Saturday, March 31, 2012

Looks like the war is pretty near over in Europe

April 30, 1945

Hello Sweetheart,

No letter from my darling for the last three days. I s'pose it got kinda hard for you to write after not receiving any for so long. Maybe you just felt like you couldn't write any more until you heard from me. I couldn't blame you. I surely hope I'll hear from you tomorrow.

Saw a Laurel & Hardy show tonight. It was kinda silly, you know like the one we saw, but I had to laugh in spite of myself like I did when I was with you. It would surely be good to laugh and enjoy myself again like that.

Later: Didn't have time to finish this last night. They turned the lights out on me. Gene, did you ever get my music back from that lady? (I can't even remember her name.) I have been wondering about it but could never remember to ask you. I don't want to lose it. This morning is May 1st and a really very beautiful day. I wish I were back with you and I could really enjoy it. Maybe we could braid a maypole or something, huh? We would do something special anyway, wouldn't we? I think I would be perfectly happy just to go for a "May walk" only with you, my darling.

I hope my mail is coming to you regularly now. Please, Sweetheart, write me every day like you did and tell me all about you. You know, darling, I've told you--your husband likes to know everything about his little wife--even the little things. Always yours, from your husband who loves you very dearly, Perry

May 2, 1945

My Darling Wife,

No letter again either yesterday or today. Right now when I think I should at last be hearing from you regularly, I get no letter at all--how's that? It's been five days since I heard from you. Did you stop writing because you didn't hear from me for so long? I hope that isn't the reason, but then I could hardly blame you. It is all probably just delayed in the mail. But it makes me wonder--wonder if anything could be wrong. It is good that each new day brings new hope.

This is starting off a rather poor letter, isn't it. It's pretty hard to write when you don't receive any mail though, isn't it? I guess nobody would know that any better than you, would they? Guess if I don't get some mail pretty quick, I'll have to get out some of your old ones and reread them so I can get some inspiration for my letters. You know, I have told you that you are the main source of my inspiration.

Looks like the war is pretty near over in Europe, doesn't it? I wish it was that near over out here. I hope another year will finish everything up. Then I can come back to my love and we can be together forever and do those things our hearts now long so much for. I hope I will be able to see you before then though, but we never can tell. We can only live daily with the best faith and hope that we can and trust in the Lord for the outcome. It will surely be good if Dick, Pierce and Grant can all come home now, won't it?

It must be beautiful back in California right now in May time. (Even more so in Utah--ahem.) I wish I were back there to enjoy it with you. It's quite beautiful here too, but I only have a partial appreciation for it. That is the best I can do until I am able to be with you again, my love.

Well, Sweetheart, it seems like about half of, or most of, my letters are written complaining about not receiving any mail from you. You must get very tired of it especially when I know you probably write me more often than I do you. Please try to forgive me, my darling. It's only that I long so much to be with you and your letters are the nearest thing I have to realizing that.

Sweetheart, it's quite late now so I'll have to stop for now, but only stop writing. My thoughts will go on loving and adoring you. Yours forever, Perry

Gene with her brother Pierce
May 2, 1945 (Wed. eve.)

My Sweetheart Perry,

I received your two sweet letters of the 27th April today. It seemed so strange and kind of funny too that you should mention not receiving my letter telling you that I didn't go to the Gold and Green Ball and then that very day get the letter from me of March 17th.

You probably have about all of my letters up to date now. But, Perry, you never received my tin box of cookies and candy, did you? Oh well, maybe it's just as well. The candy wasn't so good anyway. The cookies were tho. Wonder what ever happened to them?

Oh Perry, what am I going to do with you! You must understand me--I don't ever want to disappoint you. Darling, I am far from perfect. I have so many faults. I must strive to overcome them. But you mustn't say all those things about me. It frightens me. Perry, your family haven't met me yet. You must let them draw their own conclusions when they see me. I want very much to be all those things you speak of tho. I shall try so hard.

