I Fry a Mean Egg

Private Arlington A. Forist

[stationery header]


Sunday April 18, 1943

5:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’ll start in where I left off yesterday. When I quit writing I intended to write more before I mailed it out. I walked back to the battery and got here in time for dinner. I had bread, butter, potatoes, cocoa, and cookies, I think. It wasn’t much of a meal. After dinner I shaved, cleaned my teeth and washed. I had to shine up my buttons some more. They tarnish over night since I have started to shine them. I got no mail at mail call. Finally just as I was leaving, I got your registered letter with the check. For the last 3 days my mail came in 2 days but I didn’t get any today. I already had the partly written letter in my pocket. The three of us started out to get some film first. We had a camera which Haxton had borrowed. On the way uptown we passed the post office so I decided to get the check back to you as soon as possible. I signed it, wrote that last line to the letter and got it registered and sent it out. So that’s why that letter ended so abruptly. I didn’t want to carry that check around and maybe lose it. Nobody could cash it but I still wouldn’t care to lose it. I never did get any more written yesterday. After I mailed that we went up to get some film. We had a 620 camera but nobody had film. That’s as scarce as meat now I guess. One store had some 120 film so the lady sent Haxton over to the Hospitality House for service men to borrow a 120 camera. They lend cameras to service men but they didn’t have any left so we went on without the film. I wish we could have gotten some so we could have taken a few pictures. Anyway we caught the electric bus and rode out to Golden Gate Park. These buses look like a motor bus but they run with a trolley wire overhead the same as streetcars do. They are quiet but have a lot of pickup. They look strange going down the street. Fare is 7 cents per person. The ride took us clear across town and I only confirmed my first opinion of San Francisco. So far as I am concerned it is the most unattractive place I’ve been in. It is all hills. It is built on seven hills I understand. The buildings are all old and there is no appearance of neatness like you see back home. The streets are thrown in at every kind of angle and up, down and around the hills. The trip has a lot of variety but isn’t very interesting. The people don’t live like real people in houses with lawns and flowers. They all seem to live in apt’s and double houses crowded together. The buildings all seem old with these window seats/boxes like sticking out in front. The streets are the roughest you could imagine. Oh yes we love beautiful San Francisco. We got off at the end of the bus line near the park and Kezar Stadium. I remember hearing of this stadium when I was back home. I think it is where they used to play the east-west all star football games. We tried to get some film there but there was none so we left the camera at a drug store. They tell us the army gets most of it so if we ever want any again I guess we will have to go to any army camp. Then we started out. I made real progress forward yesterday. Yes indeed. Junior learned to ride a bicycle. Yes believe it or not. We rented three bicycles from a shop near the park. We had to put $10 down on them first. Oh boy. We started out or rather they did. I got on to it pretty fast though and after the first couple of times I did all right. I tipped over into the bushes along the path a couple times but I didn’t do so bad for the first time I ever rode one. Of course I was a little timid about it and most of the time they were ahead of me and then they would wait for me to catch up. We rode through the park clear down to the beach. Finally I saw the Pacific Ocean but it isn’t any more impressive nor half so beautiful as Little Traverse Bay I think. The park is supposed to be the largest in the world. It covers a huge area and it is the only nice thing that I’ve seen in Frisco. There are tennis courts and all kinds of recreation facilities imaginable. Vast stretches of mowed lawns are all around. There are beautiful trees and wild flowers all around. I really think you would enjoy it and I wish I could have gotten a few pictures. I can’t describe it the way I’d like to and I’ve forgotten a lot of the little things that would be interesting. If I wrote as I went along like I did on the train I would do better. Anyway it seemed like I was back in nature again like we used to be when we