Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Below letter is copied from Eddie's letter word for word.
Dear Mom & Harry: Monday, Feb 7,1944

I have decided aminst the usual confusion in the hut to write
another letter. The radio is blaring away some jive, some fellows are
arguing as enthusiastically as old men at a beer party, others are
meandering around in the aisle like people in a department store on
Christmas Eve, and the remainder are climbing and parking on bunks (including my own) like chickens getting reedy to roost. In spite of this I am
still determined to write this letter as long as I have one small portion of my bunk left to write on.

Mom, I was glad to receive your two letters of Dec 30 and Jan 17.
I read your last letter while holding a card Harry sent me from Atlanta.
You wrote that you also received a card and that Harry told you it was
quite cold down south. I believe Harry had the same impression about the
south that I had before I landed in Alabama. Strange as it may sound,
some of the March Alabama days were colder than some of the days up here
in winter. So I am not very much surprised to hear that it is cold in
Atlanta at this time of the year. I guess you would have to go to the
southernmost part of Florida to find summer warmth during January and
February. It was interesting, however, to know just what the present
weather conditions were down in Georgia. I suppose I'll hear more about
it from Harry.

Being here surrounded most of the time by a thick white landscape,
I find it hard to believe that Detroit hasn't had any snow since the
first snow fall in October. I am pretty sure though that Detroit isn't
missing all of the onslaughts of winter because your letter says it gets
cold enough to stop you from going to a show. Also by the newspaper I
found that in December the temperature once fell to 5 above zero.
That's pretty cold even for a weather-beaten Aleutian like me.

To make a funny situation funnier, that carton of gum from Mac
arrived a couple of days ago. Give Mac my thanks and tell him that I
wasn't disappointed at all in receiving it because, no matter how much
of it I have on hand, some day in the distant future it will all wind
up for a good purpose between my lower naturals and upper phonies.

According to your report you have received my third war bond.
You will very shortly receive another bond which is an extra one that
I bought here with my pocket money. This purchase was made during a
war bond drive. We have them here the same as you back home. You
will be able to distinguish this extra bond from the others as it is
made out in your name.

The total results of those films you sent me are enclosed. They
are numbered from one to eleven. I am present in all of them. I am
telling you this because it will be hard for you to recognize me in
some of these snapshots.

#1 was taken bade in October while I coming back from the mess

#2 Rnd #3 were also taken about October at a rocky cliff by the

#4 was also taken quite some time ago in fall. It came out poorly.
You will, however, be able to make out a pet caribou in the foreground
and a lake in the background.

#5 and #6 were taken recently inside and at the entrance of my hut.

#7, 8, 9, and 10 were taken during the holidays while I was skating
on the lake.

#11 was taken in the deep snow near my hut.

There were quite a few snapshots (probably over a dozen) which
didn't come out at all beceuse of improper lighting and handling of the
camera. I shared about half of my film with the boy who owns the
camera and this I suppose should account for all the film I had with
the exception, of course, of those that I can't send because of
censorship regulations.

Harry, "when I received your thick envelope, I thought there wer-e
several magazines and pamphlets in it, but found myself gaping at a
letter of 17 pages, all of which were filled. I believe it's the
longest letter I have ever received in or out of the Army.

It seems as if I shall always hear of Portz as long as I shall be
in the mink business. I can just picture myself 20 years from now
listening to his desires to purchase fisher, chinchilla, or platinum
marten and I suppose I'll chew the rag with him for hours the same as
ever and then later wonder why I did it.

Did you have enough time to help Gladfelter skin and flesh his
mink? If you did, I don't suppose it was possible to do very much
because I can see quite a bit of time involved in just traveling to and
from his ranch. Anyway whatever help you did give Gladfelter would make
him even more "willing to do the best he can for us. Right now I don't
really know who is getting the best part of this deal. Both sides,
no doubt, are benefiting by it, but who is profiting more is something
that is difficult to estimate. I suppose only time will tell.

(Right here I drawn into an argument with the organist in my hut
who was born in Ireland. we tangled ourselves with everything from
Christians and Jews to astronomy. He being an Irishman, you can readily
imagine how long the squabble lasted. For this reason the valuable time
I had left for writing this letter was cut down considerably.)

For the present our mink situation seems to be pretty cheerrul.
That report of yours on our mink, status was a thriller to me, but I am
forced to believe that you are too optimistic about the estimated values
of our pelts this year. It is almost unbelievable that it will be
possible for us to raise enough money on the pelts to payoff Gladfelter
the balance due on the Silver Sable nd Black-Cross and still have $570
remaining. Considering what we received on our last lot of skins, it
seems that your estimations may not be so far off at that, but even then
they sound trogood to be true.

To know that we can make a Large profit on mink without taking
care of them ourselves proves what a gold the business is getting
to be. The more I think of it, the more I realize how lucky we were to
have entered the business in 1938 just in time for all of these mutations.
After the war we shall have a pretty good foundation of the important
mutations with the exception of pure white mink. The latter, of course,
can be added later when we re-establish the business on a farm outside
of Detroit. Quite some time ago I noticed in the rotogravure section
and interesting picture of a model wearing the first pure white mink
coat valued at $25,000. I cut it out and pasted it on my wall together
with the picture of the first platinum mink coat. I noticed that in the
latest American Fur Breeder magazine there were several more photographs
of fur coats. I presume they will eventually end up on my wall to enhance
the beauty of my hut which needs plenty of enhancing.

Your 212 game in bowling was a corker. I understand it's your
second game above 200. Right now I admit I'm unable to match your
achievement. My alibi is that there are no bowling alleys here, but I'll
have a different tune in the States where bowling alleys are available.
Then I'll be able to say that I can match you but the alleys aren't
good enough.

You wrote that your work has developed into something routine and
clerical tangled up with useless bosses and rules and regulations, but
your postcard from Atlanta proves that your work is not as bad as I
imagined. I hope to hear more from you about this trip;

I have quite a few Detroit newspapers which I have to look over.
I think this time I'll pick out a Sunday paper from my barracks bag
and look over the farms-for-sale ads and if I see enything good I'll
take a trip out there in my dreams.

With love to both of you, Eddie

PS - If it's possible for you to buy standard size flashlight batteries,
I would appreciate any reasonable amount you can send me. If you can
spare two standard white pillow cases include them in the package.
Also I wouldn't mind receiving two more boxes of Rexall's Foot Powder.
I have a supply still left but it may run out in a month or so.

Thank Izzy for the last letter I received from her.

Fri., Feb. 18 Little Blitz - As London is being bombed again, it's similar to the horrible Battle of Britain days.

Leap Day - 1944

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