August 14, 1944
Letters from Theodore Katz
August 14th 44
Three letters from you today bringing with them the usual solace and good cheer. I’m putting your name up for a Pulitzer Prize. By the way I am the prize this year. Also the sole judge. How can you lose? I come equipped with the hook and pedastill [sic] for either hanging on the wall or placing on the mantelpiece, and with special tools for opening and closing tight windows – so you can see that your efforts are well worth your while – or wiles (choice of one).
I’ve passed on your messages to Jack and Sam, and they in turn have messages for me. Of course, the dates are apt to confuse us sometimes – but it all comes out in the wash. Sam received word from Eva today of having seen you in N.Y. – and hinting at the fact that you were quite worried over that long lapse in the mail. In case there are more such interims, and there probably will be, I don’t want you to be too upset. I’ll be alright. It’s just that other things will have priority over the mail – to my regret – and it won’t be long before the letters start in again.
Last night, I, at least, got a letter off to your folks. I hope I’ll be forgiven for my lateness. But I know you’ll understand. However, I promise to do better in the future – I certainly couldn’t do any worse.
I’m enclosing a ten franc note – worth about 20c – as a souvenir. That’s all it’s good for – seeing as how the only money I’ve spent in France thus far has been for having a woman wash my clothes some time ago. She had red hair and a sweet smile showing both teeth. These French peasant women really work – and they look it. Talk about dishpan hands – this woman had hands as big as hams and twice as red. I’m sure her dress was not from the Champs Elysee, and her feet (size 13, at least) were encased in “dainty” wooden shoes causing the effect of watching a boat race when she walked. It seems as though all the women do the work and the men just sit around drinking calvados and discussing politics. This calvados, incidentally, is a popular drink combining the worst features of arsenic and TNT. The first time I had a swig of this liquid fire, I immediately clapped my hand to the top of my head to see if my hair was still there. Luckily, it was – but I guess it was on account of it being a weak solution.
Right now, I’d settle for a “coke” or a quart of ice cold milk with a piece of apple pie a la mode to assuage the hired man – it’s been a long time since I’ve even seen anything like that – though, the food has been better than I’d expected – except, of course, for periods of eating cold “C” rations from the can.
The sun is sinking as it usually does – and the also usual chill permeates the air. The days have been hot – but the nights cold and the mornings cold, misty and very damp – and so much for the weather report.
I’d give plenty for a week-end pass to Washington. It seems so far away both in distance and time – that I begin to wonder how it would be to walk on a real sidewalk with you on my arm, and look at real buildings rather than demolished wrecks – and the two of us spending one of those wonderful week-ends – Ft. Meade, Ft. Meade, wherefore art thou, Ft Meade – and to think that I used to complain when I had to forgo the trip to Washington for a couple of days.