Monday, November 30, 2015

Quite Safe

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 23 September 1944, 9:50 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Came out of the movie a few moments ago and here we are together for a few moments anyway. The picture was Phil Baker in "Take It or Leave It." Very little story to it but very good entertainment value. See it and it'll give you a lift.
     Sweet, you must face it. I won't be home for a long while but really I'll be quite safe. I can't tell you what our ship is going to do but believe me we'll be as safe as we have been up to now.
     I wrote to Sieger and White several days ago but haven't written to the Vaneteks because I've been hoping to see Al and then I plan to write.
     I'm worried about Norma. I do wish you would call the doctor immediately when the kids get sick instead of waiting to see. You know how nice Harry is and I'm sure he'll be glad to do what he can.
     Glad to hear the party was at least a little pleasant for you. I know how much you dreaded going and I'm really glad it was at it was. Just goes to show you must go wherever there are people. Honey, if you stay at home and wait for a call everyone will forget about you. That is the way people are. "Out of sight out of mind" (all except you and I). Talking about the food you had reminds me. I've been watching my diet and have lost about eight pounds. Am trying to lose eight more and with this hot weather we are having it should be easy--no appetite.
     As long as you've been having trouble with your periods again why don't you consult Harry about that too. I hope you are not neglecting yourself. I remember when you were plenty thin and I also remember that you didn't feel as well as you did as when you were around 128 pounds. I don't like my women thin and you know it so young lady don't lose too much.
     I wrote about Rosh Hashanah Eve. The next day I was getting ready to go to the service and had couple of emergency extractions. By the time I was through it was too late so I just skipped it.
     I don't know whether the Captain will go to the Yom Kippur service, but the executive officer and I have already made plans to go to Kol Nidre.
     My new quarters will probably not be as roomy as they were but I think they'll be cooler and believe me out here that is important. As for Jim Frug, don't think he'll be home so soon. I bet it'll be another six months before he is transferred back to the states. At least that seems to be his opinion and he ought to know.
     I am worried about Norma and am looking for tomorrow's letter with anxiety. And please dear again I say take care of yourself. I don't like the tone of you letters. Sound that you are just letting go and you mustn't for your sake and our girls. Please reassure me in your next letter.
     Do you remember how upset you were when we had to leave the El Dorado and you thought we couldn't find another apartment? Well everything tuned out OK didn't it? After the war when I am settled in private practice we'll be planning our new home with all the things we've always wanted. As usual we won't listen to anyone and we won't be sorry.
     It's 10:20 PM now and it's time I turned in. Good night my Sweetheart, please take better care of yourself and don't worry about me. I'll be OK. I love you dear.
Your anxious
Gil

Picture from Party Eleanor Attended








Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ain't What She Used to Be

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 22 September 1944, 10:00 PM
Hello Sweetheart,
     Just got back from liberty and now for our little visit. Nothing important this morning until mail call. Got a letter from you and a home recording from Dave, but I haven't been able to play it back yet. Hope I can tomorrow. After lunch the exec and I went on liberty together. We sat around and drank all afternoon and then went to the beach for dinner. After dinner we played some miniature golf and got a ride back to the ship with some marine flyers. And here I am.
     I wish I could take you to the dance at the "G's" but--well why say it? However dear, when this is over there'll be many dances. We always have and we always will go again together.
     Yes dear I am sorry to say the Ocelot "ain't" what she used to be and I won't be home for some time. What is the $29 storage bill for? You didn't explain. If you have anything you wish to send me send it on.
     Certainly you are going to Chicago with me. You didn't think I'd come home just to leave again. Silly girl! And Grand Canyon is our first stop.
     Last night I wrote to the Aranoffs and the Bergmans. So two more off my list. And as far as Leon is concerned, he is right, but I wouldn't worry. Everything will be all right. 
     Nothing more for now Sweet but I'll be with you again in the morning. Good night and sleep tight.

