Fort Sam Houston, October 22, 1942

Dearest Em,

Sat down about 10 minutes ago to write to you, but have just been sitting here dreaming. Nearly went to sleep. It's a windy day, therefore a sleepy one to boot. Was just thinking of how very poor my eyesight is and how I hate glasses. Never wear them on duty -- did one day and a private decided to call me "goggles" and haven't since. Not on account of that tho' -- but because were I to, none of them would hang around and say a lot of sweet baloney about my looks, etc. It doesn't mean a thing to them or me, but just helps pass the monotony. Just hoping and praying I can go on without wearing them -- have to!

Transient

First of all, thank you so much for the doughnuts and cookies and also the dresses. The eats tasted wonderful and did we eat. Am still a little bit heavy for that black and red dress, but not bad. Will be so happy when I lose the gain. If only I were like you. Boy, if those guys ever saw your legs they'd go wild. Sounds as if we act bad -- we don't, just a lot of guys around and you know how they are and how crazy they act. We have fun though.

No, I haven't met any officers yet, but hope to Mon. nite. We're having a big Halloween formal dance that nite and it's a stag party. They've invited 150 stag men and think are not that many nurses. So pray I have some fun, look nice and meet someone nice. Am going down today and get a formal. Really hate to in one way but should have one anyway and do so love to go dressed in formal clothes. Hope they aren't too high.

Mom sent me an iron and clock, happy day! Sent them the money right away and also the folks $5 -- the stuff came to $5, too. Mom is worried about what they'll do to live if Johnny has to go too and Elsie leaves. For one thing, where would Elsie go, and another, just because he's gone is no sign he won't have to send home money and with my $10 or $15 home every month, and the food you bring, they should get their bills payed and also be able to live half-way decent, don't you think?

One of my privates gave me $5 to keep for him. Am going out with him Sat. nite. He's cute but don't know just how to take him, but hope to have fun. We're going bowling in the afternoon I think. Yesterday afternoon I went out with an army air cadet -- like Milt. Was out with him before too. Winkie and another nurse went along -- Winkie didn't have such a good time I'm sorry to say. Some men are really not at all well-mannered when it comes to going or not going with a girl. Monday afternoon we met two cute air corps cadets with a nice car. We were bicycling, but quit and they took us downtown, then out to dinner that eve. and we went to the amusement park and went on a lot of rides, even the merry-go-round (imagine them in uniform doing that, ha). They're coming Sunday -- keeping my fingers crossed so I get off. They have to be in by 10, so they're coming at 1 p.m. for all day. It seems one just has to go out a lot to keep up spirit.

Got two letters from Milt today. He won't go out with anyone he says, because he couldn't possibly think of anyone with him but me and says it gives him an aching empty feeling to think of me with someone else but to do as I please. He's as much in love as ever or more so! Also rec'd a letter from Johnny Fell. He wants a picture so will send him one for his album. He's really a proud father it seems.

Speaking of pictures -- one of the privates made some for me for 1 cent a piece. He enlarged one to a 4" x 6". We took some inside of the office I'm anxious to see. He developed those too. One set a private took home with him on furlough and will send to me. Will send you some if they're any good.

Can't get over Herb and Ann -- honest to Pete, nearly fell over when I read that! What has gotten into her after 9 years and 2 children. Maybe she wasn't in love when she married Herb, but gosh after 9 yrs. you'd think she'd let it go at that and keep on. And especially with 2 children to think about -- that ought to be enough to make her keep her head. That's what comes of loveless marriages most of the time. Maybe Katy did encourage Ann to marry Herb, but she didn't have to, that's sure. Who told you about it? How are Amelia and Sylvester coming, do you ever hear? Has Ann really left Herb -- where is she staying? Really, it's awful. No, their marriage will never be the same again.

Oh yes, got the photos and surely like them. Wouldn't give them up for anything. I keep my stationery in the dresser drawer along with my cologne, etc. Have some I meant to send you and will sometime. I don't like it, but maybe you will. It's good cologne, $1.10 a bottle -- Pink Cover, but somehow don't like it. Winkie got me to buy it as she likes it. I love Confetti cologne -- same price and have some. Got some wonderful powder base and does it smell good!

Finally sent off Alice's babies' gift -- a rec. blanket, small rubberized blanket padding and blue kimono. The kimono is made out of some kind of material -- anyway the tiny thing cost .89. Things here are kind of expensive.

Winkie just came home. She doesn't want to go to the formal. Gee, I wish she would -- am sure she'd have fun and gosh you just can't stay home and expect a prince charming to walk up and take you buy the hand -- now can you? She doesn't want to buy a formal she says. Well, gee -- she's got so [...] more money to do it with than I have. Besides, everyone should really have at least 1 formal, I think so, you don't always have to borrow and sometimes there's no one to borrow from. If I don't have fun I'll feel terribly bad because I got one -- yet I'll have it for some future time, I hope. If I have to wear it to my wedding or funeral!

Got my identification card yesterday. The picture is awful of me but most of them are. We also got our "dog tags" or identification tags which we wear around our neck at all times. If anything happens to you, one stays with you and the other is sent home to your parents. Nice tho't! Oh well.

Guess I'll have to close and get ready to go downtown. Stores are open tonite so there'll be a mad rush no doubt. Do write soon, won't you? All of my love and thanks again. Love, Cathie.

[Transcribed letter from an army nurse to her sister back home in Scotland, South Dakota]