Saturday, May 26, 2012

Here I am in my room again

May 29, 1945 (Tuesday morning)

Dearest husband Perry,

Well here I am in my new home. It's such a pleasant, neat room. I know I shall like it here. Last night I moved some of my things over here and spent my first night. I was a little lonesome and tired too so went to bed early. I'm writing you this morning before I go to work.

I had a letter from your mother and father yesterday. Each of them wrote such sweet letters. I enjoy them so much. I think they are two wonderful people.

"Mom busy as usual taking down the laundry
from the roof of Ione Apartments, Los Angeles"
It's so quiet here. It is so crowded and confusing at Mother's place lately. (She is surely being kept busy with that baby, etc. Emily is there too till she can get over the flu.) But I am really going to enjoy being alone in my own little room I think. Everything is in cream colors--the furniture, walls, and curtains. The ceiling is blue. I have a double bed, a dressing table with a nice mirror, a chest of drawers, a bed table with a lamp (I put my radio on this table too). There are two windows and another in the closet.

Oh, Perry, I am so anxious for you to come back and spend some time here with me. I keep thinking maybe you will. You see, Viola got a letter today from Ora (her boyfriend). He is now in San Francisco. She is hoping she will get to see him soon. He's going to call her. (He is on an APA too). How wonderful it would be if you could come back for awhile and I could see you too. My darling, I pray for that. But most of all I pray that the war will soon end so you and I could have our own little home. I love you dearest husband. Your own, Gene

May 29, 1945 (Tuesday evening)

Dearest lover husband,

Here I am in my room again. I worked all day alone. Today Viola called saying she wouldn't come in cause she had work to do at home. She is expecting Avanelle and Spence home tonight and is doing some last minute things for them in their little house. She is hoping to hear from Ora too, soon. How excited I would be if I knew you were somewhere here in the states so close.

Leora Fast on babysitting duty
It was an awful cold day today. It was so cloudy it almost rained! ha. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and most places will be closed for the day. We are too. I guess the defense plants are working all day however. Think I'll get busy tomorrow and move the remainder of my things from Mother's apartment over here. That will be quite a job as I have collected so many things since living there, especially since I became "Mrs. Manwaring." Oh, my lover, do you know how proud I am of my new name? I like to have people say "Mrs. Manwaring!" It's such a beautiful name.

I'm sitting by my little dressing table while I write you. I have our wedding picture beside me. I like to look at it and dream. Wish I could have gotten a letter today from my sweetheart. That reminds me Perry, my address here is 335 W. 27th St. but I would rather receive my mail at Mother's place cause it will be handier. I will always go there first for dinner every night when I come home before coming here.

But darling, if by any chance your ship would bring you into a harbor close by and you were allowed a leave to come home, and if it were at night when you came, I would want you to come directly to 335 W. 27th St. (between Grand and Flower.) Walk in and up the stairs, turn right and walk to end of hall where you will see a door with a big number 3 on it--that's my room. And oh my dearest husband, I'll be right here waiting for you. Do you know something? I love you, I love you so very much.

I want to take a bath and go to bed soon, so goodnight, my darling, sweet dreams. God bless you and protect you from harm. I pray that He might bring you back soon. Always your devoted, Gene

The following is an entry from Perry's journal containing some memories of his life during this time:

"At this time [after the invasion of Okinawa] we received orders to go back to the United States. Our squadron commander was on the cruiser Indianapolis. We were not out very far when we received a signal from the Indianapolis to cease zigzagging. Our immediate response was happiness because that meant we could travel faster, although that was fraught with danger. We arrived in San Francisco some time in May in 1945. I managed to get word to Gene that I was in San Francisco and expressed my hope that she could meet me there at a prearranged place at the Navy landing. Poor Gene was so discouraged when I finally met her there. She had ridden a bus from Los Angeles and had just been sitting there for hours watching all the sailors go by. When she saw me, she broke into tears.

We spent several days and nights together there in San Francisco. When I left her one morning, I was fully expecting to be back by the next day, but, alas, the Navy had other plans. When I arrived at the ship, they were already making plans to pull out. I was desperate. I didn't know what to do. My wife was in a hotel room expecting to see me come back, and I had no way of getting a message to her. I mentioned my problem to the executive officers and other officers and they only shook their heads and shrugged as if to say, "That's your problem." I finally decided to go to the chaplain to see if I couldn't get off the ship long enough to make a phone call. His response was almost the same, but he did say he had an assistant who would be going ashore to pick up some films and maybe he could make the phone call for me. I went immediately to the chaplain's assistant and told him my predicament, and he agreed to make a phone call for me."

