For Good Measure

Oct. 30, 1942

My darling:

Just a note tonite, as I don’t have much time, and I do want to let my darling wife know I’m still madly in love with her and I miss being with her more and more every day. The time is beginning to drag just a bit now that we’re in the last stages. Today was especially long, but I went thru it in sort of a rosy fog. We are the junior class now, so to speak. The 12th class graduated yesterday, and the 13th on the second Wednesday or Thursday in November. I found out some new customs yesterday, too. The first one is that you give a dime to the first person who gives you an official salute after graduation, and the second is that it’s bad luck to wear bars which you have bought yourself. Someone is supposed to give you your first set of bars. So, darling, will you be a real sweet girl and buy me my first set of bars? I don’t want you to think your husband is a gold-digger, please. Just a plain old pair of second lieutenant’s bars. Be sure not to get silver ones, as Joe’s wife did. Inasmuch as you are the person nearest my heart, I’m letting you have the honor. You can probably get them at the military store in Salem.

Tomorrow is pay day again, Mrs. Hopkins. I’ll send you $3000 as soon as I can get to a post-office. That will be all I can send for quite a while, darling, because uniform, etc., will take up the rest of Oct. + Nov. pay and leave living expenses for December. I’ll get paid 25 days in November on graduation day, and then there’ll be no more pay day until January 1st. Wish we weren’t poor folks.

During next week, we get only one hour off all week. No Saturday afternoon at all. We go out on a night problem Monday, so we get one hour off Tuesday morning. We’re certainly earning our money, and no fooling.

Some of those lucky guys in the 12th class were assigned right away to Camp Adair, I understand. That would really be a break for me, but I’m afraid to even hope for it. They were a horse cavalry class, which makes quite a lot of difference. I’m going to try for Camp Adair, but whether I get it or not is another thing.

Darling, you don’t know how much I want to be with you. You can’t realize how much I want to hold you and give and take all the kisses we’ve missed out on during the past couple of centuries since I kissed you goodbye in Portland. I close my eyes every once in a while, and imagine how we will catch up on our kisses. Do you think you’d like to take some of my surplus kisses right now? There’s so much I’d like to talk to you about. About you, and how sweet you are and how much I love you and how beautiful you are and how much I love you, and how good a sport you are and how much I love you. By now, you should have gotten the idea that I love you very much. Aren’t I mushy? Ever since I first wrote you, my letters have been inclined toward mushiness, haven’t they? But really, darling, I can’t help being mushy. Each time I think of you, I just seem to turn to mush. In case you’re interested, I’m still very crazy about my birthday gift from the world’s most beautiful and lovable wife.

Margie, darling, I must close. Please write soon to the one who loves you more than anyone else in the world.

Your own
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. 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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Everyone But The General

28 Oct. 1942

My darling:

Got another letter today from the sweetest, most adorable person in the world. I came in the barracks this noon, I just knew there would be a letter from my darling, and sure enough there was one.

Yes, I did get your package, as I wrote you, and darling, I adore your picture. I’ve showed it to everyone but the general, and I just haven’t caught him yet. I’ll never be able to describe how I feel when I look at that picture. It makes me want to hold you tightly to me and tell you how much I love you. Each day, I realize more and more vividly how beautiful you are and how much you mean to me, to say nothing of how much I miss you and how lucky I feel that a girl like you has become my wife.

It sounds as though you had a rather lazy Sunday, Mrs. Hopkins. If your husband had been there, you’d have been busier, because he has millions of kisses to catch up on, and that would have been a wonderful time in which to do it.

It does seem wisest for us to wait until I am assigned before we do any moving around, but darling, it seems to long to wait. I’m nearly crazy for thinking of you, and I don’t know how I can stand it much longer. However, if we can’t make it, that’s just all there is to it, but it’s going to be awfully lonesome without you. The way things are, it would cost as much for me to go to the coast on my 10 days as it would for you to come and meet me, so we’re rather stymied for the time being. I’ve racked my brain almost to bits trying to figure a way in which we can have our cake and eat it, too, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out. It evades me, if there is a solution. My darling, you have no idea how much I miss you. I’m sure I could get the money to do it on, but I hate to start married life in debt. Maybe something will turn up so that we can be together immediately after I graduate. If they would only assign us right away, it would really be grand, wouldn’t it? But from all indications, it’s almost a dead certainty that I’ll be assigned temporarily to the replacement center here, which would be for a period of anywhere from a week to two or three months. It’s really a problem, darling, believe me. I’d like to have you get the opportunity of being with your folks for a while, and I’m really going in circles trying to get everything squared around in my mind. There just has to be a solution somewhere, and I’ll find it yet or die trying.

