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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.003

Description: Jean Holdridge Reeves, awaiting assignment, describes attending a lecture on censorship, swimming, being visited by friends, and needing to alter uniforms but having no thread. She also provides details from her visit to a native village.

Creator: Jean Holdridge Reeves

Biographical Info: Jean Holdridge Reeves (b. 1920) of Marion, Ohio, served in the Pacific as a member of the Red Cross from 1944 to 1946.

Collection: Jean Holdridge Reeves Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dearest Folksies,

Saturday is wash day for me and it’s already done. Now we’re waiting for another lecture. Seems that censorship are a bit hard to get in some minds. The Army and Navy rules vary a bit so we had found this a bit confusing, to say the least. Don’t believe I’ve told you that I was at the 7th Fleet Base Command now still waiting to go out. In the mean time I’ve repacked everything so that my luggage won’t be too heavy for flying, if that’s the way the ARC decides to send me. I’m going out with another Betty (notice the difference in spelling). She is one of the girls who has been in Ireland. We were cabin mates shipboard so I know we’ll get along pretty well. Betty is a bit shorter than I, quite sturdier, with dark hair and a pretty smile. I’ll get some pictures as soon as possible and sen them. Yes, Daddy I would appreciate all the film you can get 616 size. I’ve a roll already.

We went to the native village close by which was most interesting. The Javanese seemed a bit cleaner and more tidy than the others around. Civilization was surprisingly apparent— even a sewing machine. Few of them wear clothes although occasionally there comes out a modern dress or trousers. Those who have preceded us have spoiled the natives so much that prices are now terribly high. The 7 or 8 year old with whom I tried doing business for a bamboo flute would take nothing but a flashlight. The disease among them made my heart ache. To think of the [unreadable] we had for our nursery children with a slight cold or cut and there to find these tots so scrawny and covered with filth and disease. I dare say they must all know how to swim at an early are or if many must drown because the tiniest take out their native boats— hollowed out trees— with no older person along.

When we arrived the children came up singing Pistol Packing Mama. There were three American bicycles too.

The English words most commonly spoken were candy, gum, cigarettes. George, Charlie—seven taught them mine. Most of their eyes sparkled when you spoke to them but several of the children were blind already.

I’ve been swimming everyday in the lovely mountain pool. It rains about everyday but we go anyhow. This may not last forever. Think I’ll write to Ruth Chenoweth and ask her to get me a bathing suit in Chicago—I know they are scare around my house— made version won’t carry long at the rates.

Jan 22.

Bettie came back to see me Sat. night and stayed until Tom and Fran came up in the evening. Bettie is doing secretarial work in due of the offices and isn’t very about it. Several other girls are there too but they are supposed to be assured of a transfer by April. I hope we can manage to get back together again because we have had such fun. Certainly do miss Bettie but until I leave for my permanent assignment we can call each day. The telephone exchanges are all worth a good laugh. Must make a note of them for future reference.

Mother, I need Khaki thread which can not be purchased here. Will you please send me a couple spools of light khaki— like their khaki shirts—summer dress type— by air mail. Think you can send several ounces that way and we need it badly. Much altering is needed at present. I still have only due pain of khaki trousers to wear but hope to do better in the near future.

We haven’t had any more mail but understand that some some is coming to us today. I’m hoping because I’m sure there is more on its way.

Melissa’s birthday is almost here. I’m wondering just where she is by now and how soon you’re expecting her.

I was thrilled to hear from Jim Myers even if it were a [unreadable] Sound as if his experiences are many and varied.

Looking forward to hearing from you and to writing again soon.

Lovingly, Jean