December 17, 1941
8 P.M. Wed. Dec. 17, 1941
Dear Mom & Dad:
It’s been over a week since I’ve written, so I spose you’ve been anxiously awaiting this letter. Well, as you probably have suspected, this war has made some very definite changes here – as it no doubt has in every army camp. We have all been rather busy with all the new plans & many changes that have come up since the outbreak of the war. I can’t say very much about it, because there is now a rather strict censorship of mail in effect. We have all been warned against giving out valuable information. But, nevertheless, I will say that things here are poppin – doubletime, as the army would say.
How are you both? I hope that everything is running smoothly & the Alquist family is in good spirits now that the yuletide is upon us. I’m certainly a sorry boy that I can’t get home at this time – my first Christmas away from home. Oh well – if I can’t be there in person I certainly will be right there in spirit, when you’re all gathered around the tree on Xmas eve. I can see it now – tree lit up & smelling like the Gunflint Trail – everyone sitting around with a smile from ear to ear – Grandma over there in the corner in a comfortable chair (she’s just relaxing cuz her leg still bothers her) – Janille, all excited, is calling off the names & sliding packages over to the lucky ones – Billy is yelling like ____ (rhymes with bell) – Daddy’s teasing someone, I don’t know who, but someone, & so is Elmer – the men are very anxious to get all their hankies & sox & get back to their card game – oh & there’s Dot holding up a new neg-li-shay & exclaiming “isn’t it beautiful?” “Gee, thanks mamma.” - & there you are sitting on the sofa between Evelyn & Elaine opening up that pound of chocolates from Elmer - & there’s Virgy, she’s tip-toeing her way thru the maze of boxes & wrappings (that Dorothy spent hours on) to show Esther the lovely bracelet she got from the latest B.F. - & on the floor sits Dip showing Billy how to – my error – Dip is way down in Fort Bragg & probably in bed already – oh Happy Xmas Eve.
No, I don’t expect to be right here in camp on Xmas eve & day. I haven’t made any definite plans as yet, but several of the boys have expressed the desire to do something over the holidays. I think that it would be a good idea to go somewhere & try to hunt up a good time – it will help to overcome the disappointment of not being home.
Certainly doesn’t seem like Xmas time down here at all. Today, for instance, was very sunny & warm – about 55°. We do have a lot of sunshine down here, altho now the days are usually a bit more crisp than it was today. That last sentence was awful but I got right in the middle of it & didn’t quite know how to get out of it – I hope you catch the meaning at least. I see by the Star-J. they’re even starting to ski up yonder – sounds wonderful.
You asked me what M.C & H. N. means. I’m surprised at you – why, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year of course. & I really mean it. – Bob Coll is fine – yes, I got my $11.00 back from the newlywed – yes the barracks are full (hillbillys from Tennessee) – Catholic holiday is correct.
Note my new address. I have been transferred to Hdqts. Bty. & am going to move into another barracks with the other guys from the office – good fellows so I don’t mind. I’m plenty busy at hdqts. & will stay there – as far as I can tell right now.
What do I want for Xmas? A furlough.
Now I must say adios. Have a swell time over the holidays – all of you. And for heaven sakes don’t worry any about me – I’ll see you soon. Greet Santa Claus.