June 28th and 30th 1943. Stanley writes two letters to Dad from Geiger Field in Washington State. The 28th is Dad’s 20th birthday. It is about 10:20 at night as Stanley writes and sends his greetings. He acknowledges that he heard from Anna that several of the neighbors back in Albany were contacted for background checks on Dad. He expresses his hope that “everything comes out for the best.”
He has enclosed with the letter several pictures that were taken at Ephrata before his squadron went out on bivouac. He asks that Dad send them on to Anna when he is done looking at them.
Stanley offers his brother some encouragement as he is dealing with a boss that is making things difficult. Stanley says that Dad’s boss is probably “bucking” to get a First Sergeant rating. He also encourages Dad to pursue ASTP if he is selected; knowing that for himself anything other than his assigned duties is probably not in the cards.
On the 30th he writes that the weather is getting warmer and that they are wearing their suntans almost every day. He also mentioned that he has seen a few movies in the last few days, including Captive Wild Woman (“ghastly to watch”) and Holiday Inn. He says about Holiday Inn “It sure is a good picture and it sure makes you feel good and happy. It is a picture that hits the right spot. …first time I’ve seen a good musical in a long time.” He also notes that the movie includes the song White Christmas.
News has gotten to him that one of the fellows back in Ephrata accidently shot himself while fooling around with a pistol that still had a round in the chamber. “He showed that if you pointed under the chin of someone and pulled the trigger you could kill someone. Well the bullets were on a clip and he put the clip in and then took the clip out. They say that when you take the clip off the bullet goes into the chamber. After taking the clip off he pulled the trigger and killed himself. It sure is a lousy way to fool around with a gun. It was an accident but it would have been avoided if they…did not fool around with the pistol.”
On the lighter side, he has included a page from The Journal, which is the base paper. He draws Dad’s attention to some pictures of Patrice Munsel, a local Spokane girl who came to the base to sing for the soldiers. Miss Munsel would go on to become the youngest person ever to star in a production at the Metropolitan Opera in NY. Eventually she would star in The Patrice Munsel Show on the ABC television network in 1957.
In other news:
• Stanley expects that they will be moving again soon. “This time I think it is Great Falls, Montana”
• They had a group review, but Stanley was able to stay in the office to get work done rather than march with the rest of the men.
• Stanley heard over the radio about the possibility of an invasion occurring on July 3rd or 4th , commenting “I guess fourth of July would be an appropriate day to attack.”
He signs off, “Well, that is enough of that. God bless you again.”
I leave you with two video clips. The first is a 2008 video tribute to Patrice Munsel from the Spokesman Review in Spokane Washington:
…and here is a clip of Patrice Munsel singing The Italian Street Song on the Texaco Star Theater in 1951: