Sunday, April 19, 2015

Letter #505 October 22, 1944

October 22, 1944
New Guinea / Sunday
Hello Mummy;
            Woke up this morning to the tune of rain drops pattering on the tent.  Rained for some time, and is still stormy.  Looks so we didn’t take our trip to the beach.  I’ve been catching up on my writing instead.  I’ve written to Mom, Vi, and Jim so far.  I wrote to Mom and Pop Kelser last night, so I guess I’m all caught up again with my “extra letters.”  I can just talk with you now.  Maybe this afternoon I will get ambitious and do a little work on the surprises.  I know, honey, you’re thinking well hurry up and quit talking about it.  Just keep your pants on and I’ll get them done yet.  All this talk and time in making them are going to have you expecting a lot more than they are.  Don’t expect too much, honey.  They really are only small simple things that I could make in no time at home where I have the tools and time.  Only some more “tokens” and their only value will be the sentiment I send with them.  I’ve got some other little surprises cooking in the back of my mind, too.  All I need is to get to doing them. 
            I’m afraid the letter I wrote Vi today was a bit screwy and you may hear about it.  She made a few remarks in her last one that got me started and I wrote what came out.  Anyhow, I didn’t do as I said the other night and write a sample of the La-de-da parts she was curious.  I was tempted though just to advertise how nice you are and how much I love you.  You used to tell me that people thought I didn’t love you cause I wasn’t demonstrative in public.  Thought it was a one-sided affair.  Do you think some of my letters would change their opinion?  I do love you.  I’m proud of it and I want everyone to know it, so there to. 
            Sweetheart, you watch your step with these old me that bring you ice cream and such.  They me be just looking for a nice sensible to take care of them.  You’ve already got one old man to take care of, and even if he can’t keep you bush and isn’t around right now, he still wants you and intends to have you.  He’s very much in love with you.  You’re his wife.  Mrs. Effinger.  Gosh I like that. 
            I see you have done your part and have the supplies on the way that I need for some of my projects.  I won’t have any excuse then will I? 
            OK darling, I won’t ever be afraid of you becoming so self sufficient that you won’t need me anymore.  I know how you feel about it all.  I can exist and get along in some shape without you, but I sure as hell don’t like to and won’t a minute longer than I have to.  We weren’t so very long but it was long enough for me to find out that I’d never want to be without you.  I’ll take over and give you a shoulder to lean on, but remember I’ll need support too.  We’ll support each and together we can lick most anything and be darn happy doing it.  We’re in love, aren’t we?
            I guess you are probably right about me not having much time to do any reading once I’m home again.  I’ll have a lot of lost time to make up for in my evenings.  Any number of things we have planned to build and do about the place.  Have to finish that upstairs if our plans work.  No room for a third party in our present bedroom.  By the time we get that all done the new member will have arrived and you’ll have other things than reading to me to take care of.  I guess I’ll just stay unread until we get our family raised and we’re taking things easy.  How’s that?  I won’t object if you want to read to me while I’m working on our projects but I’m afraid saws and hammers and such would give you an awful lot of competition. 
            No, honey, I didn’t get any more medals for your collection, just a note on my service record.  ]
            I was interrupted on this letter and now it’s night again.  Brownie, Clarke, Otis, Talkington, and I took off for the beach after dinner and had a good time.  We got ourselves a whole mess of coconuts too.  We’ve got a couple dozen here in the tent so we can eat coconut for a few days.  If I can’t go hickory or walnut hunting I can go coconut hunting anyhow.  The results are more gratifying to the eye too.  With the husk on they’re as big as footballs, so forty or fifty of them make quite a stack.  We had some wonderful swimming.  The rollers were really coming in.  Great big husky ones that would bury us in a smoother of white foam one minute and the next toss us high up the crest of another.  Take an awful beating in a short time, but gosh it’s fun.  Took a couple more pictures necessary to finish another roll.  When the pictures once start coming in, they should come regularly for awhile.  I think I know a girl that is going to be in the picture business in a big way when these pictures start coming.  There have been at least twenty fellows that want copies of the jungle pictures.  You haven’t yet had time to say you’ll do it, but I think you will.  You’re sweet to soldiers. 
            I know that these stories of far places and strange things I’m seeing do make you wish you could see them also.  Too bad, honey, the Army doesn’t let us have our wives along with us.  I’d like for you to be seeing all this too.  Gosh would I like to have you with me all the time.  Wouldn’t much give a damn then how long the war did last. 
            Vi said she would also have liked to go up the trail but (she) doubted here ability to do it.  So do I.  If you two gals took a trip like that you wouldn’t need to think about diets the extra you’re always talking about. 
            Gosh, Honey, all those boxes with things to eat sound mighty good to me.  Mom K told me in her letter that she had been vetoed on her suggestions by you.  She seemed to feel that cookies and etc weren’t very much to be sending to me.  I’m glad you didn’t let them get things cause I really can’t use very much and it would probably have to be discarded.  You can always tell people that things to eat our are biggest desire.  Keep ‘em coming.
