Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am quite well, safe and live fairly comfortably

March 1, 1945

My Darling Gene,

I received two very sweet letters from you this morning. I should have gotten them yesterday but the mail was late so I might even be so fortunate as to get another from you tonight. Today's letters were posted the 18th and 20th so I received them in pretty good time, but I think I am still missing quite a few. Apparently I am missing the one where you told me about changing jobs. You just go on talking about it as though I know. Why did you quit Bullocks? Are you working for Louis permanently or just temporarily? Do you like it better? What was the reason, etc. etc? I am all full of questions, but I suppose I'll be getting the missing letter one of these days that will settle my mind.

Perry, about 14, on his "Sears Bluebird"
bicycle that he got for Christmas
Again I mention how I liked those pictures and the fact that you had them taken just for me and was thinking of me when they were taken gives them all the more meaning and makes them even more precious to me. It surely does look like a nice, pleasant day and just right for a bicycle ride. You keep that in mind because we will surely have to take one and maybe lots of them sometime. I really like it myself. I've told you how I used to ride around so much with Clyde.

Guess you think I was kind of funny being so curious about the way you were filling out. After all, you are my wife and I love you so very much. I just want to know all about you, that's all. Darling, I wish I knew and could tell you how long before I will be able to come back. I guess you know about as much about that as I do. I guess that will depend on how the war goes because I don't think there is much chance of me coming back until it is over. There are a lot who have been out here a lot longer than I have. Don't worry about my welfare though, sweetheart. I am quite well, safe and live fairly comfortably. The things that I miss most of all are you, and as you said, "the things that come by true love." That is the reason I could never be reconciled to this kind of a life.

Darling, I haven't (as yet) received the little package you said you had sent. I think I will probably receive it yet so don't think it is lost. I don't think you had better send any more packages at least until (or if) the parcel post service improves. I guess we will just have to wait for some of those things until I come back. There are a lot of things we will have time to catch up on then. No, darling, and I don't think I will ever want to be out of your sight again either.

That is surely strange about you losing one of the diamonds out of your wedding ring, but what is even more strange is that you found it the way you did--it was so small. I surely hope none of the others come out.

Say, you must be getting pretty "hep" in your voice lessons. High 'e' sounds pretty good to me. I think instead of singing duets, I think I will have you sing just for my personal entertainment. I'm so selfish, I couldn't share you with the public, ha, ha!

My darling, I sincerely love you with all my heart and think only of the day when I can return to you and do and build those things which we have both dreamed of and prayed for. I love you my dearest. Yours, Perry

March 2, 1945

My dearest Perry,

I too, have skipped a couple of days without writing you, sweetheart. Like you, I can't seem to write a very good letter without having one from you. They mean so much to me. Dear heart, I miss you so very much and long so for your return. I even dream of that day. I wonder if it will be day or night when you will come back to me and whether I will be at home or at work, awake or asleep. I think and dream of it so often. It just must happen sometime soon--somewhere there in the near future.

Darling, you're going to have a deliriously happy wife on your hands when you get here, but she won't and just can't be very happy till then. Oh, Perry, it's my constant prayer--your return. Then, darling, I have another yearning, but it's because of you and because I love you so. I want to bear children of you, Perry. Oh Perry, it's true. I crave so for a child, our child. How long must I wait for this? I hope it is not too long.

Guess it is I who have opened my heart to you this time. But I shall always want too, Perry. I'll always share my innermost thoughts with you. It is a promise we have made to each other and I shall always want it this way too.  Today I received your dear letters of the 24th of February and it is only the 2nd of March. They come so quickly to me. It distresses me so to see how long it takes my letters to reach you. I wish it were you receiving them so promptly, but then what would I do. Oh, sweetheart, only know that you are always with me, on my mind no matter what, and the most important thing in life to me.

Work goes on as usual down at the shop. We completed quite a bit of work this week. We made about $34 a piece. Guess that's not so bad. Evelyn and Alden came down for a visit day before yesterday. They were headed for a movie. How good to see them together! They are so much in love. But I know their love is no greater than ours.
Gene with 3 of Perry's sisters and mother,
holding baby Linda

Perry, I had the nicest letters from your mother and father yesterday. Your mother is so sweet. I am so anxious to meet them. And in all sincerity, I want to say I love them already. Like you and I, Perry, your mother is making plans and thinking of the near future when you and I will be going to Utah. She says she is so enjoying these thoughts of what we shall all do.

I'm already anxiously looking forward to your next letter and hope by that time you have had more of mine and maybe received a package too and also the pictures I sent of me. Your little wife is pretty sleepy now. Must go to bed. Tomorrow is Saturday and I promise you a letter for that day too, my husband. I love you Perry. Always yours, Gene

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The mail is the main thing I look for

February 27, 1945
Morning before work

My sweetheart Perry,

Yesterday I received your letters of the 14th and the 16th. I was quite saddened at the fact that you had not received any mail. Darling, I do hope that by this time you have had lots of letters. And please take good care of yourself, sweetheart. Have you had that tooth pulled? I hope it doesn't bother you anymore. Oh, Perry, I too dream about all those sweet times when we were together and look forward so eagerly to our future together.

Yesterday Viola and I didn't start our work very early so we worked till past 6:30 last night before going home. We have started another new batch of work again. I surely do enjoy my work there. Tonight is mutual at the ward again. There will be a program and everyone will vote for one of the girls who are running for queen for this year. I sort of think Avenalle Richards will get it.

(Lunch time) My sweetheart, you are so good to me. Today I received two more letters from the 19th and 20th. Mother came downtown and brought them over to me. Then for those few minutes as I read them, I am there with you dearest. It's like looking at you thru a little window. I can see you so plainly and all that you are doing. But then, of course, it must always come to an end, and the curtain is drawn across the window, and I wait for the next day to come to have another glimpse of you.

Yes Perry, your letters do mean so much to me. I too get the blues when there is no word from you. I am so thankful that I get your letters so often. Yes, darling, everything goes on about the same at the apts as when you left. Mother and I most often sit and read or listen to the radio and many times write letters long after Dad has gone to bed. He goes to bed early and gets up early to be off to work. Yes, his stomach is much better now. He is quite back to normal again.

(Evening. Home again) I really thought I would get this letter off to you this morning. But I'm glad I didn't cause I've had such wonderful letters from my sweetheart today and just must tell you how deeply happy you have made me feel. Oh dearest Perry, you express your thoughts so beautifully. Your letters are so perfect. Tonight when I came home I found your letter of the 18th waiting for me. Sweetheart, it was such a wonderful letter. It brought tears to my eyes, but darling, they were happy tears. It was such a comforting letter. You surely do write your thoughts and I love you so much for sharing them with me.

Perry, I am so glad you feel so at ease and natural in being able to tell me all that is in your dear heart and soul. Thank you, sweetheart. Oh Perry, you are so dear to me, so precious. What a lucky girl I am to have such a wonderful husband. I love you so. I am so anxious to get this letter off to you but think I can not do it justice. Mother is hurrying me cause I have to eat and hurry over to mutual for the program. I just can't be rushed when I'm writing you a letter.

I'll make a date with you, darling, tonight when I come home from the mutual program. I will be alone, will go in the kitchen, sit at the table and write you another letter. I will be able to think better then. Is that ok with you? If I mail this now before 8:00 tonight, it will be picked up and postmarked tonight. Please forgive me for not being able to finish now. Dearest Perry, I miss you so. Your loving wife, Gene

February 27, 1945, bedtime

Dearest sweetheart Perry,

Well, here I am for our date--all alone--sitting at the kitchen table. I have all of your letters spread before me here on the table and I feel you are here with me now, and I can really almost see you while I am reading those dear, sweet letters. Oh dear heart, I do wish you could receive my mail as often and regular as yours comes to me. Two yesterday and three for today. I'm just the luckiest girl in this whole world. I only hope and pray that I can always be worthy of such wonderful blessings that are ever being showered upon me.

Perry, I'm glad that the letter where I scolded you for not writing came late to you cause I felt so bad about it when I found all those letters from you. That's why I cried so at that time, and I prayed you wouldn't get it. Guess the Lord truly guided it. Perry, each letter I write you I say a little prayer at its finish that it might find its way to you safely and quickly as possible. So I just know you'll get all your letters ok, Perry.

