November 18, 1941

Tues. 8:00 PM 11/18/41

Dear Mom & Dad:

Hello! Congratulate me – I’m now a $30 dollar a month man! Yesterday was the anniversary of my fourth month in the army, so automatically my salary goes up to $30. The $9.00 raise is going to help a lot believe me, especially with the Christmas holidays coming up.

We hear a lot of different rumors around here about Xmas furloughs, & it’s hard to say just how it will all come out. However, I believe we will get at least a week off, & if that’s the case I’ll be shoving off for good ol’ home again. One rumor has it that we’ll get a week off, but will not be able to go home on furlough during that time. That sounds pretty silly to me. I still have hopes of listening for Santa, right along with the rest of you. I’ve only been paid once since I came back so if I do come home next month, I’ll probably have to write for money again. However I’ll have $10 left over at the end of this month & if I take it easy from now on I won’t be so bad off financially. Up to now it has been easy to save money here at Bragg. But after getting a taste of social life at Durham last weekend, I don’t know. Let me tell you about the big time we had.

First of all there were three of us, Bob Coll, Tony Carari (a fellow in Coll’s battery – good egg), & myself. We left Saturday, at about 11:30 A.M. Rode in a 41 Pontiac up there for a buck apiece with a fellow that lived up that way. He took us right to the stadium gate at Duke University – got there at about 1:15 o’clock.

The game was fair but a little one-sided in Dukes favor. Neither team could compare with the Gophers in either power or deception. After the game we hopped a bus & headed for Durham. The Duke campus is about two miles outside the city. And while I’m mentioning the campus let me say that I’ve never seen any place as beautiful. The buildings are all alike & built of cut stone of a Gothic design. The whole campus was built at one time, & it’s only 16 years old – has many arches, spires, & verandas leading from one school to the next. The cathedral is the most beautiful of all – I won’t begin to tell you about it cuz words wouldn’t be sufficient to describe its beauty. Next time I go to Durham I’ll take pictures of it & send them to you.

In Durham that night we had a big supper & then lit out for some lively spot. We no sooner got out on the street and a carload of girls pulled up by the curb & invited us to come to the armory. There was to be a big dance there for soldiers. Well we didn’t refuse of course.

What a setup. The girls were all very cute & good dancers, & I’m not kidding when I tell you they were two to our one. In fact it’s the first time it’s ever happened to me but girls were cutting us. Doesn’t sound right does it. I danced mostly with a girl by the name of Natalie Clark – a student at Duke U. studying to be a laboratory technician. She was a great dancer & lots of fun. All the girls were chaperoned, & so after the dance Natalie introduced me to the chaperone, & she invited us all out to her home for some chow. Bob & Tony each got a friend of Natalie’s & we all went out to Mrs. Butler’s home & had a big time & some real food. We were all invited out there for Sunday dinner, but refused, because we didn’t care to impose upon her too much so that we’d wear out our welcome. Besides, at the dance, we met a fellow who owned the Palms restaurant downtown (best place to eat in town) & he gave us two tickets, good for a 35¢ breakfast & 35¢ dinner. Talk about your southern hospitality. And another good deal – we stayed at the Soldier’s Center downtown for nothing. It was run by a Catholic priest with the help of the S.R.O. We slept, showered, & shaved for a mere nothing.

Sunday, we went out & looked over the campus again & then came in town & saw a show. After bumming around town a little more we hopped a bus for Ft. Bragg ($1.37) We had a perfect weekend in every respect even the weather – it stayed around 70° the whole time.

Well the bottom of the page is pushing up on me so I must close. Hope I’ll see you soon.

Your soldier son, Dorance            Happy Thanksgiving!

Christian Olsen