10.18.1942 Letter

Dear Helen and Wilson:

Don’t mind my writing a typewritten letter, do you? Well that’s what you’re going to get anyway.

I went down to Atlantic City a couple of weeks ago and I sent you a card. I hope you got it OK. I went down there at the expense of the good old U.S. Government. You see, that’s where men entering the Air Corps, like mechanics, welders, etc., go when they leave here. Of course, they go other places too.

It’s an overnight trip from here and we traveled in day coaches on the way down. We didn’t have any diners on the train, but sandwiches were made and placed on the train somewhere along the line and that was our only meal while traveling.

We got to Atlantic City before daybreak and the first thing I noticed there was the way the lights were blacked out. The street lights are painted black on any side that faces the ocean. Car lights are either painted black or else they drive on dim lights. They are trying out some kind of a yellow light down there too.

The soldiers stay in hotels along the boardwalk and the curtains in the windows of these hotels are regular blackout curtains. It really doesn’t look much like a city at night. The main thing that I wanted to see while I was there, outside of the ocean itself, was the boardwalk, and that was about the first thing that we marched down after we got there.

We didn’t get much sleep on the way down because sleeping in seats no matter how well they fix them up is not very comfortable. The way they work that is to take the back off one of two seats that are facing each other place it between the seats, tighten it up, and then you have a place to stretch out anyway.

We had our breakfast in the hotel dining room which is not fixed up Army style. They have long tables in rows with an aisle in between and you go down and pick out your place. But before you have done this you have picked up your cereal, milk, (2 half-pints), toast, butter and some other stuff that you’d get for breakfast and take it with you on your tray. We had dinner in this same hotel (The Ambassador) and it was chicken. So they get fed real well down there also.

We left in the afternoon and came up to Phila. and left there about 8:30PM and had Pullmans for our return trip to Buffalo. The railroads were so short of cars for their regular passenger travel that they put on some old cars that had been fitted up with park-like benches with two old oil lamps for each car and no heat.

We are supposed to be working this Sunday morning but our work isn’t coming in like it should, so I’m writing letters while my buddy here is tantalizing me about the nice day outside, an automobile, gasoline, tires, a ride etc.

Outside of the movies that I’ve seen lately, like “My Sister Eileen”, “Tales of Manhattan”, “Wake Island”, “Desperate Journey”, “Holiday Inn”, etc, there’s nothing new.

Russell
Fort Niagara, NY

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