Saturday, October 29, 2011

I remember so plainly that first Sunday I met you

Gene with her parents, Emmett and Leora Fast,
and her brother, Pierce
January 28, 1945

My Dearest Sweetheart Perry,

What are you doing this Sabbath day? Do they make you work this day too? It is a beautiful day here. Just like summer. The sun is so warm and bright. Perry, I miss you so much this day. How can I enjoy all these things without you with me? Let me tell you how I feel--this morning as I sat in Sunday school class, I felt as if only half of me were there. My other half is with you, dear, and you are so far away.

And my thoughts are ever divided thusly--they are with you and here too. Whenever I am enjoying something, I feel that it is only a part of me and I won't be able to fully enjoy a thing without you by my side. I know that you too experience this same feeling for you have expressed it in your letters to me. It's the first time I've been able to put into words this feeling of my need for you. I love you very much dear Perry.

(Monday morning) As usual, I did not finish yesterday and was feeling rather blue missing you. I spent a very quiet day at home yesterday. We had dinner late and then I fell asleep and mother didn't wake me until 6:00 p.m. We hurried off to church because I had to be on time to sing in the chorus. We sang two numbers, but we didn't do so well cause we hadn't practiced much.

Evan was conspicuously missing from chorus. He went to Arizona with Alden and Evelyn. He is going to work with Alden and his brother for a month. I miss Evelyn already. We were always together here at the office. Their marriage was really a surprise to most everyone here. I'm sending you the ward news which tells about it. Also the surprise of Ray Cottom's engagement. That was a blow to everyone at Adams.

Saturday evening after work I went to see Abbot and Costello's new show. It made me think of the last time I saw them. It was our first date, Perry, remember? I'll never forget it--it was such a perfect date. I remember how you laughed in that show--you couldn't stop. That funny man who got so mad cause he couldn't sleep so he banged his head on the bed and knocked himself out to sleep! It was such a crazy show, but we really enjoyed it.

Darling, I did a funny absent-minded thing. In my last letter to you, with the valentine, I mentioned that Mother and I had gone to a show. I couldn't for the moment think of the name, so I left a blank space to fill in later. Now don't you laugh. I forgot to fill in that blank space. I guess you are wondering what I was talking about. Well, the name of the show was "The Keys of the Kingdom" with Gregory Peck starring. It was really a good show. I hope you get to see it.

Will mail this now, and I do hope that soon, or by the time I hear from you again, you will have received the most of my letters. I love you my darling husband. Forever yours, Gene

January 28, 1945

My Dear Lovely Wife,

Today is another Sunday. Each Sunday brings my thoughts back to you, even from the first time I met you. I remember so plainly that first Sunday I met you. I can remember yet practically every move you made, all you did, all you said, and even the clothes you wore. I observed you so closely. I'm sure you didn't realize you were undergoing such an intense scrutiny. Had you known how I was watching you and what was going through my mind, you would probably have had stage fright, and then the charm that attracted me the most might have been lost.

I really should go back to the previous Saturday night, though, when I first met you and danced with you and loved you even from the beginning. (Only it has grown so much into such a big and beautiful thing since then.) Do you remember? You asked me if I thought you should go with those other fellows, and I wanted to tell you "no," but I had no claim on you and I was only a stranger. I told you in substance though. Sweetheart, why did you ask me? Oh, how well I recall how I hated to leave you that night, but how eager I was to meet you the next day.

Did you know I had quite a sleepless night that night. I kept thinking, "Can it be that at last. . . ?" I was peeved when Bernie and I missed the bus. I wanted to see you and talk with you before church and maybe even sit near you. My darling, every time I think about you, which is all the time, I think of nothing but happy pleasant memories. I hope and pray I, and we, always will have. I am surely going to try to make it so. I can remember a few times I have made you cry, but never intentionally. I have learned a few things about being thoughtful and considerate.

How do you like your music lessons by now? Tell me all about it. I wish I could take them. Maybe I will when I get back. However, I'm not without a few of the fundamentals. we will really have to sing some duets when I get back. We are surely going to have lots of fun, aren't we?

Sweetheart, I keep thinking about what you were wishing (but a little disappointed.) I think you know what I mean. I love you so much for it and because you have so many righteous desires. Those are the kind of things (and there are so many) that make me love you so much more all the time.

Darling, can you still get films? If so, I would like you to get some more snapshots of yourself and send them to me. I have those others and the ones you sent me, but I would like a few more, just a few occasionally, of you so I can keep seeing you as though I were yet with you. Also, your mention of the candy and cookies sounds very good to me.

Well dearest, I must close for tonight. I wish I could do as the song says, "Hide myself inside this letter." The best part is where it says, "I'd hop right out and kiss you like you've never been kissed before." I would really like to do that. Dearest, you are ever closest to my heart and foremost in my thoughts. Forever your love, Perry

p.s. Please don't worry about where I am at. Only be assured that I am safe and well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm sorry I can't tell you even where I have been

Gene with her Brownie camera
January 25, 1945 (lunchtime)

Dearest Perry,

I wanted to write you last night but several other things happened instead. Evelyn and Alden came over and I gave them a gift from the women of our office. It was a sheet and two pillow cases. They were quite thrilled as it was their first wedding present. I think I'll get them a bath towel set as our gift to them, Perry. They are leaving today for Arizona and will be married tomorrow morning in the Mesa Temple. How I wish you and I could be doing the same thing.

