February 27, 1946

Willis’ letters are missing from February 22 – March 22, 1946.  We will be substituting Sarah’s letters in their place for some of the time and other letters from our archive.

February 27, 1946 

Dearest Darling Lover —

I had thought there would be mail from you today, but there wasn’t any. I hope all those letters start to come through pretty soon. However, after that very recent letter of yesterday, I shouldn’t complain. Just the same, it is always a much brighter day when your letters come. It shouldn’t be too much longer before you can come home though, Darling. I miss you all the time – it is hard even to imagine what it would be like to be with you again, so I guess I just won’t try – I’ll let it be a glad surprise. I know this though, I’ll be loving you just that much more. Dr. Wilson had a fine message in prayer meeting tonight on the things that cannot be shaken, from Hebrews 12:27, and he said that true love was among the things that cannot be shaken – it just grows stronger the more it is tried, and I know that is true. How thankful I am for you and for the wonderful love we have together in Christ. Founded on that rock, it can never fail. I love you so, Darling.

  I’m quite tired tonight for some reason. I’ve had quite a busy day. I got up at my old time – 5:15 this morning, and I guess I’m getting soft and am not used to it anymore. I’m going to bed rather early anyway. I wanted to get out to school rather early. It was snowing hard when I left and kept it up till after 10:00, but later on the sun came out and melted it all, and tonight everything is almost as black and bare as it was before. The streetcar was delayed several times this morning so it took me extra long to get to school. I got there about 8:20 and arranged my picture file to hand in and then went to the library to study some more for the M & M test.  However, first I got Dr. Mantey out of his class which he was giving an exam to, and presented him with the stamps you sent. He was very much pleased with them – said they were mint stamps and surcharged – which means that they have been printed over with a different denomination on them, or something. He asked about you of course, and said he hopes you get home soon. He wondered if you still wanted to go to school when you get home and said I thought so, but it is very hard to discuss things long-distance like we have to do.

Mr. and Mrs. Mantey. February, 1945. From Willis’ scrapbook that he kept during the war.

  Dr. Mantey gave a good talk in chapel, and he used the same text that Dr. Wilson used tonight. Only he stressed the point that there is nothing to be afraid of in life or death, and the surety we have for eternity. And all that helped me, Lover. Wasn’t it strange that they should both choose the same text the same day? It was a good prayer meeting both at school and at church. We had the M&M test, and it was surely a good one – comprehensive I mean. I don’t know what else she could have asked. I’ll decline to comment on its ease until I get my paper back. I went over and ate with Gen and the boys. Paul got through with his exam early and went to work this morning. Gen was rather tired and a little depressed for several reasons. The boys were so sweet. Dale’s birthday was Sunday – and I didn’t know a thing about it. He is 6 now – just imagine. Those boys are surely growing up. But I know you will still know that when you come home, and they will know you too, I’m sure. Their apartments truly looks nice and clean with all the nice new paint from front to back. They used enamel this time, which is very wise, as it will wash so much better and last longer.

  I went right home from there and worked on outlining that book for the leadership course, until about 4:45. I really tore through it, and had 10 pages single-spaced typewritten when I got through. I hope she likes it. I was so tired by that time I laid down to relax for a few minutes, and dropped off to sleep by mistake and woke up just as Pop got home. The folks didn’t go to the course tonight, so he drove me down to the church in time for dinner. Lots of folks asked about you tonight – Abernathy’s said they wanted us out for a big chicken dinner as soon as you get back, Wilsons, Helen Anderson, Sammy Anderson, Ruth and Anne Nagel, Normans (Adele has had a bad throat, she is tired) Ed Hall in the bookstore, and several others. We had a nice supper and a good class session on worship mainly. Miss Plummer emphasized the fact that we need to practice the presence of God more and need more time in quiet and meditation and prayer if we are to have true Christian serenity of character. She mentioned the Youth for Christ programs and said she had heard there was a lack of that in them, and I agree with her. I think they are doing a great deal of good, but I feel too much there is a great deal of showmanship and emotional enthusiasm, and not too much deep experience. I hope they can keep that spirit out of the GI Gospel Hour over there. Of course, I don’t know the conditions there, but it seems to me there is too much of the “hurrah” spirit in such things over here, and too many of the jazzy chourses, and stuff. Darling, I’m so lonesome to talk to you about so many things I can taste it. I can talk with you about so many things that I can’t talk with anyone else about, and it has been so long. Every day I think of things that I wish I could discuss with you. But I’ll try not to get too impatient, and pretty soon, the Lord willing, you’ll be back with me again.

  I was talking with Ray about vacation church school tonight. He would still like me to be the dean of the school again, but I don’t feel I should take that responsibility with things as uncertain as they are. Nona won’t be here, or he would get her to be dean. If I thought we would be in Chicago and you wouldn’t have a church, I would say yes, but with things this way, I don’t know. Can you give me any idea about what I should do, Lover? I suppose you’re as much in the dark as I am though. I told him I would work with him on it for a while at least, but if they are going to get another dean they should be doing it pretty soon. There are already about 27 teachers signed up, which isn’t bad. But the department superintendents are selected as yet, except Ray wants to be a junior superintendent. Well, we will have to see. But if you could give me any idea, it would help. The school will be July 1st to 19th, I think.

