Sunday, May 17, 2015

Letter to Tad, May 1945

Dear Tad

I apologize for taking so long to write.

Since the war came I haven't started a letter with anything but "Dear Bob." Each time I've scraped a chair up to the desk to try, my pen seemed to trace the lines that were etched ever deeper into the blotter over the last four years.

But time runs only forward. The magazines promise a fresh, shining world after victory, gleaming like new cars and kitchens. I'm sure it's true, though I haven't been able to make myself care until now. You've helped me to see that life will go on, that there are good, kind people with loving hearts no matter what is happening in the world.

I miss you and wish your work wasn't on the far side of the state. I know you can't talk about Hanford and of course I'd never ask you to. You'd probably get a good laugh, or at least one of your quiet chuckles, over the things people speculate about it: Some kind of improved radar. A big bomb like the ones they dropped on bunkers in Occupied Europe. Or my favorite story, a Buck Rogers death ray.

Whatever it is you're really doing no doubt it's for a speedy end to the war and the betterment of mankind.

Life here on Tillicum Drive is outwardly the same, but changes are seeping in. My neighbor Susan's husband is one of the lucky few coming home to a white-picket life instead of transferring to the Pacific. My other neighbor Betty still dreams of personally roasting every Japanese alive in revenge for Joe's death on Attu, but she's distracted now by a mysterious new man in the factory. And of course you know about your sister Jane. By the way, she hasn't said much about newlywed life recently; I do hope all is well.

So that leaves me. And I don't want to be left. I want a world of peace and a man to share it with. I am grateful to you for your patience.

Since you can't write about your work, tell me about your dreams. You've seen so much more of the world than I have, being a college professor and living on the East Coast and hobnobbing with the grandees in Washington, DC. How do you think we'll live once victory is won? Helicopters in every garage like the papers promise? I'd settle for a new washing machine but perhaps I'm thinking too small.

I hope you will respond more quickly than I wrote to you. I can't tell you how much it means to me to look forward to something.

Very truly yours,


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