You Are The One

Fairgrounds – 10:30 pm
March 28, I think.
Sat. nite, anyway.

Darling:

Just another note before I retire for the evening. I really don’t know how to express the full extent of my feelings for you. No matter how I try, I never seem to find enough words to fully express myself. I guess fluency and the fine art of making love are not among my strong points. I think you understand, without my telling you, that I do love you very, very much, and that it is my greatest ambition to make you happy. I’ll never be satisfied until I’m sure that I have made you completely happy. Of course, you are most definitely not a sad sort of person, but I want to some day feel that I have materially contributed toward your complete happiness. If only we could have more time together, perhaps I could find words expressive enough to fit my feelings. If doesn’t seem possible that love could have conquered me completely in such a short time. From the very first time I saw you, I’ve dreamed of you. Dreamed of being with you; of doing the things we’ve talked about; of going to the places we’ve always wanted to see.

Perhaps the reason I’ve never fallen in love before meeting you is because to me, love brings marriage, and the first girl I marry is the only one. My religion is very strict on the matter of divorce, and I feel in my own heart that there is something immoral about divorce and remarriage. Not especially divorce, but remarriage. When I marry, it is for keeps, and up until I met you, there has never been a girl before you with whom I could visualize spending the rest of my life. I’ve always dreamed of being married and establishing a home, but until you came along, it was rather a vague sort of dream. Now it all seems clear to me. You are the one with whom I want to spend the balance of my days. You are the one whose happiness and security I want to establish. Making you happy is all I need to make me happy.

Darling, it seems easier for me to put on paper just how I feel in this matter, but I always wonder just what your reaction is when you read my epistles. If they sound silly to you, blame it on your own sweet personality, your beauty, your charm.

Knowing that you will be waiting for me, will enable me to endure a lot more than I otherwise could, and such knowledge makes me want to do more towards ending this war.

I must close now. Stay as sweet as you are. Try to love

Your,
Jim

A Million Little Hammers

Salem, Oregon
March 24/42

Darling:

Just a note before I go to bed. I’ve been pretty busy all evening, and didn’t think I’d get a chance to write at all.

If you don’t already know it, you’re constantly on my mind. Whenever I speak to you over the telephone or see you in person, a million little hammers seem to pound away inside me. I get a sensation which answers the description of the sensation of drowning, except that the feeling gives me pleasure. All I have to do any more to go into a trance is just thinking of how happy I have been in your company, or how happy we are going to be when we start making our home. For the present, we can only dream, but that in itself is one of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever enjoyed.

It seems that you must sometimes hear me when I speak to you, because when I’m alone, and thinking of you, I rehearse in my mind the things I want to say to you. The sweet things I want to tell you, the way you affect me, the things I want to do to make you happy. You really have me on the ropes, and I love it.

I must close now, as the lights are just about to go out, and I really don’t write well in the dark.

Goodnight, darling.

Your,
Jim

90-’leven Times

Addr: Miss Marjorie Haind*

Salem, Oregon
March 20, 1942

Dearest Marge:

Here I am again, trying to keep up on my correspondence with you. Lately, I haven’t done so well, because right now I think you must be two or three letters ahead of me.

I really do enjoy your letters more than I can say. And my greatest enjoyment in life is being with you. There just couldn’t be anyone else whose company I enjoy more than I do yours. Like you say, each time we’re together it becomes harder for me to say “good bye.” When we parted Wednesday nite, I turned back two or three times to see if I could see you, but the street was so dark that I couldn’t see you at all.

I can’t for the life of me feature myself feeling differently about us. Perhaps such a thing can happen, but I don’t see how. It’s not impossible, we have to admit that, but in my case it is so very improbable that it’s nearly impossible. The way I feel about you and about us, the more determined I am that our dreams are going to come true as far as I am able to make them. We’ve had some beautiful and extravagant dreams, haven’t we? If only part of them come true, we’ll be awfully happy.

I just tried to call the sweetest girl in the world a few moments before I started writing this, but she was getting the exercise which makes her such a fe charming personality and seemingly boundless energy. Each time I think of you and how I enjoy being with you, it makes me wish this war were over, and we could start making our future instead of merely dreaming about it. But for the time, we’ll have to be content with dreaming.

I’ve been interrupted about 90-‘leven times already in writing this, so if it’s kinda mixed up, blame it on that, if you please.

You know, I think you’re very lucky in your choice of landladies. Mrs. Jensen is just the person to see that you take care of yourself. I most certainly don’t want you to get sick.

Sweetheart, I must close now. Be real good, and try to love me as I love you.

Always your,
Jim

*This is the first time that our hero has spelled correctly his sweetheart’s surname. It remains correct from this point on, and I’ll be omitting the address line in future posts.

