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June 29, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of an army engineer

Ted's sketch, titled “Royal Engineer,” 6/3/1944

Thursday 29 June 44

Dear Helen,

Under separate cover I’m sending you some alleged sketches, which I’ve done since I left the land of milk and honey, hamburger, coca-cola, thick steaks, bright lights – and most important of all – you.

They are mostly of characters I have noted – and the subject matter has been selected with consideration for the censors. However, I intend to use them to illustrate the many stories I will have to tell you – and shall use them as notes to remind me of incidents I might have forgotten. There are not many in this collection of sketches – due mainly to a lack of time and opportunity – though the inclination and inspiration were plethoric.

Your V-mail today ends with a threat to set sail with a teaspoon with which you intend digging a two-place foxhole. A noble idea, but let me suggest that you save your vim, vigor and strength for the future – besides digging holes is no fun even with the proper tools – and as a necessary part of Army life leads to various coarse habits. And as I shall need someone to lead me back to civilized paths – I suggest you keep the spoon to wrap [sic] my knuckles during the first few days of my return. By then, I shall have become reconditioned to normal environment and you shall be able to take me from the dark cellar where you’d been hiding me and allow me to mix freely with people without dire consequences.

In the meantime, both you and your letters remain as an anesthesia and antidote for the unpleasantness of the present task – and a reminder that there is some good in the world after all.

And so – good night. As always – I miss you so much.


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