Letter 14

“Oh I ought to be ashamed a thousand times ashamed – but I am only a foolish fickle girl. I don’t see how you can love a girl like me.”

Lillie is a girl who can’t make up her mind. I imagine her holding a yellow daisy and slowly plucking off each petal. “I love him, I love him not. I love him, I love him not…”

I’m starting to get the feeling that she enjoys stringing him along. On one hand, she has already shared with us that she’s in love with someone else, and has explicitly said she doesn’t love George like he loves her. On the other hand, she continues to call him “sweetheart” and “dearest” and continues to write him regularly. Most surprising, she ends this letter stating that she is going to give Georgie “one more chance.”

Georgie is starting to catch up with Lillie and her games. This letter reveals that Georgie has been threatening to go out with other girls and even…”go to the limit” with another girl…*GASP* It seems to keep Lillie’s interest, as this clearly bothers her and even goes as far to say as she would marry him just to save him from a bad reputation. This whole situation is giving me a headache I can’t imagine what their parents thought.

We also learn that Lillie is currently staying with a Mrs. Stella Carlson. We don’t know who Stella is or how they are related (cousin, perhaps?). However; I was able to find the address on Google Maps and this house still exists today! It was built in 1902 and so it would have been only 17 years old at the time Lillie was living there.

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Stella Carlson’s Home (Built in 1902). Lillie stayed here briefly.

I wonder if Lillie will change her mind after giving Georgie one more chance…?
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Greely, Colo.
October 7th – 1919

 

My Dear Sweetheart,

Dear I told you I would write last night, but Alice and her beau came out to Grandma’s after me and we didn’t get in until real late, so didn’t get to do as promised – But breaking promises seems to be a habit with me. Doesn’t it?

Listen Dear you said over the phone, that if I wanted to, we would call everything off, but Sweetheart, do you think you could give me up and then behave yourself afterward, you don’t know how I hate to think about you going and acting with other girls, like you said you would – and like you did that Sunday – when you went home and we came to Greely. Do you still think you would act that way if I thought you would act that way or go the limit with any girl, I wouldn’t give you up under any circumstance. I would marry, just to save you from that bad reputation. I would make myself love you, if I had to. For there isn’t another person on this green earth, I would hate to see go wrong, as I would you now I want you to tell me the truth, when you tell me.

Sweetheart you asked me if I missed you, why of course I missed you, Why shouldn’t I?

Yes Dear I will come home just as soon as I get my visit out, maybe sooner, I expect to come home Sat. or Sun. I wish your folks would come after me Sun. I am going to ask them to and you try to get them to, too, will you Dearest?

Sweetheart Boy I could turn you down when you write and act the way you do, oh why don’t I love you like you love me? I only wish I did or could, why can’t you find a girl to love you the way you love me. Sweetheart I don’t see how you can love me when I treat you the way I do, I don’t deserve Love like yours, honest I don’t. I’m not worthy of it and yet i can have it and don’t want to take it, Oh I ought to be ashamed a thousand times ashamed – but I am only a foolish fickle girl. I don’t see how you can love a girl like me.

Darling, I am coming home and give you one more chance, gladly, for the way you love me. I can’t help but love you. Honest, I love you. I am positively ashamed of myself.

Dearest, how is your leg? Mama said it was still sore. I want to take care of it and if it is still sore when I get home I can doctor it and get it healed up for I don’t want my Georgie Boy to have blood poison.

Sweetheart I am going to quit now and mail this and Remember I am coming back to you Darling and give you another chance.

I must close now with fond Love XXXX

I remain your own sweetheart and send my letters here.

 

Miss Lillie Jackson

1449 – 10th St. Greely, Colo.

Care of Mrs. Stella Carlson

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Letter 12 & 13

“You surely don’t want a girly that loves another one as much as she does, do you?”

Are you ready for a plot twist?

I decided to combine letters 12 and 13 because they go hand in hand and were somehow written within 2 days of each other. It appears that Georgie has asked for Lillie’s hand in marriage! Yay? Unfortunately, Lillie reveals that she loves someone else in addition to George! *Gasp* I was actually shocked to find this out considering how lovey and devoted she seems in her letters. We don’t know who this “Ernest” is, but I already don’t like him. How dare he take Lillie’s attention away from our sweet Georgie Boy?!

