Friday, June 4, 2010

Maj. Gillham sets up telephone call with Frances

Maj. Gillham is in fine fettle while writing this letter.  He's just received a bunch of letters from Frances, and he is planning a trip to Hiroshima and southern Japan.  But foremost on his mind seems to be the telephone call that he has arranged with Frances.  This was effected by Frances' "trouble letter" that you may remember from earlier in the blog.

23 Feb 1946

Dearest "Lovely Dovely,"

Today I received several letters from you.  Two dated 1 Feb and one that must have come by air dated 8 Feb.  I received the pictures, your trouble letter, the collection of business letters, and your sweet and interesting letter telling of receiveing the second box of brass.

I have been in a whirl today getting things arranged.  I have the telephone call set up for tomorrow afternoon, and I hope you will know about that long before you receive this.  It will be wonderful to have us pulled together in the matter of time, if not space.  I don't know when I have been so excited about anything.

Monday night I am leaving with Lt. Col. Jacobs to go to Hiroshima and to inspect a telephone plant in southern Japan.  I already have the orders, so it should go through o.k.  I will be gone 4 or 5 days or maybe longer.  I had to do some fast operating to get this through, but I decided I might as well get what I can out of it while I am here.  Traveling under orders this way we will have Pullman reservations and it should be a nice trip.  I might even get to return by air.  I may get as far down as Fukuoka -- if so, I will try to see Sam Wrightson.

I was delighted to get the pictures even if they are fuzzy.  I don't know what causes that.  I always had the same trouble with that camera.  I wish I had it here now.  I could probably get $75 to $100 for it.

To answer some of your questions:  Yes, I polished on some of the brass, but I only had a blitz cloth and I wore it out.  The piece is a Buddhist temple incense burner.  I saw several just like it in operation in Nikko. I think Monty is right about the “animals.” We call them dogs, but they may be lions. They are found around all temples in various places (there is one on top of the incense burner above), but the male always looks to the left and has his mouth open, and the female looks to the right and has her mouth closed. That shows the degree to which this art was conventionalized, like the ancient Egyptian.

I don’t know what the other large vase is, but I thought it would be nice for hanging a trailing vine.

I am sorry I haven’t sent things for Margaret. I have thought of it, but it just meant not getting the package off, so I went on and sent what I had. I sent her several little things by air for her birthday, so she will be ahead of the other children then. I will send her something next time. She looks mighty cute in the pictures. So do they all. I am amazed at how big they all are. Has Monty lost a front tooth? How are her teeth? Are they very crowded?

The black solid material is ink. You rub it in a little tray of water and make what ink you need for the moment. I am looking for a writing box, which contains this tray. Brushes are rather plentiful. Would you like some more of various sizes? I understand the portable brush holder is quite an antique and perhaps valuable.

I would love to see the children playing “Japanese,” and I am sure the Japanese would, too.

I got rid of the cold I had at Christmas, after a couple of weeks, and have been in good health since, except for some arthritis. I developed that as a result of skiing. It is mostly in my left shoulder now.

I think you are very smart to handle all the business so well. When I come back, I think I will just let you keep on doing it. There was a $5 error in Cousin Ruth’s statement, which I am returning with explanation. She just got mixed up, and I am sure she will understand when you point it out to her.

Mother ‘Cile and Father certainly have a fine looking group of grandchildren – and just think, another is on the way.

With two nice things to look forward to (calling you and the trip), I am feeling very fine tonight.

Loads of love,



I didn't find out much about the blitz cloth, but I did manage to find an image of a blitz cloth container that was featured on a website about items from WWII.  I imagine, then, that the name comes from the German word Blitzkrieg, which is where most of our usage of the word blitz comes from.  I would assume it was the wonder cloth of its day, very much like the current Shamwow.