  That’s all of the news for today, Darling, and I hope I get some mail tomorrow. I love you more than ever – God has been so good to us. I just pray your work may increasingly be to

His glory and that you will have the strength provided from day today. God bless you abundantly, Dearest. 

I love you for always and

 always in His perfect love,

  Sarah

 Colossians 3:3

February 26, 1946

Willis’ letters are missing from February 22 – March 22, 1946.  We will be substituting Sarah’s letters in their place for some of the time and other letters from our archive.

February 26, 1946 

Dearest Darling Sweetheart —

Imagine my great surprise and joy, Lover, to find your February 20 letter in the morning mail. The one for Margie and Bob also came. I could hardly believe my eyes. That is absolutely the fastest I’ve ever gotten mail from overseas. Perhaps this is a sample of the new service we will get – I hope so. I still don’t have the others from February however – the 2, 3, 5, and from the 8th on. I suppose it will come straggling in eventually. But it was so wonderful to know what you have been doing so recently, Darling. It made you seem lots closer for some reason. I hope my mail has started coming to you better. Mom’s mandarin also came, and she is so thrilled with it. It is really a lovely one. You are so generous and thoughtful, Beloved. She is just writing you to thank you for it. It is more like Margie’s than mine. It is very beautiful, but still like my own the best, Lover.

  In this afternoon’s mail all I got was a note from my Aunt Helen. She said that our cousin Lieutenant Colonel Ed Billings was stationed in her office for 10 days and she found out that he established the 29th General Hospital in Korea, and when he left they were waiting for a new chaplain, which was probably you. It is too bad you didn’t meet him, but then you probably wouldn’t have discovered the relationship anyway. He is a doctor – psychiatrist, I think. Helen said to tell you she hopes you get home very soon. She wrote Mom a long letter, and she is terribly busy – they took four of the six girls out of their department, and now two of them left have to do the work of all 6. She is sounding about worn out. She has been in Washington almost five years now, and has never had a vacation of more than a couple of days – I think she would be very weary, to say the least. She has been to the opening of some art gallery and almost bumped into Lord Halifax. It was some affair, with the President and family there and a great many of the people in formal clothes. Far contrary to my usual custom, I answered it immediately and sent also a picture of me in my lovely mandarin and the best one of you that you sent last. I know she enjoys pictures, and she is getting a bit lonesome to see the family, I think.

Sarah Reed in Dr. Stiansen’s class. She is in the front left portion of the picture, looking at the camera.

  I haven’t been out of the house today. I said last night that I was going to spend the day on thesis, and I did. I didn’t get too much more written, but I did get it more clearly organized. I thought maybe I could get it done to hand in to Mason for correction tomorrow, but I didn’t. Mom was home all day too. I got dinner and did the dishes, and then studied for some of my M. & M. exam tomorrow. Then Helen Christie called and I had difficulty shutting her off, although she said she had no news. She has a new radio-phonograph, and a new bedroom suite that is about to arrive and so she had to tell all about that. I finally had to tell her I had work to do, and cut it short. She is a good child, but she does ramble on about nothing. Then I got to work and outlined almost half of the book I have to outline for that leadership training course at church. It is due tomorrow night so I’ll have to finish it tomorrow afternoon. But it isn’t bad, as I have it all underlined. I just finished that and started this to you, Lover. I want to get to bed early so I can finish up early tomorrow and do some more studying. It doesn’t seem possible that this quarter is over already.

  It has been the gloomiest day as far as weather is concerned. It kept getting darker and darker, and finally, while we were eating, it snowed quite hard. But not for very long. I suppose about a quarter of an inch fell, and now all is still again. It is supposed to get colder. Pop went down to play shuffleboard – about 25 men were there. It is good for him to get out once in a while.

  You will be interested to know that Jack Liljan called me today. He wanted to know if I had heard anything more from you and sent his best wishes. He is working and keeps pretty busy. Then he is very active on the Winnetka Bible Church,  and I was glad to hear that. He didn’t seem to stammer quite as much as the other time I talked with him. Perhaps the war conditions aggravated it. He seems like a nice chap. He said he still wants to come down, but wouldn’t set a date because he is so busy. I would like to meet him, but I would just as soon have it be when you come home, Beloved.

  So you sent me another box February 20th? I imagine it contains the things you bought earlier in the month. I surely hope they come through without breaking. I’m very curious to know what the box contains, but I’ll just have to wait. You id tow tweet, and I wuve you more dan ever.

Lover, there isn’t so much news today, as you can see, so I think I better sign off for now and put my wee self to bed. But I’m loving you more every single day that passes, Beloved, and I just pray the Lord will continue to use you and give you strength for the great task that is yours.

 All my love for always 

in His love –

 Sarah

 Colossians 3:3

 Isaiah 26:3

February 25, 1946

Willis’ letters are missing from February 22 – March 22, 1946.  We will be substituting Sarah’s letters in their place for some of the time and other letters from our archive.