Well, we got to mutual and they had some wonderful little playlets tonight too. So many interesting things happened. Perry, you will never guess who was there when I walked into class. I was so surprised. There sat Evan and Evelyn and Alden. Yes, they are back from Arizona--drove in sometime today. I have really missed Evelyn. I was so happy I hugged them all and Evie put her arms around me and kissed me. Oh Perry, it was so wonderful seeing those two together married and so in love and happy, but it made me long so for you and envy them for it. Oh dearest, I wanted so to have you there by my side too. It seems they have just come back to get settled in a place here (don't know where they will be living) then Alden and Evan are going back to Arizona to finish the work they have there.

Then another surprise for the evening--just guess who was voted in as queen! Just guess! Well, I thought Avenall had it, but when the votes were counted, Ferris Kent was the winner. I'm glad for her. I wasn't disappointed. She really didn't expect it either and was so startled and speechless. But I was sorry for Avenalle cause she did expect it. They said the votes were all close tho. It was pouring down rain when we started to go home, so Alden and Evie insisted on taking Mother and me home. So "all's  well that ends well." It certainly was an interesting evening.

Oh my dearest Perry, please don't worry about your letters not pleasing me. (Yes, I promise you if I don't like any of your letters, I'll let you know.) But sweetheart, I also know that will never happen. Don't you know I love your letters and all that you have to say. There is nothing about them to dislike, sweetheart. They are just you and you are so precious to me. You write such wonderful letters, Perry.

Darling, I don't think I put on any weight but guess I must be fill out. You, there was another comment made. It was Viola this time. The other day I was stretching and then pulling my sweater down. She looked at me and grinned, then said, "Zion is growing" in a sort of a solemn, surprised tone. That was an odd remark, wasn't it?

Mother had a letter from Dick today too, also from Pierce. I'm glad that you can hear from Dick too. He enclosed some snapshots he had taken when he and some other fellows got a few days off and went sightseeing. They visited the Gaza pyramids and were in Ciro too. Guess he is really seeing some pretty interesting things.

Oh Perry, I love you for wanting only to write those kind of letters that will make me feel better and happier, and sweetheart, your letters do accomplish just that--please believe me. Dearest, your prayers are my very own prayers and thoughts too. Your thoughts are expressed so beautifully here. They bring tears to my eyes. Oh how I would have loved to be there near you waiting on you "hand and foot." And there certainly would be no insisting to get me to kiss you, my husband. In fact, you would likely find yourself being smothered with my kisses. Oh, if only I could prove it--just reach out right now and give you the best kiss and embrace you've ever received. But I'll make it up, you mark my word.

I must go to bed now, dearest, for it is late. Sweet dreams. I love you Perry. Forever yours, Gene

P.S. Perry, here is a little card that came in the mail today too. I know they are your friends of your missionary days. I would send them a card but haven't their address.

Feb. 27, 1945

My Darling Wife,

No mail today, but perhaps tomorrow will treat me better. After all, I did get two letters from you yesterday, both written the same day, with the pictures, so I guess that can last me for a little while. I keep looking at those pictures over and over again. For some reason, I can't look at them enough. I keep saying to myself over and over, "and she is my wife." I can tell you it is surely a nice thing to think about.

It was so sweet and thoughtful of you to send the cookies. I can almost taste them now. I suggest though that you don't send anymore packages until I let you know when and in what shape I receive these. So far we have hardly received any packages on board at all. I have told you how the mail service is, so you can imagine how much longer it would take to receive a package. I'll let you make up for lost time when we get out of the Navy and you can start cooking and baking for me in earnest. A pleasant thought, eh?

Sounds like you are really having some pleasant weather back in California. As for me, I think I would like to try out some good old Utah winters again. I think it would be quite pleasant to have my nose, fingers and ears tingling again and that always pleasant sensation of coming out of the crisp cold atmosphere into the warm and cheerful house. What do you say we try it sometime? Now that is really ironical, me talking about cold weather like that when right now the perspiration is just pouring off of me. We have our cool moments too though. It rains at least five times a day here.

Perry's parents, Leona and Elmer Manwaring
with grandchildren from Perry's older sisters
I still don't have anything done about my tooth. I was supposed to have a picture taken of it but haven't as yet. It feels fine now, for the time being anyway. I would just as soon it would stay in. Darling, I must take time yet tonight to write to my folks. they have had to kind of take a back seat in regards to my affections and letter writing, but I try to keep up on all of them.

God bless you, my love. I love you so very much. You are always in my heart and foremost in my thoughts. Yours alone, Perry


Feb. 28, 1945

Hello My Darling Wife,

Must warn you before hand that this will have to be short, but I just couldn't go to bed without telling you how much I love you. By doing so, I think it will make my dreams much sweeter. Oh my love, do you really realize how much I love you? I wish I were able to adequately express it. You have really grown dearer to me all the time and will continue to do so for all eternity.

No mail again today. It is a good thing there is always a tomorrow. The mail is the main thing I look for, mail with those familiar envelopes and handwriting. Is it odd that I should long so much for every word from someone so precious and sweet.

Darling, don't think all this is superfluity because it is direct from the heart--though it doesn't easily find expression in words. I love you for what you are and what you are making of me. Yours, Perry

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'll have to "go to bed so I can get up"

February 25, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

Well today was another Sunday. I haven't been feeling so hot with this cold so stayed in and slept most of the day. And of all things, we had an unexpected caller this afternoon. I had my robe on and was reclining on the couch with a blanket over me. Mother and Dad were both reading when we heard a knock on the door. Mother went to the door and there stood a good looking dark-haired marine. (Oh darling, how I wish it could have been you.)

He said his name was Harold Fast. Well Perry, it turned out to be one of my cousins that none of us have seen for several years. We had a nice visit with him. Dad was especially glad to see him as he is Dad's youngest brother's boy. He told us he had been in the South Pacific for two years and has just had a 36-day furlough. His home is near Princeville, Illinois (where Emily is) so he had just seen all our folks. He is to be stationed at a marine base near San Diego. Mother and Dad have invited him to come up and spend a weekend with us if he gets off any time.

Perry, I would like very much to go to the Gold and Green Ball. Would you let me go?--with my cousin as an escort?--if he can get that weekend off? It's on March 17th. I will not go without your permission, dearest husband. I promise to obey you always.

Yesterday Viola and I worked till noon to finish our work. Then we went to a movie. It was a technicolor picture called "A Song to Remember" with Paul Muni and Merle Oberon. Oh Perry, you must see it. It's about the life of Frederick Chopin. His beautiful music is played throughout the picture. It thrilled me so and I longed for you to be there beside me enjoying it with me. Oh how I would love to see it again with you. Dearest Perry, I long so for the days when we will be together for always. Without you, my life is so incomplete.

I mailed your cookies in a tin box. Thought maybe they would keep better in that kind of container. Do you think you could send it back to me, Perry--or could you use it? Wish I could mail these little chains to you too, but can find no Dupont's glue as yet.

I have mailed some pretty little figurines (finally) to your three sisters in Logan. I hope they will like them. They all have birthdays next month, haven't they? I must find some pretty birthday cards. Now I look eagerly forward to tomorrow in hopes I might have a letter or letters in the mail from my lover. Goodnight my husband. I love you. Gene

Feb. 25, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Here it is Sunday and I haven't had much to do except think of you and that I have done plenty of. What do you do on Sundays now anyway? I know what you used to do, but now things are different. Your husband is away, and your best girl friend is married. Do you still have enough things to do to keep you interested and from getting blue.

This afternoon I caught up on some badly needed sleep, and I dreamed I was back in LA and you and were up on the roof of the apartment again viewing the scenery or something. Just got word today that a ship around here holds LDS services. I surely wanted to go, but it was too far away to take a boat. [Perry is currently stationed in the Philippines.] I'm hoping we might get closer later on. I might even run into a few old friends.

I looked through the letters you sent me, and now I have one for nearly every day consecutively up to Feb. 1st. It's funny the way they come to me, but they are very precious to me just the same. Darling, you are so sweet and faithful to write me the way you do, just as you said. But they do mean so much to me. They are the thing I look for during all the while I am awake. Nothing ever quite so good happens to me out here as to get one of your letters.

