Saturday, December 31, 2022

Post #687 - July 31, 1945 I Think of Hardly Anything Anymore But How It Will Be to Hold You in My Arms Once Again


31 July 1945

My Darling,

Today, pay-day, 
was a busy one for me. Near the end of it, tho’, I was rewarded for my industry by your nice, long letter of 23, 24 July. It was, except for its more tender interludes, a “routine" letter. However, I was surprised to learn that Eddie is “acting up" on occasion. I can't believe that his occasional fits of bad temper have any foundation in his experiences overseas, as you imply, tho’! Rather, I'm inclined to think he's being his natural, normal self, which, if I 
remember correctly, was ever high-strung and nervous. 

Klein and I and Sinneway had another session down at the gym. I beat Klein two games, and Sinneway one. Then Sinneway tried to show me how to punch a light bag, but it's tricky, and will take a lot of practise. Then we had a “go" at badminton, which I had never played before, and which will also take a lot of learning. Then we come back to barracks, where I played with the idea of writing to you, but finally decided to hit the hay ’cause I was over-tired. Before turning in I showered, and made up my laundry to send in today.

The weather threatened rain all day, but except for a few drops of rain it merely threatened. After work, Klein and I went to the gym. I was still tired from yesterday, but Klein was insistent, so I went along more to oblige him than because I felt like playing. Klein, the young squirt, has enough energy for three men, but that wasn't enough, ’cause I beat him again in a grueling game that went to 21-18, The sonovagun made shots I thought he couldn't touch and 
ran me ragged, but my greater experience told in the end.

The one 
game left me almost exhausted, so we rode to the Snack Bar for a bite to eat and a coupla cakes, and then back to barracks, where, we both lay down for a nap. Tired as I was tho’, I couldn't sleep. It may have been the thought that I was due to write today that was bothering me. At any rate, after tossing about for a half-hour, I decided it was no go, so I got up and commenced this.

—Which brings me right up to the minute. And right at this particular minute I'm missing you acutely, darling. While I'm in no particular hurry to get back to the States (for reasons which I explained in my last) I am most dreadfully impatient to come home to you - torn between two fires - as it were— Baby, I'm finding it very difficult to curb my impatience these days. I think of hardly anything anymore but how it will be to hold you in my arms once again. My need for you is acute beyond description, honey. You wouldn't believe how unimportant life is to me without you. I just can't get interested for long in anything!

But I’m knocking my head against a stone wall again, so I’ll save you the distressing spectacle by signing off right here and now. I adore you, my Evie—Love and kisses to our punkin. Love to all.

Your Phil

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Post #686 - July 29, 1945 We’re Generally Considered a “Dead" Outfit


29 July 1945

My Darling,

Your V-mail of 22 Jul arrived today together with a long letter from brother Jack. He sent along a snap-shot, which however, is so small that it is impossible to tell how he looks. He says, tho’, that he's putting on weight. He says, too, among other things, that he gets very little mail from the family (what should I say?), but that Gloria writes almost daily. About the only thing in your V-mail that calls forth any comment is the information that our offspring takes after her old man in that she just loves hot dogs and baked beans. Very interesting! I wonder in what other traits she is "my" daughter aside from physical characteristics—

My condolences to Ruth on her uneventful 16th birthday. Tell her we'll make it up to her on her next, if it's any way possible.

Nothing much doing at this end these days. We're losing men in bunches, our planes have been shipped, except for a handful, which we're using for training some pilots, and we’re generally considered a “dead" outfit. We are, incidentally, among the last of the Air Corps Fighter Groups to leave the ETO, which, strange as it may sound, suits me right down to the ground! Why? Well, last home - last to the Pacific, and if we can hold on here a few months I'll lay odds we'll never see the Pacific! Get it? The rumor now is that we'll be here 'til mid-October, which just goes to show you how much about anything anyone knows for sure around here.

Just got back from the movies, where I saw "A Medal for Benny”. This was taken from Steinbeck's novel (at least he wrote it), and both plot and locale were interesting and entertaining. The acting, tho’, is the most striking feature of the picture. J. Carrol Naish is superb as Benny's old father, Arturo 
de Cordova is very good-looking, and a charming and capable actor. I look for him to get some nice, juicy parts from here on in. Dottie Lamour is appealing as the love interest, and also contributes a proficient performance. On the whole - a good picture,

You've been hesitating lately about sending out any packages, Sweet. Well, honey, my homecoming is not so imminent that I wouldn't receive them, but I was thinking that you might hold onto what candy you accumulated (if it will keep for about 8 or 9 weeks), and we'll enjoy it at home - all of us.

