Friday, August 31, 2018

Pearl Harbor--The Town

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 8 October, 1944, 9:35 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     This has been a swell day and I feel badly that you have to sit around and wait for someone to call while I'm really getting around and seeing things. Al Klein paid me a return visit today and we spent the whole day doing "the town." He came aboard at 10:00 AM. I took one and a half hours showing him around the ship. I learned a few things myself. Some of the explanations we got about different instruments were new to me even though I've been aboard for nine weeks or so.  There is always something new to learn. After our tour we sat around and gassed until 12:15 and then had luncheon aboard. Soup, salad, fried chicken, pie a-la-mode with lemonade and coffee to drink. It was as good as it sounds.
     After lunch we hopped into the jeep Al had. He showed me parts of this place I hadn't seen before. There are many beautiful homes, educational institutions and buildings that one can't see unless one has a car for transportation. We also drove along the coast and saw several interesting phenomena. Then a visit to a hotel for a couple of beers and a little walk to stretch our legs. Al hadn't seen the aquarium I've mentioned so we look in there also. By then it was time for dinner. Al led the way to a restaurant I hadn't been to. We had a steak dinner with all the trimmings and it cost $3 plus tip (no tax). The steak would have brought a least $6 at any mainland eating place. It was large, tender and tasty. Then we returned to the ship just in time for the movie "When Hearts Were Young and Gay" was the title--from the book by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Ethel Kimbrough. It is about the two authors when they were teen age girls. Put it on you "must see" list. It is the most refreshing and amusing picture we've had aboard for some time. After the movie, Al left and I found some mail for me. Two letters from you and one from my mother.
     Ran out of stationery so will finish on this paper. That stomach upset must have been something you ate. Hope you are all over it now. You sure haven't had much luck with household help. Hope this new girl pans out. Please don't buy too much for me in the way of Xmas gifts. Unless it is something useful I'd probably have stow it somewhere. Extra room is at a premium. However I guess you realize that and will use your judgment. Please finish typing up my course and send it on. I was hoping it would be here by now but I realize now how swamped under you must have been.
     Do you remember your birthday party many Thanksgivings ago when I gave you your first real engagement ring? Well after the war that new wedding band you've been wanting is going to be first on my list. Going to sign off my darling with these three words, "I love you."


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Sunday Is Just Another Day

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O San Francisco
Saturday 7 October 1944, 9:30 PM
My darling,
     Just saw the movie aboard and here I am again. The picture "Do It Big" was just fair entertainment. Jack Haley, Harriet Hilliard and Ozzie Nelson were the stars. Now for a little visit.
     Nothing much since my last writing. Saw three patients this afternoon and when I finished I played a few games of checkers. It was pretty warm today and I felt much better after my daily shower and change of apparel.
     Sweet I'm going to make something for you and the kids. Please send me the waist measurements of each of you. It will take time to make but it should be done for Xmas. Don't ask what "it" is going to be. Be patient now and be surprised later (I hope).
     How did your new maid pan out? I hope she showed up and works out OK. I meant to mention it in this morning's letter but forgot. The music you sent sure made good time. It was postmarked the 30th of September and arrived here on the 6th. That is almost as fast as airmail. Must have come over on a pretty fast ship.
     I should be receiving scads of mail soon. I've written Taylor, Gilman, Bergman, Vanetek, Deb and Dave, Ruth, Libby, Earnest, Nina, Aranoff, Harry S., Davis and my cousin in Bell Harbor. We'll write Marty, Sam, Bill and Dave Katz soon. I've written several more that I can't recall just now but I'm doing a fair job.
     Al and I have a tentative date for tomorrow. After our visit I'll finish this note. Until then take it easy, Sweet. Now I'm going to bed and dream about you and I after the war.


