21 February, 2012

21 February 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
21 February, 1945      0950
My dearest darling –

I’ve been trying to get this letter started for the past twenty minutes and all I got up to was ‘My dearest darling’ – which isn’t so bad a thought at that. It seems a bit quieter at the moment so maybe I’ll get a bit of a letter written to you, dear.

The month of February is fast slipping by and we’re still sitting on our fannies. What in hell we’re waiting for is beyond me – but it’s getting on my nerves. Despite that – I turned down a 3 day pass to Brussels yesterday – which was to start today. My name was drawn, I accepted, thought it over for a couple of hours – and then decided I wouldn’t go. That’s a bad policy – as a rule – in the Army, because the best bet is to take what’s offered; you usually don’t get a second chance – but I had several things to take care of here for one thing, and secondly, I think I’d prefer to take a chance on getting to Paris – later. I only saw a bit of it the day I was there, but there’s lots more to see. However – if Brussels happens to be the next offering – I’ll take it.

But we did have a pleasant evening. We went to a U.S.O. show that was rank – but it was followed by a swell movie – “Gaslight” – with Boyer and Bergman – and it was excellently done, I thought. This theater – by the way – is the most forward of the circuit’s theaters – and that’s why we’ve managed to see some fairly recent pictures.

Outside of all that, sweetheart, things are status quo and dragging but maybe it won’t be that way for always. Oh by the way – I have never run into any one from the Field Artillery of the numbered battalion you mentioned – although we’ve been right with outfits very close to that number. It may be that that battalion is attached to a division rather than to Corps and that’s why I’ve never seen it around. I’ll keep on the lookout though. And another thing, you mentioned going to eat at the Lobster Claw one day and it just dawned upon me – that I don’t know exactly where 159-61 Mass. Ave. is. Just where is it, dear? The Lobster Claw brought back many memories. We ate there often when we were at Tufts – Leo Waitzskin, Gene Gurabrick (in Australia somewhere), Murray Lawrence (your neighbor) and a couple of other fellows. It was Murray who got sick to his stomach once when we were at the Claw for lunch. We had been doing a little dissecting in Anatomy that morning, and knowing Murray had a weak stomach – we all went into the details around the table. He had to get up and leave. Vicious fun? Gosh I’d like to be a student again – anything, I don’t care about the subject – although I’d prefer to take a couple of courses on Love – with you as the specimen – shall I say? To make it better – I’d like to be the Instructor, but I’d want the class to be private – say limited to you and me. What a lecture I could give!

I reminisced also when you mentioned walking up Tremont Street with Grace one night. I remember those times – very vividly, and unfortunately, they were all too few. But what few we had – were so delightful, so intimate. That’s when I was learning to love you in leaps and bounds dear. And when you love someone – on such a simple basis – how much more do we have to look forward to, darling, in our love – when we can really be with each other, live with each other and get to know one another! Boy am I looking forward to that! I’m going to love you, sweetheart like you never imagined possible – just wait and see ––

And now – for another day, dear, so long and take care of yourself. My love to the folks – and

All my sincerest love,


about "Gaslight" (1944)

"Gaslight" is a 1944 mystery-thriller film adapted from Patrick Hamilton's play, "Gas Light", performed as "Angel Street" on Broadway in 1941. It was the second version to be filmed; the first, released in the United Kingdom, had been made a mere four years earlier. The film opens just after world-famous opera singer Alice Alquist has been murdered. The perpetrator bolted, without the jewels he sought, after being interrupted by a child — Paula (Ingrid Bergman), Alice's niece, who was raised by her aunt following her mother's death.

The following review was written by James Berardinelli and has been extracted from "reelviews" web site.

Ingrid Bergman won her first Oscar for portraying Paula Alquist, the vulnerable, insecure heroine of George Cukor's diabolical, atmospheric thriller, "Gaslight". Bergman, essaying a much different character from either of her previous two roles, is alluring and convincing as a woman held captive by her own fears.

The first half-hour of "Gaslight" is deceptively romantic. We are introduced to Paula, a young English singer living and studying in Italy during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Over the past few weeks, however, her attention has not been on her craft, and her wily mentor remarks that he believes that she's in love. When Paula confirms his suspicions, and indicates that she may marry the gentleman in question, Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer), she is released from her studies. Less than a week later, she and Gregory are on their honeymoon.

At this point, "Gaslight" turns ominous. Gregory wants to live in England, so he and Paula move into a house that she inherited from her late aunt, a well-known singer who was murdered a decade ago. Once there, Gregory's attentiveness acquires a sinister edge. He convinces Paula that she's having delusions, and, as a result, isn't well enough to see visitors. He hires a forthright young maid, Nancy (Angela Lansbury in her feature debut), who holds her mistress in contempt. And he disappears every night on clandestine business of his own.

A local Scotland Yard officer, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), takes an interest in Paula's predicament, but Gregory and Nancy conspire to keep them from meeting. The more familiar Brian becomes with the situation, however, the more convinced he is that Paula's current circumstances are somehow related to her aunt's murder and a cache of missing jewels.

"Gaslight" may be seen as slow-moving and obvious, but no film can match this picture's intricate psychology. Paula's self-doubt builds slowly as her husband meticulously orchestrates her spiral into insanity. Since she's completely in his thrall, she never senses that he represents a threat. And, because Paula is isolated from everyone except Gregory, Nancy, and one other servant, she has no point of reference against which to gauge her mental stability.

Beautifully filmed in a gloomy, atmospheric black-and-white, "Gaslight" exhibits greatattention to detail. The benighted streets of London are cloaked with fog, and the large, lonely house where most of the action transpires is filled with shadows and strange noises. The paranoid, claustrophobic world of Paula's confinement is effectively conveyed. Even though we, as viewers, know that her insanity is contrived, we can feel the walls of the trap closing in as the situation grows progressively more hopeless.

In addition to Bergman's fine performance as the harried Paula, Charles Boyer and Angela Lansbury do excellent jobs. In less than two hours, Boyer's Gregory goes from a suave, debonair gentleman to a cunning, fiendish villain. The success of this transformation is an eloquent testament to Boyer's range. Meanwhile, 18-year old Lansbury imbues Nancy with a impertinence that makes her Gregory's perfect, albeit unwitting, accomplice.

In many ways, "Gaslight" is as much a character study as a thriller. Yes, the ending is weak, and there are aspects of the story that don't stand up to scrutiny, but this is the kind of effectively-crafted, well-acted motion picture that rises above its faults to earn its "classic" appellation.
The dénouement partly involves Paula indulging herself in a bit of revenge, psychologically torturing Gregory after he's been bound to a chair, tantalizing him with the suggestion that she might free him so he can escape arrest, trial, and execution.

Here is the Trailer from "Gaslight"

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