Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Sunday, 7 October 1945
Dear Aunty Clara,
This is going to be a rush letter so that I can finish it before eleven bells. I didn't write yesterday because of one thing or another and then today I just took a vacation from the office and work or no work, I decided I wasn't going to touch my desk which I haven't done all day long, although as the evening wore on and I came back from the show (yes, I took in "The Big Sleep") I found I still had time to come up and bang out a few lines and call it a day. I needed a day free from work even though I may have to work twice as hard tomorrow trying to catch up on what I got behind on today. In fact I think that from now on, unless it is an extraordinary emergency, I'm going to take my Sunday's off for what they were meant and that is to do nothing.
By the way, I read the story of Porgy today on which Gershwin based his opera Porgy and Bess. It is a tragic story and it so easily could have had a happy ending rather than the sordid note it ended upon. But even in the reading of the story you can feel the pulse, beat and rhythm of the negro and Gershwin must have felt it in terms of actual song such as Summertime, It Ain't Necessarily So, Porgy and Bess and I Got Plenty of Nothing. Also today, by fortunate coincidence, I heard over the radio a selection from the opera itself.
This evening I went to the show to see The Look and herman. It was a good picture "The Big Sleep" and I was glad that I went to see it.
We woke up this morning in the wee hours to hear the fourth game of the World Series and needless to say, I was disappointed in having the Cubs drop it. I sure hope they can pull through today or rather tomorrow morning because if they don't I'm afraid they won't be able to win two straight to take the series. But, gosh those two teams are fighting the series just the way they won their respective pennants by nip and tuck battles right down to the finish line.
Say, Captain Hanton has left. They cut the orders on him yesterday afternoon and one of the things which kept me working late yesterday was getting his records ready to go since Garriss is too busy with his Morning Reports to get officer stuff out. Anyway, it was only fitting that I was the one to put the finishing touches to Captain Hanton's army career with the Engineers since didn't I become one of this aides away back in Camp White? I don't care if I ever see him again in my lifetime but doesn't it seem funny to see them all going one by one both officers and enlisted men after such a long period of association with them. After the many run ins Hanton and I had with each other, it was surprising to me to find that I was included in the list of fellows he wanted the home addresses of. Among that list of his "friends" were Mersing, Sackett, Lewis, Reedy, Davis, Emery and myself.
Rumors are flying thick and fast that we have been completely removed from the Sixth Army "Blacklist" (Blacklist means units slated for immediate movement to Japan) and coming on top of our being taken off the alert and all that, it seems to have an element of truth in it, although it is still strictly and unconfirmed rumor. Gosh, Aunty Clara, I've got to get home soon. Each day is perceptibly getting to be a little longer that its predecessor in spite of all I try to do to keep myself engrossed and forgetful of the passage of time.
While it doesn't seem very probable that I will be home for Christmas, it still is not outside the realm of the possible for once I'd reach the States, the processing time would be under one week and since we fellows in the 60 point bracket become eligible for return in November, you would think that within 50 days thereafter some sort of action will be taken.
But then I get gloomy all over again when I see these high point men and the over thirty-fives still sitting around here with no action being taken on them. Will I be glad when everyone with 70 points and over are cleared out of here and the next orders are going to include the survivors of the November 1942 fillers of the 353 Engrs.
By the way, I had another surprise yesterday afternoon when who should walk in on me but Mike Nyalka. They are in the V Corps of the Sixth Army and are up at Lingayen fully packed and ready to shove off for Sasebo, that is the Colonel (Trower) and his Group Headquarters. That is the first time I've seen Mike since leaving Guadalcanal although he did send down a message to me for some forms when we were all in Manila. It is a small world when you stop to think about that the 353 began splitting up away down there in the Dumbea Valley in New Caledonia and since then we have constantly been meeting and re-meeting fellows all the way up thru the Canal, Batangas, Manila and now even in Paniqui. The 353 is the luckiest of them all, they are under the Eighth Army and have already released their high point and over age men.
That is about all for now except I have been receiving your mail in good fashion right along but never have it around with me when I'm answering or writing you letters to you. The latest I believe was the one I received this afternoon dated the 29th of September.
The waterproofing job they did on our tent last Friday was given its first test today and it passed remarkably well EXCEPT FOR ONE SPOT and that spot was directly over my bed. I do not relish the thought of sleeping in it tonight because the cot is soaking wet, the mosquito bar is wringing wet and should it rain at any time during the night I'm going to be wet. WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAPPEN TO ME (OR IS THAT AN OLD REFRAIN?).
Enclosed are some pictures which Ike Moreno took and which I am sending to you for printing. I'm only in one of the pictures, the one of three fellows standing outside the side entrance to the Battalion Headquarters. He wants three sets for himself and I would like one set for the collection of pictures back home because he has some good shots of the street along side our camp here in the provinces. I only wish I could get some of the shots that were taken by the guys down in the monastery but I haven't been able to do so.