December 27, 1944
Mutzig, France

No. 75

Dear Folksies,

          Yes, my dears, this is number seventy-five! Where the others have gotten to, if you haven’t received them by the time you get this, I know not. I am really perturbed that you have not been receiving the letters. I know how you may very well have been thinking that I wasn’t well, was down in the dumps, or some such, but actually the truth is far from that, as you would have gathered if you had received all the letters you should have.

          For God’s sake, don’t worry! I’m fine, the cold that bothered me for a few days but didn’t keep me from working – all have had touches of the same – is finished and I am feeling mighty fine.

          With things as they are at present, it looks like it may be even longer than I tho’t before I get to go see Jeanne and the rest who are all at Paris, re-established in some sort of homes. I am naturally most anxious to visit all the family there, but when it will be possible, now, I know not. By now I hope you know that I have made contact, through letter, with all the members of the family, i.e. the Salomons, Baumanns, Marx, Alain’s sisters, and Paulette.

          Our festive 24 hours for Xmas turned out very nicely indeed. The Xmas Eve Party was a bit slow in getting going, but it finally turned into quite an affair. There was a little excess of liquid refreshments taken by one or two, but on the whole everything was very good. We had a big mechanical-electric-phonograph that supplied music for dancing till the wee hours, and there were assorted nuts and beaucoup of Blum’s Fruitcake in evidence, scattered around on the tables.

          Several of those that had been blessed with an over-abundance of such things had made donations to the cause. All in all it was a good party. Oh yes, one of the high-lights was at midnight when Bette Holmes Richardson (recently married, but husband not able to get to the party) and Brenda Vencko (just returned that night from Paris) decided that Roy Cohn was standing close enough to the mistletoe that was hanging over the door to make it worth-while. They tried to get him under it, but he scampered off into a corner. But soon he was hemmed in the corner, and on the bench one could see no more of Roy – just Brenda and Bette on top of him. They plastered him nicely!

          Xmas morning turned out to be nice and sunny tho’ of course, definitely cold. Pete had been in charge of getting the Tom & Jerrie mix made up – but as luck would have it he and Frank were on 1st call and were called that A.M. Edna Haertig got the dope on how to do it from Pete and went to work. She got me to help her and there were finally about 6 of us who spent a couple of hours beating eggs that morning, beating them, of course, yolks and whites separately. We had quite a time and ended up with many a sore arm muscle – we had nothing more than two rather sorry looking batter-whips, while the rest had to use two forks to do the whipping. Oh, for a good “Mix-Master”!! Finally, just as Pete showed up – in time for the sampling – -the mix was all ready.

           When we arrived to act as hosts and hostesses for the enlisted men, we were astounded to see what our Chef had prepared for the party and how it was all arranged on tables around the large dining-room that we have. It was truly an astounding sight! There ere 12 tables each measuring about 6 ft. X 2-1/2 ft., all lined against the wall and covered with every kind and description of fancy pastry that you could want. And the arrangement, too, was beautiful. In the center there was a circular 5-decker plate-affair, and on the top was a little house and written on it was “Merry Xmas” and “Joyeux Noel”. He had actually made so many of these little cakes, eclairs, etc. that despite something like 400 people that were there during the afternoon, there were plenty left over. And, to think that we had a turkey supper that night, to boot!!

          This party was even more of a success than the one the evening before – the men were ever so appreciative, it was really wonderful. The Tom & Jerries went over big – Pat Berry, Bill Newsom, Pete Joseph & Norma Picchi acted as bar-tenders and were, of course, kept going all afternoon.

          Edna, the real organizer of the gals, who has plenty of ideas and plenty of pep, had hung a good deal of mistletoe around the room – with the aid of Bill Newsom and myself – and every bit of it got plenty of use – the boys were all quick to spot it and to take advantage of it. One sprig of it hung over the door that led to the bar and through which there was always a line of men waiting for a Tom & Jerrie. This line took up half of the door and so every time one of the gals wanted to walk through that door she stood a chance of being caught. It was really a good outlet for the men and the gals enjoyed it too, it seemed. In fact, Edna finally just took up her post in front of the bar, handed out the drinks, handing out kisses with each one.

          All in all ‘twas quite a party – even our three dogs were invited and showed up with little bows around their necks. It was “Stubby’s” first introduction into society (he being only about 3-1/2 months old now) and he scampered in and out of the crowd like a wild Indian.

                          Loads of love,

rene-transparent

.

Watch for more of this letter
December 28, 1944

René tells his parents about the Christmas party, which was livened up by nurses Bette Holmes Richardson (above) and Brenda Venko (below).

Bill Newsom (left) and Pete Joseph (right) acted as bar-tenders at the party…

Pat Berry (above) and Norma Picchi (below) also served as bartenders at the Christmas party.

The grand finale of the Christmas party was the appearance of the Unit’s three dogs – including Stubby, the puppy shown below with his mother, Suzy. Suzy came with the unit from Casablanca and Stubby was born in Carpentras, France.