Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Well, darling, my thoughts are always of you.

The Oahu Stake Tabernacle in Hawaii where Perry got
to go to a church service while on leave. This is the
"something beautiful" Perry mentioned in a
previous letter that he wished to share with Gene.
January 8, 1945

My Dearest Gene,

I not only love you for what I am when I am with you, as my card said, but for what I am when I am away from you as well. Your light and influence not only affects me when we are together, but reaches much farther than that and gives me inspiration and determination even when we are far apart. I am sure I even feel the power and influence of your faith and prayers. I hope that I might be able to do even partly as much for you.

Gene, I sometimes wonder if you will get tired of me pouring out my heart and soul to you like that. Or perhaps I might say it so much that you will begin to think me insincere and the true meaning of my real feelings will be lost under so many extravagant adjectives and phrases. Tell me darling please, because I want my words to always mean just what they say and to always have the same value they had when I first started going with you and you said one of the reasons you liked me was because of my sincerity (even though I did lack some of the qualities of an expert conversationalist.)

How is everyone back there now? How are your mother and father, and how is your father's stomach? They have surely been swell to me. I really feel very indebted to them. I wish I could do something for them, but it seems I am so helpless, especially now.

Darling, I am enclosing the pictures you wanted. It is things like that that makes me want to be with you so much. Let me know if you get them, okay. Also enclosed is all my love. It is so much you will probably have to pay freight to get it out of the post office. Forever Yours, Perry
The Oahu Stake Center was dedicated August 17, 1941, less
than four months before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, but
miraculously it escaped any damage during the attack.

January 9, 1945

My Sweetheart and Wife,

It is one month from tomorrow before it will be your birthday, but mail travels so slowly that I am sending your birthday present now so you will be sure and have it for your birthday. Let me know if it arrives safely and on time and how long it took. It is a small package so I am sending it airmail. I surely wish I could be there to deliver it to you personally, but there are a lot of things we will have to wait for. There is so much I want to do for my wife to make her happy and make her love me even more.

Darling, it is becoming rather difficult to write without ever hearing from you. I suppose you have the same problem, but soon I hope to have a whole stack from you, then that should provide me with material to write about as well as inspiration to last me for quite a while again.

I've written letters to Martie and Lee and Kathy thanking them for what they did for us. They surely treated us swell and made it an occasion for which we will always remember and be thankful. All of your family and relatives have surely been good to us and I like them all very much. I can hardly wait for the day when you can meet all of my folks and we can "sponge" on them a little to get even (ha ha). I know you will like them all and they you.

How are Alden and Evelyn coming along now. Has he persuaded her to take the step as yet? Well, darling, my thoughts are always of you. I love you, Perry

January 10, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

I do hope by this time you have received some of my letters, darling, for I have received four of yours already. I'm so glad you can write often Perry. Your letters mean so much to me. Reading your letters and writing to you is almost like having you with me for that short while. Oh, Perry, my thoughts are ever with you. I wonder where you are, how far away, and what you are doing. Do you have much time to read? Are you receiving the Era yet? If you have been in Hawaii, can't you tell me about it after you leave the island? Won't they let you describe scenery or anything?

Oh, darling, I am so anxious to know where you are and where you are going. How long till you are here with me again to take me with you to Utah. When will I see you again? I don't know if my letter is very coherent or not, but Perry, my thoughts are all of you. I have been staying all night with Evelyn the past three nights. She asked me if I would after she had had several bad sleepless and nightmarish dreams and nights alone in her big room. She has about gotten over it now however. Think she plans on going home to visit her mother awhile soon before she sees Alden.

