Only to Greenberg

Paul Greenberg, September 26, 1950, Fort Dix, NJPaul Greenberg, September 26, 1950, Fort Dix, NJ

My father enclosed this photo in a letter to my mother on September 26, 1950. Recently drafted, he was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ, where he was in basic training, soon to be shipped overseas to serve in Korea. They were not yet married, and my mother was living with her parents in Manhattan at 160 E 3rd Street, while attending Sarah Lawrence College. On the back of the photo, Dad scribbled, Come out from behind those specs there.” The letter was handwritten. Here’s a transcription:

September 26, 1950
21:45 o’clock

Dear Esther,

I am sorry I didn’t write last night. I just felt too miserable and I didn’t want to transmit the misery to you. I feel much better now. My sense of humor has returned.

Only to Greenberg could it happen. The 68 men I am with are lost. That is our records are lost. They don’t know what to do with us. The rumors fly around like a swarm of late summer flies. Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz. I am afraid to have anyone visit me as I do not know where I will be. I hope tomorrow I can send you an address so that I can find out what you are doing regularly.

When you come don’t bring anything but food. Fresh fruit would be almost as welcome as yourself.

Little things have become so welcome. Tonight I had a tomato for the first time. Mmmm was it good. And tonight I had hot water for only the second time.

However I am able to laugh and enjoy something funny when it happens. I am getting a fabulous reputation about my appetite. I guess the continual fresh air goored [sic?] it up a bit. Anyway I get on the meal line 2 or 3 times and I am gaining wait. I’ll look health yet. Someday you will meet me and ask for Paul Greenberg.

I hope I can see you Sunday. I look at your picture all the time but that is a poor substitute for you.

Well I have to close now. The lights go out now and I have to lock up my stuff.

I love you


October 20, 2013