I think I will be using this theme on Mondays to help log what I have accomplished so far and to summarize what has transpired for my grandparents during the previous week.
My grandfather has been in Norfolk for almost two weeks. I have transcribed fourteen letters from my grandfather. I have also transcribed two letters from my great uncle Jim Foster. Jim also enlisted in the Navy, but not as an officer. He was stationed in the Great Lakes while he was doing his basic training. He has arrived in Norfolk, but at this point my grandfather and his brother-in-law have not made contact. So far in the narrative, none of the letters my grandmother wrote during this period have survived. It is apparent that several of her letters had questions about billing patients and paying bills for my grandfather’s practice. In one letter, she must have suggested that four members of the family were planning to come to Norfolk to visit my grandfather. I am assuming that she was including herself and the two boys. I am not sure who the fourth member of the party would have been, possibly her mother. My grandfather was obviously frustrated by this as he had been trying to find housing for just my grandmother (with no luck in that department).
During the last week, my grandfather had been thinking about the method of transportation for my grandmother’s impeding visit. Should she drive or take the train? If she takes the car, there is the question of gasoline and perhaps acquiring an X card. Gasoline was already rationed in May 1942. The drive from Kentland, Indiana to Norfolk, Virginia is just about 1,000 miles. My grandmother was also 5-6 months pregnant. Speed limits of 35 miles per hour were also instituted during this period. All things to consider before she makes the trip.
My grandfather was sharing a room with another doctor, Dr. Lentz, at a house on Magnolia Avenue. One night during the week, my grandfather was convinced to go out with Dr. Lentz and two other doctors. It quickly became apparent that the doctor who was driving was inebriated. My grandfather concocted an excuse to get out of the car and refused to go on with the outing.
Another issue that was on my grandfather’s mind was his future. He was unsure as to how long he would be stationed in Norfolk, and if he was transferred out, where would he end up.
I’m writing this from the P.O. Had to come down town to get some more clothes.
I haven’t got your today’s letter yet but I got one addressed to Granby St. that you wrote some time ago. I think it was the first Sun. you wrote. The one in which you told me about buying the bond.
I don’t know yet what to tell you about coming down. Lentz hasn’t found out anything about his leave and then as I wrote you last nite I’ll wait until I get the car registration card. I’d say for you to come on the train but I don’t know what you could see or do without the car. This town is long but not so wide and from the middle of the town to the ocean either way it is about 10 mile one way and 18 the other and who want to ride on the street car that far. Of course if you want to stay right in town the transportation is nothing but I suppose
(page 2) you would like to see a few things while you are here. That long a ride in a car isn’t best for you at present either- so there you are. If I thought you I could get a leave in a few wks. I’d say let matters stand as they are and I’d bring the car back with me. Of course But there is the leave condition again. At least I can find out if I can get an X card with the card you send.
Haven’t seen Jim yet. I’m expecting a letter with his address and until then it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
This town is much worse than Chicago to walk or drive in. One is apt to get run over at any point it seems.
I may write again tonite-depending upon what your letter has in it.