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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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #12

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)

Dearest Lois,

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,
Art XXXX

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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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #11

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, May 9, 1944

Dearest Lois,

Two beautiful letters from you today. All your letters have been swell but these two I believe top everything. Gave me a much better footing, Darling, only hope my last letter didn’t change anything. Really regret writing that one but now all I can do is wait and hear for your reply. Has me quite a bit worried.

Yes, dear, I did go to church when at home. Believe I went regularly until high school was over. Then after, you know, I went into the service. Don’t blame the service, Honey, as the service encourages church. Simply a fault of my own.

Lois, Honey, think it will be better if you get the ring. Will be in Norfolk for sure the 27th and we can go out that weekend and buy it. It would be nice if you were to take a look at a few rings now, Honey, so when we get together you’ll be sure of the type you want. That’s all I care about is whether you’re happy with it or not.

This is a straight as I can possibly can get it Lois. We will be in Norfolk for at least four to five months. After that, Darling, we’ll we just don’t know. Maybe we’ll stay on the east coast longer or maybe a boat trip is in order. Hope not and it doesn’t seem likely, but this Marine Corps does funny things. Remember how sure I was that I’d see you that following weekend? Well, you know how I felt.

Here is something else that I’m depending on. I am due for a 15-day leave this year. My furlough was only for the past two years. I get fifteen days a year and I’m going to try like heck to get them. Boy, seventh heaven if I get them. Really could get somewhere couldn’t we Darling?

Lois, I’ll never go back to drinking, believe me, not as long as I have you. Hurting you Darling would be spiting the world. Never would think of it so, Lois, you can rest assured of that.

If yours truly does get that fifteen day leave we’ll be married right away. What do you say Honey? We could then have a short honeymoon. Would be something until the next thirty day leave.

Yes, Lois, think it would be best if we discussed things together instead of by mail. Sometimes words in letters can be taken wrong. etc. We really have a lot to talk over and lots of things to do. But the first thing I’m going to do is collect a few of those mail kisses. Owe me quite a few now.

My middle name is, and don’t call me it, “Henry”. Trouble with names is you don’t have much say about it at the time they are given. My serial number is 348754 and what may I ask did you want it for? Maybe curiosity, huh?

Quite a collection of nicknames you have. The best of the lot, to me anyway, is “Little One”. Would you like to know why? Well, when I was younger used to listen to a radio program, more less a love story (Don’t tell a soul). The fellow always called the girl, “Little One”, and I think about that program every time I call you “Little One”. The story was almost parallel with us two.

Hun, my head has swelled two inches since you told me what the girls said. Honestly don’t know, I just try to act as nice as the company I’m keeping.

Night, Darling, will write tomorrow. Hope I can get you out of my mind until my lessons are done. Remember me to the girls.

With Love Always,
Art XXXXXXX

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Question: What movie did Art watch that seemed parallel to his situation with Lois? Why would a man need to feel shame and keep it a secret that he enjoyed a “Love Story”? Did we only sell the love story to women and the war story was sold to men? My how far we’ve come in such little time!!

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #10

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 7, 1944

Dearest Lois,

It is a nice warm day here in California and your truly is out sunning himself while writing the letter. Have actual proof of that for we took pictures. They’ll be ready about Wednesday so maybe I’ll be able to send them this week. The picture from home hasn’t arrived but I’m expecting it any mail call.

Went on liberty last night for the first time and had a fairly good time considering my “Little One” wasn’t with me. Had for company a couple of swabbies. They are in my class and are swell fellows. Went to a show and then bowling. To tell the truth, I did have a couple of drinks while bowling. Nothing serious, mind you, just thirsty while bowling. One thing I’ll never do Darling, is lie to you. I hope you don’t mind too much, Honey, as it was the first time in so long. Not that I craved it just had to be sociable with the boys. Cannot wait now to see what you say, bet my ears will start burning.

