Mary Metcalfe

Document Type

Personal Letter


[Transcription Begins]

Wed. Nov. 24th

Dearest Mommie,

I am still not sure exactly what my hours are to be on this job. As I told you I am at Service Club #1 at 306 9th St. N.W. Yesterday I reported for work at 2:30. I worked in the canteen + you + May would have died if you could see me making sandwiches, coffee, serving frankfurters etc. Imagine me in a kitchen! The canteen is open until 7 o’clock. I think we are supposed to go eat dinner + be back at 8 o’clock to dance + talk to the boys. I didn’t stay last night as there were so many hostesses there + I had a lot of washing to do.

We left Patrick Henry at 9:50 A.M. Eleven of us coming back. We had to go all the way across town at Richmond to change trains + arrived in Wash. At about 3:15. I have never had a dirtier ride + we were a sight with musette bags, barracks bags, millions of suitcases, + some were carrying collapsible army waterproof pails purchased at the PX and P.H.[1]

We had to go out to the Univ. baggage + all to get our assignments + find out where we were to stay. We were all assigned to different places, some getting one, some two + some three week assignments. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I may get to New York after this assign. Although I have no idea what it will be.

Well, we all found out where we were to stay + collected our baggage + took off to come back downtown. I am in a double room with 3 other girls all in hospital recreation + they have just started to clear to go overseas so I don’t know how long they will keep me here. Their names are Clair Neustadt (in my room) + Betty Chapman and Eleanor Carr. We hardly ever see each other because they are up + gone early in the morning + I don’t get home until bed time.

Yesterday morning I took a lot of laundry + cleaning across the street which I can get Sat. I went downtown + purchased three white silk jersey slips the less to iron the better. Everyone has taken to silk jersey. I also had my dirty head washed at a beauty shop right next to the hotel here.

I forgot to tell you that I spent a world of time washing dishes yesterday. Maxine Bruce, the other girl assigned Red Cross would rather not charge for things but the army requests that a charge be made so they must do it. Wherever we are we must do what the commanding officer for that camp or area says. That was one of the main points brought out in our orient course, that the boys do not understand the charges made; but we have to do what the army requests.

I have not received the pictures yet + I hope they will arrive soon although I really don’t know what to order. I think I had better let you decide what you want + you can tell them.

Bebe Cadwalader is from Baltimore. The name sounded familiar to me too, but I don’t know where I have heard it.

I haven’t heard any more from Ruth so I don’t know where she is headed for.

I have been regretting this small suitcase ever since I got to Wash. All the other girls have at least 26” bags + a lot of the girls purchased their canvas officers bags at the PX at Patrick Henry for $18.50. They really hold a lot.

It sounds to me as though you had better not do any more blood donating. You are doing plenty of other things + since you are inclined to be anemic I don’t think you should do this.

Did I tell you that I found a big bottle of serip (sic) in a wooden container which will be fine to take overseas.

Thanks for the checks from P + P[2]. I hope I can find some place to have them cashed.

Aunt Catherine wrote me saying that if I should come to N.Y. maybe you could come to visit her. This is a grand idea. As soon as I find out what’s up next I shall let you know + maybe we can work on this idea. I must get myself together now to go to the Service Club.

I was sorry to hear that Nancy had such a rough time having Ashley, Jr.

You will have to give the news to everyone as I am still not caught up enough to write to everyone.

Lots + lots of love,


[Transcription Ends]

[1] May stand for Patrick Henry as in Camp Patrick Henry where she was working prior to this assignment.

[2] Is this Peck and Peck again like the hat box in the earlier letter. Did she work at Peck and Peck before signing up for the Red Cross?