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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Constance Phillips to parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0082.4.008

Description: Phillips discusses a basketball game, attending her first USO show, which included acrobats and tightrope walkers, and a trip to Ames, Iowa. She mentions letters from friends she has received and having KP.

Creator: Constance Cline Phillips

Biographical Info: Constance Phillips (b. 1924) of Concord, North Carolina, was an X-ray technician in the Women’s Army Corps from 1945 to 1946.

Collection: Constance Cline Phillips Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Dear Parents -

Well, haven't written you for a few days but when I tell you what I've done you will doubtless understand. To take up the narrative.

Thursday night our platoon was in a basketball game. Went down as moral support. The game was very fast. Lots of the kids have played ball for years, and lots of boy's games have been slower. It took me back to dear C.H.S.

Then after the game I went to my first USO show. It was excellent. The best thing so far as I was concerned was a tight rope act. The man was good. He danced on the rope, then swung it back and forth. How he stayed on, is more than I can guess. Also they had an acrobatic act that was as good as anything I'd ever seen in the movies. Then they had a vaudeville act which must have been a hangover from the last war. The guy juggled 5 little balls. I sat with my mouth open, as usual. That ended Thursday.

Friday was GI night. That takes care of that day. Saturday night I went to the barn dance that is broadcast over WHO. Enjoyed seeing the props. Didn't realize how much of a show is not sent over the air. After that went out and had a soda & went to bed.

Sunday, got up early. Four of us had managed to get a pass for the day and we went to Ames, home of Iowa State U. Found a little literature in the home ec. building for father. It was the only building open except for the Union. We walked over most of the campus and saw a few sailors and WAVES, but we were the only members of the army that I saw. 'Twas lovely. Ames is a quiet, nice little town. Reminded me more of home than anything I had seen. We left about 9 from camp and got on the 10 o'clock bus. Four of us went and I for one, made a definite attempt to stay off of the usual topics of conversation. We were four - Crism, a very pretty girl from Tenn. Yaye Furutain, (31, Japanese American, finished her junior year as a biology major, married, very intelligent, and slated for a commission in Physiotherapy), Dorothy Doyuon, our Russian Jewess who was a child development major at Madison, and quiet me.

We had a most un-army day. Went bowling, walked, talked, Art, literature, politics, etc. Just completely restful and really a little like a dream. Don't ever expect to go there again and it was pleasant. I suppose I'll have that feeling many times. This army makes for things like that. This morning we started out as usual and we're going into chemical warfare and gas masks. It's interesting. Just two more weeks of basic.

Well our platoon celebrated St. Patrick's Day to the tune of the mints - they got here Saturday morning. I managed to keep a layer for myself and they were really delicious. Did you make them yourself, Mother? It was like home. Which reminds me - saw a robin the other day. The weather had been quite warm. Now it's back to rain and coolness. I'm getting used to this screwy weather and it's amazing to see what it can produce in he way of variety. I really like it, except when it gets too hot for the overcoats. Which reminds me of the other day - we paraded in the heat (probably not over 50°, but we're dressed too warmly for that weather) the other day for a member of the British Womens Army. Discovered that they exchange officers for purposes of trading ideas. There's really so much to tell that I can't remember it all. It goes so fast, it's almost too fast every once in a while.

Just read that sis gets her cap. I am more that glad. That's something she really wanted, and it's always good to see somebody get what they want. You must tell me all about it. Have heard from all my friends, or just about. Must write you an excerpt from Bill Tarlton's latest. "After thinking it over maybe I was wrong about you not liking the WAC. You'll learn a great deal in the service that you wouldn't ever learn anywhere else. Not in the sense that you get any special technical knowledge, but you will learn more about people than you ever could at home or at college. You'll see a lot of the world that you might never have seen otherwise. It's really a pretty good deal if you care to put up with all the petty and trivial things that you'll run into." So far as I've seen, those are true words. Heard from Carle & Kel & Paige and Dody Stroupe who graduated from W. C. my sophomore year. She tried to join both the WAC's and the WAVES and got turned down for physical reasons. So she writes that I am most fortunate, and thoroughly envied. The longer I go on in this world the more normal it seems, and the stranger civilian life is. But that's normal. Tonight I must write Sis and tell her that I'm pleased, then go to bed by 9 o'clock. I have another date with a mess hall. It's 3 this time - the officers mess. They feed well (incidentally I'm growing and I'm getting stronger by the minute.) Push ups are just around the corner. Must close - will write when I get off KP -

Love, Babe