My dad David and Uncles Eddie and Elliot home on leave, 9/5/1943
Several years ago my basement flooded and many of the family treasures were lost or damaged. The days of sifting through papers were bittersweet. My twenty-something boys came up for a long weekend to go through the boxes I had marked as “Morgan’s Life” and “Alex’s Life.” They contained drawings, writings, school papers, letters, whatever I thought precious enough to save for them when they grew up. It was a sad and joyful weekend of hard work — emotionally and physically. My sons were amazed at how clever they were as little boys! They told me they would love to go through the papers again, but not until the next flood.
Here’s a gem I found among my father’s papers. It’s an undated letter from my mother’s sister’s boyfriend to my father during the war. My mom and dad are Mil and David. Her sisters and their beaus are Thelma and Eddie and Shirley and Elliot. The little girl is my older sister.
Hi ya fella,
I hope this finds you well. I am alive.
Hey, don’t call me those names. I’m lucky if I can write a note home now and then, beside the fact that we are now not allowed to say anything. We are busy — to make a terrific understatement.
I guess you must have heard of my good fortune – the thirty day leave. It was like water to an old desert cat in a sand storm or land to a sailor in any kind of storm. In short and to put it mildly, it was great.
A picture for daddy, 1943
Now comes the flattery. Dave, you are the luckiest guy in the world, that kid of yours is just a dream, she’s beautiful. She’s got more sense than I have (maybe an insult but considering her age). She’s so sweet you could just eat her up. I spent half my time with her. I just can’t put into words what I thought of her. For the first time in my life I can truthfully say that I love a child. She’s not like the run of the mill. She doesn’t cry and pout all the time or make a pest of herself. In a nutshell, she’s wonderful.
I came home fully intending marriage in a year of receiving 20% sea duty pay and all I only saved about $250. As you can see, that is nothing to boast of. In the past few mos. in the Pac. I have saved easily that much. I got 2nd class giving me $96 base pay & 20% plus $10 for extra service (running motion picture equip). I save about $86 per month, I could do worse. So we got engaged. All of which leaves me very unhappy, because I have been kicking myself ever since for not getting married when I was home or not saving dough when I could, well no use crying over spilled perfume.
Elliot, Thelma, David, Shirley, Eddie, Mildred
Getting back to an interesting subject, everything at home is as well as could be. I saw your family a few times and Doris quite a few, all fine.
Getting home to serenity and peacefulness is quite a shock though pleasant. I hope you can experience it soon. I know that whenever Mil or Shirl looked at me they saw you & El, but it was beyond my control, though I wish it weren’t. I probably caused them more grief than happiness by my very presence. If so I’m sorry, but I just hope you get home first this time just to square things.
If possible let me know where you are now. Take care of yourself,
Elliot, Eddie and David with the parents of the sisters, their loves, 9/5/1943