February 25, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

Well, Dear, I finally got your January 31st letter today, and that was all. I thought for sure mom’s mandarin would come when that letter came, but it didn’t. I imagine it will be coming through pretty soon though, so don’t worry about it. I can’t see why the mail service is so bad from there. Your letter of February 7th is the latest one I have, and I still don’t have yours of February second, third and fifth. Perhaps more of them will come tomorrow. But I would like to hear what has happened lately. I love you more than I can ever say, Darling. You grow more and more precious all the time.

  This has been a varied and busy day for me, Lover, although again I haven’t accomplished too much. I overslept this morning, but I guess I needed it. However, when I got up, I got right to work and wrote some more on my thesis. I really have to get busy on it, for you might be popping in on me any day now, and besides, I want to get the old thing off my mind. I’ll probably have to rewrite the thing a couple of times before it suits Mason.  Before I began writing, your letter came, and it was in for a couple of readings right away of course. Thank you for the 1 yen note, Dear. I think the money of foreign countries is very interesting to have. I have some French money, and some older Chinese, German and English money, and some others, I think from the last war which Don gave me one time. The stamps were also very interesting and I’m sure Dr. Mantey will be pleased with them. You’re so very thoughtful, Darling.

  I thought I would call the beauty parlor for an appointment for a permanent this morning, thinking I would have to wait about a week. But she happened to have a cancellation and said I could come over at 11:45, which I did. I thought I might as well get it out of the way. That took till after 3, and it is a very nice one I think, Lover. I hope you will like it. Now I won’t have to take so much time fussing with it and it will look nice even in damp weather. I know you wouldn’t want me to look sloppy, as it did often. I’m enclosing a piece of hair that she cut off – she cut off quite a bit,  but it will grow soon. It’s a nice soft wave, and thank you, Darling. You id tweet. Margie thinks it looks very nice and so did all the gals tonight. Miss Meighan  And Glenna at the beauty shop asked about you, Dear, and said they hope you come home soon, and all the club girls said the same thing.

  When I got through there I came home and got cleaned up and went downtown. I forgot to tell you I gave Margie the pink wool soakers for the babe that I finished Saturday, and she was so thrilled. Now I’ve started a pair of white cotton knit ones for her – she doesn’t know about these. I worked on them while I sat under the dryer and on the way downtown. I don’t like to work on cotton yarn – it is harder to work on because it doesn’t stretch. But I got on anyhow. I tried on some of the hats for a few minutes but didn’t get any. Now is a good time to buy spring hats, and I need one. Then I went to the public library and got two books that I had gone clear down to the University of Chicago library to use. Of course, I didn’t know what to look for at the time. I have used them before for my thesis, but as I get to writing I find I didn’t take some of the notes I will need – that is always the way. I took plenty of notes, but left out some of that I will need. So now I feel better about it and can fill in a few gaps I have found.

  It was a cold and damp and windy day, and I had to walk down Michigan Avenue to the Fine Arts Building – 410 South and met the girls in the Piccadilly restaurant there. There were 12 of us, including Helen Gedelman who is Alyce’s sister-in-law and Betty Froehling, who isn’t in the club. Betty was just engaged last night and was very excited about it all and told us about it – he is a law student and evidently a very fine man. She is a little younger than I am and very attractive. I have always thought some man was missing something very nice by not finding her. They only met in October for the first time and then not again till December, so this has been fast, but not as fast as ours was, Lover. They will be married May 28th, however, so they beat us in that respect. I hope they will be very happy. We were all sitting at a long table and there were usually three conversations going on at the same time, which made it hard to get all the news, but I don’t think there was too much that was new. Edna finally quit her job that she has had for almost 10 years and is now in the Wrigley building, and I’m very glad it. The firm she worked for wasn’t too good, and it will do her good to have a change. She will do bookkeeping. I wish Edna could find a nice man and get married – she would make the right man a wonderful wife. We had a very nice dinner and a good time together. They are a grand bunch of girls. And I surely enjoy being with them. Joyce and I rode home together and had a good talk. We came on the subway and sat on the side seats, and who should I see when I looked up but Jean Protter, a classmate at college, whom I haven’t seen since we were married. She is married now, and her husband was with her. We carried on a lip-reading conversation across the aisle until our view was blocked by a very large man who plunked himself in front of her. I’ll have to drop in to see her sometime, as she lives right below Aletta.  I always liked Jean very much, but in this big city, it is surely easy to lose track of friends. She asked about you too.

  Mom went downtown today and got a couple more shots from the doctor, and then stayed downtown most of the day – she didn’t get home until after 4:00. The shots made her feel punk, so although I got home at 9:00 she was in bed when I got here. I just finished talking with Alice Bantli on the phone and she said the selection of speakers for Youth Sunday is now official, and they are to be Marlin Tabb, Mitchell Kietzman, and your Tweetheart. So you pray for us, and especially me, Darling. I want to do my best for the Lord. Alice said again to tell you that if they had been sure you would be home by that time you would have been their selection, but since you can’t count on anything in the Army, they couldn’t take the chance and had to settle it as soon as possible, for the purpose of publicity.

