Monday, March 29, 2010

A new PX at the hotel, and a scheme to talk on the telephone

Hello again and apologies for not posting any letters since last week.  I was preparing the following letter for posting when I realized that I had recently come across a letter that Maj. Gillham mentions in this one.  It was from an old civilian friend of his named Glore, and I had wanted to post Glore's letter as well.  However, somehow in the transition from Crosswicks to Atlanta earlier this month the letter has been misplaced.  I searched everywhere I could, and my mother (Monty) did her best in Crosswicks as well.  I am sure the letter will turn up one day when I'm not looking for it;  in the meantime, I shouldn't hold up the progress of the blog any longer, so I'm simply going to post the next letter minus enclosures.  When the letter turns up, I will post it (probably as a retrofit) and let you know.

15 Jan 1946

Dearest Love,

Two letters from you came today;  one was mailed as recently as 7 Jan.  That was a quick one.  Also, the ribbons came today.  Thanks very much, and also thank Dan for getting them for me.

In your first letter you spoke of the flu breaking out.  In the one written three days later you talk of everyone being up and about, so I guess it wasn't so bad.  Did you all get the flu shots from the Army?  If you didn't, you can probably do it now without trouble.  I think it would be an excellent idea.  Your present crowded housing is a natural for an epidemic and the Army is afraid of a bad flu epidemic, so do this at once and without doubtI have gotten one since I came here.  Also, some smallpox has broken out and we all had to be vaccinated again; I tested immune.

At the time KW retired I was moving to California, so I didn't get the forwarded mail from the committee working up that book of letters for him until it was all over.  On my own initiative I did write him as nice a letter as I knew how at that time.  It went directly to him and didn't get bound, I guess.

I am sorry the girls couldn't go to NAPS.  And I am sorry you didn't get to Memphis at one time or the other, for I wanted your report on Mother's condition.  I can't believe anyone else on that subject.

I know you are busy and working hard.  Don't overdo yourself.  Try to get out some -- get a change of scenery and some exercise occasionally and you will be better to live with when you are at home.

The cartoon about the Jap clean-up rumor is a good laugh.  You will see when the boxes begin to arrive.

I got a letter from Glore today from Panama dated 2 Jan.  The world is getting small, isn't it?  We had so much trouble getting a room in Wickenburg once that I think he wants to build an auto court there so he won't have that trouble again.  I will enclose the letter.

We now have a gift PX shop here at the hotel.  It opened today and I got you a pair of stockings.  We can only buy one item each day, but I will see if I can pick up a few things for all of you.  Guess who is the main buyer for the PX system in Japan.  Our old friend Capt. (Wolf) Karsten.  It is a wonderful set-up -- for him.  He travels all over Japan and picks up choice silks, etc., which he trades (excuse me, I mean gives) to the nurses and WACs, etc.  He actually has a satiated look about him now.

The 14 Jan issue of Time has quite a write-up under International about MacArthur's first complete report, "written in typical MacArthur style."  I got quite a laugh out of that.

On the telephone call -- enclose a separate and complete letter to me telling all your troubles and asking for decisions -- to sell car?  to move Mother?  where to locate? etc.  Make their apparent solution require two-way discussion.  Be sure there is another letter in the envelope so I won't get too worried.  Then look out for a call about two weeks later.  Wright got one thru to Memphis and said it was swell.

I love you my darling.

Goodnight, Sweetheart,



The ribbons (i.e., medals) referred to in the first paragraph included some of ones I scanned and posted earlier.  I am assuming that since Frances' brother, Dan Holsenbeck, had been in the Navy and spent Christmas at 992 Washita with the family, she sent him to Ft. McPherson (which is just south of Atlanta) to pick up Maj. Gillham's medals. 

The "KW" referred to above is most likely Kendall Whittaker, a boss of Maj. Gillham's at Southern Bell Telephone.  It's hard to tell exactly what his feelings are for this boss, since it sounds as if he were writing "as nice a letter as I knew how" under some pressure to be kind.  He had some unbearable bosses at Southern Bell over his long career there, but the worst one by far wasn't to materialize until he was transferred to New Orleans in 1949.  Whittaker was probably not that bad an egg, since it was apparently through him that Frances later got a part-time position at the Fernbank Museum, in its infancy.

The Time article he mentions in this letter can be found online at,9171,886828-1,00.html.

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