Can't think of another solitary thing to write at the moment, Sweet - except, I love you more and more. By the time I do get home, I'm liable to 
go off like a firecracker at the mere sight of you, Baby, I miss you so—My best love to Adele. Love to all from

Your adoring Phil

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Post #685 - July 27, 1945 Surely, There Must be Plenty of Other Places that Would be Glad to Have You Under the Same Conditions


27 July 1945

Dearest Darling,

Today brought your V-mail of 19 Jul, which means that Air Mail (your letter of 20 Jul arrived yesterday) is moving faster than V-mail. There wasn't anything startling in this V-mail. It confirmed my supposition that Mom came in from Brown's Mills on that day. I'm glad she's 
enjoying herself and feeling good. Too bad, honey, that you couldn’t get away someplace for a vacation. Your Mr. Bellet must be a stinker of the first water to pull some of the stunts he does. I don't understand why you continue to work for him. Surely, there must be plenty of other places that would be glad to have you under the same conditions, and you might be treated decently in the bargain.

You say something about holding on to "Mike" until the fall. If you have any intention of submitting it, Chippie, I say do it now, because it is a timely theme, whose significance may be dissipated in a few more months, and you wouldn't have even a slim chance of selling it then. You haven't said anything about "ETOUSA Interlude". I would like to have the editors of Esquire take a look at it, even if nothing comes of it. Personally, I think more of it as a hunk of writing than I do about" "Mike", although I must confess I don't think a great deal about either one.

My activities both yesterday and today were purely routine, so I'm almost at a complete loss for something of interest to tell you. Besides, I've been troubled by a persistent and annoying headache all day, and am anxious to sleep it off. Please excuse the brevity of this, honey. My everlasting love to you, sweetheart; to my 
own sweet punkin, and to all my dear ones.

Your Phil

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Post #684 - July 23, 1945 I'd Like Very Much to Come Home at My Old Weight - 176


23 July 1945

My Darling,

You'll have to forgive 
me if the writing is a little out of whack. This evening Klein and I rode down to the base gym to play some hand-ball. Yes, we even have a hand-ball court here on the base. We played two good games, Klein winning the first 21-16, while I took the second 21-5. It has been a few years since either of us has played the game. As a consequence, Klein has a strained shoulder muscle, and my right hand is so swelled up, that I can hardly hold the pen to write. We showered just now, and aside from the inconveniences aforementioned, we're feeling fresh and fit. What's more, we intend to play a few times each week so that we'll be in good physical trim when we come home. Last time I was in London, I weighed 186, which is just ten pounds more than I like to weigh. I'd like very much to come home at my old weight - 176, and I think that if we play three or four times each week for the six or eight weeks that remains before we head for the states, I should make that weight easily. I know you'll applaud my efforts in this direction, honey. I only hope it will have the desired result. So much for that.—We're still having perfectly lovely weather. It is warm and sunny all day. In the evening, it gets nice and cool - perfect for sleeping.

Your V-mail of 17 July arrived yesterday. The high-spot in this one was Adele's remark: "Jesus Tist, it's still rainin'!” I think it's the cutest crack she ever made. It tickled me. Yesterday, too, I went to the station theater to see "The Dough-girls", with Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith, Jane Wyman, Jack Carson, Charlie Ruggles and others. It was forced and silly in spots, but it was highly amusing on the whole, and I enjoyed it immensely. Today, which was spent mainly on transcribing the Squadron payroll, brought your V-mail of 18 July. I was pleased no end, darling, to note that 
you are writing almost daily again. I’ll try to get back into the habit if it's at all possible. In this one (your V-mail) you recall some of the noteworthy things that happened to us on various 23 Septembers. Your memory for dates continues to amaze me, but I don't think much of your memory for detail; viz., you mentioned the time Sam and I had dates and picked you up later. You say you were angry and annoyed with me (I'm sure I don't know why), but that you relented when I pulled (you) across the seat of the car into (my) arms: The implication you make here is that I used force to impose my will on you. I object! Never - I repeat - never, to my knowledge, did I ever have to “pull” you into my arms. I remember that night and its attending circumstances as tho’ it was yesterday, and I remember how pleased I was that you gave every indication of pleasure in my company - yes, and in my arms. Nor did you give any indication that you found my embraces and kisses distasteful - quite the contrary, my Sweet! - And if you were “angry and annoyed" with me, you certainly didn't show it by any word or action! Like you sweetheart, I'd dearly love to relive those moments - and you can bet your sweet life we will - probably a lot sooner than you are imagining!

Once again, baby, must I say a fond good night to you. It's just about time for "lights out"." Here's a coupla dozen kisses to hold you 
until ~ and some more for the punkin. My love to all.

