Lt (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 26 September 1944,9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,Just got back from the Kol Nidre service and found six letters waiting for me. You see I had liberty today. I didn't get back to the ship until it was time to go to the service so the exec and I shoved off immediately. The Captain hasn't attended any of the services as far as I know. I enjoyed this service much more than the last one because the place was much larger and cooler. The service itself was quite simple and the sermon was one that could well be repeated in all houses of worship. But then the chaplain wasn't at all concerned about keeping his pulpit or pleasing Mr. and Mrs. Gotrock who contributed lavishly to the building fund. He spoke his mind and we listened and liked it.
While on liberty today I bought a couple of cute pinafores for the kids. Both are alike. I hope they fit because they set me back $8.80. Glad pay day is soon because with all the shopping I've done I have very little left. Besides I will have to pay $25.00 to the mess out of my next pay which will leave me about $35 for the next two weeks.
This garden cafe I mentioned turned out to be a private club that opened its doors to officers. Because they close at 7:00 P.M. all one can do there is drink and eat. I imagine though that they've really had some beautiful affairs when times were normal.
You ask if I enjoy your long letters. That is what I and all the others aboard live for, a letter from home. Regarding the San Diego business you ask about, everything is OK. As far as my getting back to the states before my present tour of duty is up, the chances are very slim indeed. I'll consider any such event as "manna" from heaven.
Regarding music, how about sending along those dime store booklets you purchased last year. Also send along the music notes I have. There is a piano and I might find time to practice if I had the chords and base forms to follow. There are two note books, send them both.
Will finish in the morning dear, good night and sleep well.
Wednesday 10:45 AMGood morning Sweet. Did you sleep well? Did both our girls behave all night and not disturb you?
This has been a busy morning and this is the first free time I've had. No more mail this morning but all the letters I got yesterday afternoon should keep me until 1:00 PM when I'll look for more. I got a letters from the "Gs", Deb and Dave, Miss Earnest and three from my Sweetheart. Sounds like you had a busy week-end planned and now that Norma is well again you should take it easy and not overdo.
Tomorrow my photos should be ready and I'll send them right along. Will know more about Xmas card by then also (I hope)
There is no use trying to guess where we are going next. I don't know so how can I tell you. We will probably receive casualties because we are equipped to handle them but we won't be a hospital ship and when we get there it'll be all over but the shouting.
Do you remember how I always wanted to be on the go and never wished to stay home? Well dear after this war I'll be satisfied to remain anywhere as long as I have you and our girls with us.
Enough for now dear. I want to get this off right away. Goodbye for now, will visit with you again tonight.
With all my love,
Photo of Gil