were up north on our trips. For a little while the army and the war was in the background. We didn’t spend much time at the beach. We got some ice cream. I had a chocolate milk shake, and then started back. The beach is very sandy and is quite nice. Nearby is a setup like Pine Lake. They have all types of rides and other entertainments (?). We rode on back the way we came. Coming out it was mostly down hill so you can see I worked going back. In all we rode from about 2:15 until nearly 5:00. It cost us 80 cents apiece which wasn’t too bad. I got a little sore down under but I really did pretty well. The only thing was I got my O.D.’s a little dirty and I sweat the creases out of a brand clean O.D. shirt. Otherwise everything went O.K. Still if I ever go out there again I intend to walk. There are a great many things to see which I didn’t see but would like to. I don’t suppose I’ve given you much of an idea about things but I’ve tried. There are a lot of museums, aquariums, zoos, etc. which ought to be pretty interesting. Maybe I’ll get out there again sometime. After we turned in the bikes we got the camera. Then we hit another ice cream store. I got a chocolate soda this time. Finally we caught the electric bus and came back over the same route through town to our camp here. We had a pretty fair afternoon but I spent all my time pedaling and I might have seen some of the things. On the whole though I enjoyed it quite a bit and got some exercise which is something I really need. Incidentally last night with all my clothes on and my light shoes I weighed 160. That seems pretty heavy to me but maybe its right. We got back to camp in time to get some supper. I had potatoes, salad, no turnips, bread, butter, cold drink and jello. Then about 6 o’clock we went on downtown. We walked around some and waited for another guy who didn’t show up so finally we went to a show at the Paramount Theatre – 60 cents for service men (yi!). The show was very good though – “The Hard Way” with Ida Lupino, Dennis Morgan, and Joan Leslie (of Detroit) and “Tahiti Honey” with Dennis O’Keefe and Simone Simone. There was a lot of music and I liked it. After the show we each got hamburgers (and I’m pretty sure it was real hamburger). Then we went up to the Service Men’s Hospitality House and watched the jitterbugs for a little while. We finally headed for the barracks and got in at about 11:30. I looked for more mail but didn’t find any. Then I headed for bed. I put my name on the wake up list to be sure I wouldn’t oversleep. You see there is no reveille on Sunday and they sleep late. I asked to be woke at 6:45. I was wakened at 6:30. I got up, dressed, and washed. Breakfast is at 8 on Sundays but we have to be to work by then so we got our own breakfasts. We fried our own eggs. I fried two and had them, a box of Quaker Rice Flakes, plenty of milk, bread, butter and a banana which I ate during the morning on the job. I fry a mean egg. Personally I think they were better than the ones the cooks fry. We rode to work at about 7:45. The day went along quite fast. There wasn’t too much doing because of foggy weather but just enough to keep us busy. Dinner was potatoes, gravy, peas, salad, bread, butter, and 2 or 3 pieces of ice cream. The afternoon went along O.K. I took my stationery along but didn’t write. They went on Orange #1 alert at San Diego for about 10 minutes but it didn’t last. The Navy had a flight of 45 bombers & fighters up this afternoon. What must a thousand be like? They have been on their toes the last 2 days because it is one year since Doolittle bombed Tokyo and they were afraid of reprisals. We got off at 4 and Bartlett and I walked back. We got back in time for early chow. I had potato salad, bread, butter, cheese and pears. After supper I loafed until mail call but didn’t get any mail. Then I started writing this. Bartlett suggested a show but I declined because I had a letter to write and I wanted to get my sleep. I’ll have to stand reveille all this week. That at long last catches you up with me again. Flash – after months the ratings came through for the three experienced men – hey Pfc. ratings. Boy what a promotion. One guy had his stripes on today and he only got the rating yesterday. That stripe has gone to his head. Personally I think it is an insult but in a month they are supposed to get a promotion. It will take me 3 months to get Pfc. at that rate. Then tonight I find 2 fellows here from Benicia. One was a private when I was there. He’s been in 4 months and just got his corporal’s