Edward J. Thomas - World War II

Note: This letter is an actual OCR from Edward J. Thomas' typed letter.

Dear Mom & Harry:  Sunday,  Oct. 17, l943                          Alaska

I am starting this letter feeling that everybody is worrying to
death as to why I don't write more often. The letters I have recently
received seemed to have expressed some anxiety over the fact that I
am writing once every two weeks instead of every single week. I don't
know why this should be so. If you were with me her-e you would soon
know that I am much safer than you are in the city. If there should be
anyone concerned about the welfare of anybody, I believe it should be
me because everybody closely related to me lives in a city and is exposed
to more dangers than I, such as traffic accidents, disease, bullets of
gangsters and race rioters, and slipping in too bath tub. Therefore, if
you don't hear from me at any time for a period of two or three weeks,
just assume that absolutely nothing has happened to me and that the only
thing troubling me is the lack of time to write. Ever since I started
working at this office job, I haven't had as much time as before. There
were times when I had to work after supper and during my off days. Today,
for instance, is one of the Sundays I have off but I had to wake up early
to go to the office to do something. Fortunately it wasn't very much and
was done in about an hour.

By pure coincidence I had a day off on my birthday and celebrated the
occasion by sleeping soundly to ll:30 AM at which time some one woke me up and told me it was time for lunch. After lunch I read some of the Detroit
Newspapers that are accumulating or rather I should say glanced through
them because if I took the time to read all too articles that interested me
I'd be swamped with unread papers, books, and magazines. I also read some
of the fur magazines that I received. Within the last ten days I believe
I received a copy of the American Fur Breeder, Canadian Fur Trade Journal, and Black Fox. I appreciate these subscriptions because they keep me in close touch with the business I left behind. After the supper I went
to the show with a friend of mine who lives in the same hut with me.
As a birthday gift he paid for my ticket. Previously he has been doing
most of the paying any way because we have been matching coins to see
who would buy the tickets and most of the time he lost, but on my birthday
he gave up his right to match and bought my ticket to save me the trouble
of flipping a coin. His birthday is coming on the 24th of this month and at that time I'll be able to return his gift. On second thought, though, I don't think I'll be able to return it because the show I saw was "Heaven Can Wait” and I doubt whether there will be another movie on the 24th that will equal it. I wonder if you have already seen this picture. Don Ameche is in it with Gene Tierney.

A couple of days ago ,I saw a usa show. It was the second one that visited us during my stay here. It consisted of one fairly good-looking dancer, one fat off-key swing singer, one small middle-aged blond female who was the comedian, one male accordion player, and a tall lanky master of ceremonies. They were all assisted by our swing orchestra. The actors did their best but they were handicapped by Hickville jokes and the idea that it may be possible to revive cheap old-fashioned vaudeville under the pretense of mocking ,it.

I received your letter, Mom, of Sept 29 a couple of days ago. It seems
as if you are going through a lot of trouble in trying to get some films
and a razor for me. I hope I'm not causing you too much trouble. I
should have told you to try to buy these articles on your usual shopping
tours and not to go much out of your way in your search for them. I
appreciate the efforts you are making though, but don't wish you to
overdo it. Just now I received another letter from you dated Oct. 7.
Enclosed I found the snapshots taken at Greenville, Pa. It's too bad they didn't come out better. I don't recognize anybody in the pictures except you. Your face came out the best. In this last letter you refresh my memory of the fall season I used to know. The longer I stay in this part of the world, the harder it is for me to believe that the seasons are still the same in Michigan. It was very hard for me to imagine that there was a summer in Detroit or that at present there is a fall season.

I received the birthday cards a couple of days before my birthday but the package you referred to hasn't arrived yet. That folding checker board I had asked you to return was received quite some time ago but I forgot to mention it in my previous letter.

Harry, your letter also was received together with the correspondence that covered the Black-Cross transaction. It seems that Ingham suspected you wanted to cancel the order with him because you intended to buy from some one else at a lower price. To back up his suspicion, he brought up the case of Dr. Noyes who, according to Ingham, seemed to have gone through quite some sobbing to get his money back. The last thing that Ingham would suspect, though, would be that we canceled our order to purchase a mink at a higher price. I am returning all the correspondence just as you wanted me to.

The subscription to the Readers' Digest was confirmed by the publishers in the farm of a small folder announcing that it was a gift from you. I am eagerly waiting to receive my first copy.

In looking over the books at the library here, I came across one that I would like to add to my collection of books at home. The title of it is "The Human Mind" written by Karl A. Menninger and published by the Literary Guild of America in New York City. Do you think you could find the time to see :if copies are available either in Detroit or New York City? Probably the best way to obtain this book without inconveniencing yourself very much is to send a postal card to the publishers asking far the price and then you could send the money order. Don't send the book to me here in Alaska. Just add it to the books I have in my bedroom.

For a person who says he hasn't got very much time, I think I am
making this letter too long. I must close the letter now before all
of you suspect that my lack-of-time excuse is about as truthful as a
gangster's alibi.

So long,
P,S. Tell Izzy, Mac, Gertie and Gene that I was glad to receive their letters and will try to answer them as soon as possible.

It probably isn't according to Emily Post's taste to suggest Christmas gifts for one's self but since this part of the world is far out of Emily Post's jurisdiction, I'll list a few items:

Hill's Cold Tablets or Quinine
Peanut Candy
Chocolate Covered Peanuts
Salted Peanuts
Omnibook (It's a magazine similar in appearance to the Reader's
Digest, containing book condensations)
Magazine Digest (Or any other interesting digest magazines.
I believe there is a digest on psychology which
I would prefer more than the others.

Remember that I am only suggesting, not demanding these things.
I also wish to add that I am not in dire need of them and could probably
live to a very healthy old age right here even though I do fail to receive
them with the exception of the cold tablets. The supply of tablets I
had is now entirely exhausted and since they seemed to have prevented
me from catching quite a few colds I would like to continue using them.

I almost forgot to acknowledge receipt of the coat hangers and
the two cloth bags. I needed the hangers for a long time and the ba§s
I know will come in quite handy in keeping some items in my trunk separated
and easy to find. Thank you.

Letter to Izzy & Mac - Oct. 26, 1943

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