Note: In America, the 1940s were a peak time for adoption. Like other “Goodbye Babies,” I was a product of WWII. My army officer Dad, as relief from a seemingly endless assignment as clinical psychologist, wrote to my mother every night. I am convinced that it was their long-distance romance that strengthened my parents’ determination to create a family. At age five, after the war ended, my brother and I were adopted…
February 18, 1945
Dearest Ritter: Everyone is so despondent tonight that it is very pitiful to behold. Groups meeting in
disconsolate clusters, dissatisfied expressions, and various mutterings occasion concern on all sides. The reason? Well, it is Sunday evening and there is no movie! Someone slipped somewhere and we are left to our devices — and very poor devices they are.
Tonight I joined one of the poker playing groups and played for a couple of hours, but grew bored after awhile — I did win ten rupees! despite poor hands. (But then, I always get poor hands!)
So when old Sturke came wandering along looking like the wrath of God incarnate, I joined him and returned to the basha. There I found Frank and John comfortably ensconced under the light. Our generators are working again, but asthmatic coughs indicate that all is not well.
It is difficult to know when one is well off, but at the moment I am very dissatisfied with my position. Of course, I have had a nice vacation, but it is hard to work at 20% of your potentialities all the time. Then there is the question of toadying to officers with a fourth of your (my) background, education, and ability. There is hardly an officer in the place, outside of their technical training, who comes within a mile of me in ability to organize, analyze, and explain. As I say, it is a little difficult to remember, month after month, that the U.S. government has seen fit to utilize a highly trained man as they have me — and reward him proportionately. If our country and homes were in desperate straits, and I had a rifle in my hands, and grenades in my pocket, and were battling to save my home and your honor and safety, it would be a different matter, indeed. But when the need is so great for trained educators and men who can speak a piece well and convincingly, and the government sees fit to throw all that away — then indeed, I question the wisdom and fruitfulness of the policy.
Now that I have that hot chestnut off my hands — let me hasten to add that I know you are aware of the folly of the whole business and that you agree. It just does me good to let off a little steam to you occasionally. If I don’t you will question whether my personality has not changed and I assure you, it hasn’t.
It has been cloudy today, and is definitely warmer out. Even at 10:00 o’clock in the evening it is still too warm for my sweater! More rain, I suspect.
My sweetest gal — how pleasant it is to dream of you and your treasures.
Ever in love,