So I’m going to have to start reading ahead.  You may notice that this is from the 17th when yesterday’s post was from the 18th.  Which means the 17th will be on the 19th and the 19th will be on the 20th and the 20th will be on the 21st… so we’re running a day behind until dad decides to not write for a day and we can catch up with him.

So basically you have to pretend you read this letter before you read yesterday’s letter.  The job thing makes more sense now.  *sigh*

We also have the first mention of entering military service in this one.  Being 30 years old now makes the idea of getting drafted at 19 just blow my mind.

Postmark August 17, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Wed. eve.

Hi Hon-

Boy, did I have a scare a few minutes ago.  I just got home from work and found a notice that I had a telegram at West. Union.  The first thing I thought about was that my grandfather had died and the folks were trying to reach me.  So I dashed out and got some change and called W.U.  It was a wire from the Montgomery Wards store that I had applied to saying they wanted me to contact the personnel office.  So it looks like I may have a job there.  I’m going to check tomorrow.  It’s my day off at the station any way.  I’ll let you know how it comes out.

I don’t know what Bob’s doing today.  He had several leads to follow up this morning and then go to work at five.  The job he’s got is as a telephone contact man.  All he does is sit around and call people on the telephone.  How soft can you get?  Whether that’s where he is now, I haven’t the slightest.

Oh yeah, the telegram said I was supposed to see a gal named Sue.  Mmmmm… Naw, I think I’ve seen her when I was there before.  Not bad, but she doesn’t pass the comparison test.  I compare every gal I see to you, and they all flunk.  You’ve been at the head of the class for a long time now and you’ll always be there as far as I’m concerned.

Oh yeah, also at the Mont. Wards I’d get holidays off.  That makes L.D. a sure thing if I get the job.  The only trouble is that when you switch jobs you usually lose some money.  I’m not worried about that though, because I don’t have any to lose.

I went to the capital again this noon.  You know what?  The top of the dome would be a great place for a sniper like Whitman.  I’ll bet he could have knocked off over a hundred people from there.  That’s kind of a dumb thing to think of, but I just happen to see some people up there and thought of it.  Oh well –

I think I’m becoming mentally deranged.  I’m actually getting to like Denver!  I’m not in love with it you understand, I just don’t hate it anymore.  There’s still one big thing wrong with it and you know what that is – you’re not here.  Darn the luck!

Well, I’m going to knock off for a while and take a bath.  Gotta smell pretty tomorrow.  Right now I stink so bad I can hear myself.  You remember what that’s like, don’t you?  I don’t see how you could put up with me when I saw you after work.  I’m glad you could though.  Well, more later.

Okay, all done.  And I smell like a rose again.  Well maybe not quite that good, but a lot better than I was.  I wish Bob would get home – I’m hungry.  I’ve been waiting supper on him but my will is weakening.  Be strong, I say to myself.  Eat!  My stomach says.  I’m writing this with my left hand on the fridge, but I think I can hold out.  Yeah, I can make it.  I just opened some crackers to munch on till then.  I just don’t go for these 9:00 suppers.

It’s getting cold up here.  At night it is anyway.  Last night it got down to fifty and I about froze my buns.  I even tossed a heavy quilt on before I went to bed.  Then during the day it goes up to 80 to 85° and tomorrow supposed to go into the 90s.  I don’t notice the heat here though.  85° is just comfortable to me.  Everyone around here complains.

Well, Bob should be home pretty quick like.  I still don’t know if I got any mail today.  There wasn’t any here but he might have it in the car.  Sure hope I got one from you.  To heck with anyone else.

I’ve got to write a letter to the folks tonight if I get around to it. I told them I’d try to have one waiting for them when they got back from vacation, which is Fri. That means I have to send it tomorrow morning.  Maybe I’ll just pick up a postcard.

I poured myself a glass of ice water from a jug we keep in the fridge.    When I was putting it back I dropped it.  Didn’t break but I got water all over the floor.  What a mess.  I guess that’s just my speed.

I also just cleaned house.  Bob had three days papers spread all over the place, plus all sorts of other junk too.  I’ll have to admit a lot of my crap was tossed around this time, too.  Sure wish he’d learn!

This place is getting to seem like home now.  Bob’s still living out of a suitcase somewhat, but my stuff is all in the closet or drawers.  Hold everything – Bob’s home – letters – food (in that order).  See you later.

Well, I got the letters read, or letter I should say.  Yours.  I also got a card from the folks.  Haven’t read that yet.  First I want to answer a question or two.

You asked if I ever felt my love for you was a passing thing.  No.  I have never felt that way.  However, I’m not so naïve as to think that if something came between us I couldn’t ever love someone else.  That’s not the way it works.  But I’d always love you just the same.  And I love you very much.

Yes, I realize how hard it is for you to break up with Dale after such a long time.  And I don’t want you to do it unless you are one hundred percent sure that’s what you want.  I think it’s a good idea to level with him, be completely honest with him.  Just like I’d want you to be honest with me if anything changed while I was away.

As far as the service goes, I don’t think I’ll have to go.  By the time my student deferment runs out I’ll be over 19 ½, and chances of getting drafted very soon after that are slim. Since they are drafting 19-year-olds first now I will probably be safe by my next birthday.  That’s if I decide not to enlist of course.  And you’re the one who changed my mind about that.

I hope that answered a few of your questions and helped some.  Wish we could really talk about it.  Just remember – you’ve got as much time as you need to make such a big decision.

Food!  Bob already ate before coming home, so I’m going to stop now and fix myself something.  10:15 is just too damn late to have supper. More later (about 15 minutes).

Later (about 15 min later).  Hi, I’m back.  Now I’ll tell you about Bob’s new job.  He got it today.  He quit the one he got yesterday.  In the last three days he’s had three different jobs.  Not bad.  Anyway the one he’s got now is in Cooks Sporting Goods store.  He really liked his first day.  He’ll be making pretty good money and could make more.  Maybe now he won’t be so eager to leave Denver.  I hope not.

Had to switch pens.  Bob swiped mine.

Uh, say, about those two pictures, ah, well, yeah, I see, OK.  Enough on that subject.  I will say they are the cutest pictures I’ve ever seen of you – at that age.  I guess now I best shut up.

R, you said you remembered that night out on the hospital road.  Well I remember it very well too.  Now is the first night I told you I love you.  I really meant it then, and I had no idea how much more I would love you later.  And now when I love you as much as I think possible, I still find that it’s growing all the time.  Don’t ever think that this is a passing thing with me or that when I say “I love you” I’m not sincere.  I don’t feel that love can be taken lightly or played with, and I think you feel this way too.  I hope so.  I know so.  These three words seem so hollow compared to what I feel, but I love you, R.  I love you.

I’ve got to go now, it’s getting late.  I’ll write again soon.

Love forever,