12 Jul August 13 & 15, 1944 letters
My Dad has commented quite a bit in his recent letters about various shows that were provided to the troops, and he’s not overly complimentary! Just as an aside, if you haven’t followed the entire story, he was a trained actor and had been working on and off Broadway before entering the service – so his observations are pretty astute! One can only imagine how exhausting it would have been for the performers who traveled around entertaining the troops!
13 Aug 1944 V-Mail
Mary Darling – Have just returned from our first U.S.O. show here in France. An M.C., an accordionist, and 3 gals – singer, dancer, and puppeteer. Strictly from the borscht circuit, but very amazing after all this time. They travel in a G.I. truck – set up a floor and a curtain out in the open. Live same as we, I imagine. The gals looked pretty tired – besides fatigued. Then we’ve also had a Red Cross club mobile around with a couple of gals & RKO something about Arabs. A movie-and the most tired of all our entertainment lately. Got a letter from my pal Joe Wilkinson. Thinks he may be near me. We’re trying to find out. Got a letter from Harold. Possibly going over seas from Ft. Lawton. Sincerely hope not. Says Dad had another mild stroke (which Dad wrote me as “flu”.)
Weather continues fine. No rain in over two wks now. Made friends with couple of French kids – Marcel et Maurice. Practice on my French. See many “refugees” returning. Clasp us – call us “comrade”. Yearn to be a refugee myself and clasp ma femme et fille pour the grand embrace.
Letter #31 Papa Pappy
15 Aug 1944 V-Mail
Hello Sweetheart – a perfectly swell letter from you last night – #35 (what happened to 32 – 3 & 4 I wonder?) Your ideas on a bro. for Miss K sound elegant to me – but I’m in no hurry – I’ll take the pack off first! Karen sounds more interesting all the time – she must be a grand lil guy? by the way, did you ever get my letters with the flowers in them? I must’ve sent 4 or 5 different ones from Eng & here.
I wrote your folks a V Mail last night. Brief, but it’s about all we can manage now. It’s not enough that we keep busy as we are – they’ve sent off 4 of our men to school leaving us that much more to do until they get back. (This damn pen is going to drive me crazy!)
Last night I sat in front of my foxhole and looked at the stars and thought about us. It’s very hard to try to write about it because every 1/2 minute here someone throws something on my “desk” here which must be taken care of. Besides it’s hot & dusty and – well – unromantic. But when I feel like writing something nice – in the late evening after things are cleaned up – it’s too dark. But I think of you then – and look forward to the day when we can be together = and to heck with, at best, inadequate letters. I love you, darling – thanks for the monumental hug” – likewise
Letter #32 Pappy