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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,

J.

Job #3?  Really?

Postmark August 18, 1967. Denver, Colorado.


Thurs. afternoon

Hi Hon-

Boy, what a day I’ve had so far.  I went to Wards after taking Bob to work.  I was there until nearly 3:00 this afternoon, but I’ve got the job.  Had to take a physical and all sorts of neat stuff.  It’s as a salesman in rugs, linoleum, tile, and stuff like that.  Has a base pay of $70 a week or your commission, and they expect your commission to be more than that or you don’t work there long.  Anyway, I’m supposed to start there tomorrow at 12:30.

Well, after I left there I came back and got my till key and went to the station and told the boss.  Then I came back and picked up the mail.  I got a letter from you, Aunty, and a card from the folks.  There was a letter there from Seattle, and I figured it was from one of my brothers.  It wasn’t.  It was from B.N. They couldn’t bring themselves to write so they had her do it for them.  That’s really a couple of nice guys, huh?

Also, I got a letter from IBM.  They want me to go up to Boulder for an interview.  Great!  I just quit one job, haven’t even started on another, and now they finally want to see me.  So early tomorrow morning I’m going to bomb up there and talk to them.  This is getting to be quite a mess.  But if I can get on there I’ll sure take it.  Then Bob will be working in Denver and I’ll be in Boulder, and we’ve only got one car.  And it’s a long ways up there.  Bob’s job is too good to quit so I don’t know what we’re going to do.  Learn to fly maybe?

Gonna have to have a long talk with Bob about this tonight.  He may have to work till 9:00 though.  I have to go out there and see about 6:00.  Right now I’m busy washing clothes so I’ll have some clean ones to wear tomorrow, whatever happens.   So I’m planning on ironing till midnite at least.

I should know more after tomorrow.  Seems like I’m always saying that though.  And tomorrow always seems to bring up more problems.  Ah well, that’s life.

Last nite right after I finished your letter they played that song “Dreams” on the radio. I shut the radio off and went to bed.  Thought a lot about you and your letter.  And I prayed.  That’s something I don’t do often enough anymore.  Just like a lot of people I only pray when I want something real bad.  And that something is you.

So you’re an aunt now.  I’ve been going to ask you about that in my last few letters but I always forget.  Tell Steve that if he is passing out cigars that I expect one when I get home.  You save it for me, okay?  Of course I won’t smoke it in front of you.

Sorry about your little problem, but I’m damn good and glad you’re not a boy.  What would people think about us?  But if you stop feeding your brother the Mitol and use them yourself it might help.   I figured it would start pretty quick, because it’s been a month today since I left.

One month today.  When I think of you it seems like forever.  Yet in other ways it seems like we just left, or haven’t ever gone yet.  It’s kind of funny.  But usually it seems like forever because I’m usually thinking of you.

Well, I’m going to knock off for a while and finish the laundry and go pick up Bob.  I hope I can finish this tonite but I won’t promise anything.  Goodbye for now.  Love you.


High – I’m back.  I’m waiting for a load in the washer to finish.  So I’ll add a few more words.

I was going to ask my last initial was on your name in your last letter.  Aren’t you being just a little premature?  Not that I’d mind in the least, but not yet.  At least wait until I get home… it’s a great idea though as far as I’m concerned.

Wish the damn wash would hurry up and shut off.  I’m going to be late picking up Bob the way it is.  When I get there he’ll probably tell me he has to work till nine.  Just my luck.  There goes the washer.  Got a run.  More later.


Later – Well, I’ve ironed a couple shirts for tomorrow.  Still not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow and probably won’t know until I’m doing it or already done it.  But I know one thing – I’ve got to get up early, so I’m going to go to bed now.  Write tomorrow if I have a chance.

Love ya,

J.

So Bob is on his second job.  Dad is on his second job.  They’re broke.  And rent is due.  Dum dum dum!!  How will our heroes survive?

I’ve caught up with the letters as they were written, so from now on they won’t be posted daily but rather on the day they were originally postmarked.  So from here on out you can expect some days without posts, posts on weekends… whenever they were sent, they’ll be posted.

Postmark August 16, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Tues. Eve.

Hi Honey –

This is going to be a short letter and full of gripes and growls, but don’t mind me – I won’t bite.

First of all, Bob quit his job.  He took another one and started today, but he’ll look into some better ones tomorrow.  Right now though it looks like a lean week for us.  Bob’s got nine bucks to his name and I’ve got nineteen – and the rent is due tomorrow.  Ouch!  We’ve still got eighty bucks stashed away but we aren’t going to use that except in an emergency.  I hope there won’t be one!

Bob’s still not sure if he’s going to stay here or not.  I wish to hell he’d decide for sure.  I want time to get some transportation before he takes off – if he does. And if he stays we’ve got to get Colo. license plates and drivers licenses, and take care of several parking tickets Bob has accumulated.  But no sense in doing any of that until he’s sure.  And parking tickets out here aren’t cheap either.

I had to walk home from work today.  Bob’s new job is from 5:00 – 9:00 and I get off at 6:30.  Great.  And I couldn’t catch a bus.  It’s only about twenty blocks though.

When I got home I ate, washed clothes, and took a bath.  I just finished ironing a shirt for tomorrow.  Right now I’m bushed.  About ready to hit the sack.  I wanted to write a few words to you first, though.  Thinking of you was the only bright spot in my whole day, but you shone through strong and bright like you always do.  Every day at noon now I pick up a couple hamburgers and walk a couple of blocks to the Capitol grounds and flop on the grass.  I spent just about my whole noon hour thinking of you.  It’s the most enjoyable hour in my whole day.  I love you and can’t wait to see you again.  Hope it’s soon.

Well, got to get some sleep.  Sorry this is so short.  I’ll try to do better next time (possibly tomorrow) but I can’t promise.  Yes I can.  I promise my next letter will be a long one – well, longer than this one anyway.

“Take it easy”

Love,

J.

Well, my dad went and messed up my whole system.  I was posting these by the date they were postmarked because he never bothered to actually write a date on his letters… until now.  So this one started on the 11th – 3 days ago.  as you can see, sometimes his letters drag on for days, so I’ll keep publishing on the postmark date because those dates are the closest to the time the letters are finished.  As always, rules are subject to change or substitution depending upon availability.

Postmark August 14th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Fri.  Aug 11 – 67

Hi Hon –

Well, I got a job.  At least temporarily.  I didn’t take the one I told you about in my last letter.  It was the same deal as with Colliers but a different company.  I did take a job at a service station though.  Starts out at $1.40 an hour.  I start tomorrow morning.  It’ll be kinda fun to get a little grubby again.  I miss that.  And it’s good to know I’ll have some money coming too.

I got two letters today – one from IBM and one from Neodata.  Neo. said nothing was available right now.  IBM just acknowledged my application and said it would be a while before it could be evaluated and all that jazz.  So it’s hard telling when I’ll hear anything definite from them.

