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Anything Can Happen in Kansas

Posted by on February 9, 2016

May 1 and 5, 1944: Dad writes two brief letters home from Topeka Army Air Base where he is assigned to the 270 AAF Base Unit (SW).

In reaction to a letter from Anna which mentioned that their cousin Eddie Morawski was awarded a Purple Heart and would be home for a visit soon, Dad writes, “It sure will be fine for Eddie to get around to seeing his folks…after more than a year of absence. If Vincent is lucky enough to have his sick leave coincide with Eddie’s furlough, it sure would be a good break for both of them.”   

He also writes that “The barracks are getting rather empty in as much as there is an NCO dance and party at Meadow Acres, which is an equivalent of what the Edgewood used to be at East Greenbush. Although I hardly dance, I guess I’ll just get a hold of some girl around here and get to see some of these affairs. She’ll have a boring evening, no doubt. I’ll betcha when you’re reading this part of the letter mama is beginning to worry.”

Although the weather was warm on the first, he writes on the fifth that it is a “cold day” and “we had snow flurries this noon… Overcoats are in fashion. Anything can happen in Kansas.”

Dad also gets into storytelling mode. He offers, “Let me give you a description of a fellow, Al K—-, who practically comes every evening drunk at 12:00 o’clock at night into the barracks. Last night he talked to himself, swore at the Axis, then went over to Whitman’s bed and was waking him up calling him ‘Which Man’. Then he went around waking up some other people offering them potato ‘schlips’ (chips) of which he had a boxful. After getting through swearing at himself he got ahold of the sweeping brush and began sweeping up the barracks at 12:00 o’clock in the dark. Then when he got through, he throws the sweeping brush in the middle of the barracks. Then he went to ‘Which Man’ and tried to engage him in a conversation asking him to give him a ‘shex’ (sex) morality lecture. After that he decided to go to bed, no doubt, the next installment due tonight when he gets back from the squadron party.”  

After that he wraps up with “I believe I will go to the squadron party and see what goes on, and probably drink some beer, but not to get drunk. Thanks for your letter and excuse my short note in as much as I don’t have much to write about. That’s about all. God bless all of you.”

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