I'm glad you got the ward news. I forgot all about it. Well, your "little rascal" was sitting in the second row on request. You see, the chorus sang that nite, so when they started to take the picture, they asked the chorus to come down and take the front rows. We sat back of the bishopric, and I didn't whisper either.

I guess you got your birthday card a little early from me. But I didn't know how long it would take to get to you. I've sent you another--a different kind--sorta funny. Maybe it will come closer to May 6th. Tell me what you think of it.

Golly that was a long letter, that first one I got today, and such a sweet one, Perry. You are surely making up for all those days last month when I didn't hear from you. I hope we both will not have to experience that again. I am so anxious to know where you were and why our communication was stopped. But I'm guessing.

Pierce Fast
Mother received a letter from Pierce today, also a package. He sent us all something: a bottle of perfume each for Emily and me, a box of powder for Mother and a cute little pair of wooden shoes for Dad. Such a dear little brother. He is in the 9th Army in Germany, you know. Says he has been very busy the past month and doesn't find much time to write. Guess it's about over, over there now. I hope it means it's not much longer for the Pacific war.

Oh, Perry, it's going to be such a thrill to have you choose a gown for me. I won't buy one, darling, I promise. I want to wear the one you choose. I've never had a white formal before. I shall be so proud of it. Darling, I am enclosing an invitation I received (we received) to the wedding reception of your cousin, Ray Cottam. I got a little gift for them from you and me--two pretty hand towels.

Must say good nite now. It's getting quite late. I love you, Perry. Always your very own Gene

PS. Yes, Perry, I will wear the little white blouse for you when you come back. I shall save it for that very special date.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I can never get enough of you, my love

April 27, 1945

My Darling Gene,

I have before me about 15 of your letters I've received in the last few days. I literally live in each one. I also have some of your pictures before me, so all in all I am very close to you. Not nearly close enough though, my darling. Nothing can quite substitute actually being there with you and holding you in my arms. The thought of that day is the main thing that supplies me with my daily endurance. Sweetheart, I love you very dearly. Do you know that?

My dear wife, I'm sure nothing could ever make me forget the time we saw "Wilson." How well I remember that blouse you wore. Your very mention of it thrilled me beyond description. Will you wear it again for me when I come back, huh? The most recent letter I have from you was mailed on the 22nd. It was so sweet, but how could it be otherwise when such a sweet girl talks like that to her husband.

My darling, I love you for so many things. You are so thoughtful about my family and always sending them such nice little things. They all love you so very much. You needn't worry about them forming any exaggerated opinions about you. They love you because you are so sweet, clean and thoughtful--in fact, almost an embodiment of all the virtues. But then they don't know you as well as I do or they couldn't help but love you much more.

Then too, my sweetheart, you mention about your missionary work with that girl. You needn't say "maybe I will be a missionary," because anyone who lives daily as you do is a missionary, my sweetheart. The bishop sent me that paper with the picture of the ward reunion too. It came before the one you sent me. I picked you out right away, you little rascal. How come you and Evelyn were so close to the front? I expected to find you in the back--whispering to each other. Now that I have two, I think I'll send one home, you know, and sort of advertise Adam's ward. You know I'm a full-fledged member there now, so I ought to kinda help boast, don't you think, haha.

No, my darling, I'm sure you don't miss my letters any more than I miss yours, or vice versa. It makes me feel bad too when I know that it is impossible for my mail to reach you. I really love to write you daily, sweetheart. It's the only outlet I have for my pent-up feelings. It's the nearest thing I have to talking to you.

I am surprised about you meeting Reese Olsen. Yes, we were at Farragut together. He is a fine fellow. He and three others had quite a good quartet. Apparently he is now detached with the Marines. If you see him again, tell him hello for me.

Gene, that was a very lovely birthday card you send me, and the pictures you sent me, as I told you, were wonderful. Don't feel bad about not being able to send me anything else. Your love is sufficient, my darling. We will yet have plenty of time for other things.