Sunday 8 October 1944, 9:30 AM
Good morning Sweetheart,
     This being Sunday, call for breakfast was 7:30 instead of 7:00. Otherwise, at sea or I should say, aboard a ship, Sunday is just another day.
     This morning our welfare account was audited and then a book was set up for me to keep. I'm finding plenty to keep me busy outside of my dental office. I am mess treasurer now and have to collect the mess bill from each officer at the beginning of the month. Then I have to pay for all food and supplies we draw from the general mess and that is purchased from other sources. Then I'm still trying to get more books for our library without paying for them and that requires a lot of running around. By the time I get home I'll be a real chiseler and you know how I hate to ask for anything for nothing.
     Well honey, this is Sunday, the day we spent together. Boy wouldn't I like to get into the car and drive you and the kids down the beach for a stroll. Then take Linda and Norma to the merry-go-round. Do you remember how scared Linda was the first time I took her on? Now she rides like it is an everyday occurrence. After the war I won't be so anxious to dash off and leave our girls at home.
     Bye Sweet, I've got some more things to do. Will write again tonight. I know you are giving my regards to all so I don't have to ask you to do it.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Leper Colony

Saturday 7 October 1944, 11:00 AM
Good Morning Sweet,
     Another busy morning. Found a couple of patients waiting when I came down to my office. It was 9:00 o'clock by the time I was through, and I had to dash over to the Welfare and Recreation office to get tickets for a U.S.O. show. Also attended to some library matters and checked with the Red Cross about getting additional recreational material. Just got back and I hope I can get this off in today's mail.
     Wish I could hear Norma talk. Maybe Dave will make a record for you to send on to me. A few words from you and Linda would also be a real surprise. The civilians are male shipyard workers. I met them through our chief pharmacist mate. We went over early and made lunch for ourselves and dinner for all. It isn't too bad that I didn't go into the Army. Two reasons: First Ray Davis was made available the same time as I and he has been in nine months longer than I have. Second, I know I'll do dentistry in the navy, but in the Army I might be recruiting, sitting behind a desk, drilling men, in fact anything but dentistry and when a dental officer does work in his own line he likes to have good equipment to work with. Besides dear, all the Army isn't in Europe. There are plenty in the Pacific area and they'll stay there along with the Navy and the Marine Corps until they are good and ready to send them home. I have no regrets and please don't worry your little head about what might have been. The past is behind us and we must look to a happy future together. That clipping doesn't mean a thing so forget it.
     About my accounts. Turn everything over to the bureau that you don't get any action on by the end of the month. Regarding John O. York. Check with the bureau and Al Posner. If either has the accounts, have them follow through on the information you have or release the account to you. Then turn it over to the Santa Monica Credit Association.
     Put in a claim with Al Blumberg for lost and damaged personal property. He'll collect from Bekins faster than you can.
     The leper's colony or any other place is not as close as it would seem. Ten hours is not much time to do any sightseeing at any distance from the ship. I'll get in the learning mood as soon as we get underway; I won't have so many other things to do.
     Honey, do you remember the summer of 1932 when you rode the trams with me and brought me my dinner? After this war we'll always ride together wherever it may be and enjoy every minute of it.
     Bye my darling, till tomorrow. I love you and miss you more each day.

Your one and only


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Pearl Harbor--1 Woman 100 Men

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 6 October 1944, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     I've sure been on the go today. Went on the ship's outing I wrote you about and got plenty of exercise playing volleyball and swimming. Plenty of sun also but not too much this time. Besides that I found time to drink six or seven cans of beer and eat a nice big steak. We left at 8:00 AM and returned at 4:30 PM. Then I showered, changed and joined a group of officers heading into town on a little fling. There were seven of us and we had a lot of fun drinking and kidding and what have you. I was able to chisel a station wagon for us for this jaunt and we didn't get back until 10:00 P.M. Please send on my driver's license. I couldn't drive myself because I didn't have mine and one never knows when I'll need one again.
     When we returned I found I'd hit the jackpot again--5 letters from you and also the music you sent along. You ask so many questions that I'll answer some tonight and finish the rest tomorrow. Here goes. As I've written before, Wally is partly correct but I wouldn't worry about that two years. Since he was here last, however, just for the record, all those houses he referred to have been closed down by the civil government. The ratio of one woman to one hundred men still persists. So even if I was inclined that way I'd find just a few obstacles to hurdle. I don't believe I'll send any Xmas cards to patients except to some few whom I care for particularly. And to them I'll write notes instead. I will send greetings to our friends however. Forget about any additions. I'm satisfied with my two girls and won't worry about a son and heir.
     All the officers are swell fellows and the reason I only mention some of them is because we have different liberty sections, so I never get to go out with some of them. The doctor is a very fine chap and I would like to make a liberty with him but we stand duty on alternate days and that is out.
     That is all for now, Sweet. I'll close with loving thoughts of you and of our ten years together. Good night darling.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Chiseled Books

