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Back in the USA

August 18, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

uniformed man and a woman in a dress lying down on a grassy lawn and looking lovingly at each other

Helen and Ted. Photo courtesy of Richard Katz.

[U.S. Army letterhead, postmarked August 18, 1945]


Helen dearest –

It was so wonderful talking to you last night – though, as is the usual custom, there is so much to say in such a short period of time that all I managed to impart was what must have seemed like an imitation of Donald Duck – or maybe you thought it was that double talk I manage to get off once in a while to your chagrin – remember?

I sat on pins and needles until your call came through – as did Max and Olga. I tried playing pinochle with Max while waiting but my mind couldn’t have been on the game, because he massacred me. When the phone finally rang we all jumped from our chairs – but I, being younger and quicker than they, beat them to the phone.

You sounded cheerful and happy and alright and that was the important thing I wanted to know – so the call was a success.

Wednesday night I slept in my own bed. I just can’t sleep in that big bed when you’re not there – or even when you are there, I guess.

But let’s dwell a bit on the future. The events of the last week came so suddenly that I’m still in a slight state of confusion – I still find it hard to believe. But the current question is – what’s going to happen now? It is reasonably certain to assume that I won’t be leaving the States – right? We can mark this down as certain. Next – when do I get out of the Army? This is an unknown quantity – but, knowing the ways of the Army red tape and the tremendous problems involved we’ll take a compromise figure of 6 months with a month or so of leeway either way. Now we switch to you – Do you still intend to go to Washington? – and thereby wait until I leave the Army to get married – or do you feel that there is nothing to keep us from being married now – that whatever it was that troubled you when I first came back, has disappeared.

If we did get married now, you could stay with the folks and I could see you almost every week-end. You could easily get something along your line of work in Syracuse to occupy you when I’m not there – then, I would occupy every minute of your time to good advantage on the weekend – and I’m the guy who can do it! – and you know why – because I love you, gal – that’s why! Can you think of a better reason?

So – there we have the question “To wait or not to wait” – I want you to tell me all ideas on the matter (Am I sounding business like?) (Well, if I am – it’s because this is serious) (Who said I couldn’t be serious?) – which flow through your lovely head and I know that between the two of us, we’ll arrive at the right decision. When we get together, everything is right. So – sit write right down and tell me what you think – O.K.

Incidentally, Edith is up here for a few days. She came up Wed. – and will leave Sunday to return to Washington. I haven’t seen her because I left for home on Wednesday. Tonight I’m Charge of Quarters here at Battalion Hq – and if I get a pass tomorrow I’ll be going back to Syracuse for the week-end.

This damn telephone keeps ringing all the time. We’re getting an awful lot of new men in – and they come in at all hours. But I hold the phone with one hand – write with the other and assign men to quarters as they come through the door.

My appetite is now above normal. I ate two steaks at chow tonight. Incidentally, the meals have been pretty good so far. Thursday night, at home, we had spaghetti – and Max and Olga both kept commenting on what a shame it was that you couldn’t be there to taste the spaghetti – and I kept thinking of what a shame it was that [you] weren’t there so I could taste you. Although, I ate an enormous plate of the stuff, Mom wasn’t satisfied – she said “You’d eat more if Helen was here.” – and Max kept leering and winking at me in his inimitable way.

I received your letter of Wednesday this afternoon – with your thoughts on the first day of peace – beautifully written, though a trifle sad. If I were there I’d have tickled the bottoms of your feet.

Regards to your folks – and how is your father’s leg? – and how is yours? – as if I didn’t know.

All my love,

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