Training in the USA
August 30, 1943
Letters from Theodore Katz
[postmarked August 30, 1943]
[on Camp Polk, Louisiana letterhead]
Dear Helen –
For the nonce – I’ve been foiled by the fickle finger of fate. Instead of being on my way back to Ft. Meade I, like the melody – linger on. I’m so mad I’ve been jumping up and down for days – for the following reasons.
Maneuvers were over the 23rd – ah, that happy day – and we were all given 3 day passes (as you know I went to New Orleans). Upon our return we were to entrain and make with the choo-choo. Well it so happens that thus far we haven’t been able to get transportation and here we’ll stay until we have long gray beards (How do you think I’ll look?)
It’s not really as bad as that – we might get enough cars by the 5th of Sept. – but there are so many men to be shipped out – that we’ll just have to wait our turn.
In the meantime, the authorities that be can’t stand to see us relax for a while so we’ve been sent out daily to improve the Louisiana landscape - Today we repaired and rebuilt bridges – Temperature 140° in the sun believe it or not. So much for that – by now, I know that I can stand anything.
New Orleans was wonderful – aside from the fact that it was my first glimpse of civilization in some time. The French Quarter is like a different world – you’d never believe it was the United States – filthy with atmosphere, intrigue – more like Paris. I wish you could have been with me as I remember your telling me that you’d like to travel and see strange places and customs – Here is where you can really see life - of course some of it is in the raw – but it runs the gamut from pure beauty to ugliness – but even then it has a certain fascinating attraction.
The days are getting much shorter and my tent has no electricity and I’ve just discovered that I can hardly see the paper I'm writing on. So – I’ll tell you all about N.O. and other things when I get back.
It’s against regulations (no kidding) to write Free on this envelope – so you see I really know all.
P.S. When we go to Meridien Pk – It will not be to swim