May 24, 1941,
I had no plans for this evening. Was taking a bath when Ed came up. He asked me to go to a show. We went to Hartford and saw Count Bernie Vici and his show and a picture “Redhead.” We stopped for ice cream and Ed brought me out a box full of surprise. I didn’t offer to pay for anything. It would have been embarrassing. I figure Jake asked Ed to look after me but he’s doing it too well lately. Asked me to go horseback riding tomorrow.
Just as things begin to settle back to normal, Jake reports his grief on getting the news.
May 21, 1941
I just got your letter telling me about “Stretch.” I still can’t believe it and don’t know what to say. The usual things people say just doesn’t fit in this case. I’m sorry for Natalie. I don’t have to tell you but stick around with her for a few days for as much as you can. Please tell her for me that god I don’t know what to say Emily really. Any trouble I’ve had flying seems so insignificant compared to what happened. You probably wont get this letter in time to send flowers from me so see my sister and get some money from her to pay for a mass at our church sometime in the near future. Tell Nellie that I’m getting a check from the state pretty soon and she can take it out of that. Please do this Emily and don’t pay for it yourself, O.K.? When you get a chance tell me more about what happened. It was darn sudden wasn’t it. I’d like to write Natalie but I’m afraid what I’d put on paper would not compare with how I feel. I just can’t express these things. Don’t you worry about it too much. I’m not trying to be rough but I think she should be able to get over it at least I hope so
Well I had a pretty good day flying today. This would have been my best day since I’ve been here except for what happened in Chicopee. However I’m glad you let me know instead of reading it in the paper. (I get papers everyday – Gift from Harry Taylor.) My instructor, the fellow whose picture I sent you is leaving Friday and I’d like to go solo ? before then because getting used to a new instructor isn’t going to be so easy. I’m starting to get a new lease on life now. You’d be surprised how 30 minutes of good or bad flying can effect your whole day. If I fly well in the morning the whole day seems rosy but if I have a bad day I start crying. Boy I really felt blue when I wrote that letter to you what I mean blue. Everything went wrong that day. It was pretty windy and the plane tossed around like a cork.
I’m sending you a pin (I didn’t forget see?) I hope I’m here long enough so you could wear it for some time. I’m not allowed to wear the pin until I’ve soloed but I think it’s O.K. for you to wear it. In fact I know it is. Be careful when you unclasp the catch. Put your fingernail in the back of the first circle and pull up and it will open. Please wear it. Bye and be careful – “Jake” XXXXXX
Handle with care (the fellow who sold me this said so) After I solo I will wear this on my collar with a U.S. pin-like this. You can wear it any way you please-you have my permission. I’m practically a general.
Of course, my first thought as well, no, I did not find the pin. It most likely is still around here or with the family somewhere.
I think it is so sweet how Natalie’s friends encircled her during this time. Even Jake miles away knows she needs her friends more than ever.