Darling, I haven't written much tonight. I'll write you tomorrow though. Would you like me to send you some news clippings from the paper? Or do you get news? How would you like some more candy or maybe cookies? I'll make some more--I love to for you. I love you Perry. Your devoted wife, Gene

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It Gives Me Such a Wonderful Feeling to Think You Would Keep My Letters

January 7, 1945

My Dear Sweet Wife,

Today is Sunday and it is on such days that I miss you so much. I keep wondering what you are doing and what we might be doing if I was there with you. Today is also one year since I was sworn in the Navy. It hasn't been a particularly pleasant year, but it was the Navy that brought me to you and for that I am so very thankful. So even though the year has been rather unpleasant in many respects, it has brought me more than any other year in my life.

It is hard to determine just what lies in store for one in each ensuing year, but it usually seems to turn out to bring me much good ultimately. That thought should give us hope. While this year threatens to be our darkest one, it may turn out to be a very happy one for us in the end--or even the best. Oh, let's pray that it might.

Darling, I don't have so very much time tonight as it is soon time for taps. But oh my sweetheart, I think of you constantly and keep thinking what a fortunate man I am to have such a sweet wife. I love you so much. My constant desire is to be able to do that which will make you (and consequently us) the happiest. My fondest love, Perry

January 8, 1945

Rose garden, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, 1945
My dearest husband Perry,

I think I received the sweetest letter that I have ever before received, tonight. Perry, it was your letter of January 3, postmarked the 5th. You do express yourself so well and describe things so well. Darling, you are so sweet and complimentary. It gives me such a wonderful feeling to think you would keep my letters even when you shouldn't. (I know you just don't have enough room.) Oh, Perry, I'm so proud of you and I love you so much. I can hear you asking "Why?" Well, because of the things you say and because of what you are. Perry, you brought tears to my eyes when you told me about enjoying something beautiful. I long so to be with you. How I would have loved sharing that beauty with you. Anyway, you will be able to tell me about it someday. I too pray it might be soon.

Darling, I do hope you have gotten some of my mail by this time. It makes me feel bad that I can receive your mail so regularly and you can't mine. But anyway, I'm glad you had such a nice letter from Emily. Saturday night was Bernie's regular dance program. I went alone, (Ginnie won't go anymore) and had such a nice time. Mark Minor brought me home with several other kids too, Evelyn and Evan and Ord.

Sunday of course was fast Sunday and testimony meeting. It was a beautiful day, and I enjoy church so much. Then I went home with Viola Sorenson and we baked a cake for fireside that evening. It was a Mormon cake made with carrots. Perry, everyone loved it. I'll have to try it out on you sometime. (Do you know something, I like to cook.) Fireside was very interesting--a return missionary, Ellsworth Eldrige--related some of his experiences which were very interesting. Ex-president Muir was the speaker at the evening services Sunday night. He spoke on love and marriage. He is such an interesting speaker.

Virginia went to San Diego with her brothers Sunday to visit their folks down there. I'm working longer hours again now Perry, a 44-hour week from 8:30 to 5:00. I was only working 40 hours before. Oh, Perry, I have some news about our friends--guess! Evelyn is going to marry Alden. He is in Arizona now working with his brothers, expects to be gone about a month. He writes Evelyn every day, and she does likewise. She finds that she is really missing him. When he comes back, he will join her in Seattle, Washington. They'll be married in the temple after that. Isn't it wonderful?

We have another V-mail from Pierce today. He reports that he is safe and well--doesn't say much more--he sure is a guy of few words. Ha. Perry, last night I went over to Verna Johnson's with Evelyn. She is finishing out Alden's voice lessons. I think I shall take a few lessons myself. She is such a good teacher. Anyway, I can find out what kind of a voice I have. What do you think? She gives lessons every Monday night, 45 minutes, $5.00 per month.

Gene's friend, Lewis, a doll maker and gift shop owner
While I was over at the Sorenson's house Sunday afternoon, I saw some pretty little figurines (unfinished) which Lewis has had for a long time. I admired them and he said I could have them. He would have thrown them out otherwise. He said I should come over and finish painting them and take them home. There are 4--it's a figure of a little boy in pajamas kneeling by a chair saying his prayers. I'm going to send one or two to your sisters as I have promised them something and think they will like these.

