1 December 1944
We have a little free time between drilling + instruction on ships, so I’ll start a letter, but don’t know how far I’ll get. You can never plan on sitting down + finishing a letter, because we never have that much time at a whack.
The packages arrived Wednesday + we certainly are enjoying the candy. Marilyn Mc Claran received a two pound box of Fannie Farmer the day before, + Jean Kanne got a big box of brownies + dates yesterday, so you can see that we are well provided + stuffing ourselves. We’ve figured up about how much candy we’ve eaten sice we arrived, + it averages about 5 pounds per week. Isn’t that awful? We eat big meals, too, in fact the kids tease me about being the human garbage pail- everything they don’t want I eat. Can you believe it? I got weighed the other day + I’ve gained three pounds. Jean Kanne has put on five.
Just as I expected- here it is Monday, Dec. 4 + so much has happened that I hope I don’t admit anything.
First of all you are probably very anxious to know about the wrist watch situation. I’m pretty sure of just what I want so I really think it would be better if I bought it + then, if you wanted to put some money in, you could send it to me. What you described is about what I want – a comparatively small round face, with radium dial + a sweep second hand, + leather strap. This is the waterproof, shock-proof type + sells for around $45. Two weeks ago they had a cute watch in the ships service here, just what I want. It sold for only $17.50 which was very cheap, but they sell the Elgins + Bulovas here for about $25. However, they wouldn’t sell it to me because I wasn’t in uniform yet. Now isn’t that silly? Two days later when I was in uniform, I went back +, as expected, it had been sold.
I think we had better leave it that way- I will look around + see what I can find. I may even be able to pick up something at a ships service, either here or the next place I go.
The big weekend finally arrived, that one being the trip to New York. I will start at the beginning + try to tell you everything as it happened.
We were “let free” at 12 o’clock Saturday noon after being inspected as to personal appearances. Some of us from our apartment started out together along with hundreds of other Waves. We dashed down to the subway which is about five blocks away + it was quite something to see all the white heads bobbing around. I had called James [UNCLE] + made arrangements to meet him at 77th St, which happened to be, by the way, the stop for Lenox Hill Hospital. Mavis + I met him at 1 o’clock + the other three kids went on to meet a friend of Marilyn’s. As we hadn’t eaten he took us to Shrafts where we had a very nice luncheon. The things we got a big kick out of were: drinking from regular glasses instead of huge mugs, having napkins + teaspoons instead of table-spoons, + eating with our coats off. You can certainly notice these items after being without them for a month.
From there we walked over to Rockefeller Center, looking in all the windows along Fifth Ave. We saw some perfectly huge diamonds in one jewelry store window. There were in rings, earrings, bracelets, + necklaces. They looked like things in pictures. We got quite a thrill from it.
We spent about two hours in Rockefeller Center + saw all the show spots by means of a tour. James got a big kick out of seeing the place because he’d never been inside before. The biggest thrill we got was when we went to the top + looked out over all of New York. We could see everything from the ocean, up the Hudson, over to New Jersey + even the Statue of Liberty.
James had to leave us about 5 p.m. as he was due at work. He’ll have to tell you himself about his two jobs- it’s very complicated. Before he left he recommended a place to eat, so Mavis + I went there. We had a wonderful meal- one of the best I’ve ever had out + it cost only about $2.50. After that we beat it back to Hunter on the subway. We got in at 8:40 + the deadline was 9 p.m.
Subways are certainly wonderful things. They get you there in a hurry. We are at 197th. That means we’re that far directly north of N.Y.C. + still it only takes us ½ hr. to get way down to 42nd St.
Sunday morning we set out again for “the city” at 9 a.m. + as we hadn’t been to Mass, in fact we couldn’t go here on the station, we decided to do it up proper by going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral which we did. At first we were behind a huge pillar + couldn’t see a thing, but later on we got on the main aisle. The alter and priest seemed miles away, but of course the Mass was the same, splendour [sic] or no splendor[sic]. That was a thrill, too. After church we ate again, after which we picked up tickets to the New York Philharmonic at the Women’s Service Club directly behind St. Pats. We walked all the way to Carnegie Hall taking in everything. Some of the shops are really “hoity-toity.” On the way, we saw an automat + decided a trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a visit, so we went in + worked the thinga-ma-gigs. We finally arrived at Carnegie + proceeded to our box up front- all free of charge of course. I was hoping you might be listening to the broadcast but decided after a while that if you had, you certainly would turn it off after awhile. I was very disappointed in the program. One composition was nothing but see-saw + the other was alot of crashing sounds with a chorus chiming in once + a while. As Dad would say “nothing but alot of noise” But anyway we had the thrill of sitting in a box seat at Carnegie Hall.