Then they took me over to her place to pick up some things I left there. On the way over, we saw red reflections in the sky, and I said it looked like a fire. Alden said, "Let's go!" So we drove out Adams (in his brother's car) to the fire. It was a garage on fire out near Western. It burned to the ground. It was really quite a big bonfire. Several fire departments were called out. Well, that was quite exciting. Then they brought me home again.

I was very tired last night, but before I went to bed, mother read about 3 sections or chapters from the "Signs of the Times." No, it was something else like that--I can't think of the name--something "Warnings." Anyway, it was all about the leading up to the Millennium and described the things that would happen during that time and after. Oh, it was so interesting, Perry. I just love to hear and read about it. I surely would like to be here during the thousand years of peace. What a wonderful experience that would be.

Tonight I must wash my hair and write Emily a letter. If I hear from my darling tonight I shall write you too. I think I write my best letters to you just after I have received one from you. Guess that's the way it is with you too. I've just been paid today. Must pay my tithing and put some in the bank. Perry, please tell me if you need anything. I love you my dearest husband. Your devoted wife, Gene

Gene with her mother,
Leora Fast
January 26, 1945 (lunchtime)

Dearest husband Perry,

I received another sweet letter from you. Mother brought it down to me yesterday. It was your letter of the 19th postmarked the 20th. Your letters come very speedily to me. I do hope you have received mine by this time, sweetheart, for I know how it is just waiting and looking daily for mail.

Well, I finally got my hair washed last night and it's curled up quite prettily today. Everyone in the office has noticed it.  Well, I guess Evelyn and Alden are married by this time. Their plans were that they would be married this morning. I surely am going to miss those kids. They kept all this a secret from the rest of the church except the bishop, but he is going to have it put in the ward paper which comes out this weekend. It sure will be a surprise to a lot of kids.

Say, Perry, Evan told me that your cousin, Ray Cottom, is engaged to Laura Vancott. I don't know if it's true or not. I haven't seen either of them for some time, but isn't that a surprise! I'm sending this with a Valentine. I like the little thought in it. Am sending also all my love dearest husband. Your own, Gene.

PS. Have taken some pictures several weekend Sundays ago but still in camera. I'll send them to you soon as they are developed.

January 26, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Today I received two letters from you. One was written on the 10th and the other the 1st of January. This was the one you told me all about your New Years party. I guess they got mixed up trying to follow me around. I especially thought your January 1st letter was really a "super-duper." Even if it had been written quite a while previous to the other letters I received, it was wonderful and I loved every word of it.

I'm sorry I can't tell you even where I have been. Most of it hasn't been very interesting and what has can wait. You needn't send me any news clippings (except things of local interest) because we get all the important news about as soon as you do. The radiomen copy it every day and we do have a radio in the mess hall, but it is usually too noisy to understand. Thanks, darling, though for thinking about it. You think of everything. I haven't received the Era as yet, but I will wait a while and if I don't receive it before long, I'll write them.

My darling, I love you so much the way you are putting your money away and planning for us. Your blessing said you would be blessed with frugality. I had to look it up in Websters to find out what it means. It means "thrifty" and I know that is just the way you are and the way you will always be. Darling, I am saving my money too. Only right now, as you know, I am in debt and just as soon as I get that paid I'll send my money to you to put away for us. I'm keeping an account of my tithing, and I am going to send it every three months.

Sweetheart, I still haven't written my mother and father nor my sisters and it's getting late. I'll write you again tomorrow. All my love (world's full), Perry.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perry, dear heart, your words of love will always thrill me

January 22, 1945 (Monday evening)

My Sweetheart Husband,

Something quite strange has happened. Tonight Betty, the nurse who lives up by the roof, came to our door and told us she saw a lot of mail downstairs behind the desk and a lot of letters addressed to me. Oh Perry, I knew they were from you. I ran downstairs and rang the buzzer to tell the lady. She came out and I told her about the mail Betty saw. She looked down and there it was--a lot of letters and things down in a corner near the floor. No one will ever know how long they had been collecting there. It was only by accident that Betty happened to see them there.

She has been anxiously looking for a letter from her boyfriend who is a marine somewhere in the South Pacific (like you, sweetheart). Well darling, among all those letters and things were these 4 sweet, wonderful letters from you, darling. Your letters of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th postmarked the 8th, 11th, 11th, and 12th. Well, it was such a shock and such a joy after disappointment of not having heard and not knowing why that I took them and went running and sobbing up the stairs to the apartment and was so excited I could hardly open them.