            Who said you aren’t a football fan in your own right?  Taking your day off on Friday so you can take in the whole game and wanting very much to go to the Wadsworth game.  I don’t see why you shouldn’t unless you’re short of gas or can’t get off work.  I sure remember that game of two years ago.  That was one of the thrillers that only happen at intervals.
            No more letters today.  I have the two from Sunday the 8th to answer and I’ll leave them for tomorrow.
            I’m going to make up my bed for one and go to sleep.  I don’t say go to bed cause all I ever do there is sleep now days.  No special fun, just a necessity.
            Night darling.  I’m missing you and loving you more than even you know.  I love you my sweetheart wife.

            Your lover, Norm.

Letter # 504 October 21 1944

October 21, 1944
New Guinea.
Saturday eve. Oct 21, 1944.
My Sweetheart;
            Hi Mummy, you darling old devil.  Old sober sides Mummy.  Darn good looking though.  Betcha I could bring a smile to that sober kissable mouth if I were only in reach. I’d kiss you, the way you want to be kissed until you did smile. You would wouldn’t you?  For lots of sloppy ones! 
            Had an inspection of vehicles today and that was all.  Of course, that took nearly all morning, and then we dragged out all our dirty clothes and had wash day for this week.  That about covers my activities for the day.  By the time I had done that and performed the s’s (shave shit shine) on myself the day was about gone. 
            I rated at mail call again today.  Three from you.  Oct 6 and two from the 8th.  That catches me all up again.  I got the 7th a couple days ago.  I’m going to start right in on the letters now. 
            Nuh huh, you’re getting curious about what I’m trying to make for you, are you?  I’m afraid you’ll have to be curious a while longer ‘cause they aren’t done yet and I won’t do anything on them tomorrow either unless I change my plans.  It’s been some time since I’ve been swimming and Brownie and I and a few others plan to spend the day at the beach.  Probably hunt some coconuts, too.  Haven’t had any for some time now and I do like them. 
            You can be I won’t tell you if your guesses are right or even close.  You didn’t tell me, did you?  I told you I’d get even and by golly I will, too.  I can’t tease you the way I want to, so I’ll do it any way I can.  Can you guess how I’d like to tease you?  Yeh.  That’s the way.  I love you. 
            Honey, you’re baiting me.  I can just feel it.  You devil.  Remarking about me showing off your picture and then making this statement, “they wouldn’t think I am so nice if they knew me, would they”?  Remember that.  If that isn’t asking for compliments, I’m badly mistaken.  Gosh, honey, don’t I hand you enough of them, even yet?  I can remember when you didn’t get many verbal compliments and had to ask for ‘em.  I guess I needn’t be afraid of repeating so much you won’t pay any attention to them.  I think you like ‘em.  Deserve ‘em too. 
            You darn well that everyone that knows you thinks you’re nice and never have to change their opinion, either.  Men especially.  They seem to do anything they can for you.  If I wasn’t so lucky in having and knowing that I have a most faithful and loving wife, I’d have to be very jealous about you.  You’d never have to beckon a man twice and you darn well know it.  Look at all your truck drivers.  They all tried to snow you under.  A smile of two and another man cuts your weeks for you.  Another one looks after your car, and another puts up storm windows, another looks after the furnace, and others make special efforts to get your mail to you.  Wouldn’t think you are nice!  Honey, you can wrap most any man around your finger anytime you want to.  I know, ‘cause you did it to me and I thought I didn’t care about any woman.  I still don’t.  They are mostly alike and only good playthings.  My wife is the one big exception.  She’s an awful good plaything, too, but that is only a small part of her attractions.  Aw hell, honey, what’s the use, I can’t say what I mean anyhow.  You’re  just the most perfect wife I could ever have and I love you in proportion.  You are so a lady.  My idea of the only real lady, so there to.  I loves you so much. 
            You’re silly honey.  You should have known I’d like the bracelet once I had it.  You don’t thoroughly know me yet, I’m thinking.  If you had consulted me first, I’d have still said no, very definitely.  In fact, when I first saw it my thought was, “she finally had to do it.”  When I had time to think about it and examine it, I began to change my mind and I like it more all the time now.  It isn’t a bracelet to me.  It’s a token of live and best wishes from my one and only to me.  I’m proud of it, and even you don’t believe it, it hasn’t been off my arm in three weeks.  Won’t be either unless it wears off.  It’s a good sturdy, but it needs to be.  It takes a beating, that’s for sure.  Have I made you realize that I do like an awful lot? 
            You aren’t the only who can have three beers under your belt when you write letters.  I have two, tonight, but they don’t seem to have as much effect on me.  We are getting twelve cans of beer this month after all, and I played pig and drank my week’s quota all at once.
            I did get surprise #3 before I got the explanation.  Sure, I like a it “little bit”.  I like it a lot.  It shows a lot of the qualities that are covered up in the other one by that devilish come hither look.  This one shows the strength, dependability and character that sets you so apart from the ordinary run of women.  Still shows an attractive and beautiful woman even if the devils are missing.  I honestly don’t know which I like best.
            Honey, you are becoming a football fan in spite of thinking you mostly because I wanted to go.  When you start seeing the good plays and player in a game, you’re sold on it.  Maybe I made quite an impression on you and your likes while you were cracking my shell and working me over.  How about it?  I’s sure have like to be there so you wouldn’t have had an empty house to go back to after the game and the beers.  I can picture your mood and do I like you in that mood!  Times like that are conducive to trying or even breaking our best score to date.  That score is going to be hard to break, but gosh, when I think of all the fun we can have trying.  As things stand now, there will be an added attraction too, this time, so who knows what may happen. 
            I better slip in my weekly request while I’m think of it.  I wouldn’t want you to resort to forgery.  Things to eat are still the order of the day.  Candy, cookies, nuts, and anything that fertile brain of your can think up.  Tobacco, cigarette lighters, film, are still on the list also.  You do so well with the boxes you don’t need a list, only the request to mail it.  You’re an awful sweet thing , Chubbins. 
            I won’t doubt for a minute that you are ready, willing, and very able to set new records.  You always were able, only you hadn’t found out how able you were.  Remember, I always did say you should be able to take care of two like me, easily.  You can wipe your slate clean and start out fresh but I’m not going to.  I may have reached my high score, but you can bet I’ll always be willing.  That’s as far as my brag goes.  I may be older than I think.  We’ll see one of these days.  Night, sweetheart, I’m loving you more all the time.

Your lover,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Letter # 503, October 20, 1944

New Guinea
Friday eve.
Oct. 20, 1944
My sober darling;
Here's that man again, honey, with another day done and now I'm ready to sit down for my evening talk with the sweetest girl in the world. Yes, you are so, to me anyhow. I love you.
Another rainy day today so it wasn't quite so hot.  It rained a hard rain just before dinner and has stayed cloudy all day.  May rain again tonight by the looks of the sky.  Contrary to other places in the world I've been we never complain about the rain here.  Always glad to see it.  At least we have been so far.  Wander around out in the rain like a bunch of ducks.  So used to wet clothes, rain doesn't make any difference.  If we were in some of the sections on N.G. where it rains every day and even several times a day I reckon we would get plenty sick of it.  The ground is sandy enough that it doesn't get muddy except in places where it is all cut up. Can play ball a half hour after a rain stops and never see any mud.
The thermometer you sent me is becoming a very popular instrument in camp.  Must be the only one 'cause everyone from the brass hats down stop to take a look at it.  Mostly they don't believe what they see but they look anyhow.  They can't believe that it is only 96 - 100 in the shade and doesn't give us much to impress the folks at home with.  The big difference is this is day after day the year around while at home it's a couple weeks at most.  The sun temperature is much hotter here however than it ever gets at home.
I guess I didn't say much about the other letters I got last night.  The ones from Mom & Pop, you probably know all about them anyhow, were very nice letters.  Mom wrote the news and Pop did a very good job of informing me on the political situation.  The magazine articles she sent were very good and I take them to be a cross section of the thoughts and beliefs of the nation.  I can agree wholeheartedly with Pop's views.  I'll answer them over the weekend if I don't get lazy and run off someplace to swim or something.
Jim's was a V-mail and had absolutely nothing in it except that he had moved and hadn't had time to write. It came photographed this time and had been written on Oct. 1st.  It must have come by boat instead of air.
Didn't get any letters today, of course not, after getting eight all at once yesterday.
It is starting to rain again right now.  Let her rain.  Lulls a man to sleep and how I do sleep.  Never seem to get too much anymore.  Doesn't that sound funny for me to be saying?  I can sleep eight hours at night and then sleep at noon hour and be ready to go to bed early the next evening.  If you think your sleeping habits are bad what about mine?  You'll have to work on me to keep me awake.  Think you can?  I'd be willing to bet you could keep me awake for quite a spell.  Anyhow you got plenty to stay awake for. I'll sure try to break my sleepy head habits 'cause I love you.
Johnny was just in for a while and we shot the breeze and such.  I also took the opportunity to show my sober wife's picture.  There is so much contrast that he couldn't believe it was really you.  Thought it was a sister.  I don't think there is that much difference.  I'd know it was you anywhere.  No one else could ever look you like you, to me. You're my own special wife and the only one like you ever built.  I'm a very lucky guy to have caught you before you were found by someone else. I'd have tried but I'm not sure I could have beaten out the competition.
Now I'm going to answer letters for a while.  I don't mind a bit, having a gabby wife as you call yourself.  You're letters are so much like you that I love 'em all.   I always read each one several times and there are lots of parts I can quote almost exactly, from memory.  Of course most of the parts I remember so well are the nice things you tell me.  I eat that stuff up.  I want you to forget all my bad points and think I'm just about right.  You don't know how much that means to me.  Probably more than to most fellows that didn't have that hard shell to crack before they could react like ordinary human beings.  It took you to do it, honey.  You're quite a girl.  I love you.  Wouldn't trade you for even two twenty year old redheads.  How's that?  Pretty precious aren't you?  Darn right you are. It makes me glad to hear you're taking such good care of that "homefront".  If it wasn't for that I wouldn't have anything very worth while to look forward to.  Take care of my Mummy for me.
