Thursday, September 29, 2022

Post #618 - March 29, 1945 Do You Actually Mean to Tell Me That They Expect You to Go to the Pacific to Serve After All These Years? and I Had Committed Myself to Attend the Seder that was Arranged by the Jewish Families of Colchester for the Jewish Personnel of the Services in the Vicinity


March 30, 1945

My dearest Phil,

I really intended to write yesterday, but fate decreed otherwise, or rather, I was too tired and slept all evening. I felt very tired when I awoke yesterday and the whole day seemed like a dream to me. I had a busy day at work and got home to find my cousin Bella, Doris and Stevie there. Ruth had taken Adele in town for about an hour in the afternoon (to get her off my mother's hands for a little while). Bella brought Adele a sweet little yellow dress trimmed with orchid ric-rac. Adele hadn't eaten supper and I had to give her dinner. When she finished it was about 7:30 and I had been so hungry that my appetite abated by the time I could eat. Adele was cranky most of the day, so after eating what I could I took her outside and we sat about 15 minutes. I took her up at 8:15, bathed her and cleaned her shoes. When I finished I was so exhausted I could bearly stand up and decided to lay down for a few minutes and rest before washing and writing my letter to you. Next thing I remember is that it was 12 o'clock. I got up, got undressed and went right back to sleep, till 7:15 this morning. Today was the first day in several weeks that I actually felt rested sufficiently to keep going all day long.

I almost forgot to mention another highlight of yesterday. I received your v-mails of March 21 and 22. Your v-mail of the 21st was very sweet, honey, but I felt very sick in my stomach when I read yours of the 22nd. Do you actually mean to tell me that they expect you to go to the Pacific to serve after all these years? Well, I think the Army has its nerve and I don't mean maybe. There are too darn many slackers as it is that could be sent there to do the job. I'm so disgusted with the U.S. Army that it isn't even funny. Bitter - hell, it's worse than that - That, too, was one of the reasons why I had no appetite to eat dinner last night. Boy, I was in terrible shape yesterday.

There are two other things I've been meaning to tell you that I keep forgetting to mention - Anne Gutkin is pregnant (about her fourth month) (guess she wants to give Betty a name) and Jack S. is bending all efforts to get a furlough, which is due him now, as he has served 18 months in the Pacific.

The package of Dorothy Gray toilet articles is on top of the chest (I'm keeping it there for a while just to look at it and feel good) and Adele knows that it has something to do with my birthday. Every time she looks at it, she starts to sing Happy Birthday.

Evidentally you received my package of foodstuffs, as stated in your letter of the 21st and you ask for a duplicate. No sooner said than done. As you know, I have a package started, but it consists only of candy so far, and a few small packs of chiclets. Mom received an order of tuna and salmon from Gloria's brother (he's a grocer in New York and was good enough to send a dozen cans of each to keep on hand, at a reasonable price) and intended to send you a package too, so we'll just get together. I'll get some cheese and a salami and send a little more mayonnaise and butter thins. I'm glad you're so well pleased with the package. From your letter, I gather it arrived on our anniversary, so it was an anniversary, instead of a birthday gift.

We've had "June or July" weather the past two days and I doubt if it will continue indefinitely. It isn't even necessary to wear a coat.

Today was another full one for me, although I had cleaned up all odds and ends yesterday. I worked steadily on statements most of the day and since it is only past five and I've finished with every single bit of work I could possibly do, I'm using the time to write to you, with Mr. Bellet's consent.

As I told you some time ago, Al gave up the station. He hasn't been doing anything for several weeks now. He's looking for another business.

Diana and Adele get along famously, and at the present time Diana has a hacking cough, due, mostly to her teething. You must have received the picture of her by this time and can see for yourself what she looks like, so I won't go into detail.

Adele scared the life out of me the other day. We were about to go outside and I always hold her hand when we descend the front steps. This time, before I had a chance to get a hold on her, she said, "It's alright, mommy, I'll go down by myself", and straight away marched down the front steps without holding on to anything. I let her walk down the steps in the house alone, but she holds on to the bannister and I walk down a few steps in front of her for my peace of mind. Boy, was I happy to see her get down safely!

