December 18, 1943
It is cold and raining and generally miserable outside, but it affects me not at all. I'm more or less accustomed to dreary weather over here. Besides, who gives a damn about the weather? I have two freshly received letters before me and in my heart there is sunshine and blue skies. The letters are dated 4 Nov. (V-mail) and 9th of Nov. (Air-mail). Very strange and unfathomable are the ways of God and the Post Office. (Why that's good, think I'll write a book). Usually the V-mail is more recent than the Air-mail, but today—vice versa.
By all means, Sweet, buy Helen's fur coat. I see it as clearly as though it were before me. What's more, I remember how you looked in it—you tried it on, you know, the very first time you saw it. The picture of you in that. d-i-r-n-d-l [dirndl] style coat is very pretty indeed, and I'd love for you to have it. Fifty dollars off the bankroll now won't be as sorely missed now as it will be later, Chippie and what are all these “many other things to buy” that you mention? Too, I intend to send you all the money I have above my basic needs on New Year's Day. I figure it will be 40 or 50 dollars. I'd like nothing better than having you use it to pay for the coat. If there's a suspicion in your mind that I'm trying to inveigle you into this in the hope that it will save me the price of a new fur coat later on—forget it 'cause you know darn well, Baby, that you are perfectly welcome to spend our last dollar for anything, anytime you see fit. No, darling don't think for a minute that I'm through buying you fur coats after this one. Just hope that I'll be able to afford them, and you can rest assured that I'll take the keenest delight in buying them for you. So forget your native aversion to spending money, and tell Helen you'll buy her coat—and thanks. The news that you finally sprung and bought yourself a new suit was music to my ears, (eyes?).—for more reasons than one. In the first place, it does my heart good to know that you have acquired something that you have wanted for a long time, and in the second place it proves to me, better than any overt evidences, that your morale and your hopes are not suffering too grievously in my absence. As long as you evince the desire for new things and new places, your state of mind is healthy and normal, and no one knows better than I, how close you have been to the opposite category—despair and hopelessness. That coffee table you mentioned sounds like a good buy to me, and if your mother doesn't acquire it, I think you should. I'm surprised that your sharp business acumen deserted you in this instance. You know that eventually we will spend 40 or 50 dollars for something very like it. You should have bought it if you liked it. And mentally computed a saving of some $35. 00. (Or is that “hay”?) Don't worry too much about spending our reserves, there are more where they came from. Which all reminds me of something I had meant to discuss in previous letters, but always managed to forget. If you have been reading the papers, you will know that plans are already in advanced stages for ensuring the immediate future of demobilized servicemen. The talk now is about going giving ex-soldiers from three to five-hundred dollars (depending on length of service, domestic and overseas). Besides, there is a long-range program of social security for everyone in the offing. The plan that most interested me, however, is the one whereby, upon demobilization, a soldier (married with one child) would receive $80.00 per month for one year while taking a course at a nearby college or university in any subject he might desire. My thought was (and is) that a year of schooling in journalism, while my family was being provided for, [well, almost) $20 per week] might set me on the road I wish to go. I realize that there are obstacles to be overcome, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity if and when it materializes. The point I'm getting at, though, is that you should shouldn't sacrifice too much of the present to the future, which usually manages to take care of itself. I trust your sense of values implicitly, Chippie, to influence you or dictate to you the advisability of buying anything at anytime, so don't look to me for an O.K. Your O.K. is plenty good enough for me. This “Royal Dalton” ware that you seem to think I can buy here in England is new to me, but that's beside the point. Granted, I had enough cash on me to purchase, (very unlikely, since I send all my spare cash to you) how in the world could I send it home? Even if I were permitted to post anything so bulky and heavy, I’d probably have to lug it back to camp from London ’cause we can't mail anything except from our own Post Office. Altogether, though, I'm not exactly sure of my facts, but I mean to investigate the possibilities and if it can be done, why I'll do it, O.K.?
I forgot to say that brother Jack’s V-mail was enclosed, but he doesn't tell us a helluva lot, does he? However, the fact that he is concerned with sketching augurs well for his morale and health and general peace of mind. I would like to know where he is though, and what the hell he is doing besides drawing his buddies’ pusses. Why the devil doesn't he write to me? Or has he forgotten his big brudder?
I have been so busy in the Orderly Room ever since I took over as Personnel Clerk that I have no time at all for my own affairs—worse luck! The evenings are invariably taken up by my correspondence with you. Currently, I'm in the throes of overhauling the filing system here (it's a mess) as I did previously in the Station Ordnance office, but it's going to take longer than I at first thought. In the meantime, I have been unable to find the time to answer Red’s letter. Of course, I could sacrifice one of “your” letters to get one off to him, but I find myself unwilling to do so. I can't feel too guilty about it though, 'cause he took his sweet time about sending me the first letter. No doubt the opportunity to get off a reply will present itself within the next week. I shall forward your best regards at that time, Baby.
Tomorrow I'm off to London again, as I told you yesterday, and I hope to “get around” sufficiently to make the “write up” interesting reading. By the way, you didn't tell me anything about “Kiss and Tell,” except that Harry and Milton paid your way. How’s about it, Chippie? (Sometime when you're stuck for words, huh?)
On reading over your letter, I know that you would like “something from England as a remembrance.” Do you think for a minute that I'll come home empty handed? Foolish girl?
You didn't know I had to do K.P.? Since when? Why, since the 1st Sergeant decided that T/5’s would pull K.P.—that’s since when.
Did I remember to get down on my knees and beg you to take a nice (not a snapshot!!) picture in your new suit? I didn't? Then I do so now—see?
I've been waiting patiently to hear that you have bought or intend to buy or even might buy Xmas presents for the folks with “my” 50 bucks. Not a word! Why! And what about the Indian sweaters I so nicely asked you to make for yourself and the punkin’?—and you bawl me out for neglecting to answer your questions! Don't misunderstand, Baby, I don't mean to impose on you. If you find it into trying (I can remember when you enjoyed “knitting”), why just forget it. All I'm asking is that you tell me about it. Ferstay?
Just found out that my V-mail letter to Richie never left the station. It seems one can't send V-mail to someone in England, so it has been laying in one of the other huts for a whole month now. Am I burnt up?!! No wonder I haven't heard from him! I'll stick it in an envelope and mail it out right now. Fortunately, I wrote “free mail” to Eddie. With so many of the old gang over here, I can't understand why no one has contacted me. Oh well, maybe they will yet. And now, my darling, I'll say “Au revoir”—with all my love to you and the cherub, and my love to all. I am
(Courtesy Sgt. Trombetti) (Copyright pending)
Your lover as always,