Dec. 28, 1941
Thanks so much for the Christmas box. I was most amused by the stocking, which I hung at the foot of my bed for a while, and by the snappers. Christmas leave was altogether very pleasant if not exciting. I was with two other fellows the whole time, principally because both the McGhees and Schiefflins asked me to get some other fellows for their respective dinners. Fortunately I was able to get two I knew well, though most of my old outfit asked for the second leave because it was longer, it’s not including Christmas not making much difference to them. One of the two conveniently had a car, a 1930 Chevy, with almost as much character as Betsy.
Wednesday afternoon I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to shop, while the others went to a movie. Later we went out to the Charlie McGhee’s and thence with Charlie’s mother (who sends her best to Pa, as well) to Mrs. McGhee’s mother’s for dinner, there to enjoy a party for very young in one room and old in the other. There was no Mr. except in Charlie’s wife’s generation, in which there were three (all brothers?). There was a younger sister, who has soloed a plane, but who is not a knockout, which made about a dozen (one wife of brother), not including the kids. We did nothing but talk, but that was all right, and the dinner (turkey with fancy trimmings, flaming pudding, etc.) was delicious. Night in the rather seedy Y.M.C.A.
Christmas morning long sleep, leisurely toilet followed by exceptionally delicious turkey at Schiefflin’s, where Mrs. S.’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, were the only other guests. He is an archaeologist working for the Fine Arts Museum in Boston, yet has been around “elsewhere” than in tombs. Mrs. S. is young and attractive. Afterward we saw “Sergeant York” and later looked mainly for feminine excitement. Night in tourist home.
Friday more attempted shopping and movies, with also an ascent of Stone Mt. only a little lower than Watatic here brown-headed nuthatches, turkey buzzards, a Carolina wren, loblolly pines and new of Smokies. Got packages from Gardiner, Gt. Neck & cards from various people.
Love to all
P.S. I forgot to ask for Ham’s & Henry’s addresses. Such would be much appreciated.
P.P.S. I forgot also to mention a rather extraordinary incident that took place just as we were approaching the Base Friday night. Missing a turn we stopped at the nearest house with lights on the ground floor to inquire. I got out and walked up the porch steps to the front door and knocked. A man’s voice said “Come in,” which I proceeded to attempt to do, but before I had got the door more than a little open, a large man suddenly wrenched it open muttering a curse at the same time and almost simultaneously slugging me on the side of the face, which was all far too quick for me to even think of defending myself. He didn’t knock me down, but rather just off balance and then, as the other boys were piling out of the car to my rescue, as suddenly disappeared into the house. Gathering my senses I said, “Let’s get out of here,” which we proceeded to do with dispatch, thinking the wild man might be getting a gun. I suppose I was mistaken for the wife’s secret lover or something. The results were more in the way of surprise than physical harm because he hit me squarely on the cheek, nicely missing [my] jaw, mouth, eye or nose. Our hasty retreat was a little humiliating, but we were also in a hurry to get back by midnight!