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Friday, August 12, 2016

Yiddish

 Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Thursday 15 February 1945, 7:30 PM
My Darling,
     The mail did alright by me. This morning I received two hankies from Libby for my birthday, the February Esquire and the National Jewish Monthly. This afternoon I got more letters. One was a letter from Libby asking me where I was. Of course it is impossible to tell. It seems they have a flier friend operating out of Pearl and she thinks he might be able to look me up.
     The valentine you sent me was made especially for me it would seem or are there other guys like me around? Well Sweet you'll never know how much a little thing like this card means to me.
     Your letters were postmarked February 1, 7, and 8 so those in between are still coming. I see you are still teaching. As long as it isn't too much for you I'm sure we can use the extra income. Talking about income, don't pay that additional income tax until you've checked my books. I seem to remember a similar bill coming through while we were in Dago and I believe the payment was made. It was drawn (the check) on the Bank of America and should be entered in the day-book. Anyway check the cancelled checks for the three months that we were in Dago and the books as well before you make any payment.
     Such excitement! Mary is crazy like a fox. Bet that suicide she pulled was all planned in advance. I bet Willie will behave for awhile--even though it's a short while. Dr. Shafer is an osteopath not a chiropractor but one is as bad as the other. However there is no use explaining the difference between MDs and other so-called "doctors." Stay out of it--don't say anything. You remember we tried once and it didn't do any good.
     You have my insurance papers. However for access to a PX use your outpatient or commissary card from San Diego as identification.
     Dear you are too sensitive. It may not be quite proper to address you as Eleanor Steingart. Yet many women, including your sisters Ruth and Deb, use their given names in return addresses. I'm sure that nothing was meant by having you down as Mrs. Eleanor Steingart and don't make any issue of it.
     Hope the "Fearless Five" got my letter. I sent it in care of the Goodfriends long ago.
     Army life will straighten Dick out. Part of one of you letters is missing. There is a page listing outstanding bills. There is no beginning to the V-mail letter from Sid Stein. Guess you forgot to enclose it. It is 7:55 PM so I'll dash to the movie and finish afterward.
9:55 PM
     Back again Sweet. We had an old movie tonight but I enjoyed it even though it was the second time. It was "Hold Back the Dawn" with Charles Boyer, Olivia De Havilland and Paulette Goddard. About an Austrian adventurer who marries an Azusa (?) school teacher to get by the immigration laws. Remember?
     Today was a normal day. Worked this morning, not hard, but steadily. Also this afternoon until 3:00 PM. Then I had a coke, bought some soap in the ship's store and returned to my room to read my mail. I censored a few letters. Talking about censoring mail, one of the men on board, Jewish, writes to his parents in Yiddish and I censored his letter today. It was only a very short note but it took me several minutes to make it out. I don't believe I've read any Yiddish in 7 or 8 years. I suppose all his mail will be brought to me. In a short time I'll be able to read it as fluently as I used to. A little practice is all I need.
     Then I glanced through a Coronet, showered and dressed for dinner. After that I enjoyed another beautiful sunset and then came down to my office for our little visit.
     Sweet, do you remember that day we spent at the Oregon Caves? Do you recall the hotel dining room with a stream running right through the middle of it? Remember the happy couple having lunch, looking at each other and holding hands? Could that have been us? Yes it was and there will be many more such days and soon too.
     Honey, I'm going to sign off now. Good night darling until our visit tomorrow.
Love
Gil
P.S. Is Sid in the Solomons? It isn't probable that our paths will cross but then one never knows. I'll drop him a note anyway though my address certainly won't be any key as to where I am. Nite, nite.
Gil