Your Phil

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Post #683 - July 21, 1945 Now If Only the War Against the Japs Would Reach a Quick and Happy Conclusion! Then We’d All Be Able to Rejoice—With Full Hearts


21 July 1945


Got back all in good order last night just before midnight. I caught the 12:35 train at Middlesbrough, so it took me longer to come than it did going. Actually, I reached Colchester by 9:30, but I had to wait almost two hours for our trucks to come in to the station. However, it was a wonderfully cool summer evening (af dir gezugt gevwarn) [may it happen to you] so I didn’t mind the wait too much. Klein had gone to sleep early, for a wonder, so I didn’t learn ’til this morning that the snaps had come. I’m enclosing them herewith, which, with my furlough letter, should make this quite a worth-while packet. I’ve put some comments on the reverse sides of the snaps in order to call your attention to the interesting features. Hope you aren’t shocked to any great extent at my appearance. You see, having lived with myself these two years, I’m really in no position to know whether or not I have “deteriorated” to any great extent. Frankly, honey, I must admit to a certain amount of apprehension as to your reaction. Will you recognize “Your Phil” in the snaps? I will be most anxious to hear your answer, darling.

Klein had been good enough to pick up my mail, which I read in bed this morning before rising.—And what a stack there was. They were your “longies” of 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 14, 16, July and V-mails of 11, 15 July. One letter contained the two snaps of the punkin showering herself in the basin. Very nice, and tell Pete thanks for me, but I’m disappointed with your lack of imagination, baby. You write that at the time these snaps were taken, you were in your shorts and barefoot. Didn’t it strike you that a snap of you thus might go far toward allaying a certain hunger to see “more” of you that’s been plaguing me this long, long time? To say I’m disappointed is putting it mildly. I could kick you for not thinking about it!

Much of your letters was devoted to the apparently terrific heat wave you had during the early part of the month, and the means you took to defeat it. Baby, if you could only have been with me these past few weeks!—

There are a few edifying paragraphs about Adele and her latest bright doings that made me want to rush right home and eat her all up. You’d do well, Chippie, to keep a close watch on me when I do get home, ’cause I’m liable to do just that—no kiddin’!—And who’s going to keep me from eatin’ you, I wonder?

Was tickled to hear about Syd’s being discharged. He and Tant and Uncle Nish must be nearly in seventh heaven. Now if only the war against the japs would reach a quick and happy conclusion! Then we’d all be able to rejoice—with full hearts. At that, Sweet, the way things are going down there, I can’t see us seeing action in the Pacific Theater—especially if we don’t get home ’til November. Dr. Soong, the eminent Chinese statesman has made an unqualified statement for today’s press to the effect that japan will surrender before the end of the year, or at the latest, early in ’46. Now, that’s mighty encouraging coming from Dr. Soong, ’cause he’s among the wisest of the wise Chinese.

I would very much like, darling, to answer your letters in detail, but that is a practically impossible task. I do want you to know, though, that I’m most deeply grateful for the very volume of your mail, despite that heat and everything else.

It is late now, my dearest, so I’ll gather all the elements  that are going into this letter, include a large portion of love, which you may not be able to see, but which you must surely feel, charge you to kiss the punkin for me, and sign off.

As ever,
Your Phil

P.S. Mrs. Davies and the Doctor asked me to forward their best regards, Klein just asked me to do likewise.

P.P.S. Please, honey, write to the Davieses. I love you.

P.P.P.S. Couldn’t get it all in one envelope, honey, so am putting it in two. Thought I’d tell you—just in case they get separated. ’Bye now—

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Post #682 - July 19, 1945 Yesterday Was a Day I'll Never Forget!


