My grandmother was a fairly faithful church attendee. In contrast, my grandfather did not attend services often. When he was at home in Kentland, he typically did not attend church. The main reason was his profession. He was on call 24/7 (as we say in our modern vernacular). These were the days prior to cell phones or even pagers. Jake did not attend church because he needed to be near the phone.
This letter was written during September and it coincided with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The holiday can land as early as September 14th and as late as October 14th. Also known as the Day of Atonement, it is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The day is usually spent fasting and praying.
As I was scanning the letter, I noticed a little detail on the envelope. The initials of the censor were E.T.L. Anyone want to guess who that was?
Sept. 20, 1942
Starting this letter earlier in the P.M. seems as if there is nothing else to do. Most of the fellows have either gone swimming or to town to the band concert. I’ve written both the boys a V-mail letter so you can see by this which is the quickest. There were wild rumors about mail for us but nothing has as yet shown up.
Our store opened up today and many of the boys bought lots of candy bars. Those seem to be rare. I’ve been in town several times and have as yet seen no candy in the stores. They have plenty of cakes etc like our sweet rolls but no candy. Ice cream doesn’t seem to be known here either. They have a type of frozen milk, either coconut or powdered milk but no real U.S. cream. There are a few places where
[page 2] one can buy soft drinks but that is only a “modified” fruit juice. Nothing like coke etc. I think no one cares about getting rich for they don’t have the store open long enough. For example there is a good café in town but it is only open about 2 hours in the Eve. Every P.M. they have siesta and nothing can prevail upon them to open up at that time. In other words life seems to go on at a slow tempo. Maybe they have something?
We had a good dinner today. Steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas + carrots, chopped onions and cold lemonade. And plenty of each of the above items. It’s wonderful how they can prepare for such a bunch and still have food that is good. Fresh fruit and vegetables
[page 3] are conspicuous by their absence. Once in a while we have fresh apples which taste pretty good.
Later-Finally got into the ships store and really did a Mark-bought 2 doz. candy bars. Haven’t had any bars since leaving the states. Also bought some chewing gum which is also rare. Haven’t seen any of that here.
Went to church this eve. The preacher told us to write home and tell where the text came from-So here-Psalms verse 27. Now isn’t that something that I go to church and also remember the text.
Mon A.M. Up and about-This is the Jewish fasting holiday. So two of my roommates are a wee bit hungry I think-
I’ll write more this eve
P.S. No mail yet.