  You know, we still haven’t started to receive Life magazine that Don got for us. They said it would be a while before the magazine started to come, but I didn’t think it would be this long. However, it will continue just that much longer. That must have been a very interesting window shopping tour on Bun Chung Street. I surely wish I could have been a long, for it must have been fascinating and you know how I love to look in windows. I hope you have received my picture by now, but the way mail is, I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t. At least I hope you receive it before you leave there.

  Darling, I want to get a good night’s sleep so I think I will retire, although it isn’t very late. But I want to spend tomorrow solid on thesis, and I will need to have a rested and alert mind. I love you more than ever, Beloved, and I’m so lonesome to see you again. It has been 25 and a half months now since we have seen one another, but you are just as bright in my heart as ever, only brighter. God bless you in all things, Dear. I love you, I love you, I love you.

 Forever and always yours

 Dear in Christ’s perfect love –

 Sarah

 Colossians 3:3

 John 4:18

February 24, 1946

Willis’ letters are missing from February 22 – March 22, 1946.  We will be substituting Sarah’s letters in their place for some of the time and other letters from our archive.

February 24, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

Today has been a very busy one for me, Darling and I am glad it is gone, for the simple reason that we are one day closer together. You know what – I love you more than ever! ( Surprised?)  It’s wonderful to know that tomorrow I’ll be loving you, even more, Darling. The day for you to come home can’t come too soon to suit me. Lots of folks have asked about you today too, and that made me glad, for then I can talk about you, than which there is none other that I would rather, about whom, moreover.  Abernathy’s, Ben Hardy, Harpers, Viv Schaefer, and several others. 

This has been a funny day as far as weather was concerned. It was cloudy when I got up, rather early, and then it started to snow very hard, but it only lasted about 10 minutes and quit. Then the sun came out, and that sequence was repeated all day, only it didn’t snow very much. There was a very strong sharp wind from the west that just went right through you. It is very clear and lovely out tonight. I wonder if it was a clear night for you, Lover. I imagine the sky is beautiful at night over there, with no smoke to blot out or dim the heavens. Darling, it will be so wonderful just to look at God’s handiwork with you again.

Sarah’s group of children that she taught at church.

As I said, I was up early and reviewed my Sunday school lesson which I did last night. I was down at church early to take care of the library. Not so many kids took books out – most of them don’t get there very early and there isn’t much time for them to take out books. I’ll have to figure out another system, but I don’t know what it will be. Two of my girls were absent, but I got a new girl in, who used to go to North Shore Christian Church. She is very sweet and very polite – she calls me “ma’am,” which is really something in this day and age. We had a review lesson and then I told them the thrilling story of Albert Schweitzer. It was given in the quarterly this week, and there is also a very fine article in the new Reader’s Digest about him. I would like to have the story of his life. It should be an inspiration to young people to consecrate their lives for full-time service. I think we should get more biographies of great Christians, and urge our young people read them. In this movie-mad generation, they need some high ideals held before them, and they surely don’t get it in the films and press. My heart aches for those children. Children today have the jitters – is the tempo at which we live, I’m sure. We’ve lost the art of relaxation and meditation. I know children are naturally active, but just the same, I feel that a lot of it is just tense nerves, caused by the living pace and the jangled nerves of parents and teachers. Of all people, we Christians need to exemplify the peace and serenity of Christ.

  Mr. Hatzfeld had the devotional talk in Sunday school today on the parable of the sower and it was very good,  only he took 25 minutes instead of the allotted ten. All of which sort of screwed up our lessons. I wish he would have had more sense, frankly. You would think he could hear the children scuffling their feet and losing interest in what he was saying. He means well, but I guess he will always be long-winded. There was quite a crowd in church and Dr. Wilson preached a good sermon. Tonight we had the Northwestern University A Capella choir and they gave a beautiful concert. Some of the numbers were a little long and complicated, but their a cappella work was lovely. I’m glad to have heard them. There were 48 in the group, all in purple and white robes. Dr. Wilson preach on, “What’s the Sense of Being Baptized?”  – being just a summary of the reasons, and in no uncertain terms, and he also enumerated the distinctive beliefs of the Baptists. I’m glad he preached that sermon. I had it all in school, but I know most of the folks hadn’t. We’re mostly short on doctrine. There was some very large crowd for an evening service.

  Margie had been feeling sickish this morning so she didn’t go to church with Bob, but stayed home and got dinner. We did the dishes and then I sat down and made some phone calls. I got to talk with the mother of one of my girls who is often absent due to not getting up early enough. Her mother sounded sort of ashamed of herself for not getting Mary Beth out, and I tried to impress on her that we need the cooperation of the parents so much. Maybe she will do better next time. I’ve called her several times already. I couldn’t reach my other absentee, so perhaps she is out of town. Then I called Alyce Godelman to check up for sure on the place where she is having the club gals for dinner tomorrow night. We had a nice visit. She asked about you, of course, and says she hopes you will be coming home soon. She is going to be in the city another week and then is going to visit a friend’s brother in Detroit, and then will go to her mother’s again in Pawpaw. They expect to locate in Michigan somewhere. Fred has to open an office in some Michigan city and is investigating as to where he can find office space and a house. He will look in Flint, Grand Rapids, and around there. If they happened to locate in Grand Rapids, maybe we could stay with them if we go to the Northern Baptist Convention – which are two pretty big maybe’s or ifs.  Then I called your grandmother and had a nice talk with her. They hadn’t heard from you for a while, but I told them I hadn’t either. Connie is much better since her treatments but still tires easily. The doctor is well pleased with the results of the treatment, but she still has to have a monthly check-up, which is wise. Mae feels much better and her back doesn’t bother her so much either.

