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08.30.1944 Letter

Dear Willard and Grace;

Thought I’d take advantage of this little lull and bat out a letter to you as I think I’m a little behind. Yes, I was sorry to hear about Richard, but I’ve been hardened to a lot of things especially since I came into the Army I know it’s just one of those things you can’t do a thing. When you put conditions together anymore, you wonder, at least I do, why try to raise a family. So much for that.

I certainly appreciate your efforts in trying to pick up the film and your success in so doing. Super space XX is tops as far as speed is concerned and I’m real pleased to think that you were able to get it. I haven’t as yet received the box, but am looking for it any day now. Hope you can send them soon as I’m on my last roll.

You know, it has occurred to me that I have never mentioned this little detail about this neighborhood. It seems that in England, and in most of Europe, due to the crowded living conditions, at least in and around the cities, that there is always the fear of plagues. You remember how they used to be mentioned in history. Well, of course, a lot of those plagues were caused by rats. Consequently, practically every household has it’s own snoopers, namely cats. Now in this neighborhood, cats are so plentiful, that you practically step on them every time you go out of the house. In fact, you occasionally get that unpleasant sort of feeling that one sometimes gets in a pasture when you step on or in the stuff which cows defecate. Now you see, what I’m getting at is this; American cats seem to take a great deal of pride in concealing this matter by digging a hole and covering same when through. But these English cats, through generations and generations of experience, just step like the old contented cow, get through with the necessary business, and keep right on going. Of course, the cats are in a little predicament with regards to matters of this nature since the ground throughout the neighborhood is pretty well covered with masonry and cannot dig through to cover up. Now that is one of the main reasons why I would not want to run out of a burning house over here in the middle of the night in my bare feet. But the dogs still chase cats over here like they do back home.

Now there are a few phrases or words they use quite commonly that I get a kick out of. For instance, you will ask for directions to so and so and after you have been told they will invariably say when you leave “you cawn’t miss it”. (accent on cawn’t) They pronounce can alright but can’t is cawn’t. I won a little argument on this point one evening. A lot of people when asking if you like a certain thing will ask “do you fancy this?”. So much for that.

Thanks for Jack’s address. Will look for pictures soon.



An absolutely delightful read, about the differences between English cats and American cats.

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