May 9, 1944
Received your letters of May 3 and 5, both of which deserve comment, but I intend to save it til I have more time to reply properly. One letter contained the plans, which, it might please you to know, I think are lovely. All you have to do now is build it for me. Don't say you'll try—say you will—when you say it that way, it always sounds better, even if it isn't true someday. Regardless of the obstacles, sacrifice, etc. when you say you will, you usually do.
Goldie had a letter from Jack in which he said he intends to surprise Mom by writing her a Jewish letter himself. He is learning to read and write Jewish, the Chaplain being the teacher. He mentioned having a letter from you, which he praised highly.
I hit the hay at 9:30 last night after taking a shower. I was very tired (ditto tonight) and had hoped Adele would sleep til 7:30 this morning. No dice. She was up at six (darn it) and I got off to an early start. I had quite a bit to do today, to wit: Cleaning, dusting, sweeping (front and back of house), my mother washed my clothes and I hung them, went to Broad Street and 11th St. and Joe’s, pressed (those few things that had been washed and required pressing) (I caught my thumb nail (left hand) while folding the ironing board, and there is a large black mark under my nail and it hurts like hell), went walking with Adele, bathed her, washed what she wore today, cleaned her shoes, and here I am. I have to sew a few things when I finish this. On 11th St. I stopped at a children's store and bought a nice pair of blue gabardine overalls ($2) to finish off Stuart’s gift. I hope to visit Ethel tomorrow, weather permitting.
Harry’s job isn't an easy one and I'm wondering if he'll stick to it. Bread, by the way, is an essential civilian, as well as military, necessity, and you shouldn't take the attitude you do. Al was deferred because the station was considered essential, so you can't say he isn't doing anything to help the war effort. Defense work is a direct aid, but you couldn't very well wage war without food, gas and clothing, which are indirect aids. I'm surprised you overlooked this.
You saw “Lost Angel” just about the time I did. Glad you enjoyed it, sweet, and I had to “dab” too. I see I’m drawing close to the end, so I’d better get on to the “sweet” part of this letter before I am without space. Regardless of views or opinions on any subject, dearest, I love you and I'm sure you and I will see eye to eye on any and every subject once we have discussed it and explained our point of view to one another. Thanks, too, for being so demonstrative, baby, and I hereby return each and every kiss and hug. I'm sure The Wymans would say you are very demonstrative after seeing you in action on Chestnut St. I can't help laughing when I look back. See you tomorrow, sweetheart.
9 May 1944
Returned from London at 12 noon today, after spending twenty-four very pleasant hours there. We are permitted a 24 hour pass each week instead of the 48 hour pass every two weeks, as formerly. Sorry I didn't find time to write on the 7th, Sweet, but I was too busy getting everything in order in preparation for my leave. Yesterday, I 'tended the few matters in the Orderly Room that were outstanding, and proceeded to get cleaned up and dressed. On the way down to the Aero Club to catch the Base Truck which takes us to the Railway Station, I came upon a Bread Truck that had stopped to pick up a few fellows on their way to town, so I piled in, too. For the first time in years, I had developed a terrific headache during the course of the morning, but I had bummed a coupla aspirins from one of the guys, and by the time I reached the Station, the headache had all but disappeared. I had taken the March issue of Coronet along to kill the time on the train, but the weather was so fine and the landscape so beautiful, that I spent the entire journey gaping out the window. Arrived in London, I made straightway for the Eagle Club, where I broke my fast on (you guessed it) baked beans on toast, flapjacks, rhubarb pie and coffee. There were a flock of new pictures around Leicester Square, and, feeling in the mood for a musical (as when don't I), I decided on "Melody Inn". It is a very "pretty" picture, being in beautiful technicolor, and having the colorful West as its locale. Dorothy Lamour has looked better and sung better; Dick Powell has very little to do, but does it well. Victor Moore plays his customary role, and while he isn't exactly funny in the sense to make you laugh, his sly humor is appreciated. I would say that Cass Daly (good ole Cass) and Ray Bolger, between them, did a pretty complete job of stealing the show. The plot itself, is insignificant, as is just an excuse for the lovely settings and not-too-catchy music. Cass Daly is undoubtedly the star of the show. Her two specialties are deliciously entertaining. The audience loved her. Ray Bolger, unfortunately, isn't given much opportunity to display his unique talents as a dancer. He does only a small bit, but it is howlingly funny.
