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Back in the USA

September 16, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

man in uniform crouched down next to a skeleton of a cat perched in a standing position at his feet

Ted with his "pet cat"

[postmarked September 16, 1945]


Dearest Helen –

After a delightful conversation this evening, I shall again attempt to carry on by the mails. You sounded wonderful – but I wish I could have seen you. (I can see you wisely nodding and saying “Naturally”). How is your weight? Still holding forth? The next time I see you, do you know what the first thing I’ll do will be? I’ll feel your stomache [sic] – the old test – remember? Everyone says that I look much better now than when I first came back. If that’s true then I must have been horrible then. Of course, being slightly prejudiced you’ll say no. But as long as you think I’m handsome – that’s all that matters – The Enchanted Cottage –

All of those pictures you will find enclosed were taken in Germany, after the end of the war. We’d just gotten our ETO jackets and were showing the Germans what the well-dressed soldier was wearing. In one of them, you will note my pet cat – a little thin perhaps – but even mice were scarce.

Last night, we had another party dedicated to the breakup of Co. “A” – this time, though, it was a select group – 12 of us and Landry – we went to a small town near camp, where there were no other soldiers – had a very nice steak dinner – and then had some beer and talked & reminisced until the wee hours.

Consequently when I got home this afternoon, the first thing I did after eating one of Mom’s inimitable menus, was to go up to our boudoir and take a nap. Of course, I didn’t come home alone. I couldn’t bear to leave our friend at camp alone – so I brought him along. Well, you know how he usually is – sleeping all the time (except when you’re around.) Anyhow, I asked him if he’d care for a nap too, but as he was already asleep he didn’t answer, so I carried him up, took off my shoes, crawled under the big blue quilt, stretched, gave a long yawn and snuggled down for a nice nap. In my drowsiness I began to think of you and everything was so nice – when all of a sudden, he wakes up. So I give him a caustic glance, and tell him to go to sleep. But no – he says that he’s not sleepy. “Let’s talk about Helen,” he says and I accuse him of reading my mind. As you know he’s very good at that and as I am thinking of you very much at the moment, he becomes more and more wide awake. So I try a new tactic by using an old Chinese phrase “Zawl gawrnisht helfen” – go to sleep” – but, honestly, I never saw such a stubborn guy. Well, we finally fell asleep but it was an awful struggle. The clincher was when I told him that if he didn’t get lots of sleep now, he’d be too tired to stay awake when we see you soon – and I know that you both wouldn’t want that. Do you have any messages for him?

When the folks get your copy of the “Adventures of the Ghosts,” I’ve instructed them to send it back to you, as they have a copy that I got from one of the fellows this morning. They still have us on the Secret List – can you imagine such stupidity. The war’s over – and the story can be had by anyone who wishes to purchase a copy of that paper – the outfit breaking up – and they still haven’t taken us off the secret list. Someone must have forgotten about us.

Wednesday I’ll be on my way to Ft. Myers [sic] (and it’s not in Florida). It’ll be funny going into a new outfit. Almost like just coming into the Army again – but I hope it won’t be for long. Anyway I still think I’m fortunate in not going to Miss. – and besides, maybe you’ll be going back to Washington, per tonight’s conversation.

Art will be coming in at 4 A.M. – so I probably won’t see him until breakfast, which will probably be at noon. So you see, everything’s worked out just about right – except for one detail – an important one – you’re not here. If not for that screwed-up graduation, you’d have been here too. Curse – curse – curse. And – if you were here right now – oh Helen – words fail me.

And now I’m off to a shower and then to bed. Give my best to the folks and I hope that all is well at the household and that the period of fevers & thermometers is over. – And please don’t say things like “I hate to bother you with my troubles” – I don’t want to be left out of anything. Don’t forget that “ – For better or for worse, in sickness and health” business. That’s in the contract – And if that sounds business-like – I’ll make up for it all later – when we play that delightful game of yours “Master & Slave” –

I love you Helen –

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