June 15, 1943
Right now, Lois and I are both in the Rec. Tent typing letters. She is, as usual, using my typer and I am using the Evac. Office typer. As you no doubt have noticed, I am having eee trouble. The ‘e’ on this typer persists in sticking and then if it does not stick it insists on huddling right up close to whatever letter follows. Bundling, after a fashion, eh? Well, of course, after being over here in Africa for six months, I guess it is sort of lonesome, so hope you will excuse it? Gee – I was going to say that from the looks of the last line perhaps I had fixed the mischievious ‘e’, but then, just to contradict me, on the ‘e’ of ‘Gee’, it stuck and had to be pried loose. Now, of course, I am afraid to say that I think it is going to be O.K. so you will just have to judge for yourself from here on.
Dad, I’m not sure whether or not your daughter-in-law-to-be just insulted you or not. She said that the above paragraph sounded just like you!
Oh, yes, I hasten to inform you that we both received cute little packages from you this evening, containing the precious film. We had both been out of film for some time and now it will come in most handy. At any of your opportunities, hope you keep the subject in mind and pick up film from time to time, so that you can have more to send us when this supply runs low. We hope to have a good collection to show you and our grand-children.
Mom, your work at Children’s Hospital sounds as if it might be a good education for you, tho’ by now you ought to certainly know most of the diagnoses that you will bump into. Glad you are not undertaking to work in the wards, answering bells (lites) etc. ‘Tis far better that you do not tempt fate by lowering your resistance and also unnecessarily exposing yourself to the little bugs that love to float around so freely.
Mom, talking about bright sayings of children — Bert who is playing bridge next to us, just exclaimed, as the lights in the tent went out (changing over from one generator to the other): “Gosh, what a war this is, when the lights go out in the middle of a bridge game!”
Saturday, the 12th, we went swimming in the afternoon and then when we were on the way home, Fran Trembley and Lois got the idea that we should eat at a new place which happens to be only two blocks from the beach where we swim. As it happens, George was up there playing golf with Liz Liss, so Rip Williams and I phoned him at the golf course to see if it was O.K. to have one of the drivers take the four of us up there to join George and Liz at dinner. It was, so after giving the gals ten minutes in which to dress, knowing they would take the 25 minutes that they did we hied ourselves off in the jeep back up the 16 miles.
Lois celebrated by wearing her new beige dress and she really looked scrumptious despite the fact that she claimed we had not given her time to comb her hair. Anyway, when we got to the restaurant we found that they didn’t want us to sit down as they were expecting some 17 people, for whom they had made reservations. However, we did sit with George and Liz and watched them eat their fish and steak and French-fries.
They had been there for about half an hour longer than we had, so, of course, were served first and were given steaks. However, we were only given chicken. But from the looks of the small steaks, I was much happier with the chicken – for it was, without a doubt, the best chicken I had tasted since we arrived in Africa. It was wonderfully tender and reminded me very much of Solari’s “Chicken Raphael Wiel.”
For dessert we had crepes-suzette after a fashion – anyway, very small thin pancakes with jam rolled up in them. Very tasty. Incidentally, the restaurant is run by the Army, but has a steward who is French and a couple of French waiters and this Arab bus-boy.
Just as we finished the last morsel we thought we could stuff into our mouths the Sgt. who was in charge came over and engaged us in conversation, saying that next time we should come at about 7:30 P.M. and first come first served – for he was not going to reserve tables anymore. Why, we asked? Well, he told us that he had had 17 reservations and of that 17 only 7 showed up. He had refused to give us lobster because he had only had a few and had to save the lobsters for those who had reserved tables. As a consequence, he had several lobsters all cooked and ready to rot in the kitchen. Well – you can guess what comes next!!
Yes, we told the Sgt. that we would be delighted to relieve him of the lobsters, but at the moment our gastric mucosa was somewhat overworked, but surely by the time we returned to camp the said mucosa would be in working order again and we could consume said lobsters with ease. For a nominal sum, he gladly parted with the lobsters and on our return to camp we heated some butter, melted it, and dipped the lobster into the butter. ‘Twas delicious and surprisingly enough none of us had topsy-turvy stomachs the next day. We hope to repeat on the lobsters and possible steaks again in the near future.
Loads of love,
Watch for the rest of this letter