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

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