Ang is sent to "rest camp" on Capri whether he needs it or not. The two letters he writes during that time are wonderful travelogues -- one written "half-drunk" and the other written "much soberer." He gets pretty mushy (or "gooey" as he phrases it) and mentions hearing "Night and Day" which we all grew up knowing as "Their Song." Betty, as always, is working. "They" get the apartment up the hall from them and move her sister and nephew to that apartment.
Form 5, A-12, Administrative flight as navigator, B-25J, 1:20 [flight to Capri?]
Thursday. October 12. Up about 8:30—Straightened house—then downtown with Donny & Peg. What a time. Napped in P.M. Ate dinner out. More about apt.
October 13. Sure was tired this morning. No mail since Tuesday! Worked hard again today. Packed a couple of boxes for Ang. Bed 11:00.
October 14. Alone in office today. Got our checks. Shopped for Peg. Bought some black crepe. Mr. S for dinner. Peg and I to movies.
October. 15. Sure didn’t get much done today. Cut out black jumper. We got the apt up the hall too. To bed at 11:00.
[Letter, postmark 10-16-44]
“Somewhere” on the Isle of Capri
Get that “Somewhere” will you? No matter where you are on this island—you’re everywhere. Its at least eight miles long and two wide—a tremendous place!
Don’t mind me if I sound a little jerky—I’m half drunk right now—but its still daytime and I’ve got lots of time yet to get completely plastered. I have to get that way to keep from going completely nuts.
Boy, what a place to send a man for a rest—especially a man like me. Its not so bad in the daytime—there is plenty of things to do to keep busy—Boating, swimming, fishing—sightseeing etc.
But, oh honey, the nights drive me completely crazy—this is the most “romantically” island in the world. Our hotel is halfway up on a mountain—and the view is wonderful—the sea on all sides—the mountains around us—oh well!
The hotel itself is very nice—good rooms—pleasant dining room (with music)—lovely dance hall—and a gorgeous garden outside of it. You sit there listening to the music until it brings back old memories of home and you—and then go into the garden to get away from it. Pretty soon the scenery (the wine helps too) sets the imagination running wild. The music drifts out and pretty soon I had no trouble picturing you sitting next to me.
About that time I start cussing myself out—and storm out of the hotel to get away from it all. Then I start walking—up and down all these little vine covered paths (the grapes are all off of them now). Ever so often the vines open up and you can see the moon and the sea. Then I remember how much you loved to stroll with me and—and oh hell, whats the use! Its inhuman, that’s what it is. The whole place was built up as a honeymoon resort—and it just stinks with love and romance. Again I say its inhuman to send a lovesick joker like myself to a place like this. Even Hitler wouldn’t do it.
You’ll have to excuse me now for a while—I’ve got to go out and take a boat ride. I’ll finish up when I get back--
- - - - - -
I’m back! Oh, my poor stomache. The water was rough and—oh well, just use your imagination. They took us all around the island—and now there is a plainly marked trail of spag & meatballs (my lunch) all around. What a mess—so help me—I’ll never take another drink—at least not until they fish my stomache out of the bottom of the sea and give it back to me.
- - - - - -
In case you didn’t notice it, there was a short pause while I read over the letter—Gooey, wasn’t it? How anybody can write like that—even when drunk—well! However, its too much work to tear it up and start over again so I’ll send it on. I guess it doesn’t hurt to get “romantical” once in while. However, if you show or read that stuff to anyone—you might as well put in the divorce papers at the same time—so there!
It really is quite an island though—and it does get under one’s skin after a while. I know I’d give anything I have to have you here to spend my week with me. There are so many things that you would love to see—and I can just picture the enjoyment you would get out of a place such as this—well, that’s what gets me. Then just as if you were standing in front of me, I can see that happy, satisfied look cover over your face as we’d sit in that garden and talk until the wee hours.
Wow, I’d better stop this stuff, or have us both in tears. Phew, I haven’t carried on like that since the first years that we dated and used to sit on the stairs. There I go again. I said I was going to stop—and I am, From now on its going to be very impersonal.
We really do have a pretty good time here. The Red Cross organizes quite a full schedule for the day—Boating, Fishing, snack bars, movies, and dances (4-5 Red Cross girls and 3-4 nurses —- 3 - 400 men).
And that reminds me—I have a confession to make. It all happened last night. I put my arm around her and clasped her to my bosom. We swayed backwards, forwards, and then sideways. I felt fingernails dig into my back, and then a masculine voice said “May I cut in?”
