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I Hope to Amount to Something

Posted by on April 4, 2017

June 18 and 24, 1945: Dad writes two letters home from Guam. He acknowledges that he received two letters that his mother wrote to him dated May 6 and 13 in reply to a letter that he wrote her on April 17 while he was on the troop ship headed to the islands. He comments, “I wish to thank ma very much for the nice way ma has written to me. I think ma is doing a better job at it than I am. I hope to write to ma in Polish as soon as I get cleared through channel s around here.” He also comment that the received “three post cards from Stanley dated 3 May 45. It shows scenes of where he was on 3-day pass.” Dad also received a letter from his mom dated the third of June which was sent to his most current APO address. Apparently the package containing some candy and t-shirts that he requested, which was sent at the same time as the June third letter, is still in transit.

He mentions that he saw the movie Girl Crazy “and enjoyed listening to Judy Garland, especially to her singing of ‘But Not for Me.’ That’s the song that stuck with me at McCook, Nebraska one night when I was out with my pal McCormick.” If the mention of the movie Girl Crazy seems familiar it is because Dad mentioned seeing it in late October 1943 while stationed at Topeka.

Dad also provides a glimpse as to how he is getting along with his tentmates. “Last night the three of us…didn’t have much to do so we told each other hair-raising stories, something to scare you, just as if we needed that around here, before going to bed. One of the pals of mine has taken up astrology as a hobby and can tell stories like ma used to when we were little, and he throws in several astro-bodies for good measure… We get along fine.”

On the 24th, Dad is still waiting for his package to arrive. In the meantime he writes that they had a storm come through that was “…quite a downpour. The water comes in at one side of the tent and leaves through the other. It don’t bother us as we’ve got everything off the ground and I sort of get a kick out of it. …we have installed a flooring where we walk so if water comes into the tent we keep dry.” In a joking reference to a family friend who is in the Navy, Dad writes, “If I see Joe Miller floating on his ship through our tent I’ll write you about it.”  

As far as continuing education opportunities, Dad writes that he “put in for another correspondence course. This time I’m taking up solid geometry and plan on following it up with trigonometry. One of these days I hope to amount to something.”

In response to a comment in Anna’s letter about Terry praying for him, Dad writes, “Thanks Terry a lot for praying for me as I do appreciate it. One of these days I hope to get back and help her thank the Lord for granting her wishes. Our Group Commander, when embarking with us on this trip, informed us we had a round trip ticket and I hope he’s right.”

Before wrapping up, Dad writes a little more about life at Northwest Field. “We get 8 cans of tomato juice a week which is darn good. It comes in handy about the middle part of the afternoon. Most of the time our chow is O.K. …A brand new dog showed up at our mess hall yesterday and so it goes on. With all the trees around here, the dogs around here must be the envy of all the other dogs in the United States. So far my social life here has consisted of chameleons and lizards.  …We have some bird life here. The other day I heard a fellow remark, ‘What strange birds they have around here.’”

Before signing off he writes, “Seems as though I’ve run out of words, so, on a fine Sunday morning as this, sunny but cool and breezy from the sea, God bless you all until we hear from each other again.”

And until you hear from me again, I leave you with Judy Garland’s performance of But Not for Me from Girl Crazy.

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