You have quite an influence over me, something that no one else has ever had. It is only you who can make me happy. Do you see now why I look so much for each letter and why I long for that day when we can be together again? Did you realize you held such an influence over me? Will it always be that way? Well, I guess I will just have to admit that that is all because I love you so much, and guess I had always better do all I can to keep you loving me or else I will be very unhappy indeed.

It seems strange one could be so happy, yet I know I was completely happy every moment we were together. That very thought is one of the most comforting things I have to think about--that is to know I have someone so sweet and lovely waiting for me and preparing for the day when this mess is all over. We will have a really "super-duper" honeymoon then, won't we?

Well my sweetheart, I must write a couple more letters and I don't have very much more time before I must go on watch. In the meanwhile, darling, before I can write you again, I'll be thinking of you and I have a prayer in my heart for us always. I love you very, very much. Always yours, Perry

Feb. 26, 1945

My Darling Wife,

It is rather late, but I must write you while I am in the mood. And do you know why I am so much in the mood? Because I received two very sweet letters from the one I love so much. They were the ones with the pictures. I was so surprised to see your picture in the heart of that Valentine. It almost took my breath away, as you would say. You are pretty clever, I would say. I love you so much because it seems you are always getting clever ideas--ideas to express your love.

Before I get off the subject though, I must tell you how I liked the pictures. They were really super. The one was really quite glamourous but so sweet. They looked just like you. Now I will have some new ones to keep looking at every day. The one of you sitting in that familiar spot surely did bring back memories. I often recall that night and sometimes it seems nearly as real as it did then, but then I have an empty feeling to awake and know I have been dreaming. I hope you will be able to send me a few more pictures occasionally. I love them so very much because it helps me to visualize you more clearly and see you as you are back there waiting so patiently for me. That is what makes life worth living and keeps me hoping and praying.

I gather from your letters that you must be working for that Sorenson fellow again. (His name has slipped my mind for the moment.) You mention about painting dolls, etc., with Viola. Guess that letter hasn't reached me yet. I'm very curious to know how, why and when. I am glad that my letters are coming to you fairly regularly though. And I am going to do all I can to keep them coming just as regular as possible.

Perry with his parents and three of his sisters,
Hope Williams, Hazel Hilbig & June Andreasen
I liked what you said about how much fun it would be if we (you, my sisters, and I) could all sing together. But why did you say maybe? I promise you that will be a reality because that is the way we spend a lot of our time when we are together. And someday you and I are going to sing a duet publicly, even if I have to engineer it myself.

Today I also received my first copy of the Improvement Era your mother and father got me. It was the December issue. Now I am going to have some good reading material to last me for a while. I'm surely glad it came at last. They couldn't have given me a better present. I surely thank them.

Well my darling, I guess I'll have to "go to bed so I can get up" as my dad always said. I suppose he is still saying it. I love you with all my heart, my darling. Every letter I receive from you convinces me of what a fortunate man I am to have such a sweet wife. I love you truly sweetheart. Yours Always, Perry

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dearest husband, you are so thoughtful and so good to me.

Feb.  20, 1945

Hello My Love,

Here I am again trying once more to transfer my thoughts of you on paper. You should be getting my mail quite regularly now. I hope so because I know it helps a lot. I'm hoping I might get a sweet letter from you yet today. I sometimes wonder if even you realize how much your letters mean to me. I never thought mail could mean so much. I wait all day for your letters and then it only takes a few short minutes to read them. But then I go back and read them over and linger over each word. I am always so grateful for those few moments of happiness and the memory is always there.

That sounds like a foolish child, doesn't it? Maybe it is and maybe I ought to control myself more, especially since I do admire manliness so much. I want you to promise me one thing--that you will always tell me if you don't like any of the letters I write. If you don't tell me, how will I ever know what makes you the happiest and how will I declare my love to you. I am really serious, Gene. Will you promise? When I am with you, I can always tell what pleases you, but when I am so far away, I can never know unless you tell me.

Are you still picking up weight and filling out because you are married and in love? Are comments still being made? You may think me very silly, but I did like that letter so much. I like everything you tell me about you. Guess it's just my natural pride in my wife. I hope you will send me the pictures soon.

Gene with her parents, Los Angeles, California
Do things still go on the same at the Laurel Apts? Does your father still get up before any of you and go to work? Do you and your mother still go to bed late at night? How is your father's stomach? Who does he talk politics with now? I often dream of the time I will come walking in that door again and surprise everybody, and the day I can tell you to pack your things, we are going back to Utah.

Well, guess I must stop this dreaming and get back to the world of reality. Please write me long letters and tell me all about you and everything you think and do. All my love, Perry

February 23, 1945

My dearest Perry,

Today I received the sweet Valentine letter you wrote on the thirteenth. I considered your most important question with all seriousness--Yes, darling, I will be your Valentine. Dear valentine, where are you? I want to seal that with a kiss.

Oh, my darling, I love you so. And I love you for writing to me so often even when you do not get my letters, for I know it must be hard to write when you have not had a letter for sometime. Dearest husband, you are so thoughtful and so good to me. I hope I can ever be deserving of it all. I pray each night for your safety and that you might receive my letters and my love. Darling, I have sent you a tin box of cookies and some fudge candy which I made. Tell me when you receive it. I hope you will find it ok. Perry, the candy isn't as good as it could have been. I was quite disappointed in it.

Gene with her brother
Pierce Fast
I also had a letter from Evelyn today, (they are still in Arizona) and a package from Emily. It was a handmade leather wallet from Dick in Africa. Mom had a v-mail letter from Pierce. He didn't write much, said he was sending me something for my birthday too. Golly, between my loving husband and thoughtful brothers, I feel like quite a popular and important little person.

Tonight Mother and Dad and I went over to the ward. It was a special musical program of outside talent. It was a lovely program, several singers, an organist and another who gave a reading. Perry, remember the show we saw in San Diego that had the pretty music all through it? Remember the song "Boy of Mine"? I liked it so well. There was a woman soprano who sang it tonight so beautifully.

It will soon be two months since I kissed you goodbye, sweetheart. Times flies, but it seems like it's been two years that you've been away. I want the time to take wings so that it might seem like tomorrow that you will be here with me again. Oh, I wish I knew where you were and what you are doing and when you are coming back to me. Guess I sound awful inquisitive and impatient, but Perry, I just love you so much and I want to feel like I'm really your wife. I won't feel like that tho till you are with me and we have our own place and then our children. Oh, how wonderful that will be.

Will mail this to you now. Hope you get it soon. All my love, your wife, Gene
1941 in Washington DC
Gene with brother Dick

Feb. 24, 1945

My Darling Wife,

I have been waiting it seems so long for another letter from you and today one finally trickled through. It was dated January 23. It was so sweet, but then why shouldn't it be because it was just like you. I hardly think I am deserving of so many fine things you say about me, but only because they come from you do I accept them--with a little salt of course because I'm afraid you might have just a slight tendency to be just a little bit prejudiced.

Guess I've slipped up for a few days on my letter writing, but I kept thinking maybe I will get a letter from her tomorrow and then I can write a good letter. Yesterday I made an attempt, but finally tore it up because I thought you were deserving of a much better letter than that. I wonder if I am a weakling that I should be this way. I mean, to become rather blue when I go so long without hearing from you, but then I guess it is because only half of me is functioning. You are the other half that gives me inspiration, faith and vitality. Oh my love, I know I can never be happy until I can be with you for always--for eternity.

Every moment I have spent with you was so wonderful, it seems like something only few men even dream about. When I can renew that, as surely we will someday, and will be able to do those few, simple, yet big and wonderful things that we want to do, then why should I ask for heaven to be anywhere else but right here on this earth.

Darling, my heart is full tonight, but it is very late already. But tomorrow is Sunday, and I promise to write many other things I am thinking then. I am rather tired tonight. I worked quite hard today at something new for a change. It was the first typing I have done for ages. Sweetheart, I love you with all my soul. Always Yours, Perry

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I just live from one letter to the next

If Perry could have only known that in 5 short years
he would be the father of three children, I'm sure it
would have brought him a lot of comfort
Feb. 18, 1945

My dear darling wife,

This morning I was discharged from sick bay, at least temporarily. I will probably have my tooth pulled in the morning. I started to write you last night, but my spirits were a little low and thought it best not to write while I was feeling so low, so I got permission to go see the movie. Then last night just before taps, I got two letters, one from Dick and one from you, sweetheart.