It was kind of funny this morning.  When I went to that office they gave four applicants a big line just like we got at Collier’s.  I could follow him word for word in most parts.  Then he asked everyone if they felt they would like that kind of job and if they could handle it.  All the other suckers nodded their fool heads off but I just sat there.  Finally he asked me – and I said “No!”   I never saw such a dumb look on anyone’s face in my life.  I’ll bet that has never happened to him before.  And then I got up and walked out, and laughed my way down the whole length of the hall.  I’d give ten bucks to be able to do that again!  That probably ruined his whole day, but it sure made mine.

I don’t know how we’re going to work this transportation bit now.  I have to be at work at 8:30 and Bob doesn’t usually go until 11 or 11:30.  I get off at 6:30 and Bob doesn’t it off until 8:00 or so.  I guess he’ll have to give me a ride in the morn. and I’ll have to wait an hour and a half in the eve.  I guess I could check on the bus routes too, but I hate taking buses.  I took one this afternoon up to get Bob’s car and that was bad enough.

Say, Bob’s improving – he washed three dirty glasses before he left this morning.  He forgot some silverware but you can’t expect miracles – especially from him.  Give me time he’ll end up at half civilized person (I hope, oh how I hope).

You did it again last nite.  No sleep.  Finally at 1:30 I got up and made myself a Swiss cheese sandwich.   I thought maybe it was hunger pangs but it didn’t help.  It was just thinking about you that did it.  I probably won’t get any sleep until you’re in bed with me.  No, then I know I wouldn’t get any sleep.  I guess I’m in one hell of a mess.  I wonder how long a person can go without sleep.  Well that’s about how long I’ve got left.  And it’s all your fault.  Or maybe it’s my fault.  Dean’s maybe?   I don’t know, but anyway I’m hungry so I’m going to stop and fix me another S. cheese sandwich.  More of my brilliant penmanship later.

I’m back – I just picked up Bob.  Is he ever riding high tonite!  He sold $105 worth of junk today, which is better than anyone in the whole operation has done except for the manager. Not bad at all.  And last week he was second highest in Denver and sales.  He’s shooting for salesmen of the week now (the week starts on Fri. so he’s off to a good start).


I’m back -like Sat. nite now.   If you can’t read this later (now) it’s because we’re in the car on the way to Boulder.  The legible parts are when we’re stopped at a sign.  Don’t know what we’re going to do tonite but we got to do something to relax.  So we’re off.

First day at the station today.  It’s kind of fun to do something like that again.  Don’t do as much mechanic work as at the D.S. though (Bob just got us lost so maybe we won’t make Boulder after all).  They do a lot of things different, but it wasn’t hard to catch on (we just figured out where we are).

It’s getting very windy and hard to write, so I’ll stop before I lose this letter out the window.  See you later.


Sun. eve – Sorry about dragging this letter on this way.  I’ve been sitting here relaxing for the last hour.  Had to work today – and tomorrow – and all next week and maybe all next weekend too.  But that’s okay.  It keeps me busy, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot more the last few days.  I might even get to like Denver at this rate.  That’s something I never thought I’d say.  There’s still one big thing missing though – you.  If you were here I’d love the place.

Haven’t heard a thing from J. or my cousin.  She should be here in Denver now.  Of course with nobody here most of the time she may have come while we were out.  I don’t know.  I wish I could have seen them both.

Oh yeah – Bob’s working for Bell Telephone  – we got the message loud and clear.

Well – I’ve got to take a bath and go to bed.  Didn’t get back from Boulder until 2:30 so I am kind of tired.  Went to a double feature at the drive-in.  Bob got drunk but then he slept all day today, too.  I didn’t (get drunk or asleep all day). So – good nite.  I’ll try not to drag these things out like this from now on.  In fact I’ll send another letter tomorrow, okay?  That’s a promise.

Love you always –

J.

We just hit 33 for those of you playing at home.

Turns out I was wrong twice, as his drawing goes with this letter.  I’m still not moving it, but we finally get to put that mystery to bed.

Shell Scott stories were written by Richard Prather, and though my library doesn’t have them, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m going to track some of them down.

Postmark August 13th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Mon. eve.

Hi Hon,

I have a feeling this is going to be a long, long book…er… I mean letter.  I’m feeling different tonite – like I’d like to see you and talk to you.  But first things first.  Thanks for the two pictures.  I got both your Fri. and Sat. letters today.  I really like the one of you in bed.  Wish that bed of yours wasn’t so far away.

You said not to worry about your date with Joe.  Honey, I don’t worry about you and other guys.  I know you and love you and trust you too much.  I do get a little jealous though – not of the times you go out with someone else but the time that I don’t get to see you.  I love you R, and I know I’ll always feel this way about you.  I love you.

I’m glad you’re goofing around again.  It’s just not like you to sit around at home.  Just take it easy at the Showboat.  Once in a while it gets pretty wild over there.

Well, start wasting paper.  I mean all those little things that “aren’t worth wasting paper on.”  They’re worth it to me R.  I really miss that stuff.  “Just stupid stuff – you know.”  And the not-so-stupid stuff, like about Dale.  I think you’ve got the right idea.  If you want to go to college for a year it won’t be wasted, no matter what you do after that.  He’s gonna have to realize that you’re the kind of girl who thinks for herself and that he can’t force you to see things his way.  I don’t think, in fact I know, that no one could do that.  And anyone who knows you and loves you wouldn’t want you to change in any way what-so-ever.  At least I know I don’t.  I want you just the way you are.

No, it’s not too much to ask for.  And don’t settle for anything less.

Enough of that.  Quote – “change the subject.”  Okay, I will.  Change to what?  Oh yeah – you are going to send me a picture of you in glasses.  What if I said I wouldn’t come home until you did?  Could you have one here by L.D.?    No, I couldn’t say that – I’m having a hard time waiting for L.D. the way it is.    It’s a little over two weeks off and it seems like two years.

We got Bob’s muffler fixed today.  All $23.38 worth.  Ouch!  It’s going to be a lean week I’m afraid.  Bob’s really hurting about now.  He got a raw deal at work.  Some of the stuff he sold didn’t get delivered on time so he won’t get a lot of his money until next week.  He got less than half of what he should have got today.  Tonite he got a paper and started looking through the want ads again.  One good thing – if he quits he’ll still have money coming from them over the next 3 or 4 weeks.  We’ll see tomorrow.  Anyway, I’m going to have to take a morning off next week and go pay a small fine on the mufflers.  Between $5 & $10 from what I hear just asking around.

They finished playing “Cherish” on the radio.  I had to stop and listen.  You don’t know how that song affects me, but you get an idea from that one short letter of mine.  Yesterday noon while I was eating I played it four times on the jukebox.  It is just about the saddest and loveliest song I’ve ever heard.  I know I’ll always think of that song in connection with you.  I love you so much!