19 July 1945
11 A.M.

Dearest Darling,

Yesterday was a day I'll 
never forget! Dr. Davies come into the library to announce that he was taking us for a ride in the country in his car, which is a powerful "Rover". Mrs. Davies, in a twinkling, had a picnic basket ready, and shortly thereafter we were on our way. Remember the Cleveland hills I mentioned in my “manuscript"? Well, we drove on roads that led us around them, between them and over them. For three hours, Sweet, I was in a constant state of awe and admiration. It was just one breath-taking panorama after another. Without a doubt, this was the most beautiful country I had ever seen anywhere. Impressed as I was with the moors and dales, I must admit that the rolling farm-lands of the Cleveland Hills pleased me even more! Can you picture, honey, riding for thirty miles in country that consisted of an unbroken series of green verdant, gently sloping hills - with an unexcelled view of miles and miles of farm-lands and fields that were as neat and clean as if they'd just been manicured and swept? Darling, I promise you that you have never seen anything quite so lovely - either on picture post-cards, or in technicolor travelogues! Mere words of mine couldn't begin to give you a real appreciation of the fascination of this country! Before very long I was almost drunk with beauty. - But the climax was still to come. Our destination, it developed, was Rievaulx Abbey. Now, I was ever cold to the wonders of great cathedrals, imposing ruins, etc., etc., but Rievaulx Abbey, or what is left of it, is something else again. We had made a sharp right turn on the far side of a hill onto a narrow road that dropped almost sheerly into the valley. The glen was heavily wooded on the sides, and the tiny farmer's cottages, remote from the rest of the world because of the hills surrounding them on all sides, gave the place a charmingly secluded and mysterious aspect. The place reminded me of a gigantic tea cup, lined with the velvet-green of trees, grass and fern. Here, too, the “neatness" of field and lawn was the first impression one gleaned. We parked the car when we reached the flat bottom of the "cup", and proceeded on foot! The rusticity of the cottages and farm-houses was most charming, and it gave me the impression that life on these parts was quiet and changeless and unexciting. I felt that nothing important could ever have happened in this secluded vale. Then, suddenly, we came upon the ruins of the Abbey. The immense, towering, stone walls, with their beautifully sculpted and fluted gothic windows, standing about forty or fifty feet high, and stuck smack in the center of this somnolent community, all tended to make the ruins the most inspiring edifice I had ever seen. It was built on an immense scale, covering an area of a full city block, and while the walls have been worn down to a fraction of their original size, it is still easily discernible how the Abbey looked centuries ago, when it was inhabited. The Abbey was no less than 300 years in building. It was started in the 12th century by the Normans and was completed in the 15th century. The astounding thing to contemplate when viewing the great masses of stone, and the massive grace of the gothic arches, and the ornamental carving of the great supporting pillars, is where and how the builders obtained the engineering knowledge and skill necessary to construct a structure that would tax the talents of our best engineering brains today. It's simply unbelievable that men 800 years ago should have been capable of such a thing. Yet, there was the evidence before our very eyes! Here again, Chippie, I am at a loss for the means to make you understand the awe-inspiring qualities of Rievaulx Abbey. The more I see of Yorkshire, tho’, that much stronger is my determination that you, too, may see it one day. You have no no way, my darling, of feeling how my enjoyment of all this is tempered by your absence. I can only half-feel and half- enjoy myself in your absence. The other half of my conscious thoughts are devoted to missing you at the same time - grieving that you cannot share the feeling of exaltation that all this beauty might inspire. It seems the longing for you; the need of your dear presence grows in proportion with my appreciation of beauty in anything. 
In my subconscious mind I am constantly turning to you and saying “isn't that lovely, darling?” Then the full impact of your absence strikes me, and much of the joy goes out of me when I realize that you are not there to concur - to affirm that it is lovely for you, too. After wandering about the ruins for an hour or so, we started back. We stopped at the top of Clay Bank, which is a high point in the hills commanding an unexcelled view of the country for miles around. There we had our tea with strawberry jam on buttered bread. It was a real treat, and I'm sure Dr. and Mrs. Davies enjoyed it fully as much as I did, since they are such busy people, and hardly ever get the opportunity for an outing. I'm afraid I've cut rather deeply into both the Drs.’ and Mrs. Davies’ routines, but I can't feel guilty about it because they so obviously enjoy getting away from the grind for a bit - something they wouldn't do without the excuse I provide. When we came back to Meadowcroft, Comdr. Healey was in the library waiting our return. While Mrs. Davies busied herself with supper, and the Dr. attended a few patients in surgery, I got arguing with the Comdr. about the prosecution of war criminals. It seems we had quite opposite views on the subject, and the discussion waxed hot and heavy for a while. However, Tim Healey had the advantage of me in his knowledge of law, legal proceedings, etc., and whenever I ventured a means of dealing with the accused war criminals, he would say "but you can't do that because—,” and I was licked, you see. I must admit that while I didn't approve his methods, he did show me where my ideas were impracticable. Anyhow, we killed the time before supper this way. The subject over the table was world-politics, which was a bit over my head, but the Dr., Mrs. Davies and the Comdr. all had plenty to say, while I only butted in where I thought I had a point to make. In the library afterwards, I got the Dr. to “talking shop,” which he isn't at all averse to doing, and which I literally dote on. After Mrs. Davies retired, the subject switched to sexual erotica, which the Dr. professed not to know too much about, but which he proceeded to discourse on most entertainingly. - And the things I didn't learn~! Remind me to tell you about the Hot. Apr. sometime, Sweet. After the good Doc had talked himself out, we retired, too.