I came out of the "Plaza" just in time to rush like hell to make the last show at the “Odeon”. The feature was "Hour Before the Dawn", which is undoubtedly a better
book than a picture. Franchot Tone and Veronica Lake co-star in this one. The plot is of the "England-at-war" variety, but it is a very far cry, indeed, from" Mrs. Miniver". The plot allowed of very little in the way of sheer histrionics, and it is impossible to say for sure whether it was well or rottenly acted. A very indifferent sort of picture - to my way of thinking; although some might find something worthwhile about it, I'll be darned if I can. When this was over, I made for the Eagle Club again - I was Hungry! This time I filled up on kippered herring, potato-salad, cole-slaw, pickled beets, and eggs (dried) on toast, with, of course, the inevitable b & b and coffee. I was their last customer, and they closed the doors behind me, It was now close to 11 o'clock (I kept our "date" en route) and high time I was getting to the Turkish Bath. There, everything went just as usual, except that there was a new masseur, a young giant in his late thirties, I judged, just starting to gray around the temples, and sufficiently handsome to make any girl’s heart skip a beat. His expert fingers were as so many steel pincers, and he proceeded to knead me to a pulp. He worked on me an inordinately long time, figuring, no doubt, that I “kneaded" it (get it?). The bunks, at least the bunk I was assigned to, felt unaccustomedly and luxuriously comfortable. On investigating, I found that they had installed new inner-spring mattresses. Alas, instead of enjoying the novelty of a nice soft bed, I found myself tossing and turning in an effort to get to sleep. Finally, I managed to find a sufficiently uncomfortable position, and, feeling more at home, slipped off to Dreamland. This morning, when the clerk came in to awaken me (I had left a call), I already had my shoes and socks on. I had to make the ten o'clock train, and had left a call for eight o'clock. A few minutes after eight found me once more at the Eagle Club - this time for a breakfast of puffed wheat, egg (still dried) on toast, coffee, and a jellied bun. Then I leisurely read the morning paper until it came time to leave for the Station. When I discerned the train I was to take, I realized at once that the "Coronet" was just so much extra baggage. Never before have I seen a train more jammed with humanity than this one. Legs and arms and heads were sticking out all over the place. I was due back in Camp at twelve, so there was no alternative for me but to become one of the cattle. I stood all the way of a two-hour trip, of course, but it wasn't too bad after the half-way mark had been reached and the mob had thinned out. I could then enjoy the rolling green hills of England. I think the greatest difference between England and the good old U. S. A. is that you can travel hundreds of miles without spotting an acre of ground that isn't either lived on or cultivated. The farms are very neat and orderly. There doesn't seem to be an extra blade of grass on any of them. The fields are all green now, and lie very peacefully under the canopy of sun-bathed sky - the same sky that encompasses far less peaceful vistas. On the whole, the trip back was far from boring. I thought I would answer your V-mail of the 29th today, but I found two more letters under my pillow, and another one arrived in this afternoon's mail. Altogether, excluding the V-mail mentioned, I am in receipt of your letters of 22-23, 24-25, 30-1 April and May. I'll answer as much as I have time for tonight, and try to finish them up in my next.
