19 May 1943
Dear Aunty Clara:
I did not write a letter yesterday. The last letter I wrote was written on 17 May 1943.
My collection of pocket sized books is growing: In addition to the book I have already mentioned and the dictionary which I contemplated buying, I now have a book of verse. Strange as it may seem, I value the book of verse all the more because I have read and am familiar with most of the poems in it. It is more or less like a condensation of that huge book of English poetry.
Blumenfeld and I went to another of the USO shows produced by Camp Shows, Inc. They meant well but it wasn't much to talk about. It was an orchestra --- Dick Rogers and a girl singer. They were much too loud and did not come close to the 'sweet with a beat' rhythm of Ralph Barlow and there just wasn't any comparison to them and any of the top flight bands. The moment the band blared forth, we regretted having wasted the time by even coming to hear them. Of course, it may be a matter of taste --- what one person dislikes another can like tremendously.
I finally finished the second part of "Queens Die Proud" in the Reader's Digest. Two months have passed since I read the first section of that story. One effect it had on me this time was that I spent the night dreaming about planes. Gosh, that is the life to be up in one of those beauties. How about taking that airplane trip to see Aunt-Aunt, you haven't mentioned in a return letter whether you would or wouldn't.
Yesterday was a peculiar day at the office. One minute we would be busier than bees and the next minute we would sit around without a thing to do. Then, before you could bat an eye, some double rush work would come up and we would all be busier than before. I never saw anything like it. The amount of work we did was a full day's job at normal speed; but with the spurts and jumps we did it in, we had a broken record of work.
Late last night we heard a shouting sound. It was Ray Gradler talking in his sleep. They tell me he kept it up for twenty minutes. All his words were clear, distinct and loud. They were too loud, in fact, and he was finally awakened so that the disturbance would cease. Nevertheless, when he was fully awake, the fellows asked him what type of work he did before he came into the army and if he had friends by such and such names etcetera. Ray was actually amazed to hear them giving him information which he thought was his own personal knowledge. It was hard for him to believe that he revealed all that thru sleep-talking.
Editor's Note [December 2004]: written at Camp Stoneman, CA