September 23, 1943, Dear Harriet: “Believe me, this place puts Kansas in the minor leagues.”

North Africa

23 September 1943

Dear Harriet,

Until five minutes ago I was so low my chin was hovering in the vicinity of my shoe tops. A very uncomfortable position to remain in for any length of time. Yes, you may well ask the reason why. Number one,  because I had received no word from Harriet for severals days. That in itself can take all the wind out of my sails. Another disturbing factor was the weather. Since ten this morning these Sirocco Winds have been making life miserable for us all. If you are not familiar with this word Sirocco may I offer an explanation as given by Webster – A hot, oppressive, dust-laden wind. Today it must have reached its peak in velocity, hitting some forty miles per hour. At times the dust was so thick that a respirator came in very handy.  Now and then I reach up and dig a few shovels full out of my ears. Believe me, this place puts Kansas in the minor leagues.

My attitude suddenly changes, I am immune to this dust, my spirits rise –

Why: Well as any fool can plainly see I have a letter from Harriet. One might say, this is just what the doctor ordered.

It looks like the gang is going to the show tonight, perhaps I shall have a little peace and quiet. Time was when I could sit down anywhere and write to you, but now I don’t want interruptions. Privacy is what I crave for the moment and gosh knows how hard it is to find around here. Be that as it may, I’ll see what I can do with the old think box under the existing conditions.

I don’t quite know what this affair will lead up to but you must admit that it has a flying start. At the present my dreams are way ahead of me – by the way, they started with your first letter. If fools rush in where angels fear to tread, then I am a fool. As nearly as I can figure out, our thoughts seem to be running in the same directions. Just what that direction is I don’t choose to say for the present. If this is coincidence or not, we both seem to sit down and write to each other before we go to bed. Of course this is only natural after our daily work is through. What better thoughts could be on our minds when we surrender to the arms of Morpheus.

Looking down at the floor momentarily I noticed a beetle about the size of a frog crawling toward me. This may not be wildest Africa but we do have some specimens of bugs around here that make life very unpleasant. Now that I have sent him off to his happy hunting ground, wherever that may be, perhaps I can continue.

I will be looking for those snapshots of yours – glad that you took it upon yourself to send some more. Your darn right I’ll paper the tent with them. We won’t be able to turn around without having one stare us in the face. However, that extra special picture is the one I’ll be looking for. It will be sort of a birthday present for me, even if it doesn’t get here till next month I shall still consider it as such.

If my guess is correct the bottom of this paper should be about four or five lines away. So it is time to start thinking in terms of a goodnight. I haven’t been able to write as often as I would like but I am doing my best believe me. If there should be a lull between letters please understand that it is something I can do nothing about. Now that you don’t mind my kissing you goodnight consider it a regular occurrence. My best to your folks and for you that goes double.

God bless you and keep you safe,

Roy

 

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