50: Poker Was My Game!

7 March

Dear Girls,

Enclosed please find a money order for one hundred dollars ($100). I always did say poker was my game!

Wrote a long letter to Uncle Ham yesterday–my first to the Woods, shamefully enough. I sent him a Jap war bond–thought he might be able to use it in one of his drives. I have several other things I picked up, which I will send home when we can send packages.[1]

Still nothing much doing–inspection by the General today, but as usual I have a working party–I’ve had a lot of those and guard, but it’s still an easy life withal.

We have liberty again tomorrow–every 8 days. I have no plan in mind other than a Turkish bath–you have no idea how much of a luxury that hot water seems to us by now. Our food is good, living conditions comfortable enough, though.

Your letters are coming through well, Mother, mostly every other day. Gretchen’s are much more infrequent. I haven’t written very often–probably 9 or 10 letters since Namur. I’ve also written Warrie, Uncle Ham, Harry Reynolds, Fran Shattuck and Nan, at long last.[2] And one to Rusty, just to let her know that I was alright. I haven’t heard from her in four or five months.

One of the saddest things I’ve heard is about the Shinkai–as you said, she was the only thing they had to work for–when I think of that poor old fella emptying garbage cans day after day now, for nothing.[3]

Close now–I go on duty again in a few minutes.

[Letter unsigned]

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_____
FOOTNOTES:
[1] Picking up battle souvenirs was a trademark habit of American servicemen. Phil evidently had a kimono, a battle flag, and several other items–but with the exception of a few stamps, none of these souvenirs are known to have survived.
[2] Reynolds and Shattuck were both wounded on Namur; Phil is writing to them in hospital.
[3] Reference unknown; the second to “the Shinkai.”

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