Cigars--A Navy Custom

Lt.  Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday, 18 June 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Hon, here I am again.  I've got a peach of a head cold today and my sinuses are sure draining.  However otherwise I feel okay, so I should be over this in a couple of days.  I had a busy morning but this afternoon I "crapped out" in my bunk because of my running nose.
          I'm reading a swell novel and if you haven't already you should read it. It is "It is Still the Morning" by Louis Danz, a simple story of an ordinary young man but written in a very unusual style.  I showered at 5:15 and dressed for dinner.
          I bought two boxes of cigars ($8.00) to pass amongst the officers and some of the crew--an old Navy custom.
          After yesterday I really didn't expect any mail.  Zowie another jackpot.  I got five lovely, sweet Father's Day cards from my three girls, two letters from my favorite wife, a letter from Dr. Ivie and a copy of the picture a navy photographer took of me on the beach where we were before we moved.  You remember I wrote you about it and told you it would appear in the paper.  Well a couple of days after the picture was taken we met the same photographer on the beach and he said he wanted to retake the picture and did.  However the photo he sent is the original and he has me down as lieutenant commander.  Should the paper contact you before running the picture, correct that.  I'd send the picture on but it only shows our backs and is lousy.  I'll just keep it.
          The Merchant Marine deal is alright but it does have its drawbacks.  There is no compensation for injury or death or any of the veteran's benefits after the war.  Also the only medical and dental care they get is emergency treatment.  The leaves are worth something but after the war, benefits accruing from service in the Armed Forces will far outweigh the good pay.  They also don't get the income tax exemption of $1500 which service personnel get.
          No, we don't show our letters to anyone, at least I don't.  However I have shared some of the poetry and clippings with other officers.
          The movie tonight is "It's in the Bag" with Fred Allen and Jack Benny.  I hope it's funny.
          Nothing more for now my Darling so I'll sign off with love and kisses from
Your loving "daddy!"

Taken by Navy Photographer in Ulithi