Index of Letters
Letters from Roslyn to Walter Felson sent during World War II


Monday, Jan 31, 1944


I've decided to write this in mail--rather than V mail--since I must relieve my feelings and pour out my heart to you.

I was so excited, as were Judy and Lanie when the mailman brought 8 letters this morning -- and four this afternoon. As usual they came around noon, when I am busy preparing lunch, but I must stop everything & make an attempt to at least glance thru the letters before lunch. Elaine usually pulls on me & pesters me so -- I can't concentrate. I finally gave them their lunch and then put them to bed and sat down to read 5 V mails and two air mails. The V mail is so difficult to read -- especially if the photograph is not a clear one -- or is a light pring -- and they usually cut off the last line. You seem to feel that V - mail reaches you more quickly -- but not so here. Your 5 V mails were written on Jan 17,18,29 and 20 & your air mails on 22 and 23rd-- and they all arrived at the same time! Which means that the air mail took only 8 days to get here! Evidently the plane service to US is better than that to your area --for air mail is much better, and much more legible dear -- so please send it from now on. I'll send you some air mail stamps -- In fact I'll enclose some in this letter.

Honey, with all the wonderful letters I received today -- only one is in my mind. You have given me the worst case of depression I've had since you've left--(it's two months today that we said goodbye to each other). I cannot understand why you should have written such cold blooded facts about the possibilities of you not coming back, and even planning my future without you! Oh honey, how could you be so cruel. Here I go about day after day, and live through sleepless nights thinking of all the horrible possibilities but ever trying to put them in the back of my mind, and keeping up the good front for the sake of the kids -- and along you come making statements as final and cold blooded as a last will and testament. If you knew the misery you've caused me today I'm sure you would have thought twice before writing a purely unnecessary letter as that -- and then to plan a remarriage for me -- sweetheart I haven't shed so many tears in weeks. Even now, as I write this I cannot control myself. You know how I worry about you and think of every possible thing that might happen -- and instead of helping me -- you've just about broken down all of my hopes. Every time I looked at the kids today I almost broke down, and did on several occasions -- so that I had to leave the room for fear that they would see me. I pictured them growing up without you -- Sweetie, I've forseen all--but never another marriage! I know the kids would never stand for anyone else but their daddy. Oh, how can I write anynore -- but I must tell you what you've done to me. Please -- Please-- never, never, be so brutal again.

Of course I think of all those things, but to be so matter of fact and make future plans -- oh honey, you never were very delicate in some things.

I hate to write this type of letter to you -- but I feel that you deserve it. You've put me into a state that will require weeks for me to come out of, and why, I don't know. There was ablolutely no earthly reason for you to make such statements -- you gave me no valuable advise -- oh sweets, I can't reprimand you anymore. I'm becoming so morbid now, that I'm afraid I may be writing this letter while something is happening to you -- and I would regret it for the rest of my days. All I can ask dear -- is please don't do it again. I can't bear to think of any future without you.

As you so simply said -- now that I have that off my chest -- let's forget it. (if it were only that easy.)

I was glad that you have started getting my mail. I had written fewer V mails that air mail--so evidently the air mails will all come together -- or will already have arrived long before now.

Your letters continue to be masterpieces and I do hope the censorship isn't becoming so strict that you will be unable to write of your daily activities at least until that horrible day when you go into combat, and then when and if you do write, you'll make them as gory as possible. I'm afraid I'm become sarcastic--as I usually do when you've hurt me terrible and I try to retaliate--remember--(and how you used to laugh at me.) After your statements (I'm back on the subject again) it makes me wonder as to your attitude and plans if and when I leave this beautiful world--do you have plans for that too honey? You must have thought of everything.

I promise--no more--

I don't understand the methods of mail in the army, but it seems that the air mail letters are post marked over in Africa using US Army Postal Service as PO 85 -- in their stanp -- but the V mail is postmarked over here on the date it arrives in Ny -- as it is usually a day or two before it gets here. Do you know why and how? Regardless, I find that air mail gets to me much faster than V Mail. V mail takes from 11 days to 2 weeks -- while air mail gets here anywhere from 8 days or more.

