Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mary: January 16, 1943

Dear Joe, Saturday morning in the office is as usual very dull--not that you'd know about such things, having loafed all your life on the seventh day of the week--so I'm free to steal a few minutes to say hello to you. Then too, since most of my time this weekend will be divided between the books and hot coffee, I'll probably not have another chance to write.

Due to the paper shortage you'll note that I'm typing single space, although all the best secretarial books insist that you should use double space for personal letters. While in the midst of licenses and priorities, I'd like to inform you that we do not sell them--the Government does that. On the contrary we have to obtain them, and it's a hard job getting them. If you've been reading your newspapers lately (or maybe the El Paso Times isn't up to date), you'd know that there are innumerable forms to be completed before Washington will even consider granting priorities, allocations, and licenses. I hope now that you realize that procuring licenses is not as simple as persuading poor unsuspecting individuals to buy insurance policies.

This morning promised to be just another dull dreary Saturday, but soddenly the old sun has appeared and changed the whole outlook. To herald the appearance of Mr. Sol is the air-raid whistle which means noon time has come; I'm glad because hunger is gnawing at my stomach. You know army life would never do for me if the meals are as bad as you say. In no time though you'll probably become adept at dragging the available supply of food from those Texans, just as you were in obtaining subway seats from helpless women. Well, I guess I'll have to interrupt this letter anyway to get my mail out before closing time. See you later.

In a few short hours spring has come! How do I know? Well, when you can use a porch which has no heat, then it's spring, isn't it? Yes, it's the first time since November that we've even stayed on the porch more than two minutes. Usually we just consider that a part of the great outdoors. Of course you will probably pick me up on the above and remark something about my being on the porch for a whole hour one night. But why do I let my thoughts stray like that. To get back to spring--after work I walked down Fifth Avenue to the 42nd St. entrance to the subway just so that I might enjoy the warm sunny day. You see you're not the only one who takes 16 mile hikes.

Our coats were tossed open; thermostats were shoved down to 60, the solid earth became soft and muddy, and the world seemed to be whistling a tune of spring. Yet the other sure signs of spring were missing--there were no cheery songs of the birds or the first green buds on the trees--so I guess it isn't here yet. How I wish it were; then I'd have an excuse for this sudden attack of spring fever.

Mother insists that the cold blustery winter has just begun; rather she hopes so because we just bought a new grate for the fireplace which burns coal and we haven't yet experimented with it. By the way when dashing through RHM on Monday, I happened to see your sister Jane. However as I was rather late and anxious to get back form lunch on time, I didn't take time to stop. Besides she seemed to be persuading a reluctant costumier to buy some little do-dad.

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