Oh Perry, my dearest, don't ever stop writing, Don't ever stop telling me you love me. Don't you know I long for those words from you. Darling, I shall never tire of having you express your love. Perry, dear heart, your words of love will always thrill me even as they did when you first spoke them to me. Please, please, darling, forgive me for writing you the way I did in my letter of the 17th or 18th. I'm afraid I was awfully harsh and not at all pleasant but very blue, trying to understand why I hadn't heard from you from your letter of the 3rd to your letter of the 15th which I received last Friday, January 18th. All of these letters which were found tonight explains it in full.

Sweetheart, you are so good to me and so considerate. I pray that I might ever be worthy of it all. I pray that I might not ever be a disappointment to you, Perry. Darling, I know you must have been in Hawaii though you do not speak of it. (I know you can't.) I do wish you were able to tell me about it. The pictures, are they of the temple? Did you get to see it? Were you able to go through the temple after all? I had hoped you could, for you had the recommend.

Oh, Perry, your schedule will keep you very busy I think, but I'm so glad to know you do have time for yourself. I'm so glad you will be able to read and study and take that course. I'm so proud of you, dearest, and I love you so much.

I received your December 1944 bond ($25) today, Perry. I didn't know you were buying bonds too or else I had forgotten. Well, darling, we can really save our money I see. I don't want to brag, but I think we are quite an economical couple. Perry, are you going to send your tithing money directly to the ward? I could take care of it for you, you know. Is there anything I could send that you might need, Perry? Soap, hankies, stationery, or anything? Please tell me if you want or need anything and I'll send it to you. I send you my love and all of my kisses, dearest. They are all yours. You have all of my love, dear heart.
June 8, 1947, baby Linda with her
grandmother, Leora Fast

Yes, darling, you were right about "knowing the score." We won't be having a child this time. That will have to wait too. I had hoped that it would happen, but the Lord knows best. Why were you so sure, Perry, that there would be no child this time? Oh, Perry, mother had a dream the other night. she said she saw our child--a beautiful little girl. She was with you but asking for "mama" and looked much like me when I was little. Wasn't that an interesting dream.

Perry, thank you for the pictures. I shall put them in the new album with space for you to fill in dates, places, etc. I thank the dear Lord that I have all of your letters now and pray that you will receive all of mine safely. Perry, I just love the birthday gift--that lovely perfume you sent me. I really treasure it cause it's from my love. I think you have such good taste, Perry. I like your selections of things. I love my rings. I'm so proud of them. Oh, I'm so proud of my darling husband. All my love and kisses, your own wife, Gene.

January 23, 1945

Dearest Husband Perry,

No letter today from my true love, but I know he writes me often. It's comforting to know that. Perry, I love you so and more and more all the time. I've been reading your letters over and over today. Oh, darling, I love your letters. Perry, you needn't worry about your writing. You write a very good hand, have a very exceptional vocabulary and express yourself clearly and are a very interesting correspondent. And darling, you may find it difficult at times to keep up a conversation, but I am so proud of the way you visit and converse with my folks (so at ease) and with people we don't know so well. Your manners are so perfect. You always know (or seem to) what to say and do. You know it's pretty wonderful having a husband that's so good and so handsome that even your relatives and friends brag about.

You may not believe it, Perry, but the ladies in my office are forever telling me what a good-looking man I got and how lucky I am. You know, they have met Alden now too, and some of them said to me, "Your husband is much more handsome than Evelyn's boyfriend." Gee, they've kind of "catty." Then I have to stick up for Evie and Alden, ha, ha.

I was so tired last night I couldn't finish. Evelyn called me late last night from Alden's. They are both so happy and excited. I reminds me of the week we were married, darling, when we were so busy buzzing around preparing for Friday. They are leaving tomorrow evening for Arizona (Mesa). She is buying new clothes and things today. She came into the office this morning to say goodbye to everyone and collect her pay. She has her engagement ring. It's very pretty--a little white gold ring--a bit smaller than mine. She is so proud of it. They will be in Arizona about a month and then come back here to live.

We had a letter from Dick yesterday and one from Pierce too. Pierce says it is very cold in Holland. Said he dreamed one night that he was back here in California and had an awful sunburn. That sure made Daddy laugh. Guess I'll have to write him and tell him how warm it is where you are and that you are getting a good suntan. Guess it's pretty warm where Dick is too.

Yes, darling, Mother and Daddy are both fine. Daddy's stomach is ok now and he is eating much better again. He still watches his diet tho. Virginia is still in San Diego and think she may stay there now. Don't think she married Dick after all. She wrote us a card but didn't go into any detail to tell us anything.

Do you get the war news, Perry? Guess Russia will soon be in Berlin, Germany. They are only about 100 miles away. I hope that means the end of the war soon. I pray for it to end every day. My dearest Perry, I hope you are well and hope you get all my letters too. Do you hear from your folks and your sisters regularly? I love you, my husband. Hope I get a letter from you today. God bless you, your devoted wife, Gene.

January 24, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Your letters have the most stimulating effect upon me. I received four of the sweetest letters today from you besides two from Logan and one from home. I guess I have been sorta slack in letter writing the last few days. It was so long without getting any mail, and I didn't have much to write about without revealing how blue I was becoming. I thought if I couldn't write a good letter, one that would bring you pleasure, consolation and joy in reading, I had best not write at all. Is that the right attitude, my sweetheart? forgive me. I will try to do better hereafter.

