Sunday, August 6, 1944

Dearest Gee.

Received your letter with the address book in it today. I didn’t realize how much good that thing was until I lost mine. Thanks for going to all the trouble. Not that I can ever write to all the people whose address you put in, but it’s nice to know when all the birthdays and anniversaries are, even tho there isn’t a hell of a lot I can do about it.

Imagine you have guessed by this time that I am pulling C.Q. again tonight. It gives me a chance to use the typewriter anyway. Haven’t got any letters from you for a couple days now. Get them from everybody else. You haven’t quit writing, have you? I got a nice long typewritten jobby from Mildred tonight. It was dated July 26. She was telling me about sending the Hershey bars and I already received them and in fact had et em. I just wrote her and Claude yesterday. We had boiled beef and boiled potatoes tonight but the beef I had was kinda tough and I couldn’t eat it. We had ice cream too. It was sure ok. Chocolate and vanilla. Sho lapped that up. Our ice cream isn’t quite like the U.S. kind but it’s cold and has flavor which makes up for quite a bit. Tastes a good deal like sherbet. We generally have two fair meals and then wind up at night with the main bill of fare. We have two dang good cooks for a change, and they are really doing a good job.

You asked me what to do about your hair. I don’t imagine it would make a whole lot of difference because by the time I get to see you it would be all grown out again. Just so you have those curls in front by the next time I see you.

What did the Courier want to know all that stuff for? I’m glad you got in the news too because I know how much you go for that stuff. The only time I want to see my name in print is when they put in that I got my honorable discharge. That can’t come any too soon to suit me. I keep sweating out the war news every day. Sounds like they are doing okay so far.

Don’t know how I’m going to manage filling this page even tonight. I’ve about run out of conversation already.

In Mildred’s letter she told me about the anniversary party you had. The Old Crow sounded awful good, was it? You didn’t get a bun on by any chance did you? Wouldn’t blame you a whole lot if you did because I probably would have. What’s a baloney sandwich. It’s been so long since I saw any of that I forgot how it tastes. Told Mildred that I sure hate for you guys to mention the Steak ’n Shake because it always gets me hungry for hamburgers. A bowl of Chili Mac wouldn’t go bad either.

Mildred tells me you got your tongue twisted up again on a little matter of “stitched trouser crease”. As long as you don’t “collass” everything will be okay.

Should dash off a few lines to brudder Moon [Erv]. I haven’t heard from him in some time now. I think I own him one. Chick seems to be able to write more than I do but that is always the way. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander anyway as far as this stuff goes.

Doug still hasn’t got his camera yet and is he ever sweating. He’s been counting the days since she sent it and according to his estimation it should be here by now. I haven’t got the films you sent either. Now I have something to sweat out. If you have any more spare candy bars or Hershey’s laying around they would sure be appreciated. I got a powerful hunger.

Well, kid, I think I did pretty good to fill this much of the paper. Haven’t said anything but a lot of words. Just remember I still love you and miss you like the devil. Hope I see you soon.

So long now,

Snook

University of Illinois campus town Steak ‘n Shake, c. 1975. Source: ArchiTexty Flickr.

Snook’s love of Steak ‘N Shake endured throughout his life. It is a love shared by many from the region, including our city’s favorite son, Roger Ebert. I have several fond memories of family meals with Snook and Gee around the table of the now-gone University Avenue Steak ‘N Shake in Urbana, Illinois. The chain originated in nearby Normal, Illinois then quickly spread to Champaign-Urbana by the late 1930s. I had to smile when I saw that Snook mentioned Chili Mac, as their Chili Mac Supreme is my must-have meal every time I visit Illinois (we are not blessed with S’NS here in Oregon yet).

A Steak ‘N Shake add for the University of Illinois campus location. Source: restaurant-ingthroughhistory.com

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