September 15 and 19, 1943. A couple of letters home from Dad while stationed in Topeka. Both letters seem to have been written in the evening while he was relaxing in the barracks with the radio on. The programming that he mentions on the radio includes Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster in the “Phantom of the Opera” (apparently a preview of the movie of the same name which is slated for release in Mid October), and Manhattan Merry-go-Round, a radio show that ran from 1932 to 1949 which simulated visits to various night clubs and featured current popular music performed by an in house orchestra and stable of vocalists.
Dad writes a follow-up to prior comments on a fast pulse that was picked up during a physical exam. “I was called to go to the Flight Surgeon’s office yesterday in regard to my fast pulse and he asked me about my work and all that kind of stuff. He wanted to know if I did any heavy work and I felt like telling him I would prefer to do so instead of wracking my brains out over office work. Shucks, it ain’t nothing but nervousness of the mind in my estimation. If my mind is at ease and occupied, I don’t have time for nervousness, and I’ll let it go at that.”
As far as the weather in Topeka, Dad says that “Labor Day down here was very cold and we still have cold weather…but we generally work up enough heat…during morning calisthenics.” He then goes on to note, “They have done away with calisthenics in this squadron and play touch football or volleyball.”
Dad also comments on some of the current events of the day:
- “I heard about the 20th Century Limited wreck and it seems that that news was outflanked by that Philadelphia train wreck in radio news and newspapers around this vicinity.”
- As far as the progress of the war in Italy, “It’s almost anybody’s guess as to when the Germans will quit Italy and when they eventually will be beaten. We are far from winning it unless something rotten happens inside Germany. Otherwise it will be a long war.”
In reply to some of the comments about the toy shortage in Anna’s recent letter, Dad writes, “The more you pay for childrens toys, the less they seem to like them. They seem to find enjoyment with non-sensical things such as pipes, tin cans, and door stops and pencils.” In Anna’s previous letter she wrote about her husband Eddie buying some outdoor gear. Dad picks up on that too, writing “Eddie sure has bought enough equipment for outdoor life. All he needs is ‘left face’, ‘right face’ and ‘forward march’ and he will be a one man army.”
Dad signs off, “…until I think of more interesting things to write, God Bless You All.”