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 5 October 1944, 10:05 PM
Dearest Eleanor, 
     This has been a busy day for me but I didn't do any dentistry. This morning I got a jeep and chased over to a supply depot and picked up a mess of recreational gear for the ship. It doesn't sound like much but one can sure waste a lot of time doing nothing. This afternoon I went to the district library to see how many more books I could chisel for the ship. Didn't do too badly as I was able to get 260 volumes--that is they are promised, but I feel certain that I'll get them. Then I returned and found a letter from your mother and you.
     Glad you went out and had a pleasant evening. You must have a little recreation once in a while. See that you get it. That is an order! You didn't enclose Edna's letter--guess I'll get it in the next mail. Nick and Wally are right in part. Let's see what Leon says before I say any more. Anything new with Dave? I hope he makes officers' training but one can't be sure until he is on his way.
     Darling, don't be so touchy about what people say. Look at Jim Frug. He has been in for a whale of a long time. Dr. Symington and Dr. Ing didn't go just for the lark either. They were all released by the War Manpower Commission when I was, and there wasn't much choice. Don't forget that a man isn't always as well as he seems and Dr. Messer definitely is not well. He managed to stay out but I'd rather be well and doing my share. I'll still have my health when I return and we'll have many years together and they'll be happy ones. I'll say you're a bit "balmy," but you'd better not wait until I get home to get over it. You have as big a job at home as I have here and I expect you to do as good a job of it as I'm trying to do.
     The weather here is also perfect. It is warm in the sun but cool in the shade and at night there is quite a breeze blowing down from the hills.
     I wish I could see my girls growing up but your comments on them will have to do for the time being. Then when I get home I'll see if you kept me up to date.
     I've got quite an accumulation of gifts collected up but I'm going to wait until a few days before we shove and then send them all in one package. It will be you job to distribute the gifts as you see fit. I hope your song books get here soon so I can use them while we are under way.
     As far as food goes we get plenty of it and it's really OK. I'd love some of your "Brownies." Do you think, though, that they'd be fresh and whole by the time they arrived? I'll let you be the judge.
     Glad to here you got another woman. Hope she pans out OK.
     Do you remember the date we made with Belle and Charlie to go to Alaska? Well I dropped them a note last night. After the war let's keep that date. I still expect to take a month off each year.
     Tomorrow will be another busy day. Remember the ship's outing I told you about several weeks ago? Well the men liked it so much that I've arranged another one and I'm going along in the morning. We'll leave early so I'm going to close this letter tonight.
     Haven't I told you I love you darling? How can I tell you how much on paper? Well just wait until I get back! Good night, sweetheart!

P.S. Just reread this letter and that item about seeing that you get it. "It" means a little recreation in good company.  Sounded funny so the addition.  One never knows what "it" can refer to can one? Night again Sweet and here is a big kiss!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Pear Harbor--Dolls

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 4 October 1944 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Had liberty today, but didn't do much. As a matter of fact, I stayed aboard for lunch and it was past one before Ambie and I finally shoved off. We stopped at a music store and bought a book of songs. Then we stopped for a couple of beers and sat around in a hotel court just relaxing. Caught a bus and got back in time for dinner. After dinner, I broke out the song book, Ambie got the accordion and several of the officers joined us. We sang and played until movie time. The movie was "Atlantic City" with Constance Moore, Jerry Colona and a lot of old timers. The picture had much entertainment value but for some reason didn't click. I personally believe the continuity was lousy.
     After the picture, I went to my present quarters and found a letter from you. You sound quite busy but the tone of the letter shows that you have more or less gotten over that "Tante" deal. I hope you'll have better luck with help next time.
     I finished reading Louis Bromfield's "The Green Bay Tree." It is really a woman's book but it was laying around so I picked it up and before I knew it, I was so far into it that I decided to finish it. I expect to do a lot more reading once we get underway.
     Well Sweetheart, I'm going to end this letter short for now and will finish in the morning. I love you darling and I'll be so proud of my wife and girls when I get back. Good night, hone. Will be with you again in the morning.

