The Trip to Casper

Casper, Wyoming
Nov. 27, 1942

Margie Darling:

I can’t tell you how lonely I am, having a little time on my hands and not being able to spend it with you. Talking to you on the phone tonite was in one way such a grand experience, and in another so disheartening. Knowing that you’re feeling badly and having troubles, makes me feel rather low for not being with you. It was probably cruel for me to call you, knowing that you wouldn’t be feeling too well. Everyone is asking about you, and everyone is dying to meet you. Dad and Mom, in fact, all the family, are crazy to meet you, and they all wish we could be here together. I have to see you soon, darling, or I’ll go mad, absolutely.

It seems awfully good to be home again after such a long time away. The town has changed a lot, so many new people and soldiers around. It seems to be pretty busy around town, from what I’ve seen since arriving. Oh, how I wish J.R. Hopkins and Wife were here instead of just me. Both my aunts have told me that it was a good thing I came home this time, or Mom never would have been able to stand it. Three times since I’ve been in the Army, she’s made plans for my homecoming, and has been disappointed. So the 4th time was a charm for her. Uncle John was awfully pleased that you mentioned him in your letter. He says he wants to come and wash dishes for us. He’s pretty good at it, too. Donna has also asked about you.

Now to tell what we went thru during the past several days. We went to classes until noon, Wednesday. Then we came back to the barracks and changed into our officers uniforms, went back over to the Academic Bldg., and graduated. After that, we came back to the barracks, got paid, and finished packing. We didn’t get into town until quite late, only to find that the train would be late. It was due in at 10:55, and never got in until about 11:30 or after. We wired ahead and requested that they hold the plane if they could. We got into Denver a good hour or hour and a half late, and the plane had been gone for 10 minutes. They held it as long as they could, and took off without us. We figured finally if we could catch the bus in Cheyenne, we’d make it home last nite, so we caught the same train out of Denver that we had just come in on. But it was late getting into Cheyenne, and we missed the bus by 30 minutes. Just as we started to leave the bus depot, an empty bus came in going our way to pick up a bunch of draftees, and he caught up with the regular bus, and we came home on it. So, darling, I didn’t fly after all. I’m sorry I worried you by planning to fly.

You poor darling, you sounded so weak and sick over the telephone tonite. My heart is aching to be with you at this very moment. If you’re as lonely as I, our being apart is really worse for you, because you’re sick besides. If only it weren’t for our financial condition at the present, and the fact that Mom was so dead set on my being home, I’d be in Salem with you right now.

Took Donna visiting with me today, and she worked me into going shopping with her. She wanted a record of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” so we had to go look for it. We couldn’t get it, so we got some Pinnochio records. She’s been awfully busy around here since I got here. She won’t let Dad + John and I use the ash trays she so carefully cleans. She brought us a cracker box to put our ashes in tonite so we wouldn’t dirty the ash trays. She and I have argued all day, and she always wins.

Darling, I’m sorry about your raise being so disappointing to you. But, please, darling, come to me as quickly as you can possibly get there when I find a place for us. I’m sure the people you owe won’t object to getting their money from me instead of from you I know you didn’t want me to pay bills you’ve already contracted, but I want to do it, darling. Remember what it said “for richer or for poorer”? If we can be together, we’ll be both. Richer in happiness and poorer in cash. But I’ll trade cash for happiness any day. So please, please, darling, try to swallow that lovable independence in that one small matter, and come to me as quickly as all available means of transportation can get you there. I asked for Camp Adair, but there don’t seem to be any openings there at present. I’m still hoping and praying for one, though.

Darling, you don’t know how good you made me feel when you mentioned the fact that you had been asked out by other men, and had refused them. I’m selfish, I guess, but I can’t help myself on that score where you are concerned. Some of the old gang want me to go out with them tomorrow nite, and get a date, but I just can’t do it. In the first place, there isn’t a girl in the whole world who could replace you, even for a date. There are lots of nice girls in Casper, but none can hold a candle to my darling little wife. I feel like a heel, turning them down, I mean the gang, but I’d never be able to forgive myself if I should let them talk me into such a thing. I’m too much in love with my wife. I don’t know how a husband can thank his wife for turning down dates with other men. All I can say is that your doing so makes me feel even more happy than I can tell you. Right now, my eyes are full of tears. Tears combining happiness and unhappiness. Happiness because of your love for me, and unhappiness on account of our being separated. I guess it sounds rather childish for a man my age to be crying, but so are the facts. Until we can be together again, I know I can never feel real happiness. It just can’t be. We must be together soon, we must, we must. I feel, deep inside me, that I’ve done you a cruel injustice by marrying you and leaving you right away, but it’s that same selfishness that did it. For your sake, we probably should have waited, but darling, as I’ve told you before, it’s my fault we’re both so unhappy now. So please, darling, say you’ll let me provide for our finance. Say you’ll come to me and let me serve the double purpose of relieving you of your financial worries, and trying to repay or rather catch up with the happiness we’ve missed since we were married. Pride, or independence, can be swallowed temporarily, but I can never keep my love for you under control nor stop the ache in my heart that weighs like lead there. It is for both of us, darling, that I ask you to forget your financial worries when the day comes that there is nothing else to interfere. I can never be happy until I’ve erased some of the hurt I’ve caused you by marrying you and leaving you as I did.

Must close now, Marjorie darling. I love you terribly, and I can never ever change. Please, Marjorie, get welllquickly. Please, God, make her well and bring her to me, unworthy as I am.

Goodnight, darling, with millions and millions of kisses and prayers from your devoted

Jim

Ed. Note: More shorthand and a whole lot of kisses.

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