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Gerald R. Rees Papers: Transcripts - MS 1007

Gerald ReesĀ Correspondence - February 1944

February 7, 1944

Specialized Training Program

Mon. P.M.
[2/7/44]

Dear Mom,

That lunch was a swell surprise when I opened it Saturday night. Everything tasted swell, especially the chicken.

The train was late but I was here in plenty of time. We got our pay and then moved, as I expected. Now in Co.B, one less flight of stairs to climb. We weren't free till about 6:30 so I didn't get out to Newark.

Burt's on furlough and will be here Saturday and Sunday so it will be a couple of weeks before I see Reyn again. A Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company is in town so I have enough things to occupy several weekends.

We have a good schedule this term. About the same subjects as last, but more intensive surveying work. They gave us five sets of drawing instruments, and we'll survey most of Van Cortlandt Park and then make a map of it.

History this term will be interesting, too. It covers the period from the Civil War to the 1st World War. Classes have started without any delay and we have plenty of work to keep us busy. We are "upperclassmen" now and know our way around; things seem a lot better than they did last term.

Note the change of address.

With love,
Ger

February 13, 1944

CCNY
U.S. Army
Specialized Training Program

Sunday P.M.
[2/13/44]

Dear Mom,

All is quiet on the home front so far. Yesterday they had a big assembly of all the fellows and handed out awards for the ones with the highest marks last term, and the colonel made some pointed remarks about the program being drastically cut, but still no indication of when the axe will fall.

Last night I heard the Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall again; even a better box seat than before. It was the same concert they are broadcasting today. I hope you are listening to it. Brahm's Fourth Symphony is especially good.

I saw "Jane Eyre" at the Music Hall yesterday afternoon. It was very depressing, and although the acting was good, still it wasn't the kind of show I'd pick for entertainment. The stage show at the Music Hall is always enough to make it worth while, regardless of the picture. I have a ticket to see "Porgy and Bess" next week; it's one I've always wanted to see.

The grades for the first quarter of the term are in, and mine are O.K. so far. There is a little time to relax now that we are into the routine a little better.

Love,
Ger

February 17, 1944

CCNY
U.S. Army
Specialized Training Program

[at head of page]

cpl. B.R. Frost
Det. 4th Weather Sqdrn.
Columbia Army Air Base
Columbia, S.C.

Thursday A.M.
[2/17/44]

Dear Mom,

Your letter and Eleanor's came together last night and it was good to get them. I'm cutting down on letters to other people, so mail is very scarce around here.

Last night I saw C.C.N.Y. get pushed all around the floor last night by Western Michigan at Madison Sq. Garden. They play real basketball there. I hear that Bowling Green has a chance to play here in the national finals. Hope I'm here then.

No one knows any more about A.S.T. than you do, I think. There is a chance we will finish the term (Apr. 29th) because the army's contracts with the college are till then, and maybe they can't break the contract. But that's a feeble hope.

Tell Eleanor I'll write out "Mairzy Doats" and send it to Johnny as soon as I can. And thanks for the pictures.

Weather here is perfect now; almost like spring.

Love,
Ger

[at bottom of page]
Who's the guy-Sortor-it says conducted that school orchestra concert?

February 20, 1944

CCNY
U.S. Army
Specialized Training Program

Sunday P.M.
[2/20/44]

Dear Mom,

The Valentine package came the other day slightly mangled but none the worse for wear. The toll house cookies were especially good. I should have written before this, but didn't have time.

This weekend I had some studying to catch up on, so I went out to Reyn's to do it. They are all in good shape. The prize of the family, though, is Frannie-she's going to school now. One day Grace took her along when she went to see Herbie's teacher, and Francis announced that she was going to stay there. So she goes to kindergarten every afternoon, and is crazy about it. She is impatient with her classmates, and wants to go on to college. As for size, standing by an ordinary door, she comes up almost to the knob; seems big enough to me. Herb misses a lot of school because of sickness, but even so his teacher wants to have him skip a term, so he must be getting along pretty good. Grace (don't laugh, now) has been chosen pin-up girl of the air-raid wardens in her district. She will have her picture, complete with uniform, in the paper.

The official word on reduction of A.S.T. came yesterday. You can draw your own conclusions from the enclosed notice. It has been a good thing while it lasted, anyhow. Things were beginning to be really interesting this term; I hope they let us stay for a little while yet.

Thanks for Johnny's address. I'm glad his mail came through so soon.

Love,
Ger

February 24, 1944

Thursday P.M.
[2/24/44]

Dear Mom,

We went swimming today as part of our physical training, and then ran a mile, so I'll sleep good tonight.

Last night I tried to get a free ticket to some play, but they are all out, so I went to Carnegie Hall and they let me in to hear the Philharmonic concert. They are really good to fellows in uniform, even if they haven't a ticket. There is seldom a full house anyhow.

Thanks for sending that bill from Dr. Bechtel, although it knocked my finances silly; I had forgotten to keep out enough for it, and in my haste to make the final payment to Eleanor I darn near broke myself. So don't be surprised at an urgent request for funds pretty soon; payday isn't for three weeks yet.

All wild rumors to the contrary, we are apparently no nearer leaving here than we were three weeks ago. This physical examination we are getting Sunday may mean something; they are taking us down to the regular induction center, and probably will look us over pretty carefully. But even so it would take quite a while to get through the red tape involved in getting us back to army units. In the meantime, the work here is getting more and more interesting. Our map of Van Cortlandt Park is taking shape, and we have the country down to the Cleveland administration in history. Analytical geometry is the best math course I've had yet.

How long is Eleanor going to be with Hilda? She sure couldn't do any skiing here, but maybe things are different "out West." It's a darn shame that Johnny hasn't been getting her letters; I can imagine how bad it would be to go so long without hearing from home. I hope his A.P.O. is still the same so that he gets some mail soon.

Can't quite imagine Jack being angelic, but if you say so --- You mention riding to church with Edith and then say you don't know what you'll do when she leaves. Where? When? How come? What will Aunt Sadie do?

Don't see "Jack London." They've twisted his life into an object lesson on Jap cruelty by stretching the story all around. They bring these new pictures to Army Hall for previews and show them free, so I've been seeing several shows before they start playing downtown.

Is Bunny in N.Y. yet, and does she have my address? I could go down to see her; Hunter isn't far from here.

I wish you could have gone to see "Student Prince." so few musical things get to Toledo, and the real thing is so much more fun that getting it second-hand from the radio or phonograph.

Tell Howard May congratulations for me; he's got a mighty sweet gal. Remember the play Tri-C put on where she was the girl I was supposed to have been engaged to for twenty years or so? What a crazy thing that was.

I'll send this air-mail so maybe you'll get it by the time you write your weekly letters, but maybe not, since airmail doesn't seem to save much time between here and Toledo.

Love,
Ger

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