I’m sorry your teeth are bothering you, darling. Hope you don’t have too much trouble with them. Wish your husband could be with you to give you what comfort he could. Sweetheart, you just don’t know how tenderly I would care for you.

I don’t know just what can be gotten right here at the present in the way of luggage, although they do have a fortnighter for something like $1350, which is a regular $2000 piece. I know that a steamer trunk can be ordered, but what the cost would be, I don’t know. The fortnighter, I’m sure can be gotten in the natural leather color. The first chance I get, which will probably not be before Tuesday afternoon. I’ll let you know about it as soon as I possibly can.

Darling, I’m sorry you are lonesome, because I’m so very lonesome myself. We have a lot of time to make up. I miss you terribly, Margie darling, and I’ll never be happy and contented again until we are together. In fact, the only really happy moments I’ve ever spent were with you. I don’t mean to say that I never had any good times before I met you, but after I met you, I realized that there had always been something missing before. You’ve brought something beautiful but indescribable into my life, and I’ll always feel grateful to the powers that be for bringing us together.

Goodnight, my sweet little princess. Remember that your husband, though neglectful and undeserving, loves you and misses you to an extent which cannot be described.

Lovingly, always
Your
Jim

The Most Wonderful Gift

Fort Riley, Kans.
Oct. 25, 1942

Marjorie Darling:

I got the package today, and you don’t know how thrilled I am at your picture. It’s absolutely beautiful, darling. When I heard from home that the folks had received a picture of you, I thought it was one of the snapshots taken on our wedding day, but since getting this picture, I realize differently. Sweetheart, there’s only one thing I’d have liked better than your picture, and that’s your presence. This has been so darned lonesome without you, and each week-end is worse than the one before. Only four more week-ends here, thank the Lord. The cigarette case is very handy, too, darling. It seems my cigarettes are always being beaten around so that by the time I get around to the last few, they’re in pretty sad shape. Thank you, darling, for the cigarettes, the case, and most especially the picture. It’s positively adorable, and I’m so proud of it. Each time I look at it, I wonder how it ever happened that I married an angel like you. I don’t want to walk without you, sweetheart, ever. Please be sure I miss you terribly. If only I could hold you right now, and thank you with kisses. Oh, how I’ve missed your kisses!

Your husband pulled an awfully dumb stunt the other day. I wrote you a letter, marked it “Air Mail,” and then mailed it without stamps. Isn’t it awful? Of course, it came back for postage, and you should get it tomorrow.

I got a letter from Lois and one from Donna yesterday. Of course, Donna’s was entirely illegible, and Lois’s wasn’t much better. Donna has her own form of shorthand, and it’s undecipherable, except to her. Everyone at home is crazy to meet you.

They seem to be increasing the pace around here every day. Tomorrow is the beginning of another very busy week, and no fooling. Wish you were here to take my dictation, but I’m afraid that your lips would be too much of a temptation, and the work would really suffer for it. One of your kisses right now wouldn’t be too hard to take. My heart beats faster every time I think of it. Sweetheart, nothing else seems to matter so much to me as your being with me. Wouldn’t it be swell to be in Seaside, or in Portland today, knowing that we need never be separated again? Darling, I’ve tried to explain my loneliness and my love for you, but words become even more ineffectual each time I try. I’d give anything if you would appear beside me right now. I dreamed the other night that you and I were shopping together, and that I was trying to slip away from you and buy you a present, but each time I got away and started to make a purchase, you were right beside me. Guess I want you beside me so much that even in a dream, you won’t let me get away from you. Every day, a dozen times or so, I imagine my waiting at a railroad station for my wife, and I see her getting off the train in her red dress and her fur coat, and I run up the platform, grab her, and hold her close and kiss her, a long, dreamy kiss. And she holds me close, too, and presses her lips to mine. Then she kinda ducks her head and presses her cheek to mine for a moment. It’s really a beautiful dream, darling; and your husband can hardly wait until it comes true. It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I don’t mean for somebody else. Every minute we’ve been apart has seemed like a year, and I only hope that the rest of the time between now and our meeting will go a lot faster. It never was easy for me to be away from my darling, and the past few weeks have been ever harder.