Well, my sweetheart, I'm hoping I'll get another letter from today. No matter how much I get, I always want more. I can never get enough of you, my love. All my love is enclosed in this letter, my dearest, and if it were possible, I would enclose myself. Your ardent husband, Perry

P.S. You never did tell me (or I haven't received the letter) about the Gold & Green ball you went to with your cousin. Sweetheart, I think of you all the time. Don't remember what I was thinking about on the 17th (18th for me) but I do remember of thinking you would probably be going to the Gold & Green ball with your cousin. My darling, I think of you so much that it's hard to tell if I think of you more at one time than another. I love you very earnestly, my love. Forever yours, Perry

April 29, 1945

Hello My Lovely Wife,

I think of you constantly, my darling, but today I was completely lost without you. I went to church (ashore) and I guess that is about the most I have missed you since I left. That is the first time I have been to church since I was with you, and it was so wonderful to have you with me then. I guess I just felt that you just naturally belonged by my side--and it is right that I should. I did enjoy it today quite a lot though. It seemed so good after being away from it for five months.

I also met my former high school basketball coach and also a fellow I knew at Farragut. I was glad to see them and they seemed to respond mutually. My former coach is now a lieutenant in the Navy. I only felt as though half of me were there, so it was impossible for me to enjoy it to the fullest extent. After church I missed you more because there were so many interesting things we could have done together.

Oh well, our time is coming and we are really going to make up for the time we have lost, aren't we, huh? When I saw everyone else ( or at least a good many of them) going away in couples to enjoy the afternoon together, I realized, I think more than ever, how hard it must be for you back there seeing everyone going on dates and coupling off while you either have to be an extra or else just stay home while your husband is so far away and for so long. Doesn't it make you sometimes regret being a "war bride" and the wife of a sailor who can be with you so little?

I know you are very brave, my darling, and I love you so much for it. I know that courage, bravery, and heroism are not only found on the battlefield, but often possessed and displayed to a much greater degree by those who anxiously wait at home. Darling, those qualities which made me love you when I first knew you have made me love you constantly more and more daily, and will make me love you throughout all eternity. I do love you with all my soul, my darling.

I received some candy and a fruitcake from Hazel, Hope and June today. It was for my birthday. It was mailed April 4th. Your package hasn't arrived as yet. I guess it is still trying to catch up with me while theirs came direct to this place. I will get it sometime though, sweetheart.

I hope you are feeling better now that the mail situation has improved, or at least it should have. I can understand your anxiety when you went for so long without any mail, and I'm sure you know that had it been humanly possible, I would have written you. You do know that, don't you sweetheart?

Did I tell you I have the other $50 to send you. It's in a money order, and I will mail it in a separate letter tomorrow. It's yours, darling, to go in with your own account to do with as you see fit. Do you know that I am completely out of debt now? Guess your husband isn't much of a money maker (yet anyway) but what I lack financially I will try to make up in love. Will that suit you for a while? Goodnight for now, my love. I love you very dearly. Always yours, Perry

April 30, 1945 (Monday)

My sweetheart husband,

Another letter came today. You wrote it April 25. Oh how happy these letters have made me. When I received your April 24th letter Saturday, I just cried. Then I knelt on my knees and thanked our Father in Heaven for your letters which told me of your safety and that you had received all your letters. It had been such a long time.

Perry, there is something I do not understand in your last letter. Please tell me what you mean. You see, I have the impression that you will not come back till the war is over in the Pacific. Well, you said, "We will have another honeymoon when I come back, at least as long as the Navy will let me." What did you mean, Perry? Do you think you might have a leave or something before the end of the war? Perry, I want you back soon--but for good too. I don't want to give you up again and I do want our honeymoon to last forever.

