July 8-16, 1944. In the Hospital
"I guess that’s all I can say about the hospital --
. . . Ang's comment about the hospital where he spent time during this period. It appears he got sick sometime after his July 7 letter. He writes a letter on the 11th saying he’s been sick for a couple of days and is in the hospital. He also writes a couple V-Mails and a long letter on the 13th, in which he tells her more about his "cossacking trip" to Sicily.
Betty’s schedule is the same routine as usual, including another trip to San Diego to check on her Aunt Kay's husband, Herm, who is in the Navy and has also been sick.
Saturday, July 8. In office alone today. Did some shopping for Ang. Got album ready for him. Call from Herm and to S. Diego tomorrow. Movies and bed late.
July 9. Not quite so bad a trip this time. Nothing real serious on H’s mind--nuts. Home by 8:00 PM. Flo called.
July 10. Not as bad a day as I expected. Not too tired. Nothing unusual happened all day. Got some some packages ready for Ang.
July 11. Work very slow - didn’t have much to do. Not very warm today. Home all evening and wrote Ang a long letter. Washed head. 10:30.
[V-Mail. No envelope. The V-Mail is dated 6-11-44 which can't be correct. He's letting Betty know about being in the hospital, which was in July.]
I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long—but I was in no shape to do any writing. I was a mighty sick little boy for a couple of days—but I’m O.K. now. It was the same thing that I had at Hondo, Texas. Fever, headache and my body feeling like it had been put thru a wringer.
Just like Hondo—it took me a little while to get over it—and just like Hondo—they won’t let me out of the hospital. They worry themselves sick over malaria over here—and I’m in the hospital to be observed for malaria. They took some slides yesterday and they turned out negative. The Doc says I probably haven’t got it—but we can’t take chances. So I’ll probably be in here for a couple of weeks while they “observe”.
Please don’t worry dear—I’ll keep you informed on my progress. I love you darling—Love, Ang
July 12. Today about the same as all week. Florence Taylor up for dinner and then to movie. Herm still here. To bed by 11:30.
July 13. Cloudy again until after noon. Quite disgusting. Didn’t have to work real hard either. Wrote letters & to bed by 10:30
[ V-Mail. Also no envelope.]
Well, everything is O.K. at this end. Even the Doc said I was O.K. – and when they admit that much—Well! I should be getting out in a couple of days. My temp. is normal again—but I guess they have to make sure it stays that way before they release me.
I’ll drop you a nice long letter a little later giving you all the dope—hospital—nurses—etc.
I’m glad Kay is coming out there to stay with Herm for awhile. It will be good for both of them. Is she taking the two boys along with her? The four of them ought to have quite a time in that trailer—ha, ha!
I love you dear—Love, Ang
[Letter on air mail stationary. Postmark 7-14-44.]
Well, heres all the details. I’ve already told you how I got into the hospital—so I can go on from there. By the way—thru the process of 26 million tests—they have decided that I do not have malaria—so thats one relief of[f] our minds. I hope to get out tomorrow—but probably won’t—oh well, its not a bad life—in fact I enjoy it, kind of!
The beds with springs & clean sheets are a pleasant change. The food is pretty good—and the nurses—ah, the nurses! Honey, you won’t mind if I fall in love with them—that is with all of them—a sort of mass love. There’s safety in numbers you know—unfortunately I don’t mean the no. of nurses—but the no. of high ranking officers after each nurse—at least 20 colonels for each one. What chance does a poor second Lt. have?
Of course I do have an inside track with one of them (I don’t know how I do it). She’s a little Greek gal from Boston—named Mary. She speaks it about as “well” as I do—and you ought to hear us jabbering back and forth. I was doing allright too, until my conscience started bothering me and I dragged out your picture. Oh well, that’s life for you! However, maybe I still have a chance because she still rubs my back for me once in awhile. It must be my fatal charm.
The doctor is a diamond in the rough. He looks and acts just like Doctor Christianson of the movies.
I guess that’s all I can say about the hospital—except that it seems full of miracles. One fellow was operated for his appendix at eight at night and the next morning he was up and riding around in a wheelchair. How do you like that.
Now, getting back to that trip to Sicily—I forgot to tell you the most important thing of all. We picked up a house boy for ourselves. His name is Carlos—but we call him Skeezix. He’s an Italian boy about sixteen—and cute as the devil.
