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So this is the last letter before he enlists.  I’ve written my mother for information to fill in as much of the blank left between this letter and the next, which is written in February, five months later.

Just so you know, the original title of this post was to be “Hey! There’s a fire across the street.” but I felt this one had a little more meaning.

Postmark September 8, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

5:00 Fri

Back again –

I’m home for supper now.  Didn’t even get in a demonstration this afternoon.  Spent all day going over a new financial form.  Wasn’t all that difficult but they made a big deal of it.

Heard from that IBM school yet?  Probably not or you would have told me.  Should be hearing from them pretty quick though shouldn’t you?

I’m home for supper like I said, but I’m not hungry.  I’ve been eating like a horse since we got back.  Three bytes from three different hamburgers and half a malt.  Not bad for four days.  I’m getting fat.

You remember those two pictures I brought back?  I’d forgotten how short your hair was on your birthday.  And that was only two months ago.  Seems like years.

Bob and I talk about going back home all the time now.  Hey!  There’s a fire across the street now — anyway, Bob just may tell them to shove it one of these days… and if he does, zoom – here we come!  The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned.

Hey, I never got my cigar from your brother.  Gonna have to get that one of these days before it gets stale.

One thing though.  I don’t really want to be there when Dale is.  I’d have to stay away for that weekend and it would be a lot worse being so close and not being able to see you.  Of course I could go out on the town.  Haven’t done that for a long time.  But I’d rather be with you.

That’s dangerous to say.  You could come to expect too much from me.  I hope that never happens though, because when people expect too much for me I have a bad habit of letting them down.  I hope I never let you down or hurt you in any way — I love you too much.  Maybe someday you’ll wish we had never met, but I hope not.  I want you to be mine R., for good.  Don’t ever forget that I love you.

Practically between every word I write I stop and think about you.  I keep that poem on my dresser and read it all the time.  “I will have all the things I want some day.”  R., you are everything I want.  You and your love.  No one could ask for more.  I love you honey.

Time to go to work — damn.  I’ll actually send this now.  Love you!

Take it easy —

J.

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I posted late on Monday instead of my normal 6am.  Go back and read it if you missed it.

This is actually a continuation of yesterday’s letter.  He wrote three and sent them all together and due to my being on vacation I’ve decided to separate them into individual posts.

It looks like this is the last letter he’ll write before he goes to Vietnam.

Postmark August 8, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Fri. morn

Back again — Finally!

Sorry this is taking so long to get sent, but I just haven’t had time to write.  But I got a letter from you this morning (#27) so now I’m making time.  I’m going to be late for work, but I could really care less.

Maybe will be back before long.  Was going to call his dad and see if there was some way for him to get into State yet this fall.  If there is, he’ll be going back real quick like, and so will I.  I’ve had enough of this being away from you.

Sorry about that cold!  Hope it doesn’t last long.  I’ve still got mine though.  Last weekend was worth anything, like you said.  Maybe soon every weekend can be spent together.  Hope so.

As far as money to move back on — all I need is gas money, and we have enough of that left in the kitty for both of us.  I have a feeling it’s going to get used before long.

Well, it doesn’t look like this is going to get finished today either.  Sorry you haven’t been hearing from me as much as usual.  I’ll do my best to correct that real quick like, OK?  OK!  So long for now.

Love,

J.

To preserve the authentic feel of the letters I’ve tried to leave in as much original content as possible while at the same time making some modifications in order to preserve my mother’s anonymity.  In this letter I had to remove the names of a couple towns.  You wouldn’t think they’d be a big deal,  but geographically they were too revealing.

Postmark September 8, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Wed 5:00

9-8-67

Hi Fuzz –

Please excuse this pen, but it’s the last one I have right now. No it’s not – I just found one that’s a little better.  Now maybe you can read this.

I just got two of your letters today.  One was mailed Monday, but the other was mailed last Friday.  Talk about slow!

Yes, I know how you feel.  I seem so lost without you around.  And I imagine it’s easier for me since I don’t have all the familiar things around.  But I still miss you so damn much!

I like it when you call it “our” bed.  Sure wish it was ours.  I just hope someday we can share one forever.  There’s not a thing I’d like better.  I love you R., and nothing is ever going to change that fact.

I’m getting back into the swing of things again.  Up until the minute I walked into the office yesterday I wasn’t sure I was going to stay.  In fact, I had planned on telling them I quit.  I’m glad now that I didn’t.  I enjoy this and am going to give it a try for a week at least.

If things work out – and I’m talking about a lot of “ifs” now – if things work out and I get to be a trainer in a couple of months, there is an outside possibility I could transfer to [a large city area about 4 hours from home] or even [a large town about an hour from home].  It’s a lot of maybe, but if I can swing it I sure will.  If I’m still with the company.

I’m home now for supper.  I went out this morning on an appointment, and I think I could have had a sale if I were a little more experienced.  But then that was actually my first demo, so I guess I couldn’t expect too much.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow.  I’m sure going to try.

My car made it in fine shape.  We had a little radiator trouble with Bob’s, but nothing serious.  Maybe I told you that in my last letter.  I made a better gas mileage than Bob though, which surprised both of us.  I’m not kicking though.

I’ve got to go now.  I’ll write some more before I send this, but I don’t know if I’ll get it done today or not.  I’ll sure be thinking of you though, and of how much I love you.  So long for now, honey.

Love you,

J.

I’m thinking this font is going to have to change soon.  I’m wanting to say more about these letters but this format doesn’t lend it self to long and detailed writing.

