Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm working again darling

Once Perry and Gene had all six of their children then the
pets started arriving!! And even though Harriet and
Renee tried to make them be friends, it never did happen.
August 19, 1945 (Sunday)

My Darling Gene,

I guess the last letter you received from me was a pretty short note, wasn't it? I really didn't have time to write and I wanted to get some word off to you before the mail left so you wouldn't be waiting and wondering. I know it isn't much fun.

Well, ever since the Navy came out with their discharge plan that is about all anybody talks about, and I'll admit that is about the only thing I can think about--DISCHARGE! I only have 31 points but that is much better than a lot have. Looks like this is since that marriage may turn out to be a really big advantage after all--ahem! Guess I'll call you my little "ten point" darling from now on. (ha) I'm surely hoping they start dropping the points before too long. There are only about 20 getting off this ship under the present system. It's still hard for me to believe the war is actually over. After they get the armistice signed and get our troops in Japan then I think I can begin to believe it.

I received your letter about you quitting your job just before leaving, so didn't have time to answer it. Sweetheart, I'm sorry you are out of a job again, but I can't blame you for quitting under the circumstances. I do want you to have time to enjoy yourself a little while I am away. Are you going to try and get another job now? It would be well now to start really planning in terms of when we will be together again now. That really sounds wonderful doesn't it? You see, it shouldn't be too long now until you can begin doing the things you have really wanted to do. Do you follow me?

Your dress must be very pretty judging from the sample you sent me, (it smelled mighty good too) only I surely wish I had you in it. I'm hoping I'll get some mail from you tomorrow. I love you, my darling. Forever Yours, Perry

August 22, 1945

Gene My Darling,

Here I am again trying to get a letter written before the mail boat leaves as I guess it will be a few days again before I can write or receive letters. Last night I received your letter of the 13th. You were so excited and hoping the war actually would be over. I guess you were feeling about the same as most of us and now that it is a reality, it is really hard to believe. We had our first really conclusive evidence the war was over when yesterday twenty men were taken off the ship for transfer back to the States and discharge. Of course they had all been in a long time and had dependents. I'm surely hoping my turn will come around before too many months.

Yes, my sweetheart, there are so many things that are going to happen "after the war." All the things we have been hoping for for years seem almost within grasp at last and it all happened so suddenly too. It seems strange, but wonderful to really start speaking of those things which only a few days ago seemed so far away. I have thought and dreamed so long of the things we were going to do after the war that I believe if I were there now, I would go right ahead and do everything as though it had all been rehearsed hundreds of times.

Claremont, California 1964. In his day-dreams,
did Perry ever imagine a bunch of grumpy kids? Looks
like I'm having a "bad hair" day. Marian's wishing she
were somewhere else. Dale and Jan have been fighting. . . 
Do you know all of the things I want to do first? I must have told them to you many times. How about some of your ideas? Are they all the same as mine. Do you know how much I love you, my darling? Sweetheart, you know my only thought is to come home to you just as soon as I can. I often wish I could be home for Christmas, but I doubt if I will be out of the Navy by then though I may be in the States. I really think I'll be back for good by next spring though.

I don't often make any predictions. (It isn't safe.) But I really do think I will be out of the Navy by that time. I hardly know what it will be like to really live again. I surely have a good time imagining though. Must leave you now, my darling. I love you, Perry

August 23, 1945 (Thursday morning)

My sweetheart Perry,

I'm working again darling. This is Thursday morning and I am at work now. This is all the stationery I have to write on, but I just have to use it--it's been several days since my last letter to you. Oh Perry, I'm a happier person now. I was a little disappointed at first (even with the war ended) because you said you probably would not get in for awhile or as soon as you had expected. I was really counting on seeing you real soon, so you can see how I felt.

I just knew then that I should get a job right away. (Darling, you'll never know how sick I've become of this kind of life.) Well the other evening, Pierce and Emily and I went to a show and we saw an add about the LA Community War Chest. The organization needs more people now for this years "drive." The day before yesterday, Pierce and I came downtown and he said, "I'll bet they need typists too. Call them up." So I did and here I am, Perry. They told me to come right in and I started working yesterday. I'll get about $30 a week--44 hour week. All I do is type. But Perry, I feel so much better now that I'm working again. Now the time will go fast again.

Perry, Viola is making me some new clothes. I guess I've told you this before. She made me a dress. Now she is making two blouses--then later she is gong to make me a black dressy dress. This way is much cheaper than buying clothes downtown and Viola does beautiful work--wait till you see.

I went to a bridal shower for Bernice last night. She is being married this coming Monday in Salt Lake. Viola has made so many lovely things for her. Golly Perry, I wish you could see her wedding gown. She bought it and will have it made into a formal evening gown after she is married. Perry, that's the kind I want when you buy mine. I want it to wear in the temple first then I'll keep it for special occasions.

(Thursday evening)

Darling husband Perry,

I started a letter to you today at work but did not get far. I was kept so busy. My darling, I received three letters from you Monday. One was your little note telling me that I wouldn't hear from you for awhile. I'm so glad that you tell me when you can't write--it helps. My prayers are with you, Sweetheart, always. Surely it will not be long till you are home again. Oh, my Perry, I love you so.