You can imagine George’s frustration when he hears this news. He apparently called her on the telephone and was “awfully mad,” according to Lillie. She seems surprised and even indignant towards his reaction, and begs him not to be angry with her. Also, it’s important to note that at this point Georgie is home and only a few towns away (on leave, perhaps?)If I were Georgie, I’d hurry on down to Greely and get my girl!

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Letter 12

Greely, Colo.
Oct 1 – 1919

Dearest Georgie Boy,

I received your letter yesterday, Sweetheart I don’t know what to do. You make it so that I couldn’t turn you down if I wanted to. But my Dear boy you surely don’t want a girly that loves another one as much as she does, do you? I have tried and tried ever since our other trouble to make myself think that I loved you and you only, but I can’t. I just simply can’t stop thinking of Ernest. I laid awake last night for more than 3 hours after I went to bed and tho’t about your letter and what I was going to do. But Darling I can’t decide. I will have to let someone else decide for me I guess. You told me to be careful the way I decided and Ernest told me to be sure and decide the way he would, so what am I going to do. You were wrong when you said I would laugh at your letter Honeyboy. I didn’t. I read it over and over again.

Well I guess I must close and help Grandma wash. Do write soon please.

Goodbye Sweetheart
I will close with love and xxx
Your girlie

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Letter 13

Greely Colo.
Thurs Oct 2 – 1919

My Darling Sweetheart,

How is my boy today – well I know, cause he told me over the phone. Didn’t he? Sweetheart what made you talk over the phone like you did? My, you sure didn’t talk like you wrote. You talked like you were just awfully mad at me & never, never would get into a good humor again.

Is that the way you are going to act when I come home, if so I don’t want to come home, but Sweetheart you shouldn’t be mad at me for telling you the truth. If I had lied to you, why then you might have had a right to get mad at me, but please Dear Boy don’t be mad. Please, please! Don’t be mad at your Girlie and do write, I have written 3 letters now with this one and I have only gotten one, but i know why now and I do hope you get this one. But please, pretty please write to me.

Grandpa just came in from cutting beans, Grandma has been out with Grandpa most all p.m. So I have been by my lonesome most all p.m. I sure looked for a letter from you today and sure was disappointed when I didn’t get any. But I suppose you have been disappointed too. Haven’t you dear?

Helen and I walked into town last night to the show and seen “The Shephard of the Hills.” I have read the book and I was awfully anxious to see the show. Say Georgie Boy, have you ever read that book? If you haven’t maybe I can bring it down to you, I am reading a good book now. The name is “Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall” I am going to bring it home.

Well Sweetheart I must close now and help G. with supper. Now please Sweetheart write real soon. Will close with love and remain your sweetheart.

 

Letter 11

Say the girls sure treated me fine. I was the first one to return here from France. So you can imagine what a time I had”

We have a surprise guest in this week’s Letters by Lillie! Lillie forwards a letter from George’s friend, Alvin, who was also in the army during World War I. So this week, Lillie’s letter is just a short introduction to Alvin’s letter.

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One interesting point we learned is that Alvin rode home on a ship called “President Grant,” surely named after Ulysses S. Grant who was America’s 18th president. This ship made eight round-trips across the Atlantic during WWI, transporting nearly 40,000 passengers (mainly U.S. troops) to the European war zone. Following the 11 November 1918 Armistice, President Grant brought home over 37,000 war veterans and other persons in the course of another eight round-trip voyages.

Alvin wrote this letter to his friend, because he knew what it was like to be away for so long and how much a letter can mean. I also think it’s noteworthy that Alvin went right to Lillie to get this letter sent. It indicates that friends and family know that Lillie is devoted to Georgie, although she does tease him frequently about dancing with other boys… Also RIP black chickens.

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The paper Alvin used is so thin and soft you could almost see through it.

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Ft Lupton Colo.
July 3 -1919

My Darling Sweetheart,

How is my Honeyboy today? I am feeling fine. Only I have been wishing and wishing that my boy was here to go with us tomorrow to the mountains, but I guess I will have to be satisfied with the other boys, until my Georgie Boy returns, won’t I dearest?

I received a letter for you, from Alvin Goodman and he asked me to send it to you, for he had lost your address. He didn’t write, only just a wee bit to me, I read your letter but I didn’t think you cared, just so it wasn’t from your girl (haha) no offense meant.

