Mom Was So Tickled

18 August 1942

My Darling:

Never got the chance to get a letter written to you yesterday, and it is now pretty late, so I won’t have much chance to write much tonite.

We got in here about 3 A.M. Monday. Up at 6, put in the most nerve-wracking day of my entire career, and worked until 3 A.M. today. Up again at 6 this morning and have been on the go all day up until just about 15 minutes ago.

Darling, I’ve had you constantly on my mind ever since the moment your bus left the depot. It’s so darned hard to say goodbye to you. Harder each time I have to do it. The more I think of having to leave you, the more I think I don’t want to go to school. Suppose I’m silly, but I hate to think of being so far from you for so long.

Our week-end was perfect for me, in spite of the heat and in spite of the fact that we were afoot. Speaking of feet, how is your sore one? Hope it’s all cleared up by now.

Sweetheart, if we were only married, how much more simple it would be, or wouldn’t it? I couldn’t love you any more than I do now, but I wish we were already Mr. + Mrs.

The band got back today, so I suppose Al will be going to Salem this week-end. I’d like to wangle a three-day pass starting either Friday or Saturday, but am not sure I can manage it. Hope to see you over the week-end, three-day pass or not. In fact, I’m going to see you. Will talk to Al tomorrow about his plans. If I come down with him, it will be the usual, leaving Saturday noon and coming back Sunday nite. But if I can get a 3-day pass starting at 6 A.M. Friday or Saturday and ending at 6 AM Monday or Tuesday, that would really be the ticket. By doing that, I might be able to get away from here the nite before, and be in Salem when the pass started. Hope I can work out something like that. I still don’t know whether it would be better if we married now or waited until later. Will call you Thursday nite about 7:30, so please be sure to wait for the call. I can tell you better then about what I can do in the way of a pass.

Went into the P.X. and tried to get you a saber, but they were out. If I can’t get one here, I’ll have to wait until I get to Fort Riley. Don’t forget, it will cost you a penny, so you’d better start saving.

Was down to see the dentist this morning, and my teeth will be ready Thursday morning. They are already pretty well along.

As far as I know, we will leave here about Thursday or Friday of next week. Tuesday and Wednesday will be pretty busy days, getting things all cleared up here.

Got the money from home today yesterday. I had planned to not let them know at home when I was coming, but I slipped, and dropped them a short line during a slack moment today. Mom was so tickled to hear that furloughs were in order, and she sure wants me to come home. Five days isn’t much to look forward to, but it’s better than nothing.

Must close now, darling, as the lights will be out in a few minutes. Will call you Thursday for sure.

Lovingly,
Jim

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

I Am Leaving So Soon

13 August 1942

Marjorie, dearest:

 

Got your nice long letter today, and contrary to what you might have thought, I was very glad you wrote as you did.

I have as yet been unable to get in touch with the chaplain. I’ve been down to his office twice on week nights, but he was out on sick calls both times. However, darling, I have a decision already made, because if the Church is too demanding, that is, if they won’t allow me to be married by a priest without your promising to have the children raised as Catholics, we will not be tied down by that, because I love you altogether too much to let such a thing come between us. As you and your Mother have both said, it is our life to live and our decision to make. I hope that the Church will see things our way, because it would make things better all the way ’round. I don’t know what to do about the time for our wedding, now that I am leaving so soon, but we will talk that over during the coming week-end. As far as our getting married goes, I’d be glad to have the ceremony performed any place you want. I have felt rather partial to your Aunt Nell and Uncle Doc ever since I met them that day in Salem.

Darling, no matter when we decide to be married, whether before or after this is all over, I wouldn’t want to have any children until we were together for good. It really would be unfair to you and to the baby. When we do have children, I want to be with you to help you, and I could never rest knowing that you and our baby were out of my reach.

Please be sure, darling, that your mentioning the subjects I have just written about will never make me think less of you, because that can never be. Our frankness with each other, I know will always continue, and I know will only tend to bind us together more tightly.

We have a great deal to discuss over the week-end, in the light of the events of the past two days.

Haven’t heard from Al yet, but I don’t think he will want me to take the car down. Cochran is going to Portland for the week-end, and we plan to go down on the bus together. Of course, if Al decides to have me take the car down, I can take Cochran to Portland.

I hope the sudden turn of events hasn’t caused you any worry. I felt rather foolish last night, breaking the news so bluntly and abruptly. That was the way is was sprung on me, too. Usually when one is called before the board, it usually is at least another month, at least, until he is sent to school. In fact, there are several who are still waiting, having been before the board a couple of months ago. So when the called me over the very day after I’d been before the board, and notified me that I was to leave so soon, I nearly fainted with surprise.

I’m enclosing a cartoon drawn today by one of the boys in the office. He does something of the sort nearly every day. Put it in our scrapbook if you wish. [Ed. note: she must have; it’s not in the envelope.]

Darling, if I don’t see you this week-end, I’ll go nuts. Whenever I’m with you, I hate to even lose the moments I use sleeping, so you see what hours, days, or even weeks will do. The three months I’ll spend at school are going to be awfully long without you, darling.

I must close now, and get some work done. Will write you more later in the evening if I can get the work done in time.

I liked the “Blondie” strips you sent. They were awfully cute.

Good night for now, Margie. Remember, I love you, and always will.

Lovingly,
Jim

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

Things Have Happened

11 August 1942

Darling:

 

Just have to write a short letter to you. Not much time to write very much.

Today has been pretty busy for me. And things have happened, too. The first thing that happened was that they announced that furlough and 3-day passes were in order. The next thing, I was called before the officer’s candidate board. Now I’m all confused, but really confused.

Talked to Al just before he left today, and he’s not sure what he wants to do about sending the car down. They don’t know whether they’ll be there for two days or two weeks, so he is going to write me and let me know. In any event, I’m going to try to get down there for the week-end. I should know by Friday noon just what the score is, and whether or not I can get down, and if so, how. If I don’t bring the car down, how would it be if we met in Portland? Please write and let me know your idea on the subject. If we meet in Portland, where would me meet? etc. If I can catch the 1:00 bus out of Olympia, I’d arrive in Portland at 5:40. The 1:30 bus would arrive there at 6:10. I’m just mentioning those so if we should decide to meet there, we wouldn’t be too confused about details. I’ll wire you Friday afternoon if possible, or else call you. If it is impossible for me to get a pass as far away as Portland, could you come up here? I don’t like to have you come so far, but I want so badly to see you. Please write me by return mail your reaction to the ideas.

I’ve missed you more than ever during the past few days. It’s been pretty lonesome for me since 9:00 Sunday evening. I want to much to talk to you regarding our plans in the light of today’s happenings. There’s so much to say, I can hardly get it all said in a letter.

Darling, I wish we were already married, and that you were with me now. I love you so very much that it really sorta hurts, but it’s a pleasant kind of pain.

I’m going to write home tonite and have Mom send me some of my money so I can be ready for whatever comes up.

I don’t have but a very few moments in which to do my writing home, so will close this. Write as soon as possible, darling.

Just had another thought. If you don’t hear from me by phone or wire by Friday evening at 8, call me at Regimental Headquarters 115th Cavalry, and I’ll try to be at the phone. If I’m not right at the phone, I’ll be notified to call you, and I’ll call right back. Hope to have it all cleared up before you have to do that. I can’t call you over the regimental phone, but if I happen to be there when you call, I can talk to you. If you do hear from me and can’t for any reason to arrange it to meet me, if that is what has to be, call me. In any event, I’ll be at the phone at 8:00 until 9:00 or 9:30 Friday evening. If you do call, it will have to be between those hours or it won’t do any good. I’m getting things rather involved, but I want to make sure that we can make connections. Guess the best thing to do would be for us to get together by phone Friday evening, so I’ll call you about 7:30.

Now I do have to close this. Expect a call from me at 7:30 Friday evening. It may be later if I have trouble getting through.