Saturday 8:15 AM
     Good morning darling. Just had my juice and coffee and now for a few more minutes together. Just you and I. I had hoped for some-thing in the morning mail but no such luck. I'm sure there'll be some letters this PM. I hope you slept well, that our girls were good and also slept well. Gee, even to be awakened at night just to cover Linda or Norma would be fun.
     I have a pretty heavy program scheduled today. About five patients this morning and a couple this afternoon. That with some non professional duties should keep me busy today.
     You should be well on your way to being settled by the time you read this note. Hope you haven't worn yourself all to a frazzle but I know how you are when you begin cleaning and straightening. Maybe you've learned by now.
     Dear, do you remember the Coconut Grove and Freddie Martin, how we loved dancing to his music? Well Sweet, after this war it's you and I at the Biltmore, Ambassador, Slapsy Maxie's etc, etc.
     Goodbye for now. Will be with you tonight and who said I like to sleep alone?

Loving you always
Gil


One of the places Gil and Eleanor danced.



Friday, November 27, 2015

Gals in Birthday Suits



Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 21 September 1944
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling. Just came out from the movie and now we'll have our little visit. The picture, "Wing and a Prayer," was quite good but still not what the men want. Give them gals in their birthday suits or as close to that as you can. Then they are happy.
     This has been a quiet day. Did some work this morning and some after lunch and the rest of the time odd and end duties and chores. For one thing I placed an order for additional recreational games. I intend to install a complete card file system for our library and catalogue the books by title and author. The fleet librarian is helping out. It shouldn't be too difficult a job.
     Discussed censorship with the executive officer. A few items I purchased to send home won't be able to leave for quite some time. I did order something for you birthday which you should receive on the day and also I found something I think you'll like that I'll send right off. However some books for Linda, hankies and a charm bracelet will have to wait. Please understand dear. I can't just send anything I like as can shore based personnel.
     No mail today so I'll expect a couple tomorrow. I hope Linda is completely recovered by now. I still don't know what to get Norma. I can get some dolls from the Army Exchange. How about a suggestion. With no letter from you I have no question so--no answers.
     Do you remember the play "Lysistrata?" The spelling is probably wrong, but after the war when I come back I'll be in the same condition as portrayed by the returning warriors in the play and you'd better not try any holding out. Good night my Sweet.

Loving you as ever
Gil






Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Income Tax

            

Lt(jg) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Franscisco
Wednesday 20 September 1944
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from liberty and found two letters from you. Got one from you this morning and also one from Linda. About gifts. I've purchased three books for Linda, a woven bag and coin purse for you and a charm bracelet. There are several reasons for my not buying a lot of gifts. First, they are mostly made in the U.S. and terribly overpriced even at ship service. Second the amount of money I draw won't go very far and I can't cash a check because I'm on a ship. I don't know what a fruit salad pin is but I'll find out. Jimmy is too far away to get together with and his liberty days and mine never seem to fall on the same day. Send me a $100 money order and I'll go to town. I'll select items and send them in one package and you can distribute same to members of family as you see fit. I bought some hankies. They as well as several items can't be sent by me until we leave here. I'll see what I can arrange. I still haven't heard from you about a watch for your birthday.
     Regarding the bank statement I can make two suggestions. Either a phone call or a letter sent by the local branch of the Bank of America under Mr. Lamb's signature might speed things up. The present balance is approximately $2750.00. It may be that the August statement has been forwarded to me since I wasn't in San Diego to receive it. It should catch up to me soon if that is the case.
     I got a New Year greeting from Manny and Etta and dropped them a note. I haven't heard from Deb and Dave in some time and answered Dave's last letter. You'd better check with Dave about filing a form to delay paying any income tax until I get back to the states. Go ahead and get your coat fixed. Of course I don't mind. I just wish I could say go ahead and buy a new one. We have the money but we'll be able to spend it and get more pleasure and satisfaction later when we are together. Go on a shopping spree, dear, and have as much fun as you can. Watch out for those hats though; you know me.
     Sweetheart as much as I don't like to say it Xmas will be a very lonesome day for me. I'm depending on you, though, to see the kids don't miss out.
     Nothing much to tell about my liberty today and we returned to the ship in time for supper. The movie tonight was "Falcon in Mexico." Not too good but still not at all bad as far as entertainment goes.
     Darling do you remember the picnics we went on in Ojai Valley. After the war you and I and our girls, too, are going there to enjoy a quiet day together. I wish I knew what to send for Norma. Can you make a suggestion?
     Good night my Sweet. I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil
P.S. Saw the proofs of my photos today and was greatly disappointed. So I only ordered three. Am going to try one of the quickie joints. I might be lucky and get a good one.
Gil