Lucky to get your May 4th letter today. Some fellow spotted it in the mail offices and got it for me. Don’t usually get mail on Sundays but the fellows know your name and also know how important those letters are to me.

Darling, prepare yourself for another whack and this hurts me to tell you as I promised you. Darn it all, I simply slept in this morning. Could have lied to you but as I said before don’t care to do that. Yes, I missed going to church again and I ought to have my head examined. I did talk with the chaplain a few minutes ago. He was across the way also sunning himself and he came over to us. He started asking us questions, etc. and finally gave us a little talking to, in a very nice way of course, but it hurt nevertheless. Boy, am I going to catch heck in the next letter!

Gosh, Honey, to hear your in love with me really sets me on fire. God, I hope nothing changes after this letter. Darling, wish I were there now so I could tell you my love. Writing about it hasn’t that certain something. Next time I’ll say those three important words with some feelings. Should be able to as I’ve been practicing it often enough. Keep saying it to your picture. I love you, I love you until those words are forever in my mind.

I’m afraid I don’t know that Dr. Lois, but my sister probably does as she was a nurse there for a while. Will ask her in my next letter. That other boy, Artie Scott, is a stranger also, gets a number of men in a division.

Start electrical course tomorrow. Don’t think I’ll like it as I never did like electricity. Hope I do okay.

Everything alright with you, Darling? Must have been when you wrote that last letter as the mood of it was mighty happy. Hope a letter comes soon with a few answers to a letter I sent you. Will write again tomorrow Lois, so will say bye for now. Take care, Honey, and it won’t be long now!

With Love Always XXX,
Art

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Question 1: Included in the envelope with this letter is a piece of what looks like photograph paper from back in the day. I would love to know does this vintage photograph paper have any value? I looked on the internet and e-bay and there is nothing. Zilch. Is it a one of a kind artifact of photography left from that era? To me the value is priceless. It is something that I will cherish because it passed between them and pictures are clearly important to both of them. I also love photography and appreciate it’s worth so much!

Conclusion: Well, it appears that Art broke not just one promise to Lois but two. He touched the “stuff” alcohol but it seems as if that was a harmless act and he was only trying to fit in with the fellows and be sociable and it was nothing serious as he says. However, he also broke the promise to go to church because he slept in after his night out with the fellows.

It sounds as if Art’s conscience is really bothering him and he is looking for freedom from guilt by attempting to be outright honest with Lois, which I respect about him. Dishonesty is something I also cannot stand and I would rather be truthful at all costs.

I find it no coincidence that a Chaplain should happen to be sunning himself in the same area and be a presence gnawing at Art’s conscience some more. As if that was not enough to see the Chaplain looming across the way, he addressed the boys and gave them a moral discussion which made Art feel even more pain for his actions. The silver lining is… despite Art’s broken promises and critical thoughts about himself, he was able to see outside of himself and acknowledged the kindness of the Chaplain who delivered the message.

We can learn something from Art about his feelings and the interaction with the Chaplain. If we want people to feel how their actions impact us, we must deliver the messages in a kind way. They will hear it and feel it in a way that reaches them deeper. It is in reaching such depths that change can actually occur… the very change we desire. We just have to be patient and wait for them to process our words and their own feelings about our messages.

This is a Hard thing for us to do because we live in a world where most “things” we want, we can have fairly quickly but people are not “things” and we need to give them Time to Heal from their own actions or inactions. The world is in the process of healing from a great deal of pain right now. Let us all have patience with each other and deliver our messages nicely.

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Lover Letters to Lois By Art

Love Letters to Lois by Art: Letter #9

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 5, 1944

My Dearest Lois,

Your honey is feeling just taps this evening. Two letters from you today, really Honey, the pick-up those letters have. Come in from physical training dog tired but when a letter from you arrives that tired feeling simply disappears. All smiles until the sandman calls.

Haven’t written for the past few nights and am sorry Darling but it really was impossible. Had so much work to cover and because one of the nights yours truly fell asleep while studying. Had my book open studying, then my mind wandered to you and next thing I know somebody was awakening me up to go to bed.

Think I’ll start another letter Sunday afternoon. Quite an interesting letter by the way.

Darling, from the sound of your letters, I don’t think you want to be married so soon. Maybe your being the wise of the two of us. I’m so very sure Dearest, that your the one and only and I’d give anything to have you as my own. Lois if you want to be engaged for awhile in order to give you more time to know me better I’m willing, have to be I guess. We’ll be together in Washington quite some time when I get back there so things will work out and besides we can talk about us better when we’re together again. Wish I was on my way now but it won’t be long now.

You bet, Honey, when I do get there we’ll go down and meet your folks. Hope I pass the test!

The Sunday letter cost me quite a mailing but I loved it. You see, Lois, when I read your letters I usually climb up on my bunk and read it. When I tore the letter open didn’t notice the kisses on the back sides. Then I was reading the first page when the boys caught side of the back side. Practically was mobbed by the fellows trying to take the letter away. Finally had to compromise by showing them the back side. Was my face red! Gee “tanks”, Honey, sure was one swell letter.

One of the two letters that came today had a picture of you in it. Well, just what I needed to send home but it’s going to be coming right back as I need it. Have to have that pretty little face of yours in my wallet. Thanks, my Sweet, hope I can send you some very soon. A picture from home should be here tomorrow or the next day. Took a picture today with my camera right after P.T. in my trunks. Will take some more for sure Sunday.

Glad to hear you can stand my letters Lois. And what may I ask is wrong with your letters? Darn it, Honey, I love each and every one of them so don’t let me hear you say one more word about them.

Darling, I’ll be in the States for awhile yet as I only came back in January. And besides we will be on the east coast for some time. We are going to practice instructing for awhile first.

Haven’t any set plans Lois, the first and only thing I’m thinking about is getting back to Washington. After that, well, we can plan together.

Hope I get back in time to see that play of yours at work. Bet I’d get quite a kick out of seeing you on stage. When is it going to take place?

So you took a day off. Don’t blame you, Honey, the monotony of your job must be hard. From your letters don’t think you like the job.

The new department sounds pretty good. All those pillows, him should be nice and comfortable. Have to try it out and what say? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you were fixing up our home, gosh, that would be something. You’d make a perfect wife I know Lois. Maybe I make the grade yet, huh?

You had me wrong on that bar situation Honey. I was buying for the fellows, so help me. I’ve been a “good boy” since leaving Norfolk, and feel so much the better for it. No little thanks to you. That kiss in the last letter was perfect even had to try it. If it only were you Lois!

Field day this evening. Sweep, clean the walls, windows, etc. Have to hurry this letter to a close as my presence has been asked for. No nice way either but then I should give a darn.

Say hello to the girls and here’ s hoping Alice will be home soon.

Bye, Darling, will be writing again tomorrow night. Your Honey thinks about you always.

With All My Love,
Art XXX

Questions, Conclusions and Commentary

Question 1: Art continues to mention Alice. As stated previously, Art is stationed in a fake camouflaged city known as Wonderland. At the end of several of his letters, he mentions Alice. Apparently Alice is not doing so well and has been gone awhile. I would like to know who this Alice is that Lois writes about and that Art continues to provide supportive loving thoughts of. I remain hopeful that I will be able to connect the dots in future letters.

Conclusion: It sound as if Lois is dealing with feelings of doubt about marrying Art. I can infer from the letter reading that she has two concerns. The first is that Art might have given up his promise to stay away from “the stuff” alcohol. He corrects her on this and reassures her only bought the fellows beers. I recall in the previous letter he owed the boys beers on account of losing the bet on the engagement because she accepted. Second, it appears Lois also was plagued with feelings about doubt about Art being shipped off overseas. Art has the answer to alleviate all of her worries. I admire him for not being disappointed upon hearing this and still remaining hopeful.

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