The last week of letters has seen the arrival of my grandmother in Norfolk and her departure. We learned a few details from the time my grandmother was there. Some sea mines were released outside Virginia Beach and several boats were hit. The Kingston Ceylonite, a boat on loan from the British Navy, was sunk. My grandparents’ friend Dorothy Krull appears to have come along for the drive. A mouse was found in the closet of Mrs. Evans house, an alarm clock was set very early, one of my grandfather’s white suits was misplaced and Dr. Lentz borrowed my grandfather’s raincoat.
Most likely due to the success of the Battle of Midway in the Pacific, my grandfather was kept busy inoculating sailors and administering routine exams. A new level of anxiety seems to have been creeping into the letters. Several doctors received orders for shipping out, including ones who had arrived after my grandfather. Dr. Lentz received some phone calls and my grandfather was getting jittery whenever the phone rang. He expected to receive his new orders soon too. In one letter, he remarked that another doctor received orders to report to a new battleship in New Jersey. My grandfather thought that was a “pretty good” assignment.
Many of the letters contain details of just plain old, down and dirty, everyday life. My grandfather’s adventures with laundry (which at times seem amusing to me) must have driven him crazy! I can’t imagine having to continuously buy new clothes because of a lack of clean ones. Updates on pay raises, allotments and money orders also grace this week in letters. There was also another mention of purchasing war bonds.
Today’s letter gives Dr. Cole his entrance into the story. Dr. Ira Cole was the attending physician during the birth of my father. I am intrigued by the obsession with my grandmother receiving enough vitamin B. While it is important today for pregnant women to receive sufficient B vitamins, I can’t help but wonder if my grandmother’s vitamin B regimen had something to do with the death of baby Michael in 1940.
We still have about three weeks more of letters before we hear my grandmother speak. I must tell you I am getting very impatient to hear her side of the story! It’s on my list of things to look forward to in 2013.
Sat. P.M. (postmark June 27, 1942 8:30 PM)
Didn’t write early this A.M. because I wanted to see what your letters might contain but Lentz picked them up took them to the base and I missed him somehow so he still has my letters, he didn’t think that I was off this P.M. since I had the duty last night.
Had to get up once during the night a policeman dislocated his thum. Other than that the night was uneventful.
I was going to suggest that you take the money order you got the other day and apply it on a bond to keep the months record clean maybe you still can if you haven’t
(page 2) already this month. I would send some money home but I wait until after next Wed. – pay day, then send it all at once- I’m at the P.O. now. Came down town to pay the remainder on my clothing bill. I’m going on down town for a shopping tour to see if I can get some underware I’m supposed to get laundry today but I think I’ll just wait until Monday to be more sure.
Got a letter from Dr. Roberts yesterday he is still waiting, hasn’t heard for sure yet. He tells me that most of the fellows are gone or going around Watseka [Illinois].
(page 3) If you haven’t been to Dr. Cole yet you had better do so and I believe I’d stop getting shots from Dr. Math. He might feel rather hurt if you run up to to late and anyway Dr. Cole said he would come up if necessary. Get some unicaps from Art and take 2-3 each day. You should get enough Vit B. from those.
I realize this is rambling but there is lots of traffic thru here where I’m writing.
I’ll write in the A.M. again.