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September 8, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

Two soldiers in a french town at night 1940s

Ted (right) visiting a town in France

Dear Helen,

I still reside amongst the splendors of a comfortable abode, though I still can’t figure out if it is from the ridiculous to the sublime or vice versa – reason being that a quasi-garrison life carries with it certain regulations which one forgets in the field and in coming in contact with them there is a resemblance to the old basic training days – an annoyance, but, in my estimation, well worth it.

After writing to you last night I went in search of the rumored piano – and found it. A big beautiful grand – and, joy of joys, - in tune. It was set on the stage of their theater, and due to the lack of electricity, I played it blackout. So, there I was on the stage playing in pitch darkness. It was a strange, though very pleasant feeling – a feeling of detachment from my surrounding. I couldn’t see the keys but my fingers fell into place naturally and instinctively. I was hardly conscious of playing – my fingers rambling over the keys on their own, so to speak. It was like listening to someone else playing – rather eerie.

Tonight, I’ll be off to visit a town nearby, which is reputed to be interesting. Of course, I’ll write you about it tomorrow.

The weather is quite cool, though this is not unusual. Come to think of it, I haven’t experienced a warm evening since my arrival in this hemisphere – or not even a hot day for that matter. I don’t think it will be long before we’ll be wearing overcoats.

As always, I’m hoping to see you soon. The mail should be in about an hour and I’ll be looking for you in the mail bag. I miss you –


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