Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Post #6 - May 13 & 14, 1941 A Mother’s Day Party and the Tribulations of Basic Training

May 13, 1941
6:30 P.M.

My dearest Phil:

Two weeks gone—50 more to go. Not too bad. How are you feeling & how was the trip back? Don’t bother to write me, if you are coming in this week-end.

I suppose you are wondering if you have time, what has happened these past 48 hours. When the bus left, Marcelle’s brother drove me home. I ate and got “fixed up.” Mom, Jakie & I went up to Jake’s club for the Mother’s Day affair. It was very nice. Upon entering we were given a fresh white carnation. (The boys asked me if they should consider me a mother). By the way, I looked exceptionally well and all the fellows asked Jake where he met me. He told them that I was “just his sister-in-law.” The boys gave an impromptu show (rehearsed a half hour) which wasn’t bad. It made us laugh and, believe me, it was what we all needed. After the show card tables were set up and Jake & I got a few ladies together at one of the tables with Mom & she had a lovely time. Ice-cream, cake, pretzels, soda & other refreshments were served. There was dancing, so I danced with Jakie. I felt like a child. All the girls up there must be at least 21 and over. Eddie’s date (Harriet) was crazy about my blue sheer dress and she thought it was very different & expensive. Was she surprised. I also wore my white fur jacket.

We left at 10:45, taking a block of ice-cream with us. We put the ice-cream into a glass & poured Pepsi Cola over it. It made a delicious ice-cream soda. Try it sometime.

Monday night Mom wanted to go to the movies, so Mom, Jakie, Harriet Greitzer, & I went to see “The Lady Eve.” It was a very light, entertaining comedy. I think you might like it. Everyone but Mom did.

My cold continues to “hang on.” This morning, when I arrived at the office, I blew my nose slightly. All of a sudden blood gushed forth. It was a very violent nose bleed—something I have never had before. I probably irritated the tissues or membranes by blowing my nose so often. It’s nothing to worry about.

Incidentally, on our way to the movies, we past a hat store. In the window there was a striking white felt hat perched at a daring angle on the mannequin’s (is that how it’s spelled) head. It is a military style with a dashing & very fluffy black feather arranged so that it practically resembles a drum majorette’s. It cost just $1.98, so I bought it. It’s a “killer.” Wait till you see it on me.

All day long I try to picture you—where you are & what you are doing at that particular moment. Monday night I sat alone in the parlor from 7:30 to 8:30 thinking about you. That’s probably why Mom suggested the movies.

I’m looking forward to seeing you this week-end. If you can’t make it, let me know as soon as possible & I will come to see you. I love you sweet. Always remember that. I still have that frightened feeling. I guess I always will—while there’s a week between us. Everyone sends their love.

Your Chippie—“Ev”

May 14, 1941 5:50 P.M.

Dearest Evelyn,

No doubt you'll be surprised to hear from me again so soon, but I find that my mind is more at ease when I know there is a letter on the way to you. Moreover, it may encourage you to write more often. The occasional letter I receive from you is the bright spot in an otherwise drudging day. We receive mail twice a day, and al- though I may receive a letter in the morning, when the afternoon mail is given out, I hope against hope that there may be one for me. I know it's silly, but still I feel let down when there's none for me. Your letter, which I received this morning was more welcome than you'll ever know. Was glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself at the B.A.J. party. Tell Jackie I appreciate the way he is taking care of you and Mom. That hat must be a "lulu". I can't wait to see it. By the way, how's Harry behaving? And how is the budget working out? Does Mom have hough money for the week? To all appearances, I won't be able to send much of anything in the way of money, unless I give up coming home week-ends. I hope I don't have to, as looking forward to the week-end at home is all that keeps me going. Besides, after the 13 week training period here, I don't think I'll be able to get home at all for the next for 5 months. So please bear with me, sweet, if I spend my money for train fares. I'm asking leave every week-end while I can still get home—there will come a day when I'll no longer be able to. Of course, there will be week-end now and then when I won't be able to get leave, but that can't be helped. On those occasions, you might visit me. Yesterday was a killer. We had our first bayonet drill and practiced throwing grenades in addition to our regular drill, exercise & instruction. When we got back to barracks, I was pretty well exhausted. But that wasn't all. Immediately after chow (when we were supposed to be off) an order came through. We had to rush like hell to pack (Blankets, raincoat, toilet articles, underwear, etc.) for a bivouac and hike. We were told we were to start at 6.30, but at 5.45 we were called out. Luckily, I had a premonition and was fully packed. Most of the fellows were about half through, but they had to turnout anyhow. They managed somehow to throw their stuff together and get out, but when they were called on to march "on the double," you should have seen the conglomeration of stuff strewn over the ground. The rest of us had our hands full picking it up and getting it back to the owner. Finally after marching about a mile, we parked on a large flat and fell to pitching our tents. We had to unpack all the materials we had so painstakingly packed just a half hour before. By the time we finished pitching texts (2 men in each) and laying out our under-wear, gas masks, toilet articles, etc, etc., it was dark. Then some officers inspected the layout and we got busy tearing down the tents and packing them and the rest of the stuff. By that time it was pitch dark. We assembled and stood waiting for perhaps 20 minutes. Then we began to march. Can you picture it? There we were in a darkness so deep you could only see the man in front of you; tired as hell, dusty, and generally miserable. The darkness was so complete that every few minutes I banged into the man in front of me whenever he stopped. The man to my rear bumped me and so on down the line. So - we marched what seemed an interminable time. Finally—about 10.30 P.M. we arrived at barracks completely knocked out. What a day!! I thought it would never end. By the time I pushed myself between the sheets, it was about 11, We were awakened at 5 A.M, and we were a bunch of dead ducks. All day today I had to push myself to do anything at all—I felt so weary. It was even an effort to sit and listen to the instructors. I would gladly have given a month's pay to have been able to lie down and sleep. But—all's well that ends well. Today we at least have the evening to ourselves. I'm feeling better now—except for a sore left arm, (the last shot was the given us today) thank God! After finishing this I’m going to take a shower and hit the hay. I expect to be home this week-end, baby, so keep your chin up and show everybody how pretty you smile. Please write at every opportunity, sweet, I love to hear from you and I love you. Spread it around to the rest of the family will you, sweet? There's certainly enough to go around. Just save some for your ever-lovin' spouse


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