Love Letters Home

See more by Chapman Deering

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About the author

Chapman Deering

Chapman has been writing most of her life. As a child she wrote stories and loved putting on little dramas for her family. She and her friends would hang a curtain on the clothesline in the backyard and invite the entire neighborhood to come and watch the scenes they would invent. Her brother captured a few of these performances on video. When she watches them now, she has to laugh.

"We thought we were such great actors! I can see now how really bad we were. I wonder we got anyone to come. But we were kids, and it was all done in fun and it was a great way to tap into our creative juices."

About the book:

From the Author

When I first discovered the box of old letters, I had no idea of the treasure trove of memories I had stumbled upon. In fact I nearly missed it. The box had been tucked deep in the shadows under the eaves, the cardboard all bent and dented. I dragged the box out into the light and peeled back the flaps. Inside, hundreds of letters were tightly packed in two neat rows. 

I carefully selected the first letter in one of the rows. The postmark was dated 1942, Fort Devens Station. I removed the thin sheets of paper from the envelope and began to read. It was a love letter. I examined the second letter in the same row. Dated 1942, Army Air Force Technical School, Keesler Field, Mississippi. Another love letter, written just a week after the first. 

I quickly thumbed through the envelopes. There were over 400 envelopes, dated 1942 - 1945, each with a military postmark. I had stumbled onto the documentation of a four year love affair.

There was no question the letters had historical value and had to be preserved in some fashion. I was able to get permission from the current occupant of the house to take possession of the letters. She had no use for them, but I certainly did.

It took nearly seven years of transcription, editing and research to make this story come alive. 

But there was a problem. All the letters in the box were from the soldier to his love back in the States, but there were no return letters. With little room to carry anything that wasn't absolutely essential, the soldier had destroyed all her correspondence. 

To tell their love story, I had little choice but to imagine her side of the affair.