Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goodbye, Grace

Okay, first of all, I'm not sure if women make men sweaters anymore as a way to woo them. I think the only women making sweaters are aunts and grandmas. It's sweet that Grace takes the time to do so for a man whom she may be in love with. "With love" sure indicates something, especially since my grandma mentioned she was Ernest's girlfriend at the time. As you will see below, however, a few months later, Grace is not happy with Ernest. His mind is elsewhere, and he "disses" her something fierce. Pauvre Grace. (By the way, I Googled Grace's LA address, and it still exists. She lived northeast of USC.)

In the first letter from Mamie, already we see her working poor Ernest. She's engaged and yet she calls him her "dear soldier boy." Here's a woman who doesn't seem to know exactly what she wants. (I have no idea what that's like. Yeah, right.) She dangles that proverbial carrot in his face because she adores the attention, and she probably truly is in love (or infatuation) with two men.

On the flip side, Ernest is taking the bait and sending her candy, letters and a photo of himself. He may be a glutton for punishment, and a bit of a doormat.

Did you notice the comment about their first day together being "short and sweet"? I wish I knew the details about their initial encounter, and how long before the letters started after it had occurred. We'll just have to use our imaginations.

Another "times have changed" moment in that last letter was when she said she hoped she wasn't "rushing" their relationship by writing him a letter too soon. Can you imagine someone saying that now?

Oh, Mamie. You big tease! "I'm going to San Diego, but I'm not going to tell you why." Just suffer, poor lovesick military man. Suffer and wait.

Here's another letter from Grace. She has been stood up:

July 28, 1918
Dear Ernest:

You don’t know how disappointed I am that you didn’t come tonight. What happened? Next time you come to LA, won’t you call as soon as you get in and come out to dinner? Promise me that you will. I enjoyed your letter so much and your picture is splendid. Many thanks. Maybe you will consider this a letter and answer soon. I hope so.

With love,

Ernest failed to call on Grace, even after she made him a sweater! He also sent her a letter and a photo, just like Mamie. That's just not very nice of him, but as you'll see below, he's all about Mamie, the woman he can't have. Sadly, I believe this is the last we hear from Grace. Their relationship must have fizzled fairly quickly that summer. Hopefully she found her true love elsewhere.

Aero Squadron A.
September 19, 1918
Riverside, Calif.

Dearest Little Girl –

Please forgive me. I feel as though I’ve been rude to you and then some. Yes you did try to comfort me and it did make me feel worse. Well because I care for you. But I had no business showing that I felt so bunk. O girl-girl if I could write a letter like you. (Some letters, full of life & love.) Forgive me for not writing sooner. We’ve put in some long days this week. If it wasn’t for lights out at 9, I too would have written till late several nights. I wrote several letters and then tore them up.

Do I care for you? Yes! Too too much. God I wish there were two of you and you were the one for me.

No dear if you go to a convent I’ll t-t-tear the walls down.

They say all is fair in love and war. Wish to goodness I knew who started that so I would know whether to believe it or not.

Imagine…I cannot. I don’t smoke cigarettes and I’m not a fourflusher. So I can’t fool myself. I do not drink so I cannot get drunk. And I can’t cry! Baby…

I think I’ll quit going to church. Yet when I open my eyes Sun. morning, hope your preacher is a good one.

Sweet girl I don’t know what to say, just sit and think and think till it gives me a headache. Oh why!

Several of us took exam yesterday to go to ground school. If I were put on flying here, would I turn down going to B? I said yes! I meant for the present, but that flunked me. Expect to be put on soon. If I make good I’ll be an enlisted aviator. Wish you could be an aviatrixey. It is some problem to decide wh-what to do. Huh!

Gee I wish I wish I wish. But what is the use of wishing.

It’s almost 9 again and they will not let one write in the washroom. There is a fellow reading the theory of flight and he is just bothering me.

Well dearest girl. Good-night.

Just look at the lovely moon! Ooo. Last night we had hash for supper and I, for the first time since I can remember, talked in my sleep. Nearly woke up several others and every once in a while, someone else would talk.

With lots of love. (Forgive me.)
Yesterday one of the lts. gave me a picture that the movie people took of another fellow and I. They had gone to Edendale and seen the films and it was given to them for me. They said there were five.

You are one girl I’d love to take to see the play when it is released. “Night.” “Lights out.”


Until next time,

The Grammar Nazi

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