You said something about wanting to see some of those things I wrote that one night.  Like I said, I tore up most of them, and I’ll probably do the same with the rest.  I’ll send you the sketch of the room though.  You must realize it’s not a professional artist’s work, in fact it looks like someone had a grudge on the room.  But then it was done pretty late at night (or early in the morning – 2:30).

You said Dex had a date Sun.  With who?  You realize that I’m behind the times here.  I mean, I’ve been gone for nearly four weeks (in fact, 4 weeks today) so I’d imagine he’s hustled three or four girls in that time.  Keep me posted, okay?

Say – have you ever read any of those Shell Scott detective stories?   I bought five the other day at a used bookstore (paperbacks).  They’re so damn funny I nearly die laughing.  Bob thought I was nuts at first but now he’s reading them and nearly cracking up to. And they’re supposed to be serious!  Here – I’ll quote you a paragraph.  This guy, Shell Scott, was trying to fix a breakfast of oatmeal.

“… well, where some people have mental or physical blocks I guess I have a mush block.  Damned if it didn’t happen again.  I even stood there watching it while it went flop, flop, flop – when lo and behold, there wasn’t a flop left in it.  The thing just lay there, looking at me kind of darkly.  It was dead.  I’d killed it.  And who wants to eat dead oatmeal?   So I put the pan in the sink and squirted water in it -psheeee, breakfast was over.”

Not funny?  Yes it is – isn’t it?  Well, it is in the book.  Anyway, I’ll let you read them if you want.  They’re quite humorous, really they are.

Say, I just thought of something.  I’ve got 13 letters from you now.  That’s an unlucky number so you’d best send some more real quick like and change all that.  Like 13 more tomorrow.  This week?  Well, as soon as possible.

Bob and I had a delicious two course dinner tonite.  The first course was pork and beans and the second was chicken noodle soup.  Great show of imagination, huh?  I sure thought so.  But we ran out of bread, so no more Swiss cheese sandwiches for a while.  (Sob!)  Bob just discovered that Swiss cheese, soda crackers, and beer goes well together, so perhaps all’s not lost.

Well, it’s getting late so I’d better knock off for tonite.   I sure felt like talking to you though.  I just about called hoping I’d catch you at home.  After taking stock of my resources I decided I’d best not.  Besides, I’ve got to start saving for L.D., right?   But I do miss you very much and think of you all the time.  I love you, honey, and I only wish you knew how much, I can’t even realize how much that it is.

Goodnight, my love,

J.

P.S.  Sketch of room is enclosed.  Very interesting.

I thought about renaming this blog “gushing young love” after counting up 29 “I love you’s” so far.  Of course this is just a prelude to his vietnam years, so this is leading up to a much longer separation when his tour starts.  I’m guessing of course, as I haven’t actually read any of them yet.

And to prove it, the picture from yesterday was actually mailed with this letter, not yesterday’s letter, but I’ll leave it where it is.  It also turns out that Cheathan is correct and it’s a last name, not first.  Makes me feel better.

No postmark.  August 12th? 1967. Denver, Colorado

12:00 noon

Greetings and Salutations!

Just got two of your letters this morning. When I opened them, what do I find? Three! All in one day – pretty good. I don’t mind that a bit. In fact I wouldn’t mind getting three every day. I made Bob drive to work while I read them. It’s a beautiful day now!

Sorry to hear about R. B. That gives me something else to worry about. Please be careful when you’re swimming out there, OK? I don’t want anything to happen to you – you’re too precious to me. So play it cool, okay?

Tell your brother to get off his dead end and quit goldbricking. No wonder he’s a wreck – a month of lying around doing nothing is enough to kill anyone. Exercise, that’s what he needs. Tell him it’s orders from Dr. J.  And I don’t like to send get well cards, but I might send him something like a jug of poison to put him out of his misery.

I just got back from a job interview. I go back tomorrow for an orientation type session, then if I like what I hear I’ve got a job. Can’t tell you much about it right now, but maybe in my next letter I can. Believe me I’m looking for a job I like – not just big money. And I’m taking into consideration such things as hours, weekends, and holidays. If it’s not the way I want it I won’t take it. And I told them as much today. We’ll see tomorrow how things come out.

I’m making like a housewife today. Just changed sheets on both beds and now I’m going to do some ironing and maybe some washing. It’s all left up to me ‘cause Bob would never think of it, but then most of the stuff that needs washing and ironing his mine anyway. Should do a little shopping today too. So I best sign off for now – more later.


Later – 20 more minutes and I’m gonna call you. I can hardly sit still because I want to do it now! But I want to be sure you’re home when I do call. You’re just getting off work about now. Hurry home! 15 more minutes – 14 – 13 – 12 – gee they’re going slow. Gotta think of something else for a few minutes. OK?

OK. Something else. What? You’re all I want to think about. Can’t think of anything more interesting in the whole world. And that covers an awful lot!

I decided I’d wait with the call until 10:15. That means I’ve still got 20 minutes to wait. You’ve just got to be home!

I had kind of a weird nite last night. I couldn’t get to sleep. Finally I got up and, because I didn’t have anything special to do, I made a sketch of the room. Don’t ask me why – when I finally went back to bed I still couldn’t sleep. (10 more minutes) At 3:00 I was still thinking about you. I don’t know what time I finally did drop off but at 6:30 I was wide awake again. So I lay in bed staring at your picture till 8:30. See what you’re doing to me now? You won’t even let me get a good nites sleep anymore.

6 more minutes – can’t think of anything except talking to you. I’m better go get some more change now. I’ve already got so much in my pocket I’m nearly losing my pants, but the way I feel now I’m gonna spend about $10 on this call. So long for now – I’ll be talking to you in a few minutes, honey, and then I can tell you how much I love you. More later –


Later again – it’s been an hour since I talked to you. Seems like a year already. You don’t know how great it was. We talked for 17 minutes and it seemed like about five. If I make it home for L. D. I know that will be too short too. Wish we were closer so we could come back every weekend, or at least every other. Now I want to see you more than ever, and it was pretty bad before! I love you so damn much I can’t stand it. How I wish I could say I’m on my way back to you right now. I love you. Just hearing your voice about killed me. I love you I love you I love you. There… now you know. And when I see you you’re going to get sick of hearing me tell you that, I promise.

I’ve got to go to bed. Have to get up early tomorrow and I’ve got a feeling I won’t sleep much tonight either. I love you.

J.

Dad crossed out that last part pretty good, but it can still be read it through the scribbles.  Probably best not to go around comparing who feels more lonely.  The picture is one that was included in the letter.  And no, I haven’t a clue what kind of name Cheathan is, but I swear that’s exactly what it looks like he wrote.

Postmark August 10th, 1967. Denver, Colorado.

Tues eve.

