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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: WV0383.4.025

Description: Reeves describes her new club's food items, layout, activities and games, in addition to her new quarters and clothes.

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,

Down in the club waiting for it to open at 9:30. Can’t quite understand why we came down at 7:30 to do the cleaning because we’re through about 9:00. Here there is none of the running around for supplies that we had before. Since there is a commissary they requisition and pick up all supplies. They cut all bread and prepare sandwich spreads so that making up 30-40 loaves shouldn’t be such a job especially with a detail of five men. They have never served coffee until Marie and I started and my how the boys are appreciating that hot bit of delicious liquid. We’ll have sandwiches 5 times a week and doughnuts once, guess we’ll serve cookies when the commissary is closed.

The men have only been here a short time and are mainly interested in writing letters. I am to be in charge of programs however. Last night we played Bingo giving out cigarettes, beer, cash prizes and several silly ribbons that the fellows rigged up. About 4 officers had been helping around and put some very clever ideas into effect. Now have caricatures of the “Staff and Stuff” which one of them made. Another wrote clever verses and a third plays the piano.

Tonight we’re having a ping pong tournament and one time a week they vie for bridge honors. Don’t think we can do much in the way of talent nights because we don’t get well enough acquainted with men in a couple weeks. Perhaps Betty will come play the piano for us sometimes.

Now for a brief résumé of the quarters. Will draw a picture on the back as I did of the club. Our rooms are about 12’x8’ with 2 hospital beds, a chair, small dressing table and combination closet & shelves without drawers or covering. Tom is going to redo our lights so we have a lighted dressing table again. I can use my iron here- already have a 3 prong plug on it.

We just got our dress slack uniforms Thursday. They are sort of rose gray tan— what a description. There is a slight bit of wool in them, I believe. The material is very hard to press. Now that I’m where we can wear anything I have just gotten 3 new pair of slacks and 2 shirts. Oh well, I can save my khakis for another place where the strictest of uniforms must be observed.

The swimming water here can not be drunk without chlorination so a water truck comes around to fill up your water cans each day.

Stationary is now being rationed in the club— 3 sheets to an envelope. No matches to give away and a shortage of cards.

I have already cut out my shorts, Melissa. Are they smooth. Tom said to tell you he likes you and highly approves of your tastes in clothes.

One of the girls was supposed to come up with us, didn’t feel very well and now has had some kind of operation. Will go to see her when I go back down today.

We are situated in a river valley here with mountains on both sides of us. Very pretty but already I’m missing the water.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day again. Always a big celebration. So many mothers among you that Daddy and Forest will be the only one left to get the dinner. I’ll be thinking of you too.

Lovingly, Jean