I see what you mean, you devil.  You don't like for your mail to screw you up. How about it if the word were spelled differently, like male?
I am wondering what the story behind the sober picture is?  That black dress is getting in a lot of pictures, isn't it?  It should 'cause it really shows you off.  In these pictures I have to use my imagination to get the effect of the dress but I can do that.  I remember every curve and line of it, of you too.  Lot to remember.  Now I have a picture to show where you are wearing your hair down.  Maybe that will satisfy the ones who object to the upsweep.  I like you anyway.
Bub seems to have made himself very handy about the place.  Gave you quite a lift with the man jobs about the place.  Too bad the weeds wouldn't burn off.  That would have been another job off your mind.  I sure appreciate him oiling and looking after my tools too.  People sure are being nice to us, aren't they?
Referring to your marked paragraph in Oct 5 letter.  I guess I have straightened you out on that in other letters. I saw you had the wrong dope, whether I said it wrong or you misinterpreted my necessarily round the bush talking.  I don't know, but anyhow, the dope in that paragraph is correct.
I'm not surprised that a little has been cut from my letters.  The rules are stricter now and I was wondering when you'd say the cutting had started.  I didn't expect it on the sentences that were cut, however.  Just forget about it.  It was only talk and nothing that you don't already know from the news.  That's why I didn't expect that to be cut. Crazy business.
You say your nose is to the trail, another reference to your marked paragraph.  Get your brain to work on this.  Remember back to the winter of 42 & 43.  "Life" carried a series of pictures and story about a place we had never before heard of but then became a famous place and familiar to any tongue that could pronounce the letter B.  It's home.
Well, honey, I'm going to say night for now.  I'll have to send the kisses and things I'd deliver in person if I only could.  Plenty unused ones waiting for that day, getting riper, juicier, and sweeter all the time.  I love you.
Your hubby.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Letter # 502 October 19, 1944

New Guinea
Thurs. eve.
Oct. 19, 1944
My darling wife;
Boy, I sure rated at mail call tonight.  Eight letters all at once.  Oct 4, 5, &7th from you.  One from Mom & one from Pop Kelser, one from Mom & Hazel, and one from Jim. That's seven.  The eighth was also from you only it wasn't a letter.  It was a picture of a very serious minded girl with big wide set, straight looking eyes. full round face. but showing quite a lot of determination in spite of the soft contours.  The most remarkable part of the face is a pair of extremely kissable lips.  Nice and full and a perfect Cupid's bow.  They look very capable of giving and receiving some very thrilling kisses.  Perfect for gooey, wide open ones.  I'd go wild if I ran into anything like them at this stage of my exile in N.G.  The girl is my wife.  I'm very proud of her too.  I love her. It is a very unusual picture of you, sweetheart.  I've never seen one of you even similar to it.  What were you so serious about, darling?  I have seen you look exactly like that a few times in person.  Usually when we were having one of our very few disagreements. It really isn't you as you usually are but I like it anyhow. I have it mounted on the cover of the other one you sent me so now I can see you in two moods, widely different. The pictures show one thing in common.  The likeness of a very beautiful girl. You are so.  I'm not prejudiced so much I can't see.  I've seen lots of poorer faces on magazine covers and such.  Above and beyond looks there is unmistakable character showing in all your pictures and that is one thing usually absent in beauty pictures.  Is it any wonder I'm in love with you gorgeous?  Gee, I'm glad I gothcha, honey.
There I guess you can gather that I liked your second picture also.  I'm getting a lot of my favorite pinup these days.  I now have four of you where I can see you all the time.  Got another new picture to show off to my buddies.
Mom & Hazel also sent a picture.  One of Bob's Jackie.  Taken there in town. Very good picture.  Jackie surely is a blond.  Her hair looks as white as Bob's shirt.  I think I can understand your first unfavorable impression of her.  I can't say that I am much taken by her looks either.  I can't say why.  Just an impression. Pictures are a poor way for me to form opinions.  I'm not as good as you at it.  From your description I know she is small, but in this, she looks as big, if not bigger, than Bob.I expect the heavy legs help that impression along.  Bob looks good and very natural. I'm going to take your estimate of her until I have a chance to form a first hand opinion of my own.  I sure hope you are right.
Now I guess I'll start on your letters.  Oct 4th.  I guess we are both having a bit of trouble with our mail lately.  Skipping and not coming in rotation.  But, what the hell!  They get here and that is what counts.  The 6th skipped in this bunch.
Yes, honey, I made another little mark on my calendar tonight. I had guessed it but waited to mark it until I had confirmation.  Silly, aren't I?  I don't care. It's one intimate thing I can still do.