June 8, 1945 (Friday morning)

Dearest sweetheart husband,

Well here I am back in my little room again. Darling, after you left me Tuesday morning, I put my hair up and went back to bed. I slept some, but toward 10 or 11 o'clock I was awake and decided I would stay in the room till you had called me. Naturally when the telephone rang, I thought it was you, but when I heard the voice I knew it wasn't, and I knew also that your ship was leaving. I wish you could have delivered your message yourself darling, but whoever it was you entrusted your message to was very kind. I liked his voice. I didn't cry, Perry, tho I could have. I remembered you asked me not to.

I knelt immediately and spoke a prayer. His spirit was surely with me then, Perry, for I felt so comforted and strengthened. I knew that our casual goodbye that morning had been the right way. I want to always (when I leave you) be expecting to see you very soon. It must be that way, dearest, for I cannot live without you. Oh, my Perry, I love you so. I called the bus station and found there was one leaving at 1:00 o'clock. So I packed all my things. (Golly, it's a good thing we got that box, Perry. I filled it full.) Then I checked out. They charged us for 6 days. (They surely went fast.) $18.00 but that wasn't bad, was it?

The bus wasn't a bit crowded. I had a whole seat all to myself. I got here at 5:00 am yesterday. I was quite tired and slept most of morning at Mother's. Spent rest of the day with her helping with the baby. Mother is so tired by end of day. Emily and I will eat our dinners out we have all decided. Last night Nellie and Emily and I had a nice dinner over on Figueroa and then Nellie and I went to chorus practice. Everyone seems to have known about us being in San Francisco and all asked about you, darling. I also found out that Viola had gone there too. She left the day after I did I think. I don't know if she is back yet or not. I'm anxious to see her again. Maybe they got married.

Oh, Perry, Emily is teasing me. She says she just knows I'm going to have a baby. I don't say anything, I just laugh. But oh, my dearest Perry, I am hoping that it really will be so. I want a baby now more than ever. It thrilled me so when you told me you wanted one. Oh, Perry, I would be so happy if I knew I could find a little place somewhere in Utah to live with my baby. My happiest dream and my every prayer is that you will be here to take me back to a little home somewhere there.

Surely these things will come to us in time. I know they will. Write me soon, Perry. I want to know what you are thinking too. Take care of yourself, darling. God bless you and protect you. I love you dearest. Your own, gene

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'll never let a day go by without writing you

May 21, 1945 (Monday evening)

Dearest Sweetheart Perry,

I know what it is to be disappointed in not receiving a letter from the one you love. I wanted one so badly today, but didn't get it. Your last letter upset me so. Dearest husband, are you angry with me? Oh please tell me you are not. Please love me and forgive me for not writing you when I should have. I'm writing you everyday now. I'll never let a day go by without writing you--it's a promise I've made even in my prayers. Perry, I must have your love always and forever for without it I would surely die. I love you so Perry.

Visited Pierce Fast recently, my mother's only living brother,
accompanied by my own dear brother, Jan Manwaring.
We had a wonderful time talking about the past
and present while catching up on all the family news.
Today was such a beautiful warm summer day. Made me wish I could be out all day, but of course I worked instead. Mother had a letter from Pierce today--one he had written on VE-day. He said they took it very calmly over there too. Guess we all did. Emily says Dick tells her he thinks the war with the Japs will be over in six months. So many people are saying that. Wouldn't that be wonderful if it did happen that quickly? Guess they are being very optimistic tho.

I'll go to bed early tonight cause I'm still awful tired from the weekend. My prayers are with you always, sweetheart. God bless you and be with you always. Please write soon, darling. Your own devoted wife, Gene

May 22, 1945 (Tuesday evening)

Dearest husband Perry,

There was no letter from you today either. I wanted one so very much. I have a feeling that perhaps you have gone out again. Oh, my sweetheart, if you have, I hope you received some of my letters first. And I do hope I hear from you soon. I've been praying all day for you and telling our Heavenly Father how I want you and long for you.  I pray for your safety and speedy return always. Please write me, my darling, and put my mind more at ease. I want to know what you are thinking and what you think of me.