  I got down to church at 5:00 – Pop drove me down, having nothing else to do. We had four of the kids come to practice for tonight’s program, on displaced people and what the church does for them, and it turned out pretty well. The children were surprisingly reverent and attentive during the program, although they were quite rambunctious before and after it. But I’m so thankful they come – the home life of some of those children is pitiful – one of the little girls was telling us very casually how her father likes a shot of whiskey before he eats his meals, and one of the boys said how they had quite a few friends in a tavern down the street. Those things make my heart sick, and I just pray the little we are able to do with them will have some influence on them for good, and help them to accept Christ as Savior. I think this is having them come an hour early and getting the programs all worked up accomplishes something of what we want – in the first place it gives us a little longer time with them, a few at a time, and they get to enjoy the fellowship, and the little lunch we have afterward, and it all helps. I don’t know how we got started on that system, but it seems to be working. And we still have a long way to go before our programs even approach the ideal. You pray for us, Lover. We had 11 children out tonight – 2 who have been there only once before, and one who has never come before. We also had two visitors from BMTS whom Brownie brought.  One of them works with the Intermediate Senior group at the Chinese Church down in Chinatown, and she says one thing about the Chinese young people is they are quiet and courteous. And no one can tell me that home training doesn’t make a difference. There is so much to do isn’t there, Darling? We have the greatest job in the world.

  After we got home, I doodled around cutting up some seed catalogs for the lovely flower pictures that were in it. We also took some more pictures of me, but I think only one will turn out, on account of Pop got mixed up on how to take a time exposure. But maybe one will be good. Hope so.

  Lover, it is getting very late and tomorrow will be a full day for little me. How I would love to talk with you about a thousand things, Darling. There is surely getting to be a lot bottled up inside me waiting for you to come home. I’ll have to let it out gradually or there’ll be an explosion, I’m afraid. God bless and use you, Beloved, and remember, I love you more than ever forever.

 Your’s only and always in Him,

 Sarah

 Colossians 3:3

February 23, 1946

For some reason, we cannot find Willis’ letters from Feb. 23-March 22, 1946.  Instead, we will be posting a variety of other things that we have found in the archives.  We will begin with a letter from Sarah.

February 23, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

Another day and no mail, Beloved. Now I’ll have to wait for Monday to come to see if I hear from you. I said to the mailman this morning, “ can’t you bring me some more mail from overseas?”  And he chuckled and said, “ they’re coming C.O.D. now.” ( the last letter was $0.06 postage due.)  I don’t care how they come – just so they come. For all I know, you may be on your way home already (O Happy thought!) Because the latest letter I’ve had was written February 7th and a lot can happen in over two weeks. I’m not getting my hopes up to that extent, however. I love you very much, darling – did you know that? Well, I do, and more than ever. You id tow very tweet and I wuuuuuuve you, so dere! I surely do hope that mail will be forthcoming Monday. I’m Lonesome to just hear from you, darling – let alone see you. But at least we are one day closer to being together. 

I’ve been very busy all day I – don’t know that I’ve accomplished much of lasting value, but it all had to be done in. Mom went downtown early this morning – Mabel came over and they had a wonderful time shopping. Mabel brought some curtains and a dress, and mom came with a dress – it is navy blue with big white polka dots and trimmed in coral red it. It really looks nice on her and fits her better than anything she has had it for a long time. Mom got home about 8. Mabel couldn’t stay on account of her Stoker.

Bob Price, Sarah’s brother comes home from the European Theater. He is in the top row – right beside his wife Marge. Sarah is seated in the middle of the front.

 I got up early and Margie and I cleaned the house. I did some of the dusting that mom hadn’t already done, and then vacuumed that the whole house. Margie scrubbed the kitchen and clean the bathroom. Then I did some washing and dampened some more things to be ironed. Margie went downstairs to wash with the machine, since she had Bob’s shirts, etc. to do, and I went to the store. It was very nice out, but not very sunny. It didn’t take me long. When I got back, Margie was starting to do some mending on the Machine and I had to help her with the working of the machine. Then I ate lunch, and after grinding through an article in a magazine, I waxed the kitchen floor. While it was drying I read a couple more articles in the new Readers Digest and then polished the floor, and ironed for about an hour. I want to wear my new black dress tomorrow, so I got it out and pressed it and fixed it, which took up until the time to get supper and some after supper. Now it’s fixed – I hope I get to like it better than I do now. I got dinner and Margie and I did the dishes. After I finished with my dress, I washed my hair. You should see me now – I’m sitting with my back to the radiator in my room with a towel pinned over my head, and the other end of the towel is over the radiator, so I’m drying my hair and writing this at the same time. It isn’t as good as the hot air dryer, but it will do until I finish this letter. If I don’t write it now, it will be very late by the time I get my hair dry and I hate to run this machine late at night.

