Like in a lot of his letters, Walt uses song titles to communicate, although he doesn’t very often use the lyrics to do so. He just assumes Ruth gets the message, or at least gets a sense of the atmosphere where he is. This letter begins with a kind of battle of the radio bands in two barracks, but then they both settle into the same song, “Skylark”:
I agree, it’s a pretty song.
A transcript follows the letter images.
June 6, 1942
How are you tonight, O.K.? I Love You!
Sounds like Hell here tonight. I’m sitting on the barracks steps and there is a radio inside playing “Jersey Bounce,” in the next barracks is one playing “One Dozen Roses” and now both of them are playing (
G) “Skylark” It’s O.K. now—it is pretty—I like—Do You?—
There is only two of us in the barracks tonight—A Mexican we call “Poncho.—he’s a heck of a nice guy. The rest of the fellows have gone to town—I reckon this will be the start of another month of (illegible cross out) (illegible cross out) laying
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around. I sure do get tired of it.
Tomorrow is Sunday again—”Blue Sundays” I call ’em—The one day I usually have nothing to do but think and then I think to much—Altho I’d rather think of you then anything or anybody else—I sure do get lonesome—and then I just lie on my bunk and think, look at the ceiling and wish they would either stop the war or else ship us (
accoss) across somewhere—anything would be better then just being here thinking.
Here it Honey “
Rosale” “Rosalie”—I haven’t heard it for a long time.
Listen Honey—”Tangerine”—Gee! Sure wish I could be with you listening to some music.
Ha—Here I am again just lying here in a coma—listening to the music and writing nothing—I know you’ll understand.
I wish it would rain—I’m on my bunk now (the bug were to (
thin) thick) just lying here with the sweat runing off me—Whooooo—sigh—sigh—now—”Johnny Doughboy Found A Rose in Youngstown.”—Pretty. “Sleepy Lagoon.” Its O.K.!
I started this at (illegible cross out) 7:30 and now it is 8:35—Do you wonder why you get short letters—
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No!—”Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree.” You won’t, will you—Of course not.—
The “Hit Parade” is signing off with their song—
I’ll sign off with
“When day is done and shadows fall
I’ll think of you xx
I Love You
x Walt x
x xxxx xxx
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I Love You