Your dear little nephew Floyd wrote me such a sweet letter, Perry, thanking me for the candy I sent for Christmas. He told me what he got for Christmas, some books and some new ice skates, etc. Said to be sure and tell Uncle Perry hello. I really enjoyed the letter. I love your folks, Perry. Must write your mother and father again soon.

Must close and mail this now, darling. I pray each night for your safety and that you might return to me soon and in His care. I love you, Perry. Your own wife, Gene

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Darling Husband, I Am Wondering Where You Are Tonight

Gene (bottom left) with Adams Ward friends
January 5, 1945

Dearest Perry,
This letter won't be as long as last night's letter, but I do have several things to write you about. Something interesting seems to happen most every day and I always want to tell you about it. I received two sweet letters today, one from Hope and the other from June. They told me about their happy Christmas and were so glad we had ours together here the week before Christmas. Of course, I have told them since about our 2nd Christmas.

The Navy allotment check also came today for December. I'm going to put it in the bank right away. My darling husband, I am wondering where you are tonight. Has that ship taken you far from me or are you near by? Will it be long till I see you again? Oh, I know you can't answer these questions, but these are just my thoughts.

Tonight after work Evelyn and I went to see Deanna Durbin's new picture, "Can't Help Singing." Perry, it was filmed in Utah. It was in technicolor and was so beautiful--the trees and the mountains and all. There wasn't much of a story however, but the music was pretty. Hope you get to see it. Utah surely is a beautiful state. I really want to live there Perry.

Dick Tucker, the fellow I was telling you about in my last letter, took Ginnie out to dinner tonight. He really likes her and I think she likes him too. I hope it turns into love for them for it would be good for her. He bought her a little gardenia corsage. It reminds me of the night you and I went to Chinatown. Remember the little tiny heart with the anchor on it you got for my bracelet. It's on the bracelet now, Perry, and I love it best of all cause it represents you.

Saturday morning. I was so tired last night I couldn't finish. I dreamed about you. You came home, but you had a Marine's uniform on. Isn't that funny? But I loved you the same. It was such a happy dream. I woke up right after that and was so disappointed. Oh Perry, there's a new popular song out. Everyone is singing it. It has the best words: "You gotta ack-sen-tuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. In-be-tween."

Guess I better close here and write you again tomorrow honey. Tonight I will go over to the ward again. It's the regular Saturday evening dance program, and the kids will all be there. Oh, I almost forgot, we received another wedding gift, Perry, from my Uncle (Doc) Harry and Aunt Luella Fast. It's a luncheon set. I'm sure getting well supplied in those. I love you Perry, your wife, Gene.

January 6, 1945

My Darling Wife,

I received the sweetest letter from you yesterday. I have been reading it over and over. I hope I'll get a lot more from you soon. The mail just can't travel fast enough to suit me. Please always pour your heart out to me and withhold nothing. I love you so much I want to, as you said once before, "share every thought with you," even though I am thousands of miles away from you. I keep looking at all of the pictures I have of you and reminiscing of the times we were together when they were taken. I hope you will send me a few more snapshots from time to time if you are able to get films.

It's so warm and hot. I'll probably be plenty brawny and tan when I see you again. I'll even make your tan look "lilly white." Then I'll probably be wanting to go to the beach and show it off. I keep dreaming of those days when we can spend all of our time together and we can go places we want to go and when we want to go. That is the only thing I have to keep my morale up. But then it isn't good to dream too much as it becomes rather aggravating seeing we are so far away. But then we must do more than just dream. Now that we are away from each other we should save our money and make our plans, so we will be able to work our plans when we are together again.

I think I'll send for a correspondence course to give me something to work at in some of my spare time and keep my mind from stagnating. It will also help if I go back to college again, as I will get college credit for it. Probably something along a literature line, something I would enjoy at the same time. I think if I can keep my time filled as much as possible with interesting things to do it will make the time pass much faster and keep us from becoming despondent until we are together again.

