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Letters to Lou

November 8, 1944

Letters from Arthur Singer

men in uniform leaning against a tree

The men waiting for their next assignment

Nov. 8, 1944

Dear Lou,

Goddamn it I can’t find my fountain pen so I guess I’ll have to do the best I can with this scratcher. It was swell getting your Vmail, Lou. Mail has been terribly slow and uncertain, I haven’t had a letter from Judy in eleven days and it sure “brings me down.” There has just been a trickle of mail for us in the last two weeks.

At present we are right up in there but there is little I can tell you. I’ve done quite a pile of work during the last month when we were in barracks. We’ve been very fortunate during all this cold and rainy weather with soupy mud a foot deep, and we’ve been indoors all the time. The Army is really strange one never knows what’s going to happen next. Two nights ago I was in a pup tent on guard post in an area that looked as much like no man’s land as any I’ve seen yet. It was a windy night pouring rain, Nazi robot bombs [V-2 rockets] roaring hideously across the sky every little while. The stuff in the tent got wet including my blankets and after my 3 to 6 morning shift I couldn’t go back to bed. What a contrast to the next night – here we are in a former resort hotel! We are four men in a room, one sleeps on the floor. Last night I had a bed for myself with excellent springs and mattresses, some of goose down! What a luxurious feeling it was! In the room we have a basin with running water, a large mirror above it, a closet with a full length mirror, all the conveniences of a hotel room, even the heating system is working! Whenever I’m in a hotel room my thoughts turn back to Judy. We’ve spent some unforgettable time in hotels on furloughs, passes and the like. So it made me kinda homesick, God, I miss her so much it ain’t even funny. Well, this is just another stopping point, I guess we won’t be here long before we move again.

It’s not necessary, Gate for you to remind me to stay away from the “wimmen” I let my artwork keep me so busy that I don’t think about it much. Oh, I’ve met some, one in Paris just wrote to me, but I never let it go further than a conversation. Lord knows a guy does have to control himself because it’s a very easy matter to get a “piece.”

I did a portrait job this month which I made fifteen bucks on and I also did a Christmas card for the outfit that is at the printer now. I stand to make a little money on that also. I could actually do plenty of stuff and get paid for it but the guys don’t know what artwork is worth and can’t pay what I ask. So I’d much rather do what I want to do than make some GI’s mug look good and get a few bucks for it. The town near us [probably old walled city of Luxembourg] which is more a city than a town has enough stuff of interest to keep an artist busy every single day for a year! It’s one of the most amazing places in all Europe – besides Paris, of course, nothing tops that city!

So, Gate, this gives you a little idea of our life. We are lucky in some respects but mixup [?] close and things are pretty hot. If we get it, it will come so fast we won’t know about it. I hate to think what one of those robots could do to this place. They come over too often for comfort.

I’m glad that Milt is doing well and finds India interesting. It’s too bad he can’t do a little work on his own. I hope I’ll be hearing from him soon. Traveling so much in foreign lands is a good thing if it’s necessary at all that you be away from home for there is enough of interest to keep one from brooding. After some months, of course, it really gets pretty tough thinking about that wife of your’s [sic] in another part of the globe. One feels it strongly when one leaves the P.O.E. also.

It’s a tough nut to crack, the Nazis but it won’t be very much longer. Weather has held up the fighting, supplies also but, boy, those Heines are going to get it hot and heavy, they’ve seen nothing yet. I hope, Gate, that it won’t be the C.B.I. for us after this, I don’t think I could take a couple of years away from Judy. It’s a nightmare to me to even think of it. I’m losing a lot of years, we can’t really save much and I wonder what the future will hold.

At the writing of this I suppose your show has run its course. What do these shows show, what is their message? Will you have more shows coming up?

How is Ann? Is she travelling with you during the shows? Is she doing any work? Do you ever get to New York on furloughs?

I heard from Jack Golden and I think I already told you he is working with P.F.C. Will Burtin didn’t I? He is on detached service.

Gee, Lou, this is no sh-t, I sure miss you. There are not really many people that become so close other than your wife and immediate family that you have a real desire to see. You are one of those friends, both you and Ann. George Fox is another but there aren’t many.

I guess that’s all the news just now. I can’t very well send you a snapshot from Europe I wish I could, maybe I’ll be able to soon, but I really would like to get a recent one of you and Ann. Any chance of it, Gate? Take care of yourselves and write again Lou and soon.

Your pal,


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