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Date: December 27th 1942
Esther McKnight (cousin) and Family

Dear Mrs. McKnight and family, I pity poor Herby if you and Margaret Rose rave on and on all the time you'll drive him crazy. But I was really pleased to get such a big fat letter from you; you didn't miss a thing from the baby's catching a cold to St. Agne's winning the softball title. And I got your cigarettes the day after getting your letter and your Xmas card, everything poured in together. I almost thought for a while I was back home again, so many letters and cards but then I stepped out into the mud and then I knew I was in England again. You're a fine one, Margaret hasn't turned two yet and you've already got her playing on championship baseball teams. And you were perfectly correct about girls starting to talk early and talking and still talking. If you don't believe me listen to you and little Margaret go to it. Lucky me. I managed to get a few days off at Xmas time and met Frank who was on leave in London. We did have a good time, altho I spoilt a good party Xmas Eve y falling asleep. We had arranged a party. Frank had a bottle and the table and we had partners. It was a bit too early so I went to my room to lie down for a while, when I woke up again it was 1:05 a.m. I kicked my behind hard and went right back to sleep again. You'd think that's funny but you would. I hope I'm off on New Year's Eve. I won't dare shut my eyes at all. I'd like to have seen Herb's get up at that Halloween dance. I'll bet he and Margaret Rose looked like twins that night, and it must have been some party. I guess Nellie didn't go or she would have told me about it. She writes almost as much as you do, but not quite. She sent some swell pictures of you and herself. That one in a bathing suit made my wise old eyes pop open. She's much too healthy looking to catch anything off Betty. You're pretty fortunate to have all that spare time for reading. The only time when I read is when I stay in for an evening or two to write letters and tonight's the night. And since you've kept a list of all the books you've read since you learned to read (not so long ago) give me a list of the dirtier ones. Don't be shy after all you did used to model corsets without blushing. And thanks for offering me that case of macaroni and meatballs, but I don't think I could eat much of that where I'm heading. I'd appreciate a flock of ice cream bricks much more. So you can have your SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS - see if I care how big you print it. Besides I've been getting a lot more to eat than you could possibly get with everything rationed there. I was stationed in Ireland and there certainly isn't much shortage of anything to eat and drink there, especially drink. But now I'm back in England for a little while and I keep getting fatter and fatter. They'll probably put wings on me and float me and let me float around like a balloon if I can put on any more weight. I guess herb won't have much trouble finding a suitable job. There must be all varieties of jobs open now and I hope he hits a good one. Margaret will be needing baseball bats and skates to play with if her mother has her way. You're still a Tom-boy at heart. As for Frank and me I'm back to work again but he's still on leave. I don't begrudge him that. It's the first leave he's had since last June. I had another 20 days from Nov 20th. -Dec. 14. I got nothing to squawk about. I would like to see a good hockey game though. I wish I could fly back there just for a week or so, then I could insult you right to your face to see what you'd do about it. Es. I want to write some more letters tonight so you'll have to excuse me. I hope you and Herb and the baby are all fine. No need to tell you that Frank and I are in the best of health. So long now, Your cousin, Tom Thanks a million for the cigarettes. HAPPY NEW YEAR!