August 19, 1944
Letters from Theodore Katz
August 19, 1944
Dearest Helen –
As I sit here writing, Sam is busily engaged in cooking a little snack. (sounds awfully domestic doesn’t it). But guess what he’s cooking? Spaghetti! And well might you ask “how can they be cooking spaghetti in such an environment?” The explanation lies in the fact that Eva sent Sam a package of pre-fabricated spaghetti, and all you have to do is cook the noodles, warm a can of sauce, and there you have it. Right now we’re trying to boil some water in a big tin can, hobo style.
I know you’d like to send something to me – and I, of course, would like to receive something from you. I’ve put off asking for a package until I was able to see what cooked with the mail service re: packages. So, I suggest that you send nothing perishable and preferably in cans, and most important of all, make sure it’s strong, secure and well-packaged, as I’ve seen some arrive in pathetic condition – an address, a piece of paper and a few bits of loose items in the bottom of a mail bag. The rest I’ll leave up to you. Let’s see what you can think up for your hungry fellah.
We’re having a few problems with the spaghetti – having only one pot, and then we have a dissertation on the correct procedure, whether the sauce should be cooked with the noodles (Sam’s thesis), or should the hot sauce be poured over the noodles (my thesis). Of course, I am right – naturally, being an old conneissieur [sic] – or had you forgotten about my theories about spaghetti. I think not.
Damn – it’s starting to rain so I’m sucking into the tent continuing to write with one hand and grabbing the food with the other. [There are some raindrops on the page, smearing the ink.] It is now some 30 minutes later – we’ve finished eating, the rain has stopped and now we lie back and smoke a cigarette. I feel fine, the spaghetti was wonderful, and I feel almost civilized. It suddenly strikes me that it is Saturday evening and now if I could only have a hot shower, shave, a clean change of clothes, and then be off to see you – my cup would floweth over.
Everything is quiet tonight, except for the lowing of cattle in the next field, and so I’ll smoke and lie here and think of you until I hit the sack.
All my love,
Regards to my “public”