I imagine Bobby is getting to be quite a kid.  Six months make a big difference at that age.  I can also see why he would be a tough little egg with Ed to play with. Good for him.
I can't believe that Ronnie really remembers all the people that go with the names he remembers.  It's cute though and he must be a smart little tyke.  Say hi to him for me.
You are a devil but I won't bawl you out about it.  Taking my letter in to Baldwin!  Such a business.  I don't care though, if you don't.  If I had had any idea you'd do that I'd have scattered little la-de-das all through it or else been a bit careful of the words, spelling and etc.  I can't imagine it being fit to appear in print without a lot of rewriting.  As I said though, I don't care if you don't.  I'm not ashamed of anything I write to you.  It's me.  You can do as you please with any of my letters.  They're yours. I'm yours too to do as you please with.  So there too.
Sixteen boxes already on their way to me.  You must spend an awful lot of time packing boxes for me.  I sure appreciate it too.  How much, I'll someday show you.  What are the real Christmas presents you promise to give me when I'm home again?  It better be what I'm thinking.  You can afford those presents too 'cause they won't cost any money.  Only a lot of energy and willingness.  Think you can manage?
I'm sure it won't be any fault of yours if I don't have a bigger Christmas than any other soldier over here.  Sounds like I'll need another tent for storage.  You're so sweet, darling.
You are doing a very good job of wrapping and tying these boxes.  They have all been in one piece and only one box has even been damaged very much.  Some boxes come in broken open and lots of things lost.  Not the way my honey wraps 'em.  You're doing swell.
Oh, so I'm going to learn to sing am I?  Well I don't know about that.  For a teacher that doesn't like teaching you are undertaking a big and hopeless job.  John Beck gave it up way back in the third grade as hopeless.  I just haven't got what it takes, honey.  I won't promise to be an apt or very enthusiastic pupil along that line, certainly not until you've taught me all the other things that are much more important in my mind.  When I can listen "To the Colors" and "Retreat" as many times as I have the past months and still not be able to tell them apart, I don't have much hope of any improvement.  Afraid I'll always be a dumkoph in music, so don't be getting too enthusiastic about the idea.  If you treat me real extra special I may consent to give it a try.  May, I said.
Honey!  I'd never slap you down, even for that.  I'd be more apt to laugh at you and remain unresponsive.  Wouldn't that be closer to my reaction? I could give you a beating about now but never beat you.  Get what I mean?  I love you, you devil.
You don't need to tell me to look at your picture and ask me if you're sweet. I have your pictures where I can see them all the time.  I look at them and do a lot of dreaming too. Sweet dreams that make me want to get back with you and start living again.  I get along and survive but I'll never live again as long as we're apart.  As for you being sweet, I thought I was telling you that so much it would be getting to be an old thing and you'd begin to take it as a line instead of what I really mean.  I do mean it so much, honey.  I wish I could think of some way to prove it in  a letter but I can't seem to.  You'll just have to accept protestations until such time as I can get within proving distance.  That's a very, very short distance.  Can you remember how I used to try to prove it?  Night, darling.  I love you.
Your hubby.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Letter # 501 October 18. 1944

New Guinea
Wed. eve
Oct 18, 1944
Hello Beautiful;
Wednesday afternoon again and a half day off.  Like it used to be back in civilian life only here I don't have to make up for the time off by working until late on Saturday night.  Quite a racket this army life.  It may be a racket as far as work is concerned but I'll go back to working at home like I used to anytime they see fit to turn me loose.  I don't mind all the crazy and unnecessary stuff they pull so much but I sure do mind being away from my wife so much and so long.  I want my Mummy all the time.  She's part of me and I can't feel right or satisfied as long as she isn't with me.  If that isn't love, honey, it will have to do until the real thing comes along.  It's love.  I'm very positive of that.  I do love you so much darling.
I did work a little more on your surprise but not much.  I seem to have quite a bit of time off but, even then, by the time I keep my chores done up, I don't have much time left anyhow.  Seems there's always a little mending or repair work about the tent or some other little things to take up my time.  It gets dark here so early too.  By 4:30 it's necessary to have lights to see in the tents.  Our lights aren't very good and I can't do any close work by them.  Write is about all.  That is a long winded explanation of why I don't seem to be making much progress on the surprises.  I know I shouldn't be teasing you about them so far in advance, but you asked for it.  You sweet devil.  Another thing slowing me down quite a bit is I'm lazy.  This constant hot weather is really slowing me down plenty.  I've gotten so I like to assume the position of horizontal devotion as often as I can.  This afternoon, for example, I had good intentions of getting the chores out of the way quick and working on your surprise.  I did go right to work after dinner, had to remark all my clothing and cut some weeds around the tent.  When I got that done I lit a cigarette and stretched out on my cot to smoke it.  Next thing I knew I had been asleep for over an hour.  See where my time goes? Another thing you'll have to teach me, being energetic again.  Maybe you'd sooner I wasn't too energetic.  How about it?
