December 3, 1946

Office. 3 December 1947. [sic]

Dear Family:

Probably my last letter to you from Berlin, but I’ll undoubtedly have plenty of time to drop you a final line from Bremerhaven while I’m awaiting transportation to the States. Some of the personnel homeward bound have been stuck there for more than two weeks. I can afford a delay of about four days and still see you Christmas – needless to say I’m doing a lot of hoping that I’ll slip through quickly. If there is prospect of much delay I’ll go crazy sitting around with nothing to do and unable to make a side trip to some interesting country nearby. You never sent me Ellen Vezin’s married name as requested, so I can’t run over to Hamburg to look her up. Sorry – I might have been able to arrange it.

My work at the office is practically cleaned up or has been transferred to other shoulders, so I’m devoting my time to correspondence, visiting the offices of friends, arranging the many details incidental to leaving, and making preparations for a final party at 11 Bachstelzenweg next Saturday evening, – a combined effort of Maja’s and mine. She’s inviting about 15 and I’m including something over 50 of those whom I hate most to leave – gosh, they are a swell gang. Maja is just having a formal made – so all of the gals are being invited to wear their formals. There’ll be a four piece orchestra, lots of scrumptious hors-d’oeuvres (largely filled with the delicacies you and Heath have sent me), pineapple “bolle” (fruit marinated in white wine and fortified at the last minute with champagne), French “75s” (cognac & champagne), as well as straight American whiskey, Scotch and cognac for those who prefer their liquor straight or with water or juice. I have a hunch it won’t be a bad party.

Last Sunday we (Maja & I) joined the Sarles and Paul Powers at the Vadneys for a cold turkey and hot waffle supper – both delicious and the first waffles Maja had ever eaten. She admitted Europe still has some things to learn from America. This coming Thursday we shall be at the Sarles’ for dinner and this evening I’m entertaining M. for dinner at 11 Bach. All of which is lots of fun but it doesn’t get done the thousand and one odds and ends of clean up and packing jobs with which I’m faced right now. Wally Dietz will probably take over most of the photographic equipment and supplies which I shall not want to bring home. I haven’t decided to whom I’ll sell or give my store of blue stamp cigarettes.

I’m awfully sorry I slipped up on your birthday, Rog. I did manage to remember Ade’s and sent her a cable, but apparently two Geburtstage on two successive days were too much for my feeble memory. Probably too much absorbed at the time in getting off on my vacation trip. But even tho the felicitations are a month late please accept them now, for they are no less hearty. – I’m glad you were able to extract some interest from the OMGUS Weekly Bulletins. – Mebbe what you say about Ade is correct, sweet, but the highly sketchy interest she has shown in me (one letter since I came over) hasn’t been very convincing. Good intentions make a poor substitute for good deeds.

You poor kid, so bacon fat doesn’t work in the making of toll house cookies! I’m sure we were both equally disappointed for that particular product of your deft fingers is one of my passions. The batch you sent me last spring was sparingly doled out to myself as well as to my friends and lasted for several months. Nevermind. I’ll look forward to some when I get Stateside. – Too bad the “Life” job is so demanding but maybe the promotion will bring about more pleasant working conditions and hours. Congratulations, Rog, and please congratulate Phil for me, too, on his elevation. – Yes, thanks, the Readers Digest has been coming through on the button each month, as have all of my other publications except the Washington Post, of which I’ve received just two copies all year. I wonder whether they have been piling up in some post office or whether someone else has been enjoying them in my stead.

You mention Fritz Bley’s pictures. Just wait until you see ‘em. I have 60 of them, 55 black and white war sketches and 5 lovely water colors. Fritz and I have struck up a cordial friendship and I hope I can help him in the States by getting his stuff published in a monograph in order to build his reputation. He is really an artist. His ultimate ambition is to come to the US and draw for the Sat Eve Post, – where he picked up that goal I can’t imagine – but I hope he can swing it, or something as good.

Still remains a letter to be written to Heath this afternoon (I’ve just finished one to Burt Greenman) but first I must jeep down to McNair Barracks, Telefunken Building, and pay my November mess bill, so I’ll sign off, to reappear on station “Bremerhaven” next week. Love to you all