The Daily Aztec

A peek into the campus archives

by Ahmad Dixon, Staff Writer

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As a history major, I have a decent amount of access to the San Diego State archives.

During my time in the archives, I have found several interesting documents and I have decided to reprint a few letters I’ve found.

I hope you find them as fascinating as I do.

Editor’s Note: The following may or may not be actual letters found in the on-campus archives reprinted for your amusement.

Dear Mrs. Stewart,

I, with a heavy heart, must inform you that your husband will not be home in time for Christmas.

In fact he won’t be home for any holiday.

If you haven’t already deduced through context clues, your husband is dead.

Germans shot him. I take full responsibility for this tragedy, even though your husband was the one who insisted on wearing the red, white and blue uniform you made him instead of the standard issue green that the rest of us wear.

I find it odd that you would send him such a thing considering we are a Canadian regiment, but I digress.

I just want you to know that Mark will be dearly missed.

Not by me, but I assume by someone … probably you.

Maybe your children.

In the near future you will be receiving a letter Martin wrote before his untimely demise.

I have read the letter, because I read all the men’s mail and he declares his undying love for you and your children.

I had a good laugh reading it, as did our German prisoners of war.

Mort was apparently a lovely man. I’ll truly miss having someone around to make my breakfast and shine my shoes.

I’ve read that war is a horrible tragedy, although I’m having a blast and I hope you can make it through this difficult time.

Remember there is always a bright side.

I mean … you’re single again.

Sincerely,

Captain M. Halkman

P.S. We lost Moore’s body. You may come search for it yourself if you want.

I’m sure this whole war debacle will blow over any day now.

P.P.S. Please send cigarettes and alcohol, any liquor will do but brandy is preferred.

Editor’s Note: End of letter one.

Dear Maryann,

Things are going well in New Mexico, but I will admit I miss you and the kids.

Dr. Hollingsworth and the generals have made it extremely clear that the other physicists and I can’t discuss what we’re working on, but I’m certain you’ll get news of it soon enough.

Soon enough, there will be a vast amount of rumors about what we do here in the desert of New Mexico, on a closed military base.

I have not been making a lot of friends down here.

Everyone’s been avoiding me since one of my experiments allegedly gave half the assistants radiation poisoning.

I’m not sure what all the fuss is about, graduate students come a dime a dozen and if they didn’t want me to play with the uranium they shouldn’t have left it unattended.

It’s not like I was looking for the stuff either, someone had just left a clump of it on a table in the mess hall.

Poisoning is such a strong word too. It’s not like I did it on purpose. 

All that happened was that a few people’s hair fell out and a few red spots appeared on their skin.

People are so concerned about their physical appearance these days.

Oh, the vanity.  

My hairline has been receding since college but you don’t see me moaning or demanding medication.

Iodine is expensive! Our funding is precarious as is.           

Anyway, I’ll try to be home by March but no promises.

I’ll also try to get a present for the kids but all that’s down here is classified material and irradiated sand.

Love You,

Herman

P.S. If the KGB calls, just hang up.

Editor’s Note: End of letter two.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan,

As you may have noticed, your son William, has not been home for the past several days.

Do not fret.

Your son is safe in the hands of the U.S. government.

You see we have reason to suspect that William, or Billy as you call him, is what we in the intelligence community call a “Communist.”

As you might know we must always be vigilant of those who seek to undermine our democracy and our American values.

That is why we have detained Billy and will only release him when we see fit.

You may be wondering how the red menace infiltrated your home and seduced your seemingly innocent son.

Well the problem lies in your son’s affinity for “rock n’ roll” albums and association with unsavory types at “local teenage hangout.”

This so called “rock n’ roll” music is a scourge which is indoctrinating many youths across the nation and is well received by Fidel Castro himself who holds many concerts in the middle of Havana at all hours of the night.

If your son is shown not to be an agent of the dreaded Soviet Union then expect him to be returned before the following school year.

If he is to shown to be a traitor … well … federal prison isn’t so bad, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan.

Sincerely,

Agent Mark Freedman

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