Gene writes, "Wish you could
have been here to push me, Perry"
Oh, when will you be back, dear heart? I love you so very much. I'm so glad you liked my pictures, dearest. You asked me which one I liked best. Well, I think it was the little one of me sitting on the swing. I won't get too sunburned, darling. I'll take it gradually. Anyway, I haven't been to the beach since April 2nd when I went with Evelyn. Don't worry about my eyes, Perry. They are fine. I only wear my glasses when I am working. Then I take them off after work. I'm not straining my eyes, sweetheart. I will do just as you say.

Yes, Perry, I would like very much to read the book you are reading. I want to be a good wife to you, Perry. I'm so glad if you are pleased with me too. Now I must tell you what I have been doing: The stenographer in Daddy's office, Miss Nellie Card, has become quite interested in Mormonism and Daddy invited her to come to church Sundays. So she has been coming for the past 3 Sundays. I've been taking her to the classes and introduced her to everyone. She likes us so well. The missionaries are calling on her every week too.

Well, Friday evening we invited her to go with us to the program at church. She asked if viola and I would come to her house for dinner that evening too. So we went to church from her place. She and a girlfriend rent a lovely little place above a garage. It's so modern and pretty. We had a nice dinner and the musical program at the ward was good. The playground was opened that night so everyone ended up out there where they served punch and danced and played volleyball like last summer. Remember? I was so lonesome for you, Perry. I didn't dance but played some pingpong.

Saturday I worked till past noon. Then Viola and I went shopping for some shower gifts. Verna Johnson is expecting her baby soon. There was a shower for her, so I got some cute little booties. Then I got a wedding gift for Avanelle. She and Spence will be married in Salt Lake soon. I must also get wedding gifts for Lois Moaler and for Laura Van Cott. Golly, there have been so many weddings. Looks like we started something at Adams Ward.

Yesterday Nellie wanted to take me horseback riding. Of course I don't know how, but she wants to teach me. I want to learn too. Well, after Sunday School, we went out to her house, put on slacks and took the streetcar to Griffith Park. It took us so long to get there that it was too late and the stables were closing. But we had fun anyway. We did a lot of walking and riding streetcars. The park is beautiful and such a big one. Now we have made a date to go horseback riding next Saturday afternoon--Nellie, Viola and I. I can hardly wait. We will only ride for about an hour tho for the first time. Viola will be learning too. Wish my "cowboy" husband were here to teach me.

I think you asked me once how much money we had in the bank now. I haven't received a statement this month, but Perry I know we have over $500, maybe it's $600. I'll get the exact figures and tell you. About $300 was what I had of my own. I'm just keeping it all in one account, Perry. I think we are doing pretty fine, don't you? Darling, did you get my letter telling about my income tax statement? I forget what I asked you in that letter. It was something pertaining to the income tax.

Oh, I hope you can tell me soon where you have been and what you have been doing. I pray for you always. Must go to bed now. I'll write you again tomorrow, sweetheart. All my love, Gene

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I got that long awaited for mail

April 24, 1945

My Darling Wonderful Wife,

Last night at last I got that long awaited for mail. There was surely lots of it. The mailmen were sorting mail all last night and today. I received 34 letters! Can you imagine that? Of course most of them were from you, my darling. Oh how I love you. It made me feel so bad to think of you writing every day and still not getting any yourself. Darling, I have enough inspiration to last me for a long while now. I promise long and regular letters now.

Gene writes, "At the beach in my new bathing suit,
Santa Monica, California."
I loved the pictures, but the one I liked best was the large photo taken at Viola's sister's place. That was really super glamour deluxe. It looked the most like you too. I didn't have time to write today and it's now 10:00 pm and I have the mid-watch, so I s'pose I ought to get some sleep. I may go on liberty tomorrow, but I promise to write you a long letter besides. I wouldn't go, but there are some things I want to do. If you were here, I'm sure you'd agree with me. Besides, I want to buy something for you.

