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What Drunkenness Will Do

Posted by on November 22, 2014

June 30 and July 2, 1943. Two letters home from Dad. Dad reflects on a few things from the latest letter from home. One is how his niece, who has just turned eight months old, “doesn’t like older people unless they are like mama and daddy who associate with her often and toward whom she has developed confidence.” He reflects on his own experience growing up. “I never did actually like old people when I was a small kid on Second Street, but what could you do when they would wrap you in their arms and make out they were loving you while they were actually suffocating you…”

He also comments on news of his mother’s recent dental work. “I am sure that when mama finally goes to the dentist for the last time she will feel a lot better just to know that she doesn’t have to go to him anymore. I just don’t see where mama gets all these abscesses from when only a short while ago when Dr. Gorski took X-rays of mama’s teeth they were supposed to have been in good shape. May God give her more strength so she can survive all this pain.”

As far as things in the office, the relationship with his boss is “getting friendlier every day…” Dad also reports that his was put up for Corporal and “if I get it, I think me and the Sgt. will be getting along a little better.” He has been told that the promotion was approved and he expects the rating to come through “any day now”.  He thanks his sister for her prayers and assures her that he keeps her in his prayers as well.

Dad’s new boss, Sgt. Mann, is due “within a day or so” and his current boss is expected to move on to another assignment. He is looking forward to Sgt. Mann’s arrival expecting that he will “be able to get rid of a lot of work” even if the short term calls for “rearranging the old setup of books, catalogs and files.”

He still hasn’t heard anything about his application to ASTP. He gives some indication of what may lie ahead: “I have been with this Wing for about 2 months and I believe when you are with it 6 months you can start thinking about some vast expanses of water… although others might have other ideas, saying we are different and won’t see the other side, but others have gone before us.”  

Letterhead from Topeka Army Air Base.

Letterhead from Topeka Army Air Base.

He reports that the entire floor of his barracks has been “restricted for a week starting July 1st. It happened when the fellows came in late at night after celebrating payday. They decorated up the barracks with toilet paper using up a roll or two. They surely decorated it as it were for Christmas They strung it up from one end up the barracks to the other in the middle of the aisle. Then around 6:30 AM the 1st Sgt. happened to come in and see the boys and there was toilet paper unrolled all around the barracks and so we were restricted. That goes to show you what drunkenness will do.”   

In other news:

  • The mid-summer weather in Topeka has taken a turn to the chilly side. “For the last two days …we slept under two blankets. Yesterday we walked around in our jackets, but today it is getting quite warm, and tomorrow it probably will be as hot as we had it before.”
  • He saw Stage Door Canteen starring Catherine Hepburn at the base theater and is looking forward to seeing Jitterbugs with Laurel and Hardy when it plays in the next few days.
  • He is also sending home some sales tax tokens which he received in his travels through Denver and Salt Lake City.

He signs off, “…when I have more to say I will add a P.S. to this letter. God Bless You! And may he guide and protect you!”

The sign-off and P.S. from Dad's letter dated July 2, 1943. Along with the letter he sent home sales tax tokens from Colorado and Utah.

The sign-off and P.S. from Dad’s letter dated July 2, 1943. Along with the letter he sent home sales tax tokens from Colorado and Utah.

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