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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to her Father, 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.037

Description: Reeves wishes her dad a Happy Birthday, thanks him for looking after her finances, and is glad that he approves of Tom. She tells of the new canteen, a possible promotion, and her new watch. She also describes Tom's new living situation at an undisclosed location 65-70 miles away.

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 Daddy,

In just a week from Thursday you’re going to have to admit that another year has passed on but not that you're any older I wouldn’t say. No, all this high class farming makes you feel those boyhood days, doesn’t it?

You’re complete descriptions of reconversion were very good. Now I feel as if I really understand the improvements you’ve made on the place and what you’d still like to do.

Will be interested in hearing more about the chicken project but better yet would be having some. We have had said delicacy several times lately but nothing beats that home fried fryer. All those fresh foods you talk about are wonderful sounding. We get sweet potatoes here but this is an off season for vegetables. The rains came, you know.

How was the test proving your salesmanship? Hope there wasn’t too much theory ‘cause that’s a little hard to retain in the mind sometimes. Now when it comes to practicality I know they couldn’t beat you. I don’t know as I remember Mr. Long personally but do recall visiting his store when Mr. Waddell couldn’t fit me with some of that “Vitality” of his.

Mr. Banker, thank you for your detailed statement. You know I don’t remember that figure of my debit either but it was in the materials in that small file where my valuables were kept. Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to take your money while it’s there, invest it in our new home so you can all enjoy some other conveniences. Is my in a savings account where it is drawing interest, by any chance? I’m afraid I won’t be able to save much money here but at least won’t have to draw on my account back home. Do want to buy a few things but they are so very expensive it won’t be much.

Did I tell you I got a watch— Elgin nurse's style so that I can return Tom's. His was a good Longines which always worried me a bit for fear I’d do something to it. Paid 35 pesos— $17.50 for it— mine i.e.

No, Daddy, I didn’t feel important running my own club bit it was a welcome change which I enjoyed thoroughly. Before another week or so go by I’ll have a canteen on the strip with one girl under me. Will no doubt have several Filipino girls and a GI or 2 to supervise. Think I’ll enjoy a canteen as a change at least. You never know what you like until you try and I’m still working on your old philosophy of liking anything or anywhere if you go in with the proper attitude. My recommendation for promotion to an Able-Bodied Recreation Worker has gone in. If it is as slow in materializing as some I might be home before the $25—raise comes through. The important part, I feel, is that my work is approved and a bit of credit being shown. At least you feel like working harder when you know someone appreciates your attempts.

Tom has an awfully good answer to your letter about the origin of North Carolina if I can only get him to write it. Yes, he came to see me Sunday for the first time since we moved. He is 65-70 miles away living in an old apartment building with his 3 new officers. Says he could use Don too instead of them. His men live next door in another apt. house. Of course roofs and walls may be knocked out but they’re enjoying tile bathrooms. I’m very happy that he has found a number of old acquaintances because I don’t believe his officers will prove to be good friends— if they can just develop into good workers he will consider himself lucky.

Daddy, I’m glad you like the idea of an additional engineer in the family. Think you’ll like him just as well if not better than the idea. At least I hope so. Think you’ll like his disposition and personality— at least it’s awfully good for me especially when I’m almost made a mountain out of a mole hill. He’s an awfully good worker but accomplishes it in a different way than the Loudeuslagers[?] or Holdridges. Perhaps that is part of the background you mentioned or just the Southern comfort. He’s great on conveniences so we should be well taken care of there. Like Forest he is a good handyman and has learned a lot about improvisation during the war. I’ll wait to write the next installment before this one gets boring to those who don’t know the character so well.

Daddy, honey, since I haven’t found a suitable big, fat present for you would you mind being content with this set of pictures for awhile at least? These were taken in the club at Nadzab. The negatives I’ll try to explain so you’ll understand when you see them. Those of me in my white shorts and 2 of the natives are taken at Salamaua where we took an all day boat trip. The one with the 4 girls was there also— Gen Gay, Gertrude Schumacker, Marie Register and Jeanne Dagit in it. Betty and Pat are the two in the near embrace. The other 2 are of Betty and me in our parachutes skirts, taken down by our rec hall at Lae.

Hoping you have a Happy Birthday and many more. Do write again soon Daddy, so nice hearing from you.

Lovingly yours, Jean