There isn’t much more I can write you, my darling. Thank you again for the most wonderful gift I ever received. I love you, Mrs. Hopkins, really I do. Be sure to continue to love me a little, won’t you? Goodbye for this time, darling little princess.

Your loving husband,
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. 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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Birthday Kiss

Oct. 22, 1942

Darling:

Got your letter today, and was even more ashamed of myself for not writing more often, because I do expect you to write often, and time goes so slowly when you don’t write when I expect it. Some of the fellows seem to get a letter written nearly every day, but my time, like money, seems to slip away from me so easily. I’m writing this in study hall, so don’t be surprised if it gets cut off short  and continued later.

We finished our weapons course last week, had a couple of days of such subjects as training management, military law and technique of instruction. We started motors Monday, and have been at it all week. It’s a pretty hard course for me, as all I know about a vehicle is that it either runs or it doesn’t, and that’s that. I’ve really had to apply myself harder in motors than in any other course so far. So far, I haven’t had any trouble in the tests, though.

Darling, I wrote you Aunt Mayme’s name, but don’t think I had the address, so here it is: [personal address in Casper; redacted by the editor]. She’s my mother’s sister, and she’s Irish, so don’t let her last name fool you. It’s pronounced [again redacted, since I’ve changed the surnames]. Wish I could be there to help you write the “thank you” notes.

It’s too bad that both your brothers are leaving so close together. I’ve an idea how your Mom feels. However, the Army isn’t so bad as it used to be. They do work a guy pretty hard for $50 a month, but they treat him pretty well, at that. The first few weeks are the hardest.

Got a letter from Mom today, too, and she said she had gotten a letter from you. She said that they all liked your picture, and that Uncle John was very certain that he showed it to everyone who came. He has always been quite interested in my getting married. He even tried to bring me a nurse from Mayo’s when he was back there. Guess he was afraid I’d be an old bachelor like he is. However, I always intended to get married when I met the right girl, and not to get in a  big hurry about finding her. So I just waited until you came along, and married you. I fell in love with you the first time I saw you, even before I knew your name, and that love has been increasing every day since. It hardly seems conceivable that you could have consented to marry me, and that it has already been done, but it has, and darling, it was the grandest thing which ever happened to me. I just waited for the right girl, and she came along.

The letter you got from H. Roum, was quite a shock, wasn’t it? He’s from the 115th, and sleeps right next to me. He and Speck and I are a trio. Harold is a big, blonde guy, and one swell fellow. He got a letter from his wife one day last week, and he asked me if you had written me, and when I said “no,” he asked me if I wanted you him to write you and ask you to write more often. I said “sure,” and never thought any more about it. He told me about it after he wrote, so I was kinda waiting for your answer. I wasn’t quite sure whether he was kidding me or not, so I waited until I heard from you. He really is a grand guy, all the way through. I hope you can meet him. There are a couple of other fellows here that I’m sure you’d like. There’s little Mac McArdle, a little cute guy from South Bend, Indiana. He’s about to become a father. Then there’s Jerry Preshaw. Did you ever hear the “Six Hits and a Miss” on the radio? Well, Jerry was one of the Six Hits, and his wife is the Miss. He’s kind of a screwball, but he’s a pretty nice guy. He kinda reminds me of T.P., but he has more sense.

Darling, please tell your folks “Thanks” for me, too. Everyone is so darned nice to us, that I don’t know how to properly thank them.

About your cedar chest, sweetheart, I think it will be best for us to wait until we get together, because we can order them thru the Post Exchange for just a little over cost. They don’t carry them in stock, but they will order them. The big trouble is that it would have to come here first, and then I’d have to send it on to you, which might make things pretty complicated, transportation of anything besides war materials being as it is. If you think you’d like it sooner, let me know, and I’ll see what can be done about it. You can get nearly anything thru the P.X. They used to sell automobiles, even, before rationing, etc.

Sweetheart, I hope you didn’t go too strong on my birthday. You don’t know what it means to me, your remembering. I hope I can give you a nice Christmas this year.

