“Flaming Blonde”

In the last post the passage Babu wrote in her journal on June 4th mentioned that she got a letter from Jakey asking her to come down. Here is the passage:

June 4, 1941,

Jakey had a perfect announcement of his solo flight in the paper tonight.  John Bartula came up tonight and asked me to play tennis Saturday.  Got a letter from Peach asking me to come down at the end of the month.  Played the piano at choir rehearsal again.  Spike drove me home.  He also asked me to go to the formal with him.  I refused.  I may be in Alabama; but I may ask J.L.

Spike, you are not it. Just get over her as impossible as that may seem!

And here is the letter:

 June 1, 1941,

Dear Meeches,

     Well another week has come and gone and I’m still in the Air Corps.  I hope I can start my letters to you in the same manner for the next 8 or nine months.  I’m glad to hear that Bonneville Avenue is getting prosperous with all those new cars.   Do you mean Benny Grczynski-I thought he was in New York.  There isn’t any new car in front of the Stefanik’s or the Kwoleck’s yet is there?

Saturday afternoon, the upper class left for Gunter Field, Alabama and our cass became the official upper class.  The dodos haven’t arrived as yet but we’re pretty certain that when they do come they will be composed of Englishmen.  However, we’ve moved to barracks number I and have individual rooms.  I and another Springfield boy Franny Deneault have a room all to ourselves.  It is a nice, airy room with 3 windows, 2 double bunks, a dresser, 2 closets, 2 tables, and lamps.  I have the colored picture you sent tucked into a corner of the lamp and every time I look up I see you smiling at me.  Saturday morning I got 2 gigs from the lieutenant for dirty brass.  That means that my wings were not polished well enough.  If you rub them really hard with a cloth we have called the “Blitz cloth” they shine like gold.  In order to keep this shine the job has to be done every day.  You’re lucky you can wear your wings any way you please and there is no one around who can “gig” you for it.

I went to this midway finally last Saturday night around 75% of the class was there also a couple of the army lieutenants, instructors and teachers (ground school.)   I had a few beers and as usual was able to get home under my own power.  The place is just a glorified barn.  Glorified isn’t the word though.  Everything is very plain and not too clean but everyone goes there as it is the only place around.  Saturday was quite a day.  We also get paid.  I got $136.75 for my first months pay.  Sounds like a pretty good salary but wait till I tell you.  We got this money in one window and it was taken away in the next.  They took out board and room, uniform expense, athletic equipment, canteen, N+W drug store for glasses, etc., etc., etc.  I cleared exactly 35.00 and that was tops.  The lowest was a boy who cleared 2.00.  He said he wrote his mother right away saying:  I got paid today ma, send me some money.  

I took some more pictures Sunday but I don’t know how they’ll come out as I was experimenting with close ups.  I also have a magazine called Fins and Flippers which I will mail to you sometime soon.  This “mag” is all about the upper class but it does list the dodoes.  Our class is starting to work on their “mag” already and will try to outdo the upper class in every way.  

One of the boys who “washed out” last week is still around.  He has his own car and lives in town.  He’s waiting for someone else to “wash out”  because he wants company on his way home.  No one here doubts the fact that he’ll have plenty of company as a lot of the boys are having army check rides tomorrow and not many pass their checks once the instructors recommend a pupil for elimination. 

I don’t remember whether I told you or not but I got a letter from Edmund last week.  As far as his going out with you is concerned, I didn’t ask him to keep an eye on you and you don’t have to flatter yourself my “flaming blonde” (you called yourself that, remember?)  Anybody would be glad to go out with you- I know.  Because I was since the first day I went out with you.  By golly I’d give the remains of my first month’s salary to have a date with you next weekend.  I’m going to try and save most of it and if I’m still here by the end of this month I wish you could come down to see me.  We will have a few days between the time we leave here and the time we report for basic training.  I may be counting chickens before they are hatched but I’m going to look forward to the day when I see you stepping off a train.  You better hold onto your hat that day.  I’d rather come home to see you but we wont have enough time I’m sure.  The present class has three days vacation.  Gosh I hope this comes true, Emily- we’d have a swell time.  I suppose I shouldn’t be making plans about until I’m sure about it but what do you think of the idea anyway?  Let me know whatever you think one way or the other and don’t be afraid to say “no” if you can’t make it.  You better not say “no” though because by that time I’ll be pretty desperate and I’ll see you if I have to fly to Chicopee.  

I just went for a drink of water and on the way back I got very lonesome.  I miss you Emily.  I can’t tell you how much.  What were you doing at exactly 17 minutes to 11 (your time) 8:43 (our time) Sunday night? I’ve been looking at your picture for 5 minutes now and it seems very real and lifelike. I believe I kissed you because your lips are smudged a bit. You’ll have to remake them before you go out again. Gee, what an imagination I have, I don’t know what I’d do without it. 

I have to get ready for bed now-I hope I have a good day flying tomorrow. If I made 7 perfect landings and takeoffs by myself my instructor said I can take a plane out from the immediate vicinity of the field and practice anything I want all by myself. When one the boys in the upper class was allowed to do this he flew to Birmingham where he has a girlfriend and started stunting near her home.  He was “washed out.”  There’s no danger of my doing this as I have no girlfriend closer than 1,300 miles and you know her very well-she’s a “flaming blonde”- well that’s what she said anyway.

Goodnight my peaches,

XXXXXXXXX

This one smudged the lipstick. 

I really, really wish I could read the letter in which she referred to herself as a “flaming Blonde” and I really wish they could get straight who is “Peaches” and who is “Meeches.” That, however, is my only criticism. They are too. friggin’. cute.

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