Sunday, April 11, 2010

Frances gets a kimono in the mail

This is a decidedly personal letter from Frances, and it gives us a little insight into their relationship.  Frances was rather hurt by Maj. Gillham's recent letter, but she is able to put a positive spin on it and, as we have seen in all the letters from both sides, end on a romantic note. 

Jan. 24, 1946


Today your letter arrived written Jan. 11 where you had received no mail from me.  You made me feel terrible and such a heel.  Since I got my second wind around here, I've been trying to do better.

I love you darling and I enjoy writing to you.  Each letter is like a little visit with you.  When I am not good company for myself and those around here, I hate to have you see me that way, even in a letter visit.

I am proud of you and your work with MacArthur's reports.  I feel like you do, that at last you are in the middle of important happenings.  You know what occurs and why.  I am glad you can get the broad scope of things -- that you can see the stars above the city's glittering lights.

I am still very much of a woman and I just thoroughly enjoy the sweet little love messages you write in your letters.  They are balm for my lonely heart.

This letter made me feel like you were really here.  You started off reprimanding me for not writing you and ended up by telling me that you loved me and had dreamed about me.  It was like our quarrels.  They start off with words flying thick and fast and end up with kisses.

Darling, the lovely kimono came today. It was mailed Dec. 18 and reached here Jan. 24.  It was well wrapped.  You did an excellent job on that.  I love the colors in the kimono.  I think it is the loveliest that I've seen.  It fits nicely except in length and I think when the obi is wrapped around it will be just right.  You are an angel to think of me and select such a nice one for me!

Mother 'Cile is still in bed, but Bryant and I are carrying on in our fashion.  Mother got up once today and let us know our fashion wasn't hers.  I have Bryant now to the point where she can laugh it off and not let it get her down.

I bought Martha a toidy chair like Emily and Monty used to have.  I left her little seat at Carol West's and she never did send it.  Anyway, this arrangement has many advantages.  I start tomorrow to retrain her.  Before leaving Robles, I purchased a little pot, but when I put it under the chair it didn't fit.  I had to buy a Pyrex dish to fit!

Martha loves the children.  She makes up to them -- Margaret included -- and enjoys them to the utmost.  They play with her, feed her and care for her all the time.  She is growing so much that she is about to outgrow her little corduroys that I bought in Pacific Grove.

The other day Monty came home late from school.  I asked her if she'd had to stay in because she had talked.  She said that she had!  She also added this bit, "Yesterday, the teacher said she'd give us one more chance to stop talking, but today she didn't."  Monty learned a bit of life there!

Last night Frank Dixon came out to have dinner with us.  You met his father and mother one time at the Piedmont Hospital.  He is Mother Ki's great nephew.  During the war he was cited for his bravery in combat twice.  He flew low altitude bombers from New Guinea.  He is now a freshman at Tech.  He is twenty two, been half way around the world, fought all thru a war and is now starting to school again. 

He says that if this Col. Van Leer continues as president of Ga. Tech, Tech will emerge as "the" technical school of the world.  Van Leer has just secured $300,000 from the Ga. Power Company.  He has posters all around the campus like this --

1899 -- Georgia Tech -- Outstanding technical school in the South
1959 -- Georgia Tech -- Outstanding technical school in the World

They are striving to make it better than M.I.T. before that.

He is making all the professors who haven't got the proper degrees go to evening school and get them.

There is still a Naval V-12 unit there.

With all my love to the dearest angel in the whole wide world.  You are so sweet and I could just eat you up!



Blake Ragsdale Van Leer was the fifth president of Georgia Tech, from 1944 until he died in 1956.  He graduated from Purdue University in 1915 and was on the faculty of several southern schools before WWII.  After the war, where he had attained the rank of colonel, he returned to become the president of Georgia Tech.  As Frank Dixon correctly points out, Van Leer did a lot to attract businesses to Atlanta and professors to Tech to make the area a technical hub.  He died short of his 1959 deadline, but the electrical and computer engineering building bears his name today.

The V-12 Naval College Training Program was set up during World War II on campuses across the country in order to augment the supply of naval officers in the war effort. The program began in 1943 and was phased out in June 1946, so not too long after Frances wrote this letter the program was ended at Georgia Tech. Some notable graduates of the program were Robert F. Kennedy, Johnny Carson, Jack Lemmon, Bowie Kuhn, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

No comments: