What was the war really like?
Eleanor Gehrig | Society for American Baseball Research
Edward V. Graef Chapter. The Way Papa Remembers It. All the officers got up and waited for someone to perform the introductions. But Papa didn't wait. Eleanor and Ed became husband and wife. An all-too-brief brief honeymoon followed, at the Hotel Markham in Gulfport, Mississippi. A top priority was for Mama to become pregnant before Papa was shipped out. Chapter 1 Young people felt differently about the war in those days. I could not love thee, dear, so much. Loved I not honor more. June 9, Eleanor, my darling, It was fun sneaking in a quick telephone call from that crossroad grocery and listening to your excited voice saying you had recovered from your miscarriage and we could continue any time we wanted with our efforts to produce a baby.
Oh, my darling, my darling, I love you so much! No one believes him, of course, and yet-- I'll write as soon as we hear something definite.
The mail's going out at 2 pm, and if I hurry, I'll just make it. Love, Eddie June 10, Dear, The trip to the coast turned out to be nothing more than a routine military exercise problem similar to hundreds we had practiced in the Carolina maneuvers, six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
If I'm selected, this could be a very big break. Love, Eddie June 12, Eleanor, my darling, In your last letter, you asked me to do something spectacular--so I did. I got two flat tires! I don't think we'll be rescued for a month. He'll goof off! But this I want you to know: Whether it be daytime, with me thirsty and hot.
Or nighttime, with me hungry and cold.
Whether it be raining, with me shivering and wet. Or snowing; which hardly ever happens around here. This, my darling, you can be sure of: I love you. I'll always love you. I think maybe we had better put that subject on the agenda for tomorrow. Love, Eddie Chapter 2 For the next six days, until it was time for Papa to leave Camp Shelby, Mama and Papa studied road maps, bus schedules, train schedules, possible meeting places.
Louisiana maneuvers awaited. The only information we've received is the following: The Louisiana maneuvers will begin officially some day next week and will consist of a series of two or three day problems, followed by a one day or two day break. There's room for maneuvering!
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Love, Eddie June 24, Dearest, Your General Delivery letter arrived at the Simpson post office this morning--the first letter from the outside world to reach any member of the umpire group--and I'm really the envy of everyone here. The only thing that can stop us is the Army! Love, Eddie June 27, Damn damn damn! Darling, I've never been so frustrated! I'm so sorry, darling. I'm so very sorry. The time for departure arrived altogether too soon. Louisiana maneuvers continued.
July 1, Eleanor, my darling, Got back OK from New Orleans; hunted up the umpire group, took my place, and nothing was said. Everything is going to be all right. Love, Eddie July 2, Sweet, Right in the middle of a problem, and up comes a rainstorm.
War Letters: Eleanor, My Darling--a Memoir of WWII
So--into the command car, and a letter. Has anything happened yet? Are there any symptoms? Me, I'm still thinking about you. Every time! I don't know what's the matter with me. Sometimes I think there is something wrong. For a wife, after all, is a wife. And a sweetheart is a sweetheart.
And the twain, so they say, shall never meet. But who cares what they say. I love you. Eddie July 3, Dear, There's a long line waiting to get money orders at Camp Polk so I'll write this standing as I move up an inch at a time. I'm enclosing a bus schedule just in case I can get away during the next big break.
Love, Eddie July 5, Dear, We won't get back to camp till late tonight which means this letter probably won't get to the post office until tomorrow night which means you'll get it God only knows when unless the chaplain comes to my assistance, and he's a nice feller. I haven't even been able to get your mail! The last letter I got was where your itch was gone. And now listen to this! Frankly, I don't believe it.
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Did you get my money orders? July 11, Eleanor, my darling, It was a close call, but I got back right on time, joined the unit I was supposed to umpire, moved out with them to a bivouac area fifty miles from nowhere, and am now waiting for the problem to begin. Have I mentioned yet that I love you? Love, Eddie July 12 Sweet, The troops have stopped and have plopped down and I thought it was going to be a ten minute break but the ten minutes have come and gone, and now neither I nor anyone else knows what it's all about.
So this letter. All of which is very interesting--but what I want to know is this: Are you? Or are you not? Can you answer a very simple question?