Hi Fuzz,

Well, I got a job, but I decided not to take it… yet anyway. If I did I wouldn’t have been able to make it back for Labor Day. When I found that out it didn’t sound nearly as attractive. A guy I talked to said there were nearly always positions open so if I decided to take it later I could – after L.D. weekend. It was as a salesman at a Phillips 66 Store and Station. No grub work. Guaranteed salary plus commission. Not too bad a deal except for working holidays. Maybe later.

What I want now is something for a couple of weeks until I hear from IBM and Neodata. That kind of job is harder to find than permanent work. If nothing turns up tomorrow morn. I’m going to do some bailing for a farmer north of Denver to earn a few bucks. Oh yeah, I got paid from Collins today so I got a few bucks in my pocket again. Spent a lot today, too. Gas, food, etc. Then Bob and I went up to Boulder to a show. It’s really idiotic to go running up there when the same show is on at a theater about 10 min. drive from here. It’s good to get out of the city though. We went to “Up the Down Staircase.” Pretty good.

We haven’t been able to find the manager all day, so we don’t know if we got any mail yet. If I have a letter from you sitting there and I can’t get it I just might clobber someone. She’s probably out drunk in some bar or something.

Well, it’s late. More tomorrow. Love you very much. Good night – smack – more tomorrow.

J.


Wed. morn.

Hi beautiful – I’m back.

Guess what – we had an earthquake this morning. It was a good one too. Nearly rolled me out of bed. Not quite that bad, but the glasses and lights were bouncing all over the place. On the radio they said it was felt over 100 miles away. Some property damage but no one hurt as far as I’ve heard.

I got a letter from the folks today complaining that I haven’t written enough (a postcard and a letter to them and a letter to Brenda) so I wrote a quick one to them this morning so they’d get it before they went on vacation. Now is when I ought to come back – then you and I could move into our house for a week. I think I’d kind of like that, yeah!

I found out why we couldn’t find a manager yesterday. She and her husband skipped town. You meet the nicest people in Denver!


Wed. eve.

Just got back from picking Bob up. He’s in a very quiet philosophical mood so he’s writing a book to Ruth. I think he’s found out that taking off this way isn’t the big lark he expected it to be. I’ll bet if I suggested we head back home tonite he’d be ready to go in two minutes flat. So would I for that matter, but at least I’ve got some good opportunities open to me that he won’t have for 2 months yet. I really doubt that he’ll stick it out that long.

I called the folks this evening, collect. Must have talked for 10 minutes. Good to talk to them. Mom’s having back trouble though. My cousin is getting married on the 19th and wanted Dex and I to be ushers. Wish I could make it back for a few days but I told the folks I couldn’t. So she’ll have to find someone else, I guess. That’s one of my cousins from Irene, by the way, not the one who will be here this weekend.

I was just talking to Bob. He’s not at all sure he’s going to be back Labor Day, back to Denver that is. We’re going to talk this thing over tonite. The way it sounds I may be coming back here alone after Labor Day. If I got a good job, of course. Bob is so hung up on Ruth he just can’t stay away. If he only knew how I felt! Maybe I’m just too stubborn to give up so easy. I just feel that if I’m not going to go to school like my folks want me to then I’ve got to make it on my own. I’m going to make it, too, if it kills me.

You said something in your letter about not being able to tell me all these little things like you used to. Sure you can! I miss all the little things too and hope you’ll write anything you want. Of course it won’t be the same as if we were together but I’d like it anyway. Besides – you still have to tell me how Cheathan’s going away party went – and that pint of vodka. Things like that and your “skinny dippin” are what I like to hear, plus those three beautiful words “I love you.” Especially those three words. Hope you can always say that like I’ll always be able to. I love you.

Hey, you still have to send me that picture of you I took in your old beast. Send it! Now! Immediately! OK? I still don’t have my 25 pictures. You’re falling behind. And if you want to make it 50 that will still be fine with me. I love you, and if I can’t be with you I want all the pictures I can get. Sometimes I just sit and stare at your pictures for hours on end, and they’re getting wore out from use.

Well – Bob’s in a hurry to mail these letters so best I sign off – I love you and miss you very much – and you think you’re lonely?

Love,

J.

Dad gets a little goofy in the middle of the first letter.  I have no idea who Mel is or why Mickey Mouse is even mentioned.  Seems to be 1/2 of an imaginary conversation.  Funny though.  FYI: Poncho means Pontiac.

No Postmark. Written August 7, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Monday, Aug 7th, eve.

Hi Fuzz!

Got your two letters today.  Just finished reading them for the 4th time.  You don’t know how much they mean to me… you couldn’t know — but never stop, okay?  Alright already.

Don’t worry about my job.  I quit as I told you in the letter I mailed this morning.  But I don’t think Mr. Evans was feeding me a lot of bull, because if he does anything but chew your ass you’re lucky.  And he’s got the top crew in the Denver district under him and he wants to keep it that way.  He had over 20 guys to pick from and he picked me.  I’m afraid I kinda let him down when I quit, but that’s life.  I hated to do it, but that kind of stuff just isn’t for me.  Oh yeah, the library you asked about — it’s the Collier Junior Classics and it’s the Collier Encyclopedia.  And they’re not about to skip town on anyone.  So there wasn’t any need to worry, was there?

You know something?  Actually I just a soon be working at a service station too.  I kinda miss that.  I’m trying to find something like that now.  I didn’t find anything today.  I spent half my time looking for this one place.  I’ll find out on Wed. if I’ve got a job there.  I’ve also got a possibility at a tire shop.  Something will come up, don’t worry.  I didn’t even cover a quarter of the possibilities I marked in the paper, and I found more in todays, so… And if I can’t find anything I’ll just loaf around and let Bob support me.  Wouldn’t that be nice?!!

Say Honey, I’m sorry about that letter I wrote while I was out of it.  I should have waited to tell you, but I just wanted to tell you then, so I did.  I even had to have Bob address the envelope, if you noticed.  If he hadn’t you probably never would have got it, which would have been just as well.  It won’t happen again, I promise.  It was the only time since we left that I did any real drinking, so it’s not something we do all the time down here.  OK?  OK.  Enough on that.

You there!  Hi!  How you doing, Mel?  Good, glad to hear it.  Quiet, gotta watch the Mickey Mouse show.  Wanna watch?  Yeah?  Well — okay.  Shhhhhhh.  Say now — about Dale —  if he’s going to be home over labor day let me know and I’ll come some other time.  I don’t think things would work out for anyone if we were both there, do you?  Actually I’d kind alike to meet the guy though — just to see what I’m up against.  I’m sure he’s a great guy.  At least he’s got excellent taste in women.  Runs pretty much the same as mine, did you notice?  Funny thing.  Oh well…

I’m in a funny mood about now.  Don’t know if it’s good or bad.  Wish you were here to tell me.  Of course if you were here I’d be in a great mood.  You seem to have that effect on me.  Wonder why?  I just realized how my letters ramble on and on about everything and nothing.  But it makes me feel better to write you.  You can tear these up for burn them if you want, but I’m just gonna keep rambling.  OK?  OK!

