I was down at Harders again last night. Also Ada and Joy (who is Napier's wife, (who is the new chaplain)). It seems the Alfred Sun is more in a state of confusion than usual. They get Gay and Joy confused and recently reprinted the church program: "Jesus gay of man's desiring" --- no kidding.

Later, Joe and Charles and Napier himself put in an appearance. They had been gabfesting. Napier is very nice and so is his wife. I think you'd rather not have him worry about your soul, though. I think he makes a good chaplain, but he takes it very lightly and you yourself are probably as close to the pearly gates as he is... They say the church is packed these days. Even Charles goes now.

There was a little concert one night last week that I went to. Some gal played. Poppelbaum [a visiting professor] was to play a duet with her the last number. He was very cute and shy about it, and then was so bashful and absentminded that he seated the gal at the piano and then came back and took his seat in the audience again. After almost a minute he said Oh! And jumped up and went over to play.

The Scholes, Ann, Lois and Doc, and also Margaret Aylor just left. Ann was here for the week, and I wanted to have her up. Also I've been trying to find an excuse to have Margaret Aylor up ever since she first came here last spring, but you complicated it a bit. The Scholes are very much more all-weather people than the Seidlins and are not so moody. Much more dependable and fun, I think. I'm going to cultivate them a bit. For instance, Scholes saw the broken snow shovel on the porch and said it was good cast iron (or something) and he took it along home to fix it for me. They like me just the same as ever whether I have a husband to go around with or not. Which I don't feel with all our friends here.

Friday evening I went up to Peggy White's, where the service wives meet every two weeks, act sociable, drink coffee and do work for the Red Cross... There are as many as thirty sometimes. Mrs. Place and Eloise Scholes poured. Neither has seen her husband for over two years. One of us is a widow. So I really can't kick. There is a bit of strain talking with some wives whose husbands are still here, but at that group we are all in the same boat.

I stopped in to see Mary Barnard not so long ago. The house was wide open and no one in it. I hated to go off with no message left behind and I didn't have a pencil. So I just put one of the dining room chairs on the dining room table. Right in the middle. Mary phoned today and said I was the only one in town she knew who would do such a thing and she knew right away who it was. I'm not just sure I should feel flattered.

Today besides the Lowensteins, who brought a nice sponge cake with yellow frosting on it, came the Whitfords with a Ladies Aid Calendar and the Seidlins with some wonderful chocolate cookies. So we had quite a company afternoon. I knew the Seidlins were coming, so I had the place all fixed up.

Lloyd had some fruit trees he put in last year that were girdled by rabbits this winter. He was ready to dig them up because he thought they were ruined, but I said no, he should bridge-graft them. I got out your book and turned to the illustration and sent him home with it. I sort of smiled to myself because I knew he'd get into the book and wouldn't get out for a while. That is just what happened, and now Rose says he is going to raise chickens.

I have had to canvass for the Red Cross, which meant the people on Reynolds St. The reactions are interesting. Rose gave me a song and dance and told me Lloyd had already given till it hurt, etc. etc., which I wasn't interested in and which embarrassed me. Thelma Post saw me coming and met me on the porch with a pen and blank check. Jessie Post welcomed me warmly and said she was wondering when I'd be coming. They didn't have much, but what they gave was gladly given because of Phillip, or perhaps some other relative. It was happy money and will do good whereas Lloyd's money will probably purchase a traction splint or something uncomfortable but necessary.

It seems funny but I am getting to know a lot of the town people. It is probably the combination of owning a house and being here alone without you. I like them in lots of ways more than the faculty and I hope we won't lose the grip we have on them after you come back. Jacox, for instance. Maybe he's just a storekeeper, but he put five kids through college and did a darn good job of it. That's something to be proud of.

I don't seem to be able to get through Sunday. After we got back from furniture buying Gay phoned and asked me to come down for donuts. We did and it took all the rest of the day and gave all of us wild dreams all night long. But it was fun. Seidlins and Barnards and Mr. Someone-or-other who owns Barnard's house were there. Ada and Dutchy got into a discussion of how they hate Germans, etc., etc. And I politely got up and left the table. Ostensibly to go see what the children were up to in the other room, but I didn't come back till the topic was changed. This business of being more ready to find something to hate than something to love is a dangerous one. With Ada it is motivated from fear for John (which I can sympathize with wholeheartedly) and not love for the rest of fellowman. I am happy to believe that the majority does not agree with them.

Nathan Burdick was leading a colt down the road this morning just when I was putting out the rubbish. So I looked it over with my practiced eye and said "Yearling, isn't it?" I was right, of course. I could tell by the conformation of the pasterns. Also the left molars. It was very cute and frisky but will make a huge horse someday. I asked him what he paid and he said sixty dollars. I think that was plenty, but didn't tell him.

So a few minutes later when I found my iron was not hot I rang the operator and she didn't wait for me to say a thing she just said "Yes, your electricity is off - it's off all over Alfred... The men are on their way up here to fix the lines where the snow broke them down." I laughed and told her she should have a record made.

[Mrs. Burdick] is coming tonight to help me put the ceiling paper on in the dining room...That is what I like about the town people. You mention to a faculty wife that you are going to paper, yourself, and they think you are whacky. You mention it to a town person and she immediately says, "Let me lend you my equipment."

In addition the graduation parties have been going on. One day I had the Ringos and Seidlins for lunch, went to tea at Rose's, baked a cake for a party of Ada's and went to Spicers for a couple of hours in the evening and then to the Seidlins where we had a wonderful time. The party is instantly a success when the Napiers arrive. Last night was baccalaureate and we went down to Harders afterwards for donuts. The Dunkelbergers and the Barnards were there, and later the Halls and the Napiers came in very late.

One night here the Barnards and Dunkelbergers and I were talking about the whole general mess and the deanship came up. Toby said he was thinking over the possibilities and the only man on the campus that was good enough was Warren. That made me feel good and I know it will you. Even if we don't want it. Toby is a man of great sense.

Yesterday was my [thirtieth] birthday. I went around all day feeling that I was getting a bit old and would never see twenty or twenties again. I was feeling very like Eyor, and very sad and sorry for myself. The Seidlins about a week ago had asked me over for dinner and the evening to meet some people from Ithaca. I had forgotten it, of course, but Ada called me and reminded me. So I was washing my hair anyway, and I said to myself, "Hell, I'll get all dressed up and pretend it's a party for me."

But doggone if I didn't get there and go in the door and there were fifteen people all lined up, and singing Happy Birthday. It was all a bit too much for me after the thinking I had been doing all day, and I was a bit of a sissy for a minute. I was very ashamed of myself. But we had a wonderful supper and wonderful cake with pink trimmings on it, and I made a nice wish about you and blew out all the candles in one puff. And then they gave me a million presents.

Ann and I also did a job on my old tennis shoes yesterday. We found that kit you once bought in an ambitious mood and we put two large patches on (the kit to patch old inner tubes, if you are still wondering) the soles of my sneakers where the ball of my foot comes and two smaller ones where my big toe comes. One sneaker was all the way through and the other was mighty thin. I spin on the ball of my foot and use the toe for a rudder. So then I was afraid the patches would peel off gradually or faster when I got to running and scraping them around on the court, so I wrapped the whole front of the sneakers with adhesive tape overlapping the right way so it won't come through when I run. They look very dreamy but then they still sneak, which is more than no sneakers at all do.

Napier likened Isaiah's description of God to a Brahms symphony on Sunday. I sort of pricked up my ears and was interested. I know you would have been, too. I told you that Davey was an Old Testament scholar, and he gets as steamed up about Isaiah as [Professor] Schrade did about Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes. In fact, Davey busted his suspenders during the sermon; he confessed afterwards that he got so excited and waved his arms around so much he was afraid he would lose his pants all the rest of the service.

Where do you suppose John Seidlin was last letter they had from him? Laupheim! Have I ever heard of it? I guess when the war is over we'll have to tell John about our evening at Schloss Laupheim. It makes me wonder over and over what has happened to Uli and his family. I'd like to know that it is nothing dreadful, but I'm afraid it probably is.

Caspar Myrvaagnes is home, of all things. What a wonderful surprise. It's one I'd like to have one of these days, but all in good time. I know it must wait a little, but I'm still glad some of the fellows are getting home. Bob Burdick, Mary Crandall's brother, went in training at Sampson with Bill Crandall and Hub Watson and his ship was just hit by a suicide diver and he was not hurt, but is on his way home for leave. He had not been gone for more than a couple of months. But it is a hard way to get leave, and I don't wish for it for you.

I can't ever remember playing baseball before, and don't know the first thing about it, but I did a good job. Not only did I hit the ball a wallop whenever I was at bat, but I pitched an excellent game too. I decided the kids should have a break, but the women shouldn't, so I threw fast balls at them and they ducked every time. Our side won by a large margin. On our team was Davey, captain, Joy, Susan, Arthur (a six-year-old Italian kid from Brooklyn who is staying with the Halls. He's a scream), myself, Ann Scholes.

On the other team was Peggy White, Ray Scholes, Gretchen, Barbara and Bruce White. Bruce is four and was somewhat of a liability. I didn't know less than the White children, anyway. Someone else must have been on Ray's team; oh yes, it was Tom Hall. He'd skin me if he knew I forgot him. He was pitcher for the other side and gave me pointers on how to pitch.

Tom and I crossed wires today on a tennis date, so he phoned me tonight. He is always acting a bit, so he started out by asking if I would like to talk to a very gallant gentleman, so I said, "Yes, put him on the wire right away," which threw him a mile.

They left and I went up and got back into my shorts and came down and outside and bumped smack into the Kenyons, who had quietly arrived in the interval. Was my face red! We had a nice little visit and pretty soon along came another car and in it were Kenyons' daughter and her husband and their two children. They were introduced and we had a lot of fun talking and just being conversational. It struck me how easy it was to have a conversation that wasn't just plain driven with them. They are just farm people of the better type like Grosses. I couldn't help but compare it with last night when I went over to Rice's on invitation. Myrvaagnes were there, also Doc Russel, Burditts, Barnards, and Packards... And what a dull evening with people who were educated within an inch of their lives and should have been stimulating... But I was very happy to be asked down there because there has been a little too much Seidlin, etc., recently for my taste and I have not been doing much entertaining and didn't feel like asking different ones either.

Bill was a scream talking about his classes at Cornell. He told about the man teaching recognition who was getting more and more disgusted with the job he had. He said first of all, there was no sense at all in learning to recognize those ships because the Japs had lost most of them. But then came VJ day and he came in and threw his notes down on the desk and said that was the pay-off. But he had to go through the motions, so he flashed slides of ships and planes at a hundredth of a second for them to identify, but about every third one was a nude woman.

Their instructor in damage control was good, Bill said. About his most interesting class was when they told about the damage control on the Block Island, which he said was most outstanding. He told them the whole story of the sinking, and as you can imagine, Bill was some interested. The man who told them was in charge of damage control on a destroyer in Casablanca at the time and was sent out to pick up the six fliers from the Block Island. So I got a good account of them which I had not had before. You probably know the whole story. [No, I don't. We received precious little details on what had happened or what was happening or what was about to happen. Other ships did much better on this, I hope. --RLW]

Bill was very envious of our ship's lantern on the porch. I think he means to swipe one if he can. I was very busy giving them the latest word on Navy chiseling.

Remember I lost my field jacket via the cleaner? It has now turned up, and where do you suppose it was, of all places. Napiers had it and it was delivered there by mistake. They never thought to ask if it might belong to me, with the name Warren on it plain as day. Nor did it apparently occur to them that whoever the owner was he might sort of wonder about it. They had it for four months before they turned it in. Meantime I had phoned about it about ten times to Wellsville and gone over there twice and finally collected five dollars to pay for it. That money I'll have to send back now. I'm damn mad about the thing and think they have a hell of a nerve. It isn't exactly as though they don't know me and never see me! But it is fairly typical of Joy, nice as she is. If she were not so pretty and so charming she would never get away with that sort o thing.

Oh yes, something nice. I saw Ray Scholes today and he said the President was interested in fixing up Crandall barn a little --- the barn behind the President's house --- and using it for an art exhibit place. There is quite a whopper of a committee in charge of the thing, the exhibitions, etc. A lot of the art people are on it, and also Mrs. Oppenhym, who is not connected with the University at all this year. He wanted me to be on it. That was mostly Ray's idea, and he is on the Committee on Committees, so that is how it was worked. But however it was done, I am pleased and while I feel a little sheepish about it, I'm very glad to have a chance to be on it at all.

I have some work I have to get off the books tonight. The Church had adopted a little Italian child --- a girl --- who writes every effusive letters in Italian. She prays for all of us and says Ave Marias for us and is generally very cute and highly Catholic. Somehow I have inherited the chore of translating her letters. I think I must be a windfall to them because the letters date from April to be translated --- one each month. The writing is clear, but occasionally she misspells a word, which throws me off a mile. Also she thinks that punctuation is dispensable. So I throw in a period when I get tired of the present sentence. They are not too hard, but they do take more concentration than German would. I will have to consult a Catholic for some special terms. I guess I'll call Mae McMahon.

Ada asked me yesterday about driving over to the Lake this week-end and asking the Spicers (no children) to go along. It seems Joe and Ada told Al the whole Lowenstein story and he is mad but likes the Spicers and would like to have the thing set straight. I know it can't be set straight with them at all. I told Ada I was sure they would spend an unhappy time and not get anywhere. John Reed [Spicer] told me he thinks that Joe is not to be trusted when it can further his own gains. I know John Reed would never come out and say it to Joe, and I think they had better forget the whole thing, particularly since John Reed is leaving... I also felt that the Seidlins are trying very hard (Joe asked me to drive up last week-end too) to get me to use my car gasoline and tires to take them to the Lake, which I have not the least intention of being railroaded into doing. That would be a hell of a session for me. Some party! I'm not so dumb as I sometimes pretend I am.

This afternoon I am going down to play a little Badminton with Ann Scholes. I have not done that since Hofstra, but I have come to the conclusion that I can take anyone my own age on at practically any sport and make a good showing.

Right now I am nursing a class C annoyance against the Napiers. Joy most particularly. Now Joy is a very nice person, very beautiful, lots of fun. But she inclines to be moody, and is very jealous of Davey. She goes around in a temper if he speaks to me, but hell, they should more than know that Davey doesn't hold a candle to you and never would.

Last night I went to the Seidlins for dinner. You can see I hardly stay home at all any more. The Harders were there and we had fun. I was telling them about your initiation on crossing the equator [en route to Borneo]. Seidlins had just gotten an album of Boris Goudinov. It was ten sides and all the high points in the opera. It was beautiful and you would like to hear it. Some beautiful voices too. The Seidlins have a little kitten (one of Vodka's). They named it Dubrui and I promptly said that it meant "good." I surprised myself and Joe too. The Napiers have one of them too, and named it Pushkin, which is a cute name for a kitten with Russian ancestors.

Last night Peggy White had to start something, so she sent the kids up about a bonfire [to celebrate Japan's surrender], and did I have some old wood.. So we piled small useless stuff from the barn all over the car and really did some cleaning up around here in the bargain. The children were ready for bed and had not had naps, but I figured this sort of celebration would not happen every day, so I took them along in nighties and slippers. Peggy invited everyone inside for punch and crackers and cookies. I had taken the rest of our Victory cookies up there because I figured she would try to feed the town. I did kitchen shift for a while and then came home. When I was in bed for about a half hour, the phone rang and it was a long distance call, which gave me a funny feeling. I'm hoping to get one from you one of these days, but this was too soon. It was Ada from the Lake and she wanted to know how I felt about the good news, and so did she. It was nice of her to call.

Anyway after we had the thing marked off then Ann and Ray just happened to be on one side of the [Badminton] net and I was on the other and we started to play a game, and doggone if I didn't beat them about seven to fifteen. I can place a Badminton bird very well and I just put it right between them and neither of them would touch it, each waiting for the other. You have no idea how much good it does me to find that I can still do some of these things without killing myself.

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