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August 26, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

two soldiers posing in a field with two women in ww2

Jack Gell (left) and Sam Rosenbaum with their girlfriends

August 26, 1944

Dearest Helen,

The day has been quiet, peaceful and hot and in a short while I’ll be having my evening meal, straight from the can of ration, but by supplementing it with eggs I’ve just received via the barter method I hope to improve the meal – that is if the bees don’t make off with it first. These French bees are the most carnivorous, persistent variety it has ever been my displeasure to meet. They buzz around my head, and have an aggravating habit of settling on a spoonful of food just as you are about to place it in your mouth. One can leave one’s food for but a moment and return to find a swarm trampling down the food and conducting a shuttle system, transporting the food to their nest.

As yet, I’ve received no mail from you for a few days, but I know that fault does not lie with you. At times, the mail service does a temporary tail-spin, but I know that in a few days it will all eventually reach me, so I’m looking forward to “beaucoup de poste.” My French is improving by leaps and bounds and perhaps soon I will be able to speak it as well as I once did.

A few days ago, I sent you a souvenir – a pair of wooden shoes, called “sabots” – which are the vogue amongst the peasantry. They are made entirely by hand from a solid piece of wood and requires great skill. The maker of these particular shoes was very old and gnarled, living in a small stone house full of odd bits of furniture and equipage.

Right now, Sam and Jack are conducting an argument re: Reading matter. Sam peruses a novel while Jack studies a book of French grammar and ridicules Sam for such. Jack doesn’t speak French and at times feels a bit left out during our conversations with the civilians – consequently, the study of French.

Time for chow – more tomorrow – I miss you so much – regards to everyone, from everyone.


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