Couple of things: 1) An IBM sales guy came around to moms house offering to train her on the new IBM computers.  She can’t remember if he was trying to sell one to their family or just offering her a job, but her folks put the kibosh on that.  Considering the size of IBM equipment circa 1967, I doubt it was for personal use.

2) D.S. is a service/gas station situated right next to the Dairy Queen mom worked at. He worked there before heading to Denver, but not at the same time as mom.

3) The “Bob” referred to (in regards to the D.S.) is not dad’s best friend, the Bob we’ve come to know and love in these letters.  He’s a different Bob who hires at the D.S.

4) Remember a couple of letters ago when dad was talking about how no one would believe what he was selling in his new job?  well, turns out he was selling Rainbow “cleaning systems,” a special type of vacuum that used water to deep clean as it sucked up dirt.  I guess he took one home to show his mom over Labor Day. No news on whether she bought one or not.

5)  I haven’t found the letter he references at the beginning here.  I believe he’s talking about the stream of consciousness letter he wrote some weeks ago.

Postmark September 5, 1967.  Denver, Colorado

Tues P.M.

9-5-67

Hi Honey –

I’m sending you that letter I wrote just before we came back.  I really should tear it up but maybe you’ll get a laugh out of it.

We didn’t get back until 3:30 this morning.  Stopped for an hour at my grandparents, and all our gas stops took twice as long.  We had just about had it when we pulled in.  I was ready to turn around and go right back home though.

I still feel like going back.  I hate Denver now!  If I didn’t feel I had to stick around because of Bob I’d be on my way.  He just may quit before too long and we’ll at least get closer to home.  I’m actually trying to talk him into it.  If not, I’ll stick around long enough so he can make it, then take off alone.

I didn’t go to work today.  I called and told them I just couldn’t make it, too damn tired.  So I’m going out at 6:00 instead of noon like I was supposed to.  Then I discovered I forgot my shoes at home, so I had to buy another pair this afternoon.  Ouch!

I just about quit my job today before I ever really started.  I didn’t want to chance not making it and losing money, or, if I made it, I’m not taking off and moving closer to home and to you.  Bob tried to talk me out of it but I’m still not sure.  Tonight when I go to work I may just walk in there and quit.  I don’t give a damn about anything anymore except being closer to you.  The way I feel now I the even work at the D.S. again.  This last weekend really made me love [my hometown].  I have a feeling I won’t be in Denver too much longer.

You know, I never had a job that I enjoyed as much as working at the D.S.  When I do come back I think I’ll try to get it back, if Bob will let me.  So often I wish I’d never left.  Let me know how schools going and how do you like the new building.  And tell me about that IBM deal as soon as you find out.  I hope it all works out the way you want it to.

Well, I’ve got to go if I’m going to get to work, which I’m not sure I’m going to.  Maybe I’ll head back tonight, I don’t know.  All I know is that I love you and I hate to be so far away.  Already it seems like months since I’ve seen you, and it’s only been since yesterday.  I love you honey, and think about you all the time.  So long for now, R.  Take it easy.

Love forever,

J.

Sorry for the delay.

We finally get down to the labor day he’s been talking about since the 2nd letter or so.  Hope they made the best of it.

Postmark September 2, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Here it is, you asked for it!

Fri PM 4:30

2 more days!

Hi Honey –

By the time you get this I’ll have been there and gone already.  Just two more days and I’ll be with you!  Right now I really can’t believe it and I don’t think I will until we’re coming into town.  But by the time you get this I’ll already have been there, so I guess I made it, didn’t I?

By now we’ve done everything we possibly could in that short time.  I don’t know right now what all we did, but I really don’t care as long as it was with you.  Just being with you was enough.  Now I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I’ll probably be able to stay a little longer then.  At least I hope so.

Tomorrow evening at this time I’ll be getting ready to go.  Even tomorrow seems a long way off now.  I’ll go to Bob’s store early — he’s going to see if he can knock off an hour early.  Sure hope so.  That way we won’t push it quite so hard and get there earlier.  But I’m behind myself again, since I’ve already done all this.

I’ve got to go get Bob now — or maybe I should say by now I have gotten Bob but I’m going to do it now. (?)  Forget it!  I’m going to go and pick him up! NOW! Today!  Even if I did do it a few days ago.  So long for now is what I’m trying to say.  More of this ridiculous conversation later.

(Sorry about the fingerprints and all)


Sat 10:30

Tomorrow!

Sorry about the mess I made on the other side.  This side will be better I promise.

We leave tonight.  Now I’ve just got to wait.  The cars at a station now getting serviced and we’re all packed and ready to go.  Less than eight hours from now we’ll be on the road.  I’m so damned impatient I don’t know what to do with myself besides twiddle my thumbs.

I got two of your letters today (23 & 24).  Nothing I like better.  They’ll help me live through the day.

That IBM bit kind of took me by surprise.  Hope it works out for you.  Tell me more about it tomorrow, okay (It’s kind of stupid to say things like that when this letter won’t get to you till next week).

I’m going to fix something to eat now, then try to sleep all afternoon.  Time will go faster and I’ll sure be able to use it tonight.  So long for now.  Love and miss you and, oh boy, wait till tomorrow!!

Love you,

J.


The Blog has a new temporary additional name.  It will be removed once this blog has ANYTHING to do with Vietnam.

Turns out that dad’s little “stunt” was merely laziness.  In ROTC you have to show up first thing in the morning for drills in addition to the ROTC classes.  He never wanted to get up that early.  I was hoping he had stolen an army jeep or something.

According to mom: The commander called his dad (who was an administrator with the university) with J. sitting in the commanders office and talked to him about what to do. J. could hear his dad say “Well then, flunk the damn kid.” J. flunked ROTC!! I would tease him about this quite often.