Tonight I am at Emily's and Ricky's place. She wanted me to stay all night with her. It's the first time. We have done an awful lot of talking too. It seems we'll never run down. Today was another beautiful day. Viola and I worked till 4:00 pm. Starting work earlier cause of the sun. Must go to bed now, Sweetheart. Sweet dreams. I love you, Perry, always and forever. Your very own, Gene

(Wednesday morning early)

Hello Sweetheart,

I dreamed about you last night. It was about our honeymoon. Can't remember much about it now tho. Emily and I were awakened very early this morning by the baby. He is an early riser. I dressed him and brought him over to the house while Emily went on to work. She leaves at 7:30. Now I have fed him and Mother is bathing him. I must hurry off to work now. You know something, I'm learning an awful lot about babies--how to dress them, feed them, bath them and put them to bed, etc. Think I'm getting some pretty good experiences, don't you?

Will write you again tonight, darling. Hope there will be a letter waiting for me too. All my love, Gene

May 23, 1945 (Wednesday evening)

My sweetheart husband,

This is the third day with no mail from you. It seems rather ironic. Guess I had it coming to me, but I don't dare read your last letter cause in it you are scolding me so. Please write me soon, darling. Tell me you are not angry with me anymore. Do you still love me, Perry? Tell me you do or my heart will break. There are times when I feel as though I can't go on without you. Since your last letter that made me cry so, I have been praying constantly for strength to endure and patience to wait.

Emily wants to go to a show tonight. She is putting the baby to sleep here first. They'll have to stay with us tonight then. We are gong to see "God is my Copilot." Think it's supposed to be a good show. You see the reason I go out when I can is cause I get so lonesome and blue, sweetheart. I can't enjoy myself like I would if I were with you, but I know I shouldn't stay home all the time.

Oh my Perry, I love you so and want you so. You know what is in my heart and what I long for. I want you and our little home and children--our children. Then I shall be the happiest woman in this whole world. Dearest husband, do you pray for this as I do. It is what you want too, isn't it?

God bless you always, my husband. I love you Perry. Your devoted wife, Gene

My 25, 1945 (Friday morning)

My sweet husband Perry,

Darling, I received 4 letters from you in yesterday afternoon's mail.  I was a pretty happy girl reading those sweet words. So many questions were answered. I knelt and thanked the dear Father in Heaven. His spirit is with us always, darling. And I know it won't be long till you will be here with me again, and we will see the fulfillment of those wonderful things that were promised us.

Oh my sweetheart, you do love me and your words of love thrilled me so. Perry, you are the dearest husband in this whole world. I just know it. I hope you will not have to wait too long for mail. I am writing you every day, Perry. I'm so glad you can write every day too. I know our letters can't always be so long, but that doesn't matter. If I can get a letter from you for every day, the time will pass quicker and easier and I will know you are all right.

I went to chorus last night with Nellie. It was a wonderful practice. I really enjoyed it. Was so tired when I came home, I had to go straight to bed, promising myself I would write you first thing this morning. At lunch time Viola and I go across the street to Barker Brothers. It's a big, beautiful store and inside on the first floor they have an organ. The organist plays for one hour at noon everyday. The music is so lovely and pretty. We sit there and listen and I think of you all the while. Yesterday his last song was "Always." I like that song.

I must run along to work now or Viola will think I'm not coming. I'll write you again tonight or in the morning, darling. I love you, Perry. Always your own, Gene

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guess I'm not a very enthusiastic sailor

May 18, 1945

My Darling and Lovely Wife,

Here I am again with not much more time than before. I don't think this will last long though. I should soon be able to take time to really concentrate when I write you. Anyway, I'm determined no one is going to stop me from writing you every day even if the letters do have to be short. I'll try to make them as sweet as possible though, my darling, to compensate for their brevity.

Perry's Grandmother Marion Atwood Manwaring (center)
with some of his sisters, aunts, and cousins, Vernal, Utah
I received a letter from my grandmother the other day and she told about Raymond Cottom and Laura Van Cott visiting them. She said they told all about you and what a sweet, lovely wife I had, etc. etc. etc. Of course nobody knows that nearly as well as I do. I surely do wish we could go back there for a visit and let them see for themselves too. We will some day too.