I liked your letter telling me all abut V-J day there in the Pacific, also your letter about loading the ship and eating so many apples. It's a wonder you didn't get sick on them. Yes, darling, I remember how well you like apples. In fact, I used to think maybe you liked them better than you liked me--ha! Golly, you had to have one of those in your hand and a bite in your mouth before you even kissed me. You little monkey!

(Friday evening)

Dearest husband,

I wanted to finish this letter yesterday. I went to chorus and after practice, while everyone was playing volleyball, I started to write, but I was interrupted too much. Pierce and some of the others had dates and went out later so I walked home with Mother and stayed all night with her. I came straight home from work today--had dinner and now in my room. I want to go to bed early tonight.

Pierce took Mother to a ballet at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. She will really enjoy that. His furlough is up Monday. He'll be leaving then--has to report to a camp in Texas. I hope he stays in this country now. Darling, where are you now? Are you in Japan? When will I see you? Does your mail still have to be censored? I do hope I hear form you soon.

I don't think this is a very good letter. I'll write a much better one tomorrow. I love you. Your Gene

August 25, 1945

My Darling Gene,

Just before I left our last port, I received your letter dated the 13th and 14th. You were so happy because you had just received the news of the Jap's surrender. It was such a sweet and happy letter and made me wish all the more that I could have been there to be happy with you right at that moment especially when I think of you wasting all those good hugs and kisses on Viola (ahem!) I know it won't be too long now though, my sweetheart, until we can be together for always and have all of those things we have longed for so much. I'm really getting excited and rather impatient--as you said--"like waiting for Christmas." That reminds me too that I surely hope we can spend Christmas together.

No, Sweetheart, I suppose the censorship will last for some time or at least until all the surrender terms are officially signed and all the Japs have surrendered. Wish I could tell you where I am at and where I expect to be going, but anyway if you took a good guess, I don't think you would miss very far.

Darling, I love you so much and want so much to be with you and now that that time actually seems near, it seems more like a dream than a reality. Surely hope I get another letter from you today. I'm getting very eager to hear from you again. I love you Gene. Always, Perry

Friday, August 24, 2012

President Truman made the official announcement

Redwoods vacation with Grandma & Grandpa Manwaring,
and Pierce & Mona Fast and family. (Somehow I'm not
too surprised that cousin Becky needed a leash :)
August 14, 1945

My Darling Wife Gene,

It's been three days now since I have been able to write you. I wanted to write you a special letter on the 12th in commemoration of that notable August 12th last year. Well, maybe if the war ends as soon as it looks, we may be able to spend all of our anniversaries and holidays together next year. Then we can really start living again.

The reason I haven't written you is because we have all been working pretty much loading supplies, etc. Sunday afternoon I went over on the beach to work at 4:00 in the afternoon and worked until 9:00 the next morning. Anyway, I had all the apples and oranges I wanted to eat. I haven't had all the applies I wanted since I left the States the first time, and you know how I like apples.

All I can think about, my sweetheart, is when I can be with you again, but with an early end to the war, it may be that I can't come back quite as soon as I expected. I don't know of course though, but I thought I would warn you just in case. Any disappointment we might have in that will be overshadowed by the hopes we will have of being together for good so much sooner than otherwise expected though, won't it?

Darling, I hope your new job doesn't keep you so tired out that you won't be able to go out and have some good times like you have been. I know that standing on your feet all day long is one of the most tiring things you can do. Surely will be glad when the day comes when you won't have to work at all except in our home. In that, I know our feelings are in complete harmony. Will close now, my sweetheart. Your husband loves you and thinks of you every minute. Always Yours, Perry

August 15, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Are you as happy as I am today? I'm sure you are. How I wish I were back in LA to celebrate V-J day with you. It was just after I got through writing to you last night and I had just gone on watch when all of a sudden all the ships started blowing their sirens and whistles. It was a few seconds before I realized what it was all about. There was really a lot of excitement, but no more than there was again this morning when President Truman made the official announcement. Sweetheart, I am happier than I have been in years because I know that it won't be too long now until I can be back with you and living the way I want to.

Of course we must realize that I will be among the last to get out and will require quite a lot of patience to wait, but now we know the day is coming and can really start planning for it. I'm hoping now that I will get a leave next time I come to the States because I expect it to be quite a while before I will get out.

What have you been doing these last two days? I'll bet there has really been a lot of excitement in LA. Please tell me all about it. I haven't had any mail from you for the last three days. I guess it's because you weren't getting any from me or else you were too busy. I can see how your new job keeps you going and know you are pretty tired when you come home at night. All I can think of now is when you can quit working and just work in our home, like we have longed for so much.

First thing I will want to do when I come back is to go to Utah and go through the temple and have a real honeymoon--one like we have really wanted. All the folks are really eagerly looking forward to the time when they can meet you too. I'll be a pretty proud little man then.

Saw the show "Thrill of a Romance" last night. It was in technicolor and had some very good music in it so I enjoyed it. Every time I hear good music, it reminds me of that phonograph I am going to buy for us when I get out of the Navy. I'm really serious about that. That's going to be about the first luxury I am going to buy.

Now that the war is finally over, I really feel an indescribable relief--a relaxation of the tension I have been building up for the last six years. Of course, complete freedom (freedom from the Navy) is still rather tantalizingly out of grasp, but I think I will be able to endure that fairly well.

