. Not receiving a letter from Lois has really affected him but something tells me Art was not feeling particularly on point even before that since he confesses in today’s letter that he has skipped school. I have discovered for myself through personal experience that when I choose to skip out on a commitment, I don’t feel good about it. It causes tension within me and I expect some sort of consequence to happen to me. Art’s mind has painted the picture that his beloved Lois must be sick even after he acknowledges two very logical reasons why she may not have written including working and her commitment to take part in a play that she does not enjoy.

Despite his mind getting the best of him, he is somewhat self-aware in that he recognizes he may be worried over nothing and ends the letter stating nothing seems to be coming out right. Art has called out his mind’s worst thinking and a burden shared is a burden cut in half. As he says… tomorrow is another day.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #19

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

Wednesday, June 21, 1944

My Darling Lois,

Just finished writing to your Mother, hope it is satisfactory as I did try to make it that way. Thanked her and Father for the wonderful weekend they showed me.

Wonder of wonders received two letters from you today. Sure didn’t expect any so soon but were darn welcome.

Well I’ll answer your questions first. Today I talked with my “Gunner” about a weekend pass. Then I really got it. Some how or other he knew I was gone but didn’t say anything. He is a real guy and I have no kicks about him. But he told me after all the time off I had, it would be a good idea if yours truly would start buckling down to a little work. And he thought it would be nice if he seen me on the base this weekend. So that sort of puts a change on things for this one. He did say though I’d probably get to see you the following weekend. You see he knows about you too as I told him awhile back. He sort of smiles when ever I ask to go to Washington. Honey, I’ll miss you terribly this weekend but after those four days of paradise it will hold me over for a little while. The Gunner also told me we might be here for a little while longer. Good news huh?

My Mother’s name is Louise Bornemann. Am writing to my sister today and having the engagement put in the papers so as soon as I get one will send it your way, Darling. You do the same, huh?

Sorry I didn’t call Darling, the first day. Simply wrote you a letter and tumbled in the sack.

Yes, Honey, I did pick up my things at the Service club but remembered after I hit the station. My buddy asked me where the other bag was. Good thing the club isn’t far from the station. I need a woman to take care of me. It looks that way doesn’t it.

Excuse the way the writing is travelling up the page, Lois, as I’m writing this while lying down. Worked this morning teaching classes and am still washing clothes. Have a bucket full now soaking. Have so many now that I hate to think of it. Haven’t told you I don’t think, but my luggage came in from Norfolk this morning. Sure am tickled happy with the world now.

Really, Lois, I’ve never been so happy in my life. At home people asked me if I ever smiled but since knowing you life has become wonderful. Seems like everything is going my way. Love sure is grand!

I wish you would write to my sister, Lois, but hold off till I hear from home. Should be hearing tomorrow or the next day. I’ll send the address up tomorrow, okay?

Had a nice surprise today. My buddies all paid me back what they owed me. The Gunner gave a talk awhile back saying none of us should borrow from each other. Instead we are going to have a fund, pitching in a little each month and then when ever one of us gets short we can borrow from the fund.

So everybody liked the ring? Glad to hear it Darling for you deserve nothing but the best. I’d still like to know what you’d like for your birthday. Give me a little time to get it then as its impossible to buy a darn thing down here.

Lois, there is still something I’d like to know, pertaining to our talks. May I ask it is or is it forbidden?

Now that I have my camera will take some pictures this weekend and I’ll bring them up with me. Hope our pictures come real soon. Promised all the fellows I’ll show them the prettiest girl in the world.

Time to close, Darling, must continue with my washing. Wonderful wife I’d make for some girl. Expect a letter tomorrow. It gives me something to look forward to. Bye Darling.

With Love Ever Yours,
Art

P.S. I love your kisses.

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Commentary: I have just two thoughts after reading today’s letter. The first is about the laundry. I am guessing Art couldn’t just pop into the laundry room on base set up with commercial laundry equipment based on the fact he states his laundry is sitting in a bucket. I know my grandfather is not one to shy away from hard work but no wonder he hates the task of laundry so much if he has to use an old fashioned wash bucket.

My second reflection is Art stating that he barely smiled when he was at home. I believe that. Art didn’t have an easy life at all. I have no doubt that Lois was a fresh breathe of heavenly air that Art seems to convey she is.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #18

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, June 20, 1944

Dearest One,

Feel much better today after that night’s sleep I had. That is physically not mentally. This morning while teaching class your beautiful face was constantly in front of me. The words I spoke were from practice. The class probably wondered whom I was speaking to.

Yesterday when I came in the barracks the fellows all thought I was married. A big grin on my face and eyes just a shining. Of course, I told them all about the entire weekend except for what is going to remain between the two of us. Usually when a fellow tells about his girl being so sweet and clean there is quite a number of comments to the contrary. But, Darling, when I showed them your picture they agreed I was a pretty lucky guy. Also told them about our drinking promise and took a kidding as they don’t think I’ll last at it, but we’ll see. Will tell you each day and so far I’m a “good boy”.