I also want to brush up on my scriptures and church studies, so I can be "hep" on that when I come home. And of course my first responsibility will be to write my wife every day if at all possible. That sounds like a pretty full schedule, doesn't it?

Where are Dick and Pierce now? Did I tell you I got a very nice letter from Emily? Well sweetheart, I think I had better go take a shower before I turn in, so I will be thinking and dreaming about you. Lovingly Yours, Perry

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh, Perry, Let Me Be With You For Ever and Ever

This information is included to help determine where Perry is for the next few month. The attack-transport ship Perry was on was the U.S.S. Kittson which cleared San Diego 26 December 1944 with the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing aboard. She arrived at Majuro in the Marshall Islands 12 January 1945; unloaded the Marine unit; and sailed for Leyte, arriving 1 February. While operating in the Philippines for the next 6 weeks, the attack transport prepared for the Okinawa invasion.
January 3, 1944

My Darling Sweetheart,

I didn't write to you last night for unavoidable reasons, but sweetheart, you were so much on my mind. But darling, I missed you even more today. I had a chance to enjoy something beautiful for a change. Gene, I can't fully enjoy anything anymore without you and I offered a silent prayer that the time would not be too long before we could share all of our joys and sorrows together.

Yesterday I received a very sweet letter from Emily. [Gene's brother, Richard's first wife] I'm sure she must be all that you have said she was. I still haven't received mail from you, but I am patient because I know it is no fault of yours, and anyway, I will probably get mail sooner than you will at that.

Golly, I am surely having a hard time getting this written. I have had so many letters since I came aboard that I couldn't keep them all so I went through all of yours intending to keep only the best ones. I soon found that wouldn't do because when I got through I had about as many as when I started, so I have been clipping out just some of the most choice excerpts, but even still some of your letters are so good that I just have to save the whole letter. Now I am going to take and paste the clippings in an album or something. Don't you think that is a pretty good idea? That is what you are going to do with mine isn't it. Only you are going to type mine, huh? That will be my diary.

Darling, I miss you so much, but I am so glad I have someone like you to think and dream about. Knowing that I have someone so sweet waiting and thinking about me and the joy we will have upon my return makes this life much more bearable. Oh Gene, I am so much in love with you. If love is blind ,as they say, then I must be blind only to your bad qualities (they say we all have them.) But if so, yours seem to have passed my attention almost entirely unobserved, or else they have been entiely hidden by so much that is good about you. I pray it might always be so through the mutual efforts of us both: mine to ever look for the good and yours to ever be so.

"Jeepers" it surely is warm today. I'll bet the folks at home wish they had a little of it. I can just imagine Dad bundling up in about three coats to milk the cows and coming back in with "dew drops" hanging from his nose. It's so warm that every once in a while I keep thinking that it must be about haying time back home until I stop to think what time of the year it is.

Well darling, I must close for now. Goodnight and all my love. Guess I'll have to "kiss my pillow" as the song says, but that is a very poor substitute. I love you so dearly. Perry

January 4, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

Tonight when I came home I found 3 letters from you. Oh, Perry you are writing me everyday just as you had promised, and I feel so guilty cause I've skipped a few days. But sweetheart, I do think of you always. I love your letters so Perry, and you do have quite a bit to write about I think. I like best reading about what you are thinking and about your reminiscing of the times when we have been together.

Perry, I love you so much. I must answer all of your questions now. Yes, I am going to chorus practice honey, but tonight will be the first time since I got home from San Diego. So I don't know yet what we will be singing. But Verna will not be our director anymore till after she has had her baby. Guess maybe her husband will be substitute. He's okay too. Yes, Perry, guess what, your name was called off in church last Sunday evening (by ward clerk Spence Osborne). Your recommend is here at Adams Ward now as of December 31, 1944. I was so thrilled when I heard your name called. You can send it to the ward, honey, or send it to me and I'll keep your receipts for you. But be sure you write a money order each time. That's the only safe way.

