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

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