Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Soldier Husband

Donal and Onah: two of Mamie and Ernest's future children.


















Both of these letters weren't dated, and somehow they were out of order in my notes. The first one is after Mamie leaves Clarence, but before she and Ernest get married. She is begging him to marry her now. Begging. He sure needs a woman to sew buttons for him. (I would think that would be at the bottom of the list of reasons why she wants to marry him right now!) She mentions they've been in love for eight months. Is that all?


The second letter is from Ernest when Mamie is still with Clarence.


Mon. Eve. 9:00


My dearest hubby chum!


Oh, I am so happy dear! All on account of you and your love for me! My sweetheart! It was so sweet to hear your voice tonight. All for me. Your sweet words thrilled me so deeply and believe me it makes me happy!

All I want now to complete my happiness is marriage, dear, to you. It seems as if I can’t wait until you are out of the service dear. I want you now. It would be so lovely to be your bride even tho we couldn’t have a honeymoon until after you are out. Maybe I am building air castles dear, but I love you so much and it seems now that I can’t live so far away from you. I just love to be where I can see you often and do things for you. Oh I think it would be wonderfully sweet dear. Just you and I alone. Dear, can’t we do it soon, please? I’d lots rather get married now than 5 or 6 months from now. Since we are so sure of our love and are mates, why should we keep writing indefinitely, dearie boy? Why not marry now and then let things go as they please. We will be so happy! We are as near ready as we will ever be, dearest. I am anyway. I can’t settle down to sew or anything else, I am so happy and dreamy. And if I was in my own little home and belonged to you, then I could settle down long enough to start house keeping for you. It’s great to really be in love dear isn’t it??!! Really dear. You need someone to sew buttons and take care of you in general. Right away too! And that someone is “wifey chum.”


Mable says we would be much happier if we married right away. But it’s all up to you dear!


Of course dear I am just telling you the way I would love to have things turn out, but I don’t wish to make you feel like you had to do it just to please me. You probably will have the responsibility of securing a place to live and license and preacher and witnesses, etc. Ha ha! And I want you to do things up and please you!


Dearest, I have wanted all the time to marry you while yet in the service. My Soldier Husband. See? But maybe it’s just a foolish little whim of mine. Dear, it might help you to get out quickly too. And we could have so much more time together, nights and all, instead of just a few hours once a week. We would enjoy it all so much, dear! Don’t you think so? Please, Ernest! I am so hungry for you! I wouldn’t be lonesome, dear. I would be busy and happy and so would you!


Gee, this sounds like a proposal. Ha! Ha! But it isn’t; it’s just from me to you. I just can’t bear to think of another long engagement.


We have loved each other for 8 months now, and can’t we complete things instead of waiting? I’ve grown tired of the long engagement, dear. Altho, I am willing to wait for you until you are ready. You are old enough and ought to know and understand things more than I, dear, and I shall always look to you for advice, etc. I have just tried, dearie, to express my wishes and it would make me so much more contented and happy to be your wife now instead of – I don’t know when. Don’t worry about the folks. It would soon be O.K. They really expect such to happen.


I’m so sleepy, dear, and so are you, so night dearest love and hubby darling. And lots of sweet kisses on your deary face and lips from mine. And please, dear, come over as soon as possible (Wednesday). Call me if you don’t come. I am always your own lil wifey chum.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Mamie



March Field

Riverside, Calif.

Barracks 3


Dearest Mamie –


Well I …sent a gram to the PO Master a while back, but he never sent my mail. Instead, it was all sent to the hospital. He must have had a hunch as to how I felt. Came back last night, had to rustle a bunk in the dark and everything. Spent several days in LA and the rest of the time with my chum and his folks quietly holding my breath, flitting away a perfectly misspent furlough. Three weeks! His mother certainly is some princess to me.


I rather hated to come back to the field. Believe me – honey! Gee-dear. Your dearest of letters sure were full of everything, but happiness. O for the time in your sweet life when you may say, “I am so happy.” Please God.


So your dear Dad is on a high horse. I remember him saying he didn’t know a thing about my lineage, etc.


(Forgive me honey) I have to smile at him. Girlie, with me – if I loved a girl I wouldn’t care what her lineage was! Because I’m not a blind lover and darling, I can’t cease to love you!


And he wishes us all those things. Ha ha. Honey of mine, I don’t care what he wishes. Dear, I hope true love finds its way for your sake! No dear, if you marry him, I will not promise to write – because I will not! Because you must forget. I’ll manage to know how you are, etc. But I shall not write. Dear, as it now is, you are going through the awful acid test and may the result prove 100% pure. No matter what the world thinks, your folks think or I think, use your own sweet head – honey! Sing Birdie, sing! Reminds me when I was at friend chum’s. I spent part of my time teaching their beautiful Polly Parrot to talk.


It’s a wonder you and C. didn’t bump right smack dab into me in LA. Was around there somewhere at the time.


And … you think I wasn’t glad you didn’t get busted in the real bump you had. We were nearly smashed into coming out, rained and rained and there were flocks of machines coming in from the Berdu show.


Was just wondering – will you get this letter. A missive in a hostile camp…40 Redskins bit the dust.


Gee I wish I was out. Didn’t fly today. Too much wind! And – the time didn’t fly either.


Yes, how I’d love to hold you o so close and kiss you more tenderly and sweetly than ever. O girl! A thousand times – I’d love to. I sure was at the height of happiness that eve. And fell into the dark depths – on the wrong side. Pretty please, with sugar on it. Curses! … and please forgive me dear, dearest of all girls. Yes, I too could talk all night with sweet lil you!


But why torment and lacerate a hurt heart more. Coming through Ontario last eve, I sure had to grit my teeth. Huh! Well I better stop before the wire that I sewed my heart up with bursts. Valentine’s – certainly was a dickens of a reminder. And my chum’s little nephew insisted I draw him some Valentine’s to give to his friends. When I finished them, he wanted to keep them. Ha ha. It’s late once more and a big long lonesome night for yours truly.


Hope you are well…Night dearest darling, and I hope you sleep like a log. Hope dreams aren’t always pleasant. You can’t trust them. So I wish you no dreams. XXXX


For ever and ever. E.D.


This is an awful bumpy letter, but my heart goes bumpy bumpy, so what can you expect?


By gollie, I haven’t any but a Y.A. envelope, and if you don’t get this then it’s fate.


I wish I was in H. with my neck broke too.


Yes I’d like to see Mable and if I can, I will.


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