But, darling, after reading your sweet letters, I'm afraid it would be hard to control myself to keep from writing to you now the desire is so intense. (I forgot to tell you I received one letter from you yesterday. It was dated the 8th. The others were dated the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th.) Sweetheart, even though I am far away from you, I love you more and more all the time.

Oh, my darling, I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes when you were telling me about your fasting and praying. I am so thankful to all of you and to my own parents and sisters. I also always make mention of Dick and Pierce in my prayers and pray that the day might be hastened when we can all, all who love peace and righteousness, return to those we love. I love your parents so much. I believe that as Sister Stouffer told me that I could not have married into a better family. It makes me feel rather weak and humble as though I weren't deserving of the faith and prayers of so many fine people. And when I read the letters of such a sweet wife, I cry out in my heart how I love her and offer a silent prayer that I might have the strength to be worthy of her and make her love for me grow even with the eternities.
Perry standing in front of his and Gene's first home in
Provo, Utah, 1946

My darling, I love you even more because of your desire. And the way you put it made me realize more and more how much I love you. It was also what I was inwardly wanting, but I left it in the hands of the Lord and prayed that He would do what was best. And darling, now I am sure it is for the best and please don't be disappointed because we are going yet to have a lot of time together, not only to plan, but to build, when we will no longer be living only for the future, but will be happily living the present.

And now, my love, if you want to know something that really thrills me, it's when you write and ask my opinion about whether or not you should take music lessons, sell your phonograph, etc. Some people probably would call that rather childish, but I guess we all like to be "kidded" along into thinking our opinions are really worth something. With me, though, it is much more than that. You see I haven't had much of a chance as yet to really play the part of a husband. I guess every man has an inborn desire to someday be "the head of his household" and that desire has always been very strong, especially lately, with me. This is as it should be, but when we are so far apart, it makes that rather difficult.
Gene and Perry's first home

However, a home takes in much more than a couple sheltered under one roof. It also means the combined love, hope, faith, and even sorrows and a unity of purpose and spirit for the ultimate good of them and their family. This we have now, and it is this that makes us willing to wait for the time when distance and the circumstances incident to war will no longer separate us.

Sweetheart, I really do want you to take music lessons. It would be good if you could take piano lessons, but you should really have a piano to practice on, and practice really more than you would have time for now, in my opinion, make it worthwhile and pay. Perhaps later when you can have a piano and will not be working. I do, though, think it is a good idea for you to take vocal lessons, especially with the extra practice you will be getting at chorus twice a week. I suggest you try it for at least a month and if you still like it, go on and take lessons for a year or as long as you like, or until I get out of the Navy. Don't think about the cost because if it will increase your self-confidence and consequently your happiness it's value cannot be measured in money. Anyway, I think her price is reasonable.

About the phonograph: that will have to depend on how badly you want it and how much you think you can get out of it. When I buy one, as I promised, it is really going to be a good one so we may have to wait quite a little while for it, and we may want yours until then. What you do, though, will be all right by me.

It made me feel badly about Virginia. I think I can partly realize how it must make her feel, especially after she has already had so many unpleasant experiences, which has almost made her lose all belief in love. Since she met him at church, it's too bad he couldn't have been a different kind to give her at least a pleasant memory of our church.

So Evelyn finally decided to marry Alden. I think it's swell. They'll make a good couple. Only I feel a little bit jealous of them because they are going to the temple and will be able to be together all the time. Oh, well, our time is coming, isn't it?

Well, sweetheart, after looking this over I see I have written quite a lot. I hope it justifies the space it covers and the time it will take you to read it. Darling, my heart yearns for you. I love you so much, your affectionate husband, Perry.

p.s. I'm curious about that little package you are sending. I'll be looking for it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Are you writing to me today? I hope so.

Spring, 1942, Washington DC
January 19, 1945
Friday evening

Dearest Sweetheart,

I know you were in Hawaii now. At least that's what the darling little wooden perfume container says. The lovely perfume came from there didn't it? Oh, Perry, how sweet and thoughtful of you. I love it cause it came from you. I must show my friends what my darling sent me when they come over. It came today with a sweet letter of the 15th when my darling apologizes for the "gloomy" letter sent the 13th.

Sweetheart, I cried so when I read that letter. I knew you were blue. When you are gloomy, I will be gloomy too. I can't help it. Guess we will have to try to keep pepping each other up. I can't be brave without your help, sweetheart.

Perry, it may seem like it may be a long time before you return. But I pray always that it might be soon that you can return, that this awful war might end very soon, and not last long like men say. Surely He hears our prayers, Perry. He answers prayers. we must have faith. Your letter was so sweet, darling. I love the way you write your thoughts and the things you've been planning in your mind about our future. I long for that day when you shall come and take me to Utah and the temple.