30 Days

Addr: Miss Marjorie Hayne

Salem, Oregon
March 8, 1942

Dearest Marge:

Gee, but it’s a long time since 10:30 last night! I came on in and went right to bed, but I certainly couldn’t go right to sleep on account of you. I relived the whole evening, and then thought of the future. Rather, I dreamed of the future, because I thought of what I wanted the future to hold for us. There’s too much standing between us and the future I’d like to give you, but it’s really fun dreaming. Perhaps something will happen to make at least part of those dreams come true, and if only a small part of the dreams I’ve had about us should materialize, we’d be the happiest people in the world. Up until the past few weeks, I was inclined to look at the present world situation rather from an impersonal standpoint. I mean that my part in it meant no more to me than if I were only part of a big machine. There was no reason for me to make any plans for the future. I was content to wait until everything was over, and then think of what I should do. But now, I want more than I can say, for the war to be over soon, so I can get right to work and make you happy. If our acquaintance to date has made you one tenth as happy as it has made me, I’m glad. I’m more than glad, but I lack the words to properly express myself. It’s when I write or speak to you that I wish I had mastered the king’s English to the point where I could really tell you my feelings without feeling as though something were lacking.

My style of writing and my vocabulary just don’t fill the bill when I wish to properly describe you and how I feel about you. From the very moment we met, something seemed to draw me to you. Something inside me told me that you were someone I’ve always wanted to know. If you only knew what a peculiar feeling I get whenever I think of you. Something happens inside me that is hard to describe. It seems like my heart grows too big for my chest, and it seems to expand right up into my throat. I’ve heard it said that the definition of love was that it was “an itching sensation around the heart which couldn’t be scratched,” and that is what I have right now. I know this may sound somewhat far-fetched to you, inasmuch as we’ve only known each other for exactly 30 days, but it seems as if I’d known you for years. Had someone told me that this could happen to me as suddenly and completely as it has, I’d have laughed, long and loudly. Just take a look at me. I’m the guy who thought he was immune to such sentiments as I now harbor. They say we live and learn, and I seem to have learned something about myself in the past 30 days. It’s a strange sensation, but I like it more than I can express. Wish I could write as a song to fit the situation.

I must close now, dearest little princess, and get to bed. Please try to think of me often, and remember that I love you.

Your
Jim

The War Brought Us Together, And The War Will Separate Us

Addr: Miss Marjorie Hayne

Salem, Oregon
March 4, 1942

Dearest Marge:

I told you I’d write you a letter last night, and I did, but it was such a pitiful specimen that I didn’t have the nerve to mail it this morning, so I’ll start again. I got called away about five minutes after starting it, and never got back until just before lights out.

Suppose they told you that I called tonight. I had to go to a meeting at 6:30, which lasted until 8:30, so I couldn’t call back.

I got down town today, and bought my Dad a birthday present, finally.

Carl (Duke) was talking to me today regarding our going someplace tonight, but the meeting came up, and as we really hadn’t made complete plans, nor had we arranged with you and Loretta, I just dropped all thoughts of going out. Wish I could have talked to you on the telephone tonight. I sort of hate to confess that I’ve missed you terribly ever since about 10:15 Monday evening. Talk about having someone on my mind! You really captured me for fair, whether you intended to do so or not.

I’ve thought of several other places for us to go on our trip ’round the world, so we can plan on it being a little longer than the one we talked over the other night. Just lotsa places we never even mentioned. Do you think we could take them all in?

You’ve certainly taken over a big share of my daily thoughts. I know I’m silly, but I do wish we had met sooner, and could be together more often, but I also feel that I’m very lucky to have met you at all, and that the time I have spent with you is just as much heavenly time I’d have missed were it not for the present world situation. As you remarked, the war brought us together, and the war will separate us. But, as far as I’m concerned, the war can only separate us bodily; because no matter where I am from now on, you’ll be on my mind. However, I have learned, since being in the army, to live for the moment, and let the future take care of itself. There’s no sense in letting the prospects of the future darken our present happiness. (I’m speaking for myself, hoping that our acquaintance has made you at least one-tenth as happy as it has me.) So, I propose that we should enjoy each other’s company while we can, thinking of the future only through rose colored glasses.

I know this letter may sound absolutely ridiculous to you, but I’ve so many things to say to you, and find them to be awfully hard to express. So far, I’ve tried telling them to you orally and by the written word, but I can’t seem to say all these things as fluently either way as I’d like to say them. Somehow, all efforts up to now have seemed to be inadequate. I do intend to keep trying until I feel that I have fully expressed myself, but each effort has left something to be desired, and I can’t quite place where the deficiency lies. Please bear with me until I can stop my head from spinning long enough to get my bearings, and perhaps I can find the words to properly express myself.

If you’ve read this far, your poor head is probably spinning, too, on account of trying to figure out what I’m trying to express. I have a feeling deep down inside me that we understand each other better than either of us realizes, so why am I going in circles trying to put my ideas across?

I’m afraid to read this for fear that I won’t mail it after reading it, so if it sounds all cockeyed to you, blame Fate for bringing us together, and getting me in this condition. I could talk and write forever without telling you all I want to tell you, regarding my feelings toward a certain beautiful, sweet, personable, charming, glorious person named Marge. There never has been anything written, spoken or sung which would fully express my feelings in this matter, so how can I, just a common, everyday person, hope to do better?

I must close now, as I’m getting more confused in what I’m trying to say with each moment that passes. I hope the tone of this letter will give you an idea of how I feel, even though the composition may be confusing.

Goodnight, little Princess.

With love,
Jim