I am now finally beginning to get your letters straightened out. The one I received was dated the 18th, the one in which you sorta scold me for not writing more. Doesn't it seem strange that I should receive that letter so late, after all explanations are made and everything is already clear? It almost seems like an act of providence. If I had received it sooner, before your other letter explaining about the missing letters, it would have made me very blue indeed.

As it is, I loved the letter very much because I know you feel the same way I do when I don't hear from you for quite a while. Darling, you still may be missing some of my letters because I have tried to write you nearly every day except when it was impossible, or when I would go for an awful long time without hearing from you. I know you realize too that it is rather difficult to write very good letters when you go so long without receiving any. In such cases, I have skipped a few days occasionally. It is only that when I write you, my dearest, I want it to be a letter that will make you feel better and happier and make you love me more.

Linda enjoying some of her father's
attention. That's cousin David
in the background thinking I'm crazy.
This morning I got out all of your letters back to January 12th and read them all in order. I loved them just as much as when I first read them, maybe more, because they were in the order they were written and made things more coherent. Darling, you write such sweet loving letters. They are so much like you. Sweetheart, they really fill my heart to overflowing. Incidentally, your letter of the 18th, the one I received yesterday, the one you scolded me in, surely did smell fragrant with powder and perfume. Is that the way you tried to sweeten up those words and not make them quite so harsh?? Ha, ha. You little rascal. I now have letters nearly every day from you up to January 30th. I hope from now on they start coming more frequent and more in order.

Darling, as I read your letters over, I could see very plainly how disappointed you were becoming, coming home every night and still no mail from me. I can see why you were so blue, and darling, I love you so very much for missing my letters so much. Know this darling, I am going to write you just as much as I can because I know what it means. And besides that, sweetheart, about the next best thing to receiving letters from you is writing to you. I really do love to write to you, especially if I am hearing from you fairly regularly. It brings me so close to you--sometimes so very close that sometimes I feel you must be thinking the same thoughts with me at the same time.

Summer of 1966, Gene with all six children
 by the Salt Lake City temple
I pray always for you and for us--always for just one thing that soon we might be together again and we can have the things we both want so earnestly, a home, a family and that we can go back to "the mountain of the House of the Lord and He shall teach us of His ways and we shall walk in His Path." I am not trying to be dramatic, but only saying those things which are closest to my heart--things which only you will understand. That is the way you, and only you, effect me my love. It is only you with your love and sweet words who can touch or open the innermost chambers of my heart. That is why I pour my heart and soul out to you like this, like I never have to anyone.

It was a surprise about Raymond Cottom, but I suppose she is about his type. I hope they can make a go of it. It will be good for him. I suppose Evelyn and Alden are an experienced married couple by now. I am happy for them though a little envious that they can be together all the time. but mark my word, for we will make up for every moment lost, won't we? I received a very nice letter from Dick. I surely think he is a swell fellow, so genuine and sincere. In fact, that is the way all of your family is. I surely do think I married into a good family. Others have told me that too.

I hope I don't have to spend much more time in sick bay as it is so easy to become depressed just lying there thinking. One even gets tired reading after a while, you know. I think it would have been quite a lot of fun if you had been there to baby me. You know, to bring me my food, give me my mouth wash, put on my hot packs. I would really call on you to wait on me hand and foot. I would make you tuck me in and even insist you kiss me goodnight. But shucks, here they take all the enjoyment out of being sick. I guess that is so the patients will be more eager to recover.

Well my darling, I see I have written quite a letter here, and that has been almost without effort. I almost hate to stop. I do believe this is the longest letter I have ever written in my life. You see what your letters do to me? Just one letter one month old, and that one a chastisement, inspires me like this. Oh Gene, can't you see what you mean to me, how dear to me, how much I love you? Can't you see that of all persons, you are the dearest and closest to me. Right now I fail in being able to express all that is in my heart.

God bless you my love. Forever your affectionate husband, Perry

Feb. 18, 1945

My Darling,

Thought I would just add a note and tell you that I have just reread my letter and tried to correct the mistakes. What I wanted to tell you is that now I feel quite contented and happy because I have just been writing to you. It gives me such a comforting feeling--a feeling that I am very close to you though thousands of miles apart. Oh sweetheart, do you ever feel this way? I sometimes wonder if you could possibly love me as much as I love you.

You see I don't want to stop writing to my love. This time though I will make a final attempt to close, but my heart and my thoughts will continue to be with you just the same for, "Time nor tide nor things to be can keep my thoughts away from thee." Always Yours, Perry

Feb. 19, 1945

My Darling Gene,

Today I thought again there would be no mail, but I was happily surprised when I received two letters from you. They were postmarked Feb. 1st and Feb. 9th, so I must be missing some in between. I was just reading a novel, a rather passionate one, when someone handed me your letters. I threw the book down quickly and quickly devoured every one of your words. They were so quickly consumed. Then I read them over again. The book I put away with disgust because after reading your letters, I felt as though I didn't want to be taken away into someone else's world. I only wanted to be in a world of reality with you. I don't read many novels, but this was a nobel prize winner so I thought I would read it. The name is "The Patriot" by Pearl S. buck. Have you read it?

I suppose it will depend on what kind of a mood you are in when you receive my letter of yesterday whether you like it or not. Before we were married, it was only seldom that I opened my whole heart and soul up to anybody, and then often to regret it. I almost began to think it a sign of weakness, but for some strange reason, you seem to draw it out of me anyway. It seems I want to tell you all that is in my heart--and of my love for you.

After all the time I spent in California, it is too bad that that earthquake couldn't have happened when I was there. You know I told you I always wanted to know what an earthquake felt like. Darling, I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you to write to. My parents and sisters write me, but their letters don't come very often. Maybe I would be quite lonely, but then I wouldn't have so much to miss either.

Has Virginia decided to marry that Dick Tucker fellow after all? Yes sweetheart, I get the news, and when I was in sick bay I heard some shortwave broadcasts from the states. I'm still waiting about my tooth. I will have to wait until they can take some X-ray pictures of it.

It was just two months ago when we got our little Christmas tree and decorated it. What a glorious time that was. We will have many of them yet in the years to come. But they will even be better because they will be bigger and better and there will be others to share our happiness and love.

I must close now my love, but all my love goes out to reach you. Eternally yours, Perry

February 21, 1945 Wednesday

My dearest Perry,

Today I received another sweet letter from my love. It was dated the 11th. Perry, I just live from one letter to the next. Sometimes they come in a pile and sometimes one at a time, but which ever way it is, it's always the highlight of the day and that week for me--it is the peak of my happiness to have your letters in my hand. Oh darling, I am so thankful and so glad I can receive your letters so often, to know that you are safe and well and thinking of me. I give thanks in my every prayer for this.

Yes, darling, I surely did miss you on my birthday, but oh I miss you every day. No Perry, I don't feel any older. I hope I never do. I wish you could have your wisdom tooth pulled too if it is bothering you. I feel so much better now that mine is out. Darling, can't they help you. Isn't there a doctor? I do hope you can have something done.

Linda, Marian and Dale, 1950, Salt Lake City
Oh darling, what a glorious day that will be when you come back, and I want to live wherever you will live, dearest husband. All I want is to be by your side always.

Viola and I worked till about 5:45 this evening. Then we went to a show. We saw "Thunderhead" (a horse). It was another "Flicka" picture in Technicolor. I hope you get to see it sometime. It takes place in Utah. Perry, the scenery was breathtaking. The mountains and the canyons were so beautiful. Perry, I finally received that colored picture of you from that little print you gave me. Golly, it took over two months to have that made. I like it Perry. It's very good of you despite the shadow. I had two made cause it was cheaper that way. Does your mother have that picture of you? If not, I can send her the other copy. Darling, I have sent you some snapshots of me. Tell me if you get them, ok?

Mother had a card today from Virginia. She and her mother have arrived safely in their hometown Waukegan, Illinois and seem to be enjoying the change. Last night was mutual night, but I skipped it this week and went to bed real early again. I felt so much better for it today too.

Will close for now dearest husband. Hope tomorrow will bring your next letter to me. Always know, sweetheart, that my thoughts are with you each day, and that you are the last of my thoughts each night before I sleep. I love you, my dearest husband, I love you. Forever yours, Gene

Saturday, December 3, 2011

If my letters make you happy, then I am happy

Feb. 14, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Hello Sweetheart. What are you doing now? You would laugh, or at best be surprised, if you could see me now. I am now in the Sick Bay writing this letter. I mentioned before about my wisdom tooth. Well, my jaw started swelling and became infected. Guess the tooth will have to come out as soon as the swelling goes down. I feel sorta silly being in here because I surely don't feel very sick, but the orders are orders. Guess I'll at least get plenty of rest and sleep for the next few days. Also plenty of time to write letters. I hope that pleases you as much as it will me.

This afternoon I already got all the sleep I wanted and did some reading. The rest of the time I was just lying down and thinking of you. Today is Valentines day. Were you lonesome for me sweetheart. I don't want you to be lonesome, but then I do like to be missed. Guess it's just my pride. And did you miss me yesterday, which was our 4th month anniversary. It surely doesn't seem that long does it? If I had been there I would have taken you someplace and we would have done something extraordinary or unusual like the time we went down to Chinatown. Do you remember?

When I get back, we are really going to make up for lost time. Are you game? The war news sounds a little bit better again, so I hope it won't be too long. It seems that everything about war is so unpredictable though. Anyway, all we can do is hope and pray for the best and let God take care of the rest.

It has been four days now since we received any mail aboard at all. The mail service doesn't seem to be so good coming this direction. It makes me mad especially when I know you are writing me nearly every day. I suppose I will be getting it one of these bright sunny days. And that day will really be sunny.

Well darling, I'll write you again tomorrow and if I don't hear from you, I will still keep on writing because there is no need of both of us being deprived. And then it makes me happier to write you anyway because if my letters make you happy, then I am happy. I love you, sweetheart, because of what you are and because you love me. Your affectionate husband, Perry

Feb. 15, 1945

Dearest husband Perry,

I've just gotten back from chorus practice. Mother went over too. Darling, I received three wonderful letters from you today. They were your letters of the 5th, 6th, and 7th. They thrilled me so, Perry, cause you expressed your love for me so sweetly. I loved the way you said you were madly and head-over-heels in love with your wife. I said to myself, "And you're his wife, you lucky woman."

Perry, Daddy took these pictures on my birthday. It was such a warm day that I put on some summer clothes. Does my hair look shorter? I think it looks a little better. I think I've lost a little weight too since I had my tooth pulled, but I shall try to gain it back. Where I am sitting on the wall is where you proposed to me--remember? I was thinking very strongly of you when Daddy took these pictures. I pretended I was looking at you. Now tell me if you get these ok.

I'm sending your cookies this week too--hope you get them. I received a sweet Valentine today from Hazel, Hope and June. Must write them now too. Viola and I are painting little dancers this week, also some horses. We will finish up tomorrow and start a new "batch" of work for next week. Today we worked till about 4:00 pm. Most often we work till 5:00 or 5:30 though depending on what we are painting for the day.

Darling, I surely do wish my letters would reach you in the right order, but I hope you get all of them anyway. Mother had two good letters from Pierce yesterday. It seems to take him ages to receive our mail. We write v-mail and airmail to him.

Guess I should go to bed now. It's getting kind of late. Last night I went to bed real early cause I didn't feel very good. (It's that time of the month, you now.) Yes, sweetheart, I'm still taking my voice lessons (every Monday night.) I haven't started learning any songs yet though. Mother bought me a little book called "Resonance in Singing and Speaking." She's going to get another on "Sight Reading." Hope I can learn something. I want to learn so I can sing with you and maybe join in with your sisters too. Golly, won't that be wonderful to be able to all sing together.

Oh Perry, my dearest, I love you so much. I too pray that the day will come soon and quickly when you will return to me. With all my love dearest husband, Gene

Feb. 16, 1945

My Darling Gene,

Guess I shouldn't say it but I am sorta blue tonight. We got just a little mail aboard yesterday, but I wasn't among the fortunate. Today nobody was lucky and I have been lying here in bed all day thinking of you and hoping I would have a letter from you tonight. So you see, my low spirits aren't entirely without reason. I know that my darling is writing me all the time though and one of these days I will get all of those sweet words you are writing.

I'll surely be glad when I get out of here. I am much happier when I am busy. This gives me too much time to think and my thoughts only make me lonely because I am so far from you. I have read quite a lot since I have been in here but I tire of that too. Eventually I always find my book by my side and I am thinking of you and of such times as the night of last Oct. 13th and 14th and 15th. Then I think of our Christmas before Christmas at your place and then our Christmas in San Diego. Then I think of when we go back to Utah.

I've thought of that so much that I go into every little detail and then wonder if it will all be exactly that way. I suppose psychologists would tell me I don't have very good control of my thinking and I had better control it or it will lead me to a bad case of "dimentia prosecox" or something like that--whatever that means.

One thing this separation should do for us is make us realize how precious our moments are together. It should make us resolve (it has me already) to never let any unkindness or harsh words mar our happiness when we can be together again--together always.

I am almost beginning to believe that unless one has loved and then had to be separated for a while from that love, they have never really loved at all, or else they don't realize how much they do love and how dear someone can be. Darling, I have always loved you and loved every minute we were together, but this separation seems to have magnified it all.

Goodnight for now, sweetheart, and to the one I think of most of all I say, all my love, Perry

Monday, November 28, 2011

Will you be my Valentine?

Perry as a child, Vernal, Utah
February 11, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Today is another Sunday. What were you doing most of the day today, my love? I slept for about four hours today. Do you know I am getting to be quite a "lug-head"? Guess it must be the climate.

Didn't get any mail today so I re-read some of your old ones. Some of them I liked just about as much as when I first read them. I'm saving all the best parts of all of them. How do you feel today? Do you feel a year older? I hope you will tell me all about what you did, if anything special. Did you miss your husband?

10:15 AM Monday. They turned the lights out on me last night before I had a chance to finish this. I didn't realize, my sweet, that we were so close to each other that when you had an illness, I would have the same. Ever since you wrote me about having your wisdom tooth pulled, mine has been bothering me. It's been pretty sore these last few days. I can hardly chew.

I gather from your letters that you are really eager to go back to Utah? That really makes me happy too because that is the first place I want to head for after I am out of the Navy--that is the first place after 2912 S. Flower St. [Los Angeles] I often think and dream of that time when I will come walking in and surprise you like I used to. Do you think you would prefer living in Utah to California? You will be able to decide better after you have been there, but I think you will agree with me.

Since being away from you, my darling, I have decided it isn't so important where we live as long as we can be together. Right now I think "a little hut just built for two tucked away in the heart of a hill," would be heavenly, don't you?

No letter from my love yesterday, but I am eagerly looking forward to those familiar envelopes and handwriting for today. Must close now sweetheart. I must write to my folks. Lovingly Yours, Perry

Gene at 5 months, Milwaukee, Wisconsis
Feb. 13, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Here it is the day before Valentines Day. You have already sent me a very sweet Valentine with the best verse. But the best part of all were the two sweet kisses you enclosed, "mmm mmm". I wish I had something to send you. Gene, I want to ask you a question, and I want you to answer me truthfully and frankly. Now don't be afraid of hurting my feelings but tell me the honest truth. ok? Here it is. "Will you be my Valentine?"--I eagerly wait for a reply.

You should have been getting my mail quite regularly lately. Nearly every day. I wish I were as fortunate. The mail service isn't quite so good coming this way. Don't feel bad about me though because I am well and quite happy--considering. I can never be completely happy until I am with you again though, my love. Your letters do me the most good of anything. You needn't worry about your letters not being interesting to me. I love anything you say. Just tell me all about yourself and all you do. Remember, I am more interested in you than anyone or anything else.

Well, my darling, I must close for now, but I enclose all my love and thousands of kisses. I love you, Perry

Perry's older sister, Genevieve taken
in front of the little log home where
their family farmed in Utah
February 13, 1945

My sweetheart Perry,

I am making cookies for you this week. I hope it won't be long till you can receive them. Darling, have you gotten the little package I sent you yet? Perry, your sister Genevieve wrote me again. I love her so much. And in her letter was four darling little Valentines from the children. Wasn't that sweet of them. I have sent each of them a Valentine too. Floyd wanted a little picture of his Uncle Perry and Aunt Gene, so I found a Valentine to put a snapshot in and sent him one of you and me taken when we bought the Christmas tree, remember?

