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Back in the USA

October 8, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

printed illustration of a polar bear on a pedestal leaning over to nip at the shoulder of a woman walking nearby while a man smiles in the background

Zlotnick the Furrier was a store at the corner of 12th and G streets in northwest Washington DC, where the entrance was marked by the presence of a stuffed white polar bear. Image from a promotional booklet about Zlotnick's polar bear.

[postmarked October 8, 1945]

Saturday A.M.

Dearest Helen,

Good morning, you great big, beautiful doll – I just received your letter written yesterday and it was so good that I almost ate it up. Nice and cheerful and so full of promise of things to come.

To make things even, I will now respond with a letter full of equal good things. O.K. – First, I love you and today would be a good morning – because it’s raining. Secondly – I was told last night that I would be a civilian probably this coming week sometime. I’m so excited I’m biting my toenails. The way it looks now, I’ll be transferred to the North Post on Tues and will be wearing the “duck” on Wednesday. There are a lot of guys ahead of me but I’ve been pushed up ahead of them. I don’t know why but that’s the story I got from the guy who’s working on the papers – and that’s as authentic as it can be. Of course, things can change – but I don’t think so.

You’ll get this letter on Mon. – so you can stop writing to me then. Here’s the tentative plan, baby. If I get out Wed. – then I’ll start out for NYC. On the way up, I want to stop at Philadelphia to see Lew Trenner (He’s the one that called long distance from there, remember) – so I can talk to him about what that job he was talking to me about. Then I’ll continue to NYC – pick you up and then back to Syracuse. How’s it sound to you? In case you don’t recognize me as a civilian (tho still in uniform) we’ll turn out the lights and let you explore until you recognize me.

As I told you, I went to see Edith last night. It was a funny feeling as I rode in – I kept thinking that I was going to see you – and I saw so many places where we used to meet – the Raleigh Hotel and I even went up to see if the bear was still at Zlotnick’s – it was. Then up to  Edith’s (but I didn’t see Meridien Hill Park) the bus didn’t go up that far – and what do you think we had for dinner – cold roast chicken, your favorite dish. Well, we talked and talked. Incidentally, a friend of Edith’s who knows you – Selma something or other was there too and wanted to be remembered to you – and I finally left at about 11:30.

This afternoon I’m going to see Bill Krupkin who’s stationed not far from here. I’d written to him that I was here and he called me – so we’re going to get together finally.

But, of course the big news is the speedy discharge – Can you imagine? A civilian! – and I can make even better love as a civilian than as a soldier – and I can make even better love as a husband than as a civilian. So be ready for anything, Helen, I’m a ‘rarin’ to go! I think you’ll have to tie me into the bed to keep me from jumping through the ceiling.

I’ll even let my hair grown another ¼ of an inch and I’ll put bells on the car and make it a sleigh-ride.

Thank your Ma & Pa for giving me such a wonderful girl[.]

All my love,

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