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August 16, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

Cover of Life Magazine from 1944 showing 2 soldiers

The issue of Life magazine that Ted had been reading

August 16 [1944]

Dear Helen,

This evening I’ve been catching up on my reading – having procured, by devious means, a Life magazine dated July 3rd – this being no mean accomplishment as such a dated is considered brand new. And so, I eagerly open the pages to find what? – pictures of places I’ve already seen and scenes which are all to[o] familiar – ruined towns, soldiers, and the usual jetsam of war.

So I casually turn the pages – until suddenly my observant eye flickers with interest. My, My – two pages of photographs depicting the latest in female apparel to be worn in bed – in short the latest in pajamas or nightgowns – I can’t figure out which – some like short nightgowns, some like playsuits, etc. but all having one common denominator – allure. So I settle down for a more complete study of this rare phenomena and find that the most interesting of these Venuses reminds me of you – for many and divers [sic] reasons – and serves to bring home even more clearly what I’ve been missing. The line goes “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” – but I can’t wait forever. Maybe soon, though, - I hope.

I’ve just been interrupted. You see, in our present lodgings we’ve been fortunate enough to be sleeping on hay, pilfered from a field, over which we place our blankets, and equipment and cover it all with the tent. I’ve decided that we are the occupants of a haunted tent, - every once in a while we can hear a sort of scratching noise beneath us and upon occaission [sic] a mess kit or carton of cigarettes begins to move, seemingly of its own free will. Being level-headed people Sam and I are aware that this is contrary to nature and the laws of physics. So, upon the assumption that it is probably a mole, we uncover our bed and dig down under the hay – but to no avail – there is nothing there – very mysterious. Just now, Sam called to my attention a can of “C” ration which seemed to be doing the Lindy Hop. So we carefully surround the area, lift the can, then the piece of cardboard on which it is placed, carefully brush away the hay to the bare ground, but there is nothing to be found. So, we shrug our shoulders and replace the blankets and forget about [it] until the next time.

But meanwhile – the damn “thing” has interrupted a most interesting train of thought – and worse than that, has taken away valuable time to continue writing – and once again the light grows dim, and another day away from you has passed. Until tomorrow – goodnight and


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