I also had a long, nice letter yesterday from Emily. I surely wish I could see her. She wrote saying Dick thinks he will be home from North Africa by Christmas 1945. He said he feels sure that they won't be over there much longer. Oh, Perry, isn't that wonderful? I wish it could be that wonderful for us too. But how do I know, maybe it will. Who knows, you may come back sooner. Oh how I dream of your return. It will then be the happiest moment of my life. I love you so very much, my dearest.

Perry, I haven't found any little chains yet to send you. I mentioned it to some of the girls at church Sunday when they asked about you, and Avanelle Richards said she had a little sterling silver chain she wanted me to have. She said she had 3 gold chains and lockets so never wears the silver chain. Wasn't that sweet of her? I shall send it soon as I can find a gold chain too and the glue. I think I know where I can buy one reasonably.

Tonight is Mutual again. They are also going to have a dance with a little orchestra. I will go over and see what it's all about. Saturday night is the "Sweetheart Ball" at the stake center. It's the dance where the girl asks the fellow to go. If you were here, I would surely be asking you to go with me. Would you accept?? You'd better say, "Yes." Maybe next year I'll be able to ask you, huh?

Oh darling, it's about that time of month. I sort of feel awful blue and depressed. I miss you so very much and long for you so. Wish I were in your arms right now. I love you, Perry, I love you. Forever yours, Gene

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Isn't it too bad that we are constantly just living for tomorrow

Feb. 9, 1945

My Dearest,

I didn't keep my word about writing to you yesterday. I kept putting it off, hoping I would get one from you first. But when I didn't hear from my love, I was so disappointed I didn't feel much like it. I saw a show instead, "the Bride Came C.O.D." Didn't care too much for it. It seems that so far our mail service is rather pour out here, but maybe today will treat me better.
Gene on the apartment rooftop
where she lived with her parents.
Picture taken on her birthday,
February 10, 1945

I hope you will get the films developed soon. I want more than anything else in the world to see you and be with you again. But since that won't be possible for a while, your letters and some pictures serve the next best possible thing. Are you able to get films? I have the other pictures in the picture holder in the wallet you gave me. I am always taking it out and looking at you and admiring you. Do you know you are really very beautiful and oh!, I love you so very much. And according to the way you are being teased, as you say, you must even be getting more beautiful. Golly, it surely is wonderful to think about what I have waiting for me until I come back.

I just found out that there won't be any mail today. It is surely a good thing there is always a tomorrow. Isn't it too bad that we are constantly just living for tomorrow, a day which sometimes seems so very far off. I'm going to keep writing to you just as often as I can because I want you to hear from me regularly even if I can't you. I sometimes wonder if my letters mean half as much to you as yours do to me. After telling me about those four letters you found, you have almost convinced me they must.

Must go now, but I close saying that I love you with all my heart. Completely yours, Perry

Baby Gene with her mother Leora in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Gene was born
February 10, 1945

To the one I love most of all, My Darling,

If my calculations of time are correct, I have been thinking all about you throughout your day. From the time you were probably hurrying off to work until now, you are probably sound asleep and, I hope, dreaming of me. All day this has been your birthday. Sweetheart, it is one day I will never forget because it marks the day of entry into this world of one of God's choice spirits, born far from the place I was born, and yet who I was to one day meet far from the place of either of our birthplaces, fall in love with immediately and very shortly ask her to marry me. And oh! how thankful I am that she said "yes."

I think now the thing that would make me the most happy is to have the same kind of an event happen that happened some odd years ago today. Just as your mother dreamed she would look just the way you did, and I can almost hear her now calling for "ma ma." What a beautiful word.

Did you write to me, my love? What did you do on this your birthday? Did you think of me and long to have me there to take you somewhere special? Did you long for that even a fraction as much as I did? Oh, my darling, I was all resigned to sit down and write you a rather difficult letter because it didn't look like I was going to get any from you. Now, to my joy, I have just finished reading two of your very sweet letters posted January 29th and 30th. What a pleasant surprise that was. Darling, do you really realize what a tremendous effect your letters have on me?

Sweetheart, I know just exactly what you mean when you speak of enjoying things and feeling as though only half of you were there. How often I have felt exactly the same way since I have known you. Truly our hearts beat as one. Truly we are become as "one flesh." I too have been thinking of and reading our blessings and how you would be blessed with a happy home. It is so hard to be patient sometimes, isn't it? But the trials we go through now, if endured well, will only amplify our happiness when we are together again.

Gene, I thought you did express those thoughts so very beautifully. And since you mentioned our first date, I'll have to tell you that I was thinking of that very same thing today. Gene, I can tell you very honestly that I was the most thrilled after that date, more than I had ever been before. Don't laugh if I tell you that after I had left you that night, I was practically talking to myself about you all the way. And sweetheart, do you know that when I got back that night, I offered a prayer that I had met someone so sweet. As I have said before, all of my memories of you are perfect memories.

I'm glad you like your lessons and that Verna has such hopes for you. I'll have you entertain me when I come back. Yes, my darling, I guess being secretary in such an important thing makes you quite important too. You sweet thing--or I should say "you little monkey."

Say, that reminds me, the other day I saw the cutest little monkey. I didn't think it was possible for a monkey to be cute, but this one was. It made me think of Genevieve's boys, how they wanted a monkey. It would have been just the right size too. I wish I could have sent it to them. [At this time, Perry is stationed in the Philippines.] Well, here I am talking about monkeys and I sat down with the intention of writing you a birthday letter.

I don't have very much more time right now, but darling, let me repeat again and again, "I love you." will you ever grow tired of hearing me tell you that? It always comes from the bottom of my soul. The more I think of it, I know that our coming together was nothing less than providential.

My pen must stop, but my thoughts will go on. All my love, Perry

P.S. I'm in favor of moving to Utah too. I don't like the weather here either.

February 10, 1945

My dearest sweetheart, Perry,

Here it is my birthday already, and darling, I received 4 sweet letters (all at once) from my dear husband yesterday, which has made my day today so much lighter and happier and more perfect. But of course, nothing like that day will be when I see you walk in thru the door and then take me in your arms. Oh, I shall want you to hold me and never let me go.

Oh, my darling, of course I dream day dreams too--the same as you do and the same dreams too. I too remember when you were here and could hold me in your arms. Perry, I long for you so. Dearest husband, you write such perfect letters. I sometimes wonder if you are not disappointed in some of mine. You have such a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts. I feel so handicapped at times. Darling, I value these letters from you far above anything else that I possess except you, and your are the dearest of all.

These last ones were those you wrote on January 28, 30, 31 and February 1st. Darling, I was so thrilled to see the new rating change placed after your name. How wonderful. Perry, does it mean you are wearing three marks on your sleeve now? Can you tell me? I guess I don't understand too much about the Navy. I'm glad you could tell me about you being in Hawaii. I do wish you could have gone to the temple. Yes, Perry, I shall send you two chains and the DuPont glue soon as I can. It all sounds very mysterious and exciting, but I shall ask no questions. But I'm wonderin' an awful lot.

Now I will tell you what I did today. It was so warm (just like summer exactly). I wanted to go bike riding so bad, but I could find no one to go with. I guess most everyone works on Saturday. Anyway, I put on a summer skirt and blouse and went up on the roof. Daddy came up with the camera and took some pictures of me. I took the film over to the drugstore right away. So will be sending you some pictures very soon, sweetheart, of that wife of yours. I stayed in the sun as much as possible today.

This evening I did a lot of catching up on my diary. Perry, I worked Tues., Wed., Thurs., and Fri. of this week with Viola and our work for the week was finished. We received a check for $59.10 which of course was divided in half for us both. We seem to be in business for ourselves. We don't get a salary for our work. I feel like a contractor, but that seems to be the way this work is handled. How does it sound to you, Perry.

Tomorrow I shall try to make my husband some cookies and some candy. Hope I can do as well as I did before. I'll send them soon as I can, sweetheart. Oh, I love to make things for you Perry. It's such fun. I want to cook for you every day and take care of you dear husband.

I thank the dear Lord each night that you are well and safe. I have so much to thank Him for. I must go to bed now, Perry. Sweet dreams, darling. I love you. I love you. Forever your own, Gene

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm glad that all of my memories of you are such happy ones

Feb. 6, 1944

My Darling Wife,

Last night I received your letter telling about the four letters you found. That was strange, wasn't it? How did that happen? As for me, it seems I get all my mail in reverse. It seems quite often I get your most recent letter first and then they keep working back. Then it starts all over. Keeps me guessing, not knowing what you are talking about all the time. But your letters are most wonderful and I just live daily for them.

