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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: WV0383.4.006

Description: Jean Holdridge Reeves recaps her correspondence with friends and family and inquires after mutual acquaintances. She provides more details of her birthday party and mentions dinner with the admiral and a dance. Reeves still awaits permanent assignment.

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 Folks,

Your letter of Jan. 3 just arrived mother telling me all about my Christmas cards. I had been wondering by whom I’d been remembered so that I could drop them each a note. Yes, wasn’t the note from the Marshalls a clever idea. That must have been Terry Sue hanging up clothes. Hadn’t heard from Marilyn Carpenter for ages— her 2 boys probably did keep her busy.

That reminds me, how is Melissa getting along with the babies? I’d love to see a picture of Douglas. Maybe George thought she named him for her boy so was sending the box to you in compensation. It’s awfully sweet of her to remember us again.

Will you please send Willard’s package to me? So it very big He wrote that he had sent it and wanted me to write for my birthday present. I wish he wouldn’t keep showering me with gifts. Heavens! My birthday was complete except that I didn’t hear from any of the family. Your letter was here but not available to me until so I did have a bit of consolation and hope

First of all Lottie and George (a shipboard friends) came about 3:00 to take me down to see Bettie and have a big party. I had to break up those plans when the admiral’s invitation to dinner arrived. Perhaps I told you Saturday that they brought me a whole box of candy bars, a carton of gum, and a jeep hat. How much I hated to tell them I couldn’t go but went back and rested for the evening. Dinner was at 7:00 with all the celebrities on hand. We went to our councilor’s hut for a chat with the admiral and then on to the Admiral’s quarters where we chatted with a visiting captain and admiral. When 7:00 arrived we promptly started towards the dining room and met the aids and captains. I sat at the admiral’s aid’s right while we ate roast beef, sweet potatoes, greenbeans— forgot the fruit cup— and then the lights went out. No screams but immediate exclamations as two cakes appeared on the scene. Hilda’s had pink candles and mine yellow for 25 years. We each cut our own cake and served those around us. The accompanying strawberry ice cream was delicious too. Deuitasse[?] was served in the vestibule afterwards and then we practiced our dart shooting. You would hardly expect this informality but it was lots of fun. Dinner is officially over at 8:30 and the time had passed very rapidly. When we went back to the hut all the girls and their dates had assembled for another party. The stewards had wrapped our cakes to take with us so we all enjoyed some of that while Hilda and I opened our gifts. The girls had really gone down in their luggage for special remembrances which included a bracelet, mirror, petunia seeds (think I’ll grow theme in my helmet) stationary, hankies. Packages were wrapped in everything from Kleenex to Christmas paper with string, thread and ribbons for trying. The 7th fleet was having a dance that evening so went to the officer’s club from there. During the evening a terrible rain came up and where it was time to go home we had trouble keeping our silk jersey dressed day. Jeeps, weapons carriers and trucks are no conveyances for people dressed in such clothes but just to see yourself in them occasionally does you and everyone else a lot of good. The evening ended with a very nice buffet supper for everyone in the mess hall. That’s certainly one birthday I’ll never forget.

We’ve been sweating out transportation for about three weeks so perhaps it won’t be long now. There is another group in which will have to been taken care of too. Some of the girls from our class are in it I understand.

Got to see Bettie again last night and every-time I’m afraid it will be the last. She doesn’t care much about the office work but will probably be moving before too long and will take it all in her stride.

I got some pictures back which I took of the natives and our swimming pool. They came out very well. That’s a good boy camera. Just hope I’ll be able to get enough [unreadable] to make the story complete. I’ve finished my second roll now.

This is a very special letter about which I’ll tell you more later. Hope you are all well. Expect Daddy is back from Ohio and I’m wondering what his decision is. Lovingly yours, Jean