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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: WV0383.4.020

Description: Jean Reeves reports that she had dengue fever, comments on familial concerns, discusses literature, and mentions some personal relationships.

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,

Got Daddy’s swell long letter while I was passing away long hours in the hospital. Just had a slight case of dengue fever which is not a serious disease. Like malaria, you get it from mosquito bites, you have a high fever and perspire terribly but do not have the trembles that go with malaria. There is no cure and very little relief for the disease which gradually wears itself out. Then when it has you are immune from anywhere from 6 months to a lifetime.

Sounds as if you enjoyed your visiting but as I have said before can’t see why you didn’t do it when you had all the time in the world. How were Fay and Florence? Certainly would like to have see[n] Auntie and Uncle Ned.

No, Daddy, I know nothing about Jim S. except what other people have written as I have heard nothing from him since August. Guess that’s a closed book as it should have been a long time ago. Water over the dam though. Now you can start wondering about someone else. Before I came over I quite agreed with you on the “civilian life” idea and still plan to carry it out. At least I wouldn’t marry over here even if I did feel he was the right man. I’m sure you would all like Tom— very sensible, thoughtful, well-liked by his men and the officers.

I sent you a couple pictures in my last letter which aren’t too good and then someone sat on them besides. Will send you a good picture when we can get some more prints.

It’s really been funny with Tom and Betty outdoing themselves to see which one could iron my p.j’s the nicer. Wear my red nightshirt except for visiting hours (2 to 4) then it is on the line getting dried out. The boys at the dental clinic brought me flowers every morning. Read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, “Keys to the Kingdom”, “Lady in the Morgue” and “Pastoral”. You know the Omnibook is a good magazine. You could send me one of those now and then. An excellent way to keep by with you reading without having to plow through so many pages.

You in overalls, Daddy. That wouldn’t look so bad again. Better take a picture of yourself in that new hat. It sounds like one of those “supper dupper” jobs.

I’ve written Jim about three times that I’m in N.G. but will try again. If I get up in the Philippines I certainly will start hunting him up. Have sent several messages with persons going that way but chances are they’ll never run across him. Just got a letter yesterday from him telling me how we might contact each other by radio— if I can get closer to him. We’ll keep trying. At least it’s something to look forward to.

Guess I can tell you that we came on a converted passenger ship— evidently had been quite nice. Seven of us girls in a small cabin but with fresh water 1½ hours each day and plenty of sat water we managed nicely. Guess there were around 5,000 of us struggling along together but all of us had three meals a day. Even if they did start for some at 6:00. We had no excitement at all until ready to land and that was insignificant. It was good to see some land after 15 days out. Do hope I get home with my notes because you can never remember all the funny things.

Will be looking for “The Fighting Lady” Saw "Frisco Sal” last night but was not too favorably impressed. USO show wasn’t bad and there’s another one on its way— thinks it’s “Hellzapoppin” which we saw at the 7th Fleet.

I am to make the bride and groom for for the top of the cake. The wedding isn’t coming off until a week from Sun. So will have more time to do the deed— must find some more materials too.

If you have any other questions just let me know— always open for ideas [and?] answering.

Wondering if the ARC man from Cleveland ever called Kay.

Perhaps you’ll go to Grandpa’s for his birthday and if you do give him a kiss for me.

Lovingly, Jean