Sept. 20th, 1943. Dear Roy: Well, Roy, we’ve all decided that we’re going to start attending the U.S.O dances at the Auditorium. Now that isn’t quite as simple as it sounds.”

St. Louis , MO

Sept. 20, 1943

Dear Roy,

It’s Monday night, 8:30 p.m., and everything is very peaceful and quiet in the Venzlaff household. Daddy is out playing cards with some of the boys and Mamma and I are sitting here in the living room writing letters and listening to the radio – that is, she’s listening to the radio, and I’m writing letters with one ear cocked toward the radio.

Monday is always a good night for programs and we’ve just heard the Richard Crooks program and now the “Telephone Hour” is on with Lily Pons trilling away for all she’s worth. I don’t know the name of the aria she’s singing – some French thing – but it’s really very beautiful.

The weather has suddenly turned quite cool, and as the furnace is not in working order as yet, we have the gas logs going full blast to keep us warm. They’ve been blazing away for about three hours now, and mom and I are both getting just a wee bit groggy. That’s what always happens – I’m not up on my general science or stuff- but I think it’s because the oxygen is taken out of the air or something. How in the heck did I get off on this subject – kindly ignore it, please, I don’t think it makes sense. Well, anyway, the scene is a very lazy one. There’s nothing quite so nice as a lazy evening at home occasionally. Somehow I think one appreciates it more now than ever before.

Have I told you about the latest activity of the gals down at the office? I don’t believe I have. It’s getting so that one has to go through quite a complicated procedure before being allowed to attend you see, there are just about 1000 girls who have lined up in the last four months – that’s in addition to the tremendous number who are already going strong. So, the first thing we all had to do was to have our pictures taken. Three in fact all in the same pose – strictly of the dime store variety, understand. Well, you can imagine, how some of them, I mean, most of them, turned out. Honestly I never in my life saw such a queer collection of mugs in all my life. We all had a lot of fun at the office with them, and upset the morale of the working force too much perhaps by passing them from desk to desk with shrieks of laughter and much comments and criticism. Please forgive me for saying this, Roy, but I think your Sis’ pictures were the funniest of all. Why I certainly can’t understand, for some reason or other, her face looked like a mask with two big black eyes and a mouth standing out very prominently. Mine were most peculiar, too. The first of the series was a very, gleeful, wide-awake looking thing; the second was a little on the droopy side – with me looking very languidly out of the corner of my eye, and the third – why I’ll never know – shows me with my eyes completely closed and my mouth drooping at the corners – the most pathetic sight you ever saw.

The pictures were the first step toward gaining entrance into the second half of the U.S.O. Now for the second step. For the next month we will all have to attend lectures on how to behave on the premises. There will be five of these altogether. We went to the first one last Saturday and were very pleasantly surprised because the talk was extremely interesting and ended all too soon. We’re all almost looking forward to the next one.

Well, so much for the U.S.O. & on the next month, if we all behave ourselves, go to the lectures, and pass a written exam, perhaps we’ll be allowed to go to the dances – I hope so anyway. I can well understand, though, how cautious they have to be. They’ve never had a single unpleasant incident down there, and of course, they don’t want to spoil the record.

Is that the bottoms of the page almost staring at me in the face? I never seem to have quite enough space to write all the things I’d like to say. We’ve all been thinking of you a lot, and hoping with all our hearts that you can come home soon. In the meantime, keep writing, won’t you, please?

As Ever,

Harriet

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