Pretty cute, eh? Its not mine though, one of the other drunks thought it up last night. What wine can do to a person—it even made me dance—all three steps. That’s when I was really high—but the next number played was “Night and Day”, and that took all the poop out of me.
I’d better close now—I’ve done quite well. I’m sorry that I neglected you the last couple of days—but I wasn’t in condition to do much writing.
I love you sweetheart—Love, Ang.
Damn it, I miss you!
October. 16. Had 3 letters from Ang today - finally. And some snaps too. Worked hard today. Out to USO in evening. Bed 11:00
October 17. Cooler today. Same sort of day at office. Another letter from Ang. Did laundry and ironed in evening.
[Letter, postmark 10-18-44]
On the Isle of Capri
Here I am again—still on the Isle but much soberer than when I last sat down to write. I guess I just wasn’t built to be a drinking man—at least not a constant drinker—my stomache won’t take it.
I guess I gave you most of the poop about the place in my last letter. We manage to keep busy, and somewhat enjoy ourselves. Yesterday, I went swimming, and then fishing in the afternoon. I’m quite a fisherman—I caught three fish. Of course one of them was kind of small, but the other two were big bruisers—at least three inches long—ha! In the evening we go to a show (real, upholstered chairs) and after watch the few dancers and listen to the music until the snack bar opens at eleven—have a snack and a drink or two and head for the sack.
In between we just stroll all over the island window shopping and observing the sights. There are hundred of little shops on the island. The people, I guess have always made a living out of the tourist trade—and therefore they practically all own a little shop or else work for the hotels.
Another funny thing—there are no roads as such—just little paths between the buildings—few of them more than five or six feet wide. Even after four days we are still discovering new paths and new shops by accident. We turn into a little opening that looks like a miniature path to the back of the house and it turns out to be one of the main “streets”.
Also all the hotels are up on the mountain sides—and how they ever got materials enough up here to build these large, modern hotels is a mystery to me—but here they are.
The way we get up here is by a “funicolare” (I thought that would get you.) It’s a combination elevator and streetcar—and a Rube Goldberg creation. Its built on a slant to fit the incline—I’d better draw a picture.
Its not run by electricity, by coal or anything else. There are two cars with a cable holding them together—one at the top and one at the bottom. When ready, the man at the top releases his brakes and starts down—and the cable draws the other one up. Simple, eh what?
There’s quite a bit to see on the island. The other day we went out to see the Blue Grotto. It's just a cave in the cliffs bordering the water. Not much except except the blue color the water has. If anybody could ever bottle that blue—he’d make a fortune. Its really out of this world—or something.
Also we visited Tiberius’s ruins. He was some goofy Roman Emperor that was afraid of his shadow and built a castle at the top of the mountain to be safe. It’s a big place—and proves that the Romans were hep to the art of living—20-30 rooms—gardens—swimming pool etc. The old geezer even had a private jail where he tossed his women when they talked back. If they still carried on, he just casually pushed them over the cliff. Maybe he wasn’t so goofy after all.
I guess that just about covers the island—should even satisfy your curiosity.
I’ve done a little shopping—but not to much. In spite of all the little shops, they really don’t have much to offer—they all carry the same stuff—which isn’t much. And even as much of a sucker as I am—won’t pay the prices they ask for some of their stuff. Besides it’s a problem to decide what to buy and for who. Every time I decide to buy something for one of the young-uns—I remember that there are about two dozen of them around so I give up. However I did get a few little items for Donny—a tam and a pair of sandals—he can use them when he awakes and has to go to the bathroom—ha!)
I also bought you a blouse for your birthday—real cute I think. You’ll probably have to buy a whole outfit to go with it—so go ahead and consider it your birthday present.
I haven’t bought anything for our two mothers yet, but don’t worry I’ll get around to it.
By the way, I cashed a check for two hundred before I came here, and I’ll probably have to bite into the account for another hundred. As I’ve said things cost a lot around here.
Boy, I’ve gone on a writing jag on the last two letters to you—imagine—six pages.
I love you darling---Love Ang
October. 18. We sure have been busy at office. Moved Peg and Donny tonight. Sure am tired & my legs hurt. Bed 10:30.
October 19. Another busy day at office—ugh! Bought some papers and stuff for Ang. Nothing much in evening. To bed about 10:30.
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.