All of Uncle Carl’s family, Sylva & Herman, mama, papa & Edna and myself & Ernest- (the boy that works for Uncle Charlie) are all going to the mountains tomorrow (the fourth). Then I guess Ernest and I will go to Denver Sunday, mabe all of us will Sun. I don’t think you will care while you are away do you Honeybunch?

I asked Mama if she had anything to tell you and she said “nothing” only that she was still saving those young chicks til you came home, only we were going to kill 2 black ones tomorrow. But we were going to save the white leghorns for you, you see?

Well Sweetheart I must close now & help Mama with the dinner dishes, so Bye Bye From your Sweetheart Girlie XXXXXXX (I Love You)

Will write more next time.

 

Alvin F. Goodman
St. David, Arizona

Saint David, Arizona
June 29 – 1919

Dear friend George,

I guess you think I am never going to answer your letter. I received it some time ago & was certainly glad to hear from you. I have been so busy the last 4 or 5 weeks I hardly have had time to eat my meals. See Father is not able to do very much so it falls to me. (Karl) my brother is in Indiana. I told you about the large contract, didn’t I? Well about the 3rd of July all books and things have to be straightened up. All the cement work grading excavating and all such as that needs to be fixed so that we will be there the 3rd. Every 15 days we had to pay the men. Some worked by contract, others “force account & some days pay.” All of this kept me busy with the pen & pencil. The contract amounts to approximately 35,000 dollars in all. Clear about 15,000.  The way the contract is done is so much a yard for concrete for grading & surfacing, so much for having steal and cement and lumber. All I have done since I came home is to check up yardage weight on steal, etc. I love to be on the works during the day. Then at night- all the figuring needs to be done. On Sunday I generally put in a weekly account so I can go to a dance on Saturday night. After the 3rd I will have more time for awhile. Then the 15th. Another man here and I are going to take the mercantile furnaces in Saint David. I am going to put up the garage and run the store and he is going to look after the garage. The Bauker in Bunson, a town nearby, is going to back me up in the financial affairs. I only have about 1500 dollars and he is going to put up the balance and I pay-it-out.

Well I am sure glad to get back home again and that sure you would be there by now. We were 18 days crossing the water. Landed on the 20th. Went to camp Clix, from there to Ft. Russell Wyo. There we got our discharge & $60.00 bonus. We had a swell trip home. John Graham took sick on the way to Wyo. and had to go to the hospital. But he got out ok and landed in Phoenix, his home, a day or two after I did. I have heard 3 or 4 times from him but none of the other boys. I certainly would love to see them all.

But say you don’t know how good it seems to be a free man again. One certainly can appreciate civilian life after being in the army for a few months. But say I am not married yet. Say the girls sure treated me fine. I was the first one to return here from France. So you can imagine what a time I had. I went to work about three days after I got home. It surely was hard to settle down and figure. I was surprised when I started, for I had to forgotten and that made it harder, but now it came easy.

I never got sick coming across the pond. But London & Graham sure was. We sailed on the “President Grant.” A large boat, with a good many accommodations. But by the ocean was sure rough. The weather is certainly warm here. Lots of work & hay. But not much rain. I guess we will have a big celebration here the 4th. Much better than the last one. Well George I will write again when I have time. I have misplaced your letter but I guess Lillie will send this on to you. Will try & send you a picture next time. I guess Lillie thinks I never will write, but I can’t help it. The first time I get a chance I will again. I know how good it seemed to get a letter while in France, excuse this writing but am in an awful hurry. Wishing you great success I am as ever your friend.  Alvin

Letter 11

“And they were from a darling little boy, who has got rooms rented in my heart”

This is a shorter letter, but confirms that Lillie and Georgie are still very much in love and writing each other regularly. In this letter, Lillie shares that she is going to a dance (pretty usual event for her, she’s definitely a social butterfly!) and a town picnic. I was surprised that there might be a merry-go-round at this picnic, considering it’s such a small town. I would love to travel back in time to this picnic to see what Lillie wore to this neighborhood event and see how much fun she had.

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Ladies picnicking in the early 1900’s.

