4th July 1945
Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Wednesday, July 4 1945, 6:45 PM
Yesterday was the first day I missed writing you. This was the first time since the promise I made many months ago. However, I know you'll forgive me this once after I tell you how busy I've been.
You recall my mentioning trying to get a USO show aboard. I finally got one scheduled for last night. However there were several things that had to be done before the show went on. First a stage with lights and curtains had to be rigged up. I spent an hour yesterday afternoon with the electricians and carpenters getting my ideas across and getting them started. Then I had to take a boat into town to pick up the show. We got back to the ship at 6:00 PM and we fed them before they performed. The show went on at 7:00 PM and ended at 8:00 PM. Following that we had our regular movie "Hotel Berlin." The performers asked to stay and see it. After the show we had some coffee. Then I had to take the troupe back. We left at 10:45 and it took us till 1:30 to make the run that usually takes an hour in daylight. It was pitch black out and there is only a narrow channel surrounded by reefs with only a few buoys for makers. Were they hard to find! We almost ran aground twice but did make it safely and made the return trip in 1 1/2 hours. Anyway it was 3:00 AM before we finally returned to the ship. I was really dead tired and turned in immediately.
The troupe was made up of natives with five girls, ages 7, 10, 14, 17 and 21 and four men, all adult. The show is built around a magician who is excellent and has traveled throughout the Far East and Europe. The girls, all his nieces, sang and danced.
The 7 year old was very clever and just panicked the audience. They were more interested in her than the older girls so she must have been very good.
During Japanese occupation here these people lived in the hills with the guerillas. They entertained the guerillas and developed the show for them. They are very professional now. We asked them if there was anything special they wanted and they said. "Yes, rice." They pay fifty cents a pound for it .We gave them one hundred pounds. They were they grateful. The show is put on six days a week, three times for the Army and three for the Navy, so they really work hard.
I awoke this morning at 8:00 AM and just had a cup of coffee for breakfast. For lunch we had our regular holiday menu for the enlisted men and for dinner we had the enclosed menu in the ward room. I took the liberty party ashore this afternoon and so my day was well taken care of what with a busy morning with patients.
I got two letters from you and one from Libby this morning. The pictures of Linda are darling but my little girl is growing up and I'll have to hurry home.
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your little trip to Oceanside. It does seem like everything you plan goes wrong but remember it is always darkest before the dawn and maybe something will happen soon to make us all very happy.
I got those earrings you sent but they don't make up nicely with the shells. I'll make up a pair and send it on. The coconut shell bracelet is a lot of work, but I'll make one up for Norma and one for you if you want it. I sent Ethyl a bracelet like yours but didn't put a catch on it. I'm sure Doc will be able to fix it up for her.
If you work out plans with Yetta I'm sure that the change will be for the best. You'd probably enjoy each other's company much more and the kids do get along well together.
Tonight's movie is a Western thriller, "The Great Stagecoach Robbery" but it may be better than it sounds.
No more for now my sweet so I'll sign off with love and kisses to all my girls!