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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thrilling Day

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 26 June 1945, 6:45 PM

Dearest Darling,
     Hello my Sweet, here is that guy today. Had quite a thrilling day. I cancelled all my appointments and made plans with Dr. Law to look up Simmie. An hour before we were to leave Sol walked in on me and was it good to see him. His ship is quite a ways from where we are (fifteen miles). He came over with someone who was on business, so he had to leave with him. I'm going to find out how long his ship will be here and then plan as to when I'll go over to see him. We visited for an hour. Then my boat was alongside so we shoved off.
     We left at 9:45 and hit the beach at 10:30. We walked through a small town and got out on the main highway. We thumbed a ride and reached the 118th Hospital in about fifteen minutes. We no more than walked through the gate, past the sentry when the first medical officer we ran into was Simmie. Since I last saw him some thirteen years ago, he really hasn't changed much. He has a little more weight on him which he well needed.
     We visited until noon and then had lunch with him. After that we sat around at talked some more about old times and mutual acquaintances.
     We left at 1:30 and thumbed a ride thirty miles up the coast to another town. From there we bummed a ride back to the ship arriving at 4:30. All in all we covered about fifty miles.
     I've invited Simmie to be my guest aboard ship for a weekend. He is going to try to make it the weekend after next. Now that I've seen how the Army lives I'm twice as glad as I ever was that I was able to choose the Navy. The food, comfort and working conditions in the Army are quite crude as compared with the clean, comfortable, well equipped shipboard life. By the way it is now Captain Marcus and not lieutenant. So much for that.
     When we got back I showered. Until chow time I relaxed in my bunk and censored mail. After dinner I came down to my office and found two letters of the 17th and 18th awaiting me.
     Your report on Cappy and Edna needs no comment on my part. By the way Simmie never did see Vic Spitzer as you reported.
     What shall I make for Ethyl? A bracelet like the one I sent you or one like I made for Linda. I favor the shell bracelet, but I'll let you be the judge.
     What size film do I want? Some 616 or 116 and some 35 mm. Kodachrome (if available). Otherwise some more black and white 35 mm. film. Wrap the stuff in tin foil. This heat is rough on film
     I really forgot all about Father's Day until I received all those beautiful cards from my three darlings and they were only one day late. Pretty good timing.
     In many ways the Siegers are funny people but I do think that you'll have a nice time up there at Lake Arrowhead. However I don't see why you should put up with Ruth, Babs, and probably Harry. You don't owe them a thing and don't you forget it.
     I think tonight's movie is "Phantom Lady" and I don't' know who is in it. I'll report on it tomorrow.
     In the meantime, my sweet, take it easy and don't let everything upset you. Even if some people are thoughtless and forget you, there is one guy out here thousands of miles distant who loves you and thinks about you all the time (asleep or wake).
Yours as ever,
Gil

Gil received the Philippine Liberation Ribbon but didn't mention it.