PA Duryea 1915 Reithoffer Original Merry Go Round

She even included a piece of fabric from a dress she’s making in the letter, which Georgie most likely kept with him in France. I also thought it was sweet that Georgie send Lillie an apron and handkerchief from France, what a special gift!

Please enjoy Letter 11:

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Ft Lupton, Colo.
June 18 – 1919

My Darling Sweetheart,

How is my little boy tonight? Alright I hope, I am feeling pretty good rather sleepy tho.’

Oh say Honey, there is going to be a dance next Saturday night and the Grange is giving a big picnic a week from tomorrow (thurs) down on the river by watten-burg. Won’t you please come and go too, My I sure would like for you to be here to go with me. Gee, wouldn’t it be Paradise, I’ll say it would.

I’m sure we would enjoy ourselves, won’t you think we would, Honeyboy? They are going to have a lot of races and a ball-game and maybe a merry go round and oh – lots of things. Going to have some time – believe me. Mama and I took the Mexicans into town this morning and then Norabelle (aunt Lillie’s girl) went to Greely tonight, so we took her to the train and it rained quite a bit before we went and we just plow’d thru the mud going into town. Oh, the roads were just terrible, and then it rained some while we were in town, but the roads were kinda settled too, made them a whole lot better.

Mama, Daddy, Baby & I all went to Denver last Thursday.Sure had a good time too and then we went to a doings over to Lupton Sat. night, a drill team came down from Denver (the best team in the U.S.) they won the silver cup & $1,000 besides. It was just grand , no boy in it just the girls, but I sure thot it was grand.

Sylva and I were in Greely the first of last week from Sun to Wed eve. Had a pretty good time, had a nice visit. We just went down for Sylva to do something. Well sweetheart it is 10:30, so O must close for tonight, with bushels of love. XXX

From your little Girlie,
I Love you X

This is a piece of my new dress I am making . You know you always liked me in pink so well.

Bye bye, your girlie
XXXX

Fri morning

The mail man didn’t take this yesterday so I will write a few lines to my boy.

I just bet you don’t know what I got yesterday. I got a package from France, and it was a pretty little apron & handkerchief (I guess that’s what it was). And they were from a darling little boy, who has got rooms rented in my heart, now do you know who he is? And oh! How glad I wasto get them, you just don’t know how glad I am to get anything from my boy and thank you a thousand times, until better paid (nothing meant you know I always said that)

I am going to Sylva’s this morning and old Teddy & stay ‘til tomorrow so bye bye, your little Girlie.

You can have XXXXXX all you want.

Letter 10

“I hope that I will soon have the chance to love you all I want, too. Now you want to be prepared when you get back here.”

Letter 10 was written about a week after Letter 9. In this letter, we hear more about Lillie’s daily farm life (milking cows, driving into town for a tractor show, etc.). However; we also learn that another young man (a solider boy like Georgie) is attempting to court Lillie. She puts away Georgie’s concerns, but also can’t help but rub it in his face a little. “Now don’t that beat all?”

I love that Lillie does not want Georgie to sign his letters as “George.” In this sense, I think that Lillie is trying to cling to the youth of their relationship and some of the nostalgia that emerges when years pass. She wants him to stay “Georgie” so that everything will stay the same, whether he is fighting in a war or not.

In letter 10, we once again get a truckload of flirtations and promiscuous suggestions from Lillie. “I hope that I will soon have the chance to love you all I want, too.” I can’t help but imagine Georgie reading these letters to his buddies in France, high-fiving each other and patting Georgie on the back. Lillie knows how to keep him interested, but she also knows that he’s at war and distractions like these are a good thing. 

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Without further ado, please enjoy Letter 10.

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Ft Lupton Colo.
June 6 – 1919

My Darling Sweetheart Honeyboy, the dearest one in all this whole, wide, wide world.

I received a letter from my Boy yesterday and as I had to go down and practice for a play, I didn’t get to answer it last night. There mama just said I had better come to bed, as I am going to a dance tomorrow night and they are all in bed. Will finish this tomorrow. Goodnight Dearest Boy

XXXX your Girlie

June
Wed night (11-19)

Well Honeyboy I am positively ashamed of myself.

I have been in Greely all this week, Sylva & Herman went up to Grandma Davis’ Sun. morning and then H. came home Sun. night and Sylva stayed, and she didn’t want to come home alone on the train. So I went to Aunt Julia’s Sun. night and stayed until Mon. night and then Ernest (the boy that works for them) and I went to Greely mon. evening and I stayed ‘til tonight (Wed) We both of us girls came home.