Also, $4.12 in 1968 = $26.02 in 2008.

Postmark August 31, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Wed Eve

4 more days!

Dear R.,

Hi beautiful!  Bob really got a laugh when I showed him your neat stationery.  When Bob’s back he’s going to tell Porky he quit Bell Tel because the job he’s got now is better.  If Porky says anything you can tell him that, okay?

I didn’t think I’d get a chance to write today, but we got rained out at the park, so I’m going to try to make this a long one if possible.  Actually, I can’t think of much to write because all I’m thinking about is this weekend.  Who could think about anything else?  I’ll try though.

Now, about my job — I’m still not going to tell you much except that it’s as a salesman.  I’ll show you what I’m selling when I’m there.  You wouldn’t believe it if I just told you.  I still don’t believe it myself.  Bob doesn’t believe it either but I’ll show him tomorrow night — I get to bring it home then.

Honey, you could go on like that forever and I’d never get bored.  I like hearing you say you care and that you love me — almost as much as I like to tell you.  I know what you mean about forgetting what it’s like.  I’m going to have to learn all over again how to kiss you and hold you.  I don’t think it will take long — I learn fast.  But I haven’t forgotten how much I love you, I could never forget that!  Every day I remember it better and my love for you grows stronger.  I know it will always be like that.

Well, IBM fell through like you hoped.  I was expecting that.  I think the job I have now is going to be much better anyway.  I’m being a little skeptical about it right now though, because I’ve seen too many jobs that aren’t as good as they look at first.  Sure hope this isn’t one of them.

Oh I’m not worried about getting into the drive-in.  I’m not so broke I can’t afford that.  I figured it out tonight — I’ll be able to make the trip and still spend $4.12 while I’m there.  That’s better than I thought I’d do for a while there.  I actually feel rich now!  Besides, Bob gets paid tomorrow.

I just took a bath and washed my hair.  Did I ever tell you I got my hair cut but good?  About a week or so after we got here I went in and asked for a trim.  Well, I got one.  About 2 inches off all the way around.  It was shorter than I’d had it in years!  Now it’s back out about like it was when I left.  I was going to start combing it back on the left side like I used to wear it, but it’ll be a while now.

Do you know what I’m going to do with my first decent check?  I’m going out and buying a mess of stay-pressed shirts and pants.  I’m sure as hell am sick of ironing.  Should do some tonight but I’m not going to.  I refuse.  No!  No!  No!  No!  No!  There, I finally convinced myself.


This is Thursday morning now.  Have to finish this quick like so I can mail it before I go to work.  Don’t have much time.

Now it’s only three days till I get to see you.  I’m getting impatient.  The trip back is going to go too damn slow, I can tell you that, but I can’t wait to leave.  Two days till we leave, and that’s two days too long.

R., you couldn’t believe how bad I want to see you.  I’ve got to see you!  I’d go nuts if something came up so I couldn’t.  That’s all I’m living for now.  I love you so much!

Enough of that — I could go on but I’d start repeating myself.  It’s just that there is no other way to say what I mean.  So I’ll tear myself away from that and talk about the weather, okay?

Okay, the weather — lousy.  It’s raining or sleeting or misting all the time, and it’s colder than ____.  Probably won’t work much tonight either.  That’ll hurt for next week’s check, which I’m counting on when we get back.  I could use tonight off though to demonstrate to Bob what I’m selling and get the practice in myself.  From what I’ve told him he’s just about ready to buy one himself.  Still haven’t told you much about it, have I?  You’ll just have to wait.  If you’re like me you’ll just about go ape when you see it.

Hell, I can’t write anything — I’m always thinking about you and the weekend.  You’ve really brainwashed me.  I’m just hoping the weather is better there than here so we can do some things like maybe “skinny dipping,” right?  With my luck it’ll be worse there Sunday than it is now here.  If it is I’ll scream.

Well, I’ve got to get ready for work, so I’ll mail this on the way out.  Hope you get this tomorrow, but the way things sound you never know.  Probably won’t get another one to you before we are there unless I write and send it tonight.  If I can’t, so long for now.  I’ll see you back home!

Love you,

J.

PS. Gonna check and see if I got any mail today.  Sure hope I get one from you!

There was a special post late in the day on Friday, so check it out if you missed it.

Postmark August 29, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

4:00 pm  Tues

5 more days

Hi Beautiful!

Five more big days till I see you again.  Gee that seems like a long time!  Wish it were today, if not sooner.  I think I’ll kidnap you when I leave — better yet, let’s elope. Now that’s the best idea I’ve had in a long time.  Start packing, love, we’ll leave Monday morning.

Seriously, I really don’t see how I’ll be able to wait that long.  It’s getting worse instead of better the closer it gets.  I was in a bad way before, but now it’s ridiculous!

By the way, you’re invited out to our place for Sunday dinner.  I wrote mom and told her you were coming.  I should at least see them for dinner, but I won’t if you’re not there.  I’d rather see you than them any day (like all day and all night Sunday).  It’s gonna be a slow week till then.  Hey, isn’t your brother going to be home this Sunday?  I thought he probably would be, but from your last letter I take it he won’t.  Thought maybe I’d at least get a chance to say hi to him.

I just got home from work a while ago.  Actually I’m not working yet, just training.  May start Friday, but more than likely it will be Tuesday, after we get back.  I’ll work the rest of this week at the park though so I’ll have enough to carry me through.  I’ll probably still end up mooching off Bob some, but that won’t make me feel too bad.  He’s mooched off me enough.

Here’s something I’ve forgotten to tell you about before.  It was in our apartment when we moved in.  If you’ll bear with me I’ll try to draw it for you –


Bedroom Mood Meter

Bedroom Mood Meter (Click to enbiggen)


When we moved in both hands were at four, but I changed them to eight.  That’s where they’re staying too.

I’ve got to go now honey.  Lot of stuff to do.  Sorry my letters have been so short lately, but one of these days I’ll sit down and write one 10 pages long.  How’s that?  Well, that’s five pages front and back is what I meant.  OK?  OK!

I love you, honey, more than you know.  I just wish I could show you how much in some way.  I’ll try.  I love you.

So long for now.  Take it easy, hon.

Love,

J.

Holy crap dad! Another job?

And I want to know SOOOO bad what stunt he pulled at ROTC back home. I’ll call mom and ask about it. Maybe have a special update. It’s just too good not to investigate.

Postmark August 29, 1967. Denver, Colorado.

1:00 Mon.

6 more days!

Greetings Fuzz-

Bob thinks I’m out of my tree — I didn’t go to work this morning.  I went job hunting instead.  Went to several places including Gates Rubber.  Couldn’t get on there because I’m too light.  Always knew I was under weight but I never felt as scrawny as when they told me that.  And I’ve lost weight since I’ve been out here — about 4 pounds.  Nothing serious.

As I was saying — I found a job with Rexco Industries.  Hope it’ll be a good one.  I’ll tell you about it over the weekend.  It would be impossible to tell you about it on paper — now think that one over for a while!

You know, I’m really getting to like Denver.  I think Bob is too.  Now that we can get where we want to go without getting lost it isn’t so bad.  I think working at the park makes a difference too.  I really enjoy it.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep working there now or not.

I got letter #21 today.  Yeah, I’ve got to have one of those pictures, but you may as well save it till I get home now.  By the time you get this you probably sent it already.  That’s the only trouble with writing as often as we do, our questions and answers get mixed up in between.  I could really care — if I could I’d write twice a day.

Now, to answer your letter.  Madsen’s are still here in Denver, at least he’s practicing here and they have a home here, so I doubt if he commutes from California.

IBM — I’m not counting on it, as I explained in my last letter (I think I did).  I think now I’d tell them to shove it if they did have an opening.

Labor Day weekend — yeah, you got it straight.  I guess I explained that in yesterday’s letter too, which you hadn’t gotten when you wrote the one I got today.  Sure wish it could be longer.  I thought I might stay an extra day but I won’t be able to now I guess.

Dates — No, I haven’t had one since I left.  I figured you’d realize that I’d tell you if I did.  You know that, don’t you?  I did take a girl home from the park the other night — Friday I guess.  I figured I’d tell you about it when I saw you, since it was only a week till then.  Her name was Barb Martini from Oregon.  She was here visiting her relatives.  I talked to her when she and a couple of her eight brothers and sisters rode the bumper cars.  After closing I saw her having trouble with one of the picture booths, so I took her to the office to get her money back and offered her a ride home.  We sat out front at her place for about 20 minutes until her brothers and sisters came home.  I was a good boy — all we did was talk.  I didn’t even try for a goodnight kiss, didn’t really care to.  It was good to talk to a female again though.  I just wish it had been you.

College — don’t know when I’ll go back, but it won’t be before next year anyway.  I’ll be eligible to go back next semester, but I don’t think I will.  Dad could have gotten me back in this semester if he had wanted, but I couldn’t see it.  Besides, I don’t like special favors just because the old man has pull up there.

Army — no, Bob isn’t going to enlist, at least not for a while.  He’s actually talking seriously about college next year.  If I don’t go back to school till then maybe I will have to go.  If I go back to school first, I’m still going to take advanced ROTC and go in afterward as an officer — that is if they’ll let me after that stunt I pulled last semester.

Teacher — I can’t wait to get back either.  But do you want to know something R.?  Your teacher has learned just as much as you have since we met, maybe more.  Thanks.  You have really taught me a lot, and I love you for it just like I love everything about you.  I love you!

I just went down to the basement to wash some clothes, but some plumbers were down there working.  Won’t be done for a couple of hours, so it looks like I won’t be getting it done today.  Got some ironing I should do.  Wish I could haul it all home and have mom do it, but that would be a dirty trick.  Now I can’t even take a bath like I was planning on.

I just read your letter again for about the 5th time.  I can’t even write — I just sit and think about you and things we’ve done and of this coming weekend.  I could spend all day dreaming like that.

Well Fuzz, that’s just about what I did.  It’s getting late now, so I’d best find something to eat then go after Robert.  So long for now.  Love you honey!

Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever…

J.

So, Job number… 5?  6?  Lost count.  I also stopped counting the “I love you’s” as I’m sure you get the point.  He loves her.

Postmark August 27, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Sun. morn.

Hi Honey,

Don’t have much time so this will be pretty short.  It’s after eleven thirty and I just got up.  Didn’t quite make it to church like I had planned.  Of course part of it was because I didn’t make it to bed until after two last night.  That makes a difference.

I’m not even counting on that IBM job anymore.  I’ve talked to several people who have done all this too, and they all got polite letters saying that after all the crap they had gone through the company couldn’t use them.  Seems like everybody and his dog has been there at one time or another.  So last night I looked in the paper again and I think tomorrow I’ll look around some more.  The hours I’ve got now are pretty hard on both of us.  The only reason I’m doing it is to get some money for Labor Day.