 Jen called me this morning to give me some good news. Dorothy Olson had a letter from Lisa Amundson, and she said the police had picked up John Clark in Florida and were bringing him home. He surely got as far away as he could. I’m so glad they found him. That is all I know about it. Jen had a letter from Iris today and she didn’t say anything about him being located, so perhaps this is hearsay. Jen said it was a beautiful letter. Scheus are very bitter and don’t want her to take him back – I thought they would feel that way – but Iris still has faith in John and wants to save their home if at all possible. I just pray he will have a change of heart and really do better. I think what he needs is a full experience with the Lord. I wish you could talk with him darling, and so does Iris. My heart goes out to them. Iris surely has a beautiful Christ-like spirit about the whole thing. They need our prayers. Jen wants to know if I’d heard from you which I hadn’t.

 Don McClintock also called. He was in the city – had been looking for clothes all day, without much success he wanted to know if I had heard anything further from you since last Wednesday when he first called. Incidentally, he called my attention to an article in the paper in which it stated that some private company has contracted to carry mail for the soldiers, and it should make an improvement in the service. I truly hope they do something soon – this is getting to be a little too much. We used to get better service when the fighting was going on. John was meeting someone and going to Youth for Christ tonight. It was nice to hear from him again. He surely thinks the world and all of you, darling. He said he wrote to you yesterday.

 I got some pictures back today, but they aren’t too good. I’ll enclose a couple of them, and the rest later. I guess too photo floodlights aren’t enough for inside snaps. I should have used time exposure, but it is so hard to set the camera and keep it in the subject still. I’ll try to do better next time. They didn’t print some of them which were dim but I had mom take them down to the Kodak place downtown and I think they can make them show. I’m about through with sending films to Skrudland’s, in spite of the saving in cost. I think they are short-handed and have too much business to do the work properly.

 Sweetheart, that is about all that has happened today, and it isn’t very interesting, I’m afraid. I think I’d better close now and get the drying of my hair. I’ve about decided to get it cut, having seen how it looks in these last pictures. It’s really too long to manage, and it won’t hold a curl at all, especially in damp weather. I’m sure you wouldn’t like me to look droopy – I’ll try to get a nice one. Pop is having the time of his life tying flies – he has some weird and wonderful Creations. He is going to make some and give them to doctor Wilson. It is quite a job to make them, but he enjoys tinkering lover, remember, I love you more than I can ever say. I know the Lord is using you where you are, and that makes it a little easier to bear being separated from you. But you can’t come back too soon to suit me, lover. God bless you in everything.

 I’m Yours, Dear for

 now and always

 in his love

 Sarah

 Colossians 3:3 

February 22, 1946

Seoul, Korea

22 February 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, I just finished reading some of your last letters over again. Of course, there wasn’t any mail and naturally that made all of us feel pretty low. This mail situation is really becoming serious and the morale of the troops has dropped to a new low.

 I didn’t accomplish much today, but I did get around to visit some of the patients. After having my dinner, I came up here to the office and sought to study for a while, but in that today was an official holiday, I decided to go over to my quarters and lie down for a while. For the last couple of days I felt pretty miserable, it is the combination of a cold and being overtired. Please don’t worry because I am all right otherwise.

Willis Reed preaching at a memorial service while still on Christmas Island. 1944.

  After our evening meal, I came up here to the office and studied until time for Bible class. We have had a very fine time in our class this evening. There were thirty-three in attendance this evening. A quite a number of old friends came over from the 7th Division and we really had a fine time. Our discussion lasted until 9:30. Chaplain Wells came over with six men from the old 184th and we visited about things in general after class. We are both pretty sick about the poor mail service and with the way a lot of the things are being handled here in reference to the Chaplains Corps. I’m going to keep on doing my best and hope for a break soon.

  Darling, in the box which I sent to you day before yesterday I enclosed two double-faced Obis. I suppose you will wonder why I sent them. In one of your recent letters, you said you thought it would be nice to pick up a scarf for some end tables. On every shopping trip, I’ve looked for them but I have never been able to find anything that of that kind. But I believe it will be possible to make them out of these Obis.  I explained my idea to Miss Mason and Miss Asmus and they believe that it could be done all right.

  From what I’ve heard over the radio and from what you’ve told me in your letters, I can see that the housing problem is indeed acute in the United States. I suppose we are going to have a hard time ourselves, but I’m surely not going to worry about that until the time comes.

  Darling, news is very scarce and I’m weary so I think I will close for tonight. But remember I do love you much more than ever. God bless you in all things.

 Yours alone forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find Timete’s letter.

February 21, 1946

Seoul, Korea

21 February 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, one more day has slipped by and much to everyone’s disappointment, there wasn’t any mail. I’ve just finished looking over some of your last letters but I’m pretty lonesome to know what you have been doing here recently. It will surely be a blessed day when we can again be together and not have to wonder what the other has been doing for three weeks or a month.

Willis. Taken before he left for training.

I spent the entire morning calling on different wards and visited with some of the patients. This afternoon, I studied for a while and then I had several callers, and by that time, it was time for our evening meal. After supper, I did some more reading and then we had our Bible class. They were only nine in attendance. We went almost an hour overtime, but our discussion seemed to be of interest to all in attendance. As soon as I got up here to the office, I wrote a letter to the Powells. I’ll enclose Mrs. Powell’s letter for I’m sure you will want to read it. 

By the way darling, I finally got a good scale here at the hospital and I weighed myself today.  You’ll be interested to know that I weigh 176 pounds. The sun was shining very brightly all day but it was very cold in spite of that fact. Tomorrow has been declared an official holiday by the Army so I’m afraid our chances for mail are not any too good for mail tomorrow either. It looks like they are not going to fly our mail over from Japan anymore, it will probably come from there by ship.

  As you said in your letters, it is certainly disgusting to all the soldiers to always be reading about the strikes in the States. All people seemed to be interested in is getting. Undoubtedly, all prices are going to be sky-high, honestly, the whole thing just makes me feel very badly.

  I was surely surprised to hear how they have changed the chairs around in room 102. They should have done that a long time ago. I was also surprised to hear about Jane Stemple returning to the school to work. I’m glad you got to have a good visit with her. I know she must be very glad to have Earl back home and out of the Army.

  From what you said in your letter, you must have had a very nice visit with Mrs. Koller and Elfrieda.  Elfrieda has certainly been a very faithful worker for the Kollers. She had had a lot to do with the rearing of Carolyn and Evelyn.

  Well Lover, I think I will close for tonight because I really am tired and must try to get some more rest. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Yours forever in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3 

February 20, 1946

Seoul, Korea

20 February 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

  I’m so weary this evening for some reason or other that I cannot keep my eyes open, but before going to bed I do want to drop you a few lines and let you know that I do wuve you more dan ever forever and ever. You id tow very tweet, and I said it first and wast so dare. Another very disappointing day for all of us, which of course needs no explanation, briefly NO MAIL.  Honestly, that is very disgusting and all of us are pretty much sick and tired of the whole thing. I’m almost afraid to hope for mail tomorrow for when there isn’t any I’m always very much disappointed.

Soldiers receiving mail.

  I spent almost the entire morning calling on the wards and then immediately following the dinner hour I left for Seoul to buy more money orders for the patients.  I also mailed some boxes for Miss Asmus and Miss Mason, Dennis and my own to you, Lover. I suppose it will take six weeks or so to reach you, but you can be on the lookout for it anytime after the 1st of April. PLEASE REMEMBER, BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU OPEN IT BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME BREAKABLE THINGS IN THE BOX. I packed it as well as I knew how, so I do hope everything comes through without any breakage.

  Miss Farnsworth and Miss Berraris rode into Seoul with me and while I got the money orders and took care of other things for patients, they shopped. I picked them up again shortly before 4 o’clock and came back out here to the hospital. I delivered the money orders and by that time it was time to eat. After the evening meal, I came back up here to the office to study for this evening’s message.

  We had the only 17 in attendance at our midweek service, rather disappointing to say the least, but I did my very best. I came up here to the office and wrote a short letter to Bob and Margie acknowledging their letters. It wasn’t much of a letter, but I wanted them to know I was thankful for their letters. I had several interruptions while trying to write their letters, so that didn’t help matters any.

  Lover, I truly hate to write such a short poor letter but I must go to bed for I’m pretty tired. God bless you richly in all things. And be sure to give the folks my love.

 Just yours forever in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find Bob & Margie’s letters.

February 19, 1946

Seoul, Korea

19 February 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well Lover, this day has just about slipped by and I was disappointed when I found out that we didn’t have any mail come in. I do hope that we will have some tomorrow. I have just finished reading some of your last letters over again.

Willis at his office with his puppy “Route Step.” On Christmas Island 1944.

  This has really been a busy day. I was up early this morning and took a certain soldier into town to take care of some problems which he was facing. It was almost 10 o’clock when we got back here. After that, I called in some of the wards and then came back up here to the office just in time to clean up for my dinner. After dinner, Dennis and I came up here and decided to finish cleaning up the mess that had accumulated along with all the supplies that the other chaplains have left here. We finally finished the job at about 4:30. I bumped into that mess when I arrived here. Don and I worked on it some from time to time, so now the job is all done and I’m certainly thankful for that fact. I don’t see why chaplains should leave such messes behind them when they leave an outfit. Thousands of dollars in chaplain supplies have been wasted and lost because of carelessness. Our office really looks nice now. I wish you could see it. There’s a little room just off to one side of our office and they just dump everything in there and what a mess and collection of junk you never saw. Everything from beer bottles to Bibles and other religious literature.

