04 December, 2011

04 December 1944


438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
4 December, 1944        1235

Dearest sweetheart –

Monday – the start of another week. It’s not particularly blue here either, dear. For one thing – the sky is clear here at the moment and that makes the day a good one. Secondly – it’s only 21 days to Christmas – although why that should make us feel better, I don’t know – so we’ll leave that one out. Maybe it’s because of the shows we saw yesterday afternoon. We did actually get to see Marlene Dietrich – and believe me, darling, that was a treat. Up to now – we had always just missed out on the big Stars – e.g. Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby – and some of us were beginning to wonder if they actually ever did get up front. Well, Dietrich did, dear, and it was something to see. The show was put on in a German theater – seating capacity about 600, I should say. It got started at 1330 and lasted until 1500. There was the usual M.C. – and a couple of comedians. And then out came Dietrich. It’s hard to describe the reaction experienced by most of the men. You have to be able to picture a theater packed with men in all sorts of uniforms, needing shaves, wearing muddy clothes and boots; in that atmosphere a very attractive woman in a glittering gown steps out on a stage – and boy – they really yelled her a welcome. She surprised me. I thought she’d look older and more tired. Actually she was very refreshing, her hair a glistening blond, and her gown – form-fitting, of course. She didn’t do very much – talked a bit, played a musical saw – yes, she did – and sang a few songs, including the famous Lily Marlene, which is actually a German song, a product of this war.

December 1944 - Stolberg, Germany
Leaving Theater after Marlene Dietrich Show


In the p.m. I read a bit and just took it easy in the evening. This morning was fairly busy and I have a few things to take care of after I finish writing this. The mail has been practically nil these past few days – although packages have started coming in. I got one yesterday from Ruth. I believe there’s peanuts in it – but I haven’t opened it yet. That makes two packages I’ve received – counting the one I’ve already told you about.

So you’re still having trouble with your watch, darling? I don’t know why you just don’t throw it out and get yourself a good watch – a Mido, for example. As a matter of fact – that Mido of mine has done an excellent job, although it has never had to go through war conditions – the wear and tear it suffered a few Saturday nights – I can think back to. I was all prepared the day we hit the beach; and had my watch wrapped with transparent rubber on the trip across the channel., Actually – as it happened, I didn’t even get my feet wet. We came off our barge in a jeep – on the crest of a wave and kept going. I was standing up and the water just came up over the floorboard. Before I knew it – we were on the dry sand.

As for my radio – that’s really playing swell now – knock wood. It is now working on G-I tubes and G-I batteries and I’m all set with plenty of spares. I don’t regret one bit the money I paid for it.

I’ll stop now, sweetheart – hoping I hear from you today. I love you darling and reading in your letters that you love me too – makes a day complete. But I know you do – even without the letter – and so I’m happy anyway. My love to the folks, dear – and
My deepest love is yours for always,
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about Marlene Dietrich in Stolberg, Germany

Marlene Playing the Saw in a Form-Fitting Gown

Greg mentioned Marlene's singing "Lili Marlene," and The Route of the Question Mark mentioned her singing "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have." Presented here are both songs.




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