This morning Mrs. Davies woke me at 8:30, whereupon I hopped out of bed and made straight for the bath-room and a good, hot bath. After shaving, and a change of clothes, I felt fit and fresh and ready for anything. “Anything” proved to be a solitary breakfast (Mrs. Davies had already had hers) with a newspaper, after which I settled down in the library to start on today's installment. I wrote until lunch time, when Mrs. Davies took me into Middlesbrough for lunch. She is still very desirous of managing a visit to the States, and we discussed it at length over her lamb-chops and my roast beef. She also wanted to know if I couldn't arrange for her to receive the “Womens’ Home Companion" and "Ladies' Home Journal", or some similar women's magazines. I told her that you should be able to do that for her. Can you, honey? Tell me what the cost of a year's subscription to one or both would be, and I'll make her a gift of the subscriptions. After our meal, she stopped to shop for a few things and then came back here. She suggested that we take advantage of the perfectly glorious weather in the sun-room. The sun-room overlooks the Meadowcroft gardens, and the view through the full-length windows is lovely. The sun is shining in a sky peopled with lazy white clouds, whose slow progress is marked by their shadows on the green slopes of the nearby hills. The door to the sun-room is opened to the most delicious of summer breezes. I am writing this on a small bridge-table, while my hostess is taking her ease and reading a newly-purchased book on her couch behind me. It is all very peaceful and relaxing, and already I am beginning to feel the depression occasioned by the fact that I must leave here by the 12:45 train from Middlesbrough tomorrow afternoon. But then, all good things seem to end soon, don't they, honey? 

Right now, Mrs. Davies is calling me to came down to tea, and as this is probably the last chance I will get to write before I arrive back in camp. I will now say au revoir, my darling. You have ever been in my thoughts, and I can wish nothing better for “us” than that some of the wishing I have done here will some day find fulfillment. I kiss you now, my Evie. A big hug and kiss for our punkin. Love to all from

Your adoring Phil

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Post #681 - July 17, 1945 On the Evening of the 15th, the Street Lights Were Put On For the First Time, Since Sep '39

17 July 1945

Dearest Evie,

As you will note by the reverse side of this stationery, I am writing this at Meadowcroft. After spending 3-1/2 days in London 
going to shows, I came up here to Yorkshire and was most cordially received by the Davies’. Comdr. Tim Healey is still here, his ship still in process of being fitted-out for duty. There was another distinguished guest and his wife here when I arrived, but they left early this morning. They were Col. Russel Jones, who was until recently Chief Censor in India, and who is destined for a post with UNRRA in Germany, and his wife. Both the Col., who is very erudite, and his wife, a charming, white-haired lady, were very, very friendly. I would have liked to become better acquainted with them, but they had business elsewhere.

There isn't much to tell about London, except that I did get to see the “Ballets Joos"," which is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. In addition, I saw "Affairs of Susan”, 
and "Diamond Horseshoe", both of which I enjoyed. Between shows I loafed at the Eagle Club, reading the papers, drinking cokes, etc. On the 14th, I went to Covent Garden, where I watched more than I danced, but had a nice time nevertheless. So much for London~ No, one more thing. On the evening of the 15th, the street lights were put on for the first time, since Sep '39. You should have seen how pleased the Londoners were! Whole families promenaded thru the streets, literally basking in the unaccustomed illumination. The older folks got just as great a kick out of it as the youngsters. It was a very welcome change for me, too, to be able to go about without the aid of a flashlight.

About 10:00 A.M. on the the 16th, I called Mrs. Davies to tell her I was taking the 12:45 train from King's Cross Station. I arrived at Darlington at 5:50 P.M. waited ’til 6:30 for a train to Middlesbro, where I arrived at 7:05, and after another half-hour's wait for the bus and a 20 minute ride, arrived at Meadowcroft at 8 o'clock, which is much better time for the journey than I ever made before.

Mrs. Davies had been waiting supper for me, so after the introductions had been made, I dashed upstairs to wash up and change.

There were six at table for the rather late supper. (No wonder they were glad to see me—they were probably famished!) The six, of course, were the Joneses, the Davieses, Comdr. Healey, and myself. Mrs. Davies, by a stroke of luck, had procured a whole salmon, and this, together with fried potatoes, salad, and delicious lemon meringue pie, which she made herself, made a very ample and tasty meal. Everyone was so hungry, that he paid strict attention to what was on the plate before him. Conversation, as a result, languished, but no one seemed to mind. After supper, as is the custom, we all went in to the library 
living room, where we relaxed in the easy chairs and chatted about various things. Col. Jones proved an extremely interesting fellow, whose knowledge covered many and varied subjects. So we talked until bed-time, which was about 11:30. I was given Judith's room, which besides containing some lovely old Sheraton furniture (bureau and wardrobe), also boasts a modern wash-stand, and a delightfully comfortable bed of the couch variety, without head or foot boards.