This letter has been all about the event of the day and how happy I am about it, but I haven't said a word about how much I love you, my darling. I'm sure you realize though that the cause for my exuberance is because I know that I can soon return to the dearest person in the world, and the thing which has kept me so long from the one I love is now at an end. For that I am so thankful and could hardly control the tears of joy.

I'm not just trying to be sentimental but am only making a statement of how even the most hardened might have felt when he learned that that which has kept him from the things he loved and longed for most no longer existed. Will close for now, my sweetheart, and may God bless you. My heart calls to Him in thanks for this day. Forever yours, Perry

August 16, 1945

Dearest Sweetheart,

I've only a few minutes but thought you would appreciate it if I told you not to expect any more mail from me for a few days. I don't know how long it will be but I'll write just as soon as I can. I love you darling. Yours, Perry

August 16, 1945 (Thursday)

Dearest husband Perry,

Oh Perry, I've never seen so much celebrating in all my life! It's more hilarious and has lasted longer than any New Years celebration. There is a two-day national holiday--yesterday and today. So of course there has been no mail delivery either. I can hardly wait till tomorrow's delivery, darling. I want a letter from you.

I must tell you what I have been doing: Tuesday night was the party at Adams Ward for Max Thornton and his family. The chorus sang two songs for the occasion. Then there was an orchestra on the play ground and punch was served. The bishop had fruit of all kinds in big bowls sitting all around and a big bunch of bananas hanging from a tree for everybody to help themselves. Everyone was so happy and all smiles because of the war being over--even tho it was a party to say goodbye to the Thorntons.

All day Tuesday after the news had come announcing peace, everyone and everything seemed to burst for joy. Radios blared the noise of celebrators from all over the world, whistles blew and bells rang all over the city for such a long time. Everyone quit work and downtown people ran into the streets shouting and throwing paper and confetti from windows. All automobile horns were honking as loud and long as they could. Well, all of this sort of thing went on for hours--in fact, way into the night everywhere.

Well anyway, after the party and dancing was over (about midnight) all of the kids were talking about staying up all night to celebrate. There were about 20 in all I think. Of course Pierce wanted to go so I was persuaded too (ha!) So we all piled into three cars, Mark's, Jerry's and Evan's sister's car and went downtown to see an all night show. Well we found they had all closed, but the streets were crowded with people celebrating. So many were drunk (we didn't stay down there long.) Service fellows were wandering down the streets kissing all the stray girls they could find. The streets were jammed with cars and traffic was slow. There was so much paper and stuff all over the streets, it looked like a snow storm had hit us. We finally got away from there.

Pierce and I were in Jerry's car. We all drove out to Nellie Card's house and played games the remainder of the night. Golly, we sure had fun. First we played "Murder." We played that till dawn. Then we played some more games till about 7:00 am--such fun games--sometimes I nearly laughed myself sick. Then Nellie made pancakes and hot chocolate for all, which made us feel much revived. We were becoming a little sleepy by that time.

Someone turned the radio on about that time too. Golly, it was Wednesday morning and the party still going strong! Then we heard the bulletin saying that gas is no longer to be rationed. Well, that did it--everyone screamed and got so excited--all talking at once. "Let's go to Lake Arrowhead!" "Let's go to San Diego--no San Francisco!" "Let's go to a beach and go swimming." Mark and some of the boys ducked out the door to go get their cars filled with gas.

When they got back we had all finally decided to go to a beach somewhere. It was somewhere close to ten o'clock tho before we all got started. All three cars stuck close together and we went south along the coast about 40 miles to Laguna Beach. It took us about 2 hours, but it was worth it. The scenery down there is beautiful. Golly, Perry, how I wish you could have been there with me.

We stayed on the beach till about 4:00 pm with some sleeping most of the time. (That was me.) But most of the kids were in the water. We all got quite a sun tan, or burn. It was a hot day but the water was so refreshing. We surely hated to leave the place. It was all so perfect.

Jerry had a flat tire on the way home. Gosh, we were almost home too. Well, we pulled up to the side of the road and the girls piled out and sat on the curb while the boys fixed or changed the tire. Pierce and I got to Sorensen's place about suppertime. We had a very nice supper. (Viola had a boy friend there too.) Then I went to bed about 7:00 and I slept sound till this morning. I'm feeling fine except I have a slight cold.

I've been over at Mother's most of the day today. Pierce and I will go to chorus practice tonight. Then I will go to bed early tonight too. Oh, Perry darling, where are you? What are you doing? Truly will I see you soon? Oh my dearest, I want you so. I love you, Perry, and long for you so. I just live for the day when you return. Write me, darling, and tell me where you are and how you are. Lovingly, your own, Gene

A visit to Claremont from Gene's brother, Dick and his
family. Dale and cousin, Eric, seem to be having a
manliness contest. So funny!
August 17, 1945

Dearest husband Perry,

I received two very dear letters from you today. You had just heard of the Jap's surrender offer and thought maybe it might change things. My darling, I have been praying that you would be coming in soon--even in a few weeks. Oh, I hope that this ending of the war is not going to keep you away from me longer now. I just couldn't stand that. You must come in again even if it is only for a short while.

I've been trying to find out about the point system in the Navy. I want to know how many you are entitled to. No one seems to know as yet. Oh, darling, I do hope the Navy won't keep you for long. The war is over now, and I want my husband home with me--I long for you, my Perry. I love you so. Perry, I can hardly imagine how it will be to have you with me always--to be doing things for you--oh, I want to see you in civilian clothes.

Your mother thinks you are much more handsome in civilian clothes than in that uniform. I just know you will be. Oh how thrilling that day will be. And Perry, I'm quite sure yours will not be the "life of a hen-picked husband." It makes me think of "Maggie and Jiggs." Golly, what a life!

Today Margaret Kopp and Pierce and I went to Hollywood. Pierce wanted to see a broadcast. It was Margaret's day off from work, so we asked her if she would like to go with us. We weren't very lucky though. We couldn't get any tickets. We had a nice lunch in a big restaurant there and went to a show at Warner's. It was a comedy, "Christmas in Connecticut." We came home then and had dinner at Sorensen's

I've been restless all evening. Guess I'll go to bed early. It has been so hot here the past few days and tonight it seems very warm too, which is unusual for Southern California.

August 18 (Saturday evening)

My sweetheart,

I was interrupted last night so didn't get to finish. Lewis and Jerry came in and brought me a milkshake. Then Pierce came in--he had been at Mother's house. We talked awhile then I went to bed. Perry, I'm so restless. I don't know what to do or which way to turn. Darling, tell me what I must do. Should I get a job, Perry? Maybe a temporary one till you come back? I was so in hopes you would be back by the end of this month. If you do, I will wait till you come, then I think I could plan better. I feel so helpless without you, dearest, and I'm so dissatisfied with this life of a working girl. I guess I sound pretty blue this evening, huh? Oh, my husband, I long for you so. How can I live without you? You must come back to me soon.

I spent the day at Mother's today--Pierce too--in fact we were all home. Pierce bought some cleaning fluid and we cleaned some of our "best" clothes today. It has been so very hot. It rained a little last night. The humidity is very high today. It is very cloudy and hot. I wish it would really pour down rain and clear off. Guess I'll go over to the Adams Ward playground for awhile tonight. I didn't get a letter today from you. I'm hoping that I will by Monday. I love you, Perry. Always yours, Gene

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is the war truly going to be over within the next few days?

1958, Perry and Gene bought a house in
Claremont, California where they lived
for the rest of their lives.
August 9, 1945

My Darling Wife Gene,

Just before leaving our last port, I received two of your letters and Pierce's note on the bottom. It seemed almost unreal that he is actually back in LA after being so far away. Give him my best wishes and regards. Wish I could get to see him. I hope he doesn't have to go out to the Pacific now, which may be possible now with the new atomic bomb and Russia's entry into the war. [August 6th 1945 the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and August 9th another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese surrendered August 14th.]

That's what all the "shop talk" and "scuttlebutt" is about. I'll admit all this new news increases my hopes considerably of being able to get back into civilian clothes quite a lot sooner. It surely looks like the Japs ought to be able to see the utter hopelessness of their condition now. If they don't, it looks like it is going to be a mass annihilation of the race.

Always keep hoping and thinking about the time when I can walk in on you (or have you come to me) and especially of the time when I can come to you and know I won't have to leave again. That is the day I am really looking for. My thoughts are much more optimistic in that respect than they have been for a long while.

I'm hoping that soon again I'll be getting some more of your sweet letters. I constantly look forward from one port to the next destination just for that reason. One thing about this ship, we spend enough time in ports here and there to get mail fairly regularly. I don't know what I would do if I had to spend months out at sea without any mail from you.

Nearly time for taps, my darling, so guess I'll have to close. Will try and write you again tomorrow. I love you. Always, Perry

August 11, 1945 (Saturday)

My Sweetheart Perry,

Oh my darling, do you really think it will be true? Is the war truly going to be over within the next few days? The news is so astounding--it has come so quickly that I find it hard to believe. Oh Perry, if the war really does end soon, will it mean you can come home right away too? My darling, I am praying so hard that it will be true about your coming in again in a few weeks. How wonderful it will be to have you by my side again. I love you so much, Perry.

Darling, you had better not mention "Manx" again in your letters. In your last one, the censor cut the word out tho, of course, I knew immediately. [There was a Manx Hotel in San Francisco on the corner of Powell and O'Farrell that must be the place Perry and Gene stayed during his furlough. Apparently that's the place Perry has promised Gene they can go back to again some day.]

I received your letters yesterday--two such wonderful letters--I just keep reading them over and over. You will come home soon, I just know you will.

August 12 (Sunday)

My Darling, I started this letter to you yesterday but was interrupted. Everyone is so excited--hoping that it truly will be over officially soon. Yesterday and today too, we all have been close to radios listening to all the news flashes, but so far nothing has happened. The war is still on we are told. Darling, as I read your letters, I can see that you too thought this war would last much longer, so I can imagine your surprise too. I can hardly imagine how it will be to have this awful war over with, to have you back for good and forever to live in peace again.

I went over to the ward recreation ground last night with Pierce and Emily. There was a very small crowd out last night. We danced most of the evening. Tuesday evening the ward is having a farewell party for Max Thornton and his family. They are moving back to Utah. The ward will really miss them. I am wondering who will take Max's place in the bishopric when he leaves. Yes, Hortense Clinger is married now and so in love. Her husband was from the Wilshire Ward I think. Didn't I tell you about her? Also, Lewis's other dancing partner, Cheryl Sponseller, was married a few days later to a fellow from the Hollywood Ward.

