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Date: March 11th 1943

MARCH 11, 1943

Dear Bernice:

Another try at a letter to you. Am trying to write to everyone once around anyway. I think, if I remember right, I only wrote one V-mail to you, and space is limited and I don't know now what I did write. You will notice this has my APO number and address. From now on use it.

Had a swell mail yesterday. Had letters from Aunt Doad, DeMille, Helen, Beatrice Lockhart, your birthday card and one from Gladys. Thanks a lot for yours. Was so glad of the note inside. I'm like Fanny Ann, I shake the 'infilopes' now. When you were writing, I was well on the way to Africa, as we left New York February 8th. Just before I left I sent Aunt Doad a snap. She said she had it on the dining room table before her agin a tumbler. She is staying with M[?] now in St. John. The address is 306 City Line, St. John West. Said she expected to visit Mildred this summer to see her new lord and master. Nothing like a good close-up for oneself, she says. DeMille says she doesn't think it was Uncle John who was sick after all, but Aunt Clara. Quite a difference I would like to know! I wrote Aunt Clara last week. There wasn't any note on Gladys' card.

So Eva has her night duty now. Somehow or other, there is more fun on nights. I am going to write her tomorrow. Tell Nan and June I'm glad they did so well in school. The children here go to school from seven-thirty in the morning until seven at night, and Saturday too. They have a great deal of physical training outside, so it's not all desk work. Tell Nan she has a snap. They study a little English.

I did get your letter the day before I left Blanding. I thought I put Nellie's address down but can't find it-will you send it to me again? I'm a good long way from where she is, but thought she might be interested to know I'm on the same continent anyway.

I think perhaps it's a little warmer than when we first came, but then again maybe we are getting used to it. These buildings are so cold. No heat whatsoever. The ceilings are so high it's hard to see at night in our cubicles to read or write. I am in an end cubicle, so I bought me a little lamp. It's very pretty. There is a socket for a night light over the door, so I got a long cord and hitched it up. Not so bad now, although it's a small bulb. As for hot water in the quarters, there isn't a drop. We can go to the hospital alphabetically every day for a shower. It's an awful nuisance to go down there, so I just take two a week. I'll smell like the Arabs before long.

Those Arabs have to be watched constantly-they would steal the eyes from a dead man. Those robes cover more than their bodies. They are employed, some of them, around warehouses and other supplies. I hear they sort of squat over a bag of flour, sugar, coffee or whatever; slash a hole, fill up a bag under the robe, and walk off no one being the wiser except when they find the slit bag. That reminds me: I washed my pink flannelette and hung it on the line. I'd better go find it. That would make a handy cloak.

We are all working now and really trying to bring order out of chaos. It's so marvellous to me how they got all the supplies over here. Before I forget, I see so many broad beans growing here. Sure would like a mess. I am off duty nine to two today and it's almost lunch time now. Have to walk down to the hospital again. It's about a ten minute walk. As I walk by those beautiful flowers I think of you so often. Just wish you could see the climbing geraniums-all colors-climbing up the palm trees. The nasturtiums are gorgeous, too. Remember the washer tub I always planted? I still like them. Have sweet peas, pansies, calla lilies and so many beautiful flowering shrubs I never saw before. With all the flowers, there is still a bad smell which permeates the city. Helen of course wouldn't smell it, but I do. As I look out my window, I see Arabs, cows, horses, asses, sheep, goats-and fewest of all, Frenchmen. There is a green area across the street they are filling in. It's not level with the rest. The Arabs are filling it in fast I should say.

Let me know if anything has been cut out of my letters. I don't know what could be, but one never knows. Also let me know if you receive the Safe Arrival card from the headquarters. Also, how long it took this to go.
Ask Janis if she would like me to bring her a doll from Africa. Tell Stewart I play African dodger in the blackout.

All for the time being.

Love, Frank