Friday, November 24
It certainly was good to hear all your voices yesterday + although I had to wait almost an hour for the call to go through, it was certainly worth it. Of course when I called it was the busy part of the day + they told me the circuits were busy, but that made no difference to me. That was my Thanksgiving Day splurge. Were you surprised to hear from me?
You asked about the parade down Fifth Ave. Yes, it was quite an experience + an introduction to New York City. On top of that it was the first time we’d been outside the gates since we arrived.
Almost 3,000 Waves took part in in along with alot [sic] of Wacs, soldiers, + I don’t know what all. Naturally we only saw a small part of the parade, that part being those who marched ahead of us. We took the subway down to 28th St. + assembled some of our Waves there. Then when our turn came we marched onto 5th Ave. + all the way down it to 53rd St. The reviewing stand was at the Library + we did an “eyes left” when we came to it, but I don’t know who did the reviewing. At 53rd St. we turned onto Park Ave., marched for two blocks ‘till we came to Lexington where we boarded the subway for Hunter. We weren’t tired at all. For marching + drilling is a major part of our lives. In fact, I discovered today that I have a big hole in the sole of my left shoe. Imagine that- in less than three weeks! I haven’t worn a hold in my shoe for years + years – now have I?
To go back to the parade we didn’t see much of the “city”, because it was “head + eyes straight ahead” all of the time so that about all I saw was the neck of the girl ahead of me. While we were assembling, though, we did get a good look at the Empire State bldg. as it was just around the corner. Other than that I can’t say that I’ve seen much of New York. At one time a movie camera car pulled in ahead of us + was taking pictures of our group marching, so if you should see it, it might be our bunch. The parade, by the way, was for the Sixth War Bond Drive which just opened.
After I talked to you folks, I went down to see Naomi [WISNICKY]. It was the first time I’d talked to her, although we had spotted each other twice before while we were marching in ranks. We had quite a “gab fest” for about two hours + exchanged all the latest news about Madison. She’s been kind of home sick or lonesome + she said that seeing me made her feel as if she were home. We will get together again this weekend.
I’m enclosing one of the menus they gave us for Thanksgiving. of [sic] course that was very unusual as was the fact that they also presented us with napkins. They were the first we have had since we came. The baskets that usually hold bread on the tables were decorated with cute paper + filled with fruit. Everything was very good, in fact the mince pie tasted almost like yours, + that’s something. However, we still used our regular metal trays + walked along the same cafeteria line, + naturally it wasn’t like home.
We won the Navy “E” a second time + if we can just snag it next time that will be something. It’s awarded every week to the company with the highest average in everything, +, as next week we’ll be the service regiment, we’d like to get it.
Wednesday we were paid $20 out of our monthly $50. We will receive another $20 just before we leave here + the balance later on. The Navy doesn’t want us to think we’re rich. I still haven’t cashed one of my travelers checks + have my pay check of $20 plus 57 cents, so I figure that in my three weeks here I’ve spent $16. In case you’re wondering, I’m not keeping my expense account + haven’t since Oct. 28. I just don’t have the time + besides since I’m not spending much money, it really isn’t worth the time.
Must close for awhile + start scrubbing as tomorrow is Captains Inspection + we must pass with flying colors.
We passed inspection all right, in fact the office said our apartment was very good, + we learned later, that the building as a whole was also very good. After inspection we had our regimental review, but don’t really know how we did. We do have hopes of winning that “E” again.
Monday morning we have stencil inspection of our clothing. Maybe I told you how our initials must appear on everything we own even down to our lipstick, hair pin box, stationary, etc. This is all marked with fingernail polish so when it comes to Navy gear you can bet they really have us plaster our names all over. [NAME] Stencils are made for us + then we’re given directions as to where to put them on every piece of gear. On all the navy blue articles the name is in white, + vice-versa. You can see where the sense of that comes in because with four girls living together, all wearing identical things, it would be quite a problem getting into the right clothes, especially in the morning when we grab just anything. Then, too, there’s the problem of stealing + stenciling takes care of that pretty well. In the Navy that’s a very serious offense + if you’re eve caught wearing something belonging to anyone else, even if they elt you borrow it, you’re liable to a trial.
Naomi told me about Mrs. Trideman. She said she’d been ill for over a year + had worried herself sick about it, in fact they were to take her to a mental institution in Milwaukee the next day after she committed suicide.
Honestly, the way we kids eat! We clean up everything at mess + as soon as we get back to barracks we dig in on candy bars, salted nuts, taffy, + life savers. We can buy these at the ships store in addition to the sundaes we always get whenever we go in. Also, various kids out of the eight of us have received packages + here are some of the things we’ve consumed within the past week, 3# candy, 3 bottles of olives, bag of hard candy, a large box of popcorn, bag of potatoe chips, cheese crackers, + I don’t know what all. I do think I’m putting on weight + the next time I get near a scale I’m going to investigate.
I asked Jean Kanne if she knew Ottie [SISTER] + she said she couldn’t recall the name. She got a big kick out of your letter where you told about getting out the clippings + finding her name on it.
By the way, you can put that service flag up now because I’m in here for good now. We have a song that goes “… oh we’re all here, yes, we’re all here, it’s a cinch we can’t go out, so you can bet that we’re all here.” Whenever we march we always sing + they certainly have alot [sic] of cute songs.
I just received notice that I’m to report to Public Relations Monday morning “with regulation uniform + white shirt, white gloves, + white hat.” So that means that I have my picture taken for the Rockford papers. I’m dying to know what will appear.
Right now the uniform we’re wearing consists of our navy blue jacket + skirt with navy blouse for regular occasions + white shirt for Sat. + Sun. We wear the white hat tops all the time, but will change to navy when we graduate. We also wear the white gloves just for reviews + black for every-day.
Lots of love,
Take care of yourselves + Jeffee, [DOG] too.