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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: WV0383.4.019

Description: Reeves describes the reaction to Roosevelt's death and the good news from the German front. She also describes her painting activities, room decorating, and a visit to the the impressive NCO club. She again notes that the club is closed to Australians and their method spreading the news about the new policy, which has resulted in a "smaller but more congenial crowd."

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,

Guess I don’t write often enough because I can’t remember the no. From now on I’ll write it down so you won’t be all confused.

Just got some more back mail— one written just after Daddy got back from Ohio, telling about proposed plans. Glad to know what you have thought of and am anxious to know how everything is shaping up.

At the first of the week the club was closed to Australians so we are having a smaller but more congenial club. We made big signs—the head of a Yank-to send to each unit to announce the news. Then made out a program of our activities for two weeks.

My painting goes in spurts. First the synthetic paint wouldn’t spread smoothly on masonite so I had to I had to sand and repaint with a lead paint. While I was all stuck up just continued on chairs, bowls, racks, boxes, etc. but it doesn’t dry on that. Now for turpentine and rags, oh my! But with all the difficulties I did get the dressing table flounce of blue linen covered with very fine silk parachute finished. How feminine we feel now. When our (chaise lounge gets built it will be really alright. Think I’ll make blue spreads for our beds too so we don’t have so many colors. They are now a red tweedish affair.

Thursday night Betty and I went to the NCO club with our detail boys. They have been pleading so and we can only go on special occasions. Don’t remember whether I wrote you about their fancy setup. Much, much nicer than the Officer’s Club. They have a band there times a week, lots of tables covered with clean cloths, pretty bar over which while they sell coke. Used to sell liquor but they aren’t allowed to anymore.

Have you seen the movie “National Velvet"? It’s an excellent horse story with Mickey Rooney, a darling young brunette girl and the cutest freckled face boy. His actions often reminded me of Jimmy.

Doug must be sitting up by now. I have been looking at my one little picture and wishing I could see him as well as the rest of you.

The men all regret Roosevelt’s death. We heard the news only 14 hours afterwards, I believe. The club was extremely quiet and each one seemed to be wondering what Truman would do. The opinion is that he should follow Roosevelt’s plan but all are skeptical.

The war news in Germany especially is good. Many of the men are talking about their celebration when Germany is defeated and telling what happened when the false rumor came through. We expected a USO show last Wednesday but they just got in. Don’t know what their specialty is as yet. For a while we decided they had passed us up but haven’t.

I am enclosing some pictures showing you Tom’s house. When we get finished we’ll send some too. This other picture is Tom’s officers about a year ago when he was living in the coconut grove up the road. He is the one to the extreme left. None of the other officers are here now.

You’re probably all having a big dinner— chicken or something. I had tomato soup, peas, baked potato which was a cross between a white & sweet, picked beets, canned meat of some kind and apricots. Better than we’ve been having for a couple weeks.

Thinking of you, Lovingly, Jean

Please have Carson’s send me some new books.