13 October 1943

Got your cards - 2 yesterday and 1 today. Sounds as if the baby were really getting cute. I believe I can more or less picture her now, but it's surely hard not to be able to see her. Take good care of her; she's precious. (Does Tony drive pretty carefully and watch R.R. crossings?) Didn't mean for the last letter to sound so sad. It's not too bad here; you get used to it and days go by. We have fun quite often. If nothing else I'll go buy some ice cream. The other non-coms are pretty good at wise-cracks and we laugh at a lot of our troubles. I believe I'm doing fairly well here (but don't look for any sergeancy - that's slipped under the horizon by virtue of certain administrative changes; in other words that T.O. (Table of Organization) no longer seems to permit of the possibility). I rather expect to be permitted to stay on. At least, I see no reason for thinking otherwise at present. My furlough at present is Jan. 3-13, subject to change possibly, and if so it could more likely than not be advanced forward. When do you get off? Can you pick any of your days? We may all get 3 days leave on Christmas - a supposition going around. 2 more weeks (after this one) of B. Trng. That's the latest. As I said before the Army is very unpredictable. But this last information seems to be quite reliable. If I can't get a 3-day pass then, how about your coming to Omaha? It would take some arranging, but it strikes me as a very pleasant get-together if we could make it. We could have from Saturday P.M. sometime until Sunday P.M. sometime. Rent a hotel room, see a show, eat a couple of meals (or lunches depending on prices), and etc. I could, I feel sure, get off for Saturday afternoon and Sunday - after B. Trng. We now have what we call the non-coms club. It's a honey. Beautifully furnished and decorated. It has all facilities for reading, writing, playing games, etc. That's where I am now. Fixed up by the Red Cross. It's really Phantom of the Opera Movie Postersnazzy. It seems as if the last 2 or so weeks of Basic Training are much harder than the first - that is, in a way. We're getting anxious to get it over now. We want to finish it so we can have some liberties again - it's getting awfully confining. Sort of wears on your nerves. You ought to take advantage of Elaine's sweetness and take her in to see Gus and the others at the Cafe. Gus should like to be visited by such a fair cherubim. I realize you're quite busy though. Don't let your nerves get the best of you. And don't overdo yourself. You're not paid enough to do do unusual amounts of work. Anyway you can't, with all your other duties. What is our balance on hand (I mean money)? Like to be able to save a little out of this. Where is your money now - in the First National Bank? Haven't seen exactly what I want in the way of a toilet article kit. I believe they have them down-town, but I never get away anymore early enought to get down there before the stores close. It is shaped like this: (drawing) made of leather, with drawstrings for closing. I believe its a foot or more long. I need a foot locker badly. I'm back to living out of a barracks bag again (though some of my clothes are hung on hangers). I can buy a good composition material locker for $7.50. Seems like a lot of money, but it's worth it for the sake of convenience. Or do you think it more practical to have one of mine shipped to me - either the metal one or the plywood? Could you spare that one of wood quite easily or not? Let me know. Don't forget, I need some hangers (about 6 good ones), and a bunch of handkerchiefs. After the 15th O.D.'s will be the only official dresswear, so I'll not likely need the sun-tan cotton trousers and shirts until next year. Therefore I see no need for hurry in the way of getting those washed and ironed I sent you. I have $5.00 on hand. Had to chip in a $1.00 on the Non-coms club; also 50 cents on a going-away gift for one of the leading lieutenants here. It costs for something everyplace you turn. In view of furture anticipated needs - locker, train ticket maybe even, etc. - will you please loan me $10.00 immediately? I'll try to save it out of my next pay and return it to you. Send it by bill - not check or M.O. I haven't got the corporal's pay yet, but am still hoping. By the way, according to developments in Congress, you may get a nice increase in your S.D. allottment; if it goes through. Got birthday cards from Eddies, Eileen B., Knowlton's, and a letter from Dad. Dad really didn't say very much; didn't even mention the fact that I was a Corporal. Everything there's about the same. Says he hasn't heard from Evelyn for quite a while. Also he and Allie have been fishing and catching some good catfish. He worked a few days at the Church, but generally takes it pretty easy. There are some good movies I want to see, but seem to be seeing d___ few lately. "Hers to Hold", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", are the first two I want to see. Also "Phantom of the Opera". Oh, yes, got a very nice (rather cute) letter from Vonnie Stemple. I'll bring these letters you haven't seen home with me when I come. Well, I'll be seeing you before too long I hope, and I expect we can have some very happy hours together.
Love, Melvin