Received your wonderful letter and Christmas Greeting. But that was not all. My love, that picture is just too lovely for the eyes of a sinner! Such bewitching costume, too. ‘Tis far lovelier than the one you wore on that fateful night in July - over two years ago. When I look at that picture, the old mystery returns to ask why such a lovely woman could care for such a guy as I am.
You said you had neglected to write again. My Dear, you are forgiven, for: (1) you made up for it with this last letter, and even over mad up for it. (2) I realize I am not the letter writingest guy in the Army, myself. (3) The mail didn’t come in as regularly as usual and I only missed your letters at one mail call.
Darling, you are a wizard at remembering dates. I well remember the night you were with Frances’ boy friend, and we left him to ride the Ferris wheel. But to save me, I could not have told you it was the 29th of July. Woe is me, if I should ever forget your birthday or our wedding anniversary!! Ha. I even remember the guy. To use his words “Why shouldn’t I?” Why, when I wanted to take him apart and see how he was put together? And, yet I couldn’t blame him. He had the Queen-of-the-Carnival for that night, and after all, I was tied to a job that permitted me but little freedom. It is funny how it all turned out, though, was it not? He got Frances, eventually I got you; and so everyone was happy. Like a fairy story. The lucky guy! He got back, eh? I am sure we are going to be great friends one of these days, despite the bad start we got. Give him and Frances my best regards and congratulations. I hope them both the best of luck till they meet again.
You said you were proud of the gift. I am glad you could use it. But that is not what I had hoped so much to give you. But, alas, the curse of war, it has kept us apart another Xmas. So your main gift will again have to wait. I do remember how you used to keep your finger nails, though. You used to tell me they were your protection. I remember how you used to wear that ring to match them, whatever shade they were painted. Funny, but I still remember so many of the little things of you, the way you wore your finger nails, your hair, your dress, the way you would be silent when you were asked a serious question, as if you were wondering whether you should answer or not. That smile - that only you could give - even when you knew what you were saying was breaking my heart. You gave it the day in front of Perry’s when you said you had rather go to the library with those girls than to be with me. That smile somehow made it easier to bear. I was to see that same smile later, only in a far different way. Came war, came Alaska, came a letter. In this letter was a pressed rose. I tried to see the sender of that rose, but it was you that smiled at me, “you will never forget me. She could send you a thousand roses, but it’s me you will think of every time she does”
I hope you can keep forgiving me for not writing so often. I started to write night before last and I came to a blank wall. The night before that, I was up all night riding a truck through a blowing blizzard that turned into a steady rain. The night following was fair, according to what we call fair. The next night I was in the big middle of another cold blizzard and it has held on ever since. The wind is a demon and cold isn’t a name for it. In four more hours, I will leave my fireside to face it again, for a midnight hike back to camp. That is anything but a pleasant thought.
There is a guy here who was brought up in the Los Angeles city limits. He stands in deathly fear that some night he will walk into a bear. Since one was just outside the door here once, he fears there will be another here sometime. He said he couldn’t understand why I made these midnight treks without a gun. I told him the other day that with a face like mine, I didn’t need a gun, for what bear could face a mug like mine and not scream for help?
Yes, I saw “True to Life.” “Hello, Frisco, Hello” was here but I missed it. I’ve seen quite a few older shows. Major and the Minor, Doctor Gillespie’s New Assistant, Follow the Band, etc. They were pretty good. I could see the newer shows if I chose to brave the ride and the weather for about twelve miles, but often I’d rather stay in and listen to the radio. But when Frank Sinatra sings, it makes me wish I’d gone someplace else. How does that guy get his popularity? He was singing Pistol Packing Mama the other night in such disgusting manner that it’s a wonder the networks didn’t refuse to function.
Well, Dear, I must close and write to Mama.