I told you about the dance and then the party I went to. I have wonderful times with the crowd, Perry, but I always wish so much that you would be by my side having a good time with me. Tuesday night I went to Mutual. Virginia didn't go with me, so guess what, there was a fellow at the New Years party who sort of took a liking to her. He is not a member but has been investigating for several years I guess. Anyway, he knows several of the kids and he was there Tuesday. He asked me where my cousin was. Then after Mutual he said he would walk (escort) me home. He was very friendly and nice so I thought it would be okay. I would have come home alone otherwise.

He said he had tried to call Virginia but the line had been busy. Then last night he came over (mother and dad were home.) Ginnie and I had gone out. Her brother Ralph (from Chicago) is here for a week on business. He took us out to dinner at the Coconut Grove. It was wonderful. We danced to Freddy Martin's orchestra and had our pictures taken. (The picture was awful.) Ginnie's oldest sister's husband was there too. They are nice cousins, but quite worldly, smoke and have their cocktails too.

Sunday they are all driving down to San Diego to visit Martie and Lee and their mother. Ginnie is going too of course. They'll all go down with their brother Kermit in his big car. Yes, Ginnie is still with us and as unsettled and despondent as ever. She goes with me sometimes to the ward activities but does not mix well with the crowd for some reason. She is such a recluse, Perry, has the worst inferiority complex, seems to hate people. She's too much for me. I think I've done about all I can for her. I sort of hope she can find a nitch for herself somewhere in this world soon cause it's too much for mother to have her here very long.

I've just been reading your letters over again. Oh darling, they're so wonderful. I'll be reading them everyday till I get your next group. I guess that's the way they'll come. They were your letters of December 29, 30 and January 1 postmarked January 1, received today. Guess maybe you were in the Hawiian Islands or stopped there at least. Where is that ship headed for next, Perry, the South Pacific? Won't I see you now for quite awhile? Oh darling, come back and take me to Utah. I too think about our future. You put into words so sweetly your thoughts, Perry, about how you are going to treat me and make me toe the line. And just to know that just before you go to sleep you are thinking of those things that we will do when you get out of the Navy. I too go to sleep each night with those same thoughts.

Please don't worry about my not understanding your letters. You express yourself so very well. Always let me know your thoughts, Perry, please. I gain so much from them and feel so close to you. Darling, you mean the whole world to me. I shall always have faith in you. No matter how far we go in this world, or what we do, I shall always feel that we both did our best. Oh, Perry, let me be with you for ever and ever.

You spoke of getting seasick. I'm so sorry and I do hope you will become immune now. Is that when you get your "sea legs"? ha. But anyway, don't get sick again, please. I worry too you know. I hope you don't hit any more storms or rough seas. Have you gotten my letter with those pictures we took when you were here last? I hope so. We had such a wonderful letter from Richard the other day. He is stationed somewhere in North Africa in quite nice quarters at some base. Says they have a swimming pool and can play all kinds of sports. It sounds pretty nice I think. But said it gets very cold at night. He has even met some LDS fellows. Pierce is still in Holland and says the food they are getting is the best. He even thinks he is getting fat. He too has contacted an LDS group. The Lord watches over and protects all of us. I am so full of thanksgiving.

I hope you receive my letters as quickly as I have yours. Let me know honey. I'll write more tomorrow. All my love always, your wife, Gene.

P.S. We practiced a lot of songs tonight--some I've never heard:
"The Twenty-third Psalm"
"The Lord is Risen Indeed"
"The Lost Chord"
"Come Let Us Sing"
"Star of Descending Night"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You Know, Honey, You Are Really Cute

January 1, 1945 (Monday at home)

My Dearest Perry,

It's the first day of the new year already. Oh Perry, wish you could have been here this past weekend. Saturday night Ginnie and I went over to the stake dance and danced with the Adams crowd. Had a pretty good time considering. Then last night we had fireside at the Kopp's home and after the meeting we had a wonderful New Year's party.  That's when I missed you the very most. When I see all of those couples it makes me want to be with you so much.

