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Bill Thayer

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March 12

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Collected Works
of Ducrot Pepys

Ronan C. Grady

Newburgh, N. Y., 1943

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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April 9
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p70  Femme Sandy Pepys . . . . By Pat Bergdahi

Sunday. Up betimes with a happy look on my face which is fitting for the occasion because tomorrow (Oh happy day) I am on my way to West Point — that glamorous spot on the Hudson, seething with men. For weeks the cell mates with whom I share our cozy little apartment have been getting me ready for the memorable day. My sane mate has been patiently shortening hems and taking in seams in my new dresses. My other mate watches us, an evil gleam flickering in her eye, and industriously unravels stitches while we are not watching. The stitches are coming out faster than they are going in so I will probably have nothing but strips of cloth when I pack. But this does not worry me. Dorothy Lamour has been quite successful wearing a sarong. One more day to go. Have butterflies in my stomach. My sane mate said it is just excitement. I added it might be the vitamin capsules I've been taking. My other mate, who has a limited vocabulary, merely says "Ugh".

Monday. On my merry way without mishap, leaving our cozy nest looking as if a baby tornado hit it. Had to dash back several times to retrieve articles I had forgotten, or that my other mate had thoughtfully hidden under the bed. Could not figure out why at the station so many impolite creatures were looking my way and snickering. It seems I had not removed the price tags dangling from my new coat. My sane mate promptly did so while my other mate laughed like crazy. Which is the way she should laugh. It goes with her character.

Tuesday. Arrived at this wonderful Character-Building-Home‑For-Uncle‑Sam's-Future-Army in time for Graduation Parade. Very solemn. Very impressive. Just watching the kaydets standing all that time made my feet hurt. My subconscious mind flashed back to a review I almost wrecked once when I was but a wee mite in rompers. The parade was clicking off in such fine shape everyone looked bored. Some nasty demon in my mind egged me on into adding some excitement so barreling out I went. Part of the men stopped; part of them marched on; and part of them just fell all over each other. Firm hands descended upon me from all directions and someone (I strongly suspect my own fond father) whisked me away and applied a riding crop to a vital spot. This made quite an impression on me. Parades still make an impression on me. Hop tonight was simply wunnerful! Buzzy exchanged dances with lots of kute kadets. All tall. Felt a twinge of conscience spreading lipstick around on all those nice white blouse fronts, but one can't dance cheek-to‑cheek with six‑footers when one is only five feet two in heels. When they notice it though, probably each one will think his own particular femme was responsible. Egad, my feet hurt.

Wednesday. This is the waiting‑est place I've ever visited. Uncomplaining femmes wait all over the place, wearing a resigned expression, and informing me you get used to it. At Grant Hall I wished I had taken my knitting. Not that I felt energetic or patriotic. Just thought it would be fun to while away time tripping unsuspecting victims over the yarn. I don't know where I get these fiendish ideas, but mother told me there would be days like this. So many people are getting married one would think there was nothing else to do. At the Thayer wedding parties dash over to the chapel and back every half hour — just like dental appointments. Strolling around the hotel this afternoon, visions of wedding cakes dripping frosty curleques kept popping up in front of me. One part of my conscience kept whispering "Mustn't touch", but the hungry part has a more dominant way of talking me into things. I like chocolate icing better.

Thursday. Spent day tramping around viewing the wonders of West Point and nature. Whipped up a terrific appetite, expecting to tear into a succulent steak upon our return. But what a sad disappointment Fate held in store for us. The Thayer dining room has some screwy numbering system. I think they threw our number away. We were waiting  p71 for a table for two but so was everyone else. Tried pleading with hostess, explaining about Elmer, my tapeworm, but the old vulture was not sympathetic. Even went so far as to go into a fainting act weak from hunger, but to no avail. Eventually linked up with another couple figuring four great minds like ours could beat the system. But they tricked us somehow. I don't think they even put our number on the list, which is dirty ball playing no matter how you look at it. Were still waiting hours later, beating a steady path around the hotel and back to the dining room, but no one could see me by that time because I had wasted away to nothing. The only visible part of me were my collapsed arches which didn't have enough energy left to evaporate along with the rest of me.

Friday. Airmail special delivery letter from my sane mate today. It seems my other mate has had another setback in her love life and is weeping copious buckets of tears all over the place. When the manager had to paddle down the hall to tell her it simply must stop or drastic steps would be taken, my other mate tried to pacify her. She rashly promised I'd bring her back a piece of the kissing rock to hang over the doorway like mistletoe to help her in her endeavors. Sent telegram saying I haven't yet seen famous rock but am working on it.

[image ALT: A drawing of a beautiful young woman with a large mallet in her left hand, a chisel in her right, the point in a large overhanging rock: she is preparing to hit it. Her skirt hem has a wide stripe. To our right, a young man in a snappy uniform, but with a puzzled expression, stands at parade rest — legs somewhat parted, hands crossed behind his back — with a large question mark hovering over his head. It is a cartoon of a West Point cadet and his girl at the Kissing Rock.]

". . . I'd bring her back a piece of the Kissing Rock. . ."

Saturday. Another wonderful hop tonight but I'm too sleepy to write about it. Am lying here soaking what is left of my feet in scalding water. Maybe if I stay here long enough they will dissolve and then I won't be bothered with them anymore. Maybe —

Sunday. Didn't make it to Chapel but upon wakening, muttered a quick little prayer to myself in keeping with the day: "Ah West Point, Ah sleep, Ah men." At last trekked down Flirtation Walk, tripping along in my highest heels, which make me a bit taller but don't do a thing for my comfort. Finally got a piece of the kissing rock for my other mate. It came pinging down as if to prompt some coy young miss who was being hesitant. But not so with this chick. I hadn't limped around in those high heels all morning, trying to gain height for nothing!

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Page updated: 16 Aug 12