We sure had a fine time both of us.

I am glad that you had a good time at that big supper, for I just love for my boy to have a good time. They surely must have had a fine supper.

You spoke about Elmer getting mad because a Soldier Boy come to see me, but what do you think? Now he wants to go with me again, now don’t that beat all? I’ll say it does. But nothing doing here for him, get that? And he will get it too, if he asks me again. He is still going with Melda Amiyotti.

Say Georgie Boy, I don’t want you to sign your name George anymore, because you are still my Dear Georgie Boy. Now remember, it is Georgie and not George, you aren’t George & never will be to me, will you my Sweetheart? Say no, now, will you?

Mama is telling me about the show last night, They all went last night, to Brighton of course. Say Honey you’d better hurry and come back here ‘cause Frontier’s Day, will soon be here, and you know what a time we had, 2 years ago, won’t you tweetheart mine?

Oh I just feel so, oh I don’t know how I feel, I don’t want to write and I can’t think of anything to write,I just want you here, oh if you were here I could talk a leg, oh I mean arm off you. Now aren’t you glad you aren’t here. I just know you are — (not.)

Gee but I wish you were here tonight, I could just love you to pieces, honest I could, I just feel that way tonight, you know I always was kind of that way any-way, but I really could just love you & love you good, I just know I could, and I hope that I will soon have the chance to love you all I want, too. Now you want to be prepared when you get back here.

I sure wish that I could be there to take walks with you those nice nights, but I would rather you would be here, wouldn’t you? I know you would though.

I guess we are going to Denver tomorrow, to a big tractor show. You better come and go with us, my I sure wish you could.

It is 9:10 and mama has gone to bed and baby too, and the men are still out in the field irregating and Daddy hasn’t milked yet, so I have to stay up to separate the milk, but I am writing to my Boy anyways, so why should I care how long they stay.

My it just seems like I simply can’t think of anything to say tonight. I am awfully tires tonite. We walked all over the town of Greely today, I think. Well Darling I guess I will ring off for now.

Just remember, there’s a little Girl back here in the U.S.A. waiting for her Little Soldier Boy. I must quit now.

Your sweetheart Girlie,

You can have XXX all you want

(I love you Dearest)

Letter 9

“Fire always does make me nervous tho!”

Believe it or not, 9 months have passed since our last letter in September! It is now the year of our lord, 1919, and unfortunately I don’t have any letters between this time.

Although a great deal of time has passed, it doesn’t seem like it to Lillie and Georgie. Lillie still writes as though she adores Georgie and signs her letters with kisses. At the time of the last letter, Georgie was in training in New Jersey for the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Now, Georgie is stationed “somewhere in France” according to the address on the letter. By the grace of God this letter did appear to make it to France, despite the confusion about his actual address. Although Georgie is now off fighting the good fight, Lillie still does not seem concerned about his welfare or day to day activities. She continues to share about her own little adventures. This could be to take his mind off of the stress and loneliness he could be facing abroad.

Also, did you notice he was promoted to Corporal? Lillie seems so proud!

There was a fire on the farm! Fires were much more common at the time because most households were heated by coal. Lillie admits that she caused the fire by throwing ashes onto a wood pile. (Could it have been a blonde moment? Sounds suspiciously like something I would do…) Thankfully no one was hurt, other than Lillie’s mother when Lillie backed into her with the car, sending her into a ditch. Classic Lil!

 

Ft Lupton Colo
June 2 -1919

 

My Darling Sweetheart,

How is my little Georgie boy tonight? I am feeling fine, only I would love to see my boy tonight.

Just think Honey I received 2 nice big letters from you today, now I had ought to feel good had I not? Well I am all alone tonight. Mama, Daddy and Babe all went over to St. Vrain tonight, to see the ditch boss, and as I wanted to write my Georgie Boy I stayed home, so you see I am all alone, aren’t I. But I knew I had to write tonight or else wait until Wed. night, for I have to go down and practice tomorrow night for that drill team, Every Tuesday night, so you see I couldn’t write tomorrow night.

