Babu writes (prepare to chuckle, if you are anything like me):
June 11, 1941,
Had a letter and some pictures from Jakey. I told myself to keep quiet about any plans to go South because they may not formulate, but I still talk. Why do I have such a garrulous tongue? Went to choir rehearsal and came home right after.
Awww, she sounds so excited about this trip. So cute.
The letter she received on this day was started on June 6th. I often think about the time warp happening in these letters. Whenever they communicate, they are talking to the past selves of each other. On June 11th, a bit could have changed since Jake finished and sent off his letter on June 8th.
Dear Meeches, June 6, 1941
Just got back from practice formation and I want to tell you all about it. The English are coming Sunday as we are going to form a single file right opposite their single file. At a given command we will march forward and greet the Englishmen opposite each man. This is the first batch of English to be trained in USA and the lieutenants said that all kinds of press and motion photographers will be around so you may see me looking at you from some magazine. However I believe the shots will be take from a great distance it will be difficult to pick out any special person. This week there was a photographer here I believe he was for the Cosmopolitan magazine. I am in some of the pictures he took but I don’t know whether they will print the ones I’m in or not-he took loads of them.
How do you like that me wasting a whole side of a letter telling you about my pictures. Ain’t I conceited though.
Well my old instructor is coming back Monday and I hope he’s in a good mood after his vacation.
June 7, 1941
I got your letter a little while ago and also a newspaper. They certainly dressed up the story about my solo. I wish they hadn’t said anything about it because they never gets the facts right. Some of the boys soloed at 8 ours which is a lot better than I did. I wrote last Sunday and asked you to come and see me after I finish here at Tuscaloosa. Did you get that letter? As soon as I’m sure about finishing and the exact date I’ll let you know and we’ll go to New Orleans. I’ve heard a lot about the place and I want to see what it’s like. Remember you told me I was very nice on our last vacation, well I hope to repeat. Would you enjoy sleeping in tourist homes again – I certainly would. Gosh I wish we were sure about my passing this course so that we could make more definite plans but if I do finish it will be some time around the first part of July – pretty hot to be traveling down South. That Southern Ry. has some of the worse cars I’ve ever seen.
I’m going swimming this afternoon as the ban on our swimming has finally been lifted. I don’t know what I’ll do tonight but I do believe I’ll go to a show. This Thursday we are going to march in a parade in Tuscaloosa given in honor of the flying cadets then we’re all going to see “I Wanted Wings” free of charge. At last we’re getting something for nothing.
I’m glad you miss me “Meeches” because I miss you, too. Boy I’m looking forward to seeing you in about a month if everything goes right. I wish the day you were coming was tomorrow then I could really sleep tonight.
I’ve never seen the inside of the new fire station but I suppose it’s pretty nice-the city sure spent enough money on it. I guess I did call you a flaming blond at that. So much has happened since then it seems years ago. Just imagine a short time ago I was driving a car home in my sleep and now look where I am trying to pilot a plane. I have 24 hours flying time and 18 dual and 6 solo so far. Yesterday I was up for 2 hours all by myself. I went up to about 3,500 ft-it was nice and cool up there-the temperature on the ground was 93.
I’m sending some pictures and negatives which I took and I hope you will keep them for me. I’m sending you one negative of which I lost the print. Also, will you let Nellie have the negatives so she could have a print made of anything she likes. I sent her some pictures but not all. She probably wont want the negatives but in case she does you’ll have them to give her.
June 8, 1941
Just got back from church and found out that the English are going to be late. Instead of arriving at 11 AM till 1 PM or later. Looks like we wont have the afternoon off. There’s been quite a bit of publicity made about their coming. It will be the first time in history that anything like this has happened. Has there been any stories in the papers about the English back home.
The priest made a nice sermon about the drive to raise money to build places for the Army and Navy where the boys can go on their time off. When I got out of church, one of the local citizens offered me a ride to town-the first time that has happened since I’ve been here. I had to refuse because we already had a taxi calling for us.
I picked up some more pictures last night and am mailing them to you. The pictures of the flight line were made from the roof of the administration building. That little object sticking up on the horizon is the tallest building in Tuscaloosa-the First National Bank. I’m also sending a picture of Gene Edison who wrote to you the first week we were here. Did you ever get that letter – you never said anything about it and I figured you would.
Have you polished your wings yet or do you wear them with all the tarnish on them? Be careful or you’ll get “gigged” if an army officer sees you. What’s the date of the Nee Wah formal?
I’ll have to sign off as I have to polish my brass, make the bed, take a shower, clean the room, dress up, etc. We have to be nice for the English.
There is so much here, I can’t even. They are still not getting these nicknames straight – or I am just missing something??
This information about the British coming here to train is very interesting. More of this to come. Both in Jakes letters and in whatever I can dig up.
And here is Gene Edison again, showing up like the bad penny he is. (I don’t know that. He could be a great penny.). I’m surprised Babu never mentioned that other letter because I am here to snitch – I know for a fact that she received the letter and opened it. I’m just saying.