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."
Lack of Points, Butter or Both?
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
San Francisco Thursday 19 October
1944, 3:00 PM
afternoon's mail brought two letters from you and one from my cousin Fay
Springer.I dropped her a note after you
sent on her New Year's greeting. Already having an answer is a surprise to say
the least.She is a very unhappy woman
as you can see from her enclosed letter.
I got off a
letter to Edith so I hope she'll take care of the watch for me.Outside of that all I've been doing all day
is work, work, work.
I am a little
surprised at Deb's actions but I always told you that you were more concerned
about her than she would be about you.On the other had she is probably pretty upset if Dave is really going
overseas; the 15 day leave would indicate just that to me
Of course I
want you to read the book!I guess the
title is a surprise so I'll be patient till it comes.So the Corsos are at it again.My, my.Tomorrow they'll kiss and make up and get stiff again.Guess I'll have to drop my mother a note
though why she should be upset about Libby is a mystery.By now they should be able to afford a home
of their own.Sounds like there are a
lot of changes at home.I didn't know
butter was so low.Is it a lack of
points, butter or both?What does Anne
hear from Joe?
I'm going to
sign off now but will write more after the movie tonight.Bye my love till tonight.
Had a pretty
good movie tonight, "Step Lively" with Frank Sinatra and George
Murphy.A light, fast, and enjoyable
This has been
a nice day.This evening it was
especially enjoyable, sitting out on deck with the breezes blowing, enjoying an
amusing picture.Gee, it sure would have
been fun to reach over and hold your hand or better yet to put my arm around
you and have you rest your head on my shoulder.Ah well, nice dreaming anyway.
Honey, do you
remember many years ago the first time we went to Arrowhead?It was a beautiful starlit night and Eleanor
and Gil took a walk along the lakeshore and held hands and then Gil stole a few
kisses.After this war let's go back and
take that walk again or shall we just turn in early.OK you talked me into it.
for now, Sweetheart. Goodnight and I'll see you in my dreams