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."
Work as Ship's Welfare Officer
Tuesday 5 September,
my Sweet, how are you today?Had liberty
yesterday and spent all morning looking for a pin you would like.Guess there "ain't no such
animule."They all know what I'm
looking for but no one has any.Returned
to the ship for lunch and then Cox, Glass and Yours Truly went into town.We dropped in on the Rikes whom I've
mentioned before and they were as gracious as ever.We drank and ate canapés all afternoon.In fact we ate so much we didn't need dinner.Got back to the ship about 9:30 and visited
with the other officers in the ward room for an hour or so and then turned in.
letters from you yesterday.You seem to
have plenty to keep you busy.Being
welfare officer aboard this ship is giving me a little extra work to do.This morning I must go out and purchase some
supplies and equipment for the officers and crew recreation.I just arranged for a gift for the kids, and
Mrs. Rike promised to get it off for me within the next day or so.I can't tell you why they are getting if off
for me but may be able to later.
such is my routine.Not much to do and
yet not enough time to do things I'd like to do.What are you going to do about teaching?If you have to pay help $25 per week, I don't
think substitute teaching would be worthwhile, considering how it would wear
you out and such.Again I say don't
worry about the money.If teaching will
help occupy your time all right but we'll get by without the additional income.
I didn't go
to the movie last night--got back too late."Phantom Lady" with Franchot Tone was the feature.We saw it together I believe.If we didn't, see it when you get a chance
but have someone with you to hold your hand (female preferred).I'm way behind on my correspondence to
everyone and will have to take a day off and write an original and a dozen
duplicates to all.
now dear, take it easy and don't worry about me.