December 17, 1944
Mutzig, France

No. 72 (conclusion)

Dear Folksies,

            Today, as you see, is another day… After we got done with that case last night and worked up a couple of new cases on the ward, it was time for midnight chow, and then we turned in – not really thinking that we would be able to sleep the whole nite after that. But, by golly, we were not disturbed, tho’ Smart, the 2nd team on call, was gotten up shortly after we had gone to bed. Slept till just before lunch.

            Received the book you sent me – all three of you – “The Razor’s Edge”. Thanks oodles. Had heard that it was good. Yes, I was bad and opened it when it came, but got another package from you yesterday and have so far refrained from opening it and probably will save it till Xmas. Also got pictures from Dave of himself, Gram and the poster at the Grove [Bohemian Grove].

            Mom, I’m glad to hear that you all had such a good time on Thanksgiving and you know full well that my thoughts too, were with all of you, as they will be on Xmas and New Years. Yes, it will be fun when all are together for these festivities once again.

            Rather surprised ourselves last night when counting up the cases in the Surgery book to find that, despite the fact that we have been only working 3 teams on a shift with the roving Brain-team, instead of the 3 day and 4 nite teams that we had been using before we came to this spot, we have had a greater daily average of cases thru Surgery than we had before. It must be that we’re getting used to it and doing cases faster. I think that for one thing our anesthesia is getting faster and a couple of us have run two cases at once with pretty fair success. I believe our biggest 24 hr. period (i.e. 8 A.M. to 8 A.M.) was when we put through 120 cases. The average for our last spot was 62 per day. Not bad, eh?

            We are beginning to train a couple more nurses for the anesthesia job so that in a couple of months, when they are adequately trained, Paul, Ham, Johnny Malone and I will be able to alternate on two surgical teams. Hope it works out.

            Happy New Year!

                          Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for my next letter
December 18, 1944

René tells his parents that, after finishing work in time for midnight chow, he was able to sleep straight through, until just before lunch. But Bret Smart (above) a member of the second team on call, had to get up to work on a case shortly after René had gone to bed.

René sends thanks for the book – “The Razor’s Edge” – that he got for Christmas, but didn’t wait to open.

He also thanks his Uncle David (above) for the pictures David sent of himself and of Gram (below) – René’s grandmother and David’s mother-in-law.