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Training in the USA

March, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of soldiers riding in the back of a truck

Ted's sketch, titled "Ride in the Country," 3/7/1944

[postmarked March, 1944]

11:30 P.M.

Dear Helen –

Your “little man” has had a busy day. We returned from the bivouac – a rainy one incidentally – about 5 P.M. – to find that there was more work – erecting tents – just more work – no purpose. Also other sundry bits of nonentity. Then the usual clean-up for inspection – until now at this late hour I finally have a few moments to write.

I feel guilty in not being able to write oftener – especially since you are so diligent – veritably deluging me with letters – and I not being able to answer from the field – and even now – I find myself without the time to sit down and write a long letter – and it would have to be necessarily long in order to say all the things I want to tell you – thus – I feel as though I’m falling down on the job – and another case of not being able to do anything about it.

I received a wonderful long letter from you last night out in the wet woods – I couldn’t wait till morning to read it – so I took it down the trail to the Message Center tent – and read by the light of a small lamp. I found the letter to be a real long one – and just chuck full of good things. I was glad to see that you decided to tell me how much you missed me – although – you felt that you might have qualms about making me sad by these confessions. Helen, such is not the case – in fact – it works inversely – by making for that warm, wonderful feeling that lessens the space that separates us.

After reading it twice – I went back to my tent – wrapped myself in my blankets and wished I could write to you right then – because I felt I could really write one that could match the spirit of yours. But no – I was forced to wait until now – when I am so rushed for time and there are so many things I am leaving unsaid. You understand though, don’t you?

In the above mentioned letter I also found your photograph. Whoever took that picture would be the type of person who would put an orchid in a pail of dishwater. It made me mad just to look at it. The unimaginative composition and that horrible background. If I ever catch that guy – I’ll mangle him. But in spite of the stupid photographer – your finer points were not to be denied and by masking out all of the picture but you – I calmed my irate inner self. Some day I’ll paint about fifty portraits of you just to make up for it.

And now there is more work to be done – and I reluctantly must to take my leave of you and finish my toils for the day. I miss you “mucho” – and thoughts of you are constantly in my mind – and when I finally get to bed tonight I know I shall not be alone. So – come to bed.

All my love,

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