Yeah, Labor Day weekend.  One week from today and I’ll see you again.  One week sure doesn’t seem like much, but when you think of seven long individual days it seems like years.  Now here’s the deal — I don’t remember if I told you before or not.  We leaving here when Bob gets off work Saturday night at 6:00.  Will be all ready to leave straight from the store.  With the time change and all we should hit home about 8:30 Sunday morning.  Oh boy, straight to your place.  You going to be up by then?  If not I’ll get you up!  Okay, will have to start back Monday morning about 10:00.  That way we can make it back here by ten that night.  If Bob can get off Tuesday morning, then we’ll leave about 3:00 or so.  Got all that straight?  Sure wish it were longer, but it’s better than nothing.  Also, since I’m taking my own car back, I might stay another day if I don’t have any special reason for coming back.  That would be fine with me.

Sure got a lot of things I’d like to tell you but it’s getting late and I have to eat and get ready for work at one end I’ll probably work till one.  I’ll just save most of it till I see you, I guess.  We’re going to have a nice long talk (like we always did anyway).  That is something I really miss.  I love you honey.  Boy, are you getting get tired of hearing that when I’m home!  I love you!  Gotta go now.  Take it easy; I know, you always do.

Love forever!

J.

PS.  Hope you could read all this, I wrote it pretty fast.  You probably won’t get much bigger letters this week — they’ll all have to be written in a hurry.  Sorry!

Postmark August 26, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

3:30 Thurs.

Hi Fuzz –

Tomorrow I’m going to start working days as well as nights.  This afternoon I went to a place called Manpower Inc.  What they do is hire people to work for other companies, then they pay you instead of the company you work for.  Anyway I’ve got to be there at 6:30.  It’s going to raise hell with my sleep, but the money is more important now anyway.

It’s 5:00 now.  Know what I just did?  I just read every one of your letters again.  Yup, every one from #1 to #18.  That’s a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.  Some of them I read twice — the ones that really mean a lot to me.  All of them mean a lot but a few of them are extra special.

It reminded me of a few things I was going to ask — like how did your diet turn out?  You know how I feel about women and their crazy dieting, so I hope it flopped.  I like you the way you are, not skinny and scrawny.

The only trouble with reading all those letters is that it’s so late now I don’t have time to write now.  And I doubt if I’ll have time tomorrow either, so it may be a few days before you get this.  Just remember that I love you and am always thinking of you.  Bye for now honey.

Love you,

J.


Hi love — it’s me again.  And am I ever in a good mood!  I just got your last letter and that makes my whole day.  You should’ve seen me.  I went tearing up the stairs, banged into the door because it didn’t open (I forgot it was locked) and finally dug out my keys and got it in.  Once inside the poor envelope didn’t stand a chance.  Just about ripped to the letter in half getting it open, and that still wasn’t fast enough to suit me.  And then a seven page letter inside to boot.  Great!

Sorry about the mixup in getting my letters.  Lately I’ve sent them the same time every day — just before I go get Bob.  Therefore, the logical deduction is that you should get one a day.  However… someone goofed.  Though, as long as you get them.  I’ll bet your folks think I’m crazy writing you so much, but I don’t care, let them think what they want.  I’ll still keep writing whenever I can.  Promise!

Hey, who said that (adding my last initial to your name) bothered me?  Not a bit honey!  I kind of like it in fact.  Don’t I wish — perhaps someday.  I hope someday.  When you’re good and ready and sure of your choice that is.

Yeah, Labor Day… I’m coming for sure.  I’ve already told them at the park I’d be gone then.  And that’s a huge weekend for them too.  Tough banana!  Should be able to scrape up enough dough now that I’ve got two jobs.  I just got home from work a half hour ago (3:30).  Been up since six working in a warehouse unloading freight.  Gotta go again at seven until about 12:30.  You can see that I’m really trying.  Tomorrow I just work at the park until 12 or 1, so I can sleep late, thank God.

Sure wish you were out here.  Man could we have a blast!  But at the park I always see guys with their dates and having fun.  It really makes me miss the fun we had together.  I’ll bet most of these couples don’t realize just how lucky they are.  I can sure tell them!

Don’t worry about the delay in your letter.  I understand.  I figured you were probably pretty busy helping G.  I was just hoping that she hadn’t had any more problems.  Sounds as though she had plenty the way it was.

All registered for school, huh?  Sure doesn’t seem like it’s time for that yet.  How do you like the new building?  You’re probably going to like it but I’m sure glad I got out before this.  I just don’t think I could hack it.  How about your senior picture?  Had that taken yet?  You said something about maybe before or after school started.  Be sure to send me one as soon as you do.  You said you wished you could have a baby just like G., and asked if we should start on it when I’m home.  You know, that’s not a bad idea.  Wish we could, but… nope, not a chance.  Have to wait for while I’m afraid.  You also said you were sure I was glad to be free.  It’s kind of funny about that.  I am glad to be free, but I don’t think or feel that I’d be any less free with you.  You could never make me feel tied down because I’d always want to be with you, not forced to.  Do you know what I mean?  I do, but I can’t quite explain it.  Let’s just say it’s because I love you.  Very, very much.

You know, my whole world centers around just one person — you.  No one means more to me than you do, and no one ever has.  I wish I could call you up and tell you this right now.  I guess it will have to wait till Labor Day though.  But, boy!  Am I going to tell you then!

I’ve got to go take a bath now.  I stink!  Then I’m going to grab an hour’s sleep before Bob comes home.  Don’t know if I’ll have time to write tomorrow but I’ll sure try.

I love you, R., more every day.  It just won’t stop growing.  Take easy now, honey.

All my love,

J.

Postmark August 23, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

1:30pm Wed.

Hi Honey,

I found one more piece of paper so I can send you another short note.  Haven’t got around to getting anymore yet.

