05 May, 2011

05 May, 1944


438th AAA AW BN

APO 578 % Postmaster, N.Y.
England
5 May, 1944        0900

My dearest sweetheart –

Due to a recent change in the hours of our sick-call, I find myself with more free time these past few mornings – and so I’m taking advantage of it. Yesterday, dear, the mail was very light and I was one of the few to get any mail at all. I got a V-mail from you – April 23rd, and finally one from Stan – April 5th – and I hate to say this, darling, but I’m disgusted with him. It was nothing particular in the letter, but the whole tone just wasn’t friendly. He said he had been too busy to congratulate me before this – 25 days after we were engaged. That’s a lot of hooey and don’t think I don’t know it. When Stan wants to be thoughtful – he can be – at the expense of his job or anything else. His whole attitude towards me has changed and although he tried to sound friendly in his letter, he missed by a wide margin.

Well, darling, starting with this past week the officers have been having calisthenics on the lawn at the side of the castle at 0630. I had been playing squash and getting into shape and told the colonel I thought it would be a good idea if we all got pepped up. He agreed and suggested the above – and so we’re doing it. The colonel is out every morning, too – so no one can kick. One of our officers was a football coach and he really puts us through the ropes. But I got over the sore muscle stage some time ago and I’ve enjoyed it. Every morning about a dozen officers come up to ask me if I didn’t think the exercise was too strenuous before breakfast, etc. etc. and right now we’re divided into two big groups – those that do and those that don’t. All in all we manage to have some fun.


Last night I went to the movies – for the first time in a long while – at a neighboring town. The picture was “And the Angels Sing” – with Hutton, Lamour and MacMurray. It was light and served its purpose.

Say – whoever told you you’d spoil me by writing me nice things, darling? And even if we are engaged! I love to have you tell me how you feel, dear, and it will not spoil me, I can assure you. As for spoiling you – well, darling – I suppose you’ll be quick to add that I don’t tell you enough; maybe I don’t but if you haven’t gathered by now, sweetheart, that you are and will be the only girl in the world for me, that I love you as deeply as I know how, and that you occupy my mind always – then dear – you need glasses and a stimulation of the senses! I miss you dear and everything about you, and dream only of my return – so that I can marry you, live with you, and enjoy life with you. Boy oh boy! Will I ever appreciate you! To be a civilian again and come and go as I like, do what I want – when I want to – that’s something that becomes a little bit inconceivable after you’ve been in the Army awhile – but I think I’m the type that will become easily – oh so easily acclimatized.

All for now darling. Best love to the folks.

All my love is yours, dear
Greg


* TIDBIT *

about And the Angels Sing




Answers.com has this to say about the movie:
And The Angels Sing is an odd smorgasbord of musical-comedy and romance -- part screwball comedy, part backstage musical, part pop music showcase. Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn, and Mimi Chandler play, respectively, Nancy Angel, Bobby Angel, Josie Angel, and Patti Angel, the four daughters of widowered inventor/farmer "Pop" Angel (Raymond Walburn). All four daughters have ambitions as artists, writers etc. But they're only good at the one thing they've actually been trained to do, i.e. singing -- which they hate doing, especially together. The four desire independence from each other, but lack the means to achieve it, all of which wears on their loving but long-suffering father, who only wants to get enough money together to buy a small soybean farm. When Bobby ropes them into singing for a band led by Happy Marshall Fred MacMurray, the fur really begins to fly -- Happy puts the romantic moves on Nancy before he realizes she's part of the singing act he's booked; but it's Bobby who managed to fall in love with him.

Matters get even more complicated when the Angel sisters, presenting an act worthy of the Andrews Sisters, go over well with the audience. And that's before Happy is forced by circumstances to cheat the girls not only out of the $40 they earned, but the $190 that Bobby won. Misunderstanding and mistakes pile up on top of each other as the Angel sisters follow Happy to Brooklyn, get him tossed out of the club he's booked in, lose him his band, and reduce him and his partner Fuzzy Johnson (Eddie Foy, Jr.) to doing an embarrassing singing waiter act (for coins tossed to them), all in a quest to return the girls' money. In the process, the Angel sisters display loyalty and devotion to each other, and a strength in numbers and unity that's only undone by their own father. The music is entertaining, though the title song (a 1939 hit by Benny Goodman) is only heard as an instrumental performed by Happy's band -- Betty Hutton's scatting is one highlight, and the Angel sisters' act is fun as well. Some of the better comic bits, apart from Raymond Walburn's blustery expressions of temper, include the backstage antics of Happy and his band; a great extended bit based on Brooklyn dialect featuring Dorothy Lamour and Frank Faylen (as Herman...er...Hoiman); and the slapstick bits involving the girls fending off various men.
In the July 13th, 1944 issue of The New York Times, Bosley Crowther wrote this review of the music:
Best of the songs are Miss Hutton's. She blows her top comically with "Bluebirds in My Belfry" and "His Rocking Horse Ran Away"—the latter a wild and wistful scat-song from the mother of a harumscarum kid. (If the whole show were up to this number, it would be a sensational affair.) Miss Lamour sings one ballad rather archly and the four girls do nicely with a tune that bears the philosophical title of "Knocking on Your Own Front Door." Mr. MacMurray's "My Heart's Wrapped Up in Gingham" might better have been left unsung.
Here is Betty Hutton performing "His Rocking Horse Ran Away".



Click here to watch "Bluebirds in My Belfry" on YouTube. It's fun!


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