Example of a Fruit Salad Pin






















Sunday, November 22, 2015

Glamorous Wife

Tuesday, 19 September 10:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Sweet. Got your picture today and have been showing my glamorous wife off to everybody. One look at your photo and I knew I'd better get home soon or else.
     Since this morning I've been busy running around on some duties and that damned sun is hot. For dinner tonight our executive officer had two guests. One was a Jewish chaplain, the one who conducted the services here. Didn't want to go to the movie tonight because I had seen it before. "The White Cliffs of Dover. All through the picture I kept thinking of you. Do you remember when we saw it in Diego? Anyway I don't think it's the type of picture to show men overseas and from the Captain down all of us agreed on that.
     Well darling, on the day I stay aboard there is little to write about. Just routine and that is all. I did see the chap I sewed up and he looks swell. Nothing interesting outside of that. Will finish in the morning. Good night, darling.



Wednesday September 20, 1944, 8:25 AM
Good morning Sweetheart,
     Did you sleep well? I read the August Reader's Digest until midnight and then turned the light out. I had hardly closed my eyes when it was 7:00 AM and time to get up again. It seems the bugs were biting again last night. We all have a few welts to show for the attack but they must have just taken little nips out of me because I slept right on through.
     So you've got nothing to do at night but bathe and stay clean. Well I shower at least once every day because I have to. I perspire so much that I'd probably smell to high heaven if I didn't. I hasn't rained much here during the day but it rains every night and when I come out on deck in the morning everything is wet and fresh looking.
     My love, I'm going on liberty today. Will check the proofs of my photos, look around some more for those books you mention and then? Bye my Sweet, till tonight.

Loving you more & more.
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O. San Francisco

Glamorous Wife









Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mental Telepathy

Tuesday 19 September 1944, 8:25 AM
Good Morning Sweetheart,
     I never believed in mental telepathy but I do now. Either Sunday or yesterday I recalled our visit with Belle and Charlie. In the letter that I received from you yesterday you did the same. On my liberty yesterday I went to a bookstore looking for something suitable for Linda and saw those books you mentioned in the same letter. However I hadn't seen the letter until I returned. There must be something to this telepathy.
     Worked all morning yesterday. Had lunch aboard and then went on liberty. Stopped at the Chaplain's Office to locate Wally and Al. Wally is nowheres near here. Al is at a station some distance from the base but I'll arrange to see him soon. Then I went and had some pictures taken. Will see the proofs on Wednesday (tomorrow) and then will wait a week for the finished photo. Then I did the shopping I mentioned. By that time I was pretty warm so I went to the beach and had a cold drink. As I walked into one of the hotels another familiar face greeted me. You may remember the name, but I've forgotten. But you must remember the officer who lived around the corner at Diego with whom I tried to get together and share rides to the base when my schedule was changed. Well he just arrived on the 14th and was on his first liberty. He will be based here and seemed quite lonesome and lost.
     I hope Linda's stomach is completely settled now. If she has another spell take her to Harry Sieger's and have him check her over. Dear, don't worry about Leon's ideas. Though we are going places alright, our ship won't arrive until it is quite safe. I can't tell you why but believe me I know.
     Have to go to work now. Will write again this evening after the movie. By the way, saw Henry Aldrich in "Henry's Little Secret" last night. Very funny and refreshing. See it. Bye my sweet. Do you remember us and the Weinsteins at Arrowhead one afternoon in our cabin? After the war let's go back, but alone. I love you dear.