Woke up this morning to the patter of rain on the tent.  I like to hear it rain on a tent [if it doesn't leak].  It stopped soon after daylight as is usual, it very seldom rains during the day, but it stayed rather cloudy and steamy all day.  Thundering right now and will probably start raining shortly again.  Usual temperature again, 96 in the shade.  Don't imagine it will get a lot hotter except occasional days, because the sun is almost directly overhead now.  It will pass on over and then come back again in January.  It is raining now.  The boys got rained out at the show and just came in.
No mail again today and I have nearly answered all the letters I have.  I'll finish this one of Oct 3rd and probably stop there.  I don't seem to have much to say again tonight.
You're making a broad statement there, honey.  "I'll do anything for you if you were only near me."  That could mean a hell of a lot but I don't have any doubt you'd try it.  You needn't worry though.  Even though I do think N.G. may have a great future I wouldn't want to be a part of it unless I could do it from a long distance.  I couldn't, rather wouldn't, stand the climate very long on my own either.  You committed yourself and I'll remember that statement just in case I ever do have an idea of some sort that doesn't meet with your approval.  At present and I don't expect, anytime, to require any more from you than you gave before this war.  You were perfect except for one thing and you've corrected that since.  That is if I can judge from the times I've seen you.  Perfect in every way now.  Know what I mean?  If you don't you will be told and shown the first thing when I get home.  Best loving ever came down the road, sweetheart.
You would have been scared if you had known about the headhunters, you say.  I wasn't very easy about it either when I found out even though there were too many of us and we were too well armed to be in any danger at all.  I realized that and still went to sleep with my gun & knife under my hand.  I sure didn't care much for their looks.  We were kidding Pendelton all the time we were in the area. You can gather from his picture that he's a big boy.  Almost exactly like I was before my diet two years ago.  Weighs about 220.  Well, we were telling him that the natives were all looking at him and thinking what nice soup he'd make.  Don't guess it worried him much but we had fun trying anyhow.
We weren't supposed to do any trading with the natives according to the Australian in charge of the school and we didn't on the way up while we were in a big group. These natives and Aussies have a more or less set price for things.  Such as, one cigarette for two coconuts, one cigarette for a paw paw, two cigarettes for a bunch of bananas, or the same number of razor blades.  Razor blades and cigarettes being about the same value.  Watches are worth more and up in the out of the way places the natives go wild for them.  The Aussies know Americans are too generous and don't like to have us do any trading 'cause when overpaid once, the native always wants as much the next time.  Like anyone else in that way aren't they?
On the way down Mathews was our trader.  He seemed to be able to get along with them best of any of us. One village we saw a nice patch of corn and decided to try to buy some.  Went in and Mathews asked for corn.  The old black acted like he didn't understand but after a little persuasion and a look at matches and razor blades we had, he yelled out something and almost immediately women came with squash, green bananas, and such.  The poorest they had and insisted it was good Ki Ki.  That means food.  After a bit of that Mathews got disgusted and yelled, "To hell with the Ki Ki.  We want some corn."  We got it too.  They are shrewd traders and unless persistent you'll never get what you want. We came away from there with corn, cucumbers, paw paws, bananas, and squash enough to make the six of us a feast and only spent one book of matches and six razor blades.  They use the razor blades to make sharp tools, not to shave.
I guess I wrote more than I thought I would. Your questions did it.  There are probably lots of things I forgot to tell about the trip.  A few questions may get results, honey.  I like to have you ask about anything you want to know or you may not understand about what I write. Ask 'em and I'll answer anything I can and not violate rules.
Night, my darling, I love you.  Did you know that?  Any questions about it?  I can answer them without violating any old rules. Here's some more big, thrilling kisses.
Your hubby.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Letter # 500 October 17, 1944

New Guinea
Tuesday eve.
Oct 17, 1944
My Sweetheart;
Another hot scorching day gone by.  It didn't register so high in the shade, only 98 degrees, but in the sun, oh my but it's hot.  Be resting in the shade and be all dried off and step into the sun for a couple minutes and you just melt and run in your shoes.  The slightest movement is enough to open the sweat gates and from then on the clothes are soaking wet.  Sure is funny weather for the middle of October isn't it?  I'd sure like to have some of those snappy, frosty October evenings and beautiful days.  I can see it is really going to get quite warm here by the first of the year.
I guess I forgot to tell you. I went to the show Sunday eve.  It was "Destroyer".  If I remember right it was an old show, but not too bad.  Once in a while a show goes pretty good.
The show "Dragon Seed"  that you mentioned seeing in Cleveland was put on at the base over the weekend.  I was tempted to go but the long dusty ride and the crowd I knew would be there made me decide against it.  It was highly recommended by the army, more for education of our ally, China, than anything, I imagine.  From your description I imagine it might have been a good show, even if you didn't like it.
Shows are one thing we seem to disagree on occasionally.  You always used to go with me if I wanted to see one but you'd squeeze my arm and not look when things started to happen.  "I won't look", you'd say, but you usually did anyhow.  You sure would hang on to me.  I like to have you hanging on to me.  I like to hang onto you too.  Especially when I walk behind you and reach around under your arms.  You know how.  That's fun and thrilling.  I love you, honey.
