Ooooh!

Fort Riley, Kansas.
Oct. 4, 1942

My darling:

Got your very sweet letter yesterday, and you’ll never know how much I enjoyed it. It was really a swell letter, sweetheart.

I hope we can manage to get together for sure as soon as school is over. I’d want you to feel all right about it, but there must be a way for us to get back together by then. Was just thinking that possibly you could meet me right after school is out, we could spend a few days with my folks, then I suppose I’d have to come back here to be assigned permanently to some place or other, and you could go see your folks until things were a little more definite. We’ll just hope that we can work it out, because I’ve just gotta see you, darling, even if it’s only for a few days.

Went in to Manhattan late yesterday afternoon to do a little shopping for uniform. Didn’t get much done, though. Three of us went in together, and we looked at uniforms, had supper, went to a show, and came back. All three of us are married, and each one of us was wishing that he had his wife along. We were three pretty lonely boys. We were walking down the street towards the bus station, and all of us were very quiet for quite a while, when one of them asked me what I was thinking about, and I told him that I was wishing that I were with you, and then I found that they were in the same boat. Gee, but I wish you had been with me. I missed you so darned much. I know you’d have enjoyed looking at the uniforms.

They have told us that we should have at least one pair of boots and breeches, but they’re not required absolutely. What do you think, sweetheart? Do you think I should get some? I don’t know just what to do about it. Please let me know what you think about it in your next letter, because if I do have to order boots, I have to do it right away, that is order them, because they have to be fitted and ordered. Boots will cost $4000, and breeches $3450.

Darling, please don’t do anything to hurt yourself. If you don’t get your raise, or get something better, please don’t take on too much.

If your teeth give you too much trouble, please get ’em fixed. However, if we can get together, you are entitled to service by the army, and we can have it done by army dentists. They do have good dentists, too, darling. But you do as you wish, and if they bother you, please get them fixed, and we can make out one way or another.

Do you have your red dress yet? Bet you’ll look swell in it, or should I say that it will look swell on you. It’s not the clothes which make you, but you who makes the clothes. You’re so very beautiful that any kind of clothing would look good on you. The most beautiful girl in the world, my Marjorie. Darling, I love you so much it hurts. Wish we were locked in each other’s arms right now, loving each other, kissing, and making plans and dreaming dreams of our future. I’m so hungry for your kisses that I’d give anything if I could press my lips to yours right now. Ooooh! Give yourself a big kiss for me, will you, darling?

Do you see why I want to see you as soon as school is over? Busy as I am now, and missing you so much, what will it be when I do have some time on my hands?

I got you a compact last nite, with the cavalry insignia on it. Still looking for the saber I promised you.

Will close now, my beautiful, sweet, wonderful, lovable darling. I love you terribly.

Your darling 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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Ft. Riley, Kans.
Oct. 6, 1942

Darling:

I’m really ashamed of myself! I wrote you Sunday, and haven’t mailed it yet! Didn’t have stamps at the time, and when I got them I still didn’t mail the letter. I’d have sworn that the letter was mailed until I found it in my locker today.

Went to see the show “My Sister Eileen” Sunday afternoon. It sure was a crazy thing. I laughed till I was nearly sick. They had a Donald Duck cartoon, which was also pretty good. If you haven’t seen the main feature, don’t miss it when it comes, ’cause it’s really funny. Wish you have been there beside me to laugh with me, though.

Isn’t it peculiar about me, though? Here I’ve known you for just 8 months tonight, and have been married to you for over a month, and still my devotion increases each day. It is approximately 4,233,600 seconds until graduation. That is on the basis of 49 days, from now until Nov. 25th. If we don’t graduate until the 28th, it will increase 259,200 seconds.

Darling, each day, you are on my mind a little more, and I miss you just a little more than ever before. When I think of how I’d love to hold you and kiss you, it nearly drives me frantic. I’d like to just hold you in my arms, and press you tightly to me for hours on end. Can you hear me whispering “I love you;” and can you feel yourself clasped tightly in my arms? If I weren’t so busy, I’d go stark mad thinking of your being so far away. Please tell me that you love me and miss me, ’cause it makes me feel so grand when you say that.

Saturday I’m going to town and buy uniforms. I’m really gonna break down and buy. So far, all I’ve bought is a Val-Pak, which is a bag. It’s one of those things that spreads out flat, and can be hung up. Has a compartment for suits, etc., and smaller ones for other items. My wedding trousseau didn’t amount to much, but my graduating clothes are going to be considerably more. Like you, darling, I’m crazy about clothes. Wish we could each take about a thousand dollars and buy nothing but clothes with it. Wouldn’t that be the cats? Wow!

Must close now. Be a good girl, darling, and write soon to your loving husband
Jim

Ed. Note—More shorthand!

