Wallace's Tent on Salisbury Plain

Wallace's Tent on Salisbury Plain
Writing a letter with candle on clipboard, see Oct. 16 letter

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 10, 1944 Monday

Dearest Marjorie,

The music course and piano you can rent sound like just the thing. Suppose you are all started on it by now. Do you get to listen to much music there? Hope so.

I got a letter from UNH and I guess my degree is in my pocket. Remind me to write to the Registrar once more just as soon as I come back, will you?

Your letters re coming thru fine, and things are rolling along very well here. Still can’t tell just when we’ll get back yet. How good I feel depends on how good you feel and vice-versa, it seems. I feel very well after this letter No. 2, so let’s both stay that way.

All my love,

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8, 1944 Saturday

Dearest Honey,

Good morning! I got more sleep last nite than I have in a long time, and it seemed good! The division problem really starts tomorrow, so I don’t know how often I’ll get to write after that. But you know I’ll be thinking of you all the time.

The mail service seem to be operating efficiently, more so than when we are on problems around Barkeley. So I have hopes of getting some mail from you soon. Mail service is one thing I appreciate out here. It’s the only thing we have to keep us in touch with the world of houses and mattresses.

Have you started making any notes on your adventures as an officer’s wife? I like the idea of writing things down—it clarifies things for the writer even if nobody else can read it. You are well acquainted with that kind of writing from my own letters. I often wonder how much my vague metaphors mean to you. I always feel as tho you understand, anyway.

So long, Hon, I love you with a PURPLE PASSION—all yours,

P.S. Watch out for the surprise on my upper lip when I come back!

July 7, 1944 Friday

Dearest Marjorie,

Well, of course, the main thing on my mind is you. The room we didn’t get left me a little groggy for a long time. That was really a mean break, and I had a hard time making myself accept it. I do wish I had been able to see the landlady battle-axe some more—I feel as tho I could have talked her into it again.

If this was a vacation or some kind of make believe I’d call it quits about now. But it isn’t. Your coming down here is a real part of our lives to me, and I’m going to take an awful lot before I admit that the thing is too tough for us. I still do not think it is—all we need is one break—a room to live in, and the thing is licked. We’ve come close enough to know that rooms do exist. Now we have learned that rooms don’t wait—the thing to do is to forget everything when you get a lead and don’t stop chasing until you are in the room with it all paid for. I’m sorry I goofed off and took a chance on the receipt for the room. Now I see we should have taken the receipt and at least moved some baggage in that very night. We won’t rely on a promise a minute more than necessary hereafter.

It’s like waiting for Christmas to wait for a room—your emotions tell you that everything is wrong and that you never will get a room. Reasonably, tho, things aren’t so bad—our income makes a good safety net so that nothing really big can go wrong. We can’t end up worse off than we were—you can always return to Keene and status quo—we’re just investing some time and money into making something better than that. And it will be better, too, Hon, tho it may be hard for you to see that now. I can see it very plainly—regardless of how this episode turns out, you and I will have shared something big. Just you and I are sweating this thing out together. We are a unit now, bucking a problem that is pretty big to us. We are bringing your world and my world together. You are learning something of the way I live and I am learning to consider you as myself. Perhaps it’s too bad that “our” team is starting off in such a tough game. We’ll get to be a good team quicker, tho, and learn how to operate as the “mobile” outfit we want to be. We’re going to have our cake and eat it, you know. By being a little different from the average, we are going to have a home together, but at the same time we will not get encumbered with domesticity enough to prevent our getting an education, doing things and finally tying ourselves into the niche we choose to be in.

Maybe this new world of ‘ours’ doesn’t seem nearly as comfortable and nice as the old one. Of course it doesn’t! All it is now is a framework with a lot of rough edges. We’re in it to put on the finishing touches. Remember that foundation we built when we were engaged? –Of understanding and tolerance and love? Now we’re married and have the first important beams all up. It will be drafty until we finish it up some more, but look at the prospects. All the elements are here to make a much better world for us than either of us has ever seen—and think of the fun we can have making it the way we want it. Don’t let the newness or the bareness fool you, Hon, it’s the start of a wonderful place.

