Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An intermission with a letter from Frances

Today's post won't follow the normal pattern laid out thus far, owing to the fact that I have discovered a letter from Frances that was written in November 1945 from Robles del Rio.  To date, it is the only letter from Robles that I have found.  Maj. Gillham comments on this letter in his letter of December 3 (posted on here February 11, 2010).  I thought about retrofitting Frances' letter into the February 11 post, but that post is already very long (it includes his trip to Atami).  So I will post Frances' letter here and then attach the pertinent paragraph from Maj. Gillham's letter of December 3, 1945. 

Nov. 23, 1945

Dearest, my love,

I didn't get to write to you yesterday and it has made me feel terrible.  I felt as tho I had missed seeing you.

It was Thanksgiving and I started in early.  I made four pumpkin pies.  Emily mixed the pumpkin filling while I made the crusts.  Really, it was the most popular dish at the meal.  Then, I candied sweet potatoes, creamed onions, made biscuits and cooked cranberries.

At two o'clock we all went to Carol's for cocktails (Manhattans).  The children had apple juice.  On the guest list were:  Carol, Lynn, Mac, Peg, Chuck, Carla, Cousin John, Nellie, Jack, Downs Atwood, Pudge [?], Emily, Monty and me.

Also with the cocktails we served celery, radishes, carrot sticks, pickled artichokes and sweet pickles.

Then we went up to Peg's house for the big spread.  They had put three tables together and used sheets for cloths.  They filled silver vase with my flowers for the table.

Cousin John bought a 15-lb turkey and Peg cooked it in her oven.  It was delicious!!  In addtion to the old bird, we had creamed onions, mashed potatoes, broccoli, candied yams, rutabagas, sherry, biscuits, butter, pumpkin pie with air whipped cream, coffee and apricot liqueur.

When we finished, Mac said that the whole dinner party would take a walk around the circle before going to Carol's for liqueurs.

Nellie and John spent the night at the cabin so Jack stayed here.  He slept on the studio couch and had an alarm clock.  He woke up at six and drove John to his ranch above Redding.

This morning the children and I took Nellie to Carmel, then drove up to Santa Cruz to visit Mrs. Carell.  We had a lovely time.

Then we came back to Salinas and picked up Ellen and her children.  Ernest brought them down to Opal's this morning.  Now, Terry and Emily, Tots (their dog) and Flip Flop are in Emily's room.  Ellen and Monte are on the couch in the living room, Monty is on the box our room, and Martha and I are in there, too.

Ellen sends her love to you.  She has just crawled into bed with Monte and is going to sleep.

With all my love,


And now the paragraph from Maj. Gillham's response letter, written December 3, 1945:

8 PM -- After writing the above at the office, I got another nice letter from you mailed 24 Nov. and telling about your swell Thanksgiving dinner. That was really some spread, and lots of good fellowship makes it really worthwhile. You are certainly sweet to write me after such a strenuous day. I hope you enjoy Ellen's visit.

So, that's how this blog will work eventually, with a back-and-forth between Maj. Gillham and Frances, as best as I can maneuver it.  The main problem seems to be that letters arrived in Japan in clumps, so Maj. Gillham tends to reply to or comment on several letters at once.  I am still ironing out the details of how to present the letters.