I'm glad you finally heard from the "Era" about your subscription. I hope you get the magazines from now on. I've been quite sick today--all day. It's my first "sick" day this month, and I have had terrible cramps. I went to Sunday School but came home immediately after (to Mother's) and laid down. She gave me some medicine that helped, and I slept all afternoon. I was too weak and groggy to go to church tonight so came home. I'm feeling a little better and will go to bed early.

Perry, I'm still not working since I quit that job. I've been helping Mother thru the days with little Ricky. He is almost too much for her. I hope Dick can come home soon. Then Emily will be able to take care of Ricky herself. They will get a place of their own. Dick plans on going to school here at Southern California. Dad and Mother plan on buying a place too after the war. It seems so many things will happen "after the war." Oh, surely it will end soon.

From your letters, I think you have quite a lot of things to tell me. It sounds quite interesting, Perry. You must tell me everything when you come in.  Come home soon, Darling. I need you so very much. I do hope I have a letter from you tomorrow too. I'll write again tomorrow. I love you, my sweetheart. Always your own, Gene

August 11, 1945

My Darling Gene,

I received two very sweet letters from you last night and they were really sweet--just like you. Right now I am at a Red Cross Service Club on one of these islands out here. It's really quite nice here for a Pacific Island and it's also cool--some shade at last.

I was on watch last night when we received word of the Jap's peace surrender terms. Looks like the war can't last much longernow. Of course there is and will be a lot of criticism in accepting even that one point short of unconditional surrender, but still that would really be a great military and political advantage in that the people and generals will follow his orders (the Emperor's) which of course will come from us. Well, I don't suppose you aren't much interested in my political or diplomatic viewpoints right now.

I guess you can tell I am using one of these "post office" pens. I hope this will be decipherable. Now that I can begin to see the end of the war, and consequently the end of my Navy career, I'm beginning to feel and think much more optimistically. My thoughts are running wild with hopes, dreams and plans for our future and what we are going to do after I come back for good.

Of course we've got to realize that it will be some time after the war is over until I can get out because I'm quite a long ways down the line in the lower point brackets. But it surely makes me happy to know that that time can't be too far off now. I don't know if an end of the war would change any possibilities I might have of coming back to the States right away, but it's possible it might. But I can't feel too badly about that. Then, when I did come back, I might get a leave. I really don't know though, so this is all conjecture.

The "rigors" of family life
How would it seem to have a husband who was really yours? I mean without the Navy snatching him away all the time. (I'm surely having a hard time with this pen.) After taking orders in the Navy for this long, I think the life of a "henpecked" husband would be very wonderful indeed. In fact, I think I could bear up under the rigors of a home, wife, and family very well. I surely do love you, my darling.

Sweetheart, I'm surely glad you have such a good job. I knew you would find something, but like you, I would want you to quit if I were to come back for a few days, even at the risk of being fired. I hope that won't be necessary though. I hope you won't have to work too much longer now anyway. I still want you with me every minute I can be back there though.

I suppose you are really enjoying having Pierce home. Looks like he has timed getting back to the States just about right. If the war ends now, he won't need to come out here and can wait in the States until he can be discharged. That is unless he gets in on the Army of occupation.

Your description of you in your "nightie" and sitting on the floor barefoot and playing the phonograph was very good and I certainly assure you that our feelings are entirely mutual in regards to your expression that you wished I were there with you. How would you like me to walk in on you like that? I'm going to try and write some more letters now, so I think I'll have to close now. I love you, my darling. Forever Yours, Perry

August 13, 1945 (Monday)

My Sweetheart Perry,

How wonderful to receive a letter from you today--I wanted one so much. You wrote it on Sunday, August 5th and seemed in such good spirit. It was such a happy letter. I'm so glad your ship is not so crowded anymore and that you can live more comfortably again. I really can't imagine how you could eat standing up on board a ship, Perry. I would just think you'd have to sit down.

Oh, darling, I'm getting so excited about your coming in again. I just know you are and I can hardly stand this waiting. Perry, the censor scratched out the word "passengers" in this last letter. But, of course, I knew that's what you meant. If you have gotten rid of them, doesn't that mean you will be coming back this way. I like to think that anyway. I wish they would give you a leave this time.

August 14, 1945 (Tuesday)

My dearest, I started this letter to you last evening but was interrupted. Viola turned the radio on and we heard the most wonderful news--the Japs have accepted our surrender terms. We were both so excited we screamed for joy--jumped up and down and hugged each other. We kept the radio on till quite late listening to all the news, comments from New York, San Francisco, London, Guam, and Washington, D.C. Oh, Perry, I am so happy and excited and so anxious to be with you.

The dear Lord is answering our prayers. The war is over and you will be home soon. We'll be together again for always. Oh, Sweetheart, doesn't it all sound so wonderful? Write me, Perry. I want to know what you are thinking too. Your letters won't be censored anymore, will they? Now you can tell me where you are and when you'll be here, can't you? Oh, I hope I get a letter from you today and everyday now till I see you again. I love you, Perry. I love you so and I need you. Your own, Gene

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Do you know how very much I love you?