Mrs. Davies called me at 8:30 this morning, whereupon I rose, washed, dressed, and joined her shortly afterward at breakfast. The Joneses had departed at 7 o'clock, the Doctor was out on his rounds, and Cmdr. Healey had gone off to his ship. Mrs. Payne, incidentally, is on “
holiday,” which is English for vacation, and Dr. Davies is struggling along without a secretary for the time being. Over breakfast, my host and I somehow got onto the subject of politics, the current general election, etc. We discussed the issue while we were eating; while we were clearing the table; and while Mrs. Davies was doing her wash in the garage, a corner of which is reserved for laundering. I knew that Mrs. Davies did most of her own housework, although she has two girls in to help her, but it never occurred to me that she actually does her own washing! I was shocked and admiring as I watched this amazing woman scrub her clothes on a washboard, wring them, rinse them, and  hang them to dry, while her two cars stood idly by and watched with wonder that must have equalled my own.

When I expressed surprise that she should be doing her own wash, she explained that she had no alternative because she couldn't send them 
out to the laundry because doing so would shorten the life of the garment! It's impossible, Chippie, to appreciate how impoverished these people are for the plain necessities of life—food and clothing, in spite of their handsome income (Dr. Davies paid ₤1100, or $4400.00 in income tax last year), their lovely home, gardens, etc! I know Mrs. Davies would give almost anything for a new dress, but she just doesn't have the coupons to get one. Carl Weil, a Yank who was a guest when I came up here on that last brief visit, got his mother to procure four pairs of silk stockings, which he sent as a gift to Mrs. Davies and Judith. Honey, it's almost pitiful to see how grateful she is for these things. The food situation seems to get worse instead of improving, despite the fact that V.E. day is more than two months behind us. Sugar and butter and cooking fats (lard) are in very short supply. She loves to get enough fat for frying! Meat is all but non-existent. In spite of her endless difficulties, though, I think Mrs. Davies is one of the happiest, most contented women I have ever seen. It seems that nothing is beyond her capabilities. She still has her "committees", her charities, etc., in addition to running the house, entertaining guests, corresponding with Judy, and other duties too numerous to mention. Yet I have still to see her in any degree discouraged, depressed, or even tired! Her unfailing good-humor is a constant joy and inspiration, and I often wish that I could be like her in that respect. Now she is contemplating a trip to America, and intends to pay her expenses by broadcasting on domestic science in the States. She has done quite a lot of that sort of thing over BBC here, and she thinks her connections with BBC can arrange for her to broadcast in America. At the moment, she's "working" her beloved "Wallie" to take a month's holiday and take her, but this is well-nigh impossible for the Doctor at present, although he may manage it next year. However, she is quite prepared and able to go alone if the Doctor will but give his consent (which I don't think he will). I pointed out that a month's holiday would give them barely a week in the States after deducting traveling time. Mrs. Davies wants to go ahead a month before the Doc starts, so she might have that extra time, but she confided to me that she doesn't think he'll allow it. I told her neither would I. She said "Don't tell him that!” I assured her I was on her side. Moreover, I repeated my invitation to stay with us when they do come to America, which certainly won't be for a year or two yet. By that time I'm sure we'll be in a position to receive them.—And so the morning passed.