Mary Watts was there with Dean Curtis, Evelyn and Alden, Lois Moler and Earl Sponcellar, Spence Osborn and Avenelle Richards, and that German girl Ann with her fiancee (you know her) they announced their engagement last night. He is a Santa Ana cadet. I think there were about 50 or 60 kids there last night. They had a buffet supper. The sextet sang. We all had horns and funny little hats, confetti, etc. and when 12:00 pm came upon us, there never was such a noise before--everyone hollering and blowing those horns. Then they sang "Auld Lang Syne."

Then it was Monday morning so they played some dance records and most everyone danced. But it didn't stop there. Everyone piled into cars (about 4 or 5) and we all went downtown to a midnight show. We saw that picture of Judy Garland's "Meet Me in St. Louis." It was a wonderful show. Oh, Perry, sweetheart what were you doing last night? My thoughts were with you every minute. When will I see you again? I pray that it might be soon.

Today was Daddy's birthday. I gave him a real cute card. He really enjoyed himself today--took a walk with Mother and wrote some letters. I wrote your mother and father when I came home from San Diego, then wrote your sisters Hazel, Hope and June too and thanked them for that pretty slip. Did you get their package Perry? I don't remember if you told me or not.

Perry, I can't find a little coin purse with a zipper. But I got one that looks pretty good to me. I will send it to you. Tell me if you like it or not. We finally heard from Pierce. It was a wonderful letter. He is still in Holland. Says the food is so good and that he has such a big appetite. He must be gaining weight. Says he has not been or heard of any LDS meeting until just the other day. Not far from him there is an LDS chaplain who holds meetings quite often. He was so glad to hear of that. Says it's terrible to hear the language, etc. of the fellows around him day in and day out. It must be awful. He sent Mother $100 to put in the bank. Can't spend much over there. Wants to come home soon as anything and finish his schooling.

It makes me think of our future Perry. I want you to go back to college too. Darling, I have gone to the bank finally and changed my name. I feel so much better about it now. It's ours now, Perry, and the checks I put in the bank will be for our future use only. I'm not going to draw out any of it. It's for your education and our little home that I know we'll have someday when you take me to Utah. I pray the time will not be long, Perry, for I want our future now. I want our children too.

I must learn to have patience to wait. I know the Lord is with us, guiding us. But I love you so much and miss you so Perry. Your devoted wife, Gene
Gene with her brother, Pierce

Jan. 1, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Well here it is New Years Day, and the beginning of a new year. Hope it has been more exciting for you than it has for me. I have to stop and think about it or I can hardly realize it is New Years Day. I surely hope I might be able to spend the next one with my lovely wife. I can hardly wait until I get a letter from you, but I suppose I will hear from you before you do me. I hope you don't feel too blue and lonesome and shed too many tears.

Gene, would you inquire from Bishop Grant if my church ward recommends have been sent there yet. I've been confused as I didn't know where to make my final tithing settlement. I still have December's tithing left to pay.

Do you still go to chorus practice and what songs are you practicing now? I hope you will take in all the activities you can. It will help to keep things interesting for you, make time pass, and keep you from becoming blue and despondent. Is Virginia still with you and is she planning to stay with you? If so, that will probably make it better for both of you. Is she still taking in the church activities and liking it? She really needs that because I think she has really been lacking in the right kind of social life.

Do you still have your bid in for an apartment if it should open up? If something should open up, you and Virginia could live together and you could get some of our things out of your mother's way as I know it must be crowding her up quite a bit.

Guess this letter sounds kinda "businessy" but golly guess I've got to sound a little bit like a husband haven't I? Just wait until we can be together permanently and then I will really be business like and boy I sure will make you "toe the line." Oh, that will really be fun and you know, I even think you will like it. I get a kick out of you when you say, "I don't order you around enough." You know, honey, you are really "cute" and I surely do love you.