Say — that “skinny dippin” sounded like fun!  Wish we could’ve done that before I left.  Maybe Labor Day if it’s warm enough, how’s that?  Gotta million things to do that weekend.  Better make it a long one.  How many days do you get out of school?  Don’t you start just before L.D.?  Anyway, it’s gonna be a blast.  If it’s warm enough will see if we can’t get a beach party going with a mess of couples.  That’s something else I wanted to do before I left and never got it done.  Well, maybe Labor Day.

Too bad about needing glasses, but I kind of suspected it.  No, I don’t remember what Terri’s glasses were like, but I’m sure they’ll look good on you.  As long as they don’t make you look like an old maid librarian or something.  As soon as you get them have someone take a picture and send it to me.  I want to be able to recognize you when I see you!

Well, gotta pick up Bob now.  I’ll finish this later.  I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have someone like you to write to.

I love you forever,

J.

9:15pm

Hi — I’m back!

I never should have left.  When I went to get Bob I got picked up.  Mufflers.  Got a warning ticket.  30 days.  Means we’ve got to get them fixed and spend some more dough.  Blast the luck!  I wasn’t even four blocks from the apt.  Oh well, easy come easy go.

If you’re wondering why I started writing on both sides of the paper is because I finally figured out that it saves paper.  (Duh)  Anyway I can write more on less paper.  Brilliant, huh?

If J. left Thurs. he should have been out here by now.  Maybe he came around when we weren’t here.  Hope not.  Bob said he wasn’t sure if he could stop off here, but he said he would probably be about the 11th.  But if he left Brkgs Thurs…  I don’t know.  I’d sure like to see him though.  Even if he did pull kind of a ratty trick on you.  He’ll hear about that if and when I see him.

R., I miss you something terrible.  All Bob and I do anymore is write letters to you and Ruth.  We’re both pretty damn lonely.  Wish we weren’t so far away so it would be a little more practical to run home once in awhile (by that I mean back to Brkgs to see you).  Maybe if things don’t pan out here We’ll try to arrange that.

Bob noticed your art work on the back of that one letter.  He got a good chuckle out of it.  If it wasn’t on part of the letter I’d have it framed and hung up by now, but I keep all of your letters together.  I can see that you put many long hours into that masterpiece though.  Wish I could hang it up.  Oh yeah, you’ll never believe this: Bob might become a Bible salesman.  He thinks he’ll try it part time in the mornings if he makes it he’ll quit Watkins.  I can’t see him selling Bibles, not the Bob I know anyway.

Last nite after I wrote that last letter to you I was feeling kind of depressed, so I started writing some stuff to myself.  All sorts of idiotic things.  Bob thought I was nuts.  I sat here writing for an hour and a half after he went to bed.  It was really weird.  I ended up tearing most of it up.  Wasted about 8 pages of paper.  I kept a couple though.  Maybe I’ll show them to you someday.  They’re really kind of funny.  You’ll have to promise not to laugh though.

Today I was reading through a book of poems in a store (I was checking on a job).  I found a couple that I thought were kind of good.  I copied two of them on scratch paper and I think I’ll copy them over and send them to you.  In a way they express how I feel, although I’ve never found anything that did that completely and as meaningfully as I feel it should.  I don’t know, maybe you’ll like them.

Things like those poems in that part from that book really hit me hard now.  I love you so much!  The poems themselves aren’t really very good but the ideas behind them are so appropriate of the way I feel about you that to me they’re beautiful.  I love you!  I love you!  Wish I could tell you in person.  I will before too long.  That I promise!

Let me tell you what it’s going to be like when we pull into town L.D. Wkend.  Before we do anything I’m going to make Bob drop me off at your place, no matter what time it is, nite or day.  Then I’m going to hug you and kiss you until you beg me to stop.  Then I’m going to go home, clean up, and pick you up in my Poncho (if it’s still running) and spend every minute I can with you.  (Count on one midnight swim if it’s warm enough) We’ll make that weekend a long one, but for me I know it will go too fast.  Forever would go too fast.  I’m looking forward to the minute I can hold you and it seems now like it will never come.  But until I can tell you in person I want you to remember that I love you deeply and I always will.  I wish there was a more meaningful way of saying that but I can’t find it.  I love you!

Well, gotta go.  I’m going to copy those poems now and send them along with this.  I love you, R., don’t forget that.  I know I can’t forget your love.

Forever,

J.

Postmark August 7th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado

Sun. Eve.

Hi Honey,

Sorry I haven’t written for a couple of days but I was out of paper.  But now that I’ve got some I’ll make it up to you.  Come to think of it though I haven’t got a letter from you for a few days either.  Hmmm…  What’s going on back there, lose your pen?

Well, I quit Colliers yesterday morn.  I’ve got the check coming from them tomorrow that’ll keep me going for a while.  I’m going to go out and look for another job tomorrow too.  I’ve been looking in the want ads and I’ve got about a dozen possibilities marked and I’m not half through yet.  Should be able to find something, so I’m not worried… yet.

The Association is going to be at Elitch’s Aug. 13 so I’m going to go see them.  My cousin should be here then so I’ll see if she can go to.  Gotta make it to that place sometime!

Ever since you mentioned that song “Dream” or whatever it’s called, that song has been going through my head day and night.  It seems to fit pretty good at this end of the line to.  It seems like every song I hear reminds me of you in some way.

I read a book this weekend, The Dirty Dozen.

There was one part in there that really struck me.  Maybe you’ve seen the movie by now (I did) but this wasn’t in there.  The Captain, John Reisman, was in bed with a girl he loved and they were talking about a lot of things.  One thing he said was really beautiful.  She said, “I love you, John.  I believe you’re fond of me.  We may each die tomorrow… today.  What lost to the world?  None.  But how much greater the loss to ourselves without this.”  Now I’m not one to feel we should live for today in case tomorrow never comes, because I always know it will, but somehow this shows the insignificance of an individual and the magnificence of such a human relationship.  If tomorrow never did come for me, at least I would have experienced a true relationship like this built on love.  And I love you dearly.

It’s things like that passage that make me think of you all the time.  Sometimes it gets so bad that I have to force myself to think of something else or do something active.  It’s really bad.  I can’t eat and I’m getting all shriveled and yellow and my hair is falling out and I’m too weak to get out of bed.  No, not quite that bad yet.  But I do miss you.

Bob and I went up to Boulder again last nite and today.  Went to a show last nite and swimming this afternoon.  You don’t know how good it is to have a few minutes to relax once in a while.  I even got to sleep till noon today, or at least I stayed in bed till then.  Then we got up and fixed a big steak dinner.  The only thing we were missing was mashed potatoes and milk.  We ran out of milk and forgot to get more so we settled for Pepsi.  Pretty good!

