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Letters to Lou

March 1, 1944

Letters from Arthur Singer

uniformed man seated leaning against a tree and working on a watercolor painting

Arthur Singer in the midst of creating a painting


Dear Lou,

I was wondering why I hadn’t heard from you, then I remembered you were getting a furlough. I’ve discovered the main thing about furloughs or leaves is having your wife with you. I’ve enjoyed certain weekends and days far away from New York more than any others because Judy was with me and we did things out of the ordinary routine. Furloughs can disappoint, like the first one I had which didn’t turn out too well. The best I had was when we went up to Jenny’s last summer and spent only three days in N.Y. Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned the news is blacker than ever. There seems to be no hope of furloughs. The latest has it that we will take an ocean trip quite soon. We may get furloughs then but if our commanding Colonel has anything to say it’s very likely we won’t get any! This is pretty damned lousy and I pray it won’t happen that way.

Every minute of the day here everyone lives in terror of this “inspection crazy” Colonel, the officers particularly. He gigs them, too!! He is really going the limit and we clean the barracks morning noon and night. Full field inspections are a regular Saturday affair now.

I finally was getting so down in the mouth that the week before last I finally took advantage of my weekend pass. That weekend three men were picked (who had done well in the inspection) to begin their passes at noon instead of 4:30 P.M. I was one of the lucky ones!!! This is something new that is continuing every weekend. If Judy had been with me that weekend it would have been the best weekend I’ve had in many many months. We went to a neat, small little town in Tennessee called McMinnville. I stopped at a hotel very typically Southern – and Lou, believe it or not I ate some of the best chow I’ve ever eaten outside of home – it even pla made swanky places like Longchamps look sick. Furthermore there [sic] colossal [sic] meals cost only $1.50. Man, did I eats some delicious stuff. And Sunday after a good sleep in a big soft double bed (although I miss Judy when I’m alone in a double bed) I got up and had a terrific breakfast. A couple of the fellows from the company and I went out into the country and painted. I couldn’t stop the scenery was so swell. I did three [?] watercolors that are about the best I’ve ever done! All in all, it was as good a weekend as it could possibly be minus Judy.

Here is some news. Since my hopes of getting home have pretty much faded, Judy will come down for a weekend. That will be on March 19 I guess and we will take off for this town I’ve been telling you about. The thought of it excites me so I can hardly wait for the day to come. Judy has been terribly busy at her new job and is pulling down some nice dough – between $50 and $60 per week. That usually includes a few hours of overtime. But she will be able to get away for just four or five days, I’m sure.

Gate, if you are disgusted with this Army life in the time you’ve been in – can you imagine how I feel? I guess I don’t have to tell you. I hope that you do well when you appear before this screening board you told me about. It may be nothing for you to worry about. And congratulations on the P.F.C. rating, I think I’ll be keeping that one stripe on my arm for the duration. I don’t even talk about that situation anymore it’s too discouraging. Particularly when you hear of fuckups that the 603rd got rid of, are now s/sgts, 1st/sgts, and buck sergeants. Our damned T.O. is filled and I’m just stuck. God forbid, Lou, don’t hope or wish that [you are?] in the 603rd. The only thing that would be good about it is that we would see each other a great deal – that, of course, might make all the chicken shit we have to take much easier. But I could tell you there isn’t a chance in the world to do artwork here.

Which reminds me, I got an order for an animal picture which I can make some money on. I expect to work on it this weekend.

Lately, we’ve be[en] having bivouacs one after another – every week. We’ll have them for the next few weeks as well. Some of them aren’t really so bad except that my feet freeze, and I hate eating breakfast in the dark. Otherwise I usually manage okay.

Lights are about to go out so I have to cut this a bit short. I’ve told you most of the news and we’ll be writing pretty regularly now. Give my best regards to Ann.

Your pal,


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