After the concert we wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty but our time was getting short, so we walked down to Times Square. What mobs of people!! We literally squeezed our way through the throngs, a quarter of whom were service people. We saw French, British, + Russian soldiers + sailors, English + Canadian service women, + Canadian + R.A.F. people + I don’t know what else. We walked all around Times Square + stopped in, for the heck of it, to have our pictures taken. You can see the results.
From there we walked up to the Waldorf-Astoria where we had dinner. Ritzy people, aren’t we? The hotel is a beautiful place, “out of this world” as James would say. We finally headed for Hunter, very satisfied with New York + thinking it’s quite a wonderful place. The only thing we regretted was that we didn’t have enough time to see all the things we would like to have.
I forgot to mention that we shopped around in Saks Fifth Ave + also saw a broadcast from Radio City. It was a corny western program but a least we saw and heard an actual broadcast.
New York is very easy to get around in + after being there for a day + a half we felt as if we actually knew if very well. You can see that we did alot [sic] of walking, purely to see the sights, because we could have taken buses, etc.
James thought I’s be getting in again + was quite startled to find out that I wouldn’t be seeing him again. I’ll be calling him before we leave which is in just antoehr week.
Today they told some of the girls where they are going, but Joan Kanne + I still don’t know + won’t know for serveral days. Mavis is very disappointed with her assignment as it’s not what she wanted. It isn’t even related to aviation, which is what she wanted. I can’t tell you where she’s going or what shes going in to, + when I find out about myself I won’t be able to let you know until I get there. Marilyn Mc Claran wanted hospital corps + got it. We will all go separate ways. I hope I get what I want. As you know that is aerography which also was Mavis’ first choice.
I had my picture taken for the Rockford papers. It was a funny shot- I’m standing in front of a counter of Christmas cards I the store, looking at a big Christmas card. I’m not looking at the camera nor smiling + I’m wondering what it will be like.
We were issued our dog tags today + now I must buy a chain to put it on. We also received our last shots. They are for Tetanus + my art isn’t a bit sore, although alot [sic] pf the girls feel sort of low.
The shot of the Waves marching down Fifth Ave. was undoubtedly our group, because at one point a newsreel car pulled in ahead of us + took some shots. Also some of the girls saw the newsreel at the theater here + said it was us. We get around alot [sic] don’t we?
Gosh, it’s been cold here. As we don’t have a thermometer we don’t know the exact temperature, but I’s say it was around 15° above accompanied by a strong wind. We only have cotton gloves to wear + honestly, my hands have never been colder in all my life. We walked all over New York practically freezing to death. As soon as I get out of here I’m buying a pair of fleece- lined leather gloves + a woolen white scarf. The one I’m wearing in the picture belongs to one of the girls who let me use it as she had another. From being outdoors so much in the cold + wind I’ve developed a very ruddy complexion. I hope I keep it. Mavis has one, too.
About paying for the cigarettes they cost me $1.13 + you can cancel the bill + apply the box of candy to it. Does that come out about right?
Since I’ve been here I’ve washed my hair twice + it looks about the way it did before I got a permanent only a little fuzzy. I put it up about every other night, although I never do the back. I’m so glad it’s short because they check hair each week + if it isn’t short enough they order you to cut it.
Since we can get out white shirts washed + ironed for only 5¢ a piece we send them to the laundry. Our blue shirts are cleaned for 15¢ a piece + it’s worth it to have them cleaned. Certainly cheap enough isn’t it?
Tonight Jean + I both receive our Wave Mothers packages + we are digging in for all we’re worth. I also got a slip showing that I have an insured over at the post office. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get it, but I can’t imagine what it can be.
I sent a package today + hope it arrives by Dec. 7. Lots of love, Mother on your birthday.
Jean called home tonight + her mother said that you sent your love to me. I take it you must have just talked to her + she told you Jean planned on calling.
Really must close now as we must be in bed in 20 minutes + I haven’t washed or anything. Will try to write again very soon as I’ve thought of some other things I want to tell you, but don’t have time right now.
Lots of love,
Recommended CitationKintzel, June, "Letter Written by June Kintzel to Her Folks dated December 1, 1944" (1944). Kintzel, June. Paper 5.