20 May 1943

Dear Aunty Clara:

The last letter I wrote to you was dated 19 May 1943. In the past two days I have received no letters.

The Coca Cola machine went on the blink yesterday and the panting office continued to pant until the repair man fixed it. Nyalka tossed Wanner (the Sgt Fialas know) to see who would buy the cokes. Mike lost and he bought 25 cokes for as many people.

Two more pocket books were added to my collection. That makes a total of five. The two latest are anthologies: one of detective stories and the other of a novel, short stories, poetry and quiz questions. The PX as yet does not sell the better books of the series.

We cut a stencil with the names and addresses of all the wives of the regiment. In case a husband is not heard from for some time, the wife can contact another wife to see what's what. I thought of sending you one but on second thought it didn't seem worth the trouble.

The letter thus far has been a condensation of one I wrote last night. I'm trying to say as much in less space. That way shorter letters will say as much as the longer ones.

I had the usual PX malted milks yesterday but wasn't in the mood for them. It's about time we switched to sundaes or flavored drinks. The only trouble is that the PX's and Service Club in this camp do not serve those things.

Ray, Tommy, Jimmy, George and my Dad are all on my mailing list but something always turns up when I decide to write to them. The Army Institute letter is also hanging fire.

Probably the same attitude for life and the lackadaisical feeling of the 'two-bitses' people have invaded my soul. One gets that way out here.

Joke: If this letter had a title it could be fittingly called, "Period, Paragraph".

If it wasn't for the windiness of this place, it wouldn't be so bad. The sun warms up the place during the daytime to such an extent that a person could get a swell sunburn. The hills in this section of the country are odd in that they are almost free of trees. After coming from a region in which the hills are forested and snow topped, it is odd to notice the contrast.

By the way, have you heard from Marty and Virginia recently?

Did you read your copy of the Reader's Digest? If you happened to notice the story on A. Woollcott, you probably have discovered that it was for his own personality that the play The Man Who Came To Dinner was written. He has (or rather had, for he is dead) an amazing Sheridan Whitesidish character.

I finished the story about the flying fortresses but did not find it as entertaining as the first section which appeared in the April issue.

It just dawned on me that May 26 is Tommy's birthday. I will have to get busy and answer his letter and it will act in lieu of a birthday card.

Incidentally, Eleanor Angsten's birthday is June 26 and Dolores's on Sept 8. I hope that when those days come around, I will have remembered to at least send them a letter.

/s/ Roman

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