Threat of war

As we’ve seen in a few of her other letters, Clarese makes a few wise cracks here, too, but this letter is different from her others.  She shows a more serious side, especially toward the end of the letter, heavy with worry over the threat of another war. On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.  This speech, warning against the communist influence over the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe illustrated the ever growing divide between eastern and western countries. Additionally, between March 5 and March 10, 1946, Iran asked the United Nations for help against the Soviet Union, who had not removed their troops after World War II, violating Russian-Iranian Treaty of 1921, and the Allied troop withdrawal agreement from 1943.  Under President Truman, the United States demanded that Soviet troops be removed from Iran, intensifying conflict. Russia eventually agreed, but took their sweet time about it.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from Clarese concerning this threat of war in future letters.  I’ve written one thing in red in the middle, just so you know 🙂


March 10 1946

Sunday Eve

Dearest Chuck.  I’m not going to have too much time to write so I’m afraid I’ll have to finish it tomorrow.  Sent your letter off yesterday in the early morning, didn’t I?  Well, from 10-12, I spent two very boring hours.  I did manage to get my nails filed, oiled and polished!  Please Chuck, what I do during my Principle classes, never never do in school.  I want you to get the best grades possible.  And that takes studying.  But golly our teacher is just not getting around to teaching us things which we’ve done on the floor months ago.  Besides she’s so old her training is obsolete.
I slept yesterday from 1:30 to 8 then was woke up by the noise.  I studied in the evening.

I had an awfully easy nite last nite.  Not much to it, no really sick patients and everyone slept good.  I did manage to do a lot of clean up work so in case I’m awfully busy tonight- I won’t have to worry.  When I came off this morning I stopped for a bite to eat.  Only twice have I eaten breakfast since I’ve been on nites.  I come home and was finished reading the Sunday paper and in bed by 8:30.  I slept almost straight through until 3:30.  Of course I had to get up several times and yell at the kids down the hall to be quite.  Remember, I’m in the basement sleeping but that doesn’t stop them from yelling those few that live there.
Well it’s 10:30 so nite now darling.

And again its 8 in the morning and I’m heading for bed-Please forgive me for this letter.



Here Clarese switches to small notepad pieces of paper.  Her writing is tiny and cramped, and the following letter takes up 4 little pages, front and back.

I’m sorry to have to write on such a thing as this my darling but I’ve a few moments to spare and I can’t think of a better way to spend them.  Can’t remember what I told you last.

Guess it was that I had slept from 8:30 to 3:30.  Did I mention that several times I had to get up and tell the kids that lived in the basement also to please be quiet?  Its just those very kids who make so much noise while we’re trying to sleep that want to borrow my bike all the time.  Well, I’ve asked them enough from now on it’s their tough beans when they want to borrow my bike.

I got up and went home about 4:30.  I’m really stormed when I get up and I certainly had hopes of finding supper almost ready, only to find out it wouldn’t be ready until 6- Oh well it was good.  We had stuffed heart.

Say, Grandma got home yesterday morning just as mom and grandpa were eating breakfast.  Guess Nina’s navigation is ok.  I ask granny if she asked Nina if I could come up there next summer and Nina said I could come up whenever I wanted to.  I asked her if she thought Nina would have room enough for two of us.  Well she said one us could sleep on the couch and the other on the floor.  I’ll trade off with you.

Golly, why do I spend my time day dreaming so.  Does it hurt?

You know I guess jobs are really pretty scarce up along the coast.  My uncle Rod got laid off at the Tacoma shipyards.  He is getting $25 a week compensation tho.  Guess he’ll work in the berry fields.  My cousin Arlene finishes school.  Then they’re coming back home, here to Boise.  It’s been so long since all our relatives moved away.

Back to being at home this evening.  Connie and Margaret and the kids were up.  Suzanne is getting bigger every day.  She’s almost got the nerve to wake alone now.  She’s so shy and bashful.  Won’t have anything to do with me unless its go walking with her.

But Connie she’s getting cuter every day. Tonight she was sitting in Connie’s lap reading a book with one of grandpa’s pipes in her mouth.  She’s getting to be pretty tall now and her hair is so beautiful.  I tried to write to you at home but there was too much going on.  I did get a letter scribbled to George.  You know I owe everyone a letter.  Gee Chuck I don’t know what to say about your family trouble.  Guess it’s happening in so may families.  I suppose it’s hard on the girls, Lewis probably won’t want to come home and there’s not much for you.  How come your dad sold out his business?  What will there be for you now to do?  Service the Candy machines?  Golly and it’s so hard to get jobs any place.  I really don’t know what to say.  But by golly you get your schooling in.  Gee the world situation doesn’t look too good does it.  If we have to go to war again, it will certainly not be pleasant.  Some of the girls around the hospital here are sure beginning to have a so called good time.  If there is war.  Where we graduate we’ll have to go right into battle too.

How are you coming along looking for work?  Or are you!  Golly if only we were together.  It’s so much easier to talk to you.  And besides that, I wouldn’t mind being with you.

You know I really should be doing this but I’ve only 13 patients and they’re all good so I’ve not much to do.  I’ve already spent a good half hour scrubbing the ink and marks off the wall around the chart desk here.  Darned if I’m going to work all nite.  The other kids don’t exactly break their backs finding extra things to do and besides I’ll have plenty to do come about 5:30.  It’s only 3 now and time for me to start passing penicillin.

Bye for now.


Further Reading:

The Authentic History Center. ‘Origins of the Cold War: 196-1950.’ The Authentic History Center. 21 July 2012. Web. 23 August 2013

The History Channel. ‘Churchill Delivers Iron Curtain Speech.’ History Channel. 5 March 2013. Web. 23 August 2013

United States Department of State. United States Relations with Russia: Cold War.’ US Department of State, Office of the Historian. 20 January 2009. Web. 23 August 2013

Wolfe, Lisa. ‘Cold War Iran: 1945-1959.’ The Cold War. 9 February 2011. Web. 24 August 2013


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