1 January 1943
Camp White, Oregon
Dear Aunty Clara:
This is the second letter I began writing to you this evening. The first started off as a brief summary of the year gone by and a philosophical view of the coming year. Somehow, in spite of myself, when I reached Clarence, the two and a half months shrunk to nothing and I couldn't go on.
1942 --- whatever it meant --- whatever happened in it --- what we did or thought --- whatever it did to us --- is now in the past and as part of the past is forgotten.
1943 --- ah --- why speak of 1943 when 1 January 1943 is not yet over.
Last night after I said I was going to clear out of the USO, a lady came up and handed me a ticket for a drawing to be held later in the evening. I stayed around for a while and then left. I walked down to the other USO. From there I walked to the other end of the block to the ice cream parlor; but I did not go inside. Somehow I just didn't feel like having anything alone.
I went back to the new USO and the entertainment was just beginning. They did not have dancing. The girls had just come dressed that way. First they had community singing. Then they had a quiz program which worked on the double or nothing basis. The prizes were defense stamps 25¢ then 50¢ and finally $1.00. I tried and was given three questions on Aviation. I now have four 25¢ stamps. Had I saved all the quarter stamps that have at some time or another been in my possession I would now have a bond. After that we had a girl violinist play some numbers. She was very good and had to give three encores. Refreshments were next. They served --- FREE --- turkey sandwiches, cake and coffee. They had every kind of cake under the sun and all the coffee you wanted. I ate one sandwich, two slices of cake and a cup of coffee. After that came the main event. 10 theater tickets were raffled off. My number was 133 and, can you beat this, the numbers 132 and 134 and every double number (144, 111, 122, 155, 166, etc) was called but 133. The grand prize was a telephone call home to any point in the United States. This was won by a fellow from Chicago.
The time was 2225 when the party was over and I had to hotfoot it back to the bus station five blocks away to catch the 2300 bus. I got into the orderly room at 2355, just 5 minutes before my pass was up. I stayed there until 0045 talking to Nick Amormino who was charge of quarters. It was he that was doing the bedchecking so I had nothing to worry about. I didn't get to sleep until 0200 and believe you me I have been tired all day today. I even fell asleep in the ten minutes before chow this evening.
Nick has been ordered reduced to Private by the Colonel because his detail let a pontoon escape from their control while building a pontoon bridge yesterday. They held it up all day so maybe the Colonel has relented. After all they say a man who doesn't make any mistakes is a man who doesn't do anything.
And the other fellows who came in with me and are working in the office (they are from H&S and B Companies) have been promoted to T-5 and Cpl. I am now in my 49th day as a buck private and there is not an inkling of a promotion. I wonder whether that Company Commander is going to be strictly G.I. about it and make me wait until the AR is adhered to and I serve my four months as private first.
I received your letter of Tuesday Dec 29 marked #1 today. I will write Uncle Joe a letter of thanks and an extra little note Sunday but will you thank him for me now for sending me the dollar and the clippings. I haven't had a chance to read the clippings thru except to glance at them but that headline with CICERO plastered across it sure did look important.
Baby, I can't wait until those Tangos get here with the film. That is one candy bar I haven't seen in a long long time. Perhaps that mail Aunt-Aunt received was the letter I gave Cpl Censky and which he didn't give to her. I had written her address in pencil in one corner.
The wrist watch is still going.
And don't capitalize Old Aunt anymore and in fact, don't ever even use that expression old aunt thataway. When I say it, I mean it in the way a person says, "I say there old chap".
By the way, how is One Man's Family getting along?
Yes, mark all the letters in numerical order. The one I sent yesterday from the USO was #9. I forgot to mark it.
I'm sorry but I have to stop this minute. The time has crept up on me and it is time to scram in a hurry. I haven't told you about today but will try to type a small note in the morning relating the facts and events of 1 Jan 43.
P.S. In the future, it will not be necessary to specifically state which letter we received unless it will help the understanding of the answer. We will remark however if the letters lose a number. That is the purpose of those numbers, you know.