In August 1944, Perry was serving in the US Navy stationed in San Pedro, and Gene was living in Los Angeles. One evening Perry had some leave time, so he decided to take the bus and check out a dance he'd heard about at the Adams Ward in LA. That's where he met my mother, Gene Fast. They danced and had a great time. The next day was Sunday, so Perry went to church and saw Gene again. By Monday, he was calling her for a date. A month later, they were engaged.
The first letters I'm going to post are from Perry when he took some leave time to take the train to Utah to visit his parents and sisters before shipping out again. The first letter is dated September 14, 1944 and is postmarked from Logan, Utah.
My Dear Gene,
Well, already I have failed in my promise to write you "just as soon as I arrived in Logan." I arrived here late Tuesday night and so I spent a good portion of yesterday just recuperating. No fooling. I have really been lazy. I feel quite ashamed of myself.
However, quite needless to say, you have still been the foremost in my thoughts and regardless of where I am and what I am doing the thought of you still remains second to no one or to anything.
The main theme of conversation around here has been you. Does that startle or frighten you? It shouldn't because I can quickly assure you that it has all been of a most complimentary nature. And already they talk as if they knew you personally and, of course, they approve of you, only they wish they could meet you and talk with you, as we all do.
Last night we went on a picnic and really had a swell time together. This mountain climate really seems to have stimulated my appetite because I ate like a--well, a true description might sound course and unrefined, so I will leave you to guess. After our picnic we went for a ride around the scenic parts of the town, up into the canyon and then walked around the temple grounds. Logan is really beautiful right at this time of the year. But Gene, the only thing that detracted from my complete appreciation of everything was because you weren't here to enjoy it with me. The temple rounds were so beautiful, and the flowers and shrubs were so gorgeous, and I kept thinking as we were walking around how complete it would be if only you were here to enjoy it with me. It seems that I can no longer enjoy things by myself, but you must be there to enjoy it with me.
With all my love, Perry