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Well that soldier boy from uncle Charlie’s was down here yesterday, had a real good time, he had to irregate last Sun. so he couldn’t come down, and he is coming down again next Sun. and then he has to irregate the next two Sun. Then you will have to come home and come out here, so I won’t be alone, see?

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Well the folks just got home so I’m not alone anymore. My I was sure surprised when I read your letter and then came to your address. Corp’l George Jandreau. I knew that you would be more than just a common private, but it doesn’t make me think any more of you. Nothing could make me think more of you, cause I think so much of you as it is possible, see?

You say you have forgotten how to dance, you come back and I will teach you how. I have already taught one

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Soldier boy how to dance. Yes Elmer quit and went down a mile south of here and began working and going with Malta Aimiyutti and now he wants to come back to me and of course there is nothing doing here.

I am glad that my Darling Boy has throwed away those bad habits, of so glad.

Well Sweetheart I must close for tonight as it is 15 min. to 11 and I have got to be up late tomorrow night, so goodnight, your Little Girlie XXX

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June 4 1919

Well Here I am again Sweetheart, I didn’t get this mailed Tuesday (yest) and I went down to drill last night. So I will try to finish it this morning and get it mailed.

I have to go up to Edsen’s pretty soon after water. So will have to hurry.

Oh say Georgie our coal-house & coal and our big wood pile burned down last Thursday, I threw

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some ashes out between the wood-pile an chicken-house up in the morning and the wind came up just awfully hard. After dinner Mamma, Baby & myself were going to Brighton, and Mama & I were both undressed and Babe went to the door and came running into the bed-room and said “Oh Mama we can’t go to town everything is on fire” and Mama and I run to the door and it was all on fire and not another soul around the house. Mama went out and called Uncle Earl and I went and

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got the car right out to go get some water, for we had neither drinking water nor lake water up here. We were just going after drinking water, so we put the barrell right onto the back of the car and by the time I got started after water Mr. Brown and Clinton were up here in their car with 2 cans of water, and then Papa came down from irregating on Old Teddy and then all the best help came over and Harm’s, Norden’s Mussers, Bunkhardt, Merl Edsen were all here

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before we could hardly turn around, and we had 2 cars one with cans and one with the barrel on behind besides cans in it, hauling water from the lake just as fast as they could. Besides Uncle Earl’s team and barrel and 2 of the men got up on top of the house to pour water over it and one of them took hold of the cone of the house to pull himself up and it was so hot he couldn’t hold to it at all, so we were lucky to have any house left at all, and

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the coal-house was so awfully close to the house too, and I was so excited that I bumped into Mama with the car, down where we got water at the ditch and knocked her off into the ditch and she was mud from head to foot. They said I would never be whiter when I was dead, I was scared about the fire. Fire always does make me nervous tho!

Well Sweetheart it is 11:30 so guess I will go after my water. So Goodbye Darling Boy. Hoping to see you soon I will close with Fond Love.

Your Sweetheart Girlie

(I Love You) XXXX

Letter 8

“Gee but I would love to see you with your hair combed pompadour”

 

This is the first letter that was sent to Georgie after he had been drafted into the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Georgie was drafted in June and was sent to train in New Jersey with the 164th infantry. Only a year earlier, America had declared war on Germany and had begun to send troops. The fatigued British and French troops, who had been fighting since August 1914, needed the relief offered by the American forces. At this point, Georgie was a private completing his basic training in New Jersey, but within 3 months he would be deployed to France.

Even though Georgie is certainly dealing with his own stresses, like a typical 16 year old girl Lillie shares her concerns of how Georgie is styling his hair and whether or not he’s going to dances. (He is not allowed to attend dances but she is apparently…commence eye-rolling). Lillie is adamant in this letter that Georgie should comb his hair “pompadour” style, which is basically still in style today.

Pompadour is when the sides of the hair is cut short or shaved, with the top long and styled. She even goes as far as to ask for a picture sent with his hair styled this way. I can’t disagree with Lillie, the cut is handsome!

 

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Greeley, Colo.
September 11, 1918

Wednesday

A lonesome day for your Girlie. To my Dear Little Soldier boy. Hello Dearie, what you doing today? Practicing as usual I suppose, aren’t you? I guess I am getting homesick, I don’t know what else is the matter with me, I don’t feel like I had ought to anyway, there isn’t a bit of fun about me today.