Your husband
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O San Francisco








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jewish New Year

Monday 18 September 1944, 9:15 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Good morning, Sweet. Just got a letter from you, the first since Friday and already I feel better. I've been quite busy since I wrote yesterday morning. With having liberty every other day, my working days have been pretty full. In addition one of our boys got into a fight with a Marine and got his mouth all cut up. I had to use five sutures to sew him up. Then one of our boys stepped through an open hatch and fell down the equivalent of about four stories. He had a couple of ugly cuts in his scalp which were taken care of but seemed unhurt otherwise. However he later developed symptoms of skull fracture and was sent to the hospital.
     Last night I attended the New Year Service here at the base. The Chapel is lovely and it was filled to overflowing with enough men left outside to fill it again. I got there late and stood through the whole service. There were at least 350 officers and men including two nurses. The service was very simple but we did enjoy the singing of two Marines and the organ accompaniment. The only similarity between this service and the ones at home was that it was hotter than Hades if that is possible. As I looked around I could just pick out the homesick faces. You just couldn't miss the faraway reminiscing look on their countenances. The sermon itself was informal and to the point. No lectures on sin and the punishment for those who imbibe in it. No pleas for money or other support. Just a heart to heart talk between one Jew and another. If we had more sermons like that in civilian life, religion would take on another meaning, at least to me it would.
     Got another letter from Libby this morning. She writes about twice a week whether I answer or not. Yesterday in a few spare moments I dropped a line to the Gindoffs, Gelman and Rabbi Lifschitz. Gradually, I'm catching up.
     Now for the "Eversharp program." When I'm at sea again I can study and will. The accordion belongs to one of the sailors but he is letting Hansen use it and that gives me the chance I want. We have music but the numbers are pretty old. By the way Dear, talking of music, as Welfare Officer, I am making plans for recreation when we are at sea. Will you buy and send me some song books suitable for community sings for men. I've looked all over but can't find any. If I can get the words and music, we'll mimeograph a batch and have a little fun while we are out. Yes the rash is gone. In fact I'm sure now it was not a rash but an insect bite. We all had the same complaint. No shots yet.
     I wish you enjoyed a drink now and then. Really when those you love and need you are far away and you are in a place like I am, having a few drinks is the least of the "bad" things a fellow can do. From the plans we are making however we'll be quite busy after this war is over to make up for all the things we are missing now.
     Do you remember how I would wake the whole family up Sunday morning when I went to play golf? Well after this war, I've got other plans for Sunday mornings.
     Well darling, my love, my own, time to go back to work.

Your lover

Gil
Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O. San Francisco









Monday, November 16, 2015

Small World

Saturday 17 September 1944, 9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from liberty and decided to write a few lines. Breakfast, as usual this morning, then a little work in my office. Before noon I chased down to the prosthetic lab to pick up some castings for that bridge I'm making. Returned to the ship for lunch and then Hansen, Cox and I went on liberty. We had a couple of drinks in a couple of bars and then went to the place I described to you in detail last time. We spent the afternoon there and didn't leave until 7:00 PM.
     While we were sitting there, in walked three couples, and one of the girls looked familiar. Do you remember the McCloud girl who taught Hy and me tap dancing? Well it was she. She came out here to get married and the big event is coming off next week. I just said, "Santa Monica." She looked around and when she saw me came over and shook hands. This world gets smaller all the time. We left and got a bus to go back to the ship and who would get on but Dr. Matson who was in San Diego with me and then sent to the Sea Bees. He's on his way but doesn't know where.
     So much for now dear, I've had quite a few drinks and am pretty high. Will finish in the morning. Good night my darling and pleasant dreams.

Sunday, 8:45 AM
     Good morning, Sweet, how are you today? Note the difference in the writing? Last night I wrote on my cot, now I'm at my desk in the office.
     By the way I picked up a newspaper, a day or two old this morning. There was a picture of the young lady I mentioned having met last night. I evidently got the name wrong. It is Valerie McCoy. I believe Babs took "tap" from her.
     Tonight I'll attend the Rosh Hashanah service here. Today, although it is Sunday, work goes on a usual. I have a patient in the chair and am waiting for some Novocain to take effect before I go to work. No mail yesterday so I hope to get a couple of letters today. If not I'll probably hit the jackpot tomorrow.
     Sweetheart today is the 17th and our home is now available. Gee, I wish I was there to help you get settled. Please take it easy. If you can't get moved in in a couple of days, take a week. There really is no hurry. You still have a roof over your head.
     Do you remember the Stevens Hotel in Chicago overlooking the lake? After this war let's go back to Chicago and maybe go on from there to Canada and visit with Belle and Charlie. Have you heard from them recently?
     Well darling, I must go to work now. I'm always thinking of you and love you so.

Your impatient husband
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O San Francisco



Stevens Hotel Chicago (Hilton Chicago)







Saturday, November 14, 2015

Envelope

16 September 1944
There is no letter from Lt.(jg) Gilbert Steingart to his wife Eleanor. However, she wrote to him. Here is the envelope.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

B'nai B'rith Past Presidents

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 15 September 1944
Dear Earl,
     Just received your letter and am answering immediately. I sure wish that I could attend the lodge meeting Past Presidents' night and help initiate the new members. That being impossible will you please act as my proxy and convey my best wishes to the lodge and my congratulations to the new initiates.
     Through the bulletin and the news Eleanor writes me I am keeping up on lodge activities. However, I have been wondering how the War Service Committee is getting along. You know it was my baby last year and at the present time I feel it is as important a committee as any that we have. How is the letter writing project going? I never realized how important that was until I shipped out. When a fellow is thousands of miles from home it's amazing to see how much of a lift a letter brings. I sincerely hope that my not having received letters is no indication that the project has fallen by the wayside.
     I'd like to tell you all about my ship duties and whereabouts, but the censor would cut most of it out. I can say that I am the only dentist aboard and that my office is as modernly equipped as was my office at home. In addition to my professional duties for the ship, I act as Welfare Officer which includes arranging recreational activities. In fact just recently our ship had an all day outing at a nearby beach. All the beer and coke the crew could drink was on the house (ship). Also charcoal broiled steaks and hot dogs. We engaged in games of volleyball and baseball and swam in the ocean. Everyone had such a good time that I'm planning another outing as soon as possible. I am also acting as Division Officer for the "H" or Hospital Division. All officers take turns censoring mail. So you see with my extra professional duties, I manage to keep busy.
     Recently I stopped in at an Officers' Club for a drink and ran into Abe Weinberg. What a jolly reunions that was. As a matter of fact I am constantly running into people I knew in the states.
     I know you and the men are interested as to whether I've run into any discrimination. No! As a matter of fact I'm very surprised at the total absence of it. The officers and men aboard seem to be very fine and accept men at face value.
     There isn't much more I can say now. Convey my best wishes to all for a victorious New Year. I do hope that when the next Past Presidents' Night is held I shall be able to attend personally.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Gilbert Steingart

Gil always wore his B'nai B'rith ring

The ring has disappeared.  The design was similar to this pin.





Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Go Native


Friday 15 September 1944, 10:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just came out from the movie. Saw Spencer Tracy in the "Seventh Cross." It was intensely interesting and the suspense carried on to the very last scene. See it if you get a chance.
     Got letters from Earl Bubar and Libby this morning and two from you this afternoon. I immediately answered Earl and also wrote to Dr. Sieger, Dr. White and Miss Earnest. Worked in my office the rest of the day. That is the way I passed my time today.
     You ask many questions in your Monday letter so here goes. Yes, I received the taffy and wrote Linda and Norma a note. You should have it by now. I'll try to look up Al and Wally. Can't write and tell them where I am or where to meet me because then I would be disclosing our whereabouts. It may seem silly but that's the way it is. Yes, I took something to the Rikes, a two week liquor ration and they were very pleased. I get all the current news via newspaper. I've read a few mystery books but nothing exciting or worth talking about. No cards thank you, but I do play checkers quite often. The ship is a subscriber to several magazines although they are a little old when we get them. No periodicals of a professional nature so far.
     No Darling the way things are now I can't do any studying. Not even much chance to play the accordion. However it won't be long before I have all my comforts again. Then maybe I'll do some of the things I've wanted to do.
     By the way, young lady, stay away from that male teacher or papa will go native. I'm beginning to see why some men go native. I really need you dear, but I'll put up with it as long as we can have our daily visits.
     I'm glad to hear that you are back teaching. But Dear, even though you should keep busy, remember you have two girls to care for and you can't always find an Edna to care for them, even at $25 per week. I've also made a note of the rings for my girls.
     Goodnight, Sweetheart, I love you, truly I do. Do you remember eating cookies in the lower berth on the train to Frisco? After the war we'll try that lower again.

Loving you always,
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart

U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O. San Francisco


One evening in September 1944, Eleanor was at the Florentine Gardens

Left to right Nick, Eleanor, Deb, Dave and and Sol

For more about Florentine Gardens see http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/2009/06/florentine-gardens-hollywood-nightspot.html





Sunday, November 8, 2015

Beautiful Home



Thursday, 14 September, 11:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Had liberty today and just got in. First I stopped at a dental supply to get some teeth for a bridge I'm making. Then Hansen and I had a couple of drinks and tried to do some shopping, but with no results. I saw a cute house coat in a print for Linda but I wanted to get Norma one to match and they didn't have one. I'll keep on looking until I find something in both sizes.
     Do you remember the dining car steward on the Challenger when we went east? A jolly Irishman. Always kidding. Well we sat down for a drink and there was this civilian sitting there and kidding around. We got to talking about the states and our home towns and all the time his face looked familiar. When he mentioned being on the train I knew immediately where I had seen him before. Anyway he told us about a place to go for a drink and a bite to eat. We had a hard time finding it, but it was really worthwhile. A beautiful home with gorgeous grounds was my first impression. Umbrella tables and chairs were set out on the lawn and then there was a pagoda-like structure with more tables in that. Besides this structure was a large pool just seething with fish of different varieties that I don't know. But there were goldfish more than 12 inches long. We threw bread on the water and the fish practically jumped out of the water to get it. After spending a pleasant few hours there, Ambie and I returned to the ship.
     You've probably gathered by now that Ambie and I are pretty friendly. Well, we are and we make all our liberties together. He is a Swede, about 31, married with a daughter of six. He is one heck of a lot of fun. Good night dear, I'll finish in the morning.

Friday 8:15 AM
     Good morning darling,
     Did you sleep well?
     At breakfast, Ambie and I were telling the boys about the place we found and they all laughed at us. You see Ambie is a"Baron Munchhausen" and they think he dreamed this one up to. However we'll show them.
     This being the 15th, I drew my semi-monthly pay and am wondering what to spend it on. Since I left the states, money doesn't mean anything to me anymore. I've got it and feel like spending it, after all that's what it's for. You mentioned a wristwatch. What kind would you like? I'd like to get you one for your birthday. No use waiting until after the war.
     Got another note from Libby and one from Earl Bubar about Past President's Night at the B'nai B'rith. I guess I'll have to write to the lodge now even if I don't feel like it. In a few days now, Linda and Norma should be receiving their little surprise. I hope they like it.
     Sweetheart, here I've raved for three pages and said very little but nonsense. Do you remember the Colonial Mansion we stopped at in Upper New York with the twin double beds and I had a cold? After the war, after Chicago, on our way to Philadelphia let's stop there. I won't have a cold this time.
     How is school? How did Linda like going back again? Does Norma fuss when Linda goes or does she understand? It's nine o'clock and I've a patient waiting. So darling, goodbye until later. I love you so.