I just gotta see you over the week-end, no matter what.

Goodnight, darling. I love you.

Your loving,
Jim

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

Another Furlough Rumor

10 August 1942

Darling:

Here’s the letter I promised you when I left last night.

You certainly didn’t miss it when you said that I’d be good and tired today, because I’ve been practically dead all day long. But if I had had the chance, I’d have turned right around and gone straight back to Salem. Never slept a wink all the way up here. Talked with Al all the way, but my mind wasn’t on the conversation at all. I kept thinking of our week-end, and of how much I missed you. Each parting becomes a little harder than the one before. Some of these days it’s going to be absolutely impossible to leave you. When that day comes, it just means that you’re going to have to come with me or I’m going to have to stay with you. That’s all there is to it.

I’ve recalled our moments together a dozen times every hour today. How we took in the sights at Silver Creek Falls, how you “dropped” your ice cream cone, how we waded in the creek, how you choked on the cigarette smoke, our ride together, all alone with each other. All the little things we said and did during the week-end. If our being together means half as much to you as it does to me, you’re indeed a happy person, because I’m practically delirious with happiness all the time we’re together. To walk hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm with you; to ride with you snuggled close to me; to hold you in my arms and crush you and smother you with kisses. Those are the things I enjoy. You’re so beautiful, so charming, so much alive! It’s so darned enjoyable just to be with you, that no matter where we go or what we do, we always have fun, just because we enjoy each other’s company so much. Guess the simple answer is that we’re in love. Whether we’re alone together or in a crowd, we seem to be in a world of our own.

That crazy J.P. is here now, eating grapes, reading a magazine, making crazy remarks. He gets nuttier every day, I swear. There just isn’t anyone else like J.P., thank heaven!

Hope if I can get down there this week-end, I can make it early enough so that we can do a little shopping for rings. We’d better make all our preparations while we can, because we have so little time together to do such things. There’s another furlough rumor around, but as usual, there’s nothing to back it up. Sure wish it could come to pass, but I won’t take any stock in it until it happens for sure.

Darling, it seems almost too good to be true when I realize that you love me, too. It doesn’t seem possible that such could be, but if it’s all a dream, I only hope I never awaken from it.

It’s sure swell outside tonight. Wish we were spending the evening together. It’s just 9:10 now. Wonder what you’re doing?

You seemed so lonely-looking last night as I left, and I felt so strongly about having to leave you, that it wouldn’t have taken much to have made me just bring you along, or if you wouldn’t come, just stay there with you. I don’t know just how to describe my feelings at the time, but I know you must realize how hard it was for me to leave you. The day we realize that we’ll never have to part again is going to be very, very happy for me, I know. It certainly can’t come any too soon for me.

Forgot to tell you darling, that I love you. Went to Salem just for that, and then forgot to do it — or did I?

Will talk to Al tomorrow about taking his car down Saturday, and try to make some arrangements for a pass. Will write you again tomorrow or tomorrow evening.

Do you know all the rigamarole we have to go through to get a marriage license? Please try to find out, will you, darling? Now that we have set a more definite time, it seems that I think of something different every time that has to be done. Hopkins, you lucky stiff, you don’t deserve such a wife as you’re getting, so don’t let her get away from you, whatever you do. There aren’t any more like Margie, anywhere.

Must close now, darling. Write soon, please. I love you more every moment, you know that.

Give my best regards to all the Jensens.

Goodnight, darling.

Lovingly,
Jim

 

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

Salem – Rosenburg – Portland – Olympia

5 August 1942

Darling:

It’s been years since I last heard from you. Hope you are well. I made arrangements today for a pass to Salem, and I’m sure it will go through.

I just knew I was going to get a letter from you yesterday, but no such luck. I wasn’t around all day, and as soon as I got back, I came tearing into the office looking for your letter. A couple of the fellows wanted me to go see the show “Pride of the Yankees” with them, so we went. It really was a swell show, too. When we came back, it was pretty late, and I got to thinking of you and worrying about you. Had a pretty hard time getting to sleep, too.

