Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Letter 1, from Joyce

no envelope
Jan 13, 1949

Hi Sal,
I came home from school just now and found your letter waiting for me. I was glad to hear from you.
Vic isn't mad anymore and he wants you to drop him a few lines. Everything is all fixed up now. After you left me + Vic had a “long talk” and he was mad at me not you or anyone else so please don't give him up. Ahem! You to know each other for a long time.
Well enough for that. Well alright! Yes, I kept my word about Chris, infact I even forgot about him til you mentioned it in your letter.
My mom is all better now but its still as big as ever, I guess its only natural. If I have any pictures taken I'll send you one, all right? That's if you promise to make some improvements when you
draw me. Whats this about you going to tell me something interesting about myself!! Come on S-A-L whats up? You better tell me in your next letter.
I can't see what the difference is between that so called “unknown letter” and all my others. I say the same s___ over and over again. And its just as long as the rest well whats the “diff” I'll take your word for it if you say its different its different all right O.K.?!!
No, Vic hasn't said anything about the Prom. I think he rather see me go with you than anyone else. (not saying I'd get asked by anyone else.) Before I forget you keep your part of the bargin about Chris to I know you will but – just checking.
Well for once in a long time I've taken home some books to do a “little” studying. Don't laugh either. Well Sal I can't think of anything more to say so I'll end here until I here from you. Oh yes, don't forget to write to Vic. Is this ending better?

Your loving Friend
yours truly!!

I debated simply posting these letters and letting them speak, or rather not speak, for themselves. But being a curious person, I can't help but wish to fill in the blanks they leave, to wonder who are Joyce, Vic, and Chris.

Joyce, according to Sal, was the most beautiful woman on earth. He said she put any movie star to shame. But for some reason, they were only ever friends. He told me once of how they had once kissed, but with a "Blech! Yuck!" they both agreed that it felt like kissing a brother or sister. At the time of this letter, Joyce is still in High School.

Here's Vic, in a boot camp photo, found smiling in the second row to the right:

Sal is pictured opposite, in the bottom left. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

Vic was going with Joyce when he and Sal joined the navy together. They served with another man, Chris, found in the photo just underneath Vic. (His name was actually Frank, but everyone called him Chris.) Chris was depressed because he didn't have anyone to write letters to. So Vic figured Joyce might have a friend who could write to Chris, or else she could write to him herself to keep Chris' spirits up. Thus began a correspondence between Chris and Joyce. You can probably guess what happened...but I won't spoil the surprise just yet.

Re-reading the letter, you can see that Sal was not happy about these developments, and perhaps even felt stuck in the middle. If you have other interpretations or impressions of the letter, please comment below!


  1. What a treasure! I have included Letters to Sal on the blogroll of DrawingIn -- I am a huge fan of other people's mail. They are even betetr than diaries for showing us the truth. (teenage girls in the 40s swear!!)I love this page design too. Looking forward to diving in.

  2. Thank you! I've always loved letters and photo albums. They are secret treasures!

  3. The way she writes that particular phrase/sentence(s). I will assume Huba (misspelled) is what they called a good looking guy. She did call him a "creeper" first, then said "if he were a huba".

    I remember my mother telling me what they called trashy women in her day (50's). If a woman was "loose" they called her a hot ticket. In the 70's when we said the same sentence, we meant that they were cool and/or funny. So I have no clue what Huba really means, I just took as it i see it in the letter. I suppose i could ask my mother what a huba is... and I am betting I'm right.