Thursday 5 October 1944, 8:30 AM
     Good morning, Sweetheart. Nothing new since last night. I haven't seen the morning mail, and I'm in somewhat of a hurry. I ordered some recreational gear, and I'll have a jeep available in a few moments to go to pick the stuff up. I still have to shave, so I must close quickly to be sure this goes off in the next batch of mail.
     I've ordered dolls for Norma and Linda and they should receive them for Xmas. I've been looking for a silver charm bracelet, but they all seem to have local items in miniature on them, so those are out. I'll continue looking something may turn up.
     Honey, do you remember how surprised you were when you got your silver fox neckpiece? Well darling, there are many surprises in store for you, but you'll have to be patient until they come.
     I'll sign off and dash now.

Loving you always

Friday, August 3, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Shrimp and Chocolate Pie

Lt (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 3 October 1944, 10:30 PM
My Darling,
     How is everything today? I didn't receive any letters today but I did get those photos of you. I still can't make my mind up as to which one I like the best. First I like one and then there is something I like in the other. I'll play favorites, one day one and the next the other.
     This has been a routine day. A little dentistry, a number of routine reports and the regular duties to perform. Been trying to cut down on my food intake but at every meal there is something else I like. For example for lunch today fried shrimp and for dessert chocolate cream pie. So it goes. We had a swell movie tonight, "Mr. Skeffington" and it was every bit as good as you said it was. After the picture I looked in at sick bay. One of the officers turned in with a broken finger that he got playing golf. It seems he didn't get out of the way of a ball.
     Well Sweet, are you still teaching or did you have to drop it because of no one to stay with our girls? I do hope that the incident didn't upset you too much and that you'll proceed to forget all about it. I'm certain that from your letter you were not happy with that woman or the arrangement and that a change was inevitable. As far as Mary is concerned I would proceed to forget it. She is just another woman with some idle gossip. She is still a friend of yours. I sincerely believe that.
     Is Linda's behavior improving any? I'm sure that as soon as you settle down she will too. Please Honey don't fly off the handle and yell at her. She is a good child and such action just upsets you more and makes her more ornery.
     How is Norma taking all of this? The poor darling is probably a little young to fathom it all and must be quite bewildered.
     Please, sweetheart, write me and assure me that everything is under control. I won't be hearing regularly from you nor you from me for many more days. It will be weeks and maybe a couple of months before you hear again. So while I still can hear regularly, I must know that all is well and under control.  It is past eleven and I 'm going to turn in. I won't send this letter off until I've seen the morning mail tomorrow. Good night my Sweet and pleasant dreams. I love you.

Your Gil

Wednesday 4 October 1944, 9:00 AM
     Good morning, honey. Now that the morning mail is here and I know that you've gotten over you last aggravation I feel much better. What you went through really upset me.
     I'll try and answer your question and then I must get this letter off. I don't know how long I'll be out. I might be for a whole year and then again it could only be 3-4 months. We'll just hope for the best. Miss Rike is just what you think she is and would be very pleased to hear from you. She is quite nice as is her mother and they have made Ambie and me feel quite at home each time that we've dropped in.
     Sounds like you have the house looking very nice. Wish I could be there to push the piano and sofa around for you but I'll just postpone that to a later date.
     I do wish you would try to get out Sweet. You must do it if you expect to have friends. No one is going to come looking for you and drag you out.
     Darling do you remember how I'd come home from the office and want us to go out every night right after dinner? Well dear, after the war just to be home with you will be all I'll want. I close dear with oodles of hugs and twice as many kisses.