South Pacific

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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Johnny’s the Best at Smoke Rings

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Media, Photo, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

I light a candle and think of Johnny’s smoke rings.

Photo of Four Sailors WW2

Johnny was the Best Smoker

Love,
Yours Truly

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Flying Fish at End of Rainbow

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Love Letter excerpt by Morris to Arline November 1944, of awe and gratitude.

Love Letter

Love Letter 1940
End of the Rainbow

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Diamond Ring – Practically Given Away!

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Photo, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Love Letter | 0 comments

Morris was in the South Pacific when an ad ran in LOVE romance magazine. Rationing had an effect on romance during WW2 and here we see one example, a fun one. HAREM Company (The House of Rings) did all right on the romance theme. They dealt Flashing Replica Diamond Rings. From the full ad, however, seems even better served were folks in the biz of selling real diamonds.

The House of Rings Flashing Replica Diamond

The House of Rings c. 1944 Flashing Replica Diamond

“LADIES! Have you ever longed to own a real diamond ring? Of course you have. But today, due to the war, diamond prices are soaring higher and higher. They are beyond the reach of most people. Yet you can naturally satisfy your desire for beautiful jewelry at a price you can easily afford…When package arrives pay postman $1.74 plus 26¢ postage charges.”

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War Today Freedom Tomorrow

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

I didn’t hit on a letter to write about today but here’s a clipping Morris included in one. For Morris and Arline the dream came true. The home of my childhood was just like this ad promised- a heavenly horizon in the 50s and 60s.

War Today Freedom Tomorrow

I return to the letters, feeling alone in a moment after an argument. I want to pull a letter for this date in the past. My dad’s sign offs are like a powerful love force. The words “All my love Darling” to me are gold. It’s gold because Morris made good on his word to the very end. He was an “All my Love” capable man.

My parents commitment lasted past 50 years. The communication was always respectful between my parents. They had differences, small ones like about my mother’s decorating. When she wanted to add an antique she had to get his OK and she didn’t always get the OK. Once she bought a painting by Longfellow’s niece. It’s mine now. It’s a beautiful watercolor of a lone pine tree on a ridge. When she bought it at a church sale, she told my brothers, then about four and seven, not to tell their dad. Good training Mom.

My parent’s roles, he the masculine breadwinner and she the feminine homemaker, were clearly defined. They kept arguments away from us children. I have no memory of Morris ever raising his voice or cursing at anyone. I do have memories of him being respectful to many people from all walks of life. My mother was spared so much because of her husband’s protection. To have known such great people, as they were to each other, is grace in action.

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Tiki Hut Souvenir Shoes from WWII

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

My mom, Arline, is well from her fall injuries. My visit with her is about to end. I look in the hope chest one last time. I take out the wedge shoes my dad brought to her from the Philippines. They held mystery and I was fascinated by them when I was a child. I could never walk in them though. They’re of hard carved wood. Never seemed to have had much of a life outside the hope chest.

40s Shoes from Philippines
Souvenir from WW2

Tiki Hut and a Palm Tree Carved in the Sole

I tried them on from year to year, from the time when I was old enough to get into the hope chest independently. The shoes are only a souvenir. But they are my style! “Philippines” painted on their soles. In the wedge is a carved tiki house and palm tree. The small rads holding the straps on the back of the shoes have come out. The black velvet toes slips and hand painted soles are now aged and chipped.

Whatever questions I ever asked Arline, yearning for just a taste of the exotic her answer was pat and dry. There were no stories, no tales of strange ladies.
“Dad bought them in the Philippines,” was all she ever said.

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