Star Was Dennis Day


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday, 26 March 1945, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          This has been one busy day. Believe it or not this is the first free time I've had since I got up this morning.
          I worked all morning and at 12:30 I took a liberty part of eighty-eight men ashore for a little recreation.  It rained most of the afternoon and by the time we got back to the ship at 5:15 we were all thoroughly soaked.
          I peeled off my wet clothes and after a hot shower dressed for dinner.  Just as I finished eating the exec informed me that Claude Thornhill and his show had been obtained for us for tonight and to get ready.
          The first lieutenant got his carpenters together and a small platform stage was rigged. I got the electricians busy on lighting and got our PA system hooked up.  For a backdrop we hung a number of colorful signal flags.  We were all ready at 7:45 and that was really making time.
          I met the entertainers on the quarterdeck and took them below.  As I wrote before Jackie Cooper, Bobby Riggs (Mary Lou imitator of the radio) and several others are in the show.  Claude Thornhill was an arranger for Castellanez (?spelling) as well as a band leader in his own right.  His musicians are taken from many well known bands such as Goodman, Weeks, and others.  The star attraction was Dennis Day and he really is good.  He is an ensign. After the show he came up to the wardroom and we sat around and talked until his boat came for him.  By the way, after the show we served ice cream to all hands.  Now here I am.
          I hit the jackpot today.  This morning, I got eight letters from you and one from your mother. When I came down to my office to write to you a few minutes ago I found two V-mails that came this afternoon, one from Libby and the other from Edward Rubin of the B'nai B'rith.
          Linda is getting to be quite the young lady.  Movies on Saturday, dancing school and soon the piano.  Well I'm hoping to be there when she starts in the fall.
          You mention Sophie and Fay several times.  Are they the two service wives you recently met?  Anyway I'm glad you've found some new congenial acquaintances.
          Such dreams!  I have only one girl friend and you know who she is.  No matter where I go when I get back my three girls are all going there with me.
          What about my girls' Mommy?  Well gee whiz can't you wait and be surprised?  If you can't you'll have to anyway.
          So Jerry and Marty are still feudin'.  Well it's a small world with many "small" people.
          "The Angels Sing" and "A Song to Remember" are both very enjoyable and I'm glad you got to see them.
          I didn't know Dr. Lewis was back.  Guess one of your letters telling me more about it will bounce in one of these days.
          I can't tell you what kind of shots we got but it really doesn't matter now, does it?
          I really didn't enjoy the American Weeklies much.  Really, I have plenty of reading matter so please don't send any more unless there are some novelty books or magazines you think I'd enjoy.
          The Coast Guard pharmacist you mentioned--does he know the Ocelot or is he just speaking generally?  Don't let it get you down dear.  He could be wrong.
          Well this has been a long winded letter.  I hope I didn't tire you out.  I'll sign off now as it's 11:20 and I should turn in.
          Good night Sweetheart and the next time dream about us being together.
Loving you always,
Gil