Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clipped Wings, for Now

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Newly engaged, Ernest shares an army story with his love:

January 13, 1919

Aero Squadron A. Barracks 3
March Field
Riverside, Calif.

At home (heck of a home) Ha ha.

Once more and lonesome so – little blonde kewpie of mine. By gollie I’ve been sitting here a half hour trying to concentrate, but it’s Monday eve of the 13th and I have that on the brain already.

YA mav. (?) just announced there was to be music immediately by the Mission Inn. Burgers and players. Of course I wish like the dickens you dearest were with me. Geeeeeeeee. Hope you are feeling Jake, honey. And I surely appreciate your coming up to the (?) with me. O girl girl that was sweet of you. We were about 25 minutes behind time when we arrived at Riverside, but I sure was glad we were because I was with you that 25 minutes. There were two last busloads of us and we had quite a joy ride. Ours started out last and arrived first. Passed each other six or seven times, and of all the noise. The last time we passed them, the driver just pushed on the steering wheel so excitedly, we sure laughed.

The fellows are having a bit of diversion out of the stunts the rookie guards pull off. Yes there is a sqdrn 311th, mostly privates recruited from this vicinity, and they do funny stuff sometimes. One shot a hole in the YA building last night. Didn’t know how to operate his rifle. There is one stationed on the tower with a revolver, and a fellow had loaned him his gloves; he wanted them, so he yelled up for him to throw them down. Said "rookie." Thought he said "gun," so he tossed his gun down. Such is life with army. Ya don’t know what is gonna happen next – even here. Some of us fellows took our exams just before the holidays. I suppose they will give us our promotions and expect us to stay.

But honey, sweet darling of mine. I have just the biggest longing in my heart to fight in civilian life with you, or rather for you – ha ha. Boy boy I’d sure love to slip up to your window some moonlit night.

Forgive me, but I would. I would. When a fellow is desperately in love with a girl, he wants to do things he shouldn’t. Yet, darn it honey, but my wings feel awfully clipped right now and goodness knows yours do too. Lots and houses of things can happen in a few weeks, so here’s hoping they will!

And darling, if I can help you in any way, say so, even were it against me. Anything to help you. You dear.

It’s late again, so again, dear heart, I bid you a lover’s goodnight.

Tell Zella hello, but don’t tell her but she is some chaperone. Will write again soon and girlie please, please speak your sweet heart out to me. Will you dear? When you write, it helps my own thoughts to extricate themselves from this piece of French ivory in which they are.


Three things:

1) How does one mistake "rookie" for "gun"? They sound nothing alike.
2) I think it's time I brought "feeling Jake" back into the lexicon. I will make it a point to use it in conversation and see how many weird looks I get.
3) Is it necessary to "slip up" to a girl's window when you're engaged to her? My, how times have changed.

Finally, a note from Mamie, even if it is short and somewhat confusing. Does she want him to meet her Saturday or Sunday? Make up your mind!

January 17, 1919

My Ernest Boy –

‘scuse pencil but it is 8:30, and Zella is going to school, so I want to send just a note to my sweetheart.

Yes, dear, come Sunday. I’d say Saturday if I could have my way, but you’d better come Sunday morning. Come Saturday eve to town, and if I can, I’ll meet you there and then if down in time for dinner Sunday (?). Gee I was sure glad to talk to you last night, but as usual, I couldn’t say as much as I wanted to dear.

Has Jimmie come back yet? That’s queer. Well dearie, bye bye till Saturday. I’m going to paint my bedroom floor and wash today and Ma is sick in bed so – help!

Remember dear, I love you always.

Your own Mamie.

Unlike "feeling Jake," I have no desire to bring back the word "queer" as "odd." It just has too much negative connotation. I hereby gladly resign it.

I wonder when the lovebirds will get married. Did they have long engagements in 1919?

Next up: More from Mamie.

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