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Gerald R. Rees Papers: Transcripts - MS 1007
Continuing in the holiday spirit around here, they let us off from 5 P.M. Friday till 6 A.M. Saturday, so the New Year was properly heralded in. As I was getting on the subway on New Year's Eve, who should I see but a girl I had gone all through school with. She is married to a fellow here at C.C.N.Y. who turned out to be a very fine guy. His mother was along, and the four of us went to dinner down town. Then I went to a show and afterwards joined the thousands of people on Times Square. It was quite a sight. No cars could get near Broadway-streets, sidewalks, and buildings were just one howling mass of humanity.
Yesterday I saw an interesting performance at Hayden's Planetarium. It showed all the possibilities of what the Christmas Star might have been, as astronomers have tried to explain them. Surprisingly for a scientific show, it ended by saying that it was very possibly a miracle, although there are some very logical explanations.
Last night I heard the Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. Like the Met., the hall is very old and reeking with tradition, but the seats sure are uncomfortable. I hope to go there often, though. About everything of musical importance comes to Carnegie Hall.
Dinner at the Frost's was fun today. Several people from the Federal Council office were there-sort of a farewell dinner, for Mr. Frost leaves on the 17th. They still have found no place to live, and may have to stay at a hotel.
I wish you had sent Vernon's address. he probably won't write to me, and if he's only there four weeks, he may not even get to N.Y.
Only four more weeks till the end of our term, and the time is going fast. We won't know till the last minute whether or not we get furlough's or not, but the prospects are good.
Your package came yesterday in good shape. The cheese cookies were somewhat broken, but that didn't effect the taste any. They were swell.
I had two letters from Jim Moon yesterday: one v-mail mailed Dec. 28. He can't say where he is, but one of the places he's been is New Caledonia. They wear special light uniforms which indicates that they are in the tropics.
Last night I had supper at Reyn's and then went to Carnegie Hall-but what a difference! I showed the ticket that I was given at the Service men's recreation center to the usher, and he very politely escorted me to a door which turned out to be the entrance to a very swanky box. I was the guest of Mrs. something-or-other, and she introduced all the people in the box, and was very charming. I had always wondered how it would feel to sit up there with the bigwigs, and it was a real treat. The concert was the same one they played on the radio today-maybe you heard it.
Today I just loafed. Went to Riverside this morning and slept the rest of the time. Sleep is something we don't get much of around here.
Pretty nice for Vernon staying in a hotel. It sounds like he's having a good time in Boston.
I certainly hope people will get over their colds soon. It seems to have hit everyone right after Christmas.
We have to go and study tonight, Sunday or no, so I'll have to stop now.
Things are rapidly coming to a head now at school. Next Friday are the Army achievement tests, and the following Monday the final exams start. A failing mark in any of our six subjects is a ticket back to an army camp, but the passing level is 60 instead of 70% so I think most of us will pass. I'm getting to like this place better all the time, so I hope they don't transfer us to some other place. There are a lot of things I still want to do here; after three months I still haven't been able to get a ticket to a stage play. Another term would extend into the spring, with a new range of things to do.
Last night several of us stumbled onto a party in the basement of a Methodist church on 48th St. and really had a good time there. They had plenty to eat, and dancing and stuff.
Hoffy was passed by in the January draft, so he'll be around for another month. It's really funny how every month he gets ready to go, sends home for train fare, is rejected and spends the money for something else. His mother is getting kind of mad about it. He is a past master at extracting money from his folks.
I saw another game at Madison Sq. Garden last Wednesday. They come as a welcome change in the week's grind, although it wouldn't be wise to go very often.
I think Frosts must have left for Buffalo. I can't reach them by phone any more, although they weren't scheduled to leave till next week.
Hope everything's O.K. at home. No letter came this week, but there's probably some good reason.
Jan. 21, 1944
Was I ever glad to hear from you again. I was sure that there must be some kind of sickness around if you didn't write, and it had me wondering. Glad you are all recovering again. Maybe I brought some powerful kind of New York bug with me at Christmas; that seems to be when it all started. I'll try not do it next time.
Last night I went down to Grand Central and got a seat on the Pacemaker for next Saturday, which will get me in Toledo early Sunday morning if nothing comes up. Our names are in for furloughs, and there is no indication that we won't get them. I'll phone or something if I can't come. That train ticket in my pocket makes me feel pretty good. It almost cost me five demerits though. I got back just after the gate closed for the night and had to climb over the fence, and slid into bed just as they were making the bed-check.
A letter came from Vernon yesterday, and he says that he and Bettie might be down here this weekend, although he was very uncertain. Needless to say, I am very anxious to see whether or not they can come.
Today and tomorrow we're taking Army achievement tests, so there are no classes, and next week are finals, so the regular class work for the term is over. I think it has been a very profitable three months, and have enjoyed it a lot.
Have another test to take now, so this will have to be cut short.
Worst of the exams are over now, and we can settle back and forget about cramming for a while. I was surprised at how easy they were. The profs really don't want to fail anyone, I guess, and made it very easy for us to make good grades. This is contrary to what I had heard about A.S.T., and a pleasant surprise.
Vernon looks the same as ever, doesn't he? He even looked smaller to me-maybe I've grown. He and Bettie came Saturday night, called me Sunday morning. We ate breakfast and went over to Newark. I had to leave before Reyn came from work, but Grace and Francie were there. Vernon's term ends the same time mine does; wish he could have another layover in Toledo next week, but that's asking too much.
This won't get to Toledo much sooner than I will, but I just felt like writing. See you Sunday.
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