Letters to Loretta rom 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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First of all, this is not your typical WWII memoir, and it is also a true story. The book is entirely told through letters with a few brief historical notes along the way. Previously, I never read anything in this particular format, and it was quite intriguing. As I jumped into the reading, I was a bit lost at first. But as I continued to read, the pieces began to fall into place.
There was some mild profanity–nothing major–and it was also assumed that you were familiar with the time period. Thankfully I was mostly, but I would have appreciated a bit more background on these characters. It was a delight to see their love blossom throughout the letters, and I felt myself sympathizing with them in a way I had not when reading history books about WWII. In fact, it was even a deeper connection than reading historical fiction as these people actually had existed. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII or perhaps even teenagers who are studying WWII in their social studies classes. Excellent resource and very well-presented.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
January 5, 1943
US Naval Training Station
1330 So. Washington Ave.
Gee, but aren’t you thoughtful. By the way, every time I write a letter to you, you seem to be writing a letter back home. Isn’t that a co-incidence or isn’t it? I received two letters to date, so “keep em flying.”
It was just a month ago that I left and I’ll be damned if I know whether it seems like a year or a week. As far as concerning you, it seems like a year. I presume you’re still as sharp as a whip, you old prankster. Say, in your next letter send me a couple of pictures of yourself, one of them recently taken and you may charge it to Uncle Sam and his fleet.
So I see your stepping out now, you’re really cooking with the right kind of material. Don’t forget I’ve got a date with you when I get back home, which I hope won’t be any longer than a year.
Had a lot of fun at the rifle range this week as no doubt Joe will tell you. I still get three square meals a day, and are they square. A slice of bread with plenty of nothing.
This weather we have up here now surely reminds me of Chicago. It’s dingier than a campaign speech and it just knocks the hell out of these Californians out here. They’re just used to beautiful women and mild weather, while we in Chicago are used to gales and violent women.
Do you know what? In “Frisco” the taverns close at midnight. Now isn’t that a whacky thing to do?
Haven’t seen many movies lately except for a few Navy films showing recent battles to get us boiled. But if we don’t get our liberty Wednesday, I’ll boil over like a frozen motor. They’re going to keep an eye on our company while we’re on liberty (now what the hell do you call liberty like that?) and if we’re good we’ll get one every two weeks. Very, very thoughtful, don’t you think? I’ll leave you know how I make out, so until then.
Lots of love, Slab
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.
Ms. Ashworth will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.
Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: