Mar 28, 1943
Dear Mom and Dad,
I imagine you’ve been wondering what’s happened to me since its been so long since I’ve written to you, but I have a legitimate excuse (I learned that word in New York) You see since my last letter I’ve pulled another Columbus and crossed the blue Atlantic only it wasn’t blue, it was green.
The censor, bless his little old heart, has given us permission to say that were in North Africa-so I’ll say it. Were in North Africa. It really felt good to be on a boat again. You should have seen the poor bunch of sea-sick soldiers. They were really a sad bunch of gentlemen. One fellow that I met up with, from Minnesota, was sick the entire trip. He hardly ate at all. Did we rib him.
Say by the way. Do you know why all the swedes are in Minnesota and all the mules are in Missouri. Well it seems as if Missouri had first choice. (I hope the censor isn’t a Swede)[SM1]
Me and a couple of other fellows went into ((((cut paper…censor?))))) the other night and got a taste of the North African atmosphere. We also got a taste of “Veno” the favorite intoxicant around here). I’m telling you that’s really powerful stuff. It’s just like a delayed action bomb. You walk along, after having not more than five or six glasses, when suddenly it hits you. WOW. After that your liable to do anything.
((((((Cut paper…censor?)))))) itself is a fairly nice town. Of course you can’t understand a single thing that’s said or read any of the advertisements.
The food in our encampment is pretty good. In fact its very good.
We all have “Beauty-Rest” mattresses—made of ?stadow.
All in all life ain’t so bad out here.
There isn’t much more to write about. It will probably be some time before you get this letter. I will write again in about a week or so.
Well till the next time I guess I will say good bye.
[SM1]Page 8. He has gone from New York to North Africa. An excellent joke on the Swedes. Too funny.
I find it amusing he uses the word “rib” as it is often used by my urban students here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
(end of letter)
Observations by Opa Fritz
1) I was always told that Ray made it to North Africa and this was proof of the pudding
2) Ray apparently born to be a seafarer as the trip across the Atlantic doesn't seem to have phased him. He did say in an earlier letter that he was thinking of joing the Coast Guard. Perhaps that would have been a better choice. We'll simply never know.
3) A G.I.'s account of a day out on the town and his introduction to "Veno" hahahahaha what's not to love?