Elena's letter to Shannon Jones, 1941
Shannon Jones had enclosed a letter from Mom, written when she was about 13 years old, with a fountain pen in a handwriting that could only hint at the elegant writing to come later. The note is fragile, yellow, tearing, with an envelope with Philippine Commonwealth stamps. It took about a month to reach him in Texas, on November 6, 1941.
October 11, 1941
I am so happy to received (sic) your long and very interesting letter.
You're in the eleventh grade and I'm in the tenth grade. I asked my teacher who is an American and she told me that eleventh grade is third year and I'm second year (sic) so I must be in the tenth grade.
I am taking general course that is Religion (Roman Catholic), English, Elementary Algebra, Literature, Ancient and Medieval History and Latin I. I like Latin although it requires memory work. We are studying the verbs now.
Our examinations for the second quarter will be on October fifteen, sixteen and seventeen and after four days vacation. Our term for the third quarter will be started on October twenty-two. (My English is quite off on that sentence.)
I enjoyed your joke very much and thanks for the stamps. I don't have eighteen of those.
Here in the Philippines we had about five blackouts so far and plenty more and coming. One is scheduled for October twenty-two and it will be a two hour one. This morning I saw about a dozen huge trucks driven by American soldiers. These trucks carried branches with leaves and a dozen trucks behind them carried, well small cannons. I guess those branches would be used for covering the cannons. As you mightknow the Philippine Army is under American command now and I'm very proud of it.
I am very happy that the Americans are here to defend my beautiful country. I hope you don't mind my saying so but I am really proud of the Philippines. I am sending you some pictures which I have cut from a newspaper.
I have heard the President's address over the radio and by the movies.
Although it looks as if Russia will lose I am praying for its victory. You know "Where there's life there's hope." I hope that God will make Russia win.
I guess this is quite long.
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Mom had enclosed two newspaper photographs of the American soldiers preparing for war. What a find. How young she was, yet so nationalistic. How observant she was and her letter explains a bit her penchant for letter writing.
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