Your V-mail is almost entirely of the latest antics of the punkin, which is all very nice, since it saves me the trouble of answering a lot of questions. One thing I must set you straight on, though. In the last paragraph you state "It's just two years since we first started up with the U. S, Army - and I shall never forget that day or the date". Well! What did you have to drink? In the first place, we didn't "start up” with the Army - the Army started up with us - remember? In the second place, it's not two years, it's three! In the third place, and this surprises me no end, you have forgotten the date; at least you've forgotten the year, April 29 is an important date for us because on that day I was first inducted in to the Army, but it was in 1941, which, you will admit, makes it three years ago. Most apropos to your comment is the fact that beginning with my next pay, I begin to draw pay for longevity (three years). That means, my Sweet, that I draw an added bonus of five per cent of my base pay - an increase of $3,30 per month. Ain't it wonderful?
The letter of 22-23 contains many bits of information that require no comment. Enclosed was that newspaper article about Philly, New York, and London. Very interesting, and, in essence, very true. Glad to see you’re reading something besides the comics these days, darling. Don't you throw that tea-kettle!! And don't complain that I devote only one sentence per letter by way of answer. Remember the last six pager? That was in answer to one measly, controversial paragraph. So I figger we're just about even, n'est ce pas ? (Don't, for heaven's sake, ask me what it means - I only know that it fits).
You mention that mysterious five-dollar bill of Jack's again in your letter of the 24-25. I'm still in the dark as to the why or wherefor of it.
(Something I decided the censor would cut out anyway, ) Let me put it this way. Remember the queries you put about the new base? Well, the answers to all of them are in the Affirmative. In answer to one of them, I believe I am permitted to mention CENSORED I thought I made it very clear that I dote on your knack for writing as you speak, or is it just the woman in you that makes you ask? That daughter of ours is certainly a marvel - imagine! typing ! at her age! Tell her, no, better yet, let her read this: ad ele, my dar ling i lo ve y ou too. You're a screwy Chippie - in commenting on my arguments about furnishing a house, you quote the following: "if we ought to have them some day, then we need them". You then proceed to imply that that was my idea! If you'll check, you'll see that that is the attitude I attributed to You. As for "needing those things"now". you'll have to forgive me if I don't seem to believe you mean that, The only things we really need now (in the true sense of the phrase), is to see the end of war, and me at home once again, Until we attain those two conditions we don't need a thing that we haven't already got. If you'll give that some thought before rushing into print with an argument, I think you'll see the reasoning behind it. I don't know where you got the idea that I expect you to be satisfied "with someone else's belongings", and I resent the implication, but I do expect you to be content for the time being with whatever
material assets we do have, and not to mention again that you need this and you need that. For that matter, I don't want ever to hear that sort of talk from you. When I do come home, I'll know as well as you, perhaps better, what we will and won't need, nor will reminding me make me any the more aware of our needs. I shall provide them as best I can, and if we still need, no amount of talk on your part will alter my capacity for providing that which circumstances will not permit. Trust me to understand your needs, Sweet, and to do my best to see that they are few and far between, In turn, I’LL trust you not to mention the subject ever again.
That "snap" that got into my letter by mistake is Jurkovac, whom I have mentioned on a few occasions, I think. Was he surprised to see it again. He thought it had gone home long ago, Sorry, Baby that that particular sentence about the punkin "rubbed you the wrong way.” I don't retract that statement, but I do admit I should have kept the thought to myself. NO, Sweet, I don't expect you to be "superwoman", because you don't have to be to see to it that she comes to no harm. It merely requires a watchful eye and an alert mind. I'm convinced that you are possessed of both these requisites, and it was only my innate apprehension for her safety that prompted me to speak as foolishly as I did. I think I'm a bit of a coward where you and Adele are concerned. I just couldn't take it if anything happened to either of you. It is this, more than anything else that makes me so impatient to get back to you.
It's getting close to 11 O'clock, Baby, and I still have my bunk to make up. Forgot to mention that I'm CQ tonight, See you soon - in the easy chair, my lovely. I adore you. My love to the punkin - and all.
Forever, Your Phil