16 May 1943

Dear Aunty Clara:

The latest move in censoring has been to eliminate all numbering of letters. There can be no consecutive numbers such as we employ to keep track of our correspondence. Neither can there be any other form of count such as an alphabetical sequence. It seems we were not alone in the practice ---- it is rather prevalent. Instead of that system I believe we could just mention the last letter we wrote to each other. I could say, "The last letter I wrote to you was dated 15 May 1943". That way you will at least know if you have received all the letters mailed to you or if some have been lost. You can do the same.

Today was the first Sunday in a long time which has been comparatively free from work. At least this morning there was no work to do but beginning this afternoon we will have to be "on the beam". I took advantage of this break to write a letter to Uncle Jack telling him all about the furlough etcetera. Now if I can speed a letter to Dolores, most of the belated correspondence will have been taken care of.

I will have to send off short notes or cards to Jimmy, George, Tommy and a few others to make everything complete. Do you realize that I have not heard from either George or Tommy for a dog's age?

Several of the fellows who went on twenty-four pass yesterday afternoon had their blankets borrowed last night. Several of us had as many as three or four blankets covering us to keep out the chill and (darn it) it turned out to be the warmest morning since arriving in the place.

This morning saw us eating the best breakfast yet. The 'canker' sore is also better than it has been during the last week. By tomorrow it should have disappeared.

While the novelty of having our mail censored is still upon us it is an apt bit of news for conversation. For example, these letters must come to you in a battered shape. I learned yesterday that after these letters have been inspected by our own censors they are passed on to the Base Censor who cut the envelope open and re-censor the letter.

By the way, it is very humorous to see all the whistles that are being carried around these days. It seems as if everyone has them now. It has become a fad such as a gold chain with a zoot suit.

*   *   *

This evening I bought one of those pocket dictionaries but failed to find any other pocket books that were worth buying. Blumenfeld and I went to the show. Guess who the combination turned out to be? Charles Coburn and Jean Arthur. You will remember that the last time we saw those two teamed up was in "The Devil and Miss Jones". This time the play was entitled "The More the Merrier". It was more or less on the slapstick comedy side but was good entertainment.

After the show, Blumenfeld went to the telegraph office while I went to another PX trying to get hold of some of those pocket books.

I had been to this other PX but once and had just casually dropped into it in the passing. However, some unerring instinct brought me down the right street, told me at just what corner to turn in and then guided me down a slope in the ground between several buildings and there it was. On the way back from the PX Blumenfeld wanted to stop in at the telephone company and there again we wandered off the beaten path to just the very spot that the phone building was situated. From the phone building back to our quarters was another devious route which we just walked to without paying much attention to direction. Blumenfeld was actually astounded at what he called my 'ability' to find my way around the camp without knowing just where I am going. What astounds me is that he has been here all of a week and still is lost as to the direction of his quarters upon coming from the mess hall after a meal.

We had mail this afternoon and yours truly received two letters. It seems funny but since leaving Camp _____ and coming here I have received twice, nay, thrice as many letters as before. Today's mail came from Tommy Mashos (speaking of the devil he up and writes) and from my sire himself. The news I received from Tommy is enough to floor you. After all that talk about Tommy being different from George and being able to make the grade as a pilot he comes around with the information that he is now stationed in a reclassification center awaiting such reclassification as either a bombardier or a navigator. I sure do hope that someday in the future I can get a crack at that Air corps again and who know but I may be one of the three who will make the grade.

Attention sounded just now and that means --- LIGHTS OUT; therefore this letter must end. Until tomorrow I remain your dutiful etc etc kidlet.

/s/ Roman

Editor's Note [December 2004]: written at Camp Stoneman, CA