Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Short Separation

"One Sunday before the wedding. On the roof with Virginia
(Gene's cousin,) and Perry."
The following are letters Perry wrote during a time when he had to go to San Diego for training and Gene was living with her parents in Los Angeles. They seem to have had a small disagreement that was apparently resolved because a week after the October 6th letter they are married.

October 4, 1944

My Darling Gene,

I begin this letter hardly knowing what to say and really feel quite incompetent in expressing my thoughts. Perhaps because I am unable to see you tonight is one of the reasons why I long so to see you, to be with you and talk with you. I suppose it is only natural though to wish the most for the things we can't have. Also, I know I didn't leave you as happy last night as I have done previously, consequently that has affected my happiness, as I can only be happy to the degree of your happiness.

Oh! believe me Gene all I do I try to do with the object in mind of our mutual happiness, and how what I do and what decisions I, or we, make will affect it. If you can believe me in this one thing, and I pray I might be able to remain true to such a trust, then we have gone a long way already in establishing our happiness. Gene, I ask you to answer this only in your own mind. By what other motive than the one just mentioned could have caused me to make the decision I did last night? If there could be any other, I wish you would tell me only that I might reassure you. With this accomplished there would be no room for doubt or distrust which could ever cause a barrier between us.

But Gene, I never want you to feel that I am imposing my will upon you. I hope that we will always be able to come together on our problems and with mature thinking think them out until we are both satisfied as to what is right, and not become hasty or unreasonable and say things which might hurt or for which we may regret later. In that way it would not be as though it were my decision or yours but ours. In that way everything we did would be as emanating not from me or you but from us. Is not that what it means "and they shall become one"?

Forgive me my darling if my bringing this up again has caused you any more sorrow, that has certainly not been my intentions. I love you and certainly would not try to do anything that might cause you sorrow, but only as it might add to our ultimate happiness. Must close now and go get prepared to leave for San Diego tomorrow. I will be thinking of you all the while. I love you dearest.

Fondly, Perry

"September 9, 1944, Sunday Eve
at Virginia's home."
Thursday night, 8:30, October 6, 1944

Hello My Sweetheart,

Only three days away from you and it really seems much longer. Can it be that I can be suffering from illusions in my reckoning of time? No, if my memory serves me correctly, though it wouldn't be too strange if it doesn't, I saw you last on the evening of the 3rd.

I guess I am at the semester of my fire fighting school. Anyway, today, or tonight, marks the half-way mark in my course. But wait--that makes it that I only have one more day to go doesn't it? Oh dear, dear, that's right--you see it seems that I have been away from you so long that it seems like months.

Today we saw a few movies and they seemed to sooth me right off to sleep, but most of the day was spent in the more practical method of putting out real fires. We really had quite a "hot time." It made my eyes kinda sore and if I don't get plenty of sleep tonight somebody is likely to mistake them far a blaze tomorrow and I don't want to be found on the wrong end of the nozzle.

I am certainly eager for the moment when I can see you again, my darling. I love you, Perry

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