Darling, I just got through re-reading a lot of your old letters. They were the ones about how blue you got when you didn't get any mail from me for so long. I want you to know that when you don't get mail regularly it is unavoidable and no fault of my own. That's why I'm keeping on writing now so that you will have several letters to compensate for the few days you won't receive any. I'm trying as much as I can to write you every day as I said I would.

It really thrilled and inspired me to read your letters over again, my darling. Even to know how much you missed my letters was in itself quite a thrill. Darling, to really know that I have someone as sweet and lovely as you who loves me gives me the greatest joy one could possibly have. And my highest ambition is to live to be worthy of it all and to make or cause you to love me even more.

Sweetheart, I am so thankful for you and so happy we got married when we did. I only want now to be able to be with you forever so we can be completely happy and fulfill our dreams. I need you my love. "It is not good for man to be alone."

I'm surely hoping I'll have several letters waiting from my darling when we are able to get mail again. It is those little words from you that keep me going and with hope for each new day. I love you my sweetheart. Always, Perry

May 19, 1945 (Saturday evening)

My Sweetheart Perry,

I received your letter of the 15th this morning (noon rather.) Darling, you made me feel so bad for not writing you oftener that I just cried. Oh Perry, it has been so almost impossible to sit down to write. I can hardly concentrate while the baby is up and around. It's so confusing in this house. But my dearest, I think of you constantly--every hour of every day and am so miserable when I can't write you and take more time to express my thought to you.

I haven't been very happy for several days cause I haven't had much time for myself. I've become so nervous too. I would like so very much to have a place of my own. Hope I can find something--think it would relieve Mother some too. She will have the baby over here most of the time. Emily has a job now, downtown. She wants to save some money too before Dick comes home. He tells her he will probably be coming home in ten months.

But oh how I pray that the war will be over soon--very soon for I don't know how I can go on much longer without you, my Perry. Mr. Taber has asked Viola and I to take two weeks off in June. I almost feel as tho I should try to get another job. It would pay, I think. This work is so irregular and therefore not very profitable tho I do like it.

Today I worked till 1:00 pm then came home. Nellie came over for awhile. She wanted me to go home with her and stay all night, but I wanted to write you and to be alone if I could so I told her I would come another time. Anyway, I shall see her again in the morning at church.

Soon I shall go wash my hair and take a bath and see what I shall wear tomorrow. The weather has been so cool here lately even if the sun does shine bright. I do wish it would get warm soon. Will try to get this letter off to you tonight, darling, so will stop here.

Always remember, my lover husband, I love you with all my heart and soul--more than I can express in words. Your own devoted wife, Gene

May 19, 1945

My Sweet and Lovely Wife,

Tonight I am here with you again hoping I'll be able to adequately express my love to make it seem ever new and genuine. I wish I had one of you letters here to help me. It is really a beautiful day today, so calm, and the water so smooth. It's so blue and looks so cool I really think I'd like to take a swim, but then that's out. The ocean is all right as long as you are in sight of land, but more than that is not for me. I think the most desirable is to have my feet planted firmly in "the good earth." Guess I'm not a very enthusiastic sailor, am I. My main objection is that it takes me so far and so long away from my love. The main thing is just to be with you, my darling. I think I could learn to put up with most anything else.

Sunday, May 20th

Didn't get to finish this, sweetheart. I spent most of the night up so I was plenty sleepy today. I slept nearly all morning. It was so hot I didn't rest very well though and when I woke up, I could hardly move and I felt achy all over. After walking around awhile in the fresh air, I soon felt fine though that certainly isn't the kind of Sunday nap I like.

To make it worse, I didn't even realize it was Sunday until noon. That's pretty bad, isn't it, and Sunday always used to be the best day of all--especially when I think of those Sundays I spent with my sweetheart. I can just almost see us now walking down Adams or Flower Street and the sun shining down so warm. Then your mother would have such a nice dinner for us and we wouldn't do anything all afternoon but be lazy.

I can remember those times almost as plain as though it had happened yesterday and yet it seems so long ago. I certainly pray for the day when I can quit living on memories. It is good to have pleasant memories, but alone they are not enough, not nearly enough for complete happiness. We should be able to get our happiness from living in the present and use the past only as its experience will help us now and our memories as a background to illumine the even greater future.

