Mary Metcalfe

Document Type

Personal Letter


Dearest Mommie,

I haven’t any idea what the date is anymore.

Yesterday we had our shots after lunch, typhus, typhoid, + smallpox. We all have terribly sore left arms now. Last night when I came home from our Service Club I was aching all over like I had a terrible case of grippe. Ruth had a thermometer so when she came in we took my temp + it was almost 102°. Sun.

On top of this we had a terrific night in the barracks. It really was terribly funny. One of the USO girls came in just plastered. She reeled around, fell against the bed next to mine + got a terrific bump on her head. For the next two or three hours they were all trying to get her sober. One girl started her out to the latrine + the drunk gal fell in the mud so several had to go + help haul her out. They got her back in the barracks + she didn’t want to go to bed. They would just get her down when she would be back up again reeling around. She had to be watched for fear that otherwise she would fall against the stove. Finally the girls got tired of this so they dragged her out and stuck her in the cold shower. She still wasn’t sober so they got the MP to call the hospital + they came + took her off our hands. The funny part of it was the way everyone would quiet down then all of a sudden everyone was up buzzing around again lighting cigarettes + chattering. It was just like Grand Central Station.

We have an MP who guards our barracks all the time, + it is necessary as we found out last night. It is “off limits” for any of the soldiers to be on any of the board walks in front of our barracks + of course behind also. It seems that the MP cornered four colored soldiers out behind our barracks last night. Now instead of one MP we have two guarding us. At night we never go out to our latrine alone.

May will love this! There are nice big rats that dodge around under the board walk behind our barracks + under the wooden steps leading up to it. You hardly ever step out in the back that you don’t hear a rustling in the leaves or that a rat or two doesn’t rush across in front of you.

I took it easy all day yesterday (Sat.). My arm was plenty sore + I was still feeling a bit shaky. We had a party in the Rec. Hall last night. We had different booths of throwing a bean bag into a big tin can, ring toss onto two pegs (this was my booth), nail pounding, throwing darts at a couple of pin up girls, a bingo game, refreshments, + they fooled around playing on the pianos. There was a little dancing but there are so few girls, dancing isn’t such a good idea.

This morning I ran the cafeteria cash register while we were serving coffee + doughnuts. It is much harder than just having a cash drawer, especially with a line filing by in a stream + having to ring up each sale + give change.

This afternoon I have been on duty in the library here at the Service Club. The librarian is not here so I have been trying to figure out the filing routine as best I can. I have had to stop writing every little while when the boys came in + want to talk.

You are right about where we are. It is not far from Williamsburg Inn not sure how far. On Tues. Ruth, Phyllis + I have a day off + we are going to Williamsburg. We are going to have a real meal when we get there. When we eat here, as I told you it is with the WACs. We sit on wooden benches + spend the entire meal passing things up + down the table. When we are finished we have take [sic] all our plates, glasses + coffee mugs up to the counter, in front of which are several garbage cans, one for liquids, one for used paper napkins, one for any food left on your plate and the other to put your used silver ware in. We are liable to have very odd table manners when we leave here. One of the girls was in Newport News the other day at a drugstore + she just caught herself in time. She was about to stack her plates + take them back to the counter.

It is time to close the library now + I have a long walk to chow.

Lots + Lots of Love, Chichi

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