|1955, Salt Lake City, Utah. |
What a difference ten years makes!
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?