February 4th and 7th, 1943. A few letters from Dad to home. Dad has guard duty on the 4th. It consists of running the elevator from 10 PM to midnight. He admits that it is an easier assignment than having to guard around the buildings like some of the other guys have to do. Of his duty he says, “I ran the elevator from the 1st to the 13th floor for two hours. I’m in the Air Force, you know, and the elevator is as far as I have gotten to an airplane.”
He also mentions that in upcoming entertainment news “Lily Pons will be here on Sunday, Feb 14 to sing songs requested by the soldiers. Andrez Kostelanez, her husband, will conduct the soldiers in an orchestra. I probably will see them if I do not get shipped to school.” This is the first mention we get that Dad might be assigned to another location.
Dad tells Anna that he received her letter as well as the one from Eddie. He encourages Eddie to, “Keep on writing even if you have to use a dictionary.” He concedes to Eddie’s point that, “I can readily see how Albany can be deserted. That is one good thing about the army. You see plenty of fellows your age…” He also references the idea of Stanley visiting from his post in Oxford, MS as, “it involves a lot of getting around but should we not see each other I am sure that we will both emerge alive from this conflict and see each other for the rest of our lives.” In reaction to the news of Theresa-Marie’s teeth starting to come in, “I pity anyone who pokes his or her finger in her mouth.”
In his letter of the 7th he references the idea of sending coconuts home. It seems he did some research and found that it would cost about 65 cents to get one in the store and mail it. He has also learned that the best deals on are at the P.X. on base reporting that he can get aspirin for 11 cents (15 cents off base) and a pocket flashlight for 55 cents (79 cents off base). He tells that he saw the Don Cossacks perform under the direction of Serge Jaroff and also saw the movie “The Meanest Man in the World” with Jack Benny and Priscilla Lane.
He continues his rifle training and mentions that “Tomorrow we go to the rifle range to shoot guns. We had practice in using slings and different firing positions as well as lining up sights. Our lecture fields are small lots located among civilian homes and lawns. By the way, the rifles are Eddystone 1917 model (English). They are good training equipment.”
He mentions that “I am stacking up quite a bit of correspondence from you all and I guess I shall dispose of it by mailing same to you.” I’m really glad he did.