This is the tenth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

Dust bowl, Texas

October 1943

They say there’s a lone star here but I see millions

Dear Nicholas,

No fair, that’s two questions. But I’m feeling charitable. Plus I like you. As for what I’m doing in this tiny town in Texas, your guess is as good as mine. As for how I got here from Arizona, it was a bus. Okay, sorry, let me try to give you a sufficient answer. This girl is born in New York City. Long before she can become old enough to appreciate the city and take advantage of it, her father moves the family to some horrid place in Arizona due to his love of Zane Grey novels and some childish notion that a lawyer can become a cowboy. The girl is miserable. Her mother tells her all about the outside world, including all kinds of stories about herself as a young girl during the Jazz Age in New York. What a time and place to be! The girl decides that somehow she has to escape this life before it kills her. When she’s able to gather a small amount of money she takes a bus and heads east. It takes her as far as the tiny town in West Texas before she runs out of money. And that’s where she is today – stuck in limbo.

I don’t understand – anything. I suppose that is an indiscretion normally attributed to youth, but those who are older do not seem to understand either – just pretend to. Somewhere they just stop asking questions, stop feeling and experiencing in exchange for nonsense and “recreation.” This war hasn’t even seemed to penetrate our general consciousness – at least not mine. I can’t believe it.

At least you’re trying to save lives. The forces of death can’t win in the end. Since you left I’ve gone back to the gardens and stolen daisies on several occasions. I put them in my room and look at them, and I think about you. And I smile.



Next letter – November 16, 1943