May 11, 1944
No. 23

Dear Folksies,

            Well, the so-called Sirroco wind has gone, thank goodness. We are now back on a Spring basis once again – late Spring, however. At least we are once again to sleep at nite, and, in fact, can find adequate use for one blanket. We continue to be rather physically active, and we all feel much better for it, not that our muscles are losing their aching and soreness.

            Monday evening had a good dinner with Fran & Hal and then we walked to the show, but soon walked out on it for it was one of the lousier “Blondie” shows and not only that, the theater was almost suffocating. Came home, walking, and Hal & I proceeded to quench our thirst and whet down our parched mouths by taking first two big glasses of orange juice. That not being enough, 2 big glasses of lemonade, and then resorting to water to fill the remaining space.

            Tuesday afternoon we went to the beach and had a fine time. There was such a mob there from the 59th that it took 4 trucks to cart all of us out there. A gang of us went out in the sailing boats, 20 in our boat and about 9 in another. We had quite a race and it was funny what a difference was made when someone shifted position in the front of the boat from one side to another or from front to back.

            While we were in the boat, some of the guys got the inspiration that they could go fishing out in the sea in one of these boats, so they made arrangements with the Sicilian who ran the boat, to take them fishing the next A.M. After the boating, we loafed on the beach, swam some, and became progressively tanner, or blacker in my case, so they say – I cannot see my back, but Mattie is pretty darn mahogany himself, and they say that I am some shades blacker.

            Yesterday morn, the fishermen, Sewell Brown, Mattie, Morduant, Schmitz, Cressman, Huff, Smart, Treadwell got up long before dawn cracked, at 2:30 A.M. to be exact, grabbed some breakfast, made some sandwiches for their late breakfast, took a few thermoses, and set off. The left in the boat shortly before 4 A.M. and went out some 12 miles off shore. They had to row part of the way because of lack of wind, but finally got out to the fishing grounds O.K. They didn’t do so badly, catching three fair-sized fish and several small mackerel. The large ones were flat fish with big mouths, somewhat like suckers and they apparently gave no fight at all. In fact, they said that these fish swallowed the sardines they used for bait and you could pull the bait right out of their mouths, for they were not able to close their big mouths adequately.

            Apparently those that enjoyed the trip and those that did not enjoy it were evenly divided. Schmitty got rather sea-sick, as did Morduant and Treadwell, and Cressman and Huff didn’t feel too well either. I can’t see getting up at that hour and spending all that time and energy on that sport.

            Those of us who did not go fishing were led in calisthenics yesterday by Reilly. He didn’t do too badly, getting at least one series of exercises done correctly. And, when he gave “To the rear march!” on the correct foot, many got crossed up just out of shear surprise that he should do it correctly.

                                                                                         Loads of love,

rene-transparent

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Watch for the rest of this letter
May 12. 1944

While eight of René’s compatriots got up at 2:30AM to go fishing 12 miles off shore, he and the rest of the doctors in the unit slept in. A little later in the morning, they were led in calisthenics by Bill Reilly (below).

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