May 12, 1944
Your letters of May 5 (the one meant for the 5th) and that of the 6th came this afternoon. I really hadn't expected any mail and was pleasantly surprised. Glad, too, that the packages reached you in good time. I figured a package every two weeks would be just right, just as you did.
Renee is really Parris’ childhood sweetheart in the book. His feelings for Cassie are much different even though he does offer to marry her in the story. You can have any and all of the C. P. pictures. I am sending along one of Adele and one of me when they are ready. That will leave me the other two of Adele which I want to show to everyone before I send them off to you. Sorry I neglected to tell you how I, voted, sweet, but Democratic, of course, I thought you knew.
There isn't anything in your May 6 letter that requires comment.
It was hot today and I did plenty of sweating. My mother washed early this morning. It was a huge wash, having accumulated over a week or more. After toting it over and hanging it up, cleaning up the house, giving Adele her lunch and having my own, I proceeded to cut the grass. I had trimmed the hedges earlier this week. My mother has a pair of those shears for just such work. I was sweating away, when up comes the postman with your two most welcome letters.
On looking over your letter of the 6th there is one comment I would like to make. You mention how handy Red is at various tasks. Yes, I wish very much that you were that way. It shows ambition, not to mention willingness to learn everything. You have the latter, sweet, but there are times I wonder at the former. You are willing enough to learn everything you like, but sometimes you fail to be practical. (No hard feelings, huh?)
I've brought Adele down, on two occasions, for her pre-bedtime glass of milk. She sits in the hichair, to drink it, her feet bare. When this is the case, she rubs the sole of her foot along the upper part of my leg where it is smooth and it tickles. Reminds me " - - - (darn it!)
Fay is going back to camp with Morris, and is taking the baby along. They are leaving Monday. He expects to go overseas in about four months and wants them to be with him. Anne has been with Tony since last Sunday, rather Friday, and will return this Sunday. She made the trip alone, her mother and sister caring for Richy." Everyone seems to be seeing their various mates, and it gets me to thinking -
when will I see you, baby? Soon, I hope!
Dot doesn't expect Snuff to leave this month as the Navy quota for this month has been filled. Guess it will be sometime in June.
Lil called this afternoon to tell me that she had sent out a package for Mom for Mother’s Day. Hope you didn't forget to remember Mom on Mother's Day.
I had a nice v-mail, as usual, from Syd.
Well, dearest sweetheart, I've had my say and am ready for the easy chair. I love you so much! I am
12 May 1944
Evvie, my darling,
After yesterday's long, but uninformative, and no doubt tedious letter, I think it is only fair that I devote this one to telling you a little about my activities of the past few days - what I have been doing, rather than what I have been thinking. Night before last, as I mentioned in passing in my last, I went to the Base Theater to see "Oklahoma", and then went to the dance at the Aero Club. The picture was the typical "blood-and-thunder Western melodrama, but the lively action and Western locale was a welcome change from the ordinary run-of-the-mill pictures I have been seeing of late. John Wayne is the same big, likeable, cowboy that he has played in a dozen pictures. Martha Scott is pretty (without too much S. A.), in the time-honored tradition of Western heroines. The plot itself is the hackneyed theme of the poor-but-honest cowboy winning out over innumerable obstacles to win the girl and the glory from the clever, unscrupulous "promoter". It's been done hundreds of times before, but it still makes for an exciting evening at the movies. The dance was just getting under way when I got to the Aero Club. The orchestra consisted of five G.I.'s playing the piano, bass, Clarinet and sax, trumpet, and drums. A very small aggregation you will say, but believe me, Sweet, they made up in quality what they lacked in volume. Their arrangements were wonderful, their style smooth, their rhythm and musicianship flawless. In short, they left nothing to be desired. The hit tune over here at present is "Pesame mucho" (I'm only guessing at the spelling), but I'm sure you are familiar with that lovely Mexican melody. I'm very fond of it myself. Anyhow, their rendition of this was "right on the ball". The trumpet solo on the melody was so perfectly in accord with the way I think it ought to be shaded that I couldn't help but wonder at it. My prime object in going to the dance, though, was to watch Klein dance. Ordinarily he is the most awkward gook you ever saw, but on the dance-floor he is a marvel of rhythm. He is an insatiable clown, however, both on and off the dance-floor, and after watching his atrocious conduct towards his partner, one cannot help but wonder why the girls put up with him after some of his more outrageous antics. He "makes faces" every few minutes, (and with his natural equipment he can look hideous enough to turn a strong stomach); he startles his inexperienced partners by breaking into the most intricate and uninhibited "jive" steps; whispers outrageous suggestions in their unbelieving ears; "loves them up" shamelessly" and openly at every opportunity, and generally behaves in so boorish and lascivious a manner, that it is embarrassing just to watch him. Still, I have yet to see a girl walk out on him. Quite the contrary! After seeing him dance, some of the girls actually have the nerve to ask him to dance. I'll never understand that. He is a most accommodating cuss, though, and though it puzzles me as much as it must you - I can't help but like the guy. Knowing that I was there solely to watch him perform, he obliged me by confining his dancing and clowning to the area of the floor just in front of where I was sitting on the side-lines, Moreover, he displayed all his tricks (and a few new ones) for my edification. As soon as the music started, he left me - to show up on the floor with the only really pretty gal in the place. She was a slight, but well-formed blonde, a good little dancer, but not very "hep". This latter failing bothered Klein not one little bit, he merely did his stuff, and left her to more or less shift for herself. That is, as far as the dancing went. Actually, he was all over her like a tent - hugging her, nuzzling her, making her look silly by suddenly taking off on one of his innumerable "breaks" to leave her standing blankly bewildered and motionless until he should deign to again pick her up where he had left her, and seemingly making such an ass of himself and her that I marveled at her willingness to put up with it. On several occasions, I observed the ire mounting in her, but Klein, as I said before, is no dummy, and sensed the "storm-warnings" in time to pull off a new piece of foolery that left her laughing. The poor gal was so puzzled by his antics that she didn't rightly know whether to be insulted or amused. I think that accounts for his success with the gals. He makes it commensurate upon them that they give him the benefit of the doubt. Shortly after the intermission he came across the floor to me, literally dragging a girl, a brunette this time, in his wake. Without any ado whatever, he bowed exaggeratedly in my direction and introduced his acquaintance of but a few moments as follows: "Corporal Strongin - meet my wife". I think I blushed most unbecomingly at that juncture, but managed, somehow, a foolish "how do you do"? Klein didn't even give her a chance to answer, 'cause he immediately got her in a bear hug, and she was much too busy trying to evade his clutches to bother with mere formalities. On the dance-floor, she was a joy to watch. She danced as lightly as any fairy I ever imagined. More surprising - she matched Klein's own brilliant and intricate style of dancing step for step. During the next intermission he stopped over long enough to confide that he was going to "make" this gal or break a leg trying. They disappeared from the dance floor shortly after I noted him whispering very earnestly in her ear. He assured me next day that she was most receptive of his advances (to put it as delicately as I know how). Either he is the world's biggest liar, or a fitting successor to the immortal Casanova. I'm rather inclined to believe him, because although he has unwittingly repeated some of his more lurid adventures, of which there are enough to fill a book, he has yet to change a single detail in the re-telling.
So much for the dance (did I hear you say too much?).
Yesterday was entirely spent on the pay-roll. In the evening, I took in the early show, which was "The Man From Down Under" with Charles Laughton, Richard Carlson, Donna Reed, and Binnie Barnes. This one was surprisingly good. I enjoyed it because the story was unusual, the acting superb, the action scenes exciting and suspenseful, and the direction so able. Charles, Laughton, of course, does his usual masterful job of acting. Binnie Barnes is likewise dependable in this sense, and she turns in one of her best efforts here, I particularly liked Richard Carlson; he has long been one of my favorites. Donna Reed is winsome and well cast. The plot, though, remains the important factor in the "Man From Down Under". It is the sort of story that makes a good book. The prize-fighting sequence is the realest, most exciting, and most convincing it has been my pleasure to see in a long time.
After the show, I started on my daily letter to you. This took until bed-time, as you can judge by the length of it. Your V-mail of the 4th arrived with Gloria's of the same date. I assure you, Baby, that you and Adele aren't the only ones in the family that have a fondness for "cahs". If it is at all possible, you can bet we will have one shortly after I get hone. How else will we be able to "hit the road" for a month or two before I’ll want to settle down to work? I haven't forgotten our plans, Chippie. I couldn't, 'cause I think about them constantly. Your explanation of the punkin's tendency to "pigeon-toedness" is new to me, but I'll take your word for it - and I won't worry about it, Incidentally, do you know of the bill in Congress to provide medical attention for the families of the men in Service? I believe it has been passed by both the House and the Senate, and requires only the President's signature to become Law,
From the tone of Gloria's letter, I would say that there is at least one person who can appreciate my "devilish" form of writing. Glad to hear that we now have two corporals in the family. Hope that he winds up at least a buck-sergeant.
Today was another busy one for me. Think I'll go to the movies tonight (for a change).
There was no fresh mail for me today, so, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I'm "caught up" with you,
Can't think of another single thing to say at this time, Sweet, so I'll say adieu, for the time being. Tell Mom I still have her letter in mind, but somehow can't get around to it. Tell your Mom that she has owed me a letter for too-long, and I only have so much patience, and it has just about run out, and I'll be angry with her if I don't hear from her soon. Ask your Dad if he won't write to tell me about his new job. Why don't you send Anne Furr's address, as I asked you to do some weeks ago. I'm still waiting for Lil's letter. What about the one that Jack N, sent to us? I haven't received that, either. Dottie, I believe, owes me a letter,
The weather has been beautiful these past few days, and I can't help but think how wonderful it would be to be home at this time. These balmy Spring days inspire many, many thoughts of "home", Evvie, darling, and this particular form of "homesickness" does me a whole lot of no good. The desire to be with you grows and grows until I hardly know how to contain it. Got any good ideas, Baby?
My best love to the cherub, and you, and all the family. I am, just as always, (only a little more so each passing day) - -
P. S. Don't be too impatient for those bonds, Honey, it'll probably be a month or two yet before you begin receiving them. I'm hoping we won't collect too many of them (if'n you know what I mean!).