In der Halde 7, Berlin, Germany.
24 March 1946.
Hi, mes enfants:
Sunday, and, after a ton of duty in the office this morning George and I separated, following a good dinner, he to go to the movies, I to finish my writing of Personnel Bulletin F-1 and then to meet him. F-1 is the first of our new Bulletin series addressed to the field since OMG (U.S. Zone) in Frankfurt folded up as of April 1 (try to reconcile the tenses, it cawn’t be done) and we took over direct charge of the three Laender Offices and OMG Bremen. So I went to the movies, then had a couple of quickies with Col. Garde, the new A.G., W.O. Edwards, – in charge of AG Publications (two good people to know well), Wally Janet and Sue. Then buffet supper with Edwards and home. George, who was coming directly home from the movies for supper at the billet, hasn’t showed up (7:45) and Harold is out gadding with Leftenant Raynolds and some of his other British friends. Sooo- I have the billet to myself for a quiet letter home. I started this evening on a new mission – planned long weeks ago – to liberate beer steins. Not the horrible ones made for the tourist trade, – glazed pottery with pewter tops, which you never see in Germany – but glass steins of a variety of patterns, with the name of the “brau” or rathskeller emblazoned in color on them, really a tasty collector’s item. Some day you’ll see my collection – it’s gonna be good.
I was duty officer yesterday afternoon in the Personnel Office, and planned to spend my time writing you. But Heath dropped got nasty (his expression, not mine) and asked me to get out F-1, so no letter was written. And to-night’s the night.
Your swell letter, sweet, of the 14th reached me on the 22nd, about average in transit, and was voraciously consumed. And here let me say that mail is coming through pretty regularly. I get yours of Sunday or Monday between Wednesday and Friday of the following week, not bad, considering. I hope the westbound mail does as well. Certainly, you got super service with my Frankfurt letter of 3/8, rec’d 3/13. – I’m sorry Auntie May’s letter was – as usual – self effacing. Poor dear, she must be slipping and, though it will be a wrench for her friends, it will be a glorious relief for her when she finally goes to meet the God who has meant so much to her through a long and rather agonizing life.
OK, m’dear, I’ll save September horse for Dickies treasure chest, but I hope for my sake as well as his that he will be old enough to take it in his stride when he finally gets it. I’m trying now to get Sue, who gave me S.M., to liberate a gorgeous porcelain ocelot, also from the Admiral Doughnut’s house, for me. It’s about 16” long, 3-dimensions, and is a lovely bit of ceramic work. But Susan appears to covet it as much as I do and I’m afraid I stand small chance of getting it. But I tell her I’ll settle for the oil (also a nude) over the livingroom fireplace, a lovely bit of light and shade.
Speaking (as you did) of my water borne baggage. A letter re: it to Bremen brought forth the reply that they were completely unable to trace it. And two days later (yesterday) came a cable (all wires in the Army are cables, whether by land or by sea) saying “Your foot locker too heavy to mail. Air transportation available if you can pick up at Templehof. Will wire date of transmission and flight number. Please advise by TWX.” So I’m wiring them to-morrow to send it through and where in Hell is my other package. Mebbe I’ll get it all soon, and I’ll believe it – with reservations – when I actually have my hands on it. My little Dotty said her Washington roommate, now in Frankfurt, got her footlocker – completely empty! But if mine is too heavy to mail I have hopes that most of the contents is intact.
I’m delighted that your Herr Doktor is laying the heavy hand of authority on you – and that you are obeying him, for I’m firmly of the opinion that most of most women’s middle aged ailments are due to not taking proper care of themselves after childbirth. Boy, oh boy, do I look forward to receiving the can opener. You can be sure the blessings of In der Halde 7 will descend on your aureate tresses when it arrives. And in that connection, I enclose the latest ukase on parcel post to the ET. They’re getting a bit fussy, apparently. – Mebbe I clipped my small photographic records into the footlocker (I was in pretty much of a daze when I packed) but I do know that in said f.l. are 11”x14” blowups of the pictures I took of you and Jeff in Hollywood and some of Mel and the Lady. One of you and the che-ild will go on to my wall in the office, and it’s dollars to invasion marks that you will, soon after, be the toast of OMGUS. – I’m glad to know from whence Dicky got his name, and a paen of thanksgiving goes up that you didn’t hit on the “Moses”.
By the way, sweet, what’s your Clifton address, and when shall I start using it? Allow about 10 days transit time. I enclose a modest check for $25 for my new grandson’s bank account and a $50 check to cover odds and ends I may ask for from time to time. Let me know when it is consumed. Speaking of maps, I’ll try to get you a “Restricted” map showing the quadripartite division of Germany, but they’re scarce as herr’s teeth and to date I haven’t ever been able to get one for the wall of my office. And you should see that little 8’x14’ room on an average afternoon. Hildegarde, my little German typist in one corner, Dotty with a couple of folks from Manpower or I.A. & C. Division, trying to show them how to fill out our Position Inventory Control Reports, and I with a couple of Lt. Col’s, expanding on the subject of daily strength reports or civilian procedures. Overbrook is a pest cure compared to it. – Glad to get the vital statistics on your progeny. They’ll be big men yet, despite their puny forebears. And I’m delighted that you are able to get a little better of the “feel” of your dear mother from her diary. Some day I am going to turn over to you the sheaf of letters I got from her during our engagement and, subsequently, when I was on my travels.
Heath starts on a week’s trip through the Laender next Tuesday and I’m hoping to get the opportunity then to empty my “In” basket, which has been sadly neglected since my return from the field. Golly, there is so much to do. George is terribly bowed down by responsibility now, for, since Joe Henderson left last week, he (George) has been Acting Chief of the Civilian Personnel Branch as well as continuing as Chief of Classification (writing job descriptions and grading all positions in OMGUS – both in Berlin & the field). I’m just beginning to get my teeth into my augmented job – Chief of Personnel Reports and Records. We two have certainly taken over a large topside slice of OMGUS personnel work. But I love it and thrive on it.
I’m afraid this letter has been five pages of very little, but I’ve been able to get several things off of my mind in it, so it probably has not been all for nought. Had some wonderful dancing this past week, Janet Cameron, Wally’s girl, and last evening Jen Christiansen, a Norwegian gal whose dancing is out of this world.
And now to bed and lay a foundation for a new week. Lots of love to you all from the old, old man.