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  • Writer's pictureFlea Market Love Letters

A "Colorful Romance": Vintage Letters & a LIFE Article.

I interview collectors every month on the Flea Market Love Letters Instagram page and I always ask how they came about becoming a collector. I became a collector by growing up with two antiquing buffs for parents. So when my dad, who collects vintage LIFE magazines, sent these scans over about love letters in World War II I knew I had to share. Check out the "LIFE'S COVER" -- as well as some pretty epic mid-century advertisements!

Friendly reminder that we've transcribed the article verbatim. There is language used which is of the period. We can learn from these sources how to adapt our thinking and be better, more inclusive people.

Caption: "LIFE's COVER: Ensign Louis Macouillard U.S. N. R, and his bride, Grace Harrison, are the couple on the cover. They were married just ten days before the picture was taken at the Naval Training School in Tucson, Ariz. where Macouillard was sent last July for training as an officer. As a sailor, Macouillard won his bride after a colorful correspondance from the South Pacific. For his picture letters which helped win Grace, see pg. 76"

"Colorful Romance: Sailor wins his girl with picture letters from Solomons"

"The pictures on these pages are really love letters from a U.S. Sailor named Louis Macouillard in the South Pacific to a girl named Grace Harrison in San Francisco. As love letters they were highly successful: Grace Harrison became Mrs. Louis Macouillard last July (see left). As works of art, they are also successful insomuch as they give a bright fresh impression of the people and places in the South Pacific.

Miss Harrison was writing advertising copy when Macouillard went off as a Sailor in the Navy and promised to write her faithfully. He did. But because he also liked to draw pictures he found that he could best express himself by making colored sketches of what he wanted her to see. His ship took him to New Caledonia and the Solomons. When he tried to describe the natives he wrote: 'Their skin is the color of huckleberry pie'. Finding that inadequate he drew and colored pictures of them in their gay costumes. Usually, right under the pictures, he would write such comments as: 'This is a beautiful strange new world -- green hills and purple mountains surrounded by the emerald sea.' In New Caledonia he found a 'stunted forest of Naoli trees whos bark feels like the soft of chamois'. Moving on the Savo Island and Gudalcanal he painted more pictures and wrote: 'A few faded red slacks and twisted palms somehow give a feeling of contented lonesomeness'. Some of Macouillard's drawings in this colorful romance are shown on the following pages.

After three months in the Solomons, he longed for home, wrote Grace that he hadn't had a single date and that he would give anything to once again stand with her on top of San Francisco's Nob Hill in the fog and wind and catch a cold. Soon after he got his wish and was transferred back to San Francisco where he got his commission as an ensign on July 5. Five days later he married Grace."

Macouillard's Illustrations:

Get in Touch. Something about the story of Grace and Louis strike your interest? Have a letter story you'd like to share? Write to us at today!

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