Caught the night shift again tonight which I didn’t like too well. Get the whole day off tomorrow to rest, which is all right.

Bing Crosby is appearing in person at the theater just down the street. Gotta go see it tomorrow night. Guess half the regiment must have gone tonight, because there sure was a string of them headed that way about 5:30.

Cochran was due to leave today for officer’s school, which would have given me the promotion I was slated for, and what happened? They turned him down on account of his eyesight, thereby stopping me cold for the third time in just a few days over two months. Cochran sure felt bad about not getting to go. Haven’t had much of a chance to talk to him, but he was planning on it so strong that it really hurt when they rejected him.

I was getting my physical exam for officer’s school yesterday, which was the reason for my not being there here all day. There is nothing about when or if I will go, because there are several ahead of me yet, and the quotas are getting smaller all the time.

Haven’t seen much of Al the past few days. The band may go away for a while, though I hope not. I’d really miss them if they did go, even for a short while. Don’t know whether Al will be able to go to Salem Saturday or not, so I may have to take the bus, that is if you want me to come. Somehow, when your letters don’t arrive on schedule, I feel as though I possibly have done something to offend you. Believe me, darling, if ever that should happen, it would hurt me as much as it would you, because I never want to do anything displeasing to you, ever.

Still have my cold. Just about rid of it, and then back it comes, as bothersome as ever. I feel all right but just can’t seem to shake that blamed cold.

Darling, I hope there’s a letter from you in the mail tomorrow. Please, let there be one. I wrote you Saturday, and had one of the boys take it to town and mail it. Did you get it all right? You surely should have gotten it Monday. The reason I ask is because there have been two fellows I know of who have written to their wives, one in Salem and one in Roseburg, and the letters haven’t been going through as they should.

What would you rather do for the week-end? Would you rather go to Portland or spend the week-end in Salem? I’d much rather go to Portland, as there’s so much more to do and see, but you name the scheme of things the way you want it. If I don’t hear from you by Friday morning, I intend to call Friday night, and we can discuss plans.

The last two letters from you have been read and re-read until they are nearly worn out. And I’ve looked at your picture a hundred times in the past three days, and talked to you. Have you heard me?

Marjorie, darling, I love you, as I’ve told you already a million times, and as I’ll tell you a million times again if you’ll listen.

Guess Henry Aldrich and Mrs. Henry are getting along quite well. She is living in Olympia, and was out to see him tonight. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, as she was just getting on the bus when I saw her.

Marge, darling, I have to close now, as business is picking up. See you Saturday, I hope.

 

All my love, always
Your Jim

IMG_9944

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

Blarney

1 August 1942

Marjorie Darling:

Never got a chance to write you last night after we talked on the phone.

Today so far, is pretty dead. Not much work to do this morning, and it’s awfully quiet this afternoon. Most of the fellows have gone various places for the week-end. Yesterday was payday, and as soon as these boys get a few dollars in their pockets, they really take off to get rid of it. It literally burns holes in their pockets.

Wish we could have been together more during the past week, as it seems that the moon was never better than it was the first part of the week. In fact, I wish we could be together more — period. You say it seemed empty after I left Sunday, and I have to agree with you, because for me, life is rather a vacuum all the time we are apart.

Hope they didn’t work you too hard at the office the past week.

Believe me, darling, I did enjoy our week-end very, very much. Every time I think of how beautiful you are, it sorta chokes me. I really can’t make up my mind about one thing though. Do you look more beautiful with or without a hat? It must be that I prefer you to look just as you do at the moment, because when I see you with a hat on, you seem to look better than you did before putting it on, then when you remove it, it seems that you become again just a bit lovelier.