Went up to IBM this morning.  Had the interview and took a couple of tests.  Now it’ll be a week or so before I find out if I have a job or not.  They sure go through a lot of crap before they’ll hire you.  They don’t have computer training and such there, but I might get on in production.  This damn waiting is driving me nuts — I haven’t been sure of anything for weeks now.

If IBM falls through I’m going to look around a little more for a real good job, and if nothing comes up real quick like — to hell with it.  If I have to take a grub job I may as well get one back home where at least I’ll get to see you.  Maybe even go back to school next semester.  I wish to hell I knew.

You know, I kind of miss school already.  Not school itself but things connected with it, especially the choir.  Wish I could go to that stuff without going to class.  That would be great.

I was going to stay in Boulder this P.M. and go swimming, but I thought I might get a letter from you so I came home.  No letter.  I got one from Dex though, a real long one… almost ¾ of a page.  That’s pretty good for him.  I’ll write him one of these days if I get around to it.  Say, that something you could do for me if you would.  I don’t remember D.A.’s address — its 16th Ave. but that’s all I know.  It’s in the phone book so send it to me some time, okay?  I’d like to write him.

I tried to see Pastor Madsen yesterday but they’re out of town on vacation.  I think I’ll go to his church this Sunday though.  He’ll be back by Thursday.  Mom’s been yelling at me to go to church anyway.

I’m going to change sheets on the beds now.  I’ve also got to pay the rent.  Ouch!  I’ve paid it for the last couple weeks now.  Next week Bob’s going to have to start supporting us because by then I’ll be broke.  Pretty close anyway.  I’ll write more later, and I even found another piece of paper.  So long for now —


3:30 — hi, I’m back.  I’m pissed off too.  Don’t know why — just everything in general I guess.  It’s hotter than blue blazes in here and almost no breeze.  Hope it’s this warm over labor day.  I’ve got a swimming date then, don’t I?  Sure hope so.

Now I’m feeling better.  Just thinking of you helps more than you know.  The calendar even moved since yesterday.  Just hope I can afford to make it back.  I’m coming whether or not I can afford it, but it would be nice not to be broke when I got there.  Then we couldn’t even get to the all-night show.  Hope it doesn’t come to that!

Sure wish you could come out here some time.  We could go into the mountains and get lost for a couple of days.  That would be great, just you and me.  I think I’d like that.  There are so many things I want to do with you when I can.  Mostly I’d just like to be near you more often.

Do you remember when I said I felt that if I didn’t take off like I wanted to that I’d probably be sorry someday?  Well, I’m glad I did.  But now I’m starting to feel that I’m missing an awful lot by doing it.  You said some things that made me realize it was to my advantage to leave, but I hope things don’t change again the longer I’m away.  That’s what I’m afraid of now.  The more I think about that the more I’m tempted to come back before I lose you.  I just love you too much, that’s my problem.

You know something?  With any other girl I’ve ever known I could say “to hell with her” anytime I wanted and just forget it.  I just couldn’t do that with you.  Sometimes I think I’d be a lot better off if I could, but I can’t and I don’t want to.  Boy, you’ve really got something to make me change all my ideas on this.  I’m glad too.

I love you, R.  I can’t think of anything else to say except that because that’s all I can think of, I love you.  I’m going crazy not being able to talk to you like I used to and do things with you.  A month of labor days wouldn’t be enough now for me to tell you how I feel.  I love you!

Gotta cut the crap.  It must be getting old by now.  I’m going to the park and pick up my big check.  If I’m lucky I’ll get enough to pay a weeks rent.  Then gotta pick up Bob.  Take it easy, honey —

Love you,

J

You may or may not have noticed dad’s style and spelling have changed a little bit.  I use speech-to-text software to translate all of these letters and it works pretty well, the only problem is that it spells everything correctly.  Dad always spells “nite” instead of “night.”  Stuff like that.  Well, every time he did it I had to go back and manually change it back to the wrong spelling.

No more!  I’m just letting the program do what it has to.  I’m also not going to abbreviate all the stuff he does anymore.  From now on when he writes “Going to leave Mon. Morn. for L.D. and get there that eve.” you’re going to be reading “Going to leave Monday morning for Labor Day and get there that evening.”

So much less work on my part, and I’m nothing if not lazy.

Postmark August 22, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Tues. Afternoon

Hi Fuzz —

Boy, talk about having it easy!  I took Bob to work then came back and slept till noon.  Wish I could do that more often.  When I finally forced myself out of bed I took a bath and got something to eat.  Now I don’t have a thing to do until 6:00.  Oh yeah I do.  Almost forgot.  Have to change sheets today.

Tomorrow I have the interview with IBM.  Can’t wait to get that over with so I’ll know where I stand.  At least I hope I’ll know.  Sure would be nice anyway.

If I get real energetic I’m a look up pastor Madsen this afternoon.  His church is right downtown here someplace I guess, not sure just where.  Just remembered that Joan lives out here too.  Saw one of her brothers back home early this spring.  The other one is in the Navy now I think.  I don’t know if you know them or not, but you should remember Joan, don’t you?  Don’t know how to find their address though, because I don’t think their father is living anymore or not living with them or something.  Even if he was I don’t remember his name.  Oh well, I can try anyway.

Didn’t get a letter from you today (sob).  In fact I didn’t get any mail (double sob).  But I guess that’s life.

Time sure goes slow when I have so much of it to sit around and think about you.  Every five minutes I look at the calendar but it just doesn’t move.  It’s still just as long till Labor Day as it was five minutes ago (12 days till I see you).  Seems like forever.