I love you my darling. Always, Perry

April 25, 1945

My lovely Wife,

It was only four months ago today when I saw you last, my darling. I will frankly admit that it seems much longer. My darling, I hope I can make up to you the letters you have missed for the last three weeks. You were and are so wonderful and just kept writing and how I loved those letters. I like the ones best where you tell me just exactly how you feel and even about your dreams. That really did thrill me.

Yes, my sweetheart, you can be sure I know what you mean for I experience much the same feelings. I'll say we will have another honeymoon when I came back--at least as long as the Navy will let me. And when I come back for good, we will honeymoon forever.

Sweetheart, the pictures were very good, but the one I liked best and the one that looked most like you was the large photo of you standing by the gate. That was really a super one. The one at the beach was good too. I wish I could have been there. Now don't you go and get all sunburned will you? (Which picture did you like best?)

I can't imagine you wearing glasses. I don't think I will like them. Be careful, please, and not strain your eyes so you will have to wear glasses all the time. Only wear them when you have to because once you start wearing them steady, you will have to keep it up. When your eyes feel tired, rest them instead of putting on your glasses. I'm not an optometrist, of course, but I believe that is right. Anyway, I believe that optometrists ruin about as many eyes as they correct--you know, a little over-eager to sell a pair of lenses. Will you do that for me?

I went on liberty today but didn't enjoy it much except I was looking all over trying to buy something for you. So in that way, you were pretty much in my mind. I bought something which I think is pretty nice. I hope you will like it. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but will send it as a little surprise package. How's that?

I've been reading a book that makes me think or really only confirm what I have thought all along--that I just about have a perfect wife. Maybe I will send it to you when I get through. Do you think you would like it? The name is "Married Love," written by a woman.

Sweetheart, I love you dearly and pray for you and us constantly. God bless you, my darling. Yours, Perry

April 25, 1945 (Wednesday evening)

Dearest husband Perry,

My darling, I must confess I have not been writing very regularly lately. But it is so hard when I do not hear from you. Oh Perry, it has been so long it seems--almost a month now has gone by, and I have only heard from you once. And you said you would now get back to writing me regularly again. Darling, what has happened that keeps you from keeping your promise? each day I look for a letter from my lover, and each time I've been disappointed. But of course there is always a tomorrow, so I go on hoping and praying and loving you always. I must keep my chin up. I do love you so Perry.

Had a letter (3) from Hazel, Hope, and June today. They heard from you too. I'm glad. They're wonderful, Perry. I love them too. It was good to hear from them.

The weather here is not very "cheery". There has been no sun for the past week or so. Just foggy and cloudy all day long. Therefore, not very warm either. I sure hope it will be nicer when Emily comes, or she will be awful disappointed I think. She will be here by May 10th.

April 29, 1945 (Sunday)

My dearest lover Perry,

I haven't been as happy as I am now for such a long time. I received your letters Friday and Saturday. Your last one, the happiest one. My prayers were answered--you finally received your mail and all my letters, and I have yours.

Darling, I started this letter Wednesday but was so blue I just couldn't finish or mail it to you till I had heard from you. Then Friday, Mother called me up at work and told me there were 3 letters from you. Oh Perry, I couldn't have been much happier or more thrilled if she had said, "Perry is home!" (Oh, but that day will be the very happiest of my life. I live for that day, dearest husband.)

I came home immediately for those 3 precious letters--I couldn't wait till evening--and read them over and over. I wanted to write you that evening but so much was going on. (I'll tell you about it later.) Then, Saturday morning, another letter came. You wrote it April 24th and I received it Saturday April 28th. That sure was fast I think. You spoke of getting liberty. Oh Perry, are you in Hawaii again? How I wish I were there with you. What are you getting me? I'm so curious. Darling, when can you tell me where you are and where you have been???

