I could do with a couple of nice letters from you. For some reason or other – I haven’t heard from you in 4 days. I guess the trouble must be with mail coming out of Boston at this particular time – because mail has been coming in quite regularly for the other fellows. But, I’m due for some today – for sure.
Yesterday, Sunday, was a quiet day, and just about warm enough to be comfortable. As per my usual routine this past week, I played 3 sets of tennis and then did some swimming. If I didn’t have that diversion, I don’t know what I’d do, darling. I could easily become batty in the realization of how stagnant I am and how stagnant I’m continuing to be. But when I remember that what I wanted most of all was to come thru the campaign alive and well – I feel better. The medical angle will just have to take care of itself, sweetheart. You’ll just have to marry me – rusty or no.
Last night – we went to the movies again. They are held downtown in a large place – called the Capital. The only difference from our movie houses is that – like the English – the better seats are upstairs. The officers have that reserved for them. A new picture is shown every second day – and to our surprise, last nite, Special Service put on a German movie. I don’t know where they got it, but it was an excellent musical comedy production – in technicolor – and you didn’t have to know German to enjoy it. Incidentally – we all agreed that their technicolor has Hollywood’s beat a mile. It’s just like real life and not for one moment did it seem artificial. The leading lady sang, danced, acted etc. and could easily get a job in Hollywood. But I didn’t see any possibilities for a new leading man. The music was excellent and one song in particular – given a plug in the States – would make the Hit Parade in no time.
Sweetheart – I re-read an old letter of yours last night and I came across something you’ve mentioned a few times in the past – our first meeting when I get back. You seem to worry that we’ll seem strange to one another, awkward, embarrassed. Darling – I don’t feel that way at all – and I don’t think you will – either. You aren’t and couldn’t be a stranger to me, dear – after the way I’ve gotten to know you during all this time, from your letters alone – I mean. If I hadn’t ever met you and by chance we had taken up a correspondence – I believe I could come home, take you in my arms, tell you I love you, ask you to marry me. But I do know you, and I did learn to love you before I went away. Our separation has only enhanced my love for you – sweetheart – and strangeness and embarrassment don’t enter into the question at all. Now – remember that!
By the way – a couple of the fellows are planning to marry as soon as they get back – Stan Sargent (N.H.) and his fiancée from New Haven; Hi Morley – Norwalk, Conn. and his girl from the same city; Bill Brown from Chicago and his fiancée from Bridgeport. I said that if we get back in July – it would be too hot to get married and they said “Not if you go to the Mountains”. Well – we may all meet there.
Today – we have a big inspection of all our equipment – by a team from Corps, but I don’t believe it has any significance; probably routine – just to see how much equipment was lost in combat. We lost quite a bit. But it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve got to go downstairs now and run over my property book with my Supply Sergeant. You may not know it, dear, but I’ve signed for about $50,000 worth of stuff.
So for now, sweetheart, I’ll have to say so long. I love you more and more each day, dear, if that is at all possible – and I’m going to love you even more when I get back to you. Love to the folks, regards to Mary – and
Legal Minds at Work
For 14 years sober-sided U.S. judges have muttered about the legality of Nevada's easy divorces. But armies of U.S. citizens went to Reno anyhow. Eventually, like the bull market of the fabulous '20s, Nevada divorce was accepted as a sound and logical American institution. Last week the crash came. The U.S. Supreme Court gave other states the right to deny Nevada's most cherished legal doctrine: that anyone spending six weeks within its borders has established a legal domicile, is thus entitled to a quick-won divorce.
The earthquake which opened this spectacular fissure under Nevada's gaudy divorce mills had its beginning in a frame store at Granite Falls, N.C. (pop. 1,873). The storekeeper, one Otis Baxter Williams, a greying, middle-aged father of four, fell in love with Mrs. Lillie Hendrix, the plump, bespectacled wife of the store's handy man. In 1940, stirred by their autumnal romance, they stole out of Granite Falls, drove west to a Las Vegas auto court, won Nevada divorces. They married and headed for home, expecting nothing but happy days.
Hell Hath No Fury. But the storekeeper's aging first wife was waiting. She also knew her North Carolina law. Shortly after they entered the state she had them arrested. A jury found them guilty of bigamous cohabitation. Reviewing the case in 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the North Carolina courts. In doing so it ruled that citizens of one state may establish a legal domicile in another state for no other reason than getting a divorce.
U.S. lawyers and newspapers hailed the ruling as proof that Nevada and Florida divorces had achieved final, legal respectability. Nevada's toiling judges, their position secured, ground out divorces for Doris Duke, Gypsy Rose Lee, Gloria Vanderbilt and thousands of other U.S. women of all stations. But the Supreme Court had left one loophole — it had not defined the term "legal domicile." A hawk-eyed North Carolina attorney general spotted it.
Jealous of his state's strait-laced divorce law, he charged that Otis Williams & wife were still living in sin. Once again they were arrested, tried, found guilty. Once more they took refuge in appeal. But last week the Supreme Court ruled against them. Said Justice Felix Frankfurter for the 6-to-3 majority: each state can determine for itself whether it will accept the divorce procedures of another, or reject them.
Muscular Prose. Dissenting justices stated their objections in muscular prose. Said Hugo La Fayette Black: "The Williamses have been convicted under a statute so uncertain in its application that not even the most learned member of the bar could have advised them in advance as to whether their conduct would violate the law. . . . [This] will cast a cloud over the lives of countless . . . divorced persons in the U.S."
All over the U.S., battalions of Nevada divorcees asked: "How will this affect me?" The minority whose divorce suits had been contested had nothing to worry about. Neither did those who had won uncontested divorce suits at which their defendant husbands or wives had been legally represented. But holders of default decrees (i.e., those whose mates had not been served with divorce papers in Nevada, or had not been legally represented at the trial) faced potential difficulties. If their former mates sued them, if their home states refused to honor Nevada's perfunctory theory of legal domicile, they might become involved in endless tangles (property settlements, wills, etc.). If they remarried, they might face bigamy charges, or find the children of their second marriages adjudged bastards. The effects of the decision might make themselves felt for years.
But other people's potential troubles were academic to hapless Otis Williams and Lillie Hendrix. Despite the fact that Williams' first wife had died, that Lillie's former husband had remarried twice, both faced penitentiary sentences.