Well, that all sounds very good, but it just isn't possible without you, my darling. It is only with you, my sweetheart, that I will ever be able to live a complete and happy life and realize my heart's desires. Gene, your husband loves you very, very much and is so thankful for you.

Sweetheart, I have to get up pretty early, so I will have to leave you now and get some sleep. You will remain in my heart though and even in my sleep we are still together. Love and more love, Perry

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I don't expect any more mail from you for a while

May 16, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Today I received the letter you had written the day before the one I received yesterday--so as I was afraid, I am sorry I wrote you the way I did yesterday. I know it isn't always your fault when your letters don't reach me as I expect they should.

Darling sweetheart, I hope that letter won't make you feel badly or make you think I criticized too hastily, which I suppose I did. And I certainly don't want you to miss any of your chorus practice to write me, especially since you have your girl friend, Nellie, interested. I want you to have plenty of entertainment, but I hope you'll make time to write me often too. I'm afraid this letter will arrive rather late, but I hope you will forgive me, my darling.

Perry's best friend from high school,
Clyde Wahlquist and his first little girl
I don't expect any more mail from you for a while and you won't get any from me either for a while, but I'm going to go right on writing every day so you will still have a letter for each day when they do arrive. I finally am getting some mail from Clyde. They are buying a home back there. He surely is "blown up" over his little "blue eyes." He said one lady told him that was the first baby she would admit was cuter than hers. (ha, ha) I'll surely be glad when we can be as happily settled. If I can ever be with you once more and for good, I'm sure I will be much happier than anyone, my sweetheart.

Darling, I have to get up pretty early in the morning so I can't write much tonight. I'll go on thinking though and let my thoughts merge into my dreams--thoughts of things like "Wilson," December 24th and 25th, etc. Also of many more yet future.

I love you my dear, sweet wife, more than I can ever begin to express in writing or by words. I only pray for an opportunity to be with you and show you. Goodnight for now, darling. All my love, Perry

May 17th 1945

My Darling Gene,
Golly, they've been keeping me pretty busy and I don't have very much time right now either, but I'm still going to write you even if it's just to tell you how darn much I love you, my sweetheart. Darling, I don't believe there has been a minute since I have been away that I haven't thought about you and longed to be with you again. I like to think about all those wonderful times we used to have and when I do, a little smile will invariably steal over my face just to remember how darn sweet and "cute" you were. Then I let my thoughts drift on into the future and I can still see you just as plain there too, darling.

That is my most favorite pastime. I try to do more than just dream of our future though. I try to plan just as much as I can, but that's pretty hard because you can only go so far in planning and then you have to start working some of those plans. I'm sure all will work out for the best in time though. In the meantime, I just content myself in having such a sweet, lovely wife and one who can understand me so well. For that I thank our Father in Heaven every day.

Darling, I know I will never cease loving you. Eternally yours, Perry

May 18, 1945 (Friday evening)

Dearest Sweetheart Perry,

I'm listening to so many pretty love songs on the radio. It makes me want you so. Remember when we sat on the couch and listened to all of the beautiful music one evening till it got dark. Oh, that was so heavenly. When will you make me that happy again? I love you so, my husband. I pray the dear Father in Heaven will bring you back to me soon.

I received your May 14 letter today. I'm so glad you are still in Hawaii and were able to attend church again. your description of the surrounding and things you saw was quite good. I could almost see you there in that beautiful place and oh how I long to be there with you. You must take me there sometime, Perry.

Your idea about putting our savings down on a little home when you return sounds wonderful, dear husband. Where is our little home going to be, sweetheart? Course I would be happy just anywhere with my lover.

Pierce Fast, Gene's brother
Nellie and I went to chorus practice again last nite. Dick Johnson directed us. We are going to sing Sunday evening. I guess you have heard of President Grant's passing away Wednesday the 16th. Sunday will be a day of memorial services in all our churches.

I worked a regular full day today--nothing exciting. Would like to go to a movie with Emily tonight. Will see if she wants to go. Tomorrow, if it is warm enough, we are going to the beach--Emily and Ricky and Nellie and I. But if it isn't warm, I'll go bike riding with Nellie.

Mother had a letter from Pierce yesterday. He is still in Germany. He sent us some pictures of himself. He has lost some weight we think. Will close now, darling. Will write you tomorrow too. God bless you and be with you always. I love you, my darling. Always your own, Gene