Perry, I went to the dentist in Huntington Park this morning and had that awful wisdom tooth pulled out. It took a whole hour--the tooth was below the surface you know. Golly, it sure does hurt now where the tooth used to be and my throat and ear hurts too from it. But I'm sure glad it's out now. I brought the thing home to show Dad. Guess I'll keep it for a souvenir. It's a perfect tooth. Now don't you laugh at me. I didn't go to work today either, just came right home to take it easy. (I'm just a baby.)

I received a sweet letter from Emily today too. She hears from Dick quite often. He is near the Holy Lands and may get a chance to visit Palestine he says. He tells of the awful conditions the natives live in over there. They just live in filth and poverty not knowing any better. He says the average age is about 21 before they die. They are quite mature at 12 and 13 years. Isn't it terrible. And they think that the Americans are wealthy. Dick has picked up some souvenirs and is going to send them to Emily. She says there will be something for me too. He is sending her a solid ivory necklace she said. He can get them very reasonable over there. You and Grant and Dick and Pierce are sure seeing a lot of the world. Gee, if we ever got the four of you together, we could sure learn about a lot of geography, first hand too.

Mother received a letter from Pierce today. It seems he was not able to contact the LDS fellows who were so close to him. He is with a very worldly bunch who cuss from sunup to sundown he says. He gets to read quite a bit I guess so studies his Bible and Book of Mormon and also has the Improvement Era. I hope you are getting yours, Perry. Have you received the January issue yet? He says it is very cold, which reminds him of Wisconsin. Is it still very warm where you are, honey? Write me as often as you can, sweetheart. I love you so very much my husband. Good night dear heart. Gene

January 21, 1945
Sunday at home

My Dearest Husband,

Are you writing to me today? I hope so. I can see that your letters come much faster to me. You are constantly on the move so therefore my letters will take longer getting to you. I try to write you every day, Perry, so perhaps you will sometimes think my letters are rather short. But I tell you everything, dearest Perry. Everything that happens in my life while you are away, I shall share with you in my letters.

I've been sitting here looking at our wedding picture. You are smiling so broadly that as I look I can almost hear your laugher, Perry. Your voice is so rich and low and your laugh so full of enjoyment. Then I remembered the first time you teased me. I thought you were going to kiss me. Then you slyly drew away laughing. Then I teased you to show you what it was like. That didn't last very long tho. I just can't resist you, Perry. You're so sweet and so good. I love you very, very much my handsome husband.

I didn't write you yesterday, sweetheart, cause my jaw was aching so bad I couldn't concentrate on anything else. I stayed home from work too. It even hurt to talk. It's much better today tho, just a little sore now. (Aren't I an awful baby?)

Today is conference Sunday. Daddy and Mother went to the Wilshire Ward this morning. It was quite chilly out and Mother said I should stay home and keep warm so my jaw wouldn't ache or my ear hurt. But I am much better and want to go tonight to the evening service.

(Later Monday morning) The evening services at Wilshire Ward last night were wonderful. We rode over with Brother and Sister Gregory. We got there in time for the vesper music. It was so pretty, Perry. Someone sang "O Devine Redeemer" and there was a girl who played the piano so beautifully. The speakers were Bishop Legrand Richards from Salt Lake City (speaks quite loudly but is good) and Nicolas G. Smith who spoke on tithing. I really enjoyed his talk.

Oh, Perry, I surely wish you could have been there. I sat with Evelyn and Alden. I was so surprised to see him back. He came back Friday for one reason--to get Evelyn and take her back with him. She finally said "yes" to him. They will be married in the temple in Mesa next Friday. I am so happy for them. She really does love him she says. The Arlington Ward's girl chorus sang your favorite Christmas song "O Holy Night." Then they sang "Come to Me." The music was Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." It was beautiful music, Perry. I so wished you could have been there with me.

Oh, darling, the perfume you sent me for my birthday is so lovely. I put some on my hankie yesterday and am carrying it everywhere with me. You are so sweet and thoughtful dear Perry. Have you heard from your folks lately? They surely do love you. My dearest husband, I miss you so much. I love you. I love you. Your own wife, Gene

Sunday, January 21

My Darling Wife,

We don't seem to stop long enough in one place to get any mail. But maybe if I keep writing you will be able to hear from me fairly regularly anyway, and sooner or later my mail will catch up with me. I just got through reading the three letters I received from you since I last saw you, and that gave me renewed inspiration. They seemed almost as good as when I first read them, and I tell you again that they were so sweet. But then how could they be otherwise coming from such a sweet person.

My darling, I keep thinking how lucky I am to have a wife like you. And I am happy, even though I am far away from you, happy because you are my wife and that someday we can continue where we left off and have our home and family and love will be present to overflowing. The very thought makes me thrill with joy. Must close now. All my love to the one I love most of all. Your affectionate husband, Perry

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How Often I Dream of Your Return

Gene with parents and her brother,
Pierce, Lake Arrowhead, Aug. 8, 1943
January 15, 1945

My dearest Perry,

No letter today from my dear one. Oh Perry, you don't know how I live for your letters. They mean so much to me. It's been 7 or 8 days since I've heard from you but seems much longer. But I know soon I'll have a pile of letters to read--oh where are they now. I have written several thank you letters. Must write Dick and Pierce too. But you are first every night about this time.

