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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Marie Cody to Don, 14 March, 1945.

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Object ID: WV0157.4.001

Description: Cody writes of how easy it is to misunderstand things in letters and how hard it is to have a serious discussion through them. She wishes to be transferred to Alaska or Hawaii and discusses potential husbands, especially Larry.

Creator: Marie Cody

Biographical Info: Marie Cody served in the U.S. Navy WAVES during World War II.

Collection: Marie Cody 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: My dear Don,

If my pen could write as fast as my mind is working this afternoon, you would have before you a letter just pages in length and filled to the end with news and dreams of mine. That's exactly the way I feel this afternoon. "In the Spring," they say, "a young man's fancy turns to anything that's passing," Well, it's Spring-like today and such a day! Makes it difficult on a person to do much real work but we plugged away without getting too much accomplished. Guess it wasn't just the Spring that made working a hard-ship but the added distraction of carpenters at work in our office, hammering away like mad, dust from the plaster flying in every direction! Quite a day! Then I came back to the barracks to get my mail and found your letter of the 10th waiting for me. From such an indication, I'd say that the day turned out very nicely after all.

My child, I'm afraid I'm going to have to get rough with you so better relax. It's in regards to your last paragraph in which you tell me to "to be sure and do the same." Something to do with being good in my blue p.j.'s. I'm wondering why you are thinking otherwise - better get rid of any thoughts, Laddie, except those that are real nice. Sometime, if and when we meet, I can properly read you off but it's hard in letters and folks are so often apt to misunderstand. Perhaps, I'm misunderstanding your letter.

You asked about this Hawaii deal, Honey. Well, it's quite simple and goes something like the usual tale. I've been awfully contented in my work and feel that both the Navy and I have gained a lot in the past two years. I've given my job all I've got and, in return, have received that peculiar thrill of self-satisfaction in seeing a job rise from infancy to a well-working, efficient system under your hard work. That job is now set-up, becoming routine - so the "grass looks greener" over in Hawaii, or my first preference - Alaska. The same kind of work - on a smaller scale - is at both places, waiting for someone to do it. Soo! Mac, the brains in our set-up, is anxious to leave, too, and I'm quite sure that he will get orders for whichever site I happen to be ordered to. Don dear, I have nothing here that makes it necessary for me to stay. Mother will miss me, and so will the children. God knows how much I'll miss them but yet, they will understand. You see, they are used to the idea by now of my streak of restlessness or wanderlust or whatever you call it and, happily for me, tolerate it.

If I were married to a man overseas, or had the real idea of becoming so early in the future, I would never give it a tho't [sic]. Yet, sometime in the next few years, I guess I will marry a "guy named Joe." I've told you about him, I know, Don. Yes, I'll write him and tell him "yes" --- just as soon as I can for two days straight without thinking of a man I know by the name of Lawrence E. Downey. Don, you know what love is, or rather what it's supposed to be, because you have it. Your girl, Lad, - does she seem like a burning thought that's in your mind all the time, or more like that of a comfy old shoe - it fits so well and is never any bother. Joe is ideal and every time I think of him, it's with such a warm, comfortable feeling. On the other hand, a chap named Larry is there, always - whether consciously or sub-consciously and I don't know what to do about it. You know, Don, it's times like - well, when you awaken in the morning and see the beautiful blue sky, a few little clouds lending beauty and glory to a sunrise, hear birds saying their "Good-morning" prayers, - it's times like that when I should say "Joe, isn't it beautiful today!," instead of "Look at the world, Larry; isn't it good to be alive!" I talk to him all the time, when I'm out for a walk; when I hear a funny little joke, I make a mental note to tell him about it; when a plane goes by he's near. A million little ways! You are like him sometimes but the times are few and far between. Perhaps that's good because this way you are definitely an individual so far as I am concerned. Guess if you were unattached, being a girl and coquettish by nature, I would never tell you of my day-dreams about Larry but would rather flirt with you outrageously, even if it is only by letters. As it is, I do now quite a bit - but you do, too, so it's quite mutual. I'll stop this tale, Dear - can't afford to lose your letters - they have grown to mean too much to me.

You mentioned in your letter that your Mother hasn't been hearing from me as much as she used to. Oddly enough, I wrote her a real long letter last night. She must be a very wonderful person, Hon; I'm so anxious to meet her, and Merrill Dean and Wanda Mae. Yes, it will be quite a day when and if we all meet. Do your share to make it possible, Lad - and you can betcha I'll do mine!

Well, time to say 'bye for now. I'm going to Church tonight but wanted to get this off to you before leaving. It's early for me to say it but anyway Good-nite, Dear One, and sweet dreams to you.

Love, Marie

P.S. Surprised? If so, I, too, will thin it out a bit.