May 14th, 1943
Dear Mom + Dad,
Just a few lines to let you know I am still alive and kicking and feel in the best of spirits. Maybe it was because yesterday was payday. Well how is everybody at home, fine I hope. How did Ray’s leg turn out, write and let me know.
Right now I am doing nothing so I thought I would drop you a line. I got a letter from Hilda H. today and was I surprised. I wrote to her but I didn’t think she would answer, but she did. I get lots of mail, from you, daddy, Bin, Marg, Edie, Hilda, not bad, eh? I guess you don’t remember Hilda but I do. She is a very nice girl. I seen her that last leave I had at home. Very, very nice girl. But don’t tell Marg though. That last letter I wrote to Daddy in your letter, tell him it’s not so hard to get a strip either, all you have to do is work a little harder and that’s what I’m doing. I’ll get ones if I have to die trying, but I won’t give up and if I do I’ll apply for a course at Long Brach and I got a good chance for it.
I hope you don’t mind the writing because my boy friend is sitting on my bed shining his boots. I hope you don’t forget the little favour I asked you about those pictures. Tell Bin there is one record I want to have when I get home and that is Please Think of Me Dear. She will know what it is.
Is it alright if I bring my boy friend home with me when I come? Gosh, here is another weekend, is the time ever flying. I’ll be home before you can count to ten.
Well that’s all for to-day but if my stamps last I’ll write every night, they may not be very long letters, but I’ll write.
Lots of love to the best mother in the world.
The East End Kid
Shannan’s Note – I have no idea what Gord means when he mentions getting “a strip” in this letter and the last… Google is failing me, so please comment if you’ve any idea… The way he phrases it above makes me think it might be some sort of commendation, but I’m not sure.
I think that when Gord mentions “Please Think of Me Dear” he means Each Night at Nine, written by Floyd Tillman, and performed below by Willie Nelson – it’s the only song I could find with that line/title that lines up… It’s pretty beautiful, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Willie Nelson.
A thousand miles dear, a thousand more
Across the water, across the shore
I’ll say a prayer, dear for yours and mine
Please think of me, dear each night at nine
I hold your picture close to my heart
It takes your place, dear while we’re apart
Helps remind me that you’re still mine
To feel your nearness night at nine
The bugle’s playing out go the lights
Even it’s lonely, these army nights
Go tell kids I’m doing fine
Give them my love, dear each night at nine
A thousand miles dear
I’ll say a prayer dear for yours and mine
Please think of me dear each night at nine