1955, Salt Lake City, Utah.
What a difference ten years makes!
August 2, 1945 (Thursday morning)

Dearest husband Perry,

I really got up early this morning. I rode the streetcar over to mother's and ate some breakfast with them. Then I walked up to Jefferson and Flower and waited for my ride. He comes along about 7:30 am every morning. So here I am at work 20 minutes before 8 o'clock. Aren't I an early bird? I went to bed early like I said I would too--at 7:30 pm.

(Later at home) It's really a good thing that I did go to bed when I did last night cause I worked overtime this evening till 7:00. I get time and a half for overtime, but I won't be doing that often. Darling, I wish you could see me now, in fact I wish you were here with me. I'm all alone in our big bedroom (Viola's and mine.) I'm sitting on the floor playing waltz music on my phonograph. The Missouri Waltz and the Ohio--beautiful. I have played over twice. I love them so. How I wish I were waltzing with my sweetheart now.

It's quite late though so the music is very low. I have just taken my bath so am in my nightie and barefooted. I was much too tired to go to chorus practice this time. It was almost 8:00 before I got home, so I ate a little supper and here I am ready for bed.

Perry, do you know what? My job is an essential war job. It's got me wondering how I shall manage to take time off when you come in without them getting mad at me or firing me or something. Perry, I don't even want the job when you come back. All I want is you and our love. But of course I can't tell them that. They told me this job was permanent. I don't care if it is or not. When you come in again, I shall want to be with you every minute like we were in San Francisco. Oh, Perry, that was so wonderful. I long to be with you again. I love you, dear husband. I pray for you always. Your devoted wife, Gene

August 3, 1945

My darling wife Gene,

I haven't written you for about three days now. I hope you won't think I am just making excuses. I hope I'll be able to explain before too long the reasons for my apparent neglect. In the meanwhile, my sweetheart, I hope you will know that I think and long for you just the same always.

Do you know how very much I love you? I only wish I could begin to write it. I hope it won't be too long before I can at least attempt to tell you again as I used to. Remember how we used to go up on the roof and talk. That's the way I'd like to talk to you.

Do you realize that it is one year tomorrow since I first arrived in Los Angeles. I had to report to San Pedro on the 4th. This has really been quite an eventful year despite the war and conditions in general. All in all, I am very happy and feel extremely blessed for what I have that I didn't have then. Sometimes we feel rather discouraged looking at our lot as it appears to us daily, but when we look at it in a longer perspective, we see how much good can really happen in a year's time.

There is only one outstanding thing that I would like to see happen within the next year and that is to see the war over so that I would know that it wouldn't be long from then until I could be with you again for keeps (if I weren't actually with you by that time.) I, of course, don't know, but I think it should be over by that time. I doubt if it will be sooner.

It's taps now, my sweetheart, so I must close. I'll try and write to you tomorrow. I should get some mail from you too then. I love you with all my soul my darling. Always Yours, Perry

August 5, 1945 (Sunday morning)

Gene, my darling,

You can't imagine how happy two sweet letters like I received yesterday can make me. I'm glad you have a job now and feel much better. I guess your feelings are rather contagious through your letters. Sweetheart, I love you so very much--more and more all the time.

That is really swell that Pierce is back in the states now and from what you said in your letter, he is probably home by now. Surely would be good if he could stay close to LA for awhile now before coming out here. Wish I could be there while he is or get to see him, but I don't know if that will be possible.

This is the first time I have been able to sit down to a table to write since I left you and it surely does seem good for a change. I think this position is a little more conducive to good thinking as well as an improvement on my penmanship. Also, yesterday I was able to sit down to eat again. That was about the most noticeable improvement in getting rid of our passengers. Eating now is like dining in the most exclusive restaurant in comparison to what it has been the last two months. We even had a bowl of ice cream for dinner yesterday. (The first time for ages.) I guess that was to celebrate it all.

You make me rather jealous when you write about having so much fun dancing. I'm glad you can have so much fun, my darling, and I don't want you to miss any opportunity you can to have good times like that, but I only wish I could be there to enjoy it with you. Oh well, maybe my days, or our days, will come before too long. Anyway, that is what I am hoping, praying and living for.

Sundays always remind me of those wonderful Sundays we spent in LA last year. Honestly, I believe those were the happiest Sundays I ever did spend. Of course that is because I was with you and who could be other than happy with you by their side? I often love to reminisce of those nice warm days when we would walk together down Flower Street to Adams. Or of walking with you to fireside like when we walked over to Rae Bastram's through that park and I sorta frightened you. Remember? Of course I know I've mentioned all this to you many times before, but it is still one of the foremost things in my memory, especially when Sunday comes around. I love to remember and think of every moment I have spent with you, my darling, I love you so much.

I'm sure, sweetheart, you must have given a very good talk. How I wish I could have been there to hear you so I could have swelled with a little pride at my wife's ability. I missed out on the only other time you spoke too. Remember, it was when I was at San Pedro and I had to stay at the station that Sunday. I'll catch up with you one of these days though.

I'm glad to know my letters are still as good as they used to be. I hope you really mean it. I began to think they weren't staying much up to par when conditions were as they were for a while. I'll try and get you something nice that you will like if I go to Hawaii again. I didn't realize I was speaking oddly of what I was going to get you. I was only trying to remember what it was you wanted. Frankly, I would just as soon not stop there again though.

