Really Man and Wife

Ft. Riley
Sept. 9, 1942

Margie, darling:

Here it is 8:40, and time for a letter to my wife. Got one from her today, of which I am more than proud. It seems like I have been here for at least 6 months already. The days broken down into hours, pass very swiftly, but looking back on them, they seem to be hundreds of hours long. Guess it must be because we cram so much into one day around here. Haven’t even had time to go to the P.X. and try to buy some stamps with which to send you an air-mail letter, so I’m forced to send free mail.

As much as I’d like to be able to have you near me, I’m glad you’re not down here, because so far I have trouble finding time enough to write you, let alone see you if you were here. It hasn’t been terribly hot here, but warm enough to be fairly uncomfortable.

I can’t start to tell you about the school. Will write you Sunday about that.

I’m sorry you have been lonely. Was afraid you would be.

Sweetheart, you know that I feel that we are really man and wife. Although my church does not recognize the marriage, I feel deep in my heart that we are really married. In fact, like you, I have felt that way for a long time, even before we went thru the ceremony. After all, the ceremony is only a formality, merely expressing in words what we feel inside. In my heart, I have felt that we belong to each other for a long, long time. So, inasmuch as I have temporarily alienated myself from my church, the church does not recognize my marriage, but I do, darling, definitely, and I’m glad you feel the way you do about our being married before I came here.

Thank you for the snapshots. I’m very proud of them, and have enjoyed them very much. Have looked at them I don’t know how many times since noon, when I got them.

I must close this pretty soon, and take a bath. Boy, I really need one!

These letters I write you are, of necessity, very short. I promise to write you a long one Sunday.

Please convey my thanks to everyone for the wedding gifts and wires, etc. Say “Hello” to the Jensens for me.

Goodnight, darling. And let me repeat, I do feel that you are really my wife, and I am really your husband, even though I’m not able to be a very good husband for the time being.

Be good, darling, and try not to be too lonesome.

Your loving husband
Jim

P.S.—I love you.

Gee, But It Was Good

Ft. Riley
Sept. 8, 1942

Darling:

I got your letter today, the first letter I ever received from my wife. Gee, but it was good to hear from you. I really missed your letters, darling.

I have been on the go constantly since arriving here. They don’t give you any time at all around this place. Classes all day, and a two hour study period, from 6:30 to 8:30 at night. Tonight, we got in about 5:30, and we go out until 11:30, leaving here at 8:00. We certainly earn our pay at this place.

I’ll make up a list of relatives Sunday, and send it to you.

Darling, you don’t know how glad I am that we married. I don’t know just what the reason is, except that like you I feel that we are more a part of each other. How many times since I arrived here have I thought of that last 4 or 5 days we spent with each other. They were the happiest days I can ever remember.

If it weren’t for our being so busy, it would be really miserable here without you nearby. As it is, you would probably be miserable down here.

Ft. Riley is really a beautiful place. Much nicer than Ft. Lewis, contrary to all my expectations. It’s nice + green here, lots of trees, shrubs, etc., and it’s rather hilly. The buildings are all made of native stone, and are very nice.

Glad the girls were so nice to you, and also your brother Bill. Hope I can meet all your family soon, and tell them how sweet you are.

Must close now, darling, and get ready to go out and see Ft. Riley after dark.

Goodnight, darling wife, from

Your loving husband
Jim.

P.S. I love you.

Still Blowing Strong

ED. NOTE: Two letters in one day? Not exactly. I post Jim’s letters not by when they were written, but according to the postmark, to more accurately reflect when Margie was reading them. This letter is dated the 6th, and today’s other letter is dated the 5th, but both were posted at the same time.

Ft. Riley
Sept. 6, 1942

Darling:

Just time for a note to tell you that I love you and miss you very, very much. Today was busy again, as usual. Got a lot of books, etc., to start school with. We had study period from 6:30 to 8:30, and it is now 8:45. They gave us an idea on what to expect, and how to conduct ourselves.

We’re going to be awfully busy from now on out, and no fooling. But I’ll always have time to miss you and think of you.

Please send the copy of our marriage certificate as soon as you can, so I can get things straightened out on my records.

Hope you have recovered from your sniffles, as I have not. Still blowing strong. It was pretty hot today, and I perspired quite freely, so I may shake it, although it is just a head cold.

I must close now, mail this, get my laundry ready, shave, and shower in 30 minutes.

Goodnight, darling wife. Your husband misses you and closes with a million kisses from

Your
Jim

P.S.—I love you.

We Really Worked

ED. NOTE: This letter, while tidier than the letter written the other day on a moving train, is not up to Jim’s usual standard of penmanship, and the lines have a distinct upward slope that is not typical of his writing. My guess is that he truly is, as he says (twice!), working really hard. Why is he always so vague about the details? I suspect that A. he thinks Margie will find them boring and/or B. he’s being extraordinarily careful about how much he writes down. Loose lips sink ships, haven’t you heard?

Ft. Riley, Kans.
Sept. 5, 1942

Darling:

Here it is late again. Nearly time for lights out, but I must write my darling wife.