You are probably in possession of the correction of your understanding of locations down here.  I probably didn't write it the way I mean it. You have the positions reversed anyhow.  Steve is north of me.
Now what could you be packing in a syrup can to send to me? The obvious certainly isn't right but yet you say it should be tasty.  Well, let her come.  I'll find out then what it is.  With the Grange boxes and a soldier of your own to send boxes to you should be having a big time getting boxes ready to mail.
Gosh, honey, I never dreamed that anyone would argue about the privilege of who is going to send me the lantern.  I'm sorry there aren't enough things I want to go around.  It sure is swell of everyone to be so thoughtful.  It's nice to be remembered by old friends.  It's much more than that to have such a perfect wife pulling for me and not letting anyone forget her husband.
Another sideline job for you.  Going out to the hospital in a librarian capacity.  Yes, honey, I'd think you would rather enjoy that and as long as it won't take much, if any, extra time, it should break the everyday routine of the library.  Maybe you can also pick up some pointers on being a mother.  Remember you have big plans of being one as soon as possible.  You haven't changed your mind yet, have you?  You'd make a swell mother.  Nearly as good as the perfect wife you are now.
Ok, ok, honey, I'll hush my mouth about not writing to you.  I can see I am forgive, you devil.  Teasing me again about the present you had to saw in three pieces to send.  I don't know what in the hell it could be or why I should quickly splice it together, but I'll do as you say.  You devil.  I love you to pieces.
I can see you are being well taken care of honey, and I don't need to worry or even think about it, but darn it, I just have to suggest something once in a while to salve my vanity.  I gotta feel that I'm a little bit necessary anyhow.  I want to be taking care of you so much you know.  I assure you I'm not worrying at all about you anymore.  You're a very capable girl.  All I do now-a-days is dream and think of what we'll do when we are together again.  Fun and more fun.
I'm going to cut you short tonight.  I'm tired and need to get a big night's rest.  I'll do better tomorrow night.
Night, sweetheart.  I'm loving you so much and missing you constantly.
Your hubby.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Letter # 499 October 16, 1944

New Guinea
Monday eve.
Oct 16, 1944
Hello Bubbles;
I did very well at mail call last night.  Two missing ones from you and one from Vi.  Yours were Oct 1st & 2nd.  So now I'm all up to the minute on them again.  I've got the 1, 2, 3, to answer yet and I guess it's a good thing 'cause I can't think of anything to write about.  I could always write a naughty letter but I don't have the nerve and besides it's against the censorship rules.  No bad language and such, is supposed to be let through.  You'll have to write those kind of letters until things change, if any are written.
I was amused at Vi's letter.  She said you often read them parts of my letters only there were lots of places where you just said La-de-da and skipped to more commonplace things.  I guess this is telling tales out of school but you don't need to tell on me unless you want to.  Vi said she sure didn't begrudge you skipping those parts but she sure was dying of curiosity.  Maybe I had better write her a sample of some of the things you skip over.  How about it?  It would make rather racy reading if anyone ever got into that pile of letters I've written you.  Be like sitting down with an armful of that type of books not sold on new stands or in the libraries.  You know the kind I mean.
Anyhow I betcha people could gather that I am very much in love with my wife and think she's the best ever made.  Of course they could think.  Gosh how these G.I. wolves can sling the line and then wonder how far such a line would get a man.  How far would it get me, honey?  Do you think it's only a line?  You better hadn't, you sweet old devil.  I've never meant anything I ever said any more than I mean all I say about you.  You're the sweetest, bravest, most beautiful, loving and thoughtful wife I've ever heard about or seen.  Gee, how I love you honey.
Here's a little more telling tales out of school that I'm requesting you to keep confidential.  I never before this army experience realized how a person's character is reflected in letters.  I can sure see it now.  Even if I am a bit prejudiced in your favor there is still too much difference between your letters and ones I get from other girls to let pass without a compliment to you.  I knew them all more or less intimately before.  Vi, Betty, Tib, Mrs. Delaney, Garnett, are most of them.  There isn't one of them that can write a really intelligent letter. Usually rather shallow and frivolous.  I guess they are a bit handicapped by not being able to talk as freely as you do, but, honey, they just don't measure up at all.  I got the best of them all and no mistake.  You're the sweetest thing.
Otis was just here on a visit and as usual, I didn't pass up the opportunity to show my pictures of you.  They all like you, sweetheart. The  only fault I've ever heard anyone find, and, darn it all, most of them seem to find it, is - I bet you can't guess can you?  Maybe I shouldn't tell you until the end of  the letter or, better yet, make you wait until tomorrow to find out that one objection.  Aw, honey, I won't be that mean.  I'll tell you.  They don't like your hair done up.  Say you look much better with it down like in the snaps.  I never told you that before 'cause I like you that way and can't see why they all don't.  To be very honest, I never did like it that way on any other woman.  You may remember I wasn't very enthusiastic when you said you were going to do it.  I don't care what other men say.  They shouldn't like you too well anyhow.  I want you for my own always.  I love you.
