30 October, 2011

30 October 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
30 October, 1944       1030

Good morning, darling!

It’s cloudy again but I feel pretty chipper today – for no apparent reason. I had a pretty good night’s rest except for a variety of short dream interludes which ranged all the way from a scene in which I was home and we were all together and I offered to supply the wine for the celebration because I still had some left from Germany – to a little episode which found me awakening and discovering my watch crystal, radio dial and the windows of the room I was sleeping in – all shattered because of some heavy shelling. When I actually awoke – I was disappointed sweetheart, for I would gladly have undergone the latter experience for a chance to spend a couple of hours with you. We don’t have the chance to call our shots, though do we?

Yesterday, dear, the day was broken up a bit by the showing of another Class B picture in the p.m. – “The Crime Doctor’s Strangest Case”. It certainly was a strange case! Anyway – it helped kill a couple of hours. We had a steak supper for a change – the result of some shrapnel killing a well-fed cow. The cow was butchered and trimmed within 2 hours after its untimely death and the meat was passed as good – by me, incidentally. That’s another one of a battalion surgeon’s duties, by the way. In the evening we listened to the radio and I read a couple of case histories in the “New England Medical Journal”. I was in bed at 2115 – pretty early for a Sunday evening. This morning I have a little work to do – which I probably won’t get around to doing until the p.m. Tomorrow I visit B – or Baker battery for 3 days.

There was no mail yesterday, but I was able to re-read your letter of 11 October and laugh again at your “drawings” of pumpkins, weeping willows – and what not! You do have artistic inclinations – don’t you, dear? Your “Autumn Leaves” was really something to see – and had you not labeled it – I know I would have recognized it nevertheless! Keep up the good work – but every now and then, darling, interject a little drawing – without a title, just to see if I can figure it out. O.K.?

And Halloween is tomorrow night and no celebration here that I know of – except for the booming of guns and the noise of Ack-Ack. It’s a long time since I went to a Halloween party – anyway; – probably the last one I attended in recent years – was when I was Resident at the Salem Hospital. I guess that was the last year I was really happy – until I met you, sweetheart, because the next year I was out in practice – and fundamentally, I was always lonesome. And when I finally did meet someone whom I wanted to marry – I had to go overseas – dammit. Oh well – we won’t go into that now. Anyway – we’ll probably open a bottle or two, play some cards – and call it a party.

I was really glad to read that you had finally received 51 pictures. I believe that was all I had. In an earlier letter you had mentioned that one letter containing some photos – had been opened and some removed. I’m glad you were wrong, darling. As for taking close-up pictures – well – I don’t like to pose – and a good many of the pictures I sent you were taken on the spur of the moment and without a chance to project myself into them. If the sun ever gets out and stays out long enough, dear, I’ll take a few – but the chances of having them developed seem pretty slim at this point. By the way did you get one Post-card size picture of my driver and me that was taken by a Belgian civilian? I’m glad you got the “Wilma” snaps – and incidentally – the “Wilma” is now off the jeep – but not for long. An Army Order just out insists that all names on jeeps – be of standard block letters; ours were old English and many others were of all sorts and sizes. As soon as it dries out – we’ll have your name re-painted, dear, in block letters – 3 inches high – and then I’ll have to take another picture, of course. The German Volkswagen has been turned into a trailer and we drag it with the jeep. The motor gave out and anyway it wasn’t too safe in this territory.

Well – here I go again closing up for the morning sweetheart – and reminding you once again that I love you more and more strongly – if that’s possible – darling. Someday I’ll be able to show you how much instead of just writing it – and only then will you really know how much. So – so long for now, dear, love to the folks –

All my everlasting love –


about "Crime Doctor's Strangest Case"

What follows was copied directly from Internet Movie Database Site's review of "Crime Doctor's Strangest Case" (1943), written by Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci and posted 24 March 2007. Maybe seeing this movie brought on Greg's "short dream interludes".

Dapper yet avuncular Warner Baxter, one of cinema's earliest Oscar winners, is put through his paces in this second entry in Columbia Pictures' "Crime Doctor" series, based on the hit radio series.

Warner Baxter in the Crime Doctor series

Baxter plays the title character, a.k.a. Dr. Ordway, an amnesiac who learned (in the first "Crime Doctor" movie) he used to be a gang leader. Since then, Dr. Ordway's been using his knowledge of the criminal mind to become an in-demand psychiatrist. Baxter's testimony had helped acquit Jimmy Trotter (a young Lloyd Bridges), who'd been accused of poisoning his previous employer.

Lloyd Bridges, 1943

Jimmy finds that even when you're proved innocent, it's tough to find a job when you've got "Accused Poisoner" on your resume. But does Jimmy follow Dr. Ordway's advice and get a fresh start with his new wife in a new town? No-o-o-o! Jimmy grabs the first job he can get, as assistant to a Realtor, only to find himself jobless and the prime suspect when the Realtor dies of poisoning. Dr. Ordway gets involved, and before you can say "It's old Mr. Withers! He wanted to get the land cheap!", he's up to his fedora in wily blondes disguised as brunette cooks, family skullduggery, a would-be George Gershwin who's careless with matches (played for comic relief by Jerome Cowan), and an anxious middle-aged lady (Virginia Brissac) whose freaky dreams may be the key to the mystery.

Jerome Cowan, 1943
Virginia Brissac, 1942

That dream sequence is surprisingly intense, with imagery of silhouetted girls plummeting off cliffs and hanging from nooses; it's almost like a welcome bit of comic relief when a sinister male silhouette holding a suitcase labeled "POISON" shows up! "The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case" may not be "The Maltese Falcon," but Baxter is an ingratiating lead and the flick is an entertaining way to spend 68 minutes.
After multiple twists and turns and surprise connections among the players, Dr. Ordway solved the crime.

This note of trivia was presented on the same page of the imdb site:
In this movie, Gloria Dickson was married to the man (played by Jerome Cowan) who was habitually starting fires with carelessly discarded smoking materials.

Gloria Dickson, 1943

There are two scenes in the movie, including the final scene, in which he started such fires. When describing living with him, her character commented, "I'm practically cremated." Ironically, just two short years after this movie was released, Gloria was killed at the age of 28 in a house fire suspected to have been caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

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