Pauline’s Letters

When my grandmother, Janie Pauline Lampley, was born on November 25, 1907, in Cheatham, Tennessee, her father, Henry, was 35, and her mother, Nancy, was 37. She was married my grandfather days before Pearl Harbor Day. She had one daughter, my mother. She died as a young mother on October 11, 1942, in San Pedro, California, at the age of 34.

These are transcriptions of letters spanning from June 1940 to her death. They are to my grandfather, who was in the Navy, and to her family. Subscribe to my blog to get notified when I post new letters.

There is a large gap between the first 2 letters with the second being July 5th, 1941, after she met my grandfather, Abb Truett. I have a copy of the life story he wrote about himself called “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire”.  I’m including excerpts from that story.  

Within the first couple posts I realized that some of the language my Grandfather used in his writings were ethnic slurs common in the 1940’s. Rather than censor his writings I have added this following Trigger Warning to the pages with sensitive content:

This entry may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. These transcriptions are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.

July 5th, 1941

Gee jack I wish I had more time off while you are out here, so I could be with you more.

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August 12, 1941

Sam’s Birthday is September 15 that will be the code for the date we will arrive in San Diego or any name stating date so you understand what date we will arrive back.

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August 15, 1941

Dear Pauline, We are sailing in the morning at the same docks you saw us sailed from when you were here. I haven’t heard from you, since my last two letters. Honey you probable haven’t recovered from the shock. ha. ha. Anyway as soon as you get your breath, I will be looking for an […]

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