stripes. The Cadres are moving out of my old battery and the kids I came in with are getting the ratings. I swear. I get the short end of it everywhere I go. There must be a pot of gold somewhere but I’m beginning to wonder. One fellow is from Regimental and when I mentioned my name he says I remember you. I corrected your paper for that college test and you got the highest in the regiment. I says yeh, and then I’m made a steady K.P. If I had been put on one of the range section devices I’ll be willing to bet I’d have made T/5 as soon as these kids who came out here with me. Nobody know nothing about college. They aren’t breaking anyone in for my place so I guess I’m not going anywhere. Personally I feel as if I have had a pretty raw deal but maybe in the long run I’ll come out ahead. My job is supposed to be a T/5 or Corporal so far as I know but when is something else. Now to get these letters answered. I went through your Mon. letter once but maybe I have missed something. I think you get my letters faster when I mail them at the Exchange. I was at the store more than I was at college. I wasn’t there long enough to be a rah rah boy. No dill pickles are as good as yours. I don’t use the bread elevator so much but occasionally. Your bet my clothes get dusty and I imagine my overcoat will be pretty dirty when & if I wear it again. A person can fire an MI rifle left handed. There are some guns that you can’t do that with. I still haven’t fired and don’t intend to although I think I would enjoy it just for the fun of it. Bartlett made expert with the rifle and automatic rifle. You bet I remember the frost at M.S.C. I realize now it was even prettier than I thought then. Officers get short leaves + traveling time but I don’t appear to be in line for a furlough any more than I am for a rating. Believe it or not they are just about as hard to get because we are away from our batteries but only attached here. That answers the letter I got Thurs. Now to your Tues. letter I got Friday. What a pay check. I’m glad you can get all the butter & cheese you want. That was nice of Thelma. I’ll write when I get the candy. The boys heard me snore and told me when I woke up. It is O.K. to sleep on the job. Allowance is made and we have enough on duty so we can take turns. The captain sleeps all night. The mice didn’t damage my grip any. My foot locker is O.K. but if I go back to the battery someday I’d have to get rid of it probably. I have no desire to go back. I might or might not get ahead faster there but I want to go forward not back. Yes, I’m guilty. I quit writing that time to go to a show but you still get at least a short letter every day even then so I’m keeping my word. I may go to a show tomorrow night. I haven’t been skating. After riding a bicycle 2 ½ hours I think I better take time out to recuperate. I’d like to get those boys on a tennis court but neither plays. That’s your Tues. letter. Now the Wed. registered one I got yesterday. The paper looks proper but my writing isn’t so hot. A $200 bond would cost $150 but you would probably have to buy two $75 bonds. Put it either in both our names or in your name. I don’t think much of the idea of buying it from Iowa although it may be perfectly safe. You talking of getting stickers for the window. How times have changed. I’ll be private for quite some time. I wrote to Mrs. C. on some of the paper she sent. I’ve hoped to be sent near home too but I don’t know how it will all come out. I have my spoons yet but someone has borrowed my G.I. spoon. You are right. I don’t know what I do want but I want to get someplace before long. Bartlett isn’t such a bad sort however I’ve known fellows I liked better. Until something changes my opinion, I still rate Julius as the best. I’d like my tennis shoes if I knew I were to be in one place very long but as it is they would be just something more to carry around. It doesn’t seem as if you could be having snow there although we have some nippy weather here at times. I couldn’t get to Los Angeles and back in 32 hours and have time to see anything. I haven’t heard from Ewing or Francois but they don’t know where I am I imagine. I haven’t spent much time in the dimestores so I haven’t noticed rugs. Usually when I go to town it’s at night. I do walk back from work or to work but I don’t dare to dally too long because after all I am out without a pass. Frisco is pretty big but it is very unattractive I think. There are supposed to be 1 ½ million people in the bay area. I saw by the headlines that Harmon is O.K.