They’re playing “The Stripper” on the radio now.  That’s one song that doesn’t make me think of you, anyway.

Had a little more race trouble here last week.  Some car windows were smashed and store windows smashed and shot out.  They just about had a riot started at one shopping center but some Negro leaders talk them out of it, and the owners didn’t press charges for the damage so everything’s okay now.  (I hope) there were rumors that a riot was supposed to start Tuesday, but it was changed to tonight.  So far I haven’t heard anything so I guess it’s off.

Hey, you know your suggestion about coming out and keeping house for us sounds great, but I’m afraid you’d have a pretty big job on your hands.  Bob is about the messiest slob I’ve ever seen.  I spend most of my time cleaning up after him.  He’s starting to improve but he’s still got a long way to go.  I’d sure like to see you out here though.  Why don’t you see if you can talk your folks into paying your relatives of visit?  I could send you the money to get out of here.  I won’t promise I’ll let you go back though.  Hell, I know you can’t, but I can still wish it, can’t I?

How did your slumber party go?  I don’t know why they call it a slumber party because all girls ever do is yak all nite.  It sounds like the type of party I’d like to attend.  I imagine you managed to find a lot of nutty things to do, huh?

Look, I’m going to call you this week if you’re not working.  I’ll make it Fri. nite so that if you are working you can let me know before then, okay?  It’ll be at 9:00 your time because of lower rates after 8:00 out here.  Hold it!  Make that Thurs. nite.  I’ll still get your letter in time if you sent it real quick like the day you get this.  O.K.?

Gotta go.  Suppose I’d best write the folks a letter.  I’d rather keep writing you, but…

All my love,

J

This letter was written on the back of a supplemental sheet of an application for IBM.  Have to admit I was pretty surprised he left this job so quickly but it makes more sense this way.  The man I remember wasn’t a salesman type guy and I was pretty shocked when I read he was ever in sales in the first place.  Also, at the end of the actual letter he starts cramming in words and writes the PS up the side margin to fit it in.

Postmark August 5th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Hi Honey,

Sorry about the writing material but Bob has this bad habit of using up all our writing paper. Sorry it’s been so long since writing last.

Say, that last letter I wrote… I was in a pretty bad way during most of it. First time in a long time I’ve been like that! Had a blast with the guys though.

It won’t happen again. I’m quitting Collins. It’s too damn much like being another damn door-to-door salesman. There’s a lot of money to be made real quick but it’s just not for me. Soooo…

I’m sending in an application at IBM and another place and try to get in on the job training set up in data processing. If nothing comes of that we’ll probably blow this town. Know for sure in about two weeks. Hope to get on with one of them because they’re both in Boulder. I’d give anything for a decent job up there.

I miss you an awful lot, honey. I’m just counting the days until Labor Day. If something comes up so I can’t get back then I think I just say to hell with the whole mess and go back anyway. I will say that Collins hasn’t given me much time to think about you lately, but when I do it’s just that much worse. Why else would I be writing you at 2:00 in the morning like this? And I’ve got to get up at 8:00. Therefore, I should sign off. Besides, I’m out of paper.

I love you,

J.

P.S. They’re playing “Silence Is Golden” now. Wish you were here to hear it with me. Love ya.

From what I could research, the federal drinking age limit at this time was 18, though individual states were allowed to make it higher. I’m assuming by the tone of the letter, he’s underage in Colorado.  But hey, it’s 1967 so who cares, right?

Postmark August, 3rd 1967.  Denver, Colorado


Wed.  Noon.

Hi Honey,

I came home from dinner this noon and I’ve got a few minutes before I go back, so I thought I’d engage in one of my favorite pastimes – writing you.  Actually reading your letters is my favorite but this is second.


Hi Honey, I’m drunk.  But I placed my first god damned order tonight.  Then Mr. Evans and Jim and I went out and celebrated.  They’re great guys.  I may not be 21 but with them it doesn’t matter.  Mr. Evans said some things tonite that me feel pretty good.  He said he picked me to be on his crew because he always wanted the best crew in Denver and he’s the district manager so he got the pick of the bunch.  Besides that he paid for everything tonite.   Went to a bar called the Red Beret.  They got a negro piano player there that is just great.  Whenever he sees Mr. Evans come in there are three songs he plays no matter how many other requests he’s got.  I can’t remember the names but they’re good.  I’m gone to bed now but I want you to remember that I love you and am thinking of you all the time.  Mr. Evans asked me tonight (he was kind of toasted too) if I had a fiancé -(sp?) or any thing.  That got me started thinking of you even more.  Hope you miss me as much as I miss you.

Love you honey,

J.

Postmark August 1st, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Sun. Eve.

Hi-

That’s about all I could say to Bob when I saw him, too.  I had just got back from work and was shot, as usual.  He made it back about one this afternoon.

I talked him into going off to Boulder for a swim.  I haven’t been out of this town for a week now and I was going bugs.  Fine.  We went up and got there just as the pool were closing, 7:00 o’clock.  So we rode around and saw some more of the town.  I’d love to live there.

We had a chance to pick up two girls on the way back, in a small town called Lafayette.  We talked to them for a minute but neither Bob nor I felt like pursuing the subject.  We miss what we got back home to much.

I can’t wait until my cuz gets here.  Just the chance to talk to a female for awhile would be welcome.  Don’t know how much I’ll be able to see her though, because of the odd hours I’ll be keeping.

Bob said he talked to you and you bitched him out.  Well, it wasn’t his fault I came out here, but I think if I would have known how much I would miss you, I never would have gone.

I’m sorry to hear Chuck stood you up.  In fact I’m a little bit pissed at him for a stunt like that.  And you can tell him I said so.  Boy!

Like I was saying about not caring about finding any available girls, you know?  For the last 10 days there have been broads all over the place because of that Teen-Age Fair across the streets.  I have never had such an opportunity to hustle in my entire life.Wasn’t even interested.  I must be sick or something.  Maybe just satisfied.

When Bob started talking about you I damn near headed for home right then instead of Boulder.   I already talked to my boss about L. D. weekend. Told him I still have a lot of stuff to bring down here from home.  I don’t think there will be any sweat as far as that goes.  If he won’t let me off I’ll quit, so help me God, I’ll quit.  And that’s a promise.

I just thought of something.  I hope to hell Dale isn’t going to be back, is he.   You said something  once about he might be back somewhere in there didn’t you, or did I dream this up?  I hope I dreampt it all.   I couldn’t stand the thought of having to share you for those few days.


Mon.

I didn’t go to work today.  Bob woke me up before he left, but when I got up I just about fell flat on my face.  All morning I was making trips to the can.  Feeling better now, but still a little weak.  When Bob gets home I’m going to try to get some food in me again.  Maybe that will help.

Have you seen J.B.?    Mom wrote that he was home and Bob talked to him.  Bob gave him our address.   He’s going to be in Denver for a few days and is supposed to look us up.  Sure hope he does.