You can readily see, by my daily accounts, just how busy I am and have been, so that it is practically impossible for me to write to anyone beside you these days. I don't even have time for relaxation and recreation because Adele stays up too late. If I were home now, I'd have to keep her up all day and put her to bed early in order to have an evening to myself. However, that is a terrible grind and I'd rather my mother nap her late and put her to bed a little later, than have my mother go through such a tough grind all day. She's very wild these days and I'm about the only one she'll listen to. She loves to run and play rough - she's just at that stage. You'd get a real workout if you were home and I don't mean maybe.

Adele's speech becomes clearer and more distinct each day. The two main faults - saying "t" for "k" and "y” for "1" still remain, much as I try to correct her. Undoubtedly it will correct itself in due time.

Well, dearest, I'm just about out of time, as well as words, and so I'll sign off with my dearest love to you, honey, a couple of good, long kisses, and - well, we'll go into "that" some day, huh - Guess you know I am

Your Eve

30 March 1945

Dearest Chippie,

This is the first opportunity I have had to write since 26 Mar. I'm through apologizing for not writing because my conscience is clear in the matter. I will only say that I'm sorry that circumstances prevented me from doing as I would want to - to write every day. Tonight, because Dick Stahle is CQ, I thought I would type a letter in the Orderly Room. These past days have been hectic ones for me. I have a lot of work to do on personnel records. As a matter of fact, Chippie, I've estimated that in order to finish what I have to do on one particular form for each man in the Company, I'll have to work steadily at it for a full month! Now the hardest thing to do around here is to be able to work steadily at anything without being interrupted by sundry other matters - so it will probably take me much longer than that! Anyhow, in these past few days I have been busy every minute of each day, and the evenings found me so fatigued mentally that I had neither the stomach nor the energy for anything but sleep. That is why I didn't write on the 27th. On the 28th I felt just as I had the evening before, but it was the "First Seder” of Pesach, and I had committed myself to attend the Seder that was arranged by the jewish families of Colchester for the jewish personnel of the services in the vicinity, and I couldn't renege, even though I would have much preferred to write a short V-mail to you and hit the hay. It all came out very well, though, and after it was all over I was very glad I had come. You may be very sure, darling, that I was ever mindful through the night that it was your birthday, and I found myself wondering what you were doing at the time in the midst of the festivities. The Seder was a very striking and colorful affair. It was held in the dining room of Tweed & Co., a catering firm in Colchester. About 300 English, American and Canadian service men and women attended. In addition, there were a handful of civilians, the Woolfs, Schonbergs, Cohens, etc. Chaplain Richards of the British garrison in Colchester, conducted the services. We covered the "Haggadah" pretty thoroughly, one of the young British soldiers asked the “Fir Kashes", everyone joined in the singing, and no one got drunk, 'cause there was only a limited supply of wine. The meal, outside of the traditional egg, bitter herb, morra, etc., was ample, and very well prepared. There was tomato soup and hors d'oeuvres for an appetizer, filet of white fish, mashed potatoes and green peas, and a great preponderance of canned pineapple (provided by the American Quartermaster) for dessert. Pineapple, as all tinned fruit, is a greatly relished delicacy for our British friends. Some of them have not tasted it since the war started, and their appreciation was profuse and outspoken. They gorged themselves on it unashamedly, and it was almost funny to see the rueful glances they cast at the plates full that were beyond their capacity to dispose of. Klein drove one of the trucks, and I sat beside him in the cab. Altogether, there were thirty G.I.'s from this station that attended. I got back very, very tired, but somehow exalted by the memory of the Seder and some of the speeches of appreciation that concluded the festivities. Just to give you an idea of the representation, Sweet, I'll enumerate the speakers who spoke on behalf of their fellow servicemen. Chaplain Richards-British Army: Chaplain Davis (Protestant)-American Army; Lt. Creger-Canadian Airborne Forces; Lt. Berger-American Army Air Forces; A Lt. of the ATS (British WACS); Wing-Commander Jacobs - RAF; A Lt. of the American Ground Forces; a British sailor. Sitting next to me at table was an ATS girl, a native of germany, who emigrated to England about six years ago. Her parents left for Shanghai at the same time, and she has not heard from them since. I talked to her most of the evening. Needless to say, her story was most interesting. So, tired but happy, as the saying goes, I finally managed to get to bed. Yesterday was a repetition of the 28th (as far as the working hours were concerned). While I was on pass in Colchester on the 19th, I wrote to the Davies' to inform them that I would call on the 29th to learn whether Judith had come up from school, and to arrange for another visit. Accordingly, I went down to the Aero Club to call right after supper. Unfortunately, the trunk line was busy and I had a wait of about two hours before I could get thru. I killed the time having a snack with Klein, who accompanied me, and watching the dancing class. (Four local girls come in weekly to give instructions to the G.I.'s of the station who are desirous of learning to dance). At 10:20, my call came thru. Mrs. Davies answered the phone, and was as excited as a little girl with my call. Judith, who was upstairs at the time, came dashing down when she learned who was on the line. That seemed to amuse Mrs. Davies, too. Before I finished, I had also had a few words with the Doctor. I learned that Judith will be home all during April, and will return to school on the 30th, when Mrs, Davies will accompany her to London. I have decided to make a trip up there on the 9th, when I am taking my next 48-hour pass. Fully half the time will be spent traveling, but I expect to get a lot of reading done on the train, so I rather welcome the prospect. It would be worth it in any case to spend a full day at Meadowcroft. The Davies' were so very nice to me that I've actually missed them, and have been looking forward to seeing them again. To make a good thing perfect, the Army has just decided to pay our way wherever we may choose to travel on pass or furlough, so the trip won't cost me a penny. Ordinarily, it would cost me about ₤3 ($12.00). Mrs. Davies told me that she had heard from Ernie and that he had expressed an intention to get in touch with me, but as yet I have not heard from him. Needless to say, Sweet, I am looking forward to 9 April with a great deal of pleasureable anticipation.

