Saturday, June 5, 2010

Frances recounts the overseas call...

Today's letter is all about the phone call that Maj. Gillham talked about in the previous post, even though it will be a while before Frances gets that letter.  She starts with a salutation that I am quite familiar with, since she often called me "angel pie" while I was growing up.

As you could probably guess from the ellipsis in today's title, the next letter in the sequence is Maj. Gillham's account of the phone call, so stay tuned.

Feb 24, 1946

Dearest Angel Pie,

You gave me such a delightful, thrilling experience last night. Talking to you half way round the world was marvelous, to put it mildly.

I set my alarm clock for 3:45 AM as the overseas operator said she’d call me then. I was so excited that I woke up at twenty minutes to four, got up and went downstairs and sat by the phone until the phone rang at 4:00AM.

The operator in S.F. announced that she was the overseas operator and was ready to connect me with a call from Tokyo. There was a brief pause, then I heard another operator with a definite oriental accent saying “Hello, Mrs. Gillham, just a minute.” And then your own sweet voice! Honestly, I was thrilled beyond measure. You sounded so natural and happy. Darling, it was a delight to talk to you again. Just think, you were halfway around the world from me. The sun had just set in Tokyo and had not risen here, yet our voices traveled fast enough for us to carry on a continuous conversation.

Is there any chance of getting another call soon? There I go – just can’t be satisfied with a little – always wanting more – especially when my want is you, darling.

Monty and Emily were thrilled even though they didn’t get to talk to you. Monty couldn’t believe that I had really – really – talked to her sweet daddy. I told them all you said this morning before we got out of bed. We had Martha in with us – a regular Sunday morning bed get-together. You were the only one missing, but you were certainly the subject of our conversation.

You make life so interesting. Your letters, your gifts, and now your phone call. The only way you could improve the situation would be to come home yourself. That is the day I live for now. Your voice over the phone was wonderful. It made me want to see you more than ever. June seems so very far away!

Martha has three teeth now – two on the bottom and one on the top. I thought Monty had written you that she had lost her two front uppers. The new ones have grown halfway in. I took them to the dentist the other day. Monty had three of her six-year molars filled. He just didn’t bother to fill the baby teeth. Emily didn’t have to have any work done. I am going to have two wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist took x-rays of them and I go tomorrow to see about them.

Friday night, Elizabeth and I took Emily and Monty to the Fox to see The Bells of St. Mary’s, with Ingrid Bergman and Bing Crosby. They enjoyed stepping out.

They went to supper at the church Thursday night, too. Now they take dancing Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 and Saturday at 1:30. I drive them out to Emory. They are in the same class at the present. They take tap-ballet, acrobatic, but no toe dancing. The teacher is good. She manages children as well as Mrs. Crawford in Jackson.

Bryant said if you get a piece of dirt or molten metal at Hiroshima for her, she’d surely appreciate it. I will be so interested to hear of your trip. Why are you going? How did you and Col. Jacobs happen to be going together?

Thanks again and again for the phone call. It was wonderful.