Close Call

Fort Riley, Kansas.
Sept. 27, 1942


Was going to write you yesterday, but thought I’d wait till the mail came in and see if there was a letter from you, but none came. A lot of mail came in this morning, but it hasn’t been distributed yet. Hope there’s a letter from you, sweet.

Sweetheart, you have a mighty sore husband today. I went horseback riding this morning, and the portion of my anatomy just under my hip pockets really know that it has been places. Boy, is it sore!

I got a nice letter from your Mom yesterday, and answered it yesterday afternoon. I know that she and I are going to get along swell.

Went to a show this afternoon, and I wish you could have been with me. It was “Panama Hattie,” and there were some very funny parts. I could just hear you beside me, laughing.

Darling, I love you awfully, terribly. Didn’t think I could ever feel as I do about any girl, but it hit me the moment I met you. From then on, I was lost without you. All the moments we’ve spent together have been so sweet. I still can’t see how a girl as sweet as you could ever marry me. I was looking at the pictures of you and us taken on our wedding day, just a few moments ago, and darling, I wanted so much to be able to hold you in my arms, bury my face in your hair, and tell you how much I love you, how much you mean to me. Please, darling, don’t ever let anything come between us. Maybe I’m too conceited, or something, but I can’t imagine your falling for anyone else now that we’re man and wife. I was so much afraid of that, darling. I know that I could never fall for anyone else as I feel for you. Margie, I love you so much that it really hurts whenever I think of you, whenever I think of the moments we have spent together. Oh, but you’re sweet and lovable, really, darling. I’m so hungry for your kisses that I’ll need millions of them to satisfy me. But then, ever since our first kiss, it’s been that way. Each one of your kisses is sweeter than the one before, and while it thrills me to the very soul, it just seems to make me more hungry for the next one, and the next one, and so on. If only I could kiss you now. How would you like a big kiss right now? Do you think you’d enjoy it? I’d like to be sitting on our davenport with you, holding you close, feeling your face near mine, feeling our lips pressing together, feeling your cool hands on my neck and face. That, darling, would be just a little bit of heaven to me. Just before I went to bed last night, I looked out the window and saw that beautiful moon. Then I wondered if you were seeing it, too, and if you were wishing for me as I was for you. The few spare moments I’ve had since coming down here have been so darned ep empty without you. There can’t be anyone elsl else like you, anyplace in the world.

Darling, you don’t know how close you came this morning to being a widow. Just about as close as I came to being a widower when that gravel truck tried to get you. The horse I had wanted to run, and he broke loose and took off like a shot about 10 minutes after we started. The bridle path was in the woods near the river, though I didn’t know that. Anyway, we went flying along until all at once, there was the river right smack in front of us and about 50 feet straight down to it. I didn’t know what was going to happen for a second, whether he would be able to turn away or not, but he made it, by turning at an angle of about 110 degrees. Just a regular V turn. He ran a few yards more, and then slowed down to a walk. It really was an exciting few seconds, let me tell you. Don’t suppose I’d have gotten hurt if he had gone over, but it sure was close, no fooling.

Wish you could have been along this morning. Every time I’d see a fellow with a girl riding along, I was awfully jealous of them, and awfully lonely for you. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and cool. I hope we can have lots of days together like this one. Please pray that Nov. 28th comes soon. I still think that it would be too lonely down here for you, and we couldn’t afford to have you come down, financially speaking, so all I can do is hope that time passes quickly. Please tell me darling, that you love me as I love you. Please always love me, darling.

I must close for a few moments, as supper is being served. Maybe I’ll have a letter from you in the mail box. Hope so.

Goodbye, darling, for a few moments.

Your loving husband

[Ed. Note: second letter enclosed, on ruled paper rather than stationery]


No letter from you, and I’m already through writing tomorrows assignment, so will finish my letter to you. There isn’t much more to write, though. There are hundreds of things I want to say to you, my darling, but they would be so much better said orally. I love is, is what they all add up to. I miss you, sweetheart, more than I ever missed anyone before, or even more than I ever thought I could miss anyone. You’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met, really, and the moments we’ve spent together have been the sweetest moments of all my life. I’ve had more real happiness crowded into the short space of time we’ve known each other than in all the rest of my life. And the first real loneliness I’ve ever felt was on account of being away from you. Even when I was stationed in Salem, and saw you at nights, I was lonely for you during the days and on the nights when I couldn’t go to see you. But the times I did get to see you were glorious. The night we stood on the bridge and you accepted my ring was the occasion of the warmest, deepest flood of happiness ever to hit me up to that time. Then, when we were married, I experienced the same feeling all over again. It was awfully hard for me to work up my nerve to offer you the ring that night, even though you had told me before that you would marry me, it was just too good to be even believable until you were wearing my ring. If my memory serves me right, when I put the ring on your finger, you said “Oh, Jimmie,” and we held each other close. That is when that warm flood of happiness hit me, washing my heart right up into my throat so I could hardly speak or breathe. The same sensation hit when we kissed each other after we were pronounced man and wife. Do you ever feel that way? Please always remember that night on the bridge.

Margie, darling, I love you, and  miss you. Please take care of yourself for me, darling.

Your loving husband

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the second 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!


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