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Training in the USA

March 4, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of soldier squatting and eating in overcoat

Ted's sketch, titled "Everything dehydrated but the weather"

[postmarked March 4, 1944]

Friday –
7:10 PM

Dear Helen –

This has certainly been as active a week as I’ve seen in a long while. As I wrote yesterday – today we had more airplane strafing which consisted of jumping in and out of trucks – digging fox holes, etc. – Now, tonight we’re again getting ready for a complete inspection tomorrow morning – and after a week’s use in the muddy terrain hereabouts – our equipment is in a pretty sorry state – necessitating many hours of cleaning tonight – So once again it will be the wee hours before I get to bed.

I heard – indirectly – that you looked very well at the concert at the Art Gallery. To prove, for the nth time, what a small world this is – I must first ask if you remember the couple whose engagement was announced at the New Years Eve Dance at Ft. Meade – Jack Gell and Edith Skolnick – she was the rather plump, dark girl – we spoke to them for a while – and a few days later I told you how she remarked about what a beautiful girl she thought you were, etc. Well, last night, Jack asked me if you had been at the concert because Edith was there and recognized you from a distance. Another coincidence was that she also sent him the identical post-card that you sent me. Funny, eh?

I continue to be amazed at your domesticity. As I remember, you always seemed averse to these things and considered them only a necessary evil – and now you seem to take to it like a duck to water – it’s a good sign. Although – how you managed to learn – in such a short time is remarkable – though, again – I’ve learned from past experience that you manage to adapt yourself to new situations very rapidly – and with a zest and zeal I found to be extremely pleasant. But then, Helen, you are a remarkable woman – which is one of the reasons you mean so much to me.

Sam and Eva send their regards and are fine – except for Eva’s cold – and the fact that lately they haven’t seen as much of each other as they’d like. She’ll be here for about another week – which is probably just as well – as our schedule, (at present) calls for more bivouacs, night problems, and other sundry impediments which would only serve to keep them apart – though only a few miles away.

Seeing as how I missed a few days of sketches – I’ve made three quick impressions of the bivouac – and will add more on this subject from time to time – as I’ve stored away some good subjects in the back of my mind for future use.

The furlough rumors are starting to warm up again – but, as yet and as usual, nothing definite or official. But, when it does comes [sic] we’ll have such a good time that it’ll be worth all the waiting – And the best part of it will be that we’ll be together all the time – no running for the train at 12:30 – And if we stop a-huggin’, and a-squeezin’ and a-kissin’ long enough I’ll show you how nice Syracuse is – Of course, most of my friends are in the Army – but maybe that would be better – would give us more time for a-huggin’, etc.

And now I must take my leave of you – and transfer my affections to my rifle – which is badly in need ofa little attention – But, honest, I’m not fickle – as I’ll be thinking of you as I oil her far into the night. I just happened to think – wouldn’t it be horrible if I couldn’t get out of the habit – and at some future time I would oil you every night before bedtime. If I ever do – I hope you make me get up and close the window – alone.

Regards to your folks and the “Unholy Twosome.”


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