“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!
September 11, 1918
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.”
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
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
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?
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
I Love You, Honest