Every once in a while I get to thinking of some of the time we were together and I just get tickled all over. Like the time in San Diego when we were waiting in line for the show. You were so pretty and "cute" that I almost enjoyed the standing in line more than the show. (I couldn't see you in the show.) That is really something for a man who has spent nearly half of his time the last year standing in lines to say he could ever enjoy it. I hope you will take all the drudgery out of my life that well.

Well, sweetheart, I must close. I've got to save something to write about tomorrow night. Your loving husband, Perry

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh, Perry, I Shall Never Forget Our Christmas

Gene with her cousin Virginia
December 27, 1944

My dearest husband,

Today I received another sweet letter from you dated December 23. It was such a sweet letter Perry. I have the sweetest most wonderful husband in the whole world.

Virginia and I got a bus at 2:00 pm yesterday. We tried for a long time to get a bus at the Greyhound station, but it was impossible. There just wasn't any room--too many service men. So finally we went to another station--the Santa Fe and got on a bus right away. It's funny but that bus wasn't crowded at all. I can't understand. Our tickets were $2.14. We arrived in L.A. at 6:00 pm yesterday.

We (you and I) had received several more Christmas cards and two lovely letters from your folks. I'm sending them to you right away. They wanted to know if we had Christmas together. I have written them a letter and told them of our wonderful little honeymoon and Christmas. We also had a nice letter from Emily. She said she had gotten a nice letter from you and liked it so much. You may hear from her too. She has heard again from Dick. It seems he is still traveling to some destination.

Oh, Perry, I shall never forget our Christmas. I too was the very happiest I have ever been in my life. I feel closer to you now and love you more than ever before. I feel that I know you better now. (Is it possible?) You mean everything to me Perry. I love you so much. Perry, I live only for that day when we will be together for always. I hope it comes soon.

The chorus sang at the canteen Christmas day, but mother said it was so warm and stuffy in the place that no one could do their best. All in all I guess it was kind of a disappointment. They weren't given much time. There were so many others on the program. Virginia wants to go to the dance at the Wilshire Ward on New Years. Maybe she will get a date with that blond fellow. I hope so.

Oh Perry, I keep thinking about our holiday together. What a perfect time we had. I have written it all in my diary. I was so proud of you--especially at Martie and Lee's house. They liked you so much. Lee so enjoyed visiting with you. And it was such fun getting breakfast and doing the dishes. Even seeing you asleep on the couch was so wonderful. I wish we could have stayed there forever. That's how happy I was.

Did you get a breakfast Tuesday morning Perry? I wish you could have gone back to Marie's with me. I slept again till about 8 or 9 o'clock and Aunt Rena had a wonderful breakfast for us. I hope you got to sleep more too. Write me when you can dearest and let me know that you are well. Tell me you love me, even tho I know you do. All my love, your wife, Gene

Virginia, Rene Belle (Virginia's mother) & Gene

December 29, 1944

Hello My Darling,

I guess by the time you get this letter you will really be "hungry" for one. Anyway, you well know it got to you as soon as possile. Probably there will be longer times than this. Gene, it seems that things really worked out perfect about us being together before Christmas and before I left. We had such a wonderful time. At least we will have some pleasant memories to last us until my return. Even so, it will take a little bit of effort to keep our spirits up, won't it, but I guess we will have to do our best, won't we.

When I got back on board after leaving you, I found two very sweet letters waiting for me from you. Since I had just seen you, I thought I would wait and open them later when I needed them worse, but I broke down after about an hour and read them. They were surely sweet and it only made me realize more and more how lucky I am to have such a sweet wife.

Jeepers, I got a new pen and it isn't working very good. That combined with the position I am sitting in accounts for the penmanship. Guess I'll have to admit that I got a little bit seasick yesterday, but anyway I had plenty of company. Guess I've got to expect to get seasick at least once if I'm gong to be a sailor. The reason is we hit some pretty rough water.

