August 29, 1946

Bachstelzenweg 11, Dahlem, Berlin, Germany.
29 August 1946.

Dear Family:

I think it’s been about a week since I wrote to you last – at any rate I have the present circular letter to enclose, so will add a line or two on the covering sheet. The week has been distinguished by the arrival of two packages from you – a weenie one with a couple of 120 film in it, one of which I developed this evening, the first roll taken with my newest camera, and the other a large one with eight cartonen of cigaretten darein. And just to give you an idea of values, I took six of those eight cartons to buy the aforementioned camera, a Zeiss Ikonta folding job, 4 x 6 cm., with 3.5 Zeiss Novar lens and Compur shutter. It’s a sweet little job, tho not as fine or professional as my Exaka which takes the same size picture but uses 127 film, in other words, the pictures are turned through 90 degrees on the roll. I buy these cameras, try ‘em out and, if I lose my intense interest in them, sell ‘em for what I paid and try again. It’s a lot of fun, and there is never any difficulty in getting rid of them for I’m careful to get good bargains when I buy. I found a package of fifty rolls of 127 film, German orthochromatic and not panchromatic as I would like, but a bargain and most acceptable until I can do better. That’s 400 pictures (if they all turn out), and that should keep me going for some time. But to return to your packages, thanks a million, you’re ducky to take the trouble to send them. I hope you are charging everything including postage up to my account and that I’m not yet in the red, for I can use more cartons when you can conveniently get them to me – anything up to 20 or 30 cartons. I’m afraid the market will break one of these days and the value of the fags will go way down. I have Erika looking for a Contax 35 mm. job, which is expensive. Now my only camera of that size is the old Baldina which I’ve knocked around with for about the past ten years.

The week has gone very busily, so much so and under stress of meeting deadlines in reports, personnel bulletins, procedures, etc. that I’ve had little energy evenings to do much. Had quite a party last evening. Gen Sullivan, of whom I’ve spoken before, is now located in Bremen and was down on TDY for a couple of days. She threw a party in the private suite at the Harnack House for 8 or 10 of us, cocktails, dinner, dancing and a concert, following which we adjourned to Sue Elliott’s billet and carried on. I got to bed something after two this morning and was at my desk six hours later. I’m due for a good sleep to-night, I hope. We’ve had a spell of cold, wet weather which has not entirely cleared up, much to my regret for it’s lousy photographic weather, – the rest don’t count. I’ll probably not get around to printing all of the shots I take before I come home, but I have the records and can print ‘em any time I want later. But I can’t take them later.

Please thank Jeff for his letter, I’ll answer it one of these days when I get the inspiration. I really think he should stop associating with either the older boys on the street or else his Pop, one of the influences isn’t improving his gentlemanly diction. He must have had a fine birthday. I’m glad my check arrived on time and that you were able to put it to good use. Gosh, I want to see you all – I’m still sore because I was rooked out of my Christmas visit with you just before taking off. But I may see you next winter, although I am much afraid it will not be until after the first of the year. I continue to get fine reports of you four from the Montclair relatives – good letters recently from Aunt Elsie, Auntie Fay and Nancy. Also a good one from Cousin Martha Beckwith. She says Auntie May continues bright and alert of mind, albeit noticeably failing physically. What can be left! Two letters from Eleanor Rankin from Manilla, the usual ones coming through from Burt and a deluge of correspondence from Health Onthank which I just can’t hope to answer as I should. I’m going to try to write him a letter to stop all letters this weekend – and still won’t be able to answer and discuss all of the points he has brought up, most of them challenging and demanding pretty thoughtful replies. And I still have to send him the revised sketches for his dream house. Golly, spare time is so short and I have so little pep left at the end of a day. I think I’ll have to get the vet to give me a couple of sub-cutaneous vitamin shots as he did Ah-yaks.

Bed now. Lots of love, as always,