WW2 Love Letter

320 WWII Love Letter blog with photos of letters

Christian Science at Bowdoin College

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Christian Science, Holiday, Media, Portland Maine, WW2, WW2 Love Letter | 0 comments

Young people impress me. I hope if I ever visit Bowdoin College that it will be the best the trip of my life.

Bowdoin College Tea Cup

Chai Brew in Bowdoin China Teacup

I spent two years traversing history to meet my parents in the 40s. It started with 300 love letters from my dad to my mother. Arline had a fall soon after she gave me the letters. I nursed her  for two months over the 2012 winter holidays. Two years later I’m back on extended visit. My chai tea multi-cultural brew is delicious in old Bowdoin teacups.

Family history research dropped me at the door of Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), founder of Christian Science. It started when my eye caught a first edition of her CONCORDANCE to MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS at a thrift store.

Concordance to Miscellaneous Writings

CONCORDANCE to MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS by Mary Baker Eddy

In Miscellaneous Writings (1883-1896), in Easter Services, there’s a sermon by a “former member of the Congregational Church”, a Bowdoin Graduate named Rev. D.A.Easton. “He left his old church…because he was not satisfied with a man-like God, but wanted to become a God-like man.” What Easton found in Christian Science surprised him.

Google is like a concordance. I googled Bowdoin and Christian Science. I got: “Student Lecture Series Debuts with Talks on Christian Science and Squirrel Diabetes”.   The 2013 article highlights “Food for Thought” lectures. The twice a month talks are presented as a fun study break “for students to talk about anything they want to”. The speaker on Christian Science, Alioto, refers to her faith as being in the category of Bowdoin “topics such as religion — ones that students tend to view as taboo or uncomfortable”. Her talk was titled “Go Away…I’m Healing”.

In other old news Bowdoin made headlines last year when it ousted a Christian Bible study group’s leaders, despite student protest. Chapel was mandatory at Bowdoin in Morris Densmore’s day, the 1940s. Important and serious talks were held there. The September Commencement of 1942 graduated sixteen “Accelerated Seniors” at Bowdoin. Three degrees were conferred in absentia for the men already in the service. That left only thirteen graduates in attendance. It was a small Commencement, first time in Bowdoin’s history the ceremony was moved to the chapel.

Critical thinking requires intelligence plus an open-mind. In an earlier blog I jotted about how WW2 was an attack on liberal arts and critical thinking. To understand Christian Science takes an open-mind.  In Christian Science the Bible is explained in mystical intelligent context.  C.S. is a good fit for Bowdoin.

At the Food for Talk debut students “flooded in”. No short thirst for knowledge there. The squirrel diabetes lecture was presented as comedy. But when Alioto shared about being a Christian Scientist, finally in her senior year, apparently sort of outing herself as a Christian to the community at large “Her anecdotes and reflections on life as a Christian Scientist on a college campus inspired a stream of questions from the audience, as well as a discussion about the presence of religion in the Bowdoin community.” Yea, a mid-course correction. She welcomed the “gifts” of intellectual curiosity.

Christian Science was no squirrel in 18th century New England. Here’s a link to a film about Mary Baker. I dismiss commentator views that C.S. was more applicable before modern medicine. In light of modern physics and my own experience as an RN and acupuncturist, C.S. Divine Mind fits better than ever our modern days. I ponder God. I sure am thankful for great minds like Mary’s, for her teachings, for my Bowdoin heritage and beautiful Bowdoin china.

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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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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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A Fan of Professor Coffin

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Poetry, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

“A man should choose with careful eye the things to be remembered by.” ~ Robert P. Tristram Coffin

Strange Holiness
won Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 1936

…When Morris went to Bowdoin’s in 1942-43 (he returned and graduated after the war) his english professor was American poet, Robert Peter Tristram Coffin. On the evening of May 5, 1943 Morris writes Arline:

I have been sitting in the living room for more than two hours listening to him talk. He is really a remarkable man but he is a bit hard to follow. He was giving us some insights on the intellectual abilities of the medieval man. Then the conversation, or more appropriately monologue, shifted to religion. He gave us some amazing information on many religious sects such as the Shakers, Mormons…etc. It isn’t often you have the chance to talk firsthand with a Pulitzer Prize winner and Rhodes Scholar.

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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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