15 February, 2012

15 February 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
15 February, 1945       1020
Germany

Wilma, darling –

Believe it or not there’s actually a taste of Spring in the air today and woo! woo! – it looks like it’s going to be particularly tough to take this year. It was tough enough last year, dear – what are we going to do now? With all the snow and cold you’re having now – I suppose that’s far from your mind – but Spring will come to Boston and you’re going to have the same problem. And there are no pills for that!

The sun has shone for 3 consecutive days, but the wind is still with us and probably will be for some time. Yesterday was a reasonably quiet day. In the p.m. we had an officers’ meeting with most of the line officers coming in. There were a lot of administrative details to discuss and the meeting lasted from 1400 to 1630. It was good seeing the fellows again – we get together so seldom. And in the evening we had a movie – “Carolina Blues” – with K. Kayser, Ann Miller etc. It was class B but the music was good and I enjoyed it. This p.m. I’ve got to go to Corps Surgeon’s office on a little business – but that isn’t much of a trip.

I got a laugh out of what you wrote some time ago about my being called “Doc”. I laughed because I’ve never liked that either. It’s just unavoidable, I guess, and some people persist in using it – although I think I get away with it more than most. A good many don’t know what to do about it. I’m glad you like my name, sweetheart, because someday you’ll be able to tack “Mrs.” In front of it – and you can call me anything you like – I’ll come!


And that reminds me – you once wondered if I would find it difficult becoming a civilian again – and would I be rough, swear at everyone, gamble and tell dirty stories. Concerning the dirty stories – I haven’t heard one since coming overseas, although I knew my share before entering the Army. I never liked gambling and I don’t now – so you’ll have no trouble on that score; swearing? I’m pretty good at that – but I think I can reserve it for the right time. And I don’t think I’ve become rough. No – I think I’ll come back pretty much the same as when I left. Oh – you’ll have trouble with me all right! I’ll be forever kissing you until your lips get sore; I’ll be forever hugging you until your ribs ache; I’ll be in your way constantly – and I’ll have to be dragged out of the house for months to come. Outside of that, sweetheart, I believe you’ll find me easy to get along with.

You know, darling, I never did thank you for your really swell letter written New Year’s Eve – before you went out. I know how you felt – but there just wasn’t anything to do about it. And I’m glad you did go out, too. Your letter was warm and sincere and I’ve read it over and over again. I can’t say very much in answer. My life is already so much intertwined with yours – you must be aware of it. I love you and what is more important, sweetheart, for all the things you are. I’ll always love you, for I know that in you I shall find reciprocated love, devotion and the keen desire for life that I have always striven for.

That’s all for now, darling, except – send my love to the folks and best regard to the girls at the office.

All my everlasting love –
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about "Carolina Blues" (1944)

Ann Miller and Kay Kyser

Greg mentioned seeing "Carolina Blues" and judged it as a "Class B" movie. Here is The New York Times review of the movie, written by Bosley Crowther and published on 8 December, 1944 and titled "The Screen; Very Blue."
The so-called pride of Rocky Mount, N. C., Kay Kyser, is advertising himself and his home town again in Columbia's so-called musical picture, "Carolina Blues," which came to Loew's State yesterday. And the way he is doing it this time is by playing at leading his band in a series of war-bond rallies to raise money for a cruiser, Rocky Mount. As the prop for these musical sessions there is nonsense which passesfor a plot wherein Victor Moore and Ann Miller pursue Mr. Kyser in search of a job. And that is "Carolina Blues," neighbors. It is likely to leave you depressed.

As usual, Mr. Kyser rather boldly monopolizes most of the screen as band leader, patriotic citizen and dashing Lothario. His performance of each personality is more awkward in that order. Mr. Moore is faintly amusing as several frumpy, elderly folks, and Miss Miller is virtually brushed off as the lady pursuing Mr. K. There are agonizing moments when a character called Ish Kabibble tries to clown, and some comparably painful exhibitions by bleak-looking male soloists. One song number, "Mr. Beebe," done by Harold Nicholas and a Negro troupe, rates a high grade for peppiness and satire. And "There Goes That Song Again" is good. But the rest—well, they're on the same order as the picture, which is pretty grim.
Here is a clip of Mr. Beebe, with dancers Harold Nicholas and Josephine Baker:


This synopsis of the movie comes from the Turner Classic Movies web site.
When Kay Kyser and his band, including singer Georgia Carroll, return from a long USO tour, the exhausted musicians look forward to their vacation, while Georgia plans her upcoming wedding to an Army officer. Their publicist, Charlotte Barton, does not give them time to rest, however, for she immediately takes them to the Carver shipyards. Despite the band's grumbling, they put on a good show, and Kay is entranced by the singing of Julie Carver (Ann Miller), the daughter of Phineas J. Carver (Victor Moore), whom Kay mistakenly assumes is the owner of the shipyard. However, ne’er-do-well Phineas Carver is the one poor relation in an otherwise fabulously wealthy family that includes Elliott, Hiriam, Horatio, Aunt Martha and Aunt Minerva — all of whom are also played by Victor Moore, giving this otherwise pretty ordinary movie a unique appeal.

Anxious to be married, Georgia urges Kay to replace her with Julie, but Kay mysteriously declines. On his way back to the hotel, Kay meets an old chum, Tom Gordon, the newspaper editor in Kay's hometown of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Tom asks Kay to return home to put on a bond rally, so that Rocky Mount can buy a destroyer. Carver suggests holding the show in New York, where they can raise enough money for a cruiser, not just a destroyer, and Kay tries to trick the band members into agreeing. They see through his scheme, but as they are stuck in New York due to transportation shortages, acquiesce. Georgia is annoyed at having to postpone her wedding, however, and during the show, arranges for Julie to substitute for her. Julie is a big hit, much to the delight of her father and the chagrin of her wealthy, snobbish relatives.

Kay is furious about the trick and yells at Julie for trying to ruin the show. When Georgia questions him about why he is refusing to hire Julie, he states that as a rich girl, she would have no commitment to a real career. Georgia passes on the information to Julie and Phineas, unaware that they are only pretending to be rich to make a good impression on Kay. In reality, they are the poor Carvers and are continually borrowing from their relations. Kay then travels to Rocky Mount, where the townsfolk hold a banquet in his honor. During the festivities, however, Kay learns that because the bonds from the New York show were sold in New York, they cannot be credited to Rocky Mount. Devastated by the news, Kay schemes to get the band to his hometown for another show by sending them urgent telegrams that lead them to believe that he is on his death bed.

Again, they quickly see through his ruse, but agree to put on the show as they are already in Rocky Mount. The bond sales do not go well though, and it does not look as if there will be enough for a destroyer until Julie and Phineas arrive. Believing that he can get Phineas to purchase the required amount of bonds, Kay gives the singing job to Julie. She goes out with him that night in order to obtain a contract, but the moonlight works its magic and the couple fall in love. Unable to deceive him any longer, Julie tells Kay the truth about her finances and tearfully runs off with Phineas the next morning. Phineas has a plan of his own though, and summons his relatives to Rocky Mount. That night, as Kay puts on the show, Phineas blackmails his relatives into buying enough bonds so that the town can obtain its destroyer. Julie goes to the auditorium to present the check to Kay, who quickly reconciles with her and shares the good news with the crowd.

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