I'm going to try and get caught up on a few more letters I owe, so I'll close for now. I love you very, very much, my dear, sweet wife--with all my heart and soul. Always yours, Perry

August 8, 1945 (Wednesday morning)

Dearest husband Perry,

Oh darling, I hardly know how to begin this letter. I've missed four days not writing you. I hope you will not have noticed. It's because of what happened Friday though. Perry, I quit my new job. What must you think of me. But Perry, it was too much for me and after Friday, I felt I just couldn't take it anymore. I know it paid good money, but after standing on my feet so much of the time every day, I was so tired. They expected the employees to work overtime quite a bit too.

Well, by the time I would get home, all I wanted to do was eat dinner and go right to bed. I had to be up at 6:30 every morning. Perry, I want to keep active in the church activities. With this kind of a job, I couldn't. I guess I made a mistake in the first place of taking this job, but I had been so long out of a job and I wanted one so bad that I just grabbed it. It wasn't the kind of work I've ever done in an office anyway. I'm a typist so that's what I should stick to.

Well, after that hot, grueling day Friday, I got paid and decided it would be my last day there. My reason for leaving, to them, was that I was moving. I couldn't tell them really why. So here I am back where I started. But, for some reason, I don't feel so bad anymore. I truly do need you though, Perry. I'm so lost and alone without you, even when I'm surrounded with people.

Friday night the Adams Ward gang went on a beach party. I really enjoyed that outing. Perry, I felt like I needed it. Everyone met at the church at 6:30 pm. They had rented a big truck so everyone piled in. There were about 35 in all. We all had our bathing suits on under our slacks. We went to a beach way out in Santa Monica somewhere. We had a big bonfire and roasted wieners and marshmallows. We all got into the waves but didn't go far--the waves were so high and rough. But we played games on the beach and had such fun.

Everyone paired off on the way home except we married girls--Jewel Watts, Emily and myself. I'm so glad Pierce is having such a good time. Saturday night we all went to a farewell party at Nellie Card's house for the girl that has been living with her--a sweet little LDS girl from Wyoming. She was only here about 2 months but everyone came to love her. She and Nellie thought so much of each other. The party was a wonderful success. We played funny games and danced a great deal to music on the radio.

Oh, my Perry, I think of you and long for you to be there with me when I am having such fun. I want to share it with you. Sunday I spent a very quiet afternoon with Viola. We went to the park and sat in the shade on the grass. It was so peaceful and quiet there. I went to bed early Sunday night. I was kind of tired out from that weekend. Monday I helped Mother with the baby and that night Lewis, Viola and Shirley (the other fellow who lives here) and Pierce and I went to Chinatown for diner. (I remember when I was there with my sweetheart.) We had a lovely Chinese dinner then walked through the shops there. I wore my little crystal earrings that night too. I just love them, Perry.

Last night (Tuesday) Pierce and Lewis and I went to the Wilshire Ward dance. (They have one every first Tuesday of the month.) There was a lovely orchestra and the regular crowd of people from all the wards. I enjoyed it so--I hadn't danced for so long. (I mean a real dance.) I wore my new dress--the one Viola just finished. It's so pretty, Perry. I'll have Pierce take a picture of me in it for you.

I had a letter from you yesterday, darling, the first in quite some time. Yes, Perry, I went to the Pilgrimage Play again this year and I enjoyed it all over again. I thought of you all the while, darling. Yes, Perry, I remember every bit of our date last year. Now you are teasing me, you little monkey.

I love you, Perry, do you know that? The weather is still terribly hot here though there is always a cool breeze blowing which helps some. I understand that it is hotter than this in Utah now. Will stop here for now, Sweetheart. I do hope I get another letter soon. Come home soon too, Perry. I love you. Your devoted wife, Gene

PS. Here is a little piece of my new dress. Isn't it pretty?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I know how it is to wait and wonder

Once Dad got home from the Navy and the
children started arriving, we were Mom's
full-time job for the rest of her life.
July 25, 1945

My dear sweet Gene,

I received two of your letters today posted the 13th and 16th. They were what I had been looking for for several days now. Of course, my sweetheart, I understand why you don't write or don't feel like it when you don't get any mail. That is one thing I can understand very well because I have experienced it myself so much. Like you, I always think I'll wait another day to see if I won't get a letter because it is so much easier to write when I hear from you.

I don't like to see you feeling so blue, my darling. Please don't feel badly because you haven't found a job yet. You will probably find something soon that you will like, and anyway I didn't think so much of those screwy hours you would have had, especially if I were able to come back before too many more months. I'm sure everything will turn out well and for the best in the end.

Remember, you can only do what you can and then leave the rest to a watchful Providence. In the meanwhile, you can probably keep yourself busy and interested in doing little things you wouldn't have time to do if you were working. Above all, don't spoil your health and happiness by worrying. It isn't like you have to work every day to keep from starving. Possibly this advice is rather useless because you may even have the job you want by the time you get this letter and if not, I'm sure it won't be long. I love you, my darling, very, very much.

