During World War II, my dad, Gilbert Steingart, served as a navy dentist. He wrote over 500 letters to his wife, my mother Eleanor. His duty in the Pacific Theater took him from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte Gulf (Philippines), and Buckner Bay (Okinawa).
After my mother's death, Daddy wanted to toss the letters. I convinced him to give them to me instead. The letters are a memoir of a remarkable time. Most of the letters begin with the words "Dearest Eleanor."
A Roller Coaster Is Safe and Sane Compared to the Bus
Sunday 10 September
1944, 10:00 PM
Just got back
from liberty and hoped for a letter from you.There was none so I'll probably get yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's
all at one time. Received a note from Libby asking about Jimmy and I answered
immediately.I recently saw him and we
had quite a visit.That is all I can say
except that he looks well and hasn't aged a day.
I keep on
running into people I know wherever I go.Ran into A. Weinberg and Dr. Jackson again.Wish I could run into you next, but that
really is some wish.
with no questions to answer I hardly know what to tell you.I recently rode in a bus operated by a
native.The roller coaster is slow,
safe, and sane compared with that trip.Curves and oncoming traffic meant nothing in his life.The passengers lives meant nothing to him
either.However, we all enjoyed the ride
and the scenery which you are going to see with me later.
Linda must be
about ready to start school now or has she already started?Probably telling Norma all about it if she
has.Gosh, I wish I could see all of you
tonight.Just to play with my girls and
put them to bed would be so much fun.And
then--well fun would be putting it mildly.
One of the
officers aboard had a porcelain bridge broken and I've the problem of making a
new one without any laboratory facilities.However I expect to have him fixed up in a couple of days.
Monday, 11 September, 9:20 AM
Sweet.I thought I'd have plenty of time
to write this AM but have been busy till now.Have a patient in the chair, one waiting and another due at ten so I
must hurry because I want this to go in this morning's mail.
darling, will write again this evening.Until then will all my love.