When we come back we’re going to fix up a bed in the back seat.  That way we can each catch a few hours sleep on the way.  Since I’m not planning on any sleep at all Sunday night (you’d best not plan on any either).  Bob will start driving back and I’ll sleep half way.  We’ll be leaving Monday morning.  Should work out pretty good that way.  Wish we were leaving tonight though.

I can’t wait until I can be with you again.  R., you don’t know how much it means to be with you, to talk to you and feel you near me.  I love you so damn much it hurts, but I’ve never had such a wonderful pain before.  I’ll gladly put up with it.  Wish you were here to make it worse, in fact.

Well, I got to go move the car before I get a ticket.  Besides, this is the last piece of paper in the place.  Sorry about that.  I’ll have to get some more real quick like.  Take it easy, Fuzz —

Love you always,

J.

PS.  Out of stamps too.  Out of everything.  It’s a rough life.

All those people he mentions at the end of the letter?  I have no idea who any of them are so don’t worry if you don’t.

Postmark, August 21, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Mon. noon

Hi Beautiful,

Okay, sit down, take your shoes off, prop your feet up, and relax.  I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a long, long letter.  At least I’ve got a lot to say if I can remember it all.

I got a letter from you Saturday and one today.  Too bad they don’t deliver on Sunday because I’d sure like to get one every day.  I sure do look forward to them.

Bob finally got a letter from Ruth today.  The last one he got was last Tuesday I think.  That’s a long time to look for a letter and I think it was just about killing him, especially when I get letters from you and nothing for him.  He’ll feel better now.

Finally got the specs, huh.  Can’t wait to see them on you.  I’m sure they’ll look just great, although they may take some getting used to.

I really enjoy  working at Lakeside.  The pay isn’t too good but it’s fun.  And people are the most interesting creatures in the world to watch.  Last night one man brought his little girl in for a ride.  It was her birthday, she was about 10 or 11.  He had to drive for her because she had cerebral palsy.  We (the other guy working there and I) went out of our way to help them.  There must have been a hundred people waiting to ride but we made them wait while we let the man and girl in ahead of them.  Then we let them ride for as long as they wanted.  She was having a regular blast.  An hour or so later they came back again.  Looked like she was having a birthday party she’d really remember.

I also enjoy watching all the broads girls running around in their miniskirts.  Makes it a very attractive place to work.  I met one girl Saturday night after I got off.  I was waiting in front of the park for Bob, and some boys were giving her a hard time.  They were in a car.  She yelled something to them about calling the cops, so I walked over to see what was going on.  She said she was at the park with her niece, and that those guys had grabbed her and tossed her in their car.  They had said they were going to take her right home.  She took down their license number and kind of car in case they hadn’t.  (They were drunk)

Well last night I saw her again, so I asked about her little niece.  She started laughing and pointed to the girl with her.  Her little niece was 18 and anything but little.  If I had known what she was like I would have gotten some information such as name, address, and telephone number (no, not really).  The drunks had taken her home though.

In your last letter (#17, I got #18 today) you said something that really meant a lot.  You said if I asked you to marry me now you’d say “yes.”  R., I wish I could.  You don’t know how much I want to ask you that and hear that one word.  If I were in a position to offer you a good life I’d be asking you right now.  Someday I will.

No, I guess I never have told you my plans for the future.  Probably because I don’t really have any definite plans.  If it weren’t for you I’d be happy that way, but because of you I want to make plans for the future – and I hope and pray it will be our future.  It does include more college though, because out of here I’ve learned how much even one year of college helps.  That’s something for you to think about too.  You might seriously consider going two years instead of the one you plan on.  It sure wouldn’t hurt.

That sketch of the room – you have to remember that it shows only two of the five walls in that one room.  Yes, we have a five walled room.  The wall the fireplace is in sits at an angle across one corner.  When I drew that I was sitting in an overstuffed chair.  And we do have a lot of stuff sitting around.  No rugs, but a dresser and mirror, and ironing board, a couple more chairs,  and a mess of newspapers where Bob threw them.  I’ll describe the other room some other time, okay?

You said you never wrote 13 letters in one month before.  Do you realize that I’ve never written 15 letters in my entire life before?  Well… not many more than that anyway.  Yes, I agree, it does make a lot of difference who you’re writing to.

You don’t know how you manage such things, huh?  I mean like with B.  Well, I can tell you.  Any guy just talking to you for a while just can’t help wanting to see you again.  There’s something so alive and so naturally friendly about you.  I can’t blame them one bit, either.  You have a way of making a guy feel important without trying to run his life.  You’re just great, that’s all.

I got a letter from mom today.  Dad took my Poncho into the shop to have it fixed before they went on vacation, so it should be okay now.  Before I knew this I wrote Higgs and told him they were going to bring it in there.  He’ll be wondering what’s up when they don’t.  Tough bounce.

I’m going to knock off for a while.  I’ve got to go check on getting Colorado license plates today.  More later.


Okay, it’s later now. Much later in fact – like about 4:00.  Went down and checked on plates and then started cleaning the room in doing the dishes etc.  The floors were so bad I ended up borrowing a mop from the manager and mopping the whole damn place.  Looks a lot better now.

I just turned the radio on for the first time today.  I forgot all about it before now.  That’s unusual.

I don’t go for this working at night and not having much to do during the day.  Actually I’ve got plenty to do – but you know how it is.  When I think about going to work later I don’t feel like doing much now.

Can’t wait till we get some money so we can move to another apartment.  This one is nice enough but boy!  — sure gets noisy at times.  Wish I could go to work now.  I’m tired of sitting around, and I just now sat down.  Two hours till Bob gets off.  Can’t afford to go driving around.  I’d go nuts if I couldn’t write to you.