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All Balled Up

Ft. Riley, Kansas.
Oct. 1, 1942

Darling:

Just time for a short note tonite, as tomorrow’s assignment is really a stickeroo, and it’s going to take all the time I have to get it ready.

Am enclosing a money order for $75°°, and will send you $30°° more next pay day. I have to get a few things on my uniform and equipment as fast as they come in at the P.X., and if I’m not Johnnie-on-the spot with the cash when they do get here, it probably will mean that I won’t be able to get them when I really need them.

We really got into a tough course this afternoon, involving quite a bit of complicated mathematics, and it has me slightly befuddled. I was grasping the subject fairly well, and then some of those who weren’t got up in class and started asking silly questions, and succeeded in getting nearly everyone all balled up. Boy, it was pretty sad by the time class was over.

Hope to get a letter from you tomorrow for sure. Today, all the mail I got was a card of congratulations from another aunt. She says that they (her whole family) are very anxious to meet you, and that they hope I will bring you home soon.

I heard today that we may graduate 3 days earlier than originally planned, which would make it the morning of Nov. 25th, the day before Thanksgiving.

Darling, to repeat myself for the thousandth time, I love you, so very, very much, and miss you more than you’ll ever realize. Take good care of yourself, darling. Write soon. Give all my love to your folks when you write them.

Goodnight, my darling.

Your loving husband,
Jim

Pay Day

Fort Riley, Kans.
Sept. 30, 1942

Darling:

Got your letter yesterday, but didn’t have a chance to answer it last nite, and am doing this during study hall tonite.

We were out on the range all day today, and it was just a bit warm and breezy. I must have put away a gallon of water today, and my lips are all dry and burning again. Wish your lips were near to cool them.

Today was payday, and I’m going to send you at least $75°° as soon as I can get to the post office for a money order. If I can’t get to the post office tomorrow or the next day, I’ll send it to you by telegraph. My total pay check, after deductions for bonds, insurance and laundry, was $121.55, so don’t worry about my shorting myself. I don’t really need much in the way of spending money, but I may do a little bit of uniform buying between now and Nov. 1st. Inasmuch as I don’t intend to do very much buying, I thought it would be best to send you as much as possible this month, and not so much next month. You can very likely get your wedding debts squared around this month, and then it won’t be so hard for you to save a little. The way I have it figured now, at the present rate of pay, and considering the cost of uniform, etc., I’ll draw enough to pay for my uniform, send you in the neighborhood of $100°°, and leave enough for us to live on until the next payday. On that basis, do you think we can get together immediately after graduation? I sure hope we can, darling, because I miss you terribly, really I do, and it will be worse if we can’t be together soon after Nov. 28th. I probably will be able to get credit on part of my uniform, so as to give us a bit more margin on our first  month.

I’m glad you got to go to hear Henry Busse. Wish we could have gone together. Am also glad that you are enjoying staying with Ida. Please, darling, have as much fun as you can, but please, please don’t forget that there’s a certain fellow in Fort Riley who is very much in love with you, and likes to hear from you often. Please think of him often. And though he isn’t worthy of you, please don’t let anyone steal you away from him.

Darling, I have the utmost confidence in the success of our marriage, no matter what others may say. Remember, above all, that I love you with my whole heart and soul; that my love can never change; that no matter what happens, what people say, our love will make our marriage a success. So please, darling, don’t even feel otherwise. I think you love me as much as I do you, at least I hope so. There is no other person in the world for me, darling, remember that. If ever I should lose you now, life wouldn’t have any flavor for me. From then on, nothing would be worthwhile, there wouldn’t be anything left for me. From that time on, nothing could ever mean anything. I’ve given you my heart and soul, completely, absolutely. So please, please don’t feel that anything will ever come between us, that our marriage will ever be anything but a complete success.

If I could only hold you close again and tell you how much in love with you your husband is, I’m sure you’d not fear for our happiness. Together, we’ve always been completely happy and content, haven’t we? It is only when we’re apart that we feel blue and depressed. So please say that we will be able to be together immediately after Nov. 28th. The only time I’m completely happy is when I’m with you, when you are in my arms, responding to my kisses, holding me as close and as tightly as I do you. Each night I talk to your picture and after I go to bed, I carry on the conversation, telling you how much I love you and miss you. I recall sweet incidents in our good times together, how we waded in Silver Creek, how we watched the moon from the hotel window in Seattle, how we walked in the moonlight along the shore at Seaside, ad and dozens of other little incidents. If it were not for thoughts like those, there would be nothing but loneliness in my life here. Being away from you is pure misery except when I think of those moments, or when the thought comes that we will soon be back together.

There’s a test in the morning, so I must close for now. Good night, darling. Your husband loves you terribly, and misses you terribly. Write as soon and as often as possible.

Lovingly, your
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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