I'm glad you found the missing letters (because it surely stimulated you to write a wonderful letter.) You just poured your dear, sweet heart into every word it seemed. Oh, but I particularly loved the part about your mother's dream. I will be so exceedingly happy when it can come true, won't you "mama."

I'm glad you received the perfume ok and liked it. I guess I sent it early enough. I've been wishing I could send something else to you, but you know there is nothing to buy. Today, though, I did buy something for you, but I'll probably have to wait until I come back to give it to you. I may be able to send part of it though. I will see. Does that sound mysterious?

Sweetheart, I can buy all my necessities much easier and cheaper than you could send them to me. Thanks so much though for thinking of me. I love you for it. A little candy (of your own make) and cookies would go well though if you have time some time.

Just tonight I received your letter of the 19th telling me about my rather blue and gloomy letter. As my following apologies indicated, I knew I shouldn't have written a letter like that. I surely didn't ever want it to make you cry. I know I can't expect you to be strong without my help. However, I have been feeling much better lately. (The main reason is because I've been getting your mail more regularly.) But I still miss you and long for you so very much my dear sweet loving wife. I always have a prayer in my heart for the days to be shortened until we can be together again, and then forever and eternally together.

Someone is playing "Let the Rest of the World Go By," on the piano. It reminds me of you and the show we saw last when we were together. I'm glad that all of my memories of you are such happy ones. I'm afraid I am madly, head-over-heals in love with my wife.

I have just performed an interesting experiment. I just counted how many words each of us put on a page. You said you wrote more than I did and trust me never to cede a point without ample proof. Well, I lost on the first count. But not willing to give in, I took another page and the score now stands 163 for me and 158 for you. To ease my conscience though, I'll admit I wrote smaller tonight because I am now on my last sheet of stationery and can't get anymore until tomorrow.

Well, roughly figuring, that should add up to about 600 words for this letter. Oh, but how futile it is for me to try in a mere 600 words, or 600 times 600, to express my love for you, my sweetheart. I suppose only by my actions will I ever be able to show it and even then it will take me an eternity. Please don't think these words superfluous. I really mean them. All my love, Perry

Feb. 7, 1945

My Dearest Gene,

Perry played college basketball
his freshman year
at Utah State in Logan
No letter today from my darling, but I can always look forward with anticipation for the next day when I have someone so sweet writing to me. You haven't mentioned any more about your vocal lessons. Are you still taking them and do you like them yet. I can see that when we go back to Logan, we are going to have a lot of fun singing. That is the way we always did pass a lot of our time when I was there. June [one of Perry's sisters] is nearly always playing and singing. She has been taking lessons for some time now.

I got paid yesterday. Tomorrow I am going to buy a money order and then I will be completely out of debt, except to you, sweetheart. I was wondering about the bond. I have one and maybe two back home too. Yes, I guess we are quite economical and yet we have wonderful times when we are together don't we? we will save until we are together again and then we are going to have a wonderful honeymoon--a continued one,  continued throughout our lives.

Well, darling, I promise I'll write more tomorrow. Maybe I'll have a letter to give me inspiration. Right now it is quite late. Affectionately your own, Perry

February 8, 1945

My dearest husband,

I feel very lonely tonight. I miss you so very much Perry. But I have been having some nice times. Last night I was invited to a party at the bishop's house. It was called a "Get Acquainted" party. Oh Perry, I had such a lovely time. I wish you could have been there too. Most everyone there were married couples. The rest of us were service mens' wives whose husbands are overseas. I think there were about 20 or 25 people in all. Brother Eugene Gregory took me over in his car with another girl from Adams Ward.

Perry, we played the most exciting game. It's called "Shoot the Moon." You play with dominos. There were five tables, 4 people at a table. The bishop and his wife didn't play, but they directed the game. Oh, it was such fun and everyone was soon acquainted. You see, most of those couples are rather inactive in Adams Ward so the bishop had this party for them and they get better acquainted then with everyone else. I think it's a wonderful idea. The party lasted till 12:30 tho, and I was so tired. So I didn't get enough sleep last night and I was very groggy today.

Viola and I worked till 4:30 this afternoon. We will finish this "batch" of work tomorrow. Tonight Virginia called. She and her mother are up at Kermit's. Martha and the baby are there too, visiting. Perry, they (Virginia and her mother) are leaving this weekend for Chicago (home). Then after dinner they all came over for a visit and then goodbyes. Virginia and Martie gave me a birthday present. I opened it while they were here. It's a pretty box of stationery. Mother had ice cream and cookies. It was all very nice. Virginia packed all her clothes and things she had left here, and Kermit put them in his car. They surely will have a lot of things to take back with them.

Perry, I didn't get to go to chorus practice tonight because of company, but that is the first time I have missed for a long time. Martie said tonight that she and Lee had received the nicest letter from you. They like you so much, Perry. They want us to come and visit them again when you come home.

My darling, I long so for that day. Hope I get one of your sweet letters tomorrow. Will say my prayers now and go to bed. I love you my dearest Perry. Gene

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Send a Thousand Kisses

Feb. 4, 1945

My dear wife Gene,

Today is another Sunday. I hope you will forgive me. I have just been sleeping as sound as a log for about three hours. I feel pretty "hep" now, except it was too warm so it took me a little while in the fresh air to recuperate. The only place I could walk was around the decks. I wish it could have been around Flower Street with you, my sweetheart.

I just received the best letter from my love yesterday. It was dated the 17th. The one you finished at work. But golly it was so short and the particular part that I liked best of all was even shorter. It was about the comments that were being made about your changing in appearance. Now why did you tell me not to laugh? You should have known I would be, and was, so tickled all over that I burst right out laughing. I loved you so much I wanted to reach out through space and kiss you. In my heart, my love, I did. It was almost like being there with you again and seeing you tell me all about it in a half-blushing way.

Gene, write me more letters like that, will you? Do you think that a strange request? After all, you are more important to me than anything or anybody. It is you my heart calls out for all the time. Is it odd then that I should like more particular information about someone so dear. Oh my love, I want to know all about you. Please send me some pictures so I can see you again.

I'm hoping I'll get a whole pile of letters from you today or tomorrow. I'll write you tomorrow. All my love, Perry

Feb. 5, 1945

My dearest darling,

I received two letters from you yesterday. One postmarked the 22nd, the other, your very sweet Valentine, the 26th. The last one previous to those was postmarked the 17th. There seems to be some lacking in between. I guess I will get them in time. The only thing I don't always understand what you are talking about because of the missing parts.

By the way, you said, "Mother and I went to see _________" Then there is a blank space. Then you tell me what a good show it was and to be sure and see it if I get a chance. Now what kind of a show was that? You mean it was "unmentionable?" I am burning up with curiosity. Ha, ha!

Thanks so much for the Valentine my sweetheart. And that was the best little verse. It expresses just perfectly the way I feel too. And the kisses were very sweet too. I could almost feel your warm lips against mine even across all the space that separates us. I also received the letter you sent that my folks had written to us. I saved it 'til the last because I thought it was a letter from you and it seemed so big and fat. I must confess, I was a little disappointed.
Notice the lipstick "kisses" bottom left











I hope your tooth (or where your tooth used to be) is all right by now. Well, maybe you are a baby, but I would surely like to have been there to baby you. I suppose I will hear more of the details about it in some of the letters you had previously written, but which I haven't received yet.

How I wish I could have been there to go to conference with you. That would have done me so much good. It has been so long since I had some good spiritual uplift. Your letters are the best thing though. We must be patient and some day, not too far distant I hope, we are going to go to General Conference in Salt Lake and I will show you all around. Then I think I will be very nearly perfectly happy.

Say, don't you think you had better be careful about paying me such compliments. You know I could resist you no less than you could me. Well sweetheart, I can hardly concentrate on anything until I find out if I got some more mail from you today. Will write you tomorrow. All my love until then--and I send a thousand kisses. Lovingly Yours, Perry

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Have you got the swellest guy in the world for a husband?"