Oh my Perry, I love you so. Sweetheart, you must know I want very much to read what you have written. Please promise me I may someday? Darling, I shall try always to be my very best self for you. I must be worthy of your wonderful love. Perry, you mean everything in this world to me.

So many things have been going on this whole weekend. A Jubilee at church Friday night and Saturday afternoon Viola and I went shopping. I want to tell you about this in detail, but I want to get this off to you now so will make it another letter tomorrow. I've had this letter too long now. Take care of yourself now Perry. I love you. Your own, Gene

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I long constantly for you, my darling

April 18, 1945 (Wednesday evening)

My darling husband Perry,

Here I am looking for more letters from you sweetheart--never satisfied, but always wanting one each day--each morning hoping I'll have another one from you. I live from one letter to the next. What must you do with a wife like me Perry? But I hope tomorrow will bring me a letter.

Perry, I'm sending you a special little surprise card for your birthday--will mail it when I mail this letter tomorrow morning. I'm hoping you will get it on or a little before your birthday next month, I hope sooner. But let me know if you get it, ok, darling, will you? Mother's Day comes on May 13th too so want to find a pretty card for my sweetheart's mother. I'll say, "With love from Perry and Gene," shall I? Will find a birthday card for your dad too.

Perry, I've been reading some of your back letters this evening and found the one you wrote me on March 6th. You had just received my letter telling you all my troubles with my job at Bullocks, etc. What a sweet letter! You are so understanding, my darling. After that letter, I kept repeating what you said (and I still do.) "Know that you (I) have a husband who loves you (me) very dearly." It thrills me to say it, Perry--I have a husband who loves me very dearly. Then you wrote that funny little joke at the end about "Don't Fence Me In"--that song. Do you ever hear it on the radio, Perry? It's quite cute. Well, I liked the joke too. Where did you get it?

We finished another batch of figurines today. Will start on more tomorrow. Must close now, sweetheart. We are working from 8 to 4 so am getting up earlier. I think I have lost weight again, Perry. Can you tell from my pictures whether I've lost much since Christmas? Mother says I have. Must get to bed at least by 10:00 pm I guess. Sometimes I don't you know. Goodnight Perry. I love you. Always yours, Gene

April 21, 1945 (Saturday evening)

Dearest sweetheart Perry,

I long so for a letter from you my darling. The two I received on Monday are all I've had in three weeks and, oh Perry, I am so anxious about you. I feel you are in that awful fighting area near Japan. I pray for your safety constantly. I want so to know that you are safe and well. How can I know unless I hear from you, sweetheart? But then I must have faith too and patience. Guess I don't sound very brave, do I? Here I am complaining cause I haven't heard form you recently when I know you have not had any of my letters for a month and maybe more. Oh I hope you have received some of my letters by this time, Perry. I love you, my darling, so very much. Surely the time for your return is not far off but very soon. I pray so for it.

I have not heard from your mother for some time. I expect she too is worried about you. Have you been able to write her recently, darling? I hope so. I have found such a beautiful Mother's Day card just for her. It says, "To the Mother of the one I love on Mother's Day." It's very pretty.

Viola and I have just finished painting some cute little bookends. I'm going to send a pair to Genevieve. They are a little Dutch couple--a boy and girl--each sitting on a book looking around at each other. Do you think she would like them?

Adams Ward put on a three-act-play last night. Mother and I went and it was wonderful. Quite a large crowd came out to see it too. I played "hooky" from my secretary job last Sunday and probably will tomorrow too. Dad's secretary from work has become quite interested it seems in Mormonism so came out to church last Sunday for the first time. So Dad introduced her to me. (She is the same age as me.) I took her to the missionary class. She is coming to church tomorrow and told Dad she wanted me to meet her there. She seems to like me. She's a beautiful girl with auburn hair. Her boyfriend is in the Navy in San Diego. Neither she nor he smoke or drink. Maybe I'll be a missionary too, Perry.