We all had a big laugh here the other day. One of the boy’s wives wife, sent him his lieutenant’s bars, and she wrote him that she had bought them for him. She said that the “silver ones were much nicer than the brass ones,” so she sent him first lieutenant’s bars instead of second lieutenant’s. It sure was funny.

There’s a big tall, lanky Texas boy here that we all get quite a kick from. He’s sure comical. We call him “Sam Houston” on account of his being from Houston, Texas. Everything he says and does is funny. Then we have “Available Homans, the Legal Eagle” from New York. He’s really a right guy, even though he is a Jew. He used to be a lawyer; that’s why we call him “The Legal Eagle.” The “Available” part came from the comic strip “Li’l Abner.”

There’s not much more to write, darling. I’ll try to write more often, honest I will, and I’ll also try not to expect too much from you, because I realize you’re busy, too. I love you terribly, Margie darling. Don’t ever lose sight of that, please.

Wish I could be with you Saturday night, darling. Then is really would be a happy birthday for me. If only you could give me a birthday kiss. I miss your kisses more each day. Please save me an extra special birthday kiss, won’t you?

Goodnight, my darling. I love you, and I’ll never be really happy until we are together again. Give my best regards to everyone.

Your own loving
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. 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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Your Red Dress

Ft. Riley, Kans.
Oct. 18, 1942

Marjorie darling:

I’m ashamed to be late in writing you, inasmuch as I feel so blue when I don’t get a letter from you. I got one letter from you the other day, and one today, and darling, you don’t know what they mean to me.

During the past couple of weeks, we were spending a lot of time out in the field, and when we came home at night, we were pretty well tired out, with plenty of studying to do the next day. But during those days out in the field, we had quite a few little intervals of time, 5 minutes or so, where a guy would be lying in the grass in the warm sun, and darling, you’ll never know how often I thought of you and wished you were here with me. Then when the weekend, it really gets bad, because I’m not used to having over 5 minutes at a time to myself, and when I do get more time, it really seems long and lonely. Today it is lonely and rainy, making me wish so much that we could be with each other in front of a nice fireplace. Wouldn’t that be swell?

Darling, I got my uniform nearly all bought. While they said that it wasn’t required that we get boots and breeches, they recommend that we get one pair of each, and I talked to some of the guys from previous classes, and they said I’d be sorry if I didn’t get them, so I cut down a bit on other items, and ordered one pair of boots and one pair of breeches.

About your belongings, darling. As far as I can see, about the best thing to do would be to pack them all as soon as you get ready to leave, and leave them with Mrs. Jensen to be shipped wherever you want them. Mom said she’d like very much to have you stay with them until we got a permanent assignment. Of course, all we can plan would be in a general sort of way.

Speck’s name is McCullough. His wife is a student at Willamette, and is also a school nurse there, or something of the sort.

The guy French, who called on you, was one of the guys in the troop who drove the officers cars, and he delivered me out to your place several times. I took their suggestion, and dropped a card to the gang yesterday. It seems like a lot of our boys and officers are coming down here to various schools. Seems like half the regiment is here now, but the only time I ever see them is on the way to a class, or something like that.

Darling, if you should ever be sick or have such trouble as de-wisdoming, I’d give you the very best treatment I could. I can guarantee that no one would be more tender or loving.

Like you, darling, I’ve dreamed a lot of our Christmas and New Year’s together. Darling, I want to crush you to me, and tell you how much I love you.

Hope Nell isn’t having too much trouble with her teeth. Tell her “Hello” for me. Also Doc. Tell them I love their niece, Marjorie Hopkins, very much.

Darling, I’ve thought of calling you from the Senator hotel. I’ve also thought of walking into the liquor commission and surprising you.

Darling, Aunt Mayme’s name is Mary T. Sware, or Mrs. Mary Sware, is better, I guess. I told Mom about your silver pattern. Your little collection could use some additions.

Darling, if you need anything in the way of luggage, let me know, and perhaps I can get it thru the PX. They have some nice luggage, and at a good price, too. I don’t know that we could get just what you want until you told me and I could look it over.

Say “Hello” to Edna, Judy, Grandma, Dorothy, and Mrs. Jensen for me.