Really, Marjorie, and this is not “blarney” as you say it is, you are the loveliest person I’ve ever met or ever seen. Just positively breath-taking. And to supplement your beauty, you have a certain combination of poise, good nature, sweetness, which all goes to make you not only the prettiest, but also the most lovable person in the world. A year ago, if anyone had told me that there really was a person like you in the world, I’d have called him crazy, because you are the kind of a girl I had always dreamed of knowing, but never had even dared hope to find. When I think of how close we came to not meeting, it absolutely scares me. If I had been as bashful as usual, we probably would never have met after the first night, but the moment I saw you, I realized that I wanted to know you, and after we met and danced together, I knew that it was love, and that it was imperative that I see you as often as possible. At first, I was afraid that you wouldn’t understand how I felt about you, or that even if you did understand, you would be disinclined to respond. I dared not hope that you could love me. When you let me kiss you the first time, my heart become tons lighter, because I had planned from the first moment we met, to kiss you at the first opportunity, and I felt that if you allowed me to do it, or responded, I had more hope, because deep inside me I felt that you weren’t the type of girl who allowed herself to be kissed by any and every soldier who came along. Since that first kiss, I have had an insatiable appetite for kisses from these same lips. You have observed that fact since then. If only I could kiss you right now, to prove it to you. Each time we are together, your kisses, like your beauty and personality, seem to become more precious. In every sense, you become more and more desirable. You deserve more things of a material nature than I could ever give you, but I can assure you that if my capacity for loving, for adoring a person like you is as great as that of other men, and I believe it is, you could not be loved more sincerely by anyone else. As I’ve told you, even if you ever decide that you love someone else, I could never stop loving you even one little bit. No one, not even you, can alter my affection for you. Even though I realize how unworthy I am of your love, I hope that you will never realize the same. If I can always conduct myself in a manner which is pleasing to you, that’s all I want, even though I realize that you are worthy of someone better.

Thank you, darling, for the poem you sent. I’ve read it a dozen times already, as I have also read your letter over and over.

Please don’t feel that the little bit of expense involved in last week-end, or for that matter, any week-end we spend together, is working any kind of hardship on me, because all I want money for anyway is to spend to see you and be with you, and perhaps entertain you a little. As you know, the week-ends I have spend with you are the only times I have been away from the post since we came back up here from Oregon. They are the only times I have even cared to leave the place, because to go anyplace without you wouldn’t even be pleasure. The pure joy of being with you cannot be measured in money. Considering the pleasure which a week-end with you brings me, a million dollars wouldn’t be too much to pay for it. Since it doesn’t cost much of anything, I feel that I’m getting a terrific bargain.

Dalley and Jim Edwards had been planning a trip to Victoria, and then found that they had to work tomorrow, so as long as we weren’t to be together for the week-end, I took Dalley’s shift, and Jim got a substitute, and they took off. The USO is conducting a boat trip up there tomorrow. Hope we can make such a trip some week-end. Perhaps we can persuade Bernadette and Al to go up to Vancouver with us some time. I’d sure like to see it, but not without you. Remember that song, “Not Without You“? That’s the way I feel since meeting you. There are hundreds of places I’ve always wanted to see, but since meeting you, I wouldn’t enjoy them nearly so much unless you were along. Seeing them except in your company, just doesn’t appeal to me any more for some reason.

Please thank Mrs. Jensen for me for her invitation to stay at her house. It’s especially nice of her in view of the fact that I’m trying to take away her foster-daughter. If I were she, I would resent that Hopkins guy’s attentions to her sweet Haind girl. Give her my very best regards, please.

I wish we could be together this week-end, but as you say, we wouldn’t be able to spend much time together, and I don’t especially like to see you have to come so far by bus. Coming up by car is hard enough for you, and the bus both ways would be even worse.

Hope to see you next week-end, in any event. Will write more tomorrow if I have the chance. Be very good, and remember that a certain Sgt. Hopkins loves you very much. If I can find someone going to town, I’ll send this with him to be mailed, so you can get it Monday. If not, you probably won’t get it until Tuesday at least.

Lovingly
Jim

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Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the letter, and a touch more tucked away inside the envelope flap. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what they say, please do type it out in the Comments!