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Illuminated Letters

August 7, 1943

Letters from Arthur Singer

watercolor painting of gazelles painted on the page of a book

Saturday, Sunday

Dearest love,

[sketch on text from Combination Score Book for U. S. Rifles M1903 and M1 and Browning Automatic Rifle M1918A2]

This is some of my handiwork done during range season when I was in the pits. We had a lot of time in which to do nothing so I did this. I hope you like it. I really think it has more art merit than almost anything I’ve done for many months. Do you think it would look nice as a plate or platter decoration? Keep it because I think I will want to use it for something or other.

Today we started record firing and I and a few others having rifle 172 have a handicap against them because the mechanism works pretty poorly. Finally, after ups and downs in scoring I qualified as a marksman missing sharpshooter again just by a few points. Many of the men had trouble because of faulty clips and with an automatic rifle these slipups make it difficult for anyone to gain confidence in the rifle. However, I’m glad it’s all over. What a week!

I know the news of my not coming home must have hurt, because I was on pins and needles myself to get home. I really didn’t have any choice in the matter of working or not since orders came from the Colonel and Captain Cecil and if I had refused my name would be “mud” on future art projects in the Battalion. Besides when I am home with you for three days you’ll like the idea much better. Cuffari, Pete, Haas and I are all on that detail and each has two posters do [sic] make corrections on (or do over if necessary). I’m not sure whether we will [be] working on reproducing them next week. All that has to be done in the artwork this week.

I’m tickled to hear of your raise. It makes up for all the money that is taken from you, or part of it anyway. It would be nice if it had been more [than] $5 anyway. Congratulations!

Please do get the kodakchrome printed – I love it, please huh? Just got a very long letter from Willard who had a short but not too good vacation in Maine. I’ll show you his letter when I come in.

Well, it’s Sunday now and we did artwork until 9:30 Saturday night and all of us doing swell work. We had a radio and it almost felt like home, doing artwork and listening to the radio. I am revising a poster, it’s not one of the ones I did but I’ve improved the layout considerably.

I imagine I’ll get my pass this week but how about letting me know when you would like me to get it. I don’t know if it would do any good but tell me anyhow just in case I’m free to choose my own time.

You know that the place we moved into was previously inhabited by negroes. And the surrounding area is still full of them. You should have heard the howl that went up from all our “Southern Rebel Nigger haters” it was absolutely revolting to hear it. How is it possible to have a real democracy in this country with such bigoted people. You could never change their minds no matter what you would do.

The Saturday Evening Post this week has an article on Ellington with color photos. I haven’t read it yet, just saw it at a distance. I tried to get a copy but the PX don’t have them as yet. I haven’t heard from him or his manager yet. Have you received my drawings from him? because I told him to send them to you in Bellaire. If you haven’t I’ll have to do something about it when I get in town.

Have you seen or heard from Ann and Lou? I hope I’ll see Lou before he leaves.

Did you go to Rockaway this past weekend?

I have an inkling that in case they give me a three day pass it will probably start either next Thursday night and end Sunday, or Friday night and end Monday. But there was nothing said as to when I’d get it so I’m just guessing, I do think it will be soon.

[partial sentence crossed out]

Darling, my need for you is terribly strong right now and I fear the old blues will set in unless I see you soon. Whenever more than two weeks pass without seeing you I begin feeling awfully low, so I do hope I’ll have you tight in my arms soon – very soon.

Your lover,


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