May 3rd is Emily and Dick's 2nd year wedding anniversary. He wrote Mother to see if she could wire Emily a dozen red roses for that day with his name on them. Isn't that wonderful, Perry. You know I'm really looking forward to our first year anniversary October 13. Do you want to know what I want? I want my husband to be there beside me to share the whole day in a special way--gosh, what will we do, Perry? Will we go out some place or will we stay home and celebrate? Do you s'pose you could make it here by that time, Perry? I pray for you constantly, my dearest, and for us both. God bless you. Your devoted wife, Gene

P.S. Received another $25 bond for you yesterday, Perry. It's the 2nd one I've gotten I think.

April 22, 1945

My Darling Wife,

I think I will be getting some mail soon (at last) now my sweetheart. Golly, it's been about a month since I heard from you. A lot can happen in that much time. I surely hope all that has been good. As for me, I am quite well and feeling fine--as much as can be expected. I long constantly for you, my darling, and am sure I can never be happy again until I can be with my love. This isn't pessimism, only realism.

As I said a lot could have happened in a month's time and I can hardly wait for your letters and hope they will tell me all about everything which will be all about you. You see it is you who is everything to me.

I promise I will start writing you again regularly, like I was before, when I can get your mail at least fairly regularly. What have you been doing all this while without any mail from me? I hope you haven't been too blue or worried. Maybe I'll have a chance to explain all of these things to you, I hope, not too far in the future.

My sweetheart, your husband loves you very dearly--more than my present knowledge of the English language will allow me to express. I mean that literally. During this time, I have been trying to write my thoughts of you, my daily thoughts, and thoughts that have been collecting in my mind and heart ever since I first met you. But, honestly Gene, I feel so incapable of expressing the way I actually feel that I am about ready to give up the venture. Never before did I feel my lack of adjectives and adverbs so inadequate.

Oh course I will never mail this as it is rather personal, but if you can succeed in sufficiently melting my heart sometime (which you are quite capable of doing at any time) then I may let you read it. If it pleases you, I will be satisfied, satisfied just to be your lover. I hope what I may have lost in my literary ability to express myself may have been made up in my honesty and sincerity, as I am sure that would please you the more. I never expect to be a Shelby or Keats anyway. If I don't stop writing my apology for my work, it will soon be longer than the work itself.

My thoughts ramble worse than Virginia's. Hope this letter finds you well and happy, my darling. I love you with every fiber of my soul. Eternally yours, Perry

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I just can't be myself again till I hear from you

The day Perry and Gene keep dreaming of--
Perry's discharge from the Navy, December 1945
Perry writes, " In front of the Ione Apt., Flower St., LA
Just out of the Navy and had just bought my first civvies suit."
April 12, 1945 (Thursday eve.)

Dearest husband Perry,

I have let four days go by without writing you. Oh, my dearest, forgive my weakness. When I wrote you Sunday, I had not heard from you in almost a week. I was anxious then, but most hopeful, that the next day would bring e a letter from you. It didn't. Now another week has almost gone and still I have no word from you, sweetheart. I pray constantly each day. Oh, I know you are safe, dear heart, I know there is good reason why I do not hear from you. But sometimes it seems if I do not have a letter from you today, I shall surely not be able to go on. 

Are you receiving my letters, Perry? Is there no mail coming or going from your ship? Oh, surely there must be. Can you understand my feelings, dearest? How can I help being anxious when I don't know where you are or what you are doing in this awful conflict. There is something I do know though--our love is as strong as ever, for I feel it. It is with me always, Perry.

Viola and I are still painting figurines at the gift shop. Tuesday we went to the eye specialist with Mother. He examined our eyes too and discovered I should be wearing glasses for close work and reading. He said I have been straining my eyes. These glasses, and some kind of eye exercise I will take, will finally make them normal again, he said, for I have good vision. I'll get my glasses Saturday. They cost me $20.