I asked the boss (Mrs. Whiting) today if I could have Friday off cause that's the day I have to have my wisdom tooth pulled. I made that appointment in November, Perry, when you were still here. It seems such a long time ago. I'll sure be glad when the tooth is out. It's been bothering me so lately.

I'm going over to Verna's at 8:00 o'clock. Virginia will walk over with me. She and Dick have broken up. He wanted to marry her and they would have gone through with it. But today while she was with him  making plans, she kept asking him questions. Well you would never guess what happened. She finally found out that he has been married. He told her he has a little girl. When he was in the Army and stationed in North Dakota, he met a girl and married her, but they didn't get along even from the start. So they separated and his divorce will be final in September of this year.

He is very lonesome like my cousin so thought they ought to be able to hit it off together. But Virginia would have none of him when she found this out. I feel so sorry for her now though cause it has all upset her quite a bit and made her cry tonight. She is still so unsettled--no job yet and no place to live. She has been looking for an apartment. Of course mother will keep her here as long as she wants to. Guess she will go back east with her mother in the spring. Dad and mother have gone ward teaching this evening. Daddy is getting so he can eat better now too. You know how bad his stomach is at times. He fasted yesterday and felt wonderful.

(Later) I took my first voice lesson tonight, Perry. I liked it. Verna says that if I will stick at it for a year, she promises I will have a very beautiful voice and will be singing solos in church. It sounds pretty wonderful doesn't it. She likes my voice and says I would be a lyric soprano. My voice is quite high. What do you think, Perry, shall I take a years training?

Well, darling, I must go to bed now. Oh dear heart, where are you tonight? God be with you and give you his protection I pray in Jesus' name, amen. I love you my husband. Your own wife, Gene

January 17, 1945

Oh my love, my sweetheart, how I miss you. How often I dream of your return. I love you so much, Perry. I want you.

January 18 - at office

I wasn't able to finish this last night. I was so tired and so blue. But I always want to write you every night. Perry (now don't you laugh) I want to tell you something. Well, I guess I must be filling out and changing in appearance. I am being teased. Dad says I'm getting more beautiful every day--thinks my face is fuller. Mother thinks I'm gaining weight and becoming more mature cause I'm married and in love. (Guess who I love.) Evelyn says I'm changing too. Every time I wear a sweater she says, "You look good in sweaters, Gene. Say, you're getting bigger, aren't you?" which makes me blush. I think you have a lot to do with this, Perry. Now what do you have to say for yourself?

Virginia went to San Diego again to see her mother. I do believe she will marry that Dick Tucker after all. I really don't think he is good enough for her, but he has talked her into it. He is with her. She wanted her folks to meet him.

Perry, the ladies here in the office said to say "hello" for them. They ask me about you nearly every day. Perry, you know I like California. The weather here is just perfect. It hasn't rained here since December and it seems like spring now. I'm sending you that little package I told you about. Please let me know when you get it, honey. I love you, my sweetheart husband. Please take good care of yourself for me. I hope I have some mail from you tonight. Always your loving wife, Gene

August 22, 1944, Gene's brothers,
Richard home on leave and Pierce recently enlisted
January 18, 1945 (Thursday evening)

Dearest husband Perry,

Today I received your letter of the 13th. It was postmarked the 15th. Darling, day by day I have looked for a letter or letters from you. I guess you must have been busy or you would have written sooner. Oh Perry, sweetheart, I try to write you a letter everyday as I promised. I did so think that you would too. Was I expecting too much? Should I not be this disappointed? Darling, you know your letters are like having you here. Won't you come to me oftener in this medium? Perry, it's not that I think you would slight me or forget me. I just see my girlfriends getting letters so often from there boyfriends and husbands and missing you so, I forget that your letters can't reach me everyday cause you are in the Navy. I love you so much, sweetheart. Please write me often too. If we can't be together again for a long time, let's make it easier for each other this way. Oh, I am so blue tonight, Perry, but I mustn't cry. I must be brave. God help me.

I went to chorus practice tonight. I didn't feel much like singing though. Oh Perry, I know I mustn't write such depressing letters to you. I have a feeling that you too must have been feeling blue. Were you crying too, my lover, when you wrote this letter? I feel so close to you that whatever you feel I know I must too. I pray each night that soon you might return that we could be together forever. I pray that the war might end soon. The dear Lord will guide you back to me, Perry, I know He will. He answers prayers. Our hearts will be comforted. He will give us strength to endure.

We had quite an earthquake tonight, Perry. It left us quite shaken up. It was about like the last one we had. Mother and I have told you about that one. It happened when we were in church. This one happened right after I started writing you this letter. They sure do scare me.

We received a letter from Emily today, also one from Richard. He is still in Egypt. Said he'd received a letter from you. How sweet of you, darling, to write him. He will be writing you too he said. Emily [Richard's wife, Gene's sister-in-law] says Ricky has just gotten over the chickenpox. He had it pretty bad. What a wonderful blessing that child is to her. He really keeps her busy, but she seems so happy. I wish more than ever now that I were going to have a child. But that must wait now too. It must have been the Lord's will that we not have a child till after your return.