I sent the bracelet back this morning first thing so I’ll get it back so very soon. Darling, that was the best present I’ve ever received. I showed the boys it too and they all thought it was really neat. Yes sir, my little girl sure can’t be beat. Honey, as to the way the serial number and U.S.M.C. I’ll leave it up to you. The way we agreed on would be okay but I was wondering how it would look if it was like this.

U.S.M.C.
348754

Now, Darling, it is entirely up to you as it is your present and besides your taste is taps. And remember your name goes on the back. That is the most important part anyway, as far as I’m concerned. Honey, I hope you don’t think I’m being selfish, making you do all that, but Lois, it is a lifetime present and it is something I’ll always have from you.

Lois, no trouble came out of it at all. In fact, very few people even knew I was gone. Not many know me anyway, which sometimes is a pretty good thing. That telephone call you sent down here came to this barracks as the fellows told me somebody in Washington was calling me. It still thrills me to think of the way things turned out. That last Monday’s letter you sent was something on the order I sent you and then walking in on your place was sort of a climax. My heart was pounding so hard when I knocked on the door I could hardly think. I knew I’d be speechless when we saw each other again. You’ll never know my true feeling when I saw you again. It was something like flying in the clouds. “You’ll never know how much I love you.” (sing it pretty Lois)

There isn’t any news as to when we’ll be leaving Lois, not for a little while at any rate. Hope I never leave but even if we do go to Cherry Point we’ll still see each other. Already found out my train connections to Washington from there. Get a train at Rocky Mount and it takes 8 hours to get to Washington. Not bad huh? Not only that but Cherry Point we can get lots of plane rides. Starting next month we get flight orders and that means we have to fly at least four hours in a month. Pay goes up to 150 which should help matters considerably.

My clothes from Norfolk haven’t come as yet but W.R. says they’ll be in today. Better be or yours truly is going to get riled up. Washed some clothes this afternoon and how I dislike it. Has to be done, though, so grin and bear it for a while.

Hope those pictures we took came out okay as I’m dying to see them. And, Darling, make sure the whole set comes down here. Should fix up my wallet really swell.

Honey, going to tell you something now, and please don’t think I’m being conceited as that is far from the truth. Thought maybe you would like to know as I already told you something about that “Bam”. After finishing your letter last night the “bam” that wanted to marry me called up and wanted to see me. So I put a stop to it in one big hurry. Told her I was married in Washington on the weekend. Bang went the receiver so that is that.

How did the office go the next day? Were you very tired Darling at work? I suppose everybody saw the ring and the comments flew around the office. Has Alice said anything else to you about the two of us? Not that it matters, Honey, simply a matter of interest. Give the girls my regards. Sorry I forgot to say goodbye to them. My little girl had my mind in a whirl. (that rhymes doesn’t it)

Well, my Love, must write home now. Curious as to what they say. Will send you their letter as soon as I get it that is how sure I am it will be good. Let’s see, have I told you in this letter that I love you as yet, well I do, Darling, love you and love you and love you. Bye Honey, should hear from you tomorrow.

Your love sick Honey,
Art XXXXX

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Comment 1: I am moved by how deeply Art feels things. I am also quite impressed that he was teaching a class while his mind romanced her face. Then he goes on to describe how his heart was pounding in his chest when he knocked on her door. I can totally imagine that kind of heart-pounding sensation. He also attempts to describe the feeling when he finally saw her again being like something in the clouds. Heavenly!

I also can picture Lois singing that song that Art references. She absolutely loved music. I can still recall her voice now singing songs while she played her accordion or her piano or electric keyboard. I researched the song “You’ll Never Know How Much I Love You” and found it came from the 1940s movie the Shape of Water, which became a 1940s anthem due to all the couples separated during the war.

Comment 2: I am wondering if Art will remain in Edenton, NC or if he will move along to Cherry Point, NC. I may need to add both of these places to my bucket list. I can visualize Art on an 8 hour train ride to Washington dreaming about seeing Lois. If these train rides do show up in future letters, I may also have to add a train ride to my list of voyages to take when I go revisit all of the places that show up in these letters.

Comment 3: I was a wee bit disappointed to see dishonesty show up in my grandfather when he told the “Bam” he had been married on the weekend when, in fact, he only had become engaged. However, I am going to cut him some slack for that as I highly respect the fact that he wanted to close that door right away. In his mind, perhaps his act of dishonesty was warranted to insure that the door would be closed. If he only said he had become engaged this “Bam” person might have been the aggressive type to still see an open door, a door he wanted to be sure did not exist in her mind. I also respect that he was honest with Lois about it.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #17

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.

Letter Foreword

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

My Darling,

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.

From Left to Right: Lois’s Dad, Mother, Lois, Art, Lois’s Sister Margaret

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,
Art

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.

Lois Ritchie, Dorothy Ritchie, Mary Palmasani, Alice McCullin, Florence Thompson

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #16

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

My Dearest,

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,
Art

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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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #15

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

Monday, May 29, 1944

My Darling Lois,

Arrived here in Norfolk this afternoon a day late on account of train delay. The train was eight hours late getting into Chicago, we hit a truck parked on the rail and then I couldn’t get a train out of Chicago for over eight hours. It really hurt not being able to get to Washington on the way back but Honey, I think I’ll be up there in a few days.

