07.06.1944 Letter

Dear Helen and Wilson:

I received a package from you this morning in good condition. You’ve certainly covered my needs for the present. I never expected to get Gillette Blue Blades though. How did you mange to get these? I was pleased with everything and can get caught up on some reading too.

I’m billeted in a private home over here and it’s quite nice. Makes one almost feel as if here were a civilian again. Of course, I sleep on an army cot, but it seems nice to use a private bathroom again. Over here, in most places the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub and wash basin. In some ways, that has it’s advantages. They are separate little rooms and one using one doesn’t have to bother the other. But the toilets still seem old fashioned to me — you know the basin way up on the wall above your head making it necessary to pull a chain to flush it. However it is clean as a pin – I mean the whole house. I took a picture of the place the other day. There is a fireplace in each room as in practically all of the buildings over here. Has centralized heating system. Seems to me that they would waste a lot of coal, but you can’t argue with them on this point. I know one of them said to me that central heating was alright, but the sight of an open fire was nice to sit by and watch at night. So I thought if he feels that way about it that’s his business. But I can’t imagine most women in American homes attending 6 or eight fires in one house. Can you? I know you’d agree.

Anyway, last Sunday, we (there’s another G.I. sleeping in the room with me) decided to sleep in for a change, as I was on duty the previous Sunday anyway. About nine o’clock comes a knock on the door. On answering, the woman hands in a tray with hot coffee and graham crackers. I know the dishes would have interested you because I have never seen anything like them before. The cups were about half as big as our regular cups, the top edges being edged with a little silver all the way around and also down the edge of the handle. The combination of saucer and plate attached reminded me of an hour glass in shape with the place where they were joined 2 to 5 inches across. The saucer under the cup was probably 4 inches across and the little plate possibly 5 or 6. Maybe you can picture this and maybe you can’t. Anyway the stuff tasted good.

Last Sunday I took a ride with a couple of other fellows here out to a canal just to see if any boats would go by. One did just as we got there and she was flying our flag too. We recognized the ship and the crew recognized us of course as we were the only three G.I.s around there. Made me wish I was in the navy as if I hadn’t wished it before.

Russell

England

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