I thought we would be unloading all of these passengers by now, but apparently we may have to put up with them for a while yet. This ship has been made a temporary fleet replacement center. I surely hope the fleet needs them bad enough that they call for all of them in a hurry. The water situation is all right again now for the crew anyway. It has even been cooler the last few days. The only thing that bothers me now is it's being so crowded.

How I wish I could be with my darling wife to enjoy those wiener roasts, parties, church, etc. I love to be with you all the time--there has certainly never been a time when I haven't. You are so much fun to be with that it always just makes me feel good all over. I guess I'm just very much in love with you, you little rascal, or should I call you a little monkey like you do me. Anyway, you're the sweetest person in the world for me and that's why I love so much to be with you. That is also why I miss you so much when I have to be away from you.

I surely hope you will like your new place and be able to get along there all right. It surely sounds cheap enough. Do they really serve good meals there? The time before when I left, you started picking up a little weight and people started teasing you. Have they teased you anymore recently? Ain't I crazy? I'm very curious though and like to know all about my sweetheart. I love you so much.

God bless you, my darling. I think of you and shall pray for you and us constantly. I think so much and with so much expectation of the day when we can be together again forever. Surely it can't be too terribly far off. I love you, darling, with all my being. Forever, Perry

July 28, 1945

Hello Sweetheart,

Received a letter from you last night. It seems you were rather blue because you hadn't been getting any mail and hadn't found a job yet. I do hope you start getting my mail regularly again because I know how it is to go without. I do all I can to see that you hear from me often, but the last few days we have been so busy. I just haven't had time to write you these last two days.

Your mentioning the Pilgrimage Play surely did bring back memories. I was surely happy that night, but I think you were kinda' peeved with me, weren't you? How I wish I could be there to take you again. I hope you'll go again this year and think about me all the while and remember last year. Then you can tell me all about it. Even if you were mad at me last year, you didn't act like it when we were going home in the car. Do you remember? (ha, ha!)

Darling, I just this minute got one more letter from you. It was surely sweet, but then yours usually are. You still hadn't received any mail from me. Do you know your letter this time had a different kind of perfume than usual. I easily recognized it. It was that perfume I sent you when I was in Honolulu.

Darling Gene, I can understand perfectly and long for just as you do those things you say your heart fairly aches for. I don't know how long it will be, but I surely pray it won't be too long. I love you so very much. I only want to be with you forever and ever--eternally. Must go now, but will try to write you oftener. Yours, Perry

July 28, 1945 (Saturday)

My dearest Perry,

I stayed all night at mother's last night. Pierce got in about 10:00 o'clock and we sat and visited till quite late with him. It sure was wonderful to see him home again. He has a 30-day furlough. Then he will be placed in the 7th Army for duty in the Pacific. Perry, I have some pretty souvenirs he gave me from Paris, France. a pretty silver bracelet and two little hankies with the French flag and the "Arc of Triumph" embroidered on them in bright colors.

Today I worked till 3:00 pm then I went downtown and met Emily. We went shopping for a dress for her. After going into almost every department store in town, we found one to her liking. Golly, we were all tired out when we got home this evening.

Tonight we are all going over to the Adams Ward playground, Emily, Pierce and I. All the gang at church have been looking for Pierce. We ought to have fun tonight. I'll write you again tomorrow, sweetheart. I want to mail this tonight tho. I know it is only a note. I love you Perry. Your own, Gene

Hi Perry,
There's a little space left here so I won't let it go to waste. It's really swell to get back home again after almost a year. I have 30 days to sleep and eat in. Boy, what luxury! You know, it sure would be swell if you were here too. It'd be just like old times. Maybe we can all be together again soon. May God bless you and keep you.

Love, Pierce

July 29, 1945

My Darling Wife,

Today is Sunday and I had quite a long snooze this afternoon. Really seemed good. Just got through taking a good shower and right now I'm dressed in rather immodest attire, but I'm comfortable anyway. Didn't receive any mail from you today, but I received an Adams Ward news and several California Intermountains. I noticed several interesting articles about President Grant's death. Noticed also Hortense Cliger is getting married. Also received a letter from the Improvement Era offering their regrets and they are going to extend my subscription five months.

We had our services today, but our attendance is getting smaller because the fellows are getting transferred into the fleet. I imagine this is about the last Sunday we will be able to hold our services.

July 30

Sorry, my darling, but I wasn't able to finish this last night. I didn't receive any letter from my darling today, but I guess I don't deserve one every day because I haven't written every day. I hope you have started receiving my mail again now because I know how it is to wait and wonder. I hope you are assured that I am quite safe and well.

July 31, 1945

Sweetheart, I had another abrupt interruption last night again. I'm surely having a difficult time getting this letter written. I'll have to explain it all to you some time. I surely did receive a very sweet letter from you today. You found a job just as I knew you would, and it sounds like a better job than the others and pays more too. I hope you'll enjoy working there, have good associates, etc. I hope it's the kind of place where you could get a few days off occasionally if I were able to come and see you. I know you'll be able to handle it, sweetheart.

Your speaking of the playgrounds at Adams, the music and dancing surely does bring back sweet memories. Surely wish too that I could be there to take you. That was really so much fun. I love to think of every moment I spent with you though my sweetheart because it has all been so perfect. However, that doesn't overshadow the prospective good times we are yet going to have, huh? I love you so very much, my darling, and can only think of you and of the time when we can be together again. Truly Yours, Perry