I just had one of those moments when I realized that page 1 DOES NOT go with page 2. I jumped ahead to Roscoe’s letter dated October 29th but those pages fit together just fine. I went back to his October 27th letter and realized that the transition between the two pages was off. I am surprised no one mentioned how choppy it sounded. So let’s redo the last letter with this letter. The pages are now in the correct sequence for both letters.
Oct. 27, 1942
This being Tue it rained all day and it being a raining day omits Tue – Don’t pay attention to that I just tried to tell you in a complicated way that it rained all day today up to now and it is now about 1615 and no sign of letting up. About the middle of the afternoon I was very ambitious went to the shower thru the rain Took a complete bath and came back thru the rain. I didn’t know whether to wear a rain coat or to take my clothes off and wrap a towel around me. I chose the latter so was ready for soap when I got there. The shower needless to say was cold but very invigorating. It was the first time I’d changed for some time and I think it helped to raise my moral by getting out clean clothes etc. It has been out of the question to have laundry done because it has been raining almost continuously since Fri night and in that time we haven’t seen the sun not even a peep.
I wrote both the boys this A.M. and put their letters in separate envelopes so if they don’t get there at the same time you will have to explain. Possibly I should have sent them in one so they would either have or had not together. It was a little hard to write to them because news are so scarce and I try to write all I can to you but I managed to fill a couple pages each.
I haven’t said anything to you about the fellow here who graduated from Indiana whose folks lived at Morrow [?]. He is still with us and
[page 2]came in to shoot the breeze. I mentioned him in a letter I wrote back at Moffett Field. His name is Coffel. We talked for some time about mutual friends & class mates at Indiana. U. He is now married and was practicing in La. His wife is from the South also.
One of our tent mates have moved out so we aren’t so crowded but probably someone else will move in. It really doesn’t make any difference because ¼ is all we need or use anyway and what wants more than ¼ of a 16 foot square place anyway? I really wish you could see the place. I think you would think it very lovely or something. This reminds me of someone who took a camping trip and it rained the entire week they were there. The only thing we aren’t fishing or hunting nor trying to get our own meals. Don’t even have to make our own bunks. And once in a while the boy even brings us a bucket of water, but the toilet is still just as far up the slope.
No mail yet today. That’s all I’m going to say. I had been wearing my heavy shoes around, but I got out my four buckle overshoes today just to see how they would work. They probably will slip better but maybe won’t feel so damp. When Wish we had a small oil burner to help get the damp feeling cleared away. Well, its almost chow time finish later.
Later- got 2 letters one from Ira Dixon dated Oct 12 and a V-mail letter from Sykes Oct. 4 but none from you. Played bridge my partner & I won 5140 to 1550 had a good run of cards. Played 3 rubbers
Lots of Love Daddy
Wed Oct 28, 1942
It was cloudy all day today but not nearly so much rain – just a few sprinkles now and then. It has been dry enough so that the mud stiffened somewhat and doesn’t stick to the shoes quite so badly, but it looks like more and harder rain any minute now.
Just like all good housekeepers we decided to rearrange our furniture. My bunk formerly was East and West but now it rest North and South. I can’t explain the whole situation but it makes us have lots more room. Two of our former tent mates are gone and one new one has moved in and with only three it makes more room. The roommate I told you about the other day finally left. I think he was pretty badly frightened and all shook up but maybe he will get over that in time.
Ira said there probably would be meat rationing as well as other things in the near future back there. And the way he talked there were lots of boys leaving and business was very dull and I can’t imagine Nick’s being closed on Sunday, but if gas is rationed I suppose people don’t travel as much as before and everyone will have to stay home. We had roast lamb for dinner – Don’t know if that was a result of the meat rationing at home or not. I’ve been wondering about the locker and if you will be allowed to buy meat
[page 2] in that way.
The Sykes seemed OK. They had just bought the first load of coal they ever had to buy and it cost 15°°. They thought that was pretty high – guess they had always been furnished their coal before. Your mail between Aug 29 and Oct. 14 is still on the way. It doesn’t bother so bad now since we get a few letters now and then. So far I don’t believe I’ve missed on any mail delivery yet. Some of the boys are envious, of course I didn’t get one from you yesterday but did get the other two.
The reason we got such a big bridge score last night wasn’t our good playing so much as it was our opponents’ poor bidding. They were both better than we but we doubled them four times and one time they went down four doubled and they were vulnerable so you see that counts up. Then twice the doubled us on bids of 3 diamonds and clubs and we made both bids so that doubled us into game. I know that sounds funny for me to be talking about bridge but it’s either that or go to bed at dark and it’s all in fun. Some of these men are good. I’ve seen bids of little slam and even grand slam made. Me I’ve never been able to do that yet. Last night was the first time my partner has been able to hold any cards. We don’t have the same partner. Just four fellows get together and draw to see who plays who etc. It’s raining pretty hard. I’ll leave the space for further developments. Later, Just received your letter air mail of Oct 12. It was older than the letter by 2 days than the one Sun. This one did answer a few questions and it had David’s picture. If you haven’t sent the laundry just keep it until I write for it.
Our new tent mate has a radio and we got California
[page 3] at 1:00 AM. Sounded pretty good. I think that is the first real radio reception since leaving home. Red Skeleton was on but we couldn’t get him.
We had half roast chicken for supper and let me tell you those bones were picked clean. It was also our regular time to get cigarettes. We get two cartons per month on our usual ration pay and that about does one for cigarettes.
You still haven’t said how often my letters are coming but I suppose you have already done so. Well it’s about time for bed. So solong
© 2013, copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Now if he’d had an iPhone, he could have texted Gladys a few photos of the cramped tent. It is amazing now to have such a vivid picture of his daily life during the war. It’s all new to me. 🙂