As Walt says, he tries to write as much as he can think of to respond to the letters he received, so this letter might seem to ramble a bit, but the main focus is on his relationship with Ruth.
When he mentions how much he likes the way she ended a letter, I think he means this ending that I ran across a while ago and wrote about in the post “another voice.” I hope, when I get to those letters Walt saved of Ruth’s, that I can put links to them where they fit into the ones he wrote, but what are the chances that I can get the dates and content to match?
If some sentences don’t make sense to you, they don’t to me either, but Walt appears to be writing in a fast stream of consciousness style, although I don’t think I have all those dashes in my consciousness. I’d be interested to know if he had a frenetic personality and demeanor at the age of 22.
A transcript follows the letter images.
Jan 25, 1942.
Am I lucky:—I recieved two letters from you today—one from Mom—and one from Aunt Ruth. I also recieved “On Guard.” And thank Beach, if you see him—I appreciate it a lot.
The picture is a beauty—and why shouldn’t it be—you are too. I think I will send the little one back as I might lose it—and perhaps you might want it worse then I—Unh?
I’m telling you—Your picture is wonderful—I am looking at it now—I bet I could almost write a sonnet—If I was the type.
If I can find a way to keep it with me without hurting it—I will carry it all the time. But I sure would hate to break it. I’m glad you are getting a miniature of yourself—you can just look [or lock] there together till I get back.
You couldn’t of gave a better answer to Slim’s message—I liked it a lot.
I don’t mind Twila reading my cards—as she is a friend of yours and you use your judgment with the letters—but I believe you are right. If you want Twila to read them O.K.—I think everybody should have some one to talk to. Unh.
I don’t think much of Alice’s idea—And your opinion of the ring sure makes me feel good.—Ya’ Know—I really like your letters—”Keep em comin.”
I sure am glad Ruby graduated—Tell them all “hello” and I will write them a card later.—
Do you know what I just did—I picked up your letters.—picture—etc.—Moved out side the barracks and am sitting in the sun—I think I will write every thing I can think of as I “gyped” you the last couple of days. Sorry—It seems the more I write (illegible cross out) the more I think of.
I’m sure no one can think of a better way to end a letter—the first one you sent I whooped and jumped straight into the air. And kissed it then and there.
I think the Letters on the envelope are pretty slick.—When I first saw them I (illegible cross out) couldn’t think what they were.
Starting on your next letter.:—
And “Honey” I’ll excuse your writing—Holy Smoke,—you read mine don’t you—anybody that will read mine is a genius.
I guess Mom was pretty “broken up”—I guess I can understand that—She always did everything she could do for me. Thanks a million for writing to her.—She wrote me a very nice letter.
I also appreciate your sending clippings and such—it gives me a little news—Unh?
I hope you managed to get your sleep after forgetting whatever you were going to tell me.
Ya Know how you are when you forget something—can’t sleep—Ha.
So Ruby got a birthstone ring—Well that is nice—Y’know I kind of liked that Howard—from what I saw of him.
Say Honey—that stick of gum was very thoughtful of you—As it seemed like we were together—and also—I needed a chew. Ha.
Honey—If you would like to have our engagement announced—You go right ahead and do it—I can’t think off anybody I would rather be engaged to—You can broadcast it if you want to.
That was a pretty good crack about Nat’l. Defense.
I would sure like to be with you listening to “Bing” it would seem like old times. Unh? And tho I argue a lot of Penna, It never could have produced a girl like my girl—She’s the bestest, sweetest girl in the world.
And by the way—if you want a suit get a suit—You can dress for me Easter—and in my mind I’ll see you—You would be perfect in Orchid and with them also. Just talking Honey—Although I mean it—Don’t spend if you haven’t got it—Someday I’ll buy them—And you’ll look like a Queen.
Oh yes—Slim is married and has a little boy—in W.V.—He’s a pretty good guy—but—Y’know what I mean He’s alright. But he and I don’t agree—He says I out to “step out”—But not me—When I have a girl who’s true to me—I’ll be just as true to her.
I wish we were as lucky as the your colored girl friend—I sure do.
Your mother sure has “vision” when she thinks of cig. I think she alright—she tries to be fair and anything she does probably is the result of worring. Unh.
I love you too H0ney
1 second later:—
It is sure a beautiful day in Kansas—sky is very blue—a few light-clouds are floating by—it is perfect—and I hope it is in Ohio too.
It is days like this these, that make me wish I was back with you—then we could wipe the smallest clouds from the sky—Unh—this afternoon 5 of us fellows went up on the Rimrock and took some snapshots. If they turn out O.K. I will send you some. Would you like to see me in uniform>
I took a fellow from Eastern Kentucky this morning and taught him to left and right flank—the Corp—has been trying all week but couldn’t—They are very sensitive—and independent and you have to be careful—But if you get one to like you—they would do anything for you.
I don’t remember whether I’ve told you anything about the Camp or not—We have the best of eats—that is considering the amount of men they feed. Barracks are comfortable about 24 men up and 24 down—Sweep and mop every morn.—but Sun. and then we just sweep.—but on Friday nite we have to move all the beds and scrub.—Clothes have to be hung right and in order—Bed has to be made just so—and—what I mean—Your shoes really
have to shine—All 18 inches of them. period.” No dust is allowed—Windows have to be clean and etc. You see—that is what takes up our spare time. We have to shave once a day and keep our haircut—I look like a bird without feathers—Ha. But it is sanitary—which is stressed very much in this man’s Army.
I’m very sorry I didn’t write sooner—If you miss a letter half as much as I do—You sure have plenty of reason to get mad.—But I will say that I don’t think you will—As you know I would write if I could.
As I said before and will say again—I think your picture is lovely. It shows you just as you always was and are to me. Just as sweet and kind as you could be. You look—Well I can’t explain—But sort of like an Angel——
I guess [list and large curly bracket]
nice} won’t even half tell what I mean—I mean I can just see you looking out of that paper almost as if you were right there.
And I guess they don’t make words good enough to describe you
I’ll see you
I love you
x Walt. x
Don’t forget I’m with you and even if you don’t know it you’re in Kansas.
That is a good way to think.
I’ll write you more often Love Walt. (over)
The little pic is in the envelope.