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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Janet Muriel Mead to Bud, 16 December 1944

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Object ID: WV0389.4.003

Description: Mead writes to her brother of the rigors of WAVES training. In particular, she gives details about her coding classes, "radio shack watch," and "field night" cleaning duties. She explains that the base where she is currently stationed is downsizing, and that her civilian code instructors are being transferred away.

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Collection: Janet Muriel Mead 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: DEAR BUD,

WHAT A SURPRISE TO GET ANOTHER LETTER FROM YOU, AND I’M SURE GLAD YOU TOKE MY NONE TO[O] GENTLE HINT (IT WASN’T VERY GENTLE, WAS IT?) TO WRITE ME AGAIN. AS FAR AS LETTERS WERE CONCERNED-I HAD BEGIN TO THINK BEFORE I GOT YOUR LAST (THE ONE BEFORE THIS ONE) THAT I DIDN'T HAVE A BROTHER, BUT I JUST DECIDED THAT BOYS DON’T LIKE TO WRITE. YOU WRITE A DARN NICE LETTER--SO YOU SHOULD KEEP IN PRACTICE.

I’M WRITING THIS IN OUR CODE PERIOD...AS YOU CAN TELL FROM THE HEADING THAT I GOT ALL SET FOR IT ANYWAY. THE CODE INSTRUCTORS SUDDENLY DECIDED WE NEEDED A LITTLE RELAXATION--AND SO WE ARE LISTENING TO SOME “SOLID JIVE” SENT THROUGH OUR EAR PHONES FROM THE RADIO. WE TAKE CODE LOTS OF TIME FROM THE LOWER FREQUENCY STATIONS BUT IT HAS ALL THE STATIONS ON SO WE CAN PICK UP ALL THE HIGHER FREQUENCY BROADCASTS SUCH AS MUSIC AND REGULAR PROGRAMS.

IT’S LOADS OF FUN AND WE DO IT ONLY ON VERY SUDDEN INSPIRATIONS FROM THE CODE TEACHERS, AND THEY AREN’T NAVY--BUT CIVILIANS. IT SEEMS AS IF THE NAVY OFFICERS DON’T APPROVE OF MOMENTARY RELAXATIONS.

I JUST FINISHED A 3 HOUR (SOLID) OF RADIO SHACK WATCH. IT [IS] LOADS OF FUN, BESIDES THE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE IT GIVES US. WE HAVE TWO OF THEM A WEEK--AND USUALLY LOOK FORWARD TO THEM WITH A GREAT DEAL OF INSPIRATION. MY LOG SHEET LOOKED PRETTY NEAT TODAY, BUT THE FIRST TIME I STOOD WATCH IT LOOKED LIKE A MESS OF HEN-TRACKS.

LAST NIGHT, AS USUAL, WE HAD FIELD NIGHT--WHICH MEANS SCRUB THE OLD BUILDING FROM BASEMENT THROUGH THE SECOND FLOOR. AS MY JOB I BON-AMIED 86 WINDOW PANES--AND THEN WHEN THE BON-AMI WAS DRY I HAD TO POLISH IT OFF. IT SURE MAKES THE WINDOW SPARKLE, BUT MY HANDS LOOKED LIKE ONE OF DADDY’S PIECES OF SAND PAPER. OH, YES, AND I HAD A GEAR LOCKER (THAT’S WHERE WE STORE OUR CLEANING SUPPLIES) TO CLEAN BESIDES. WITH THAT ON TOP OF A DAY’S CLASS WORK--WE ARE ALL READY AND WILLINGLY TO HIT THE HAY AT TAPS.

OUR CODE TEACHERS ARE BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE WEST COAST SO THEY ARE LEAVING US WITHIN TWO WEEKS. THIS AFTERNOON THEY ARE HAVING OPEN HOUSE FOR ALL THE WAVES, OFFICERS, AND RATED PERSONAL LEFT HERE ON THE STATION. BESIDES THAT, I HAVE SCADS OF SHOPPING TO DO, AND OUR U.S.O. CHRISTMAS PARTY TODAY. THIS STATION IS GETTING PRETTY DEAD, AND WE’VE CLOSED ONE SIDE OF OUR MESS HALL--AND EVACUATED ONE DORM SO YOU CAN SEE HOW PERSONAL IS DIMINISHING.

THIS LETTER LOOKS LIKE A MESS, BUT I WANT TO FINISH IT BEFORE OUR CODE CLASS IS OVER WITH, AS I DON’T KNOW WHEN I WILL GET TO FINISH IT TODAY IF I DON’T. THIS DARNED TYPEWRITERS ARE NEVER CONDITIONED SO YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL COME OUT WHEN YOU HIT A KEY. I GOT A LETTER FROM BERL CLOUGH--THE DARNFOOL. IT SORT OF MAD ME MAD--CAUSE HE'S THE LAST PERSON I WANTED TO HEAR FROM ANYWAY--AND SECONDLY--ALL HE TOLD ME ABOUT WAS THE GIRLS HE HAD BEEN GOING WITH. I WILL ANSWER IT--BUT BOY WHAT A LETTER IT WILL BE!! SHALL I TELL HIM ALL ABOUT THE DATE I’VE HAD? YEA, WHAT DATES!!

THE DATES RUTH SENT ME FROM CALIFORNIA HAD BAD EFFECTS ON ME-AS I SPENT MOST OF MY SPARE MOMENTS--AND SOME OF THEM NOT SO SPARE-IN THE HEAD. THEY ARE THE BEST THING NEXT TO SAL HEPATICA I EVER USED. THE NUTS, CANDY, AND DATES ARE ALL GONE--BUT I WILL HAVE MY RIPE OLIVES LEFT. I’M GLAD THAT I’M ALMOST ALONE IN MY LOVE FOR THEM--AS THEY WOULD PROBABLY BE GONE, TOO, IF THEY WERE WELL LIKED.

SAY, ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE ME FOR A RIDE IN THAT ‘ER NEW CAR WHEN I COME HOME? YOU BETTER!!

WELL, BUD, THIS ISN’T VERY LONG—BUT IT’S ALMOST TIME TO BE SHOVING OFF--SO I’LL CLOSE NOW--SAYING “SO LONG” UNTIL I SEE YOU AT CHRISTMAS.

LOVE FROM YOUR SISTER.