Who said I didn't have anything to write about?  I don't know what started me on that track but there it is.  Read it 'n weep.  Now I'm going to do some answering on Oct 1st letter.
"That woman's here again."  Some opening phrase for a letter.  Wish it were only true. She would be more than welcome here anytime no matter how persistent she was.  Think I'll answer the usual little persistent questions, "Where you goin", "What you doin". At least for a while anyhow.  You'd always say, "I want to know."  You'd know 'cause I'd take you with me even if I was only going the usual place.  You're going to have trouble with me, sweetheart.  I can feel it so plain.
This letter tells me about the change in Gus's special rating.  It does sound a lot like it might mean active duty before long, but then, it can be changed back again just as quickly.  If he does leave the states it will surely be another Medina boy in the South West Pacific. We know how they feel about it, but Jean can take it, I know.  It's tough though, to think about.  Actually easier to take than anticipate.  I think we found it that way.  I'm sure you did anyhow.  I can clearly remember an evening four years ago in September.  The 15th I believe.  I was painting the back of the house and you came over all upset because you had just heard the news of the draft law.  I can remember being very reassuring, or at least trying to be, and saying it would never affect me.  Another time I was very wrong.  I know it had a strong effect on me, seeing you so fearful of having me taken away. I wanted to do like the movies and take you in my arms and reassure you, but I didn't.  Didn't know how to do things like that.  You must have slipped up in your teaching, honey.  Think I've grown enough now to make a try at it, honey?  Bet I'd at least lay my paint  brush down. wasn't I dumb though?
There's another secret out of my closet.  You can sure worm into the most remote corners of me, you devil.  I love to have you to tell things like that to.  Wonder why I didn't do it when I had you by me.  That's a lot of words to make the point.  I do believe you were more afraid right then than at any other time.  Am I right?  I do think Jean will be better satisfied if Gus is really where she can't go to see him.  If she can be only half as brave as you have been she'll get along all right.  I'm proud of you, sweetheart.
I know you wanted me to like your picture to go to all the trouble you did to get it.  Your wants should be satisfied don't you think?  I love it.  I can't think of any more expressive way to tell you how much I like it.
I won't say another word about being sorry I couldn't write to you but I'll still be sorry.  I can't imagine me liking to write letters but I do, to you.
I can't explain why the maple sugar melted in the can or the chocolate either.  It must be the nature of the critter or else it was because his was air tight.  I imagine the dampness causes it.  Sugar or salt just bunches up and gets wet very quickly here.  His candy was that white fondant or something like that.  I don't have any idea how to spell it or what the word looks like.  You'll probably know.
While I'm thinking of it, I forgot to put in my weekly request.  I'd like to have anything yo can send me to eat.  You can also remember to keep me supplied with generators and mantles for the lantern the Berrys are sending.  I could use another box of toothpicks too.  I really don't know of anything else to ask for.  I'll let it up to your discretion.  You do swell.  Smart girl.
The cookies really were very good.  Even licked up all the crumbs that my pet ants didn't beat me to.  The boys are all waiting for more too.
It might be that you are particularly smart about ideas for things to send.  It can't be telepathy 'cause I surely never even dreamed of these things you are sending and come in so handy.  You're plenty smart as well as beautiful and very useful.  I mean useful in lots of ways too.
I don't think your picture looks like a devil. You have a very "come hither" look in your eye and are wanting to be kissed badly, probably a gooey one.  If that's a devil I have been under the wrong impression about the devil.
You'll just have to keep wondering about Neice.  No can talk.  You'll have to keep notes of all these things you want to know, 'cause I know we'll never think of them once we're together again if you don't.
I don't have any suggestions on cataloging your stacks of letters.  The only way I can see is by the different places I am.  Just like writing history in periods.  That must be some stack of writing to look through, trying to find any particular thing.  In those nearly 19 months you must have at least 1400 to 1500 sheets.  That would be quite a dictionary.  If I had kept all yours it would be much bigger.  We surely should know
how to write.
Honey, you're getting to be a softie.  Only three drinks and you have a hangover the next day.  I think you lost track of the drinks or else it was something similar to this jungle juice.  I remember when you used to say, "Gosh, that's good" and down it went.  "Fill 'em up again."  We had a nice walk out in the cold one morning didn't we?  I don't want to get pissed either.  I like to get just feeling good and don't give a damn, like at Put-in-Bay.  When I get pissed I want to sleep and that's no fun when there are lots of better things to do.  Just pleasantly rosy is right with me.  Then I can celebrate and enjoy it.
Well, honey, it's time to quit and I didn't even answer one letter.  Ramble all around don't I?  No matter where I ramble I'm always loving you and wanting you right by me.  Then I'm happy and contented.  I'll get fat and sassy again too.  Night, darling.  I love you.
Your hubby.