I must close now, sweetheart, and study some. We start on motors tomorrow. 39 more days until graduation. Gosh, that’s a long time! The moments are going to be hours long until I can hold my Margie and whisper in her ear, and tell her how I love her. Those millions of kisses are still piling up. Wish we were in Portland right now, with you in your red dress, and me in my new clothes, with all sorts of time for steak dinners, shows, dancing, and loving each other. The very thought of pressing my lips to yours almost drives me mad. It’s getting so that every time anyone sees me looking off into space, they just know that I’m thinking of you. I know your red dress is going to look wonderful on you. All your clothes seem to look well on you, because there never was a wife with any better appearance than mine. Not only that, she’s the sweetest, most lovable, most adorable person I’ve ever known. Oh, how I love her!

Goodbye for the time, my darling one. Write your neglectful husband again soon.

Your loving,
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. 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! img_0641

Midnite Show

Ft. Riley, Kansas.
Oct. 11, 1942

Darling:

I’ve been rather neglectful of you this past week, and I’m truly sorry. The past three or four days have really been strenuous ones, with lots of field work [SMUDGE] (darn this pen!) and when we came in at night, we were plenty ready to hit the pad. As for missing you, though, it seems that I get more time for that each day. We went to town yesterday, three of us, and looked over Junction City. It’s not much of a place, though. I got part of my uniform, the biggest part. I got a short [SMUDGE] coat, a blouse, and a shirt. When we say “short coat” in the army, we mean a short overcoat. I know you must have seen them. It’s really a beautiful thing, a light brown beaver. And I know you’ll be crazy about the shirt. Most civilians would call it gray, but to us, it’s a pink. It’s a gray color with just a tiny touch or tinge of pink.

I haven’t decided yet to buy boots and breeches because I found that unless I got my things all at one store, I couldn’t get credit, and I don’t see how I can do it without at least 30 days credit. I could pay for everything, sure, but I wouldn’t have very much left to run us until January 1st. The boots cost $40\00 and breeches from $3450 to $4100. I may have to get them later on, and again I may not, so what to do about it has been quite a problem. One minute, I decide to get them, and the next, I decide not to.

I forgot to mention it to you, but Speck, one of the kids from the 115th who came down here with me, wrote to his wife and asked her to look you up. She is going to school at Willammette, and they were married the same day as you and I. I’ve only seen her once, which was the day we left to come here.

We just sorta strolled around town all yesterday afternoon, and finally did some shopping. We had a big steak dinner, and then went to the show. Saw “Rings on her Fingers,” with Gene Tierney and Henry Fonda, then stayed for the midnite show and saw “The Pied Piper.” Remember when we saw that together? I nearly died of loneliness for you during the picture, so I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as when we saw it together.

Got a letter from Mom today, asking if we had a silver pattern, and I’ve gotta let her know about that. She said she didn’t know just what to send us.

Darling, did I remember to tell you that I love you? If I didn’t let me tell you know, I love you, very, very much. Please try to love me a little each day. Sometimes, when I get a few spare moments, I wonder if coming down here and being so far away from you is really worth it. When I see other fellows with their sweethearts and wives, it sorta makes me jealous, although I do have the sweetest wife in the world, I can’t be with her. The biggest mystery to me will always be how I ever persuaded you to accept me as your husband. How did I ever do it?

Darling, I hope we can be together as soon as school is out. I want so much to be with you every possible moment from now on. I guess one reason is that I want to show you off to everyone in Casper, and show them how lucky I really am. I’m so terribly proud of you, Mrs. Hopkins, or did you already know that?

Yes, darling, Donna knows she has a new sister. When I saw the folks in Cheyenne on the way here, the first thing anyone said was, “Where’s Margie,” and Donna made it a point to repeat “Where’s Margie?” She says we have two Margies now, and calls them “Our Margie” and “Jim’s Margie.” After she meets you, she’ll probably call you “My Margie.” Everyone is terribly anxious to meet you, darling. Will you inquire as to the cost of going from Salem to Casper? The Union Pacific doesn’t run thru Casper, but the bus connects with it at Rawlins, about 125 miles away. Get the rates to Casper and to Rawlins. If gas rationing isn’t too strict, the folks can probably meet the train at Rawlins. If that’s not possible, the bus would be the next best thing.

I’ve been thinking that if I am assigned to the officer’s pool at Ft. Riley here, about the best thing would be to have you go on home from Casper, and join me here when I get assigned permanently. That would give you the opportunity of seeing your family. I do hope we can be together again by Christmas.