After lunch, Mrs. Davies packed a picnic basket with cakes and buns, and a Thermos of hot tea, and drove me in her little car out to the moors. It was a lovely, sunny day 
for a ride in the country.—And what country! Darling, a hundred times I caught myself wishing fervently that you could be there with me to see it all. I couldn't begin to describe the sheer loveliness of the Yorkshire moors and dales. I was prepared, of course, to see some lovely scenery, but, for once the images I had in my mind proved pale things, indeed, beside the actuality of the wondrous, rolling hills, bare of trees, but covered in the varied greens of gorse, bracken and heather, the latter soon to bloom and cover this particular part of the world with a lush violet-lavender-purple carpet. When I try to find the words to describe the glorious scenic beauties of this section, I realize how incapable I am of doing them justice. One must see them as I was seeing them. One must see the seemingly endless vista of hill and dale, and “feel” the exaltation of standing atop a ridge and looking over a panorama stretching miles away to the far horizon. One must stand on the apex of the moors to sense the brooding mystery and loneliness of these treeless wastes—to really know and appreciate their appeal. In my lifetime, Sweet, I have thrilled to many beautiful scenes, landscapes, sea-scapes, etc., but never have I been so impressed and awed and delighted by sheer beauty and grandeur as I have been by the Yorkshire Moors and Dales. As I said to my companion, if I could find a comparable setting in theUnited States, that is the place I would choose to build my home and settle in. We rode down to a green dale beside a stream that was spanned by a centuries-old stone bridge. Here we sat in the shade of tall bushes and had our tea and cakes. Mrs. Davies pointed out a large, rambling castle perched on the side of a nearby hill. It was built by Henry VIII for Katherine Parr, the only one of his six wives that outlived him. Before that, we visited a little church that was built in 1409, but which is still being used today. It is in a state of perfect preservation, and I had the odd sensation that time had no meaning here. After I had written “Philip Strongin, Philadelphia, U.S.A." in the visitor's book, we departed the ancient church with its ancient tombstones surrounding it. By the time we had finished our tea, we had to start back (it was now about 5:30). We stopped once more on a crest on the moors, while Mrs. Davies pointed out the different types of vegetation. She gave me a sprig of white heather, which like the four-leaf clover is considered lucky. Arriving back at Meadowcroft, about 6:30, I went up to shave and wash, after which I joined the others at supper, which consisted of fried kippers, boiled potatoes, salad, rice pudding, cheese and coffee. After we had cleared the table, we went out beyond the garden, (which is lovely now,) to the bowling green, where Comdr. Healey and I teamed against the Davieses for a game of bowls. It was a lovely summer evening, and it was most pleasant to be playing out-of-doors. Tim and I proved no match for the very able team opposing us, and they trounced us by a score of 11-4. By this time it was 10 P.M., and we all relaxed in the library for an hour before retiring. I started this letter then, but had to give it up after a few pages, because I was very sleepy. We said our good-nights about 11 P.M. I awoke this morning at 8:30 and rose straightaway and dressed. I had breakfast with Mrs. Davies and then went into the library to get on with this. Shortly afterward, the girls came in to clean, so I moved, at my hostess’ suggestion, to the kitchen where I am now writing while Mrs. Davies stands nearby and shells peas. 

—Which all, sweetheart, brings me right up to date. One thing I forgot to mention was that I brought all my collection of snaps with me to show the Davieses. When they asked if I had received any new pictures I showed them the whole batch - old and new. Dr. Davies, being a man, said only that they were "very nice". Mrs. Davies had more to say. She remarked that you have a lovely smile, my sweet, (as if I didn't know!) and that the punkin resembled me, at which the good Doctor pricked up his ears and mumbled (just loud enough for me to hear) - “poor kid". He was kidding - of course!???

I'll stop for now, honey, and will continue when I have 
more to tell you. I love you, baby~

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Post #680 - July 11, 1945 Although I Repeatedly Counsel Patience and More Patience, It's Mighty Difficult Not to Chafe at the Delay


11 July 1945


Didn't write yesterday or the day before - mainly because there was very little of interest to write about. My time was taken up exactly as all the other “routine” days. I went to the movies both nights and saw "Down Argentina Way" and "Rebecca", both of which I had seen before, but which I enjoyed seeing again, nevertheless.

Today, the eve of leaving on furlough, I alternated getting clothes ready and working in the Orderly Room. I'm all set to go now, and am trying to be patient waiting for tomorrow, when I take off. Murphy couldn't finagle his furlough after all (sometimes it doesn't pay to be First Sergeant), so it looks like I'm on my own again.

I may not get to write for a few days, Chippie, but like last time, 
I'll make it up to you. You may be very sure that I'll leave no detail unmentioned. I only hope that my leave will be an interesting one, so that my letter will make good reading for you. say "letter” because I won't be able to mail any part of what I write until I get back to base.

Those snapshots we took a few weeks ago haven't come back yet, but we're expecting them daily. I'll probably be able to include them with the “furlough letter.” Wish I had some film to 
make pictures in Yorkshire, but I haven't, and there's none to be had, so I'll just have to keep on wishing— 

Your hasty V-mail of 4 July arrived yesterday, and your Air-Mail letter of 28 June came on the 9th. The latter brought, among other news, your evaluation of "Mike". I was gratified that you thought it "very good,” Chippie. As long as it pleased you, I'm perfectly content with my little effort. If it sells, and it will surprise me no end if it does, then I promise you that it is only the first of many more (some of which I have in my head already)

(turn over, honey-)