That same day Viola took us out to 109th St. where her sister lives. Some friends of theirs are buying a home and vacating a cute little place they rented for $40 per month (furnished) which we hope to get. It's such an ideal place for Emily and the baby we think.

Dearest Perry,

Today is our 6th month anniversary to the day. It really doesn't seem that long. No letter today. I hope you are getting your mail tho, Perry. I was pretty blue last night so didn't finish this. The president's death surely came as a great shock to everyone here yesterday. Wonder what will happen  to the country now?

Tonight there is to be a Gleaner party at Viola's house. Guess I'll go, but I have no heart for it. Nothing is fun anymore, Perry. I just can't be myself again till I hear from you. My sweetheart, I love you so--I need you. The missionary class is going to have a picnic after Sunday School over in the park. What an awful letter I've written you! I'll try to do better tomorrow. I promise. Love me, Perry. I love you. Your own Gene

April 13, 1945

My Sweetheart Gene,

It's past taps, but I had a little snooze this afternoon so I am staying up to write you. If I went to bed, I would only be awake thinking of you, so I'll try to capitalize on it and endeavor to put my thoughts on paper. I'll frankly admit I've yet, since I have been away from you, been able to quite express my thoughts to you the way I would like. It's difficult enough just to have to write, being unable to speak my love to you as I once did, but knowing someone else will have to read it and stamp their approval on it intensifies the difficulty tremendously.

My darling, it is my constant prayer that the time might be shortened when I can be with you again, when I can talk with you as I once did, when we can discuss those things so close to the hearts of both of us. Since I have been away, there are a few things that have been pressing upon my mind continuously, and for an opportunity to tell you and accomplish those things has been the substance of my prayers. 

Remember I once told you that perhaps we would see each other sooner than we both thought, but even yet I do my best to avoid building up my hopes to avoid disappointment. It is so pleasant, though, to dream of walking in on you, my darling wife, even if it were only for a little while. I think I should like best of all to walk in on you and find you sleeping. It would be something new for you to wake up and find you weren't dreaming, wouldn't it? Oh my darling, I am convinced that I have the sweetest and most lovely wife in the whole world. Now remember, you once told me you would always respect my opinion.

Heard this morning of the death of President Roosevelt. I remember your father saying he doubted if FDR would live out his term. It is certainly too bad--too bad they didn't elect Dewey (with all due respect to the deceased.)

Well my sweetheart, I'm quite sure I shall never be completely happy again until I am with you. I long to hear you say again the words you said once about what you wanted. When we have that and other little things, only then will I be happy--but oh, how happy. Do you understand what I am talking about. With all my heart I love you my darling. Always yours, Perry

April 16, 1945

My Darling Sweetheart and Wife,

I didn't have time to write you yesterday as I intended. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday, and I longed to be walking down Flower Street with you the way we used to do on Sundays after church. I haven't had any mail from you for so long that all I live on is memories. Don't let that disturb you though darling because I know I will be getting your letters soon. I don't want you to think your letter writing is all for nothing. I will virtually live on every line of each letter when I get them.

I think I may be able to get you some film for your camera and if so, I will send them to you. Otherwise, I will try your suggestion of writing for some. I'm going to send you another $50 soon. How is our bank account doing now anyway? Did you get the other $50 and tithing?

Has Emily come out there yet and were you able to find an apartment? You have probably already answered these questions in the letters I haven't received yet. I never did even hear if you went to the Gold and Green Ball with your cousin or not. I'm very curious about many things.

I keep reading some of your letters over and over and they never cease to thrill me. It always makes me utter a silent thanks that I have such a sweet wife, one who I can very truthfully say that I love desperately with all my heart. Then after reading your patriarchal blessing, I wonder and marvel how it was that I was brought to you. Yes, my darling, your husband is madly in love with you.

Will close for now, my sweetheart, but my thoughts will go right on thinking of you just the same. I think I would be powerless to control them even if I wanted to, which I most certainly do not. Eternally yours, Perry