Your husband
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart

U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O. San Francisco

The beautiful home was the Willows restaurant founded in 1944. It is still in business and looks beautiful. A link to their website: http://www.willowshawaii.com/













Saturday, November 7, 2015

In The Groove

Wednesday 13 September 1944, 5:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another buy day working in my office doing what I came into the Navy to do. Dentistry and lots of it. When I came aboard they all said I'd change my tune but I still feel the same way about it. I'd rather keep busy than sit around doing nothing. The time passes more quickly and I keep my fingers "in the groove."
     There has been so much favorable comment about our beach outing that I'm going to plan similar activities whenever possible. Believe me, the training and experience I got in B'nai B'rith and A.Z.A. work is standing me in good stead.
     I've been writing letters for a change. Wrote to the Corsos, Duncans, Libby, Ruth and my mother. Will try to write a couple extra each day and get caught up with my correspondence.
     Got five letters today. Two from you, one from Linda, one from Ruth and one from your mother. I hope by now my letter has reached my mother and her fears about me have been allayed.
     Leon made some pretty good guesses but no one knows for sure. In any case mail will be coming regularly for a while yet. Wherever we go I feel that we'll be as safe as anyone can expect to be in time of war. And, as I told you previously, as far as I've been able to find out sea duty for dental officers usually is for a term of 12 months.
     Well dear, (10:00 PM ran out of ink) so much for small talk. Do you remember the cozy cabin at the Grand Canyon? Well we didn't stay there long, so after this is over in between home and Chicago let's stop there and relive those hours we had together. Since the "well dear" at the beginning of this paragraph, I had supper and saw a movie aboard. "Marine Raiders." This picture is better than what we've had lately.
     Good night my darling. I'm going to be with you in my dreams (I hope). I do love you and miss the fun we could be having together.
Your only,
Gil
Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O. San Francisco



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jack Benny USO Show

Tuesday 12 September 1944, 10:15 PM
Dear Eleanor,
     Another busy day, but not doing any dentistry. As welfare officer, I arranged an outing a to a nearby beach for the crew and did we enjoy it. All the beer and coke we could drink with charcoal broiled steaks and hot dogs for lunch. We left at 8:15 AM and returned at 4:30 PM. Played 5 games of volleyball, swam before lunch and again after lunch. We had a lot of fun and I really think it did the men a lot of good. I got a little sunburned and now I'm plenty tired. Guess I'll survive OK.
     Jack Benny, Carol Landis, Martha Tilton and some others whose names meant nothing to me recently put on a USO Camp Show here. I obtained a couple of tickets so the Captain and I went. Benny really can play the violin. Do you remember the harmonica player* at Earl Carroll's when the Old Home ran its benefit there? Well that man was also in this show and he was really good. Of course Carol Landis with her well built chassis and suggestive songs and stories stole the show. However they were all good and I enjoyed being there.

*Just remembered. Larry Adler is his name.
     My mother won't worry about me so much because by now she should have received my last note. Sorry to hear Deb is ailing again. She really has had a time with her bladder. Hope you enjoy teaching, but really if you find it difficult, forget it.
     There should be more than $134 in the reserve account. You'd better check with the bank on that. The balance is in the back of the day book. Deb or Miss Earnest could help you find it.
     No I've not taken any more shots and won't unless the locale we are in demands it. Well darling I'm really pooped and must turn in.
     Do you remember the moonlit rides we used to take in Catalina, music and all?
After this war let's go back and take some more. Just you and I.

Goodnight darling,love
Gil

Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart

U.S.S. Ocelot
F.P.O San Francisco

Links to footage of Carol Landis/Jack Benny 1944 USO Tour