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April 11, 1945

Dear Folks,

Too bad about the grippy cold, Ma. By the way while I’m on the nasty subject don’t feel obliged to write letters during or after such bouts until you really and truly feel up to it, and even then it should never be a mater of obligation, rather one of inclination. Since you usually do try and do too much too soon, I really think this sage advice. How about it, Pa?

So Hank has been home on leave. I’ll bet he enjoyed it in spite of the —gitis. Jack’s vacation reminds me not only of “Moat” days, but even earlier ones when I used to go and spend several days with Jan in Brookline. We used to concentrate pretty heavily on the movies, I remember.

The band concert must have been a grand affair indeed. I’m impressed with the length and especially the selections of the program. Ward Matthews was likewise impressed having played the trumpet for many years in the same sort of bands. Bob Bollinger is also musically talented—vocally, though he inclines a little too much to the ultra modern, Sinatran style to suit my taste even if the voice is there. His sister, by the way, is a budding opera star, having recently reached the finals of the “Cover the Earth” sponsored Metropolitan Auditions of the Air radio programs and perhaps by now won the $1000.00 prize and a year’s contract with the Met. Opera Co. We haven’t heard yet, but even this far her career reads like a fairy story she having been put on the last regular program at the last minute, really being in N.Y. just to do a little studying of voice and hearing of opera. Bob has helped her finances all along by the way.

We have a good chaplain aboard, so I’ve been going to services pretty regularly since first hearing him preach. A section of the ship’s band helps out with the music so hymn singing is really enjoyable even if I’ve pretty well forgotten the bass of most of the familiar hymns.

After finishing “Tom Jones” and chuckling with pleasure over the outcome I’ve read “Strange Fruit,” which strike me as having admirable points even if the heroine seems as weeky [sic] portrayed as the hero is actually, though better portrayed, weak. Now it’s “Ivanhoe,” which I never got around to reading before, but find a fine tale.

These days we are busy off and on and so manage very well to keep in shape. The Japs are almost as badly beaten as the Germans, seems to me, though it will take longer to make them realize this.

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