Oh, out here everything is very much as usual. I got a letter from the Colonel about that time he said my platoon was not on the alert, and maybe I’ll get a week’s restriction the way Lt. Fairbairn did. I’m mad about it because I know I haven’t done anything more amiss than he had, either. We’ll see, there’s nothing definite as to when it will be yet. Otherwise, everything is under control. I am healthy and vigorous, and love you more than I ever have. I want you to eat a lot, drink a lot, and be a rip-roarin’ Texan when I get back.

All yours, always,

P.S. Have no mercy on the checking account. What you want, get.
Love, Wallace

[a postcard from Marjorie to Wallace]

July 7, 1944 Friday a.m.
Hello, Honey,

Want to keep you posted on your wife’s doings, etc. Went up to Terry’s yesterday a.m.—got my money back, but I may move in Mon. Her brother and wife may come this weekend. This is her proposition now—how does it sound to you? She wants an understanding verbally that we’re renting it by the nite, but she’ll only charge us what we were going to pay by the week and after all her visiting, etc. is over, we can have it permanently by the week. I guess that it’s just that she doesn’t want a fuss when her company does come and we might balk about moving out. I want it so much that I think I’ll take the chance. However, unless you hear more definitely report here first. Going to ACC this p.m. with Fredda. Think I’ll take Mus. App. From 11:30 to 1:00 Tues. thru Sat. $15 per course. Tell you more details tonite. News this a.m. that Ringling Circus had big fire in Hartford, Conn. yesterday—about 150 dead. Awful panic. Happened between 1st act (animals) and 2nd act (the aerial bicyclists-Wallendas). I love you. Be careful, Bunny

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 6, 1944 Thursday

[from Emma Nelson]

7:20 am

Dear Children,

See how early I am up to write to you—out in Texas with a rock (?) or a suitcase for a pillow. Sorry Wallace had to be away last week—house hunting is great sport if you can stand the disappointments.

Mrs. Russell shared your letter with me. I supposed you could stay at the hotel as long as you could pay your rent. Great world these days. The pictures came Monday and I have done my best to sort them out and give them to who you wanted. There wasn’t enough of the bride and groom and I am getting an enlargement of it. I like the one you ordered so much. I will let you know who gets them. Emily called up yesterday. I was planning to go up there next week but she said Ralph could get me Sat. so that is when I go, Sat. and come back either the 14 or 16 so as to be here if Chandler wants anything.

Peas are ripe and I want some. Haying is done. I will have my mail sent to Emily’s but I hope I get a letter from you this morning telling me how nicely you are situated. Glad the ladies are so nice.

Margaret and her mother are planning to go to N.Y. for a week. Bud is there going to a trade school. I was up there for supper on the 4th. Hazel Lewis is visiting the Joneses so she and Alice took me up in their car. A most brilliant sunset but thundered most of the time.

Alden is in Australia. My but he gets around. Grace and Aunt Florence were in yesterday morning and said they had over 200 at Parker Pine. Kitty is doing wonderful work and about the youngest there. Dwight Augier said only two boys showed up at Plymouth. He and another had no place to go so were put in with the teachers [?]. Mrs. A telephoned and told me about it.

Did you get the Sentinel [Keene newspaper]? Probably you will get home before I know the answer. I sent it to Wallace. His address seems to be the one to use. I am going to get Miss Brown to mail this and Goodnows doughnuts have just come.

I hope you are together this week. Burdens are lightened when two share them.

Of course I wonder if you took any decent shoes to chase around in – in that hot country your feet will be blistered.

[on same sheet, in Wallace’s hand]

Dearest Honey,

Am writing this on the fly, but do want to say for you to take the room right now without any hesitation. We are hunting a room, not choosing one. Make any verbal agreement she wants, provided the room will become permanent in a reasonable time. We can woo her to our way once we get in there—she is bendable. We can settle down if we know it will definitely become permanent. He who hesitates is lost—close the deal, make a payment, get a receipt and move in as soon as you can. Don’t wait for an O.K. from me. Attack! Attack!! Attack!!!

How to go on the music course! Do start on that anyway. I love you,