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The Rag Was Up

Posted by on June 14, 2016

August 10 and 19, 1944, Stanley writes two letters to Dad from Deenethorpe. Summertime is in full swing in England. But even though it is hot, he writes, “I haven’t seen anyone get a sunburn over here yet.” It’s been so hot that when he wakes up in the morning his is often “wet from perspiration.”

As usual, he spends a good bit of time taking in movies including The Fallen Sparrow and Weekend Pass. He also writes that he went out on the town and saw two English movies (or as the British say “went to the flicks”); Let George Do It and Let Us Have the Moon.  “In between the two movies we ate supper at the Red Cross Club in Kettering… On our way back to camp we stopped at one pub, as they call them here. Sounds kind of couture, eh? Well since it was so hot we figured a glass of English beer would cool us off a little. Well, we got there and asked of the fellow if they had any beer there and the fellow said no because the rag was up. I wondered for a minute what in the world he meant by that statement. Later I found out that when a pub is sold out of beer they hang up the bar rag on a hook above the bar which means they have no beer on hand.”

As he often does, Stanley shares a few jokes. One is a joke that was told at a GI show that was held on the base. “There was a woman on a beach with a two piece swimming suit. When she got into the water the top part of the suit gave way and fell off and disappeared. She right away crossed her hands over her breasts. One little boy was walking along when he spotted her and said, ‘Lady, if you’re going to drown those puppies won’t you give me the one with the red nose?’”

He shares another joke that he read in the Stars and Stripes. “It is about how the French cheered when the allies rolled into a French city. As each tank rolled by the crowds, the people lining the sidewalks would read aloud the name stenciled on the front and shout it to those in the rear. ‘Vive Bordeaux!’ they shouted and the cheer went up. ‘Vive Lorraine!’ Another cheer. Somewhere along the route a GI supply truck had slipped into the convoy. Stenciled on the radiator was the familiar sign ‘Prestone 1943’ indicating the Prestone had been put in the cooling system. ‘Vive Le Prestone’ shouted the crowd wildly.”    

Finally, Stanley tells that the tried to get a letter to “Cousin Ed Morawski while he was in the South Pacific on 7 November 1943.” Apparently the letter never caught up with Eddie as Stanley was left to wonder “why he never answered the communication.” It seems that Stanley got the letter back on August 15, 1944. As he comments. “Now I know the answer why. It took nine months exactly before I got it back. …I don’t know why he never got it, unless in all his travels and troubles they could not keep up with him. They probably didn’t know where in the world he was.”


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