Saturday, May 9, 2020

Post #22 - June 16, 1941 Writing to the President and a Rude Awakening

June 16, 1941 
9:10 P.M. 

Phil, dearest: 

As soon as the train pulled out I hurried to the trolley, fighting hard to keep back the tears. I didn't succeed. When I got home Mom was waiting. Mrs. Greitzer asked us to come up and keep her company. (She had just returned from her cousin’s.) We had tea. At about 11:30 (I was so sleepy it was an effort to keep my eyes opened) I retired. Very restless night. Mom says I toss and talk all night. I awoke feeling very knocked out, but it gradually wore off. I was more determined than ever about trying to get you out of the Army. I spoke to Mr. Mitosky (who gave me the enclosed clipping) which I think is very, very interesting. He told me to write directly to the President. I told him quite a bit about us and he told me exactly what to write. Mr. Weinstein, another attorney (I helped fill out his questionnaire) (lousy pen) said he had influence with a Judge, whom he would speak to, if necessary. I'll write the details of what I intend writing to the president at a later date. In a nutshell—Mitosky asked me when you asked me to marry you. I said February of 1940 and that you gave me your class ring. He told me to tell them that I can't get along on $10 (show them my expenses) and say that I am solely dependent on you regardless of when we were married. The fact that I am living with your family shows that I am dependent on you. Altogether the fact that we intended marrying at an early date, plus the fact that your father died, plus the fact that your mom was almost solely dependent on you, plus the fact that I had to get a job to help us save in order to marry and the fact that I was willing to make a go of it if you went into the army and can't all add up. It probably sounds like a lot of nothing, but I'm rushing like the devil to get this finished and in the mail, as it's so late. As soon as I finished supper I went to Edith’s house (Harriet's girlfriend). She has an unlimited telephone, so I called Ann, Jean, Helen, my Mom and Lil. You now know why it's so late. I'll tell you about each one tomorrow, sweet. Keep that chin up, baby, and maybe this little Chip can get you out. At least I'm gonna try my darnest, God darnest. I'm going to bathe now—before it's too late—if you know what I mean. Harry tried for that job and there is a possibility he may get it. Everyone sends love and regards. Most important of all—how's your cold? Take care of yourself. I love you, sweet, and just to prove it I'm sending along some stamps. I want ’em back tho’ with all your love for 

Your ever-lovin’ wife 

Monday, June 16 
7:30 P.M.


Each time I leave you I find it harder to bear. Last night the parting was harder to take because of the fact that the next time I'll see you is three whole weeks away. I won't try to pretend, Ev, that it doesn't mean much. It hurts—But then I'm getting so used to being hurt and disappointed, that it's getting to become second nature. I'm even finding a sort of sardonic humor in the ways and means that troubles employ in attaching themselves to me. A sense of humor is the only thing that keeps most of us sane, healthy beings. Let's take last night as an instance. I arrived in camp 11 o'clock. All the lights had been out for some time, but most of the fellows were still coming in. There was much hustle and ado for a gang that knew they had only ’til 4:30 to sleep. Very gradually the noise subsided and the fellows drifted off to sleep. It seemed we were asleep only a moment when the shrilling of whistles rudely tore us from the arms of Morpheus. Then the raucous voice of the sergeant yelling “Fall out! As you are!” To say the fellows were startled is putting it mildly, they were literally stupefied. Looking back on that moment, I can't help laughing at the picture we presented. Picture, if you can, a sleeping barracks suddenly coming to life like so many jacks-in-the-boxes. I was one of them. When I heard the first drill whistle I sat up instinctively and immediately. Trying to clear the cobwebs from my brain, I peered intently at Jack’s bunk to see if he had any inkling as to what was going on. It was as if I had looked into a mirror, for he was just as intently and sleepily looking to me for the explanation. Seeing the same uncomprehending stupefaction in each other's faces, we turned as one man to gaze around at the rest of the fellows—and found only so many counterparts of ourselves. For five frozen seconds nobody even breathed—hoping against hope that the call wouldn’t be repeated. This time the note of insistence in the alarm was not to be denied even for a moment. “FALL OUT—AS YOU ARE!!!—and we tumbled pell-mell from our cots and piled out into the night—as we were—except for me, of course. Asking a man to turn out in the nude is just a little too much, don't you think? I thought so, too,—so I hastily slipped into my underwear and—for good measure—my trousers and fled on the heels of the others. Outside it was damp and cold and I feared it wouldn't do my cold a lot of good, which only shows how wrong some people can be, because I awoke this morning without a trace of the heaviness in my chest, which had been there for the past week. To get back to my dizzy narrative.—When I reached my place in the platoon and got my eyes opened wide enough to comprehend what I was seeing, I promptly shut them to blot out the weird sight. The Sergeant was hopping around in his underwear barefoot in the mud, but, wonder of wonders, wearing his brand-new field cap (he still can't figure out how it got there). The rest of the company were clad identically—with variations. Each soldier had fogilly grabbed the nearest article of clothing and hastily applied it to his person. The result was hilarious—although we were strangely unappreciative of the humor in the situation—at the moment. We were uniform in one respect only—underwear. There any semblance of uniformity ended. Some were the proud possessors of shoes, others were more interested in keeping their torsos warm, and wore shirts. The more modest among us grabbed our pants. But in no case did any of the soldiers have more than one article of clothing on his person. I think I forgot to mention that all this to-do was a fire drill (U.S. aArmy version). After the cool air had cleared our senses, and we realized how funny it all was, we had a good laugh—at our own expense. (Ha-Ha!) Grrrr! This morning after what seemed like a sleepless night we left for the combat range and spent the day there. Luckily it wasn't too tough and we had an opportunity to recuperate from our grueling experience of the early morning. However, it was a long day as we didn't get back ’til 6, which is one and a half hours later than usual. Right now Ed is threatening dire things if I don't return his pen immediately, so I'll say Love to all—and to you, my sweet. 

I adore you