Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, A True WWII Teenage Love Story
by Laura Lynn Ashworth
LETTERS TO LORETTA
FROM THE RADIO SHACK, A True WWII Teenage Love Story
Read the rare and recently discovered real time letters between Sal, age 19, and Loretta, age 15, during the final terrifying three years of World War II, 1943-1946.
Both from the Douglas Park neighborhood in Chicago, the two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, the Navy, war, politics, hit music, life back home and their relationship.
Sal nicknamed Slabby for his movie star good looks, deciphers code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific.
Loretta monikered Duchess for her aloofness, lives with aunts and her widowed father, while holding day jobs and enjoying an active social life with friends.
Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack lets you experience World War II, both in battle and on the home front, through the eyes of adolescents in a way that Hollywood has never portrayed.
Guess what the latest rumor in the neighborhood is? That George was wounded in the knee cap. He wrote two letters to Laverne and signed 'em “Love George.” She's soooo thrilled. And do you want to know a “lil” secret? Of course you know Rita. Well she is going to have a baby. Yep! A baby. The only trouble is that she forgot to get the marriage license. She's engaged, though! To Alex. You know, Tillie's brother. He was in on furlough about four months ago. Boy, I'd hate to be in her shoes.
I saw Hinks last night. He took us (Dolores, Elaine and I) out for a drink (of coke). We had pretty much fun. He's a good dancer. But I bet you could “outshine” him any day. Laverne started out with us yesterday but met up with Sonny. He took her to El Chicos. Personally I don't care for him, maybe it was because I never really got to know him, but I'm sure I'm not missing anything. Laverne always does that. When we girls get together occasionally, we tell each other “No one is to leave the crowd.” But leave it to her (Ain't I the catty one?) Even though we got along without her. Hinks left us after a while. Tillie came later on and gave us back our foursome. Hinks is working today. Poor boy.
Well today is Sunday and I just finished washing my hair. And then I start thinking about youse. So I says to myself, I think I'll write youse a letter to let youse know I'm thinking of you—you great big hunk of a man, you.
Excuse me, I'll be back in five minutes. I have to go and put my hair up in curlers. I got me a date for tonight. You'll be there in spirit, and when I kiss him goodnight, I'll be wishing it were you instead. Now just close your eyes and picture me with my hair in curlers and be glad you're not here.
Just think, work tomorrow, and can you imagine, I worked all last week—I wasn't out one day—the floor lady came over and congratulated me.
Well, I think I'll do my aunt a favor and do the dishes. Ooops! Just a minute, my aunt just passed by. You know dishes are a little out of my lines, but I'm making an exception today on account of I feel so good.
Laverne and Elaine just dropped in so I'll have to be closing now so write more often. After all, I need a little inspiration. So until I hear from you I remain as ever, yours truly and sincerely,
Yeah! I send my love, too.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Poignant, tender, funny, violent, heartbreaking - these are all words that I would use to describe this book. In the reading of these letters, you get a 'no holds barred' pass into the lives of Sal and Loretta. It gives you real insight on how their relationship changed, how being away at sea for such long periods affected the sailors, what it was like for those 'back home', and also to receive that dreaded telegram saying that a relative had died.
My heart was pounding throughout most of this book, not knowing what Sal was about to face and whether or not he survived it, made it an enthralling read. Would Loretta and Sal ever get the chance to meet up in person? Would their love survive and flourish? Questions such as these made it a complete page turner.
Reading this book has reminded me of how I love receiving letters and penpals I had in my youth. So different from today's convenience of text messages and emails. I am so glad that these letters were found and published, and even more pleased that 10% of the proceeds are going to good causes.
If I had any complaints about this book, it would be from a purely personal basis. That would be that because it's a Kindle book that I read, I didn't have the synopsis on the back cover to remind myself of what this book was about. If the synopsis had been there by way of an introduction, that may have made transition to Sal's letters a bit easier but like I said, this is purely personal and detracts NOTHING from the book itself. The second would be how it ends! It has left me with a massive book hangover and the need to know more! So much so, that I have even emailed the author in the hope for some new information.
More than that I won't say but I will say that if you have any interest in human relationships in a time gone by, if you are interested in how it actually is to live on a ship/boat, if you like reading about events of World War II then you are in for a real treat with this book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Laura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist. While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across “the letters” and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance. Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors. She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.
10% of author proceeds will be donated to the USO and VFW in loving memory of Sal and Loretta.