I just got your last letter.  About that bit about Dale – I had the feeling that that was the way it was.  Maybe leaving was to my advantage.  I have the funny feeling that it’s always going to be that way though.    But don’t feel that I’m pressuring you to make such a choice or ever expect it of you.  Whatever way you do finally choose, Dale, me, or some other guy, I’ll know that that is what you want for sure.  And just knowing you for the wonderful person you are is more than I have any right to expect from you, and your love…   I’m just glad that you can tell me that.  And I’ll keep telling you over and over again that I love you.  I’m just afraid you’ll get tired of hearing that before long, but I do love you, and I always will.

Always,

J.

P.S. this is the last page of this pad and every sheet except 3 have gone to you.  How ‘bout that?

Postmark July 30th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Dear R,

I’m all alone… deserted on the foreign shore, knowing no one, friendless and afraid, seeking a friendly smile… actually I’m just crying over the fact that Bob went back home and I couldn’t go. (Sob) But, I will be brave. I will stare adversity in the face and keep my chin high until he shall return. I will overcome. (Actually, I just hate walking everywhere) Now that I’ve cried my poor little heart out on your shoulder I’ll cut the crap, okay?

I went grocery shopping late this afternoon. I figured that since we have a stove and fridge, now I’d pick up some stuff we could fix here. I ended up spending 14 smackers. I had two big bags to carry back 6 blocks. Actually it’s only 2 blocks in a straight line from our apartment, but because of the big fenced off construction area I had to detour 4 blocks, I was so pooped when I got back I didn’t eat anything anyway.

Tomorrow’s going to be a big day for me. Training class until 2: 30 and then I go out and observe. Probably won’t get home tomorrow night until 10 p.m. or after. Saturday I’m on my own. They had a bad week last week so we’ll have to work Sunday too. I won’t get a day off until next Sunday. But then the more I work the more money I get, so…

I’ve been studying all night again. I just took a short break to take a bath and write a few words to you. I suppose I’d best get back to work. So long for now,

Love,

J.

It’s now 11:15 Friday nite and I have been working since 6:00 this morning. I went observing tonight and it was terrible. The guy I was observing said it was the worst night he’d ever had, and he’s an expert. It was a bitch. But, ready or not, I’m on my own tomorrow. Thank God they don’t expect more than one order our first week

The guys I work with are really great. They screw around with you a lot and give you a hard time, but when they get down to business they’re all dead serious about helping you the best they can. The guy I observed tonight told me he was going to try and get me on his crew. That made me feel pretty good. I hope I don’t disappoint him.

Well, gotta go. I’ve got a good two hours of studying to do before I go to bed. I won’t bother to close this letter because more than likely I’ll write some more before I send it. I’m thinking of you always.
It’s now Sat. nite. Just got home from work, (7:30)I was on my own today and didn’t place an order. My biggest consolation was that at least one of the three experienced guys got skunked and maybe one other one, I’m not sure. They seemed to think it was just great that I gave for presentations today. I guess they didn’t expect as much from me as I do.

Mr. Evans is always making fabulous offers to get guys to work harder. He told the other two guys with us today that if they each placed 20 orders in the next four weeks he would give them an expense paid three day vacation in Las Vegas. He told me that if I placed just one order today he would give me a complete new fly fishing outfit. He must’ve been reasonably sure that a new guy won’t place on his first day. Hope to place tomorrow, though. Have to go to work at 12:30.

Now it’s a quarter to eight and I’m going to bed. Ain’t that the shits, going to bed early on a Saturday night? If I was with you I probably wouldn’t make it home at all. I hope you don’t plan to make at home over Labor Day weekend, because you won’t gal. You’ll be all mine… that is if you don’t mind.

Well, good nite. More tomorrow. Love you forever.

Yours,

J.

Sunday morn. 8:30am. I just got up.

I can’t believe how I slept. Right after I wrote those few lines to you last nite I lay down on the bed with all my clothes on and fell asleep. About midnight I finally woke up and got ready for bed.

Today was the first time in three days I had a chance to go down and get the mail… and there wasn’t one from you. I got one from the folks but big deal. No, actually it is nice to hear from them, but I’d much rather get one of yours.

There’s one thing in your last letter I’m going to give you hell about, though. That was when you said “I have no talents-.” R, you have more talent than you know what to do with. You have a talent for being yourself, and of being the most sincere and honest person I have ever known. You have the ability to like people in general and a great capacity for love. And because of all these things, I love you. These are traits that everyone admires. You seem to enjoy the little things in life that most people don’t appreciate the way they should. The truth is R, your just too good to be true.

It’s all these things and more that makes me miss you so much. I just hope and pray that your idea of me won’t lessen while I’m away, because the way I think of you could never change.

All my love,

J.

Just so you know, I accidentally posted this one yesterday instead of the proper letter.  My mistake.   You can scroll down to read the correct post, as I have posted this one (again) today, which forced that one down the page farther, but put everything in the proper order.  Still working out the kinks.

Postmark July 29th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Hiya, Fuzz!

It’s eleven thirty and I just got home from work and I’m dead tired, but I wanted to write you so you’d get this before you left.  You don’t know how I’ve been waiting and waiting for letter from you and wondering why the hell I didn’t get one.  This is Wednesday, by the way, and I got your letter Monday.  I’ve been trying to find time to write but haven’t found any, so now I’m making some.  (Excuse the writing but I’m trying to do this in bed.)

I hope you don’t get bumped on the way back like you did going down.  It’s a bad deal on the Fourth of July weekend though.  But I hope not, because I miss you.  I could fill this letter by saying I miss you!  I miss you!  I miss you!  over and over again.  It wouldn’t be a very interesting letter, but it would be a long one.  Anyway, hurry back, and let me know when you’re supposed to get in.  Okay?

R, you don’t have to worry about Terry.  Maybe I can explain better on paper how I feel.  I think Terry is a better person than she or anyone else thinks.  She’s unsure of herself and doesn’t know what she wants or expects from life.  If I can help her at all I will.  As for anything more than that, no dice.  I might have gone for in a big way before I met you, but not now.  Try to understand, please?

Now, on to the story of my wild two weeks.  Work.  Well, not all work, but quite a bit of it.  Last Saturday though Dex & I got a car together.  It’s the most beautiful ’48 Chevy you ever saw.  Our uncle gave it to us because it didn’t run and was just sitting out in the trees.  So last Saturday we went down to Irene and towed it back.  I diddled around and had a running in half an hour.  We went tearing around Sunnyview in it for a half an hour, then drove it into the station.  We worked on that Sunday and now all we have left is some brake work and install some new seats we bought out of a junker.

Then we’re going to paint ourselves and she’ll be ready to go.  Neat, huh?  I’ll give you a ride next week.  We’re not going to license it until after the first so we’ll only have to pay half-price.  So far we’ve only got about $8 apiece in it, so that’s not too bad.