Emmett, Leora, Pierce, Gene and Richard, August 1926
January 31, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

I received your long letter of the 24th today. What a sweet surprise, and I'm so glad you finally got some of my letters and heard from your folks. I too received a letter from your mother yesterday. Said she heard from you last Saturday. Darling, I understand when I don't hear from you for a few days. I know how hard it must be for you to try to write me when your letters are forever under the consor's stamp and you get no mail for days and days. Your letters have been wonderful for all of that, and I treasure each one of them. Oh my husband, I love you so very much.

Yes, Perry, I too believe it was the Lord's will that we will have no child for awhile. And I am now content and glad in the knowledge that He has answered our prayers in this way. I can wait, for I know it will all come in time. I'm glad you say I should take voice lessons for a year. I really want to. (I have always wanted to.) I enjoy it so much. Oh, I do wish I had a piano. I guess maybe I should keep my record player for as you say, we might not get a good one for quite awhile.

Richard, Gene, and Pierce Fast, 1929
I received a letter from Dick today too. Perry, he is still in Egypt. Says he is sending me something from Casablanca. Said he had a letter from you some time ago and answered it. He says, "I hope you and Perry will be as happy as Emily and I have been. I pray that you may be blessed as we have been too." He is a pretty "super" brother.

After mutual last night I came home with Mother and Dad, (they went too) and I played a lot of my records before I went to bed. Mother and I sat up awhile (like always) and enjoyed quite a musical interlude. I love the ones you got me best, Perry. Music surely is soothing, isn't it? Perry, do you get to enjoy anything like good radio programs? I guess you do have movies once in awhile. Do you get the news? Do you know that the Russians are inside Germany and only 50 miles from Berlin?

Did I tell you I have been asked to be the secretary of the Primary Sunday School and keep the records each Sunday. Of course I shall accept it. Guess I will be a little busier from now on. This isn't a very long letter compared to yours, darling. Guess you must think mine are pretty short at times. My heart is so full tonight, Perry. I have so much to be thankful for. Dick says, "Have you got the swellest guy in the world for a husband?" And my answer is Yes! Definitely. He says Emily thinks she has too. How could she? Oh, Perry, I love you, I love you. Your devoted wife, Gene

January 31, 1945

My Dear Sweet Wife,

Here I am once more seated and ready and eager to give my thoughts a form of coherency with my pen. It is probably good for me that I take this much time to try and write my thoughts in a rather organized fashion. You see, my thoughts race and ramble so much of the time in both retrospect and prospect of our life together that if I didn't take time to frequently organize my thoughts, I might topple off the brink into a world of unreality. From the way I have started this letter, you are likely to already think me off the "deep end."

Anyway, my darling, what I am trying to say under all this bombast is that I think of you every minute of every day and that I try to keep my thoughts, to some extent, from mere useless daydreaming to purposeful hopes and planning for us, and eventually ours. However, I'll have to honestly admit that fairly frequently I indulge in good old daydreaming--especially on the long night watches. It is such a pleasant pastime, remembering of the times we were together, and to imagine that I am again sitting on the couch holding you in my arms and listening to the radio.

Since I get quite a lot of pleasure out of this and often find myself grinning, and almost laughing, I chock it up to amusement and content myself in the fact that a little amusement is good for one. Now tell me honestly, my darling, do you ever indulge in this sort of thing? Please don't make me a lone sinner.

You know sweetheart, I have that little miniture picture of you and of us in my locker so that every time I open it, I see you there. The one of you alone I like better and better all the time. One reason is because every time I open my locker door, there you are looking right at me as though to greet me, which in the other you are looking away. But then I sum it up this way that in the one you have no need to look at me because there you are already in my arms and you look so very happy, while in the other you are not quite so happy because I am not there but still look very pleasant and patiently waiting for my return.

Already it is time for taps and this seems like kind of a crazy letter. But if in all I have ever written or said to you I have done nothing more than to make an embroiderment around these words, "I love you," to make them stand out in a brighter and more glorious hue, I have done as much as even the most gifted could expect to accomplish, for in those words are encompassed my whole heart and soul.

Must close now, but I'll try and write tomorrow so you will get it at the same time you get this so it will be a continuation of this one. I have a small little surprise to tell you about too. All my love, Perry

February 1, 1945

Hello my sweet darling,

Must make this letter shorter if I am to get it off so it will arrive with the rest. I hope you are getting my mail fairly regularly. I guess it is "long ago and far away" enough that I can tell you I was in the Hawaiian Islands, only a few days though. I wanted to see the temple but didn't have time as it was quite some distance. I did see the tabernacle though as it was quite close. That is the regular ward and stake tabernacle and, Gene, it was really beautiful. The grounds seemed like something that had just stepped out of a picture. It was all so beautiful that I longed so much to have you there to enjoy it with me. They say the temple grounds are even much more beautiful that that. I didn't care much for the city of Honolulu itself.

Perhaps I should draw your attention, in case you have overlooked, the change in my rate, as of today. The main thing that interests me is the extra $12 per month, especially in view of my rather embarassing financial situation. It won't be long now though until I will be in the clear again and will be able to look the world in the face. Then I will be able to start saving for us and ours.

I can't take more time now, sweetheart, but only to tell you that I love you, Oh! so very much. You mean more than the whole world to me. Forever, affectionately your loving husband, Perry

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I know you are further away than ever now

January 30, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

Yesterday I received your sweet letter of Sunday, January 21st. It was postmarked the 22nd and took one week to get to me, so I know you are further away than ever now. I feel bad that you have not received any mail as yet, for I know how I feel when I don't hear from you. Thank you, sweetheart, for writing me even though you haven't my letters and can't tell me much. I can always write "news" but you are so restricted.

But darling your letters are so very sweet. This last letter really thrilled me so much. I could actually see our little home and you there with me--and the love abiding there. You know this is all promised to me in my blessing. I know it's all there somewhere in the future for us.

Well, last night I took my second voice lesson at Verna Johnson's house. I enjoy it so much, and Verna has such hopes for me. She says I have a beautiful voice and have inherited it from mother. She wants me to study for one year (at least). Mother was with me. Verna wants her to sing in church next sunday and to practice more because she is so good.

Perry, I was asked Sunday to be the Primary Sunday School secretary. Someone resigned and I was recommended. Guess I'll accept it tho I don't know much now what the duties consist of. It's a record-keeping job I spose and those things are very important in our church you know. Will that make me important?? hmmm!!

Thanksgiving Day in Utah, 1946
I haven't heard from the "Mr.  Mrs. Alden Betts" as yet. Guess they are too busy on their honeymoon. Darling, I had a very nice letter from your sister "Vi-Vi" [Genevieve] yesterday. She thanks us for the wedding picture we sent them for christmas and was so glad to hear about our wonderful christmas. She speaks of having gone up to visit your three sisters in Logan. One of her little boys came home from school with the German measles recently. I must write her too for she asks about you.

Mother had a card from Virginia in San Diego. She and her mother are coming back to LA this week to stay with Kermit till they get their reservations to go back east. They plan to leave very soon.

Today is Tuesday, so will go to mutual tonight. They are going to have the voting for the queen to be picked for the spring dance. This should prove interesting. Wonder who I should vote for. I'll close now, darling, and mail it right away. This is called a dry month here in Southern California. We have had no rain for a long, long time. It seems rather strange. Not cold, not rainy, just sunshine or fog. Let's move to Utah, Perry, where we would have some weather--huh! I love you my darling husband. For ever and ever your Gene
Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1946
from left to right: Walter and Hazel, Genevieve with baby
and Lorin, Grant and Hope, June and Dee, Gene,
Elmer and Leona Manwaring with grandchildren in front

January 30, 1945

My Dear Gene,

It will soon be the end of another month. I keep thinking about how soon it will be your birthday and how I wish it were possible for me to be there with you and really do something for you. I hope you receive the little package on time. Be sure and let me know when you get it.

Gene, could you get me a very fine gold or sterling silver chain? One that is just long enough to hang down a little around the neck as a necklace. The links must be very small and fine. Also send me some DuPont transparent glue. All I will tell you right now is that I want to experiment making something for you. That shouldn't weigh too much so it shouldn't cost too much to send airmail. You can see though and use your own judgement. If you can get two chains and they don't cost too much, send me two of them.

Guess I won't be getting any more mail for a few days, but I am surely eagerly looking forward to when I will. I'll expect piles of it then. Haven't written very much this time, but will write you again tomorrow. Affectionately your own, Perry