I must close now, darling. Good night, my sweet. I love you and miss you more each day. Save a lot of kisses for

Your loving husband,
Jim

Enemy Positions

Fort Riley, Kans.
Oct. 8, 1942

Darling:

Got your letter today, and I really was awfully glad to hear from you. The past two days have been really swell, as far as weather is concerned, but we’ve sure been busy. Yesterday, we were out firing, and today we spent crawling around in the weeds and grass, attacking enemy positions. It was a grand day, but awfully hot work pounding the brush as we were. My knees and elbows are pretty sore and raw, and I’m tired, physically. The instructor we have for this part of the course is really a one-man show, and no fooling. We crawl and creep and run for a while, and then we gather together, and he goes over what we have done and what is coming up next, and he’s really a scream. His name is Murphy, but he’s not at all like his name. He’s a tall,

7.05
2.50
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buck-toothed, ugly guy, but he sure can put things across. One thing that gets me is the fact that while he’s so darned funny, he doesn’t seem to think he’s funny, just goes on as if it were any other kind of a talk, while we’re convulsed with laughter. He’s from Alabama, with a deep Southern accent, and how he does slaughter the English language. Nuf for that.

Darling, please don’t feel that you’re taking anything from me when I send you money, because it’s money that the Government wouldn’t be paying me if I weren’t married.

Please, darling, try to get all cleaned up before the last of November. Of course, if we can’t do it, we just can’t, and that’s all. But I’m still hoping that we can get all squared around and be together as soon as possible. As I suggested, maybe we can get together and have a few days together, and then you can go home until I get permanently assigned. In any event, let’s pray that we can be together for a few days the first part of December, and back together for good by Christmas time. Maybe we’re doing too much worrying, because it may even happen that I’m assigned right away, and possibly to the west coast. Of course, that’s a lot to ask, but it’s possible.

Was interrupted for a few moments, as the lieutenant came in. (You probably know by the stationery that I’m writing this in study hall.)

Darling, you don’t know what I’d give for a week-end with you again. If we don’t get together as soon as school is out, I’ll be lost, that’s all. And one big trouble is that I won’t know where I’m going until graduation day, which incidentally, was set officially as Nov. 26th. If anything happens between now and then in regard to that, I’ll certainly let you know.

Darling, I’d love to kiss you right now. Whenever I think of holding you and kissing you, my heart seems to sorta come up into my throat, my head spins, and my breathing goes all haywire. Words can never tell you how I feel. Only being with you and telling you with kisses and embraces can I tell you. The thrill of holding you close, hearing your heart, and feelings its beat against me, kissing you, is something I miss so very much. Somehow, when that happens, nothing else seems to matter at all. No sound can penetrate, no disturbance can arouse me. I seem to slip into a sort of stupor, a sweet, magnificent stupor. I was thinking the other night after I went to bed, of the week-end we went to Seaside. Remember the night in Portland when our rooms were adjoining? And the next night in Seaside? During those few days, it seemed that I couldn’t stand to have you away from me for even a moment, and now here we are over a thousand miles apart, and have been apart for 39 days. Truthfully, darling, it doesn’t seem like a moment more or less than 39 years. Please give Margie a big kiss for me, will you? And tell her I’m crazy about her. She’s so sweet, beautiful, so easy to get along with, and so very easy to love. From the very first moment, I’ve been crazy about her. I’ll never forget our first kiss. It was then, or possibly even before then, that I started thinking about asking you to marry me. The thought would enthrall me one moment, and scare me the next, because I was so afraid you’d say “No.” If you had, I don’t know what I’d have done, really. It still rather scares me to even think of your saying “No.” In fact, if you had been anything but cordial the very first night we met, it would have hurt, terribly, because after I once got the chance to dance with you and hold you, it seemed that I never wanted to dance with any other girl in the place, and I was so darned afraid that I wouldn’t get the chance to dance with you again and find out whether or not you would allow me to see you, be with you. Frankly, from the very first time I saw you, I was jealous of every other boy you danced with. You didn’t know it, but my eyes and my heart followed you all night. Then when you said that you were going to the Chemeketan party the next night, I lay awake for a couple of hours planning on those moments with you. That was a swell party, too. And we had a lot of time together, didn’t we?

I must close now, darling. Good night and loads of love and kisses from—

Your loving
Jim

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