Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am quite well, safe and live fairly comfortably

March 1, 1945

My Darling Gene,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2, 1945

My dearest Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The mail is the main thing I look for

February 27, 1945
Morning before work

My sweetheart Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 27, 1945, bedtime

Dearest sweetheart Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 27, 1945

My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 28, 1945

Hello My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

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

February 25, 1945

My Dearest Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 25, 1945

My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 26, 1945

My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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

Feb.  20, 1945

Hello My Love,

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

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

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

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

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

February 23, 1945

My dearest Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 24, 1945

My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I just live from one letter to the next

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

My dear darling wife,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 18, 1945

My Darling,

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

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

Feb. 19, 1945

My Darling Gene,

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 21, 1945 Wednesday

My dearest Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

If my letters make you happy, then I am happy

Feb. 14, 1945

My Darling Wife,

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 15, 1945

Dearest husband Perry,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb. 16, 1945

My Darling Gene,

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

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

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

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

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

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