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Date: September 23rd 1943

SEPTEMBER 23, 1943

Dear Bernice:

Nice evening, how is it down there? Had all day off today, and nothing much but putter, but I like that occasionally. Was awake early, but didn't get up until nine. My roommate had the day, too. We went down to our club room for breakfast. I came home, changed my bed, and took my laundry to the laundress. Put a fresh skirt on my orange crate, talked a bit, then went in town. Didn't buy anything there but a few articles from our PX. Got a new hat, or cap I should say. It's a man's, but we can wear them too. We are supposed to have changed over to olive drab color, like the officers, the first of July. Of course, anything for the nurses is put off until everything else is taken care of. Suited me, as I was just as contented with the blue. However if we are going to do a thing, I hate to have it changing over me. I had Scott send me a summer-weight one (suit, I mean), and sent to New York for a summer-weight visor hat. Now we can wear the caps which we all like best. I got a pair of brown shoes which were too large for one of the girls, and even a bit for me. Got officer's shirts at the post exchange, and ties. They are khaki color. Had to cut a neat piece off the tail of the shirt. You could have made a chair back with it. Good goods. I have been all ready with one outfit for some time, but didn't bother wearing it yet. Supposed to have an olive drab dress somewhere on the way, too. Uncle Sam is giving us the winter suit. I will be sending my civil war suit to Gladys to keep for me. If we move, and it seems probable we might, can't take our trunks with us. Everything to be put in the bedding roll and suitcase. Some mess things will be in, and some size bedding roll.

The weather is lovely now, early fall-like, although the rainy season I guess is about to begin. One never knows when stepping out with the sun high just what minute the rain will fall. Put a blanket on my bed last night, and it felt good.
* * *

Well, here I am another day. Some of the gang wanted to go bicycle riding, so I quit and went. Don't know if I told you or not, I'm learning to ride one of those things. As Nan called Eva, 'the clumsy thing,' well, I sure am that. The last couple of nights out I have made some progress. I go so far, then begin thinking how far I have gone, and whoa! there, I have to jump off. The girls say they don't know how I do it. I jump off and hold the bike up so it won't get smashed, as I'd have to come clean with forty bucks if it should. I rented one at two dollars a week. They are as scarce as hen's teeth to rent, as everyone and his dog rides here. The tires are terrible-always going flat. They put a patch on until it's nothing but patches. I think it will really be fun if I ever get going properly. Nan should get a glimpse of me. First that bike was on top of me, then I was on top of the bike, until you couldn't tell which one the pigtail belonged to. I lost my false teeth, I lost my gold watch, and I lost my self respect. Remember? I guess the censor thinks I'm crazy. Am going away to the some place I told you I spent the day once before. Just sixteen miles away. Staying at that same hotel taken over by the Army. Seven go at a time for five days. Nothing to do there, so we are taking the bikes.

Get V-mails quite often from Gladys, quite often with the same thing on them all. I think she has only written two regular letters since I came here. They are so superficial. All right for quick service. She said I never tell you if I get your letters. I thought I had. I believe I have received them all. The last one was not numbered, but was written when Eva was home. I believe the one before was the 7th.

Had a letter from Aunt Clara a couple of weeks ago. I sent her a congratulations card on their 50th anniversary. Alfretta wrote me some time ago and told me when. It was September 16th, I believe.
Gladys had planned on going to NS, but the last letter she had given it up.

No word from Helen or Win for some time. I had Gladys send me a parcel, which came in good time. Sent her a money order for it. I got tired and sick of the old seersucker pyjamas, so had her send me two pairs of satin ones-blue and tea rose; also an aqua candlewick housecoat, and a girdle. Everything was fine. Girdles are prized possessions around here. Am having Scott send me one too. She sent me three slips ages ago and haven't received them yet. Maybe Davey Jones has them. I sent Eva a little package last week. Hope it arrives in time for Xmas anyway. I will be sending youse one some day soon. Sent Papa one last week, and Gladys. You can save it, and not open until December 25. Oh yeah-it's so uncertain mails, so have to send early.

Received Nan's nice letter. Too bad Eva got so cut up in her bicycle escapade. Nan writes so much like you, I had half the letter read before I fully realized who it was from. That is kind of queer. A couple of things, one thing in particular, made me look to see who did write as … [page missing]

The sample of Eva's dress was pretty. Got a laugh over her bringing the material home to you to make, and you railing her about the price. Those 'forty-six cent nuts.' Mum can make the best lemon pies, and dresses, evidently. Seems such a short time ago when she was stringing off the recipe by the rocking chair: 'A cup [?].' Am glad she is doing so well. Have been wondering about old June, too. Just doesn't seem possible she can be teaching school. Isn't that school right near you, up past the Captain's? Charlie still sits on my table grinning at me. The Arabs are yelling their fool heads off outside, selling something. I could riddle them. Guess it makes me mad because I don't know what they are saying.

Am working on two small wards now. Bladder troubles and whatnots. Was made head nurse today, so had quite a teasing from the patients about my black band. 'PFC stripe', they call it. By the way, that is 'Private First Class' with the soldiers. They say they are going to put in a petition to have me made Captain. The ward has a little of everything in it. Eyes, ears, fractures, and the whatnots. They say I should be promoted on one count alone, as I make the best cocoa of anyone around. They are nice kids. Get mad at them sometimes-they are so untidy and heedless. Inspection days, I make them just sit so until it's over. I wish untidiness and dirt didn't bother me so.

Am sure getting old, fat and homely. Mom, how do you keep so young? Must take Carter's Little Liver Pills.

Well I gotta get ready and go for supper. Such a nuisance to get dressed and walk over there for 'stew,' but I'll be very hungry if I don't. Now, if it was stew like you make there would be some sense to it. I never want to see peaches as long as I live again, hot dogs or spam. How I could go for a nice pot of vegetable soup. Suppose you are pickling. I can smell the chow now-it makes the juice run out of ma mouf.

So long for now.

Love to all, Frank