It’s three weeks into March, 1945, and Frank Stevens is somewhere out in the Pacific between the battle of Iwo Jima and the upcoming attacks on Okinawa—not exactly the time to be in the mood for Christmas. But it’s a Christmas package that finds its way to him at this late date. One quick look at what’s inside turns the festive mood right around, and fast. Never judge a package by its wrapping—not even something as enticing as a Christmas package.
Perhaps a maxim along those lines goes for people as well as packages. That may be the counsel Frank’s parents, Will and Agnes Tully Stevens, are impressing upon him—despite all acclamations bestowed upon the current young lady of interest. For whatever reason, just as he did in his letter to his dad, Frank once again emphasizes his disinclination to get tied down with any such obligation as married life.
Don’t worry about this kid going overboard Dad I’ve got quite a few things I want to do in the next few years and getting married isn’t one of them, for one thing I haven’t the dough to take care of a wife but that is the last of many reasons so don’t give it a second thought.
I received the Christmas package from Bill and Max yesterday and sorry to say it had been in the mail so long it had gotten moldy so I fed it to the fishes nearly broke my heart to see that fudge and puffed rice go in any other direction than that of my digestive tract but couldn’t be helped.
As he has mentioned in several previous letters, it is Frank’s intention to do something to help his parents out financially. I’m not sure what the cause of this need is—could Will be having trouble with his real estate business because of the war-time economy? or having difficulty putting in a full day’s work owing to heart troubles?—but Frank is insistent that his parents accept his assistance. Above all, he wants his dad to stop letting the worry—about whatever it might be—eat away at his health. This boy wants, more than anything else, to be able to return home from his wartime journeys and be with his father once again.
Dad if you think we can see our way clear I want you to forget all about that allotment business and forget about starting a bank account for me I want you to use that for yourselves.
Can’t think of anything else at present so I’ll have to sign off, I’ll write every chance I get but mail service is pretty punk so if my letters are few and far between don’t get all worked up about it and above all DON’T WORRY. Really do have to close now so take care of yourselves and God bless you.
Your loving son, neffoo, and brudder.
Note: the hyperlink above on "Iwo Jima" brings up a film clip at a company called Critical Past. This specific one minute 41 second clip includes footage of, and on, the LCI(R)-707 taken on February 19, 1945—the first day of that battle. Special thanks to a fellow researcher on the World War II Genealogy Forum at GenForum for bringing this resource to my attention.