I’m sitting here with those for snapshots of you in front of me.  Wish to hell I was with you now.  Sure could use a big kiss to cheer me up.  Heck, just seeing you would do that, but I’d still like that kiss.  Sure has been a long time.

I really like that picture I took of you in my car after the Raiders concert.  That big smile and your bright eyes really turn me on.  That picture is just the way I think of you.  And the one in Texas, and the one in bed, and the one in your car.  I love them all, but especially the subject!  She’s the most wonderful gal in the world and I love her very much.

Sorry to hear G. is having such a tough time.  Hope she gets out of there real quick like.  I’ve got a feeling, though, that T. will give me quite a bit of competition over Labor Day.  He and I just may not get along.

Say, if your brother is home how did things go with him and T.Y.?  Not too bad, I hope.

Well, I’ve got to get cleaned up and go pick up Bob pretty quick.  Remember how much I love you and keep meeting the mailman.  I’ll try to keep him busy.

Take it easy, hon.

Love,

J.

Postmark August 20, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Sun. noon.

Hi Fuzz –

Just got up a little while ago.  Didn’t have a chance to write yesterday.  I started working at Lakeside amusement park last night to bring in a few extra bucks.  Worked till one in the morning.  This is just temporary till after Wednesday’s interview with IBM.  It’s kind of fun though.  I work with the bumper cars.

I have to leave for work in 20 minutes so this isn’t going to be very long.  Wish I could spend all afternoon writing to you.  Can’t though.  But tomorrow I’ll send a nice long one, okay?  Okay!

A drunk fell down the stairs in our building yesterday and just about killed himself.  He got a room right next to ours.  Another guy and I found him and called an ambulance.  He’s still in the hospital as far as I know.  Great neighbors we got.

Well I’ve got to get dressed and be on my way.  I love and miss you R., and I’m counting the days till I see you.  Two weeks from today we’ll be home.  Can’t wait till then. Take it easy!

Love,

J.

Postmark August 19, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Fri. afternoon

Hi Fuzz –

Hey, what’s the deal here?  You should be getting lots of letters – like one every other day at least.  I know I sent one Friday… or is that the one I took three days to write?  If it was I sent it Mon. morn so you should have gotten it Tues. I think.  Anyway I’m sorry if there was a slight lapse in there.  I’ll try not to let it happen again.  I just wonder if you’re getting all the letters I send you.

I got your card.  I got a good chuckle out of it too.  “Thank goodness” is the way I feel about it, even if you do wish you were a boy once in a while (like once a month!).  You remember in my last letter (yesterday’s) I said I hope to know more about my job situation today.  Well as usual I know even less today.  I called the IBM office this morning instead of driving all the way up there.  Good thing to the earliest they could schedule an interview would be Wed.  Fine.  So then I went to talk to Sue at Wards. I told her I’d like to talk to IBM before accepting at Wards.  Fine.  If I wanted I can still take it later if it’s open.  She said she tried to hold it open but couldn’t promise.  I could still get in another dept. when there is an opening if it isn’t.

So – now I’m not working until Wednesday at least.  If I were like Bob I’d bomb back to home to see you, but he needs the car to get to work and we are not in a financial position to do that every two weeks.  Sure wish I could though.

Gotta go pick up Bob pretty quick.  Have to write a letter to the folks and to H. tonite too.   I’ll get that chore over with and then relax and enjoy writing yours, okay? Okay, see you in a little while.


Well, now I can enjoy my favorite pass time.  We ate supper, did dishes, and I took a bath and washed my hair now.  So I’ll do a little more writing before I hit the sack.  Writing to you is better than a bedtime story.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to go to a place advertising for temporary construction workers.  Can’t sit around when I could have some money coming in.  Wednesday sure seems a long way off now.  I hope I’m not making a mistake by not taking that Wards job right now.  I don’t think so, but I can’t help wondering.  It sure is going to create some problems.

I wrote the folks and H. already tonight.  Got to get that car fixed – finally.

Bob hasn’t gotten a letter from Ruth for several days now, and I think he’s wondering what the deal is.  If you see her give her the broad hint, okay?  She’s probably got one in the mail by now though.

Oh yeah, The Monkeys are here in Denver tonight.  Big deal.

There’s a girl at Bob’s store named Vicki.  I don’t remember if I mentioned here before.  She’s just as much of a nut as Bob, and when those two get together, boy… well, you know how Bob is.  He hasn’t changed any either.

You know something?  You sent me sixteen letters (including the card) since I left, and used $1.96 worth of stamps.  Interesting, huh?  Well don’t stop.  Bob, Ruth, you and I are keeping the post office in business.  What would they do without us?

R., in my last letter I said I meant it the first time I ever said I loved you.  I meant it.  But as for being a passing thing, I guess I didn’t know about that then.  I’ll tell you again, like I told you the night before I left, that it was when I met you in S.F. after you came back from seeing Dale that I knew I never want to lose you.  Don’t ask me why, but it was then I knew I’d always love you, whether or not it was returned.  And I always will, no matter what.  I know that for sure.

Wish I were there to tell you in person, but I still wouldn’t know how to express myself.  It’s just not possible, yet I feel so helpless when I can’t put it into more than those three big words.  But I hope you understand without those impossible words.  If anyone could, you would.

Going to stop now.  Remember: I love you.  And I miss you so much it hurts.  I guess anyone would miss a person as wonderful as you, and for someone as lucky as me, it’s that much worse.  I love you honey.

Yours forever!

J.

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

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