Somewhere in Sicily
August 2, 1943
Hello Bryant Service Club,
Sure was glad to receive your informative V Mail about good old Bryant College. I often think about it and the good times connected with my two years there. I was especially interested in learning the whereabouts of Ben Scuda + Johnnie Hall having been in both their classes.
It looks like there won’t be any male teachers left which brings up the question what will the girls do, especially if Prof. Lambert goes? [?] la [?].
Just when I was about fed up with Africa I was sent here to Sicily which I like alot [sic] better. The cities are more modern and there is more to see and do. I only wish I could name specific places and incidents but it is impossible. There are ancient Greek ruins, Bishops’ (?) palaces, castels [sic] + etc…. There are a few automobiles but mostly carriages and 2 wheeled carts, and then there is always the head to carry bundles upon.
The wine is real good – I know! Reminded me of the old Scott House days.
Am having quite a little trouble learning to speak Italian. So for I have added an e or o to the French words + got along. The young girls, Seniorina’s, are very pretty, mostly being dark eyed + haired + not unlike Lana Turner. Most of them understand a little English which all helps to promote friendship. I have run across quite a few Sicilians who have been to America at some time or another + most all of them think Brooklyn is the U.S. One fellow even asked me how the Dodgers were coming along.
To the [?] tobacco + cigarettes is a luxury. Little kids follow you around begging cigarettes or even butts for “Papa”. You can get hair cuts, shaves, watermelon, musk melon + all sorts of fruits for a little bag of “Bull Durham” which is rationed to us along with pipe tobacco + cigarettes.
Thank goodness the money situation is simple, if you get paid regular. Our penny is equal to 1 Italian lire, so we just substitute lire for dollar. They do have fractions of lires but we don’t bother with them, telling them to keep the change which they think is something big. We have been able to buy ice cream for a couple of hours a day when it usually runs out. You have to get there early to beat the officers. It is alot [sic] like sherbet but some places make ice cream. Most of the restaurants are closed but the ones that are open have the always present spaghetti + Macaroni.
Guess I have about covered everything so will go to bed + prepare to fight the “dive bombing” mosquitos [sic] they have here. They just blast their way through our nets so we can’t escape.
Best regards to the remaining Professors + congratulations to the Service Club for their fine morale-building work.
Cpl. Bud Burnham
Class of ‘41