  While we were cleaning up I made up a box and packed most of the little presents I have for you in the box. The things are wrapped in cloth and newspapers so be very very careful when you open the box. Take out each piece of old cloth and paper carefully, for you might drop something and break it. I packed the things just as tightly as I could and I do hope that it comes through safely to you. I’m hoping to be able to mail the box to you tomorrow. By the way, I forgot to tell you last evening when I was writing that while we were shopping yesterday afternoon, I loaned Dennis some money to buy two very nice kimonos for his mother and Aunt. He didn’t have the money and I told him to be sure to get them for he would probably never again be able to get such a fine bargain. I helped him pack his box too so I’m going to try and get his on the way also tomorrow.

  The new chaplain came in to see me for a while and naturally that took time. And another surprise for you, a new Catholic chaplain arrived to take the place of the one who is here now. I won’t go into detail now, but in brief, the other one has been transferred because of inefficiency.

  The sun shone all day today, but it was cold and I suppose they were unable to fly any mail in for us. A little while ago I helped Miss Asmus and Miss Mason box some of the things to send home. It is pretty hard for them to do things like that, so I told them that I would do it for them.

Before starting this letter to you, I wrote a letter to each of the following:  Don and Verla, Bob and Lois Peterson and Bill Shaffer, an old friend in the 184th who is now a civilian. You remember, he is the one who wrote you a nice letter.

  Today I really had a big surprise in calling in one of the wards. A fellow called out as soon as I stepped in the ward, I walked over to him, his face looks somewhat familiar and I couldn’t think of his name. It was one of the men I helped rescue from behind the enemy lines when we were slugging it out for Hill 89 in the battle of Okinawa. I had never heard anything about him after leaving him on the stretcher at the battalion aid station. At that time, we thought his chances of living were very very slim. As soon as we left him at the aid station, we went back to get more wounded. He said he will never forget seeing me come out there after him. He was very kind in his gracious remarks. Apart from the Lord, I would have never been able to get him, let alone get back with him on the poncho. It was while bringing him back along with the others that I was written up for the Silver Star and Gallantry in Action Under Fire. I never thought I would ever see a one of those men again.

Well Lover, I’m pretty tired for tonight so I think I will say good night and try to write more to you tomorrow evening.

  Yours for always in Christ’s

 wonderful love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

February 18, 1946

Seoul, Korea

18 February 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

The most important occasion of the day was the arrival of another one of your letters, it was yours of January 30th. Words cannot describe how good it is to have your letters. I read that letter over three times already. Besides your letter, I got a nice letter of thanks from Margie for the mandarin and the gift to Bob. She enclosed those last pictures and I was surely glad to have them but they are not as nice as the others, that is, I mean they are not as clear and nice as many of the others you have sent me at other times. I also got a nice letter from another one of the men who used to be in the old 184th. He is now a civilian, as soon as I answer his letter I’ll send it on to you to read.

Marge Price in the Mandarin that Willis sent home. 1946.

  Most of the morning was spent calling on the patients in the various wards and I also sought to take care of several cases for men. And then I tried to get the other Protestant chaplain lined up as to an office and so on. After dinner, I came back up here and took care of the two situations and then Dennis and I left for town. Miss Mason had the day off and Miss Asmus had a half-day off so I took them to town, for they wanted to do a little shopping. I took them to a certain store and they bought some nice things. I did too, but I’m not going to tell you what it is with the exception of 3 5-yard strips of beautiful print cotton which was so cheap that I felt it was foolish not to buy them. I think you will either be able to make a nice dress out of them if you so desire or use them in our kitchen in our next home. I bought four of them but Miss Asmus liked them so much and she had expressed a desire to have such material to make herself a dress, so I decided to give one of the 5-yard lengths to her. She has been so fine to me in every way and has always insisted on keeping my clothes pressed. As I’ve told you before, Miss Aamus and Miss Mason are both very lovely Christian girls and know you would love them both. I told Miss Asmus that that piece of cloth was to her from us with our love, for I told her I knew you appreciated such kindnesses as she has so often so graciously extended to me in every way. Miss Mason is quite the admirer of dishes so I bought a little tea set for as a present for my appreciation of all her kindness and help in every way. Lover, there are several little things I have for you but I won’t tell you what they are now. I want you to be surprised. As soon as I can get the time I will pack them and start them on their way back to my Tweetheart.

  It was supper time when we got back here and after that, I came up here to the office and have had over a dozen different interruptions so far. We are having another evacuation, and of course, that means work and a lot of last minute details. I tried to get a letter off to Jack and Bertha, it is certainly a jumbled affair but perhaps they will understand. I’m going to enclose their letter for you to read from sure you will want to read it.

  By the way, I got some more of my pictures developed. I’m sending some of the negatives along with this letter. Some are pretty good but you will note some or all of them are fuzzy and I feel that it is the fault of the camera, for I’ve been very careful in taking them. You will note in a number of them a blurring around the upper corners so that must have something to do with the lenses.

  By the way, Darling, when you have these pictures printed be sure to have a set made for both Miss Mason and Miss Asmus. They were along when some of the pictures were taken so they would like to have them, and besides, they know most of the people in the pictures.

  Sweetheart, it isn’t so late but I’m tired and weary for some reason or other so I think I will close for this time. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Just yours forever in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. I’m going to send another letter this evening Air Mail with some of the negatives.