Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our first letter from Frances

Today we start interspersing the correspondence with letters from Frances.  Beginning with January 12, 1946, we have pretty much all of her letters written to Maj. Gillham in Japan and on his home trip.

If you have been following this blog closely, you will notice that in this letter Frances speaks to several of the issues brought up by Maj. Gillham.  Luckily, the two often include the dates of the letters they have received from each other (like good letter-writers used to do), so you can refer back to a letter in the blog if you have any questions about the original reference.

Again, this experiment is likely to get a bit bumpy from this point on, simply because this is not the type of correspondence where one party writes one letter, the second party then responds to that letter, and so on.  Letters seem to arrive in clumps, on both sides of the Atlantic.  But hopefully you will be able to follow a thread of sorts, and you have all the previous letters at your disposal in this blog.

Jan. 12, 1946

Dearest Darling Angel Pie,

Yesterday your letters came all at once.  They had been written Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.  Monty received the Jap navy insignia and was pleased as punch.

I received the money order, cashed it and deposited it in the bank.  Thank you a thousand times.  You are always so sweet and thoughtful to me.  I just adore you and all the lovely, wonderful things you do for me.

In one of your leters you suggested that I repeat important statements in several letters.  I gave Father a check for half of his ticket when we reached Atlanta.  Then, I gave him the $50 you sent me he other day.  It came Jan. 9.  Your letter containing the P.O. money order came Jan. 11.  So I am keeping the money order myself.  In fact, I am going to deposit it in Charlottesville for safe keeping.

I have my bank account in the First National Bank in my name only -- Frances H. Gillham.  All the extra I receive I will deposit in Charlottesville.  Then you can draw from it any time you need it, too.

When I went down the other day to open a new account, I went up to see Lucile Taylor.  She took me around the bank and introduced me to every vice president's secretary in the place.  They treated me as if I was doing them a great favor by depositing my few dollars in their bank!  A far cry from Chicago!

I opened a special checking account similar to the one in Chicago and bought my checks -- 15 for $1.00.

It is a pleasure to establish credit in Atlanta, even at the library or post office.  I just mention Mother's name or Pop's and I get anything in the house!  At the post office at Little Five Points when I went to cash your money order, I just told them that I was Mr. Holsenbeck's daughter and he didn't ask me for any identification -- just handed me the money.

In spite of the undercurrent around here between Mother and Bryant, I am so glad to be home.   I couldn't have done it before, I don't believe; but I feel that I have matured enough now on my own hook that I can come back now and be of some help.  Then again, they all make me feel like a queen or something around here -- that's good for your soul, isn't it?

Darling, I am so sorry you have an old bad cold.  Let me know how you get along.  Also, let me know if an attack of arthritis follows the cold.  Gee, I surely hope it doesn't.

This week in Life there is a picture of MacArthur leaving the Dai Ichi Building for lunch.  It tells of the crowds who watch him.

I am getting ready to take the children to the Auditorium to see the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.  They are thrilled to pieces.  I'll send you a program and an account -- wish you could be with us, darling.  We had so much fun last time, didn't we?

A heart full of love to the sweetest husband in the world.



The auditorium that Frances mentions is the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, which was known to Atlantans as the City Auditorium, or simply the Auditorium.  It was dedicated in 1909 by President-elect Taft, and was used for countless civic events, including the famous Gone With The Wind premiere ball in 1939.  My mother's high school graduation ceremony was held there in 1956.  In 1979, the city sold the building to Georgia State University, which now uses it as its Alumni Hall.