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Don’t Forget Our Code

Posted by on May 9, 2014

April 9 and 12, 1943. Two letters from Stanley to Dad. Spring has come to Ephrata. “The last two or three day were pretty nice and hot outside. There are no trees on the base, the nearest trees are in Ephrata, and those the people must have planted themselves. The cherry trees are in full bloom in Ephrata.”

Things continue to swirl around Stanley in the office.  He is working on deadline to get the regular payroll for the month all typed up. “It has to be in by the 15th in order to be paid on the 30th of the month. I got as far as typing only 3 pages all day. Everyone kept bobbing in pestering me about the payroll and what not.”

He continues, “I’ve been working like a horse in the office trying to straighten things so I could get the payroll typed up. You type it in 4 copies and every time you erase you have to have the adjutant initial the place the error was.”

In his April 9th letter he gives an indication that he will be on the move soon. “This morning the Lieutenant told me he was going and I was going to start a new squadron group in about 2 or 3 months overseas. The only thing you can do is take life as it comes.” In the meantime it looks like he will be making another move before going overseas. “Someone said they postponed shipment until first of May. I guess we will go out on the 15th. I am pretty sure we will go to Great Falls, Montana. Don’t tell anyone, will you.” By the time he writes his letter on the 12th “shipping was postponed indefinitely.”

Then something interesting comes up in the letter. “Now don’t forget our code we formed together. Every second sentence the beginning letter will be the code letter no matter if it starts a new paragraph. Is that agreeable? I wrote you one or two letters already.”

For diversions, “Today (April 9) I went into town and saw ‘Mr. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.’ This Sun, Mon & Tues is ‘George Washington Slept Here’ with Jack Benny and Anne Sheridan. His April 12th letter contains his review of the Jack Benny film, “It wasn’t bad but I expected more.”

Lobby Card Art for George Washington Slept Here starring Anne Sheridan and Jack Benny. Image credit:

Lobby Card Art for George Washington Slept Here starring Anne Sheridan and Jack Benny. Image credit:

So, now we’ve learned that there is a secret code between the brothers. That makes me go “Hmmm.” I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle a decoding project at this point.

On another note, the reference to “George Washington Slept Here” made me laugh. I happened to see it on TCM last year. They plot revolves around a New York City couple buying an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania. For those of my generation, it’s probably the movie the early Tom Hanks film The Money Pit was based on, but with a patriotic twist for wartime America. Anyway, at one point in the movie, the Jack Benny character is driving in the country with his wife and mentions that they are driving on “…the Old York Road, and not too far away Washington crossed the Delaware.” It was kind of cool to see an obvious Bucks County reference in the film.

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