He was a bellhop at the hotel. We started kidding him one day about taking him with us—and then forgot all about it. The next morning we asked him to show us where we could by[buy] an iron—and he told us to follow him. The jerk led us over to his house—and before we knew it we were swamped by his mother and twenty six thousand relatives. They were all crying and thanking us for taking their Carlos with us—and when the war was over, would we please, please take him to America with us. We tried to convince them that we couldn’t take him to America—but they said that an American “official” (officer) could do anything—and that was that.
Then the mother came running up with an iron for us—insisted it was a gift—so what could we do. She begged—the 26 thousand relatives begged—the kid begged—so we took him along.
Honey, it would tear your heart out to see how these people feel about America. They gladly tear themselves apart from their sons to give them a chance at America. I guess we finally convinced his mother that we couldn’t take him to America—but she wanted us to take him and keep until the war was over.
[different ink here—changed pens or written later]
Probably just to keep him from starving (half) or living in filth anymore than he had to.
At least the experience won’t harm him. We’ll fatten him up—teach him a little English—and a few manners. He’s got more and better clothes now than he’s ever had—and honest to goodness pair of shoes. His eyes almost bugged out when we gave him those. He almost went crazy over our food—especially when he found out he could have all he wanted. And when he found out he could go to the “cinema” every night for free—he was in heaven.
We were going to pay him three and a half a week but the Major said it would make the other Italians dissatisfied so we had to cut his wages to two bucks a week.
He cleans up our “house”—keeps the water bottles filled—and washes our clothes. He really is a handy little tyke. He’s a conscientious little devil—he pesters me to death for more work—I have to get mad and order him to rest before he’ll take a couple of hours off. To show you how conscientious he really is. When we were at his house we told him if he wanted to come with us he would have to take a bath every day. He looked at us like we were crazy for awhile—then he got a determined look on his face and said he’d do it. And by golly he has done it—never misses, we don’t even have to remind him. See what I mean about good habits. He’s even got us doing it.
He’s really picking up English too—doesn’t have any trouble making us understand what he wants. For instance—the other day he had the “G.I.s” (Runs) so he came up and said: “Mr. Adamssss, Sir—eight o-clock toilet—ten o-clock, toilet—twelve o-clock, toilet—today, toilet, nine times. Mr. Adamssss—Capish?” See, no trouble at all with him.
Well, darling—I guess now you know all my secrets. There isn’t much else to write about—so I’ll promise to say I’ll put up a terrific battle against that nurse if she gets any ideas (ha).
I love you darling—I love you very much. All this spare time in bed isn’t doing my thoughts or morale much good. That colored picture of you helps a little—you look so darn real and delicious that one of these days I’m going to start chewing on it.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
P.S. By the way, quite some time ago I told you I had written a check for $100.00 (two $50)—and as yet you haven’t mentioned it. I hope you got the letter. At any rate the fellow that has them lives in L.A. and will be there one of these months. He’ll probably call on you anyway—but especially if the check bounces—so don’t be too surprised.
Don’t be afraid to ask Dad if you need anything.
July 14. Not enough to do all day. Met Mother after work and did some shopping. Wrote letters all evening. Bed about 11:30. Tired.
July 15. Herm’s relatives up in evening - also Flo & Marge. Herm in too - late. To bed about 12:00. Tired.
[V-Mail. Postmark 7-25-44.]
Got out of the hospital yesterday—and feel fine so you can stop worrying.
I’ve had you on my mind all day today—and its not good for my morale. I woke up thinking about you and layed in bed for about a half an hour letting memories carry me away. Then I thought a cold shower might help so I took one—but it didn’t do any good. So, I’m back on my sack letting my memories and emotions run riot.
As I said, its not good for my morale—but what can a man do--. The things I have been thinking and remembering—tch, tch!
I love you darling—I love you very, very much—I sure would like to have you close to me for an hour. Oooo—what I said!
July 16. didn’t do a thing all day—up rather late & a little laundry. Read all P.M. To movies & dinner. To bed about 10:00. Miss Ang!
[V-Mail. Postmark 7-27-44.]
I got a letter from Bud yesterday—he’s fine but his outfit has moved so I don’t guess I’ll get to see him again. He said that Wally had written me a letter—but I’ve yet to see it. I did write to him quite some time ago.
Skeezix (my boy) is sitting on the floor industriously polishing my boots. The kid is O.K.—in certain things he does take your place. After looking at your picture he said I had a “bona” wife—I think so too. Darn it hon, I miss you awfully. Yesterday I nearly knocked myself out thinking about you.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
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Joni Adams Sesma, daughter of Angelo and Elizabeth Adams. Ang served on Corsica with the 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Squadron. April 1944-April 1945.