Bachstelzenweg elf, Berlin, Dahlem, Germany.
15 September 1946
It’s a rather boisterous day, starting with more than a hint of rain in the air, passing through a beautifully photogenic phase with deep blue sky broken by perfect cumulus clouds, and now at three o’clock John and I have been driven in by scattered rain from our photographic pilgrimage around Dahlem. We’ve had a great deal of this sort of weather lately – meteorological indications at 8:30 A.M. giving absolutely no indication of what the weather would serve up before we got home for dinner. It’s typically fall, ivy is turning gorgeous reds, the streets are littered with dead leaves and there is a real spice in the air every morning. But a clear day brings plenty of warmth in the early afternoon. It has been a really lovely summer, with only two spells of real hot weather, each of four days duration. Rarely have our heavy uniforms been unduly uncomfortable.
A good letter, sweet, to thank you for and a grand package – two cartons of cigarettes and a wide range of photographic material. Many, many thanks for them all. I have supplemented my request to you for photographic material by a couple of orders direct to Willoughby’s. They have not been able to fill my complete order any more than have you, but between you I’m set up to do laboratory work of a sort. They sent me plenty of film developer and several gross of paper – but not one drop of paper developer. Hence, I’ve been using the film solution and, while it doesn’t give the warm bromide tones, it does give reasonably satisfactory results. My greatest handicap is dark room lighting. I have an extremely dark red bulb, bought locally, designed for orthochromatic film developing but giving completely inadequate light for printing. So I’ve supplemented it with my red “A” filter fastened with adhesive tape over my flashlight, with reasonably good results. My efforts have been mainly directed toward getting 8” x 10” pictures to Heath for use in recruiting new personnel, pictures of our OMGUS buildings, typical billets, sports and recreation, genre, destroyed buildings and such which will give new prospects some idea of what they have ahead of them – the first time that any pictorial salesmanship has been attempted. I’ll send you some shots of a wide variety soon. I have a wealth of color film and am going hog-wild on transparencies in this most colorful time of year. German panchromatic film is beginning to appear on the market – mainly the Barter Market – so I hardly believe I’ll be needing any more of that from the States – after my present orders have been filled. I’ve completely given up 35 mm. black and whites and still have most of a 100 ft. can of 35 mm. Navy film which Marjorie Rankin gave me about two or three years ago. It’s excellent film and I keep John supplied with refilled cassettes of it as fast as he can use it up.
Your 26 Aug letter wasn’t as skimpy as you apparently feared it would be, a good newsy and chatty communication. But, come to think of it, I’ve answered that one and believe there was a later edition but I fail to find it on my too-littered bedroom table. I think I’ll have to take a couple of days of leave and catch up in my correspondence and other personal duties, which have been getting sorely behind. There seems to be so little time in which to do things – and so many things to do. And with a couple of evenings a week taken up by parties – which leave one with little ambition to dig into duties the next day. Add them up and there isn’t very much free time left. The parties here in my billet this week have been a most spontaneous one Monday evening (17 guests) for Jean Kirlin, one of our Personnel girls who is going to Wiesbaden, and one last evening at Sue Elliott’s, following which I spent the latter part of the evening chinning with John in his new billet. Our’s has grown to be a very quiet but genuine friendship and I hope that we may be able to keep it up on our return to the States. Oh yes, and on Friday evening the Sarles threw a big party on the occasion of Harold’s birthday which we both attended. I believe this evening will be a quiet one, I hope, I hope, I hope. And, to date nothing is scheduled for this coming week.
(Gotta pause a bit here: Item #1 – take a gorgeous birthday cake from Harnackhaus to my little Secretary, Dotty Saunders, who is having one of those things to-day; Item #2 – pick up about 700 lbs of Heath Onthank’s miscellaneous impedements at 63-B Im Dol and bring it down here for packing and shipment. Excusitplease.)
Back at the old stand – with a cloudless sky and bright sun cheering the view and drying everything after the rain. Truely amazing weather we have, we Berliners.
Having gotten rid of most of the reports function in the office (I’m continuing several reports assignments and carrying them to a conclusion rather than trusting to new hands half way through the job) I’ve been lighting into the backlog of regulations and procedures which has been piling up. I polished off bulletins on Promotions (and an SOP on the same subject), Overtime, Attendance Reporting, Within-Grade Salary Increases, and clearance and procedure for going to the States. Now I have a Disciplinary SOP, Payroll SOP, Leave, Travel and a couple of other procedures to tackle this coming week. It’s good to get back to them and they’ve been awaiting my attention for lo these many days. Then to write the Title 25 of Military Government Regulations on Organization for and Administration of Personnel – and I’ll have run out of work, if nothing else materializes – which it will. There’s no end to this work.
Later im abend. Dinner’s a memory, John has gone home and I’ve spent about three hours fussing in the dark room – testing some film (100’) belonging to a friend, and found that it was all spoiled, refilling two cassettes with 35 mm. film for John, trying out Butch (Captain Mercedes O.) Cubria’s daylight cassette loader – and don’t like it. Now to bed, 11:45, to get ready for a new week. Love to you all, and all best wishes.