Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Wednesday, 26 September 1945
Dear Aunty Clara,
The question of the hour might well be along the lines of that song, "What is to become of this, this love of mine?" The cause for that is, believe it or not, I have a tentative date for Saturday night with a Filipino girl who lives across the road from the office.
It isn't a long story, it all took place so quickly and here it is. I've known this girl for several weeks now as a nodding acquaintance which means when I come down to the office in the afternoon or in the evening I'll smile across the road at her and her whole family smiles back at me, then again everytime we pile on the trucks of a convoy out in the road I'll wave to her and say hello and she will do likewise in a Filipino fashion.
So tonight Bob Stone is heckling me to go to the dance and then between him and Lt. Kuras telling me how any of the Flips go to the dances when you ask them to, I said I would give it a try and Bob and I went across the road to see her. Her name, incidentally, is Lolita. She said at first that she didn't know but would be able to answer me Friday night. She asks the permission of her mother and father first before she goes anyplace. Then too, (watta good gal) she says she won't dance but would rather just watch. With my famous dancing ability I am tempted to say, "If you like."
Anyhoo, tomorrow evening I go to find out what the story is. Yes or no.
It doesn't matter much to me though whether or not if she goes because I'm not too hot on wasting time at a dance.
Incidentally, I seem to be wasting a considerable amount of time these evenings in getting started on a night shift and the work is piling up. I need an assistant or something. No kidding today, Hipp, Kuras and myself worked on the paper work involved in changing Hopkins over from an enlisted man to an officer and it still isn't completed. And because of the fact that the day was killed in that manner, the routine work piled higher in the desk and I just know that I'm not even going to make very much headway with it this evening.
Meanwhile the clerks can't keep up with all the work they have to do and are accumulating a powerful backlog of unfinished business. There is one job alone which is going to take time and that is inserting the applications for life insurance back into the service records. Just to go through the enlisted man's folder, take out the insurance form and insert it in the Service Record takes time and preparing information copies on those that are missing takes still more time so that in the end it could very well prove to be an all day job.
Besides that they must get out the letters discharging (or rather requesting discharge) for the men 35 years of age and over. They have to prepare a roster of all the men by the number of discharge points they have with such data as their age, rank and job included and that alone is several hours work. Then comes the big slow ups, namely the morning reports and the preparing records to go out. I wish we would get out of here and on our way to Japan. At least during our voyage up there we wouldn't have a single thing to do - at least the Pers Sgt Mjr doesn't have a thing to do on board boat.
I slept very poorly last night as I went to bed with my mind occupied with the paper work which has or had to be done in connection with Hopkins and all night long I twisted and tossed just thinking of office work over and over again until when I woke up in the morning I was groggy. Right now I'm very tired and am yawning considerably - with a huge amount of work yet to be done.
Anthony Quinn is kind of peeved at me - he's the switchboard operator - because after letting him waste a half hour of my time gabbing to me about something that is ancient history from Camp White, I refused to stop typing this letter when he came up to me again with a long-winded yarn about something else. If I were to stop I'd just sit here at the desk doing nothing until he finished talking and I just haven't got that kind of time to throw away.
Your letters of the 7th and 8th of September arrived today. Gosh that is too bad that the clock had to go on the blink now that the war is over. It probably has the GI's attitude that it served you faithful throughout the duration and now was the time for it to be readjusted.
Of all the interruptions, now they are playing "Rhapsody In Blue" and I can't concentrate on letter writing with that on the air waves.
Please Aunty Clara let's get our hopes down to a normal basis (although I suppose wishful thinking is the norm back home in the States these days). A near miracle would have to happen to get me home by Christmas although we do joke about it here in the office. A Christmas PX catalogue came through Message Center today and it has some of the best stuff the army has ever offered and Bill Kirwin and I say in a very serious manner, "Darn it, here the army puts out some of the best Christmas gifts yet and we will be forced to do our Christmas shopping in Marshall Field's this year." Of course that draws the guffaws of anybody in the vicinity. People are becoming more than slightly embittered over (1) the delay in getting men home and (2) in our excessive delay in this temporary location in Paniqui. They won't admit it but most of them would just as soon be sitting on board the LST's on the way to Japan rather than sitting around here.
Other activities which I might touch upon are the prospective baseball game between the office force and the officers this Sunday in Paniqui Square. There is an amateur night going on in the show house right now with Lts Suiter and Kuras being two of the judges.
I never really told you about the show house did I? When we came into this campsite, we were surprised to find right in the very center of it a bamboo and canvas construction building with seats built in and a balcony up above for the projectionist and the officers. In spite of the fact, however, that we moved into an area already built up for troop use, we have already made quite a few improvements which it seems startling that the original occupants never bothered about such as building small bridges over the drainage ditches and also grading and widening the ditches so they are capable of taking the downpour.
Now I've got a date to go out to Lynd's farm and help him out during my vacation next year. He lives in Coldwater, Michigan and says you get to his house by going thru the town and turning right at the hospital then traveling three and a half miles until you reach it. I'm wondering if I will ever see any of these fellows after the war and if I do if I will find their houses from their directions without inquiring further?
Say, the Cubs did alright by themselves by copping the single game with the Cards today to move 2½ games ahead of the Redbirds. They broadcast the game over the radio this noon. Now if they can get the next one the pennant will be on ice. As it is now, even if the Cards do win the remaining game with the Cubs the Chicago boys will still have an edge of 1½ games which will loom up bigger and bigger each day. But in baseball you never know until the last man is out and the called third strike ending the game is held by the catcher whose ballgame or pennant it is going to be. Everyone is confident that the Cubs are it.
I'm going to hang onto this letter and mail it tomorrow as I told you I would do from now on.