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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to Melissa, 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.046

Description: Reeves describes a presidential ball and being caught in a rainstorm on the way there. Tom is shipping out and she is unsure when she might see him again. The majority of letter consists of Reeves relaying what she has heard about people they both know from home.

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 Melissa,

The lower half of the bathing suit arrived this afternoon. Haven’t had time to try it on but it looks darling. The colors are lovely, am looking forward to wearing it. The thread mother sent came too.

The lights blew out a few minutes ago but candle light is good. We have a lot of trouble here— maybe too many electrical appliances.

Sunday night’s ball was so exciting. Tom came for me after work and we had a nice trip in. Then about 8:00 we took off for the ball accompanied by Joe Swartzman whom we had known well at Lae. But the rain wanted to occupy all the spots we did and soon driving down Dewey Blvd. Tom declares he can’t go. Not only the rain but the ocean spray was beating on his side and getting him soaked in all the wrong spots. Joe was wet too but not so bad and my hair looked worse for the wear. Our only consolation coming from the fact that that what fell on us was not particular about race, color, or creed. Some did have closed autos though.

Getting inside the spacious Manila Hotel which is very close to the bay we are suddenly engulfed in mobs of people— GI’s, all ranks of officers, all races, civilians (Filipinos, Spanish, White Russians and even Americans). It was the civilian clothes which took the eye and kept our heads moving rapidly as if they were an automatic pivot. All the dresses have these large puffed sleeves out of a thin material. It makes no difference what the body of the dress is or its design. The floor show which was gala indeed—native dances, Hawaiian, Ballet, and the Evolution of the Filipino costume—lasted until midnight. While five bands took turns at jive, rhumba, tangos, waltzes, etc.– we danced until 3:00. When it finally ended I don’t know but think that our early breakfast was necessary probably.

This was given by Mrs. Osmena to build for the widows and children of Bataan and Corregidor. I was very thrilled about going and it looks as if it were a very a lovely end to Tom’s & my activities in Manila.

When he didn’t arrive tonight by 7:30 I began worrying and called him. His Sgt. Told me that they were about to leave— as yet I don’t know when but it will be only a matter of hours. Maybe I’ll get to go tomorrow to see him for a few hours at least or whenever he gets a spare moment. We’ve seen each other two months longer than we had expected but still I hate to have him leave. Who knows then how long before we will see each other but I’m hoping not over 4 or 5 months.

The Seiter’s wedding anniversary had slipped my mind and I feel terrible about that. Was so glad to hear about them— no one had commented lately.

What about Helen? She hasn’t written either. I’m all in favor of the family’s spreading again. But don’t let it worry you people. Mail doesn’t mean quite what it did when we first arrived or should I say that we had to become more patent about receiving it?

How was the fair? Don and Roy had a big time no doubt. Would like to have seen them.

I’ve just started reading “Lost Horizon” and am liking it very much.

Can you possibly get me some color film? There are so many beautiful colors here that you can never describe. Any film is appreciated, of course.

Don’t know whether I wrote about seeing Louis Reiger for a few minutes or not. He is in Navy Intelligence— on his way to Japan. Told me that Shad Dornans[?] had married & lives in Calif. Barb & Hal have a boy (Sept 3) Stephen Hal. Hal is already discharged and plans to start back to U of I this month. Barb said that Betty Stowe & Ed are on the East Coast. Dood finishes at Cornell this year.

Guess Myra is serious about an Annapolis man whom I met last fall. Her folks are having a fit because he is Catholic.

Rev. Carson has moved to Iowa. Kit is still in Alaska. Has a baby girl. Peg Ross is headed this way with the ARC. Betty Buck has been in S.A. with FBI for almost a year now.

Got a darling picture of Dune, Dolly and Howey. There are in Wash. State now. He was all set for Europe- then V-E day. Got to West Coast and then V-J day.

It must have been a year since hearing from Mike Milich but he came through again. Is back in Boston waiting to go out again.

Gossip, gossip. Well, honey, I’ll close for awhile.

Love, Jean