January 15th, 1955
As we learned in the letter below, Richard was given leave around the New Year of 1955 and he travelled to England, including spending at least some of his time in London at a guesthouse in Victoria (a neighborhood of London, I gather. Interestingly, I googled the address and its still a hotel, though with a different name of course.) This is the first of several women I believe he met and exchanged contact info (the digits of the '50s) with during this leave, and, if I am reading her name correctly, you are meeting Cherie. While her cursive is beautiful, it is at times a bit hard to read, but here are some interesting things to note.
Overall, this letter reads at times as if it could be someone who was just a female friend he met or reunited with in London, but on the first page she says
"How are you, I have missed you, especially when I thought you had departed without phoning to say good-bye to me, but I was relieved when I did get your telephone call."
Unless they were friends before this (which nothing else really suggests) the expectation of a good-bye telephone call, especially in 1955, seems far more romantic than simply friendly.
Again, Cherie worries that she has simply been forgotten; I am honestly not sure if these worries (reflected by several of the writers before and after this) are because Richard really did "ghost" them or if it is more of a turn of phrase. A way of gently (and a bit passive aggressively) suggesting that they hope they have not been forgotten. (A particularly British approach if ever I saw one. Ha!)
Another similarity Cherie shares with later writers is a concern that her letters are simply boring and that, quite frankly, she doesn't enjoy writing them, though I wonder if that is more of a self-esteem issue than anything else. I enjoy her comment though, "but, I thought perhaps I had better keep up at least one American soldries [sic] morale." So. Is THAT what the kids were calling it back then. She notes that her letters will likely be boring, strict accountings of the weather and such, which once more I will just say is an extremely British thing to say (spoiler, it was probably raining.)
Further suggesting something more than mere friendship passed between dear Cherie and Richard, she notes at the end that she must end the letter as she is tired and "perhaps I'll dream about you!" Can't imagine what she'd be dreaming about. [Insert suggestive winking emoji here.]
And, as many of the writers have and will continue to do, she ends with a reminder to not forget her. To write again soon. And wishing him her fondest love. Not knowing her or entirely understanding the mannerisms of the time, I can't say if "fondest love" could really be read as saying "I love you" or if it was simply a polite way to end a letter [like, perhaps, "I have the honor to be your obedient servant"....even though I'm issuing a threat to kill you. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, LISTEN TO HAMILTON OMG WHY ARE YOU READING THIS INSTEAD OF LISTENTING TO HAMILTON. ... Sorry, got distracted there for a minute.]
But regardless of whether she loved him or "loved" him, I would definitely like to know a bit more about what they actually *did* when they met while he was in London. But that's just because I'm a nosey-nelly obviously. What do you all think? Was their relationship like how Sandy described it in Grease or how Danny described it? Anyone care to place a wager?
P.S. Just a quick note about Gigi/Ginnie, there are several more letters from her that were both (a) possibly illegible and (b) saved without the envelopes, making them difficult to date. I have sent them along to our French friend and translator and asked her if, when she has time, she can translate all four at once and guess what order they should go in. Hopefully this means we will learn more about their relationship and all four letters will be posted in one master post once I find out if they can be translated/read. So if you're attached to her, don't worry, there's a bit more to her story still.