Spent this afternoon getting a bit recovered away and tomorrow will find out about a short leave. Lots of the fellows here have been getting them and I don’t see why I should be any exception. My luggage hasn’t arrived as yet but should be here tomorrow or the next day, hope so at any rate as I haven’t much to wear right now.

It sure is warm down here, felt like I’d melt away in my greens while I reported in. Made a quick change into khaki uniform but it still is might muggy around here.

Now to get back to you and me. Darling do you still love me or are you disgusted beyond words? I know that so far nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to but, Darling, that is the way things go in the service. Again, Little One, I must ask you to bear with me for a while. Please write me very soon, Dearest, as I must know how I stand. If you truly love me, Lois, I know everything will work out, but otherwise, these past couple of weeks have been a test, it will ruin both our lives. My love for you, Lois, will never stop and each day I bank more and more that the two of us will someday be married. So, Darling, if there is any doubt in your mind please say it now because after we are engaged and something does turn up to cause your mind to change, I know it would send me back to drinking, etc.

Your not the type, Dear, to intentionally string a guy along so please give me your answer. Maybe I’m a bit downhearted this evening because of not seeing you and not hearing from you for so long that I’m worried needlessly. I most truly hope that is the case and a letter from you will cheer me a bit up.

How have you been since I last heard from you, Darling? Still the same sweet little girl I imagine.

Going to turn in now, Lois, even if it is still light out. The train ride up is really tiring. Bye

With All My Love
Art

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Commentary: Well that was a turn I did not see coming! I thought for sure that Art and Lois would have finally gotten to see each other by now and she would be proudly wearing the engagement ring and Art’s heart would be singing with glee at his dreams coming true. Instead, Art is downhearted and fearful that Lois is going to throw in the towel on their relationship out of her own disappointment, but since there are many more letters we must remain hopeful!

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #14

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 21, 1944

Dearest Lois,

Had to write one more letter before leaving for Norfolk. Can’t leave till Tuesday as the trains are full up for Monday. Will push out of here at eight Tuesday morning. Thank God I’m almost on my way. My only worry now is getting to Washington before going to Norfolk. I should be able to as no set time has been put on my orders. Intend wiring you from Chicago when I’ll be there.

Enclosed are a couple of pictures, nothing much but I have a few more that I’ll bring with me. As you know the picture from home came but I figure that it will arrive at your house when I do. The sailor is Thomas Collins, the boy I told you about. He is from Texas and one swell egg.

Went to church this morning and the sermon was very good. The chaplain is a regular fellow, talks in a manner that is highly interesting. He used to be a missionary in Japan and on Thursdays gives talks about it. Went there last Thursday and so help me I never heard a more interesting lecture. Taught us a few words in Jap and a few in writing. Maybe I can teach you them if I remember. One thing that was amusing was the way the Japs write “noise”. They have a sign for words and by putting three of those signs together they have a sign for noise. Naturally I differed a bit on some things he said about what religion could do for the Japs but his viewpoint is strictly on the Holy side.

Two beautiful letters came for me Saturday. Seemed like the old times again.

Gosh, Honey, I know how you must have felt when your Mother left. Kind of tough when the partings come. But then you aren’t so far away from her and when I get there we’ll go down and visit the Folks.

Darling, as yet I don’t know about the furlough just have to report into Norfolk and then I’ll know. Do hope so, Honey, as it sure would help things along. Dearest, you sure say the sweetest things in your letter because love simply beams out of me. Must beam out of me as my buddies all kid me about it while I’m reading your letters. Honey being engaged to you is going to make the happiest and proudest guy this side of heaven. Always keep thinking the thought, you’ll change your mind the next time I see you. Seems as though I’m in one of the perfect dreams and scared to death of waking up. If this is all just a dream I hope I never wake up.

The letter your mother wrote was awfully sweet. Think she will be swell just by the letter. Maybe after I meet her, your Mother can then tell how crazy we are about each other. Her wish for you is also my wish Lois, anything so long as your going to be happy.

My curiosity is really aroused after that last letter. About that dream I swear better be good or else, cause my interest is inflamed now. Myself I never dream. Practically die every night (I don’t move) but before I go to sleep think about you and me and plan different things.

Well, Darling, last letter till I see you again, should be the latter part of the week. God, I can hardly believe it now. In my arms again and heaven sure can wait. Will be traveling across country as fast as I can. Next stop Washington!

Love and Kisses
Art

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Commentary: Well here we are! These two have only met 2 short months ago. They have not seen each other more than a month and the last letter from Art is heading to Lois and Art expects to be in Washington by the end of the week! They will get to go ring shopping and become engaged and it is sure to be exciting! I am hoping we get to hear all about it since I still have many, many more letters to read. I guess that’s our foreshadow that new orders are likely around the corner for Art to report elsewhere.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #13

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

Dearest Lois,

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
Art

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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