March 14, 2014 – Letters from Al, 1966-67

Dear Alsie,

How’s it going, Froggy? I know … I’m  stealing one of your pet names for me but you were Froggy first. You used to make the best ribbet noises—not me.

Yesterday I had this brilliant idea to answer letters you’d written in March during March even though forty-seven years have elapsed since you penned your letters to me from Vietnam. I figured we could at least share the same time of year.

2-28-67 ltr env 3-1 postmarkPostmarked March 1, 1967, the letter inside is dated Feb. 28 and reads:

Dearest Darling Lynnsie:

            Hello sugar, how’ve you been? I love you. I’ll always love you.

            Lynnsie, you know how I’ve been feeling sorta depressed lately? Well, today I reread a certain letter that you sent me a while back, written on Jan. 25. It was the letter assuring me of your love and you kinda bawled me out for worrying about your love for me. You called me dense, which I guess I am. It was such a wonderful letter honey and reading it again made me feel so good inside. I’m going to carry that letter with me and every time I start feeling depressed, I’m going to take it out and read it. Then I’m going to kick myself in the butt and get myself motivated.

2-28-67 ltr p1The second page of your letter follows:

You also wrote in this particular letter about being afraid about not being able to please me and make me happy when I get home. This is something you never have to worry about. I’ll be the happiest person in the world just holding your hand. I please easy darling. So I don’t want to hear anymore about you being afraid I won’t be happy. If anyone should feel doubts, its me. I love you.

            Gotta go darling, they’re turning the lights out. I’m yours forever.


Where do I begin with an answer to the above? You did “please easy”—and that’s the truth. There are other truths I try to write but they come out all wrong today. Let me just say I adored you. You were faultless in my eyes. The best in every way.

I’m glad I wrote a letter you carried, one you could pull out and read and feel better for having read it.

I’m stumped, Alsie, slogging on with old feelings of doubt in my head. I should write about the sun, how brightly it angles in to light the corners of this room. I should mention the sound of the surf beyond the west-facing window, the slushing noise rounded stones make as the tide pushes them up the inclined shoreline, how they tumble down when the waves recede. You know how gravel sounds as it slides from the raised bed of a dump truck? That sluicing jumble of hard against hard? It’s like that, Alsie. One load of gravel song followed by a lull as the waves take time to rebuild and come forward again to release another load of gravel song.

Are there sounds or songs where you are, Al? Is there sun? Is there love? I like to think you carry mine with you.

The words today are stuck. It’s as if there’s a really big truck load of them, all sorts of things I want to say, but for whatever reason the truck bed won’t lift, the words refuse to tumble free. My remedy? Yep, you guessed it—sign off for the moment and step outside for a taste of the sun, close-up and real. Maybe even the feel of ocean’s spray on my face.



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