WW2 Letters

These blog posts contain photos or content of WW2 era letters

Sailor who Never Went to Sea

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Today is February 1st, 2015. I pull a WW2 love letter, the first one that matches the date, but 1943. Today lends itself to the fine the art of avoiding writing by reading sentimental old love letters.  This is how one writer spent her Super Bowl Sunday. Morris would be at the T.V. if he were here. But he’s now seventy-two years ago, the Morris who is at Bowdoin College in winter. His good friend has just been drafted, got a notice and is leaving. Morris is returning from the movie Casablanca and finds a sailor lying out in cold Maine snow:

Excerpt WW2 Love Letter

Sailor who Never Went to Sea. Image of WW2 Letter

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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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Easter Bunny Leaves Love Letter

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 2 comments

Easter falls on the 1st Sunday following the 1st full moon after the spring equinox, between 3/22 and 4/25. Copy that?

I went to church with Arline last week. I used to go, and was once a Christian. I walked out of the church when a substitute minister started preaching against abortion from the pulpit. It was too much. But I loved the service last week, the organ, the choir, the people greeting each other saying “Peace be with you.”

In 1945, Easter was April 1st. This year it’s tomorrow, the 20th. I pulled one of my father’s letters from April 20th 1945. Morris had been stationed in the South Pacific 5 months. He was engaged to Arline. They did it in letters. He sent the news of their engagement to his parents in a telegram. Arline had been at his folks home for dinner. In the letter Mose asks, “What were your first feelings when they read the telegram?” Awesome! Then he details his future pay as a lieutenant.

let4:20:45:crop

Morris’s memorial service was April 1st, 1999. I remember him every April Fools Day. He had a dry sense of humor. He had a way with puns. At the memorial service his brother Henry said, “Morris was the last of the good guys.”

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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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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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68 Years Ago on Martin Luther King Day

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Navy, PTSD, South Pacific, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 1 comment

~Love Letter of WWII, January 21, 1945, and about General MacArthur…

Love Letter on Marin Luther King Day

Love Letter of WW2 January 21st 1945

68 years ago from this Martin Luther King Day my father, Morris, wrote about a mountain in a love letter to my mother, Arline:
“This is a rainy Sunday morning in New Guinea and I have a nostalgia complex so I guess I’ll talk to you for a while. A couple days ago I took a ride inland…Away up on top of one of the mountains we saw General MacArthur’s home. It is a modern palace in a tropical jungle. I guess it is something like this that doesn’t put him in such high favor with many of the men in mud out here.”

I walk my dog. I contemplate the letter. I connect with my father, across time, across place.

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