Friday, April 25, 2014

Miss Duncan Goes to Washington, Part 6 of 7

Letter to Mother, October 20th - [1941]

Dear Mother,

A very busy week. Libby has had an ex-pupil of her father's visiting, so Monday night we went up to her apartment to hear him play the piano with some other friends of the Uptons.

Tuesday evening I went out with Chuck Lockhart, which happy occasion ended with my having to say 'out of my life.' I was very sorry because he is one of the few down here I have really liked, but he does not love me for my beautiful soul or my intelligent mind. He has always been a gentleman about the whole business and made no fuss, but the answer is always no. I have been feeling gorgeously pure all week.

Wednesday I saw Helen Hayes in Candle in the Wind and was disappointed in it, not nearly good enough for her. Besides, her skirts were too long. 

Thursday David White took me to see some colored slides at the Parish House of St John's, which sounded deadly but turned out to be quite fun. It is the Rev. C. Leslie's church, and full of attractive young people. The pictures were taken by the man who was the official photographer of the King and Queen when they were in this country. Home for cider and doughnuts. 

Friday Molly's Uncle Junior Almy came to dinner and regaled us with tales of how awful is this administration. He is trying to get some priority stuff through OPM and can’t get anywhere because every time he comes down there’s a different man in charge of the division he's interested in. Afterwards Molly and I went up with our beer mugs to a party Libby was giving for numerous friends. Delectable shrimps on toothpicks. I met and conversed with a very presentable Gentile, Mr. Parhurst, Williams '34, and was thinking what a happy little conquest I was making when Mrs. Upton came up and said, "I'm so sorry your wife couldn’t come. How soon do you expect the baby?"

* * *
. . .When a 248 came through showing the resignation of a secretary at the Naval Base there, I called René, found out I could afford to pay my own way there and rushed over to converse with Mr. Dinsmore. He said sure, to write to the Field Director, airmail, ask him to hold the position open and that I would be right down. 

Then, just to be sweet, I pulled the one about little me with my father so far away, what would you advise, Mr. Dinsmore. He made a big song and dance about the effect of the tropics on the moral fiber of young and attractive girls and the general degeneration of standards, etc. Asked Mr. Atkinson and he said it would be lonely, and interesting, and hot. Talked further with René and he got out a lot of travel stuff about it,very discouraging, so finally I went home still undecided, with an airmail letter all written and ready to be sent. 

Washington looked pretty sweet and my little apartment looked even sweeter. The gist of it all is that I tore up the letter. The next morning when Mr. A. heard that I had turned it down, he asked whether I would be interested in the office that is being set up in the First Corp Area as liaison between the ARC, OCD and the Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety. It would be for the duration and in Boston. I thought about it for a while and finally turned that down too. I will never be in such a good position to be sent anywhere, and to waste that opportunity on Boston, the only advantage of which would be to save rent, seems a little dumb. The other side of all this is, though, that I may not be able to be so fussy. Perhaps I ought to grab whatever I can get, like the Canal Zone. These chances don't come along too often. Besides, I can see myself already digging the Governmental Rut along with the Federal Spread.

Which is the extent of what has happened to me.
                                         * * *
Letter to Mother, Oct. 27 - [1941]

Dear Mother,

This proposition may break yet. Mr. A. told me this morning that the head of Services to the Armed Forces had asked him didn't he want to go (to Iceland). He emphatically does not. But in discussing it he found out that the Army has turned over the whole recreation program of the Post to the Red Cross, which will mean that we must send several more people up there. Mr. A had a chance to mention to the Vice Chairman that I want to go and he said he didn’t know yet whether they would have to send a secretary. But with this new program opening up, there is more of a chance than before. I have seen all the people there are to see about it here. When I turned down the Canal Zone, I wrote Mr. Dinsmore a memo saying I was holding out for Iceland. So maybe -- but I am not counting on anything. Everyone continues to say I am crazy to want to go. . .

Love and kisses, 
Copyright 2005 by Curt Taylor

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