South Pacific

Scent of a WW2 Love Letter

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, South Pacific, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Arline sent Morris scented letters during WW2. The collection is stored in a new cedar chest, smaller than the hope chest. I had the box made just for the letters. The hope chest always smelled so good when I would peek into it as a child. The new chest’s cedar scent is fresh, holy, pungent.

Cedar Chest for WW2 Love Letters

Cedar Chest for WW2 Love Letters

Arline as a teen had little money for things like perfume. I asked her a few years ago what perfume she wore. She didn’t remember much about perfume or her make-up. In her photos she doesn’t look made up at all. But Morris mentions her lipstick. She probably did use scented powder in the letters. How wonderful for any person serving overseas to get a scented letter. “Half way around the world” Mose wrote back.

Scented WW2 Love Letter

Scented WW2 Love Letter

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WW2 Joy of Peace! Armistice Day 2015

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in 1920s and 1930s, 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Media, Photo, South Pacific, WW2 | 0 comments

Wishing all war veterans everywhere peace and joy today. Armistice Day on the 11th of November commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. It took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of eleventh day of eleventh month” of 1918. The end of World War II in Asia occurred on August 14 and 15, 1945. On August 23, 1945 the last Japanese troops on Shumshu surrendered to Soviet forces. Here’s a happy clip from the trove.

Peace brings Mardi Gras spirit back to New Orleans Aug. 23, 1945

Peace brings Mardi Gras spirit back to New Orleans. Aug. 23, 1945

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WW2 Inoculation Cartoon and Poem

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Media, Medicine, Navy, Poetry, South Pacific, WW2 | 0 comments

In 1943 Morris was a freshman at Bowdoin College. Once enlisted in the U.S. Navy they gave him inoculations. It’s in a letter. Here’s a poem from the ship’s magazine. I don’t think this piece is about inoculation. It does demonstrate the idea of creating and treating sickness. Big sigh ahhh.

WW2 Inoculation Cartoon

WW2 Inoculation Cartoon & Poem

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WW2 Radio Dispatcher

Posted by on Oct 11, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Media, Navy, Photo, South Pacific, WW2 | 0 comments

George Barrett WW2 Album

George Barrett WW2 Album

I just got back from visiting my mother, Arline, in northern California. She and I were housesitting for my brother. I took Arline to see a neighbor, her friend, Lola. Lola’s 94. It was the first time I’d been next door to Lola’s house. She lives with her son, Richard Barrett in a beautiful hilltop home.

Lola, Richard and I got to talking about Lola’s courtship with her husband. They met after the war. Richard told me his dad, George Barrett, was a radio dispatcher in the South Pacific during WW2. His dad saved many mementos. Richard lent me his WW2 album with privileges.

What a collection! I couldn’t begin to say what I like best and found most interesting.

George Barrett 1940s Vintage

George Barrett 1940s Vintage

A radio log from Okinawa. August 15, 1945. George was on duty.

WW2 Radio Log Japanese Surrender

WW2 Radio Log Japanese Surrender

My brother told me that Morris told him that right after the announcement of Japanese surrender, he went AWOL. A crew invited him to fly over Japan and tour the damage. “Hey buddy, come check it out!” It’s in his letters. I’m not sure I realized he went AWOl for the chance. He was commander of the ship. His commander was often gone. What did it matter now?

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Father’s WW2 Love Letter from Subic Bay

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Navy, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s Father’s Day today, Summer Solstice of 2015. In October 1945 Mose writes Arline from his ship. WW2 Love Letter below. He’s anchored in Subic Bay. This is fun because I can google and see where he was. Mose is censor for his boat’s mail. Many envelopes from this period bear a navy censor stamp with his initials MAD. It’s probably not urgent to keep secret where he is now, which he otherwise carefully instructed Arline about on the eve of his disembarcation from San Fransisco. He mentions a milestone, one year ago he graduated naval school. In  six months he’ll be a lieutenant. I read the letter. I walk my dog. I send love to Mose across time and space.

WW2 Love Letter from Subic  Bay

WW2 Love Letter from Subic Bay

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WW2 Love Letter from Hamilton Hotel

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Media, Navy, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s December 31, 2014

WW2 Love Letter Alexander Hamilton Hotel

WWII Love Letter excerpt from Hamilton Hotel November 1944

It was a great Christmas trip. Check out was 12 noon at the Harbor Court Hotel in the Financial District of San Francisco.  The Harbor Court is in the historic red brick YMCA building across from the ferry docks. It has views of the Bay Bridge.  There was one thing left to do in San Francisco. I wanted to go see the Alexander Hamilton Hotel where Morris sent Arline his last letter before shipping off to the South Pacific in WW2.

My taxi driver got tangled in one way streets. This caused just the right delay so that as I peered into the Hamilton’s front security door, a resident was on his way out. He was curious. “Can I help you?” “Yes!” I gave him the quick story. Tom was not only kind, but he’s also a real estate agent. The Hamilton is now condos. But the Art Deco style of the hotel is totally preserved. Boys shipping off in WW2 got a last taste of America in Art Deco style at The Hamilton. My tour included the ocean view deck and there’s a piano in the lobby. I wondered which room Morris had occupied when he wrote the letter. I looked up from the roof’s deck and saw a star in one window.

Hamilton Hotel Entrance San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Entrance Martha in San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby Thank you Tom!

Hamilton Hotel Lobby
Thank you Tom!

Balcony at Hamilton Hotel

Balcony over Lobby
Hamilton Hotel

Art at the Hamilton Hotel

Art matches the style at the Art Deco Hamilton Hotel

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard Art Deco Fountain

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom area

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel

The Roof Deck has an Ocean View. A Star was Shining in One Window.

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