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Training in the USA

April 14, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

man lounging on stairs outside of building

Ted at the Training Camp

[postmarked April 14, 1944]

Thursday –
5:12 P.M.

Dear Helen,

I know I missed writing yesterday – so don’t bawl me out – but I was actually too busy to even squeeze in a line – let alone a letter – these days there is no such thing as quitting time.

Someday – I’ll tell you of this period in my Army career – though I know that by then – even I, will find some of the things unbelievable –

Right now – I am waiting to gather my new equipment. I can look out the window of the Orderly Room and see the men standing in line with their bags of old equipment – waiting to be reoutfitted – and as it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to go through the rigamarole – I figure that it will be the wee hours of the morning before the job is completed. So – I’ve figured that instead of standing in line for hours – I’d spend it to better advantage – e.i. – writing to my peachy girl.

I’m holding the letter I received from you to-day as blackmail evidence in case you should ever pull that “close the window” business on me. In such case – I’ll forward it immediately to your mother – who will probably say – “Such a nice letter. I always knew that my daughter was human after all.”

I can always tell when you’ve written your letter from the intimacy of your boudoir – it has a different “tahm” – as we used to say in “Shnipishnawk” – and I’d know this letter was straight from the bedroom – even if you hadn’t told me. I wish I had an intimate spot to write you from – but, believe me I’m doing the best I can in spite of obstacles like I am encountering at present – with a group of fast and loose talking individuals gathered here in the Orderly Room – and others running in every few moments – plying me various moronic questions. I say yes to everything and wave them away.

Right now the men are trying to entice me into a conversation which is slightly akin to taking a deep breath of ether.

To straighten you out on my status – I am not in Hq. Co. – I am in Hq. Platoon of Co. “A” – and thus I am in the field with the Company on all problems – assisting the 1st Sgt and handling the mail as an incidental item – All Company Clerks –which is Sam’s status – stay with Battalion Hq – which do not leave camp on these problems and in a Theater of Operations would probably be rear echelon behind the lines. Now – is everything clear. It’s not all as simple as the above explanation – but there’s enough to make a prècis.

I have recovered from that typhus shot – except for a slightly sore arm – and now I hear we get three more of the same only in successively larger doses – besides a few others – oh well, shots, shmots – as long as I’m healthy – How do I know I’m healthy -? Here – feel my nose. See!

I fear that very shortly we shall write finis to the dubious Battle of Tennessee – and after a short hiatus I’ll be writing to you from a new address – after which will come a longer wait and then I’ll be able to give you a vague idea of where I am – after being broadened by travel – and at no expense, mind you – marvelous, isn’t it?

But – if you have to wait a while for the letters to begin to come in – don’t worry – because there are no mailboxes on the ocean but, also – you’ll have to carry on for the two of us – so that when I get to my destination I’ll find lots of mail from you waiting for me – you know – as a sort of welcome to my new home.

In the meantime – my fingers are crossed – and I’d sign up for an extra six months in the Army if I could have just one hour with you tonight – a steep price – but I’d pay it gladly –


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