Today we really worked. Got up early and worked all day washing windows, scrubbing, etc. Boy, we really worked. I thought of you all day, and wishing I could hold you and kiss you and tell you how much I love you and how humbly glad I am that you have become my wife. I’ve told you that I’m proud to be your husband, and each time I think of you I become even more proud. To be married to the sweetest person in the world, who wouldn’t be proud? As soon as I can possibly get to it, I have to go get the rest of my records straightened out.

Everyone here says the course is a cinch to pass. All one has to do is pay attention and behave himself, and I can certainly do both.

It’s been cool here, in fact, cool and rainy, ever since we landed. Guess we must have brought our own weather from the coast.

In another few hours, we will have been married for a week. Imagine that, married one week, and it already seems that we have been apart for months. Darling, if only I could press you close to me again, feel your heart beating against me, touch your lips with mine. Just the thoughts of it makes me almost sorry I came here. But darling, I’m going to make good for you, so we can be together again. I love you with all my heart, and thus it always will be. Please be sure that I’d much rather be with you than away from you. But it was I had thought, we wouldn’t be able to see each other much here. Nov evenings out during the week, and we’re not even sure of week-ends. They really require all a man’s time, and no fooling.

I must close now, darling, as it’s nearly time for lights out. 9:30 is the time here. 5:30 AM until 9:30 PM is quite a long day.

Good night, darling wife. I love you constantly, and increasingly every day.

Your loving husband,
Jim

P.S—I love you, darling, so terribly it both frightens and exalts me at the same time. Good night, with a million kisses.
Your Jim

Caused a Stir

Ft. Riley, Kansas.
Sept. 4, 1942

Darling:

First, I must tell you that I miss you something awful. Hope you are getting along okay. All the way down here I thought of you, and wished that you were with me.

From all I’ve seen so far, I’m gonna like the place, but I’m gonna be awfully busy. Just loafed mostly all day. Tried to get your saber, but they don’t have any in stock. They hope to have some in soon. Will keep trying, darling.

Got to see Mom, Dad, the baby sister, and Aunt Scottie for about 10 or 15 minutes in Cheyenne. They all asked where you were and why you weren’t with me. As I thought, Mom was pretty hurt about my not being married by a priest, but I promised here we’d get it all straightened out as soon as possible. I’m awfully sorry to have hurt her feelings, but I’ll never be sorry that I married you, never. In fact, it’s the best thing I ever did.

Marjorie, darling, you’ll never know how much I love you. I’ve tried a thousand times to tell you, and I hope you know.

What did they have to say at the office Tuesday? Bet you caused a stir.

Hope you can send the pictures soon. I want to see the most beautiful bride who ever walked. Darling, you were beautiful. Each time I think of you I love you more. Wish we could be together soon so I could tell you over and over how beautiful you are and how much I love you.

Please give my very best regards to the Jensens, Edna and Dorothy, and thank Mrs. Jensen again for all her trouble in getting  things ready for you. Also Nell and Doc. Had hoped to write them on the train, but never got it done.

Must close now and get to bed. Don’t forget your husband and write as soon as you can. Must give you my address again, as it’s a little different from what I told you.

Goodnight, my darling. I’ll be dreaming of you, and thinking of you constantly.

All my love to the sweetest wife in the world.

Your loving husband,
Jim

Troop “A” Officers Candidate School
Bldg. No. 93
Fort Riley, Kansas.

I love you.

Miss becomes Mrs.

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ED. NOTE: Da-dum-da-duuuummm! With this letter, we have the first time that our Jim writes to his new bride.

 

Somewhere in Idaho.
Sept. 2 / 1942

Darling:

The penmanship is going to be terrible, but the train is to blame. I just wrote you a post-card, but had to write more, just had to.

I’ve missed you terribly all day. Wanted to call you from Portland, but couldn’t on account of the crowds in the station.

I wish we were together, darling, and as each mile goes by, I wish it more than ever. I’m the proudest man in the world every time I stop to think of your being my wife. Please remember that I’m very much in love with my wife, and I hope she will always love me as she does now. Never got much time for our honeymoon, did we? But we’ll have one in December.

We stop for an hour in Cheyenne, and I wired from Tacoma for the folks to meet me there; hope they can make it. We get there at 11:55 tomorrow.

I hope you weren’t too tired yesterday. I never really got a chance to realize how tired I was until I got on the train. Had an upper berth, but sure slept well after I once got into bed.

I’ve re-lived every moment we spent together since last Thursday. And with each time I love you more. If only I could talk to you and make love to you this very moment. Every minute spent with you was heaven on earth for me, and I hope that I may be able to make you as happy as you deserve to be, and as happy as you have made me. Darling, you’re absolutely the sweetest, most lovable person in the world in the humble opinion of your devoted husband. It’s hard for me to realize that such an angel could be married to a guy like me. There just aren’t words to describe how I feel about you, really. But you know from the way I act and talk when in your presence just how I feel about you. And it’s been that same way ever since the first moment we met. If I had lost you after that moment, it would have been more than I ever want to undergo. You’re the first girl I’ve ever really cared for, and I hope that I will be able to be the husband you deserve to have. I’ll try, darling, you know that.

We’ve stopped for a few moments, so I’ll try to get something to eat. Trying to eat in the diner is too much like work. Just too many people for the size of the diner.

Will write you again soon, darling.

Your loving husband,
Jim

(another note in shorthand)

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