Posts Tagged "40s Fashion & Style"

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

Read More

Writer Scores Victory Scrapbook 1943

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, High School Years, Historical Portland, Media, Photo, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Writer Scores Victory Scrapbook 1943

I remember as a child my father coaching me to catch the ball. “Keep your eye on the ball,” he’d always say. I was fortunate to spend several days with my mother over Christmas. I was organizing her front closet and delved into another old trunk. I found a scrapbook. I’d seen it before. We all have. It needs care and preservation so I brought it home to look at. I’m sure glad I did.

My dad made it. It commemorates his sports life at Deering High and Bowdoin College during 1942-1943. It’s ironic because I’m the one person in my immediate family that didn’t become a jock. Not for lack of talent. In high school I excelled in ballet and modern dance. I was also an equestrian in high school. But I preferred the pleasure of riding my horse to the hassle of competitions. I won a ribbon here and there in sports, one for swimming, a couple with my horse. But I never followed baseball or football. And I went to an all girls high school so that put a damper on things…I wanted to be a cheerleader. But not for all-girl volleyball.

My two older brother’s were basketball jocks in high school. My cousin Pete Ladd (on Arline’s side, her sister Ruth’s son) pitched for the Milwakee Brewers in the 1982 World Series. Nothing is more thrilling than watching your cousin pitch on TV.

So here I am, a non-sportsperson writing about my dad’s sports life in high school and college. Thank goodness Dad made this extraordinary catalogue of newspaper clippings from important games and turning points during the war.

Newspaper clipping 1942

Densmore Celebrates Birthday Beats Blue in a Post Stadium Tilt.

How much help can a writer expect? It’s amazing to think that in those days being a high school sports star would get you regular press coverage in the local news. My parents were both featured in the local Portland newspaper at various times including Arline with the headline “The Deering Girls had a Hoop Season”. I never realized she was that serious a player.  It’s super to see my dad like a Titan god killing the competition in a “hurling duel”. Dad in a duel! He truly is a star.

And then it’s incredible to look at his selected clippings from that most historical year at Bowdoin including watching each athlete leave, alone or in groups, called away to service. There’s a clipping of Mrs Roosevelt from the speech she gave at Bowdoin. Eleanor declared that the war would make you a better citizen.

Newspaper Clipping 1942

Densmore Best in Hurling Duel

Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks to 1200 at Bowdoin College

Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks to 1200 at Bowdoin College

Read More

Love Letters 69th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Historical Portland, Photo, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

Sixty-nine years ago on July 27th Morris married Arline in a Congregational Church in Portland Maine. My dad died in 1999. Arline now lives in a condo in a large “hotel style” three hundred unit building inside Rossmoor, a huge gated retirement community in Walnut Creek, California.

Morris and Arline c.1946 Wedding Day

Morris and Arline c.1946 Wedding Day

Arline moved in four months ago from a townhouse.  I’ve been staying with her in a challenging process of introducing new household help, not easy. Arline doesn’t want any helpers, not any I choose anyway.

Today day started out rough. But I left for a few hours and it turned peaceful. I found a twenty dollar bill on the side walk. I fell asleep with my dog in the park. I’m just giving back to God my hope that this will all work out somehow so she can remain in her own beautiful condo.

In the evening, while snacking on an obscenly chocolate muffin- causing me to scold her for skipping dinner – Arline told me about a man that had plopped down next to her downstairs while she was sitting on a bench. It happened at about 5PM. “He told me his whole life story,” she said. Arline was amazed. She kept bringing it up.

Arline kept asking me questions to identify the timing. Maybe she correlated the man with something about her wedding day. I was so self absorbed I forgot it was her anniversary though she mentioned it two days ago. “He just kept talking and talking. He talked about WW2 and all about his life, and telling me everything about himself.” This is the first day anything like this has happened in years. It occurs to me now that Morris was sometimes like that – sometimes he’d just talk and talk but on a particular topic or theme.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More