Historical Background: This is the first letter in a series written to George E. Barghart while he was serving in the Navy stationed on the U.S.S. Token during World War II. The U.S.S. Token (AM 126) was an Auk-class minesweeper launched on March 28, 1942 and commissioned on December 31, 1942.
The Letter Writer:
Miss Ethella Murphy - George’s sweetheart. A resident of his hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA. She is no older than sixteen when she writes her first letter to George.
Until noted otherwise letters to George are addressed as follows:
George E. Barghart S 1/C U.S.N.R.
U.S.S. Token Gulf Shipbuilding Corp.
Personal Note: These letters were brought into the consignment shop were I work, thrown in with a bunch of misc paperwork, cards, etc. Clearly I was under a sentimental duty to gather and organize all of George's letters and keep them safe. I cannot bear to see a handwritten letter tossed in with the rubbish - esp a love letter! I will be reading and transcribing these letters as I post them here so we can undergo George's journey together. I already feel an affinity for George, don't you?
December 2, 1942
I get started on this letter, then I have to stop and listen to the radio and within the next two hours maybe I’ll get this letter written to you. Oh happy day!
I got your letter tonite when I got home from work and I had to read it before I even got my wraps off and I just stood and laughed. I certainly did enjoy it a whole lot!
What were you so surprised at; about me writing? I’ll have you know when I make a promise I certainly try to keep it, if I have to bust doing it!!!!
“Butterflies in my tummy” means that I have a funny feeling in my tummy and usually something good happens. Every once in a while, though it happens the other way.
What do you mean, “you feel flattered, you didn’t think anybody would miss you”. If I had you right here now, I certainly would show you how I miss you! No foolin’ either!!!
Yes, I thought of the idea of sending you home “C.O.D.”! I do have some very good ideas one in a while! Believe it or not! (You should know!) What I intend to “Collect on Delivery” is to be kept a secret until you come back home to me! Is that all right! Will you be willing to wait? And find out?
Honestly, little one, if you didn’t believe me about my missing you, when I write and tell you in every letter, I don’t know how I’m ever going to put it across to you! Please believe me! And I wasn’t drinking anything at all, I was sitting up in my own bedroom with Grandma and she is enough to make anybody feel good without anything to drink. And what I told you wasn’t any line that I landed you, as you say, it was the very truth.
If every thing happens all right you will get a picture of me for Xmas. I’ll bet you have a lot of rats you want to get rid of!
You know gas rationing has gave in, and besides it is darn cold walking a mile and a half home from town when it gets down to 10 degrees below zero. No kidding either! And besides, as I told you before, there isn’t anybody here I care to go out with or go home with! I guess I’m just too darned particular about the fellows that are left here at home.
I have my washing all done, and I’ve only got four more letters to write and my hair to fix, but ah heck I’ll still be home for two more nites this week. (no dances)
I’m glad all of these letters aren’t boring, I certainly don’t want them to be! You’re darned right about seeing you later. How do you know I can’t read between the lines of your letter to tell your thoughts, you know I still have the very lovely memories of our last nite together! And I’ll never forget it either!
Now for some news around here. My oldest brother (17yrs) bought me a pair of black rubber boots, a pair of red fur bedroom slippers and a long sleeved powder blue wool sweater! Boy, was I tickled! I got myself a real nice fountain pen and an ever sharp to match. You see the whole family had been hollering at me for some time about buying a fountain pen because I was always using everybody else’s. Now, I have my own so they haven’t anything to gripe about now!
Say, I’m running out of space and time, so I guess I’ll have to stop this for now and tell you that I’ll be thinking of you always.
Thanks for the kiss, darling. I certainly need it. Heck, do I just get one? I certainly wish you were here to deliver it and many more.
All of my family is o.k. and will be from now on I hope.
We had a real nice Thanksgiving and a white one too! We still have snow and this morning I went to work in 10 degrees below zero weather. Boy, was it cold! It is getting colder too. But I like it very much.
Well, my mother and one of the neighbor ladies just came home from decorating their booth for the bazaar at the church tomorrow nite. They say it is cold out doors, I wonder now?
Well, little one, it is 9:10pm and I haven’t got my hair fixed yet so I’ll have to stop this and get something else done. Besides, you are probably asleep by now. Got to go now. See you later, and I don’t mean maybe either!
Lots of love and kisses,
P.S. It certainly took me two hours to write this! But who cares, I don’t, so laugh as long as it satisfies you.