Neville Fairly and Lawson Diggs are somewhere around your ?? I imagine. Lawson is near Algiers. He is with the 123rd Radio Signal Intelligence Corps. He's been in Africa for over a year now--Neville and Diggs ran into each other--so Mrs. Skeen tells me. She also told me that the "dear doctor" tried to get into the army but he was refused. They all hand you the same line.

You asked if I read Judy your letters -- yes, honey, with some limitations of course. I usually omit the sexual discussions and the problems of prostitution. We all watch for the mailman and become quite elated when he has mail from you. Even the mail carrier is happy about the whole thing, I'm sure I receive more mail than anyone else in Greenfield whose loved one's are overseas.--and it seems that everyone in town knows when I get my 10 or 15 letters about twice a week. They usually arrive in batches that way--and then I read them over and over until the next group arrives.

So, you are learning all sorts of new habits and forms of amusement. It must be pretty tough finding means of recreation. You may be a good horshoe pitcher when you get back--then you can teach your kids the game.

Do you think we'll have to serve Muscatel wine with each meal after you return -- you'll have to step up in your income if we do. S'pose I'll have to acquire the habit too. You haven't succombed to gambling as yet, and the worst vice of all -- I hope. I should have put a marker on you before you slet so that I could have you pass inspection on your return. I'm not the least bit worried about that matter -- somehow-- your biviouac area sounds beautiful-- I had no idea you would be going on maneuvers in N. Africa again -- as long as they are still a game and not the reall stuff --I am content. It's funny how vlaues change--at first I thought I conldn't stand being separated from hyou -- then the unbearable thought of you being so far away -- but now I keep hoping you are still in N. Africa and not in combat--then I spose it will only be the hope for your safe return -- which is really my constant prayer.

Sweets, I'm proud of you for several reasons--the fact that you've been able to keep up physically with most of the boys--it must be plenty tough at times--and also for the reason that you've done your job so well as C.O.--I really was fearful that you wouldn't bave your heart and soul in anything so strictly military as that office, and ia'm so glad that you've been so human with the boys in so many little ways and tried to see things from their viewpoint. As you've said--it makes for better cooperation and morale--and certainly will help in combat. I'm rather glad you're not with the gripers in the clearing co--I really dont think you would have been as happy--except for the fact that you would have done more medical work. But you'll do that when you get back to good old Greenfield and the hundreds of pts--some of which tell me each day how much they miss Dr, and hope he comes back soon.

Oscar Heidingsfeld sends his regards to you. Doesn't that boost up your morale?

Judy was so thrilled over her personal letter from you, and was very interested in your description of the nature and the country surrounding. She asks questions about N. Africa (always says North) all day long. Lanie again had one of her "daddy spells" today crying I want my daddy -- & so, Judy and I get your picture and try to appease her. She just about tears my heart out when she this & I have to put on a smile and console her.

Your descriptions of the scenery sounds beautiful & and its too bad it must be wasted on all those unattached men. Wish we could be enjoying it together. Perhaps some day we'll go visiting and daddy will tell his girls--this is where daddy climbed up the mountain when he was in the army.

I'm sure the family enjoyed your leter--altho I had already sent them some of those you had written to me--going into more detail.

I am eager to get your next letter to see how the wine affected you. You seemed to be pretty stinko at the close of this one -- writing --whee!

Let me know if you want more v-mail forms. I'll send air mail stamps occasionally.

Honey--do you censor your own mail--or does someone else. You mention so many of the boys names--your CO and such--is that OK?

No, Streuve never has paid me anything--nor has anyone else. Not even Wib. I'm going to ask Wib about it when I get up there. Marian had some nose drops made there last week & he told her that he didn't make anything on the RX. Dr Felson got the money--the rat.

Honey--I felt so sorry for those boys who didn't receive any mail. I can just imagine how they felt. If there are some boys who would like some extra mail--send their names to me. Katie and Ruth Mahoney said they would be glad to carry on a correspondence with some lonely boys.

Have you started receiving your magazine and papers yet? How long does it take for them to get to you? The news will be stale by the time you get it, and then you'll have so much to read at one time--it will take weeks to catch up.

Keep your sunny side up--sweets--or should I say keep bottoms up to the sunny side? If everyone is taking pictures couldn't you send some to me--I'd love to have some snaps of the scenery and speshully you. How's the moustache? Sweets--I wish I could say it differently but I love you, Roz





Copyright © 2001 by Judith Felson Duchan
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