Early April letters provide hints of both Dad’s days and what the “folks” at home were up to. “We also took an electrical test this afternoon. 50 questions in 25 minutes, mostly on telephone equipment. I think I did fair on it, whereas most of the new fellows were completely lost.” I believe my Dad had already had some experience working with AT&T before joining the army, but I’m not sure how much! (question to you, Dad!)
I also would like to know how bad a cold has to be to land you in the hospital: “That rest I had in the hospital did me a lot of good besides completely curing my cold. I was there six days.”
Dad clearly took his job as oldest child in the family seriously and knew how to communicate both love and respect: “I’ll bet you’re doing a swell job, Mom, rolling bandages. If every woman who has a son in the service would do as much, the bandage situation would be greatly improved. Tell Dad not to work too hard. You don’t have to do all the work at the Meisel Press. Why don’t you let the bosses do some; that is if it’s alright with you.” The Meisel Press Mfg. Company And United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers Of America was established in 1942. Dad’s dad was a tailor by trade (in Canada before emmigrating to the U.S.), so I am curious about this job. I also wonder about the bandage rolling situation . . . Red Cross, perhaps?
Two themes are consistent so far in his letters: missing home, and keeping up with his Catholic obligations. Although he wants to hear his parents’ voices one afternoon, he is thwarted: “I was over to the main post this afternoon and was going to call up but the operator said it would take from three to six hours to put it through, so I didn’t bother. I did make it a point, though, to go to confession and I’m going to communion tomorrow.” His faith was, and still is, paramount in his life.
Dad doesn’t failed to find opportunities for recreation, however, as the topic of U.S.O. dances comes up frequently: “Girls and refreshments will be served.” That quirky sense of humor again! And money . . . what a difference half a century makes. He acknowledges receiving a letter from an aunt: “It was very nice and contained a lot of advice, but the best thing it contained was a dollar.” A dollar in a letter! That’d buy 100 boxes of penny matches! (I am left wondering what advice an old aunt would give a young G.I.!)