Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A note from Frances, and one from Monty

In today's post we actually have three letters.  The main letter is from Frances, but there is also a letter from Monty (mailed in a separate envelope, addressed by Frances) and one from Maj. Gillham that he had written 14 years earlier (which Frances included in her envelope).  I have scanned the other two letters, which appear after Frances' letter.  The letters are faint in some sections, so be sure to click them twice to get the largest image.

All my life I had heard that my mother (Monty) and Emily danced to the song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," when they were taking dancing lessons.  It's nice to finally see exactly when, and why, they danced to that particular song.  The song was very popular, and it won the Oscar for Best Original Song that year.

March 13, 1946


Enclosed find a letter you wrote me years and years ago.  I found it inside of boxes packed away in the attic.  It was so sweet and one of the reasons I fell in love with you.

You took me to the beach and tired to spank me there.  Then another time we had breakfast there.

Yesterday I took a nap on the couch in the living room and dreamed of you.  It was such a pleasant sort of a dream.  It was like a spring day on a hill top with a fresh fragrant breeze across a flower-decked countryside.  I dreamed that the room was full of friends and and you told them politely that you'd like to talk to me alone.  They all left the room and you and I lay down on the bed.  You told me all about your adventures in Japan.  You were so happy and interested.  It was such a peaceful interlude.  We were together again, lying on the bed, rubbing feet and talking.

Monty is up today.  She didn't have a fever but two days.  I think I will plan to go on to Memphis if I can -- if nothing happens.

Martha is well again, too.

There is a new song called "Atlanta G.A."  Have you heard it?  They are playing it on the radio now.

Tom Lemly has been in bed several weeks with pneumonia.  He still has a temperature.  The doctor told him to come out and get an x-ray at Lawson General.  He has had a fever and the doctor thinks he has a low-grade infection in the lungs.  You know, the cancer got up into his lungs, too.

I took Emil to see "The Harvey Girls" with Judy Garland yesterday.  She enjoyed it because it was in Technicolor and the did so many dancing and singing numbers.  The song "The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" was the theme song.  Emily is doing a little dance by that tune at dancing school.

"If it's kissing you are missing, we can give you some good advice.  Get yourself some Colgate toothpaste, cleans your teeth, makes your breath clean and nice."

That is the new Colgate song.  Maybe if I bought a gross of toothpaste and worked hard on my mouth it might help you come home so I wouldn't miss your kisses!  What do you think?

Remember me when the plum and cherry blossoms bloom.

All my love,



On this date, Monty also sent a letter to Maj. Gillham, in a separate envelope (addressed by Frances).  Here is the letter, which was on one page written on both sides.

Here is the letter Frances mentioned above, which Maj. Gillham wrote to her on Jan. 19, 1932.  This was over a year before they were married.

Also included in the envelope was a dried flower of some sort.  Frances didn't mention it in her letter, but there is a definite stain on the letter made by the flower.  It could also be that Maj. Gillham put the flower in the envelope after he'd read the letter.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the "Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" musical number from The Harvey Girls that Frances and Emily saw.  You gotta love Marjorie Main's singing voice!  And Judy Garland is joined by her Wizard of Oz costar Ray Bolger.