Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: June 22nd 1943
To
Bernince
From
Frances
Letter

JUNE 22, 1943

Dear Bernice:

I'm hot, h-o-t. If I don't go out in the sun, though, it's not too bad. Our quarters are quite cool. Rosie is on night duty, so we have to be very quiet. The other occupant of the room is off duty this a.m. too. There just seems to be nothing else to do but go to bed. That is not hard for me to do, and believe it or not, I really go to sleep. We had a few inner spring mattresses allotted to us, plus some spreads. There were not enough for all, so we drew names. We all three drew the [?] spreads, but only one the mattress, and that wasn't me. I got it however. Caroline can sleep at any time, at any place, and on anything, so she wanted me to have the good mattress. She is a very fine girl, not only because of that, either. Rosie likes to go to bed early at night, and then talks in her sleep steadily from then on. It's funny to hear her in the day time doing it too. I could crown her at night when she wakes me up. Sometimes she leans over and really calls me. She yells for help, and tries to get out from under her mosquito net from all directions. 'Come and get me out,' says she. The night rather than the day is dawning when I'll be on. Going on, so I hear (one is always hearing things in this army), a week from tonight. A job I don't crave. Night supervisor. Too much responsibility. I would rather delve in on the wards. There is more fun, and one feels as though they were doing something worth while. Against it goes like this: 'Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do or die.'

I received your fifth (May 18th) airmail last week. Better write me a good regular one soon. Send it airmail, and I'll receive it quicker. You didn't yet tell me if you had to pay on my airmail. I really would like to know, as I can just as easily put more postage on. You sure can get the news in a short space, though. You asked me if your letters were photographed. No, they are not, as they are just regular airmail. The ones you receive as such from me are regular V-mail, so are photographed. They have a preference. They prefer us to send those, as they save space on plane or ship. They go over twenty four hundred letters on film, and are developed on t'other side and sent on. I don't care for them, for as you say one is conscious all the time of saving space, and just really get going when the end of the paper looms up. I was very interested in what the girls, especially June, want to do. I'm sorry she has such a fervor for school teaching, as there isn't any money in that-especially with her education. I really had hoped of her being a dental hygienist. She will probably marry early anyway, and I'm all for it. This old maid business, when one gets older, is not so hot. I'll admit there is a great deal of satisfaction in being independent. Janis, I know, has the Charman school marm blood right in her.

I sure wish it would rain here. It did look like it in the early a.m. the last couple of days, but old Sol came out true to form. Haven't had a bit of rain since February. It rains in seasons here, and when it rains, it rains. Like my father would say, 'When I hate, I hate.' It's surprising how everything grows so well. I noticed when the scorched earth, as it were, was turned over it's really quite damp underneath. It must be from the dampness and coolness at night. I had an all-day off last week. Caroline and I had a chance to go to another city, about fifty miles away. The ride there was lovely-saw hills, whereas it's quite flat here. Thought we might see farms on the way, but not a one. I don't know where they do grow their vegetables. The Arabs, I guess, grow most of them and their quarters are mostly all behind high walls and are off-limits to army folk. The city was beautifully situated, but stores and other qualities much like this one, and not so good I think. Bought a couple of straw mats for our room, and that is all.

Went to the movies last night, saw The Avengers-quite good. It's on the invasion of Norway. I'm afraid it wasn't quite as simple as the picture made out. It's a rather recent picture-I think it's still playing in Boston. Did you see the picture Casablanca? I didn't, but I think you should. I hear it was quite good. I would see it now if I could. Well, this will have to be finished later-it's time to go to work. Water turned off all day. It's so discouraging to find it so.
* * *

Here I am again, after my French lesson. I'm afraid I'm not very bright. The different tenses and phrases are so very difficult to learn. I can write and translate fairly well, but to understand the talking and to speak myself is pretty bad. Will have to give it up while on night duty. The French teacher's husband has just come home from the Front on leave. He is very weary.

The water is on this evening, thank goodness. I have just taken a cold water bath. I was so hot and sticky. Had to wear my woollen skirt, as I am having my summer suit washed. Can't get anything cleaned very well here as they haven't the cleaning fluid. Have sent to Scott to send me a summer olive drab suit. Hope it comes soon. We are going into that color now (on July 5). I think blue looked better on most people. I sent to Mildred a long time ago for a few things, but I haven't heard a scratch from her. She takes her time about everything. I also sent her one hundred dollars to deposit for me. Haven't heard if she received that or not. I wrote her before I sent it saying that I was going to. Wrote with the money order, and wrote after to say I sent it, and to let me know as soon as she received it.

Haven't had much mail from anyone lately. I haven't written as much either. Had a delayed letter from Win, and a card from Helen. They are still in California. Helen said it was 120º in their tent when she was writing. I guess they are getting the workout.

We are allowed now to ride bicycles. Guess I'll try to learn. I haven't a great desire, though. There are thousands on the street here.

It's now ten thirty, and I'm weary. Had a busy day today. Am getting used to the gory sights now. The Allies sure did a grand mopping up job here, didn't they? May they continue to do so. Have been on the lookout for some Canadian boys, but haven't seen any here, although some of the girls have seen some. I am going to talk to them when and if I do.

I'd love a piece of your bread with some of them on it. You sure must miss them. I eat cereal every morning for breakfast. When I have oatmeal, I always think of Stewart saying, 'A man is hungry-starved-by eleven o'clock if he doesn't have his oatmeal.'

Gladys sends V-mail quite often.

Here goes for now.

Love to all, Frank

PS: Note the new APO number is 759.