Found Notes: 1940s Edition

4 Apr

While digging (literally) through my favorite junk shop, Odds and Ends I found a letter dated 1941 from a young woman to her boyfriend that she has not seen in a little while.

Odds and Ends, 703 Queen St. W., Toronto

Most of the letters and postcards I find are somewhat boring and give no insight into what is going on in the person’s life at the time, but this one was pretty good.  The letter writer Betty  is pining away for her lover, all the while worrying that some other girl will snatch him away.  Meanwhile she fears that he thinks she has been untrue.  And poor insecure, self depreciating, Betty, is she as cute in real life as she is in the picture he has of her in his wallet, she wonders??  A somewhat repetitive and rambling letter writer, Betty has a love affair not only with Gordon, but with run-on sentences as well.  Let’s peer back in time dear reader, for a look at the trials and tribulations of affairs of the heart, Betty and Gordon style:

To Mr Gordon Schissler

c/o S.S Manitoba

Sault Ste. Marie

Ontario

Set. 4, 1941

Hello Darling!

Dearest Gord,

Well I got your letter at last, and I suppose you got mine (such as it was) and I must say I liked it a lot and I certainly didn’t think it was silly or childish and it sure is nice to have somebody you love write you such a swell letter.  Thanks honey!  The only thing I didn’t like in the letter was about that guy off the Kewatin. (lady heart- she must be referring to another navy or army boat, Gord being on the SS Manitoba)  I’m telling you Gord.  I didn’t go out with him or even speak to him that night and that’s the truth, so help me god!  He sure had his nerve cooking up a story like that.  You just gotta believe me cause I certainly wouldn’t lie to you, of all people.  Well I guess I’ve cleared that up, so lets talk about something else.

Did you get the boat safely on Wed.?  I guess you must have or I’d have seen you before this.  But we sure didn’t have much time together last night did we?  My mother almost collapsed when I got home so early.

I hope we can go to Port Arthur sometime.  I’d really like to show you around there.

I couldn’t hardly wait to get home at noon today to see if there was any mail + sure enough there was.

It rained here tonight so we didn’t go out anyplace.  I guess we will go skating tomorrow night.

Could you figure out all the initials on the back of the envelope this time? (lady heart- the back of the envelope said ” S. W. A. K.”)  I bet you couldn’t.

Still got my picture in the front of your bill fold?  You’re lucky you got that picture because it really flatters me.  It’s about twice as cute as I really am, don’t you think?

Don’t worry Gord if I do come home with any other boy I won’t kiss him at all.  I’m not kissing anybody but you and you oughta know that now, or didn’t I tell you?  I can’t promise I’ll never come home with any other boys because that’s rather hard to do when you go to a dance or something like that but I can promise you I won’t kiss them.  (lady heart-she switches from pen to pencil here)  I won’t ask you to promise that because I guess it’s harder for a boy not to do it than a girl but it would be nice to know you didn’t.

I still have “our” little jitterbug.  I don’t think I’ll lose him.  I’ll have to be careful somebody doesn’t pinch it.  You’ll have to excuse this writing but I’m in bed now and I had to get a pencil.   It’s nearly 12 so I guess I should put out light, honey and finish this tomorrow so goodnight darling.  (xxxxxx these are imaginary kisses I’m giving giving a certain blond haired boy who lives a little “joint” called Port Mc Nicholl I think you call it.)

Friday.  Well I’m back again to finish this letter.  Well school’s over for another week which is alright to (sic).

I will be looking for you on Wed. at noon if you’re in early enough.

I hope some other girl hasn’t come along yet, I’d sure feel badly if someone did.  I only wish you lived in Fort William so I could see you more often.  But I guess there’s nothing we can do about that it, is there?  You know, I often lie in bed too and imagine I’m sitting somewhere with you + you’re kissing me.  When I saw you on Wed. at noon I got the funniest feeling.  Must be love I guess.

Was the lake rough on your trip down?  I hope not.  I sure wouldn’t want anything to happen to my best boyfriend.

How’s Pat?  Still yearning for his girlfriend in Toronto?

Now I think I’ve said about everything I can think of now so don’t forget I’ll be counting the days till I see you again darling.  There’s only 5 left now.

So good bye now.

All my Love,

Betty

xxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxx

maybe you’ll get this many kisses next time

P.S. See you on Wed.

 

Have more confidence in yourself  Betty, and don’t believe the patriarchal notion that men cant control themselves around women, and women are less sexual and passionate. Women Unite!  I wonder what the little “jitterbug”  was, that she was worried would get lost or stolen?

Ah, young love.  Good luck you two!

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7 Responses to “Found Notes: 1940s Edition”

  1. Charlotte April 4, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Golly gee, ain’t love grand! You sure have a great eye for treasure!

  2. Julia April 5, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Betty was waiting for Gordon’s ship to come into her port every Wednesday, and she got a letter and sent a letter in between. Meanwhile, other boats also arrive, like the Keewatin…There’s a story here for sure. Port Arthur and Fort William are now called Thunder Bay (Ontario).

    • missladyheart April 5, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      Thanks for the comment mom! How do you think the notes got between Betty and Gordon with him being on the water? Yes, there’s more to this love story than we have access to, unfortunately, but thanks for filling in some of some of the blanks for us. Well, see you at the kitchen table later!

      • Julia April 5, 2012 at 2:32 am #

        Hand writing and hand delivering letters in the 1940s would have been very well organized. A Great Lakes boat like Gordon’s SS Manitoba would have many ports of call, where mail was dropped off and received many times a day and week. That postal system has changed quite a lot in your personal experience, though one can still write a letter and it will still be hand delivered.

  3. Julia April 5, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_McNicoll,_Ontario

    Just a little bit of research for you…you realize of course that Betty and Gordon could be still living their lives.

  4. Julia April 5, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    SS Manitoba

    And this is a photo of the SS Manitoba

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