October 22nd 1943, Dear Roy: “I think it’s swell that you’ve been able to get in a little swimming in a regular pool (even if you did have to share it with the whole British Army.)”

Harriet Venzlaff

4044 Shreve Ave.

St. Louis, MO

Dear Roy,

It’s Friday afternoon, 2:00 pm to be exact and of all things, here I find myself writing to you. Oh yes, I know that I should be hard at work at the good old F of D pounding away for all I’m worth on my L. C. Smith, but I’m taking a little vacation for myself today, well maybe you wouldn’t call it exactly a vacation. You see, I’ve gone and caught myself a darn good cold, and I thought perhaps it would be best if I stayed home for a day or so instead of going down to the office and contaminating everyone.

Right now I’m feeling very spoiled and pampered propped up in bed here, when I know all the kids at work are plugging away right about this time. Why, do you know what, Mamma even served my lunch to me in bed. That’s what I call luxurious living. Another thing, it’s a wonderful opportunity to re read again a couple letters that I received from you this week, and which I didn’t get an opportunity to answer nearly so promptly as I like to.

Note that you and Mike just returned from a trip into Tunis. Of course, Roy, I’m just a little bit vague about the whole thing, and I do find it a little bit difficult to picture the general setting, but I assume that you’re stationed comparatively close to Tunis. It must break the monotony of camp life a lot be able to go into town for a little relaxation, and I think it’s swell that you’ve been able to get in a little swimming in a regular pool (even if you did have to share it with the whole British Army.) And, incidentally young man, that steak and spaghetti dinner sounds very, very intriguing to say the least. There just couldn’t be a more wonderful combination. And you know of course, that steaks are a wee bit of a novelty around these parts, too. Not that we’re complaining.

You mention a letter which you recently received from some of your friends in Spokane. Yes, Roy, Es let me read it one day last week. It was really a fine letter, wasn’t it?

I can well imagine how it sorta made you glow to know that you have friends that loyal who regard you so highly. And I’m so sure that their kindly feelings toward you is well founded.

In one of your recent letters, Roy, you describe the first air raid which you experienced. Of course, I didn’t tell Es that you had written me anything of that nature. Your family seems to be so certain that you have been completely safe and far from action, although deep in my heart I’ve always felt that distance these days mean absolutely nothing, and that there most certainly must have been times when you were in extreme danger. I know the terror it must strike in the heart to hear those bombers overhead, and the terrible waiting and uncertainly must be the worst part of all. Don’t think for one moment that I’m unaware of what’s going on.

That’s enough of that now, we’re getting too gloomy. Although I don’t suppose we can shut our eyes completely to reality.

You know, Roy, I’m getting just a little bit drowsy. Writing and reading always make me that way, and on top of it, I think I’m just a little bit too comfortable here for my own good. I think maybe I’m just about to give up writing for this time and turn over and grab a few winks. Mamma is hustling around here, running the vacuum sweeper over the rugs, but I don’t think the noise will cramp my style in the least. She says to give you her love (mamma I mean).

I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you, and I want to say right here and now that you’ve certainly been keeping up your end of this correspondence wonderfully well, and I think it’s swell. Seriously, however, Roy, I know that there are certain other people who look forward to hearing from you, and I do hope you haven’t been neglecting them. Love from all of us and God bless you and keep you safe.

As ever,

Harriet

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