I am having my tooth pulled early in the morning so had better go to bed now and get some sleep. My prayers and thoughts are ever with you dear heart. I love you so. Your loving wife always, Gene.

I thought at this point it might be helpful to occasionally post what is happening on the Pacific front during the war. It could explain why Perry is not always able to write as often as Gene would like. Remember, Perry is on a navel carrier assigned to transport planes and troops, but for security purposes, he is not allowed to write about where he is or what he is doing. 

"January 3, 1945 - Gen. MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself. January 11, 1945 - Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. Carrier-based planes." (

My Darling Sweetheart,

It seems like quite a while since I wrote you and yet I know it has only been a few days. I hope you have been getting my mail often enough to keep you from getting the blues. I can't write you very much right now, but I do want to get this off and tell you again how much I love you and that everything is ok with me. I hope you are doing as well.

I surely do hope I get some of that mail soon that surely must be stacking up for me some place. That will be more fun that opening Christmas packages. Darling, I love you so much. I think of you all the time. Please when you write, tell me all that you are doing and don't hold back anything. Tell me everything that is in your heart. Devotedly yours forever, Perry

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I love you for always and always

January 13, 1945 (Our third month anniversary.)

My dearest Perry,

Here it is another weekend, time flies by. It will soon be a month since I've seen you. Oh my darling, how I miss you. When will you come back? I find myself hoping I'll be with child this month. I'm so lonely. If I were to have a child, I know it would help me Perry. I would have a little of you here with me to hold in my arms. Is it wrong to pray for this, Perry. [As Perry and Gene's first child, I wasn't born for two more years, so she had to wait a little longer for this wish to come true.]
Perry & Gene with first two children, Linda and Marian,
1951, Salt Lake City, Utah

I had a sweet letter from your father yesterday, darling. They miss you too and think of you always. He wants all of us to make tomorrow, Sunday, a special fast day. It's for you, sweetheart. We are also remembering Grant in our prayers. Oh, I long to meet your folks, Perry. I think they are wonderful.

I plan on going over to the ward tonight to join the crowd. I do have fun dancing and mixing in with the kids, but Perry, I miss you there too. Of course there are a few like me, but most of the kids seem to have a partner. I have a partner too--the best one in the whole world--but he is so far away. My heart is always with you, Perry.

We've been married three months, Perry. I'm so glad we married when we did, darling. I know I would be much more lonely and a very sad thing if I did not have you, dear husband, to dream and plan for. How wonderful it is being married to you. I love you, Perry. I love you for always and always. May our dear Father in Heaven ever protect us and guide us and bring us together soon is my constant prayer. Amen. Your wife, Gene

January 14, 1945 Sunday eve.

Dearest husband Perry,

I fasted today and in my humbleness I spoke to my Heavenly Father of the things closest to my heart. Such a comforting and peaceful feeling has come to me and I know my prayers are being answered.
Last night I read most everything in the January Improvement Era. I get so much good from reading in the LDS magazine.
Perry & Gene with all of their six children, 1959, LA, Calif.

Well, darling, you can relax. Yesterday I was really hoping that maybe I could be with child. But before I could give it much thought, the usual monthly thing happened today, very naturally, but a few days early. Perry, you may laugh, but I was very disappointed. Darling, you don't know how much I want a child--your child. Our Father in Heaven is with us tho and ever guiding us. So I am comforted and know that my children will come later.

Today was a beautiful day, warm and bright. I enjoyed church so much. The chorus sang tonight. We sang "Ye Simple Souls Who Stray" and "Thanks Be to God"--this one is beautiful. I like it so much. This afternoon I stayed in reading most of the time The Book of Mormon, but I took a nap too for I felt kind of droopy.

Tomorrow starts another day of work. I like my office job better than any I've ever had, but Perry, I only want it as long as you are away. When you come back, I want to quit that kind of work and be with you. Tomorrow evening I'm going over to Verna Johnson's house and see if she can test my voice and give me some lessons. I really don't know if I should spend the time and money or not. Guess I should be taking piano lessons instead.

I must write a couple of thank you notes to two girlfriends and write your folks before retiring. I hope I hear from you soon, sweetheart. I miss you so. I love you, Perry, always and always. You are ever uppermost in my thoughts, Perry, every minute every day. Your devoted wife, Gene

January 15, 1945

My Dearest Darling,

This letter is partly to try and redeem myself from the last letter I wrote. Guess I get sort of moody at times when I am away from you for so long.  Strange, I don't have anything particular to write about and yet I feel like writing. Guess it's just because I want to be near you and writing to you is the best substitute there is to actually being with you. Guess it's sort of like when I first started going with you. I wasn't a very good conversationalist and didn't have much to talk about to interest you, and yet I wanted to be with you all the time. Later when I knew you better, I didn't worry about what to say, it just all came very natural. That's the way it is now, I just feel like writing what comes in my mind, sort of like talking to you.