Gene, I hope you made it back to L.A. safe and sound. I'm glad though that you had Virginia to go back with. Write and let me know just how everything went. About transportation, etc. You see I'm very concerned about my wife. Hope your father and mother weren't too lonesome being alone over Christmas. I hope you can appreciate the fact that it is rather difficult for me to write, being unable to tell you anything. [All letters were read, censored, and destroyed if there was anything written regarding the location of the ship or any other information that might be considered sensitive.] I can always tell you I love you though and hope you will never tire of that.

I feel like this hasn't been a very good letter, but I imagine you will be glad to get anything from me after such a long wait. I'll write you tomorrow. I enclose all my love, Sweetheart. Affectionately Yours, Perry

December 30, 1944

My Darling Wife,

True to my promise I sit down once more and endeavor to write you, hoping I can write something that might increase your faith, hope and love as well as my own. Darling it always inspires me when I can sit and write you and think of you. My only difficulty is that I so often feel my expression in words so inadequate for my real feelings.

Even in these conditions there can be something so very peaceful--a feeling of happiness and joy in the knowledge of the fact that I have someone so sweet and pure waiting for my return. I often let my thoughts wander, especially at night after I have had my talk with my Father in Heaven, and just will myself away into slumber thinking of some of the first things we are going to do after I get out of the Navy. Then after we are settled down and have our home (and children) how I would like to invite some of the people who have been so nice to us to stay with us for a while and show them some real hospitality.

It isn't good to let your mind wanter too far--that is to the extent of losing sight of reality--but it is good to think enough about it to maintain and increase your hope, faith and consequently our love for each other. I hope this doesn't sound like I am talking in circles or vaguely. (Let me know if it is.) But a lot of these thoughts run through my head a lot, and since there is no one around here I can express my thoughts to, I turn to my wife, and I hope I always will want to.

Darling, I often think you had quite a lot of faith and courage to marry me under these conditions and if you can just keep having faith in me, oh, I pray every day that I will be able to prove to be all that you think I am and expect of me. Well, it's getting pretty noisy down here now and it's disturbing my line of thought so I'll close writing for now, but I'll continue thinking of you just the same. I love you, darling. Your husband, Perry

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Wish I Knew When I Would See You Again

Taken the week before
Christmas with our little Christmas tree
December 20, 1944 (9:15 am)

My dearest husband Perry,

I feel so guilty because I didn't write you last night so will try to make it up to you now. I have been showing our pictures to some of the people here at the office, and they think the pictures are swell, and that you are very handsome. I'm so proud of you, Perry.

Oh Perry, I wish I knew when I would see you again, and I pray it will be soon. How wonderful if we could go thru the temple before you get out of the Navy for that seems such a long time. My happiest most wonderful times are with you, Perry. Whenever I'm with you, I'm most content. I want nothing more than you and those things which will keep us together and the things that come with true love. Oh, Perry, I pray that the Lord will bring you safely back to me soon.

[Some of this letter has been lost. It picks up mid-sentence.] . . . . you a box of cookies, and you must get them right away. And I'm sending you something else too. (It's a surprise, now don't ask me) that I want you to have right away, darling. I miss you so much, Perry, and not hearing from you makes me feel rather uneasy and blue. I miss . . . . [and that's all there is of this letter.]

December 21, 1944

Hello My Darling,

Guess I kinda surprised you last night by dropping in on you like that, didn't I? And I surely liked what you said the first thing you walked in the door. It shows who you think of first. He was very highly and very surprisedly complimented. And oh, it was so good to have you in my arms again.

And we had such a good time down town listening and singing the Christmas music, though I'll admit I didn't want to at first. What did they say for you not singing with them? I hope they understood. Okay, darling, it is so good to be with you. No matter where we are or what we are doing, as long as I am with you, it makes it seem wonderful.

Sweetheart, I know this is short, but I promise I'll write more later when I have more time. For now I want to get this off so you'll get a letter from me.  All my love, Perry