July 23, 24 and 28, 1943. A few letters from Dad in Topeka, Kansas to the family back home in Albany. Dad is looking forward to his furlough (his first since being inducted at the beginning of the year) and he is starting to make preparations to head home. He is planning to leave either the first Friday or Saturday in August. The plan is to “take the Rock Island from Topeka to Chicago and the NYCRR from Chicago to Albany.” He notes that he will only be home for a week and hopes to “make the most of it.”
Weather on the base is hot with highs averaging 96 degrees. Dad reports that he is busy but not as much as his brother and that he does “filing, and keeps things up to date like the catalogs.” During free time “We walk around our barrack in shorts as the heat is terrific.” He notes that “time isn’t exactly dragging like it did when I first came in the Army. Perhaps it is because I am busy all day in the office and just don’t seem to have enough time to finish all the work I have in the office.”
They have discontinued CQ duty in the barracks, but every so often Dad is called upon for his turn at CQ in the headquarters building. The shift is normally from 5 PM to 8 AM the next morning and it affords him a great opportunity to catch up on his correspondence.
Dad takes some time to thank his nine month old niece for “that marvelous letter she typed out.” He goes on “If she can run a typewriter now, she should be able to do magnificently on the piano…” He also asks how the baby made out with the summer thunderstorms that are rolling through Albany. In response to the news that Eddie is teaching baby Terry to walk, Dad writes, “I liked that description of Eddie in comparison to Terry as they walk around the floor in the house. I think it is a good way that Eddie is teaching Terry to walk by rhythm such as one, two, three, four as…she will be able to understand the timing in music or singing at an earlier age.”
Dad notes a little detail about life on the base in his letter of the 28th. “Some soldiers around here have their wives come around with their children. When I look at the babies I think of Theresa-Marie. After work hours this camp is loaded with sweethearts.”
Dad is not beyond a little joking around. In reacting to the news that his sister had to take some shots at the doctors he writes, “You…should be overseas by now after getting all those shots in the arm. Since the one shot I got at the beginning of my term at Savanna Ordnance School I haven’t had any more.” Turning a bit serious, he wishes “When Hitler gets caught finally, he ought to be given a shot for every soldier drafted.”