December 19, 1951
The Carved Cow
44 1/2 St. George St.
St. Augustine, Florida
This is a love letter, a short one but still a love letter. If
you don't want to read love
letters from an embittered old soldier you can tear this up now.
You know, some long years ago, I met a girl in Chicago. A slim,
lovely, adorable person
who wore lacey bloomers. (Didn't find that out until later.)
She had laughter that was exciting, she had a mouth that was
twisted into sheer beauty,she
had a skin of silk and satin and memories. She had everything
that any man with
appreciation of beauty would desire. And I desired her. But I
was a wild eyed young
military idiot that didn't appreciate what I almost had.
She was loyal. Much more so than I. She allowed me to come to
her in Chicago. Then, under
the wildest conditions in the world she came to me and married
me. It was economic Hell,
we slept in hall bedrooms, I fought at St. Nick's, I gave blood
under different names.
But we were together and it was sufficient.
Bit by bit she built me up and made a full man of me. I went
from a wild eyed Private to
a fairly capable non-commissioned officer. She worked her heart
out in jobs she didn't
give a damn about to keep the tribe going and all the time she
knew where we were going.
Under her help I earned a Reserve Commision. Simply for my self
pride, there was no need
of it. The war came and I was called into my commissioned
We had a son then. A beautiful little brat who thought the world
rose and fell in his
Things got better. I got my silver bar and was put out sniping
at bad schools. Got my
Captaincy to the pride of my son. Economics ceased to be such a
She stayed a beautiful woman with ready laughter, brilliance and
kindliness. The original
passion remained with me. The touch of her, the nearness of her
was an eternal flare in my
emotions and heart.
We had another child, an adorable little girl with her mother's
heart shaped face. We
carried her around in a blue canvas case to show her off.
The "sniping" got very tough. Hall bedrooms, cheap apartments
and I was always and forever
tired and tied up with my trade.
This beautiful lady became emotionally exhausted. I was too
damned busy to understand or
know. So, she went to her home on the theory that after the war
and my certain retirement
that things would be all right. They didn't, her exhaustion
became a complete emotional
collapse. I too was on the frayed edge and when I came to her I
got a mental beating that
the whole war hadn't been able to give me. She came out of it
but by that time my orders
had called me back and I could do nothing. Her mother had lied
to the doctor, to her and
to me until none of us knew the score.
She was still the most beautiful woman in the world but she had
lost all faith in her
Then the real Hell started. She abandoned me. I became an
escapist. I found that by
staying more or less drunk I could forget how beautiful my Lady
was and her sweetness and
her love for me. I forgot everything and wandered all over the
face of the land trying to
find some peace of mind. I didn't care for clothing or decency
or niceness, all I wanted
was to get drunk enough to go to sleep without remembering this
Lady. My sickness became
too much for me. I was an ill man, a sick man and a defeated
man. I lived twenty four
hours a day with the scented dream of her in my heart and mind
without the ability to try
to correct it.
I made two good tries. Once my illness caught up with me at the
wrong time and once I got
so nervous over the possibility of a reconciliation that I blew
that up trying to keep
I loved that girl, I loved the children I had by her. I loved
the great emotional moments
we had together and I loved the quiet laughing days and nights we
spent. I will always
I do not know if I can ever regain her and my children. I do not
know if I have the
physical and emotional ability to make myself again a father the
children can be proud of
or a man my woman wants. I only know that I will try. "He seen
his duty, he done his
damndest, Angels can do no more."
I love you, Jean.