Note: Reminder, my grandfather, Roger Garrison, used to write for Life Magazine.
(I’m getting used to compound words)
24 February 1946
Your letter of the 10th, sweetheart, came through promptly on the 20th and I was mighty sorry to hear that sister is still delaying her arrival. I wonder whether Reichle was wrong in his reckoning – it has been done before. And still I wait to hear the glad news. By the way – if you should ever wire me please use RCA, for they have an office right here in one of our buildings and will phone me the message as soon as it arrives. By any other means of transmission the message is delayed several days going through APO 742.
Thanks a million for the “little box”, I’ll be looking for it and it will be wonderfully welcome. All of the foods you mention will be eaten with gusto by the boys at In der Halde 7 (German way of writing the address and the figure 7). Coffee we can get, but if you can send us a jar of mayonnaise sometime it would be heavenly. We have absolutely no salad dressings over here. Also dehydrated soups. I’m afraid it would be too much to ask for a thick, tender steak or some 3 to a pound lamb chops!
Thanks for the offer re: caring for financial obligations – I’ve arranged with my bank to handle those. – No, the civilians are not all bachelors, and many of them are planning to bring their wives over as soon as permitted – probably next summer. Those that do are compelled to contract to stay here for at least a year after said families arrive. And it is interesting to see how many expect to stay on here for an even longer time. I’m seriously thinking of doing it, and taking advantage of a month’s leave at home next winter at government expense before starting on my extended tour of duty.
Sounds as though you had hit a good springboard, Rog. In your work with Life to throw you into bigger and better jobs. More power to you. – To answer your question, sweet, we nominally work 8 hours 5 days and 4 hours on Saturday, but usually we manage to squeeze in a few extra hours Saturday PM or Sunday. One never knows, and at some time or other on Sundays you can expect to see nearly all of the top personnel in their offices or wandering through the halls.
Monday morning before work.
I shall certainly look forward to getting some new pictures of you four and hope they start arriving soon. When I left Alex I had a good stock of pictures of you kids and the Ade set aside to bring with me, but somehow they must have been left behind. In consequence, I haven’t a single picture of any of my family with me – a most distressing situation. In my waterborne luggage I have some of the 11×14 blowups but I’m not expecting them for some time. – Apparently Jeff is over the main speech hurdle and can now be expected to really blossom out vocally. Golly, I’d love to be watching him develop. It’s a darn shame I had to forego my Christmas with you kids.
The tea with the Baron & Baroness was a huge success and I’ll tell something of it in my next Circular Letter. And now to work. Heath Onthank is (so far as we know) on the Riviera, and I hope it is doing a job of rebuilding him. He had completely worn himself out and needs and has earned more of a rest than he will take. Joe Henderson is pinch hitting nobly. But he isn’t the Colonel by a long shot.
This past week has been quite social. Wednesday I got into a real stiff bridge game with a Col & Maj – RA and West Point classmates. And Mildred Bicklen, Beryl McClaskey’s billetmate. Beryl, you may recall (Ph.D.) was one of my WPB associates. Mil is most attractive, in her latter 30s I should judge, and has charge of the whole Public Welfare program for Berlin under the Allied Kommandatura. Some gal.
Thursday I was one of 10 at the charming home of Kendall and Mary Ann Foss on the pine covered shores of Wannsee. Ken is Berlin correspondent for the N.Y. Post (I believe his stuff is published under his name & picture) and Mary Anne is the sweet and charming little girl who receives all newcomers here for our Personnel Office and sees that they get properly located. Present were Joe Henderson, Lt. Col. Woolley, Sue Elliott, Gen (Genevieve) Plagmann (formerly full Lt. in WAVES), all from Personnel, Lt. Col. Dan Minster, Lt. Irene VanHouton and Capt Fisher from other units in OMGUS. A well selected group, charming company, good food and drink and a grand evening. Home in Ken’s car in the wee, sma’ hours.
Friday about 10 of us had a more informal knockdown, drag out evening at Joe’s billet. Harold didn’t show up until the next day, George & I brought Edie Laurendine home with us, where she occupied the former maid’s room and Joe didn’t reach the office until 11:30 the next morning. All very proper but high. Conventions here are rather lightly held, of necessity, for with no transportation after midnight it is often necessary to bed down wherever you happen to be. I spent one night in Edie’s apartment after I brought her home at 1:30 AM from a dance. And so it goes in Berlin.
Saturday night there was the biggest dance of the season at Harnack House, a masquerade – with 22 piece orchestra, floor show, et al. But Harold and I stayed home and went to bed. George went to the dance, got tangled up with some aviators from Templehof Airport and dragged himself home at 2:30. Gosh, I felt grand the next morning. I understand the dance was a wonderful success. To-night George White’s Scandals, with Joan Davis & Jack Haley —— next week, East Lynn.
Work is going smoothly if intensively. I’m just getting out new personnel control forms & instructions by which we shall get complete but simple semi-monthly reports from the whole of OMGUS, both in Berlin and the various field offices in Berlin District, Brennen, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Stuttgart and Munich – the first systematic control we shall have had on positions & Personnel, and we shall be able to shoot information to Gen. Clay on request in veracious form. Now to tackle leave forms and regulations. There’s never a dull moment.
And so to work. The best of everything to you all.
Oh, the Macedonian Cry –
Please, oh please, send us a decent can opener. All our food comes in cans and can openers just can’t be bought. On second thought, please send two – the kind that roll around the can and make a clean opening (first class air mail).