There hasn't been any new development as regards movement so the situation remains static, which means we’ll depart for home any time after the beginning of September. When I think, my lovely, that it may be only a matter of 8 or nine weeks 'til "us" becomes a reality again - until I can take my punkin in my arms, I am lifted to the skies—Believe me, honey, that although I repeatedly counsel patience and more patience, it's mighty difficult not to chafe at the delay. It seems all my hopes and dreams and desires have one focal point - the moment when I next hold you close to me. Everything before that is a blur of indefinite and meaningless things - everything beyond is anti-climactic. I need you so, Ev darling—Not until the ocean separated us did I have a clear conception of how very deep and all-encompassing is the love I bear you. It has been at one and the same time my despair and my salvation. It has kept me clean - worthy of one such as you, my sweet. In a word, it has kept me.

Your Phil

P.S. - That is of course, what part of me isn’t reserved for my own beloved punkin, Adele.

P.P.S. Love and regards to all.

P.P.P.S. I have yet to finish a letter without feeling the desire 
to say just once more - I love you, Evie", but I always desist for fear you will think me “mushy.” Tonight, tho’ I’m going to give in to that urge and you may think what you will of me for it - the uncontestable fact is - I do adore you, my Evie, right now and forevermore—

Monday, December 19, 2022

Post #679 - July 7, 1945 There Are Only a Small Percentage of G.I.'s Left in England Now



7 July 1945

Dearest Evie,

I wish you could experience the lovely weather 
we are having here now. Your letters tell me that you are sweltering in a heat wave. When I read this I can't help thinking how you would enjoy the English summer. The sun comes up early and shines all day long (without heat) until about 10 P.M., when it starts to set. I don't think we've ever had temperatures in the high 80's, let alone heat of 90° or more, as is common in the States. The winters over here are milder, too, but wetter. - So much for the weather. 

This evening I went to the movies to see "Belle of the Yukon” with Gypsy Rose Lee, Dinah Shore, Randolph Scott, Bob Burns and Charles Winninger. The story wasn't anything in particular, but the production (in Technicolor) was downright beautiful, as you will agree if you see it. Dinah Shore, one of my favorites, is always good entertainment, and Bob Burns provides good comedy relief. Gypsy Rose Lee isn't too hard to look at, either, or else I'm over here too long.

The dope about going home is that this outfit will hit the states in September, prob- ably, but most certainly by November. That is about all I know at the moment, honey, but I'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

There are 
only a small percentage of G.I.'s left in England now. Their absence was very apparent last time I was in London.

After the show, I stopped at the Aero club to call the Davies' to advise them that I would be coming up on my furlough, which starts the 12th. First, though, I intend to visit London and Torquay for a coupla days. Murphy may come along, but he is having difficulty getting away.

Your letter of 29 June, arrived today, says that Syd is heading for N. Dakota. I don't get it! Didn't you say that he had enough points for discharge?

It says, too, that you were about to type "The Love of Mike". This was the first intimation I had that you had received it. I'm still waiting to hear how you liked it.

By the way, darling - I always mean to ask about Ben W. I haven't heard a thing about him in over a year. Where is he now? What is he doing, and does he say anything about coming home?

Sorry to hear that Harry's business is getting slack, but I imagine it will pick up when more gas becomes available to the public. 

Dave Chumley, who has the bunk next to mine, received “Valley of Decision” as a present from his sister. He has been reading it and telling me about it from time to time. So it struck me as a coincidence that your letter mentions that you made a date with Rae to see the picture at the Stanley. Hope you liked it, Sweet! - Which reminds me—you wrote some time ago that you saw “Meet Me in St. Louis" and that you didn't particularly care for it. I don't understand it! I saw it under lousy conditions (16 mm. film) and loved it.

By the way, Chippie, what are your favorite tunes these days?! I'm partial to "I'm Beginning to see the Light", mainly because I think the lyrics very clever. One day I'll take crack at writing a “popular" tune, too. Come to think of it, I did once. Remember “I Just Couldn't stay Away"? That was a long time ago. I feel I could do much better now.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and instead of working half-a-day like the rest of the Orderly Room personnel (the rest of the Sqdn. is off all day) I have the whole day off because I worked all day on the 4th July, when everyone else had a holiday. Don't know what I’ll do with the day off, though, ’cause all my clothes are at the cleaner's, and I won't be able to leave the base. Maybe I'll take advantage of the break to drop Dot a line. Poor kid, she's certainly had her share of trouble!

I liked your P.S. about the punkin asking you not to go to work 
any more. Darling, nothing would please me more than to know you are with her all day long. I sincerely hope that that will be possible soon—

Good night for now, baby. A kiss for Adele. I adore you, Ev! My love to all.

Your Phil