Today was a repetition of the past two days, but I made up my mind I was going to make up for those three letters I didn't write, and after a short nap came over to the Orderly Room and got right to work, (How’m I doin', honey?) It is now just five minutes 'til "date time,” but I'm not giving up yet. Not, at least, 'til I've told you that I received four of your very sweet letters in the past three days. They were your V-mails of 15, 17, 18 March and your long typed letter of the 19th. The V-mails contained nothing startling and require no comment. The longie of the 19th informed me that you had received my "furlough manuscript” and my V-mails of 8, 9, 10 March. I'm very glad that you were so pleased with the "manuscript”, baby. Believe me when I say that those few words of appreciation repaid me for all the time I spent on it. I sincerely hope that you were able to "see" some of the things I saw and did in Yorkshire thru the medium of my writing. I hope that I was able to convey some of my own pleasure in the same way to you, my darling.

The bulk of your letter was concerned with your activities and the punkin's, and the visit of the Silvers. I was rather disappointed, though, to learn that Jean Levin is already in France. I had hoped to see her here in England. Too bad she missed Eddie as she did, but I think they'll see each other before long.

Sorry I couldn't send the punkin's proofs back to you any sooner, Sweet, but I just couldn't part with them so abruptly. However, I'm enclosing them here in the hope that I'll have the real picture before very long. Tell Adele that daddy liked her picture very much, and kiss her for me.

I guess you know that we are counting the days 'til the end of the war in Europe now, and there is a very good chance that it will be all over by the time this reaches you - I hope.

And now it is time to say au revoir, my darling Evie. My eyes just refuse to stay open any longer, and my weary bones yearn for the comfort of the despised but blessed sack. You know, of course, what other "comforts" I yearn for.... If you don't, you should.

For the present, though, I'll just have to be content with telling you once more that I adore you, my Evie. Here's a kiss for you, too, baby.

Please give my love to all. I am

Your ever-lovin'

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