Can Say We Are a Flag Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
          U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 11  December 1944, 9:45 PM

Dearest Eleanor,

          Got eight pieces of mail today just because you're stuffing the mail bag.  All from you except one from your mother and a card from the Southern California Dental Society.  Just to show you how the mail is:  yesterday's letters were postmarked December 1 and 2, but today's were marked November 21, 24, 27 and 29.

          I had hoped to hear that you liked the corsage I sent you for your birthday but I guess that'll also come late.  Gee, I hope the kid's dolls come in time for Xmas.  You see, I ordered everything through the Army Exchange Service; they are supposed to be reliable.  Bet the corsage comes for Xmas!  Well you'll know it was for you birthday and I do hope you like it.

          Because I haven't been getting your mail chronologically, everything seems mixed up. Now you're teaching, now you're not.  I hope my letters aren't all mixed up as a result.  Anyway you can be sure that I'm writing every day so leave room for any that haven't arrived yet.

          Your Cousin Leon (phooey) has been in the Navy a long time but he doesn't know all the answers by any means.  He'll probably be in the Navy a long while because he is single and I bet he's beginning to like the life.  Of course, if he gets sent out again and has to sweat without any women or liquor for relaxation he'll change his tune and write "why the hell doesn't everybody write--salam!!" Well as you know by now we aren't on an APA. (attack personnel transport).  Now I may say that we are a flag ship but I can't say what the nature of our duty is.

          As far as the length of service, it varies.  Anytime after a year I will expect orders.  On the other hand, shore based men overseas seem to wait twenty-four months before new orders-- in spite of what Leon says.  And wasn't it thoughtful of him to forget Norma?  When this is over and I'm home don't let me catch you going out of your way for him even if your mother does wish for "peace in the family."

          So Dick is trying to get into the merchant marine.  I do hope he makes it but there are many slips between the dock and the ship and I won't be surprised to hear the Navy got him.

          No dear there are no native around, not even monkeys.  The only native life I've seen were some ugly looking lizards.  They tell me that even the fish around here are unsafe to eat unless you know the varieties.  Many are poisonous.  Also there are many sharks.

          Regarding the Teaban account, it should be in good shape.  If you couldn't interpret my records, it was because I never could get you to look at them while I was home.  Oh well, who cares?

          I finally picked up a mild cold and have been coughing a little.  I do feel much better this evening.  I took it easy today though I did see five or six patients.  This evening we had "Shine On Harvest Moon" and I enjoyed seeing it again.  Right in the middle it poured but I came prepared with a rain coat so I was nice and dry.

          Sweetheart, do you remember when Edna (no. 1) walked in on our loving. My were you embarrassed! Was I sore! Well, when I get back I won't let anything stop us.  Will you?

          Goodnight darling, I do love you and want you all the time.