Monday, April 12, 2010

Maj. Gillham takes account of his correspondence

While I was wading through the piles of my blog email today, I came across a letter from one of our Followers who suggested that I create some sort of Gillham/Holsenbeck family tree as a reference for those readers who aren't family members.  I think this is a good idea, and I am working on a solution that will somehow fit the parameters of these blog pages.  Most likely I will create a family tree page that you can access via a link on the blog sidebar, which will be available on all posts.  In the meantime, if you have any family tree questions, just leave a comment and I will answer it within 24 hours.

I just signed up my blog for Google Analytics, which is a handy new application that tracks my hits and creates reports about my blog traffic.  So far, though, the numbers have been rather sobering:  yesterday I had 5 visits to my blog.  We'll see if things pick up during the week.

Speaking of tracking things, in our next letter Maj. Gillham goes geek on us and creates a table of the letters he has received in the past two days.  Clearly the long hours of work in the Statistics Division are starting to get to him.  That will soon change, though, as he tells Frances of his upcoming week-long assignment in Nikko.

24 Jan 1946

Dearest Darling,

During the last few days I have been doing well on mail.  Some of it is that which was caught in the Christmas rush and delayed, as can be plainly seen in the following table:

MAIL RECEIVED               
22 - 24 Jan 1946               

Addressor                         Location                        Date Mailed

Walter Oates                     Kerrville                       A - 9 Jan
Monty                                Los Angeles                  O - 17 Dec
Emily                                 Los Angeles                  O - 17 Dec
Dan                                    Kingsport                       A - 8 Jan
Ellen                                  Alameda, Calif             A - 17 Dec
Wasson                             Charlotte, NC               O - 14 Dec
You*                                  Robles                            O -  **
You***                             Atlanta                          A - 14 Jan
A - Air mail
O - Ordinary mail
* - my darling
** - postmark illegible
*** - two very sweet letters

It looks like I would get tired of that kind of foolishness after doing it all day, doesn't it?  This is by no means a model table, but I did work up a couple of samples which are used as models in all our documents.

Ellen's letter, although air mail, evidently got lost in a mountain of Christmas cards.  She sent me three sewing machine needles.

Walter told me in detail about how he got eight geese with one shot.

Wasson said they had 4 million unfilled orders for telephones in Southern Bell.  Housing is tight everywhere and he expects it to remain so for two or three years.

Dan wanted me to see about Alvin Cates, who is on Kyushu.  I have the Red Cross helping me.

Your letters told about the Ballet Russe.  The piece from Robles was the desert psalm and picture.  They are both beautiful.  I hate to think of leaving the desert and never being able to get back to it.  It seems to do something to you that makes you want to return.

I am glad you got the money and are taking such good care of it.  Yes, I think we had best save all we can right now, for the next few months may be our last opportunity to lay anything by for a long time.  I wonder what will come up this time to take it away from us?  I will continue to send you as much as I can.

Have any of the other packages gotten through?  I received the first one that you sent to me and am still enjoying the contents.

Are you taking any movies?  Don't forget to take a few shots of Martha for the record so I can see them when I get home.  I am getting some Jap film now, but they say it isn't very good.  I haven't used any yet.

It now looks like I will get a week's temporary duty at a luxury hotel at Nikko next week.  Our section of GHQ has a quota on this and gets to send about one officer per month.  I was doubtful if I would get a turn before I left, but they asked me today if I wanted to go and I said yes.  It will be a break away from this grind and they should have some winter sports up there at this time.  In a way I would prefer to go to some place I hadn't been, or to wait and go in the spring, but I ain't turning nuthin' down.  Also, the one-day reconnaissance that I did before will help me to know how to get around.  I will try to get some better pictures this time.

I have been completely over my cold for some time and since it started being so temperate I have been feeling fine.  I have had no severe arthritis.  I think a little mountain climbing or skiing will do me good.

The Tokyo climate has been excellent so far.  It is more like Atlanta than any place I can think of at this time of the year.  I hope to leave before the heavy June rains.  It seems that a warm current hits the coast near here and modifies this locality.

I know it feels good to get back to a part of the country where you don't have to fight or worm your way in.

As to what we do for a vacation when I return, if the children can go with us, I think we had best go somewhere, get a cottage and a servant and stay put.  The Smokies would be fine.  If just you and I go, I had just as soon take off for Canada or Mexico or anywhere we can work it.  I guess we will have to wait and see how things develop.

I think you are mighty sweet.




As he mentions above, Maj. Gillham has been to Nikko before, but as you may remember from a previous letter, he regretted the fact that he had been so busy that he hadn't been able to recount his trip to Frances.  Nikko is a resort town in the mountains located about 150 miles north of Tokyo.  It is a popular winter sports destination and also has many natural hot springs in the area.  There are also three historic Shinto Buddhist temples in the town dating from the eighth century, and they now comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The town of Nikko in 2008

The famous Shinkyo ("God Bridge"),
the symbol of Nikko

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