Bernadette G. Robioux to Christine H. Robioux
||Love Hall 233
||UNL, Lincoln, Neb.
||Sunday, June 7, 1942
Thank you for your long letter. It arrived in yesterdays mail. I went to 9:30 Mass at Blessed Sacrament this morning, and Ive finished all my classwork for tomorrow, so I have the whole afternoon to write to you.
Ill tell you my most important news first. Ive decided to leave school, at least for a while. Im going to move up to Omaha this summer and go to work in the big Martin airplane factory there. After the war I can go back to school and finish my degree. I know youll say I should stay in school and get my degree, especially since Im on a full scholarship, but philosophy seems so unimportant right now. I read the wonderful news of the Navys great victory at Midway Island in the paper this morning, and then Father Kraemer gave a homily on duty and responsibility, and Ive decided that I cant just sit around any longer. I have a duty to serve my country. So Im going to do my part for the war effort. I guess that makes me sort of like Papa when he went back to France. He was a hero, Mama, and Im too much like him to stay here at school.
There, thats out of the way. On to other things.
I dont suppose youre any happier about rationing than everybody is here. Rationing is bad enough anyway, and itll probably get worse before it gets better, but when they started issuing Sugar Books last month, the cooks here in the dormitory were really upset. But I think its going to work out OK. Our cooks are pretty good at making do. They saw a recipe in Good Housekeeping, and now were getting meat loaf thats half soybeans, but its still pretty good, and it really saves on meat points. A lot of good recipes are showing up in Good Housekeeping and the Womans Home Companion and even the newspapers. Heres a good dessert recipe that was just in the paper here, Ill bet you havent seen it yet. Its surprisingly good.
Honey Marshmallow Custard
2 C milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 T honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Bring milk just to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally.
While the milk is heating, lightly grease 6 small custard cups. Set cups in a 9x13 baking dish. Drop a marshmallow in each cup.
Combine eggs, honey, vanilla, and salt in a 1-qt Pyrex measuring cup. Gradually beat the hot milk into the mixture.
Divide milk mixture into the custard cups. Place baking pan on oven rack and fill with hot water 1 inch deep. Bake until set, about 45 minutes.
Cool to room temperature, then chill at least two hours before serving.
Some of the women professors have made it a habit to jump on food lines wherever they see them. They use their stamps to get things they can trade away for other things that they want. I suppose it works, but somehow it seems a little unfair. I dont think they should be buying food that they wont ever use, even if they do hope to trade it away.
Dormitory life goes on much as it always has. With the heat of the summer, we are having more outdoor parties. Even though this is a residence hall, the fraternity men seem to find out about our parties, and they always show up. Its great fun dancing with the senior men, they dont seem to have any idea that Im only a sophomore, and Im not about to tell them. Ive gotten really good at doing eyeliner on my legs to look like stockings, and I can even take a puff on a Lucky Strike without coughing. Last month about 20 of us went into town, to the USO, and the band was Glen Grays Casa Loma Orchestra. Now theres a band! Their lead singer is named Kenny Sargent. Hes not anything like as popular as Frank Sinatra, but hes oh so smooth and sophisticated. He makes me feel all grown up just listening to him. Sinatra is really more for the bobby-soxer crow
Darn pen, just ran out of ink, they always do it at the worst times! Its funny, though, I love this old black and silver pen that Papa gave me when he went away. It was his favorite, too, and that makes it very special.
You might remember Doreen Siddons, the friend I brought home for the Christmas holidays. She said yes to a pilot named Randall Swift in January. He got his orders for Africa about two weeks ago, and they just went out and got married right then. They had their honeymoon last weekend in Omaha. Randall was one of the pilots assigned to ferry the squadrons new planes to Libya with a stopover in the Azores, what luck! and they took off on Monday from Fort Crook, where the Martin factory is. But something went wrong in his plane, they said one of the engines failed and the plane cant take off on only one engine, and it crashed. Everybody on board was killed. Doreen was there to see him off, and now shes a total wreck. She cant study at all, she just mopes around, and she wakes up screaming, saying she sees the plane blow up over and over again in her dreams. I think shell probably just not bother to take her finals next week. Its too bad, Randall was a really nice young man, and Doreen is a sweetheart. I hope shell get over it, but theres really nothing I can say to her right now except to be there and comfort her when she cries. Would it be OK if I brought her home again? I dont know if shell even come, but New York in the summer is such a great place to be, maybe it would help take her mind off Randalls death.