If Alice can get off from work this afternoon, her and I are going to go up to the High School and watch them play football. She called me this morning and said that she asked Mr. Warden (her boss) if she could get off and he told her that one of the ladys was sick and wasn’t there, but if she came back at noon, that Alice could get off, but if she didn’t that they didn’t need her. Well she just called and said that she could go about 2 oclock and for her mother to come and get her. Stella said “Gee it’s nice to have someone to boss you and tell you what to do.”

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Well I ironed almost all morning for the folks here and then Stella went away this morning and I got dinner all by myself and she didn’t get here till after dinner. Oh I sure do work (haha). Oh yes and yesterday I got dinner and done the dishes by myself. My I wish I could of been there to walk in those woods with you. Gee but that would be a paradise, instead of a woods wouldn’t it Honeyboy? “If wishes only came true.”

Say you said you hoped I had a good time while I was here, and I certainly do when Alice is at home, but it is rather lonesome when she isn’t here, because you know I’m not much of a hand to visit with older people, and that makes it kind of hard on me. Oh once in awhile Stella and I get to cutting up and have a pretty good time. Stella said for me to tell you, when I told her that you hoped I had a good time, that “I wasn’t having no good time

3

And they was starving me here and I was going home pretty soon.” Now what do you think of that? (ha).

Say when you come back I want you to teach me how to write a letter and watch a picture show too, Gee that’s some stunt. Gee but I would love to see you with your hair combed pompadour and I always did like to see boys comb their hair that way. Don’t you remember when I tried to get you to comb your hair that way?

Say the next picture you have taken have your hat off, please, so I can see your face and hair, now please do and I will not laugh at it at all if you do have your hair combed pompadour.

Alice’s Sweetheart wears his hair pompadour. Oh yes Alice, Otis and I went to the show night before last and a man spoke and showed pictures. The name was “Beating the Hun.” I sure enjoyed it, he was a Canadian and had one leg shot off in the war and

4

He had a wooden leg, he had been a German prisoner and was in a German hospital 4 months, and he told what they had to do and how they were treated and everything like that. Gee it is just terrible and then he took his wooden leg off and danced and then he took his gun and marched and showed us how they trained them, done all that with just one leg, didn’t even have his wooden leg on. Oh, I tho’t it was grand when he was dancing he said that was how he amused the wounded in the hospital.

Gee you said you didn’t care much for band music any more, I wish I could hear it once in awhile, in your place for you know I just love music, I bet you would like to hear Lillie play on the piano, if she can’t play very good wouldn’t you Honey Boy?

5

Yes Dearest I would loto rather you would wait 2 or 3 days and write big letters than to write little ones, because when I get a big letter I just jump with joy of course. I like your little ones too but I don’t know I believe I like your big letters the best. Mabe you would rather I would write big one and no so many small ones too. If you would just say so, or maybe you want me to just keep writing the way I have been.

Oh Honey don’t go to any more dances, I haven’t been to but one since you left. But I think I will this winter, some but not very often, providing you don’t care. Well I guess I will close for now with all the love from my heart. Remember that there is a Little Girlie back here waiting patiently for your return, and always will be true to a Little Soldier Boy who will be true to His Girly.

 

Goodbye from your Girlie

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I Love You, Honest

 

Letter 7

“This here world that we’re livin’ in, is mighty hard to beat. I’ve a thorn for every rose, but aren’t the roses sweet.”

One of the things I love about Lillie’s writing is that she always includes some sort of rhyme or saying in addition to her colloquialisms. The “Kaiser Bill” ditty is referencing Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the German kaiser (emperor) and king of Prussia from 1888 to 1918, who was one of the most recognizable public figures of World War I (1914-18), and who may have caused the war with his policies. I have to wonder how much Lillie understood the war and politics being 16 years old, but it clearly impacted her life as shown in her friends and sayings.

The rose rhyme was written by an American lyricist, Frank Lebby Stanton. He was actually the poet laureate of Georgia at one point. The poem that Lillie quotes is one of Stanton’s most popular works and is inscribed on his tombstone today.

One new piece of information, this “Sylvia” is Lillie’s big sister! After some researching, I found that Sylvia Jackson (Ballinger is her married name) was born in 1898. This means she would be about 20 years old, 4 years older than Lillie. Since Sylvia lives away from the family, she could be newly married or off to college. Hopefully we will find out more about this mysterious big sis soon!

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Fort Lupton, Colorado
May 13 1918

1

My Dear Honey Boy,

Will write a few lines tonight although it is pretty late, 10:30, pretty late isn’t it? (for me.) Say Kiddo how do you like this — Kaiser Bill went up the hill to take a look at France, Kaiser Bill went down the hill with bullets in his pants. Ain’t that going some?

Well Hon I am getting kind of sleepy but will write some more. George and I went over

2

To the other side of the lake after you went home last night and got a ten pound pail about half full of crawfishes, just their tails, it would have been about full except if we had of left their heads on and we took half and he took half of them and I sat up until about 11 o’clock cleaning the ding-busted things, some job believe me!

Say Georgie Boy, I still love you, it’s kind of strange, but it is true and I ain’t lion either.

3

(I am just  girl, Ha. Ha.)

This here world that we’re livin’ in, is mighty hard to beat. I’ve a thorn for every rose, but aren’t the roses sweet. There’s another one for you. (take this for a kiss)

Well Honey Boy it is 11 o’clock and mamma is in bed and that means for me to get there too, so will quit now, will write more tomorrow night maybe. So Goodnight Darling XXXXX for you.

4

Hello there sweetheart, how is you?

My I shore am some lazy kid, but I just can’t help it, this is Thurs eve. and I started this Mon. eve. Tues we went to town after school and didn’t get back until late Wed. We went to Boulder & didn’t get back until 12 o’clock and to-day we had that Red Cross doings up to the school house nd Mamma and I had to go to Lupton this morning to get something to sew on this afternoon for the Red Cross.

5

Say I’ve got a piece to speak the last day of school that is as long as your foot, now you know how that is.

Gollys! But I’m tired to-night, feel like I have been working but I guess I haven’t. We were up to see Sylvia yesterday and she seems to be getting along just splendid and we expect to bring her home next Sun.

Oh say Kiddo what do you know about it? Neal Ballinger is home come home last Tues eve, only got off for 15 days and it takes 8 days o come here and go back so that only gives him 9 days at home.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX just lots of them

Well Sweetheart I will have to quit now and get into bed so goodnight from your Girlie X

Letter 6

“Say the next time you take a ride in that new Hup, just think of me”

In letter 6, we learn that Georgie may or may not have a side chick…what! Also, why was he trying to kiss other girls? Come on Georgie, obviously Lillie is a catch. Hopefully he gets his act together.

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The other fun piece in this letter is discovering what a “Hup” is. “Hup” is apparently short for “Hupmobile” which was an automobile built from 1909 through 1939 by the Hupp Motor Car Company.  It must have been a blast to ride in one based on Lillie’s comment about it. She sounded downright envious that Georgie got to ride in one. Golly!

 

 

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“sealed with a kiss”

 

X

Fort Lupton C.
April 22 – 1918

My Darling Sweetheart got your letter today. The one you said you was coming and had some time to write and that I had ought to write when I had time.

Say you had better leave that girl alone up there or there might be a little girl mad down here (Ha. Ha) (“Don’t Worry”)

Say Hon you didn’t tell

XX

me what you done the other day you said in your letter you done something, but you couldn’t tell me in your letter and would tell me what it was when you seen me, see if you can’t tell me in your letter. Well Honeyboy I guess I will have to go to bed. Papa has gone to bed and Herman is going home & Mama is going to bed. Aunt Lillie is going to sit up with her tonight, Mama sat up last night. Well Goodnight Sweetheart for now

XX – and good ones

XXX

Well Sweetheart, Here I am again, had some more tests today and had to bring some home, just got them finished.

Well it is snowing and raining and blowing tonight, wish you were here tonight.

Say Honeyboy I just don’t believe what you said about the girls not letting you kiss them, because any girl would let a

XXXX

nice little Boy like you kiss them, I know I would if I get a chance or if you would do it. Say the next time you take a ride in that new Hup, just think of me and make believe I am there too and then write and tell me about how much fun we had (HA. HA.)

Well Darling I guess I will have to get to bed if I want to get up in the morning. Think of me often and I will do the same.

So Bye Bye Darling, with lots of love from your Girlie. XXXXXXXXXX (lots of them)

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