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

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