Golly, honey, you are the foremost thing in my mind all the time. Last night in particular, I had the 12-04 watch, and you were so much on my mind. I would just keep thinking about you on different occasions and then a big smile would creep on my face and I would say aloud, "Oh! I love her so much!" Then I would think of some of the other things about you and it would almost make tears come to my eyes, tears of joy and thanksgiving.

Oh, Gene, sometimes you are so "cute" and sweet and other times so serious and reserved--always just right for the occasion. You surely do seem to have a versatile personality. Guess that is why I married you. I spend quite a lot of my time thinking and making plans for us after the war. It isn't idle thinking of the daydream type, but really constructive planning. Oh, pray that the day will come soon when we can plan together and work them out together. The first thing we want to do is head for Utah and the temple, isn't it?

I'm hoping we will get some mail on board tomorrow, and I hope I have a whole stack of letters from you. Well, say goodnight for now, sweetheart. Your affectionate husband, Perry

Monday, October 3, 2011

I am so lonesome for you tonight, darling

Gene in downtown L.A. with
one of her girlfriends.
January 11, 1945

Dearest Perry,

I have just spoken an earnest prayer to my Father in Heaven--it was for you Perry. And then I asked if it might be His will that you and I could be together again soon and be sealed in the temple. I am so lonesome for you tonight darling. But I know I must have patience to wait, that is what my blessing tells me. Oh, I have been so richly blessed. Surely the Father loves me. I will find the answers to my prayers.

Today I received another lovely wedding gift for us Perry. It was a silver salt and pepper set from a girl I knew quite well in Washington D.C., Sara McCracken. I don't remember if I told you about her or not. She is not a member of the church but knew me before I was one.

Alden called Evelyn tonight. He is coming in to L.A. for some supplies and wants to take her back with him to be married in the temple. She says she wants to go home and see her mother first so is deciding to leave in about a couple of weeks. Ginnie is still with us--still looking for a job too. I don't know exactly what she plans to do. Think she wants to go back east in the spring. She is still dating that Dick Tucker fellow we met at the party. This evening Evelyn and I went to see "Frenchman's Creek." It was quite picturesque. I liked the music and technicolor scenes. I'd much rather see a movie with my husband tho.

(Later, January 12) Perry, I'm sending you something I think you'll find more useful than another that you have. I hope you will like it better. I want you to have it. It's a little package. Tell me when you get it. I didn't finish this letter last night, darling. It got late so quickly so will mail it now.

Perry, I am considering selling my record player. I paid so much for it and think I could sell it for the same. Then after you get out of the Navy, you will get us a radio-combination player like you said. Remember you said that was one of the first things you wanted to get? I'll keep most of the records tho. I'm putting every cent I can in the bank, Perry, for us. I'll let you know when we've reached $1,000. It won't take long you know.

Must close now. I do hope you are receiving my letters. I hope I get a letter from my love tonight. I love you so much Perry. Your devoted wife for ever and ever, Gene
Gene with a girlfriend.

January 13, 1945

My lovely wife,

It was so good to receive two such sweet and wonderful letters as I received today. They were postmarked the 5th and 6th. They were so sweet after such a long wait. I literally devoured them. I did like the one so much that was so long and newsy. It was about the best letter I have ever received, excluding none. I kept reading them over and over and now it has given me inspiration to write again and to live again. You see my darling you really have quite a stimulating effect upon me.

Yes, my dear, I am a long ways away from you, measured in miles only, and it looks like it will be a long time before we can be together again. That is a hard saying I know, but I guess we will have to face it with the most faith, hope, and courage we can muster up. Often when I get blue and discouraged, I read the 122nd section of the Doctrine and Covenants and see what others have had to go through with only the promise, "It shall be for thy good." If that is the most sympathy Joseph could expect for all his troubles, I guess we should scarcely expect more while ours are only minute in comparison.

Well I am sure that all I have said so far has served but very little to give you any comfort or make you feel better in any way. But you see, I have always been spiritual by nature and oftentimes I long to pour my heart out to someone pertaining to the knowledge, mercies and wisdom of the Lord. But anyone with a corresponding soul seems impossible to find around here, so I turn to my wife whom I know will understand and whose heart and soul are in perfect tune with mine. It is at such times that my pen seems very disobedient to write anything except what is in my heart anyway. I hope you don't think all that is a mere superfluity of words. It surely isn't intended to be so.

We are underway again and each time takes me farther away from you. Thank goodness I haven't been so unfortunate as to get seasick anymore. Maybe I do have my sea legs now. PAUSE (That was a pause to knock on wood.) Glad to know that Dick and Pierce are so well situated at the present. I'm sorry to say that my recreational facilities, food, and church contacts aren't as good as theirs sound to be.

This letter all seems to sound rather disillusioning. I hope it doesn't cause you to feel bad or worry because there is really no reason to because honestly, Gene, I am really getting along quite well. Must close for now. Please my darling, write me as often as you can. I love you with all my heart. Affectionately yours, Perry