Wakeman has been planning to take off next Wednesday.  He quit the theater, by the way, and is working on that new church by the hospital.  Anyway, he’s going to take it off.  I tried to talk him into staying until later in the summer, but he won’t.  So tonight I told him that if he waited until the middle of July I’d go with him.  So that is probably when we’ll leave.  We could still leave right after the wedding but I’d rather have a little more money in my pocket when we do.  Besides, I want to be able to see you for awhile.

You know how I’ve always told you whenever I took out another girl?  Well, since you haven’t been to handy for last week and a half I’ll have to tell you now.  One night last week (Tuesday I think) I had a date with Kay Ohm.  You’ll probably hear about that the minute you hit town because we saw the twins and some of your friends as we went into the show, and their mouths just about hit the floor.  Thursday there was a dance at the armory.  I met Barb Nelson, a girl Dex had been hustling, and had a date with her that night.  I’ve only seen Terry three times since you left.  Once we had lunch together, a week ago Sunday I was with her for almost 45 minutes, and last Sunday we went and had a couple of beers at Campbell when I got off work.  So you can see you don’t have to worry about her.

Well, it’s getting late and I have to go to work tomorrow morning, so I’d better close.  Say hi to Nancy for me and wish her and Bernie the best of luck.  You can tell her that I’m a little ticked off at her for keeping you down there so long, and I’m not sure I’ll forgive her (until you get back anyway).  And you be sure to hurry back.  I miss you.

Love,

J

Postmark July 27th, 1967.  Denver, Colorado.

Monday Evening

Dear R, (Dear Juliet?)

Thanks for the pictures. I think that one snapshot is the best picture of you I’ve even seen. Bob disagrees. He still likes the one in my car. At any rate, I’m glad I have them both.

This letter writing is getting a little out of hand. I’m just not a letter writer, yet in the last week I’ve written more letters than the rest of my life combined. Of course, the person I’m writing to could have something to do with it.

Chances are I won’t be able to write as often from now on. I start work tomorrow and will be kept pretty busy for the next two weeks. I’ll still write when ever I get the chance though.

Well, we found Bob a job. Actually, we found him two jobs. One of them he can start next Mon. as a telephone contact man. The other one isn’t a sure thing yet but he’ll find out for sure tomorrow. That one is in the order dept. of some store. It should pay pretty good and has a training program with it. Anyway, I think we’ve got the ball rolling now.

Oh yeah. This is kind of cute. But you don’t breathe a word of this to Ruth or Bob will kill you. Ruth told Bob that someday she wanted a V.W., painted competition orange with black polka dots and two orange balls stuck on two antennas on the front end. Then paint “Lady Bug” on the back. Well, today Bob bought a model VW and is going to fix it up that way. He’s never built a model before and he’s having a blast. It may not look like Ruth’s dream car when he’s done, but it’s the thought that counts. (He just put the front axle on crooked so it’ll be turning corners all the time). He got me laughing so hard I just about drowned in my coke.

Well, now it’s Mon. nite. My first day at the office today… and what a day. From 9:00 – 2:30 had training. Got off and went home and have been studying until now. (It’s 10:45) Bob’s been helping me a lot. I’m just about shot now.

I took twenty minutes off for supper, then about 6:45 (your time) I tried calling you but you were working. Next time I’ll make an appointment before I call.

Well, this is going to be all for tonite. I know it’s not much, but I’m too far gone for any more right now. I’m thinking about you though.

Love,

J


Hiya R Beautiful

As always

(in the middle of everything)

-Bob-



I’m back, for a while any way. Thanks to Bob it looks like this letter is going to be a page longer, but I guess that’s okay. It would have been pretty long anyway.

I got your letter today (Wed) when I got home from work. You asked me more about my job. Well, like I told you, I’m working for P.F. Collier. Now Collier’s is coming out with a new major reference library next year, which is our way of saying an encyclopedia. What I’ll be doing is promoting this library. Now when you think of Colliers, you probably think of magazines. Colliers went out of the magazine business 10 years ago, but that’s still what we are associated with. Part of my job will to help change this. More specifically though, what I’m being trained for is to interview people and actually give away these encyclopedias. Sounds easy? Well it’s not, believe me. The people have to qualify and we have to be very selective.

According to the program I’m supposed to go from class-room to active training Mon. But I’ve talked to a couple of guys who have been there a few days longer and none of them are going to make it in their scheduled time. They were held back for one reason or another. So this kid is working his little red butt off so I won’t be held back a day. Last night I had four full pages to memorize word perfect and be able to present today in a conversational way. I think I did okay, at least a B, maybe an A (we’re graded, like school). Tonight I just have two and ½ pages, that’s why I thought I’d have time to write you some before I started on it. Besides this we have all sorts of other crap to do. It is really worse than school.

But then at school I didn’t have all this morning looking me in the face. You see, if we do well enough in training they will put us on what they call an incentive plan. If I get on that I will get $60 for each and every library I place. The average is about 3-4 a week, in which case I’d be making $210 – $280 a week, and that ain’t hay.

I talked to one fellow that was in charge of part of our training yesterday. His name is Larry Robuck and he’s a training manager making $15,000 a year. He’s nineteen years old and has been with the company four months.

Now it’s 10:15. I’ve been working on those 2 ½ pages for over 4 hrs now and I’m sick and tired of that shit. I still don’t know it as good as I should but I’m going to bed now and getting up early tomorrow and study for a couple of hours.

We moved into a larger apt today. This one is really nice. I think we’re going to stay here for a while now. It has a stove and a frig, and two rooms with two beds. About now Bob and I both count the two beds as a blessing. It even has a fireplace. Real fancy like.

There was a shooting this afternoon right on the corner where I work. I was home at the time but there were sirens going all over hell for a while and then we heard it on the radio. Some guy got it in the chest. They haven’t caught the guy who did it yet though.

R, I’m almost sure now that I’ll be back over Labor Day, possibly for a few days. That is if everything works out like I hope it will. I hope it does because I want to see you so bad I can taste it. You were right though in saying you have decisions to make and your still being young. It has always been my policy not to say such things, but then… you’re changed a lot of my policies. I’m the future I will just stick to telling you how very much I love you and want you. Or maybe now would have been a more appropriate time to send you that one short letter of mine, I don’t know.

Well, I’ve got to hit the sack pretty quick like. I’m going to have to get up at 6:00 tomorrow and do some more studying. I’ll also close this letter because I just realized how long it’s gotten. I’ll start another one tomorrow tho, because I just have to write you some every day. I love you, honey, and don’t ever forget it.

Love always,

Romeo <— Where the hell did you ever get that?

J.


P.S. Oh, yeah, our Zip Code. Well I’m in bed now and I’m not getting up to look for it, but you used it right on one of your first letters.

All my love,

J.

Jeff and Rita on her 17th Birthday

Photobucket

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