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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: WV0383.4.061

Description: Reeves describes her birthday celebration in detail, including dinner at the admiral's, a dance, and her gifts.

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:

Your letter of January 3rd just arrived, Mother, telling me about my Christmas cards. I had been wondering by whom I had been remembered so that I could drop them each a note. Yes, wasn’t that note from the Marshalls a clever idea. That must have been Terry Sue hanging up the clothes. Hadn’t heard from Marilyn Carpenter for ages- her two boys probably do keep her busy.

That reminds me how is Melissa getting along with her two babies? I’d love to see a picture of Douglas. Suppose she’ll send me one soon.

My birthday was complete, except that I didn’t hear from any of the family. Your letter was here but not available to me until today, so I did at least have some consolation and hope.

First of all Lottie and George (two shipboard friends) came up about three to take me down to see Bettie and have a big party. I had to break up those plans when the Admiral’s invitation to dinner arrived. Perhaps I told you Saturday that they brought me a whole box of candy bars, a carton of gum, and a jeep hat. How much I hated to tell them I couldn’t go, but there was nothing to do but to tell them. I went back and rested for the evening.

Dinner was at seven with all the celebrities on hand. We went to our Counsellor’s hut for a chat with the Admiral and then on to the Admiral’s quarters where we chatted with a visiting Captain and Admiral. When seven arrived we promptly started towards the dining room and met the Aids and Captains. I sat at the right of the Admiral’s Aid while we ate roast beef, sweet potatoes, green beans, —forgot the fruit cup— and then the lights went out. No immediate screams, but plenty of exclamations as two beautiful cakes were brought on the scene. Hilda’s had pink candles and mine yellow, the right number for my 25th anniversary.

We each cut our cake and served those around us. The accompanying strawberry ice cream was delicious, as well as the cake. Demitasse was served in the vestibule afterwards and then we practiced our dart shooting. One would hardly expect this informality but it was lots of fun. Dinner is officially over at 8:30 and the time had passed very rapidly.

When we went back to the hut all the girls and their dates had assembled for another party. The stewards had wrapped our cakes for us to take with us, so they all enjoyed some of that while Hilda and I opened our gifts. The girls had really gone down in their luggage for special gifts which included a bracelet, mirror, petunia seeds (which I think I’ll grow in my helmet), stationary, hankies, etc. The packages were wrapped in everything from Kleenex to Christmas paper, with string, thread and ribbons for trying. The 7th Fleet was having a dance that evening so we went to the officer’s club from there. During the evening a terrible rain came up and when it was time to go home we had trouble keeping our silk jersey dresses dry. Jeeps, weapon carriers, and trucks are no conveyance for people dressed in such clothes but just to see yourself in them occasionally does you and everyone else good. The evening ended in the mess hall with a very nice buffet supper. That certainly was one birthday that I never will forgot.

Got to see Bettie again last night and everytime I’m afraid it will be the last. She doesn’t care much about the office work but will probably be moving before too long and will take it all in her stride.

I got some pictures back which I took of the natives and of our swimming pool. They came out very well. That’s a good box camera. Just hope that I will be able to get enough film to make the story interesting. I’ve finished my second roll now. Yes, Daddy I would surely appreciate it if you can get me some film, in fact all you can get in size 616. Thanks for trying!

Excuse mistakes, You see I don’t get a chance at a typewriter very often, but when I do I make good use of it, helps me to keep just a little bit in practice.

This is a very special letter about which I’ll tell you more later. Hope that you are all well. Expect that Daddy is back from Ohio and I’m wondering what his decision will be. Will you move back or not?

Lovingly yours, Jean