Well I’ve got a real letter written once again. It’s 10 and I still need to wash up and shave so I’ll start to stop. Do the think [thing?] you think best with the check. I hope you get it O.K. Don’t take the draft too seriously. I never did which was good. If I had worried about it I would just have spoiled my chances for fun and a good time while I was at home.

Well good night and be careful.


Love to you all

Private Arlington Ardeane Alexander Forist


These letters haven’t bee censored, the envelopes just got stuck a little.

The Hairless Marvel

[stationery heading]


Pepsi-Cola Center for Service Men & Women

948 Market Street

San Francisco, California


Saturday April 17, 1943


Dear folks,

I’m writing the beginning of this down here. I have a 32 hour pass. I came out to get a haircut so I am staying out until I think the Saturday inspection is over. I imagine that note I wrote last night sounded pretty dismal but when I was writing it I really had a dilly of a headache. That was around 9 o’clock. I don’t know what caused it but it began to be noticeable around supper time. I had to do a little plotting on the board which I don’t like to do and maybe that helped. Supper wasn’t much help last night either. We had beans, tomatoes fixed with bread which seems to be the G.I. style, bread, butter, pickles, cookies and coffee cake that one of the ladies brought in. That butter is beginning to pay dividends. After supper I thought I better write you a note before I began to feel any worse. I sure didn’t say much but it was a letter (?). I’ll re-answer that Mon. letter and try to do a better job. My head felt pretty lousy until around 10. Bartlett wanted me to go down and get some cocoa with him. I finally decided to go. The cocoa and doughnuts and being away from the job I guess sort of relaxed me or something. Anyway I began to feel better and by midnight my headache was just about gone. I walked back to camp with the other two fellows. I as usual looked for mail and I found your Tues. Apr. 13 letter so the mail is coming through swell again. I also got letters from Hugh and a card & note from Eva. I didn’t bring your letters with me so I can’t answer them now but I’ll answer them later. I read my mail and then went to bed. Charles is in a medical detachment at Temple Texas – McClaskey Hospital (I think). He is mourning the fact that he can’t get into combat training. Some people don’t know when they are well off although I wouldn’t trade places with him. Gramp is feeling O.K. again now. I guess he isn’t ever going to write to you about his birthday dollar. Hugh is very absent minded. I got a letter last week from McCoy then in this one he says he has been there 2 weeks but this is the first chance he has had to write. His regiment has been split. The old one is now part of the 2nd Army. He is in the new half and expects to leave soon. He doesn’t say where but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up driving the Alaska Highway. He said none of us would ever go over. I hope he doesn’t but then it’s hard to tell. The 101st is supposed to be stuck so as long as we are in it we aren’t going anywhere. I hear it takes 6 months for a rating but I hope to be far behind a text book before 6 months on this job have passed. I now have 3 weeks behind me. I’ll tell you more about the letters when I have them where I can look at them as I write. I got to bed at about 1 I guess. I got up at about 8:20 this morning just in time for breakfast. I didn’t do much sleeping after 6:15 though because the others were all laying out their equipment for inspection. I’ll have to stand it again next Sat. Personally I don’t like the idea of laying out my stuff and leaving it all day. It’s too handy. Nothing has turned up missing since the coat hanger until today. I reach for my knife, fork and spoon and no spoon. I have had them hanging on a nail. Whether someone knocked it off while cleaning and didn’t know where it belonged or whether someone needed one I don’t know. If someone borrowed it for inspection it may be back by tonight. I have to have one for next inspection. Last week someone borrowed a pair of my shoes for inspection. When I came in to go to sleep they were gone, when I woke up they were back. I guess I had too much shine on them. If I were like the rest I’d pick up the first spoon I see but I don’t work that way. Of course mine isn’t marked which is my fault and isn’t so good. Anyway for breakfast I had toast, scrambled eggs, rice flakes, and grapefruit. I made up my bed, dusted off my shoes and then left so I wouldn’t be around for inspection. I got a haircut, the first one since Feb. 24 and my 3rd in the army. You should see me – the hairless marvel. Oh it’s not too bad, but there are some short hairs that stick up in back like they used to when I was a little guy. It cost me 65 cents same as it did Dad. The radio is playing “Easter Parade” and it sure takes me back to a lot of Easters – the one when I put on Little George’s brown suit and thought I was all dressed up and last time when I put on my own green suit and was dressed up. This year I have my choice of O.D. shirt and O.D. pants or O.D. pants with an O.D. shirt. The well dressed man also wears an O.D. cap piped in scarlet with an O.D. blouse tapered at the waist. Boy my buttons look pretty bad. Every time I shine them they look worse the next day. If you ask me this G.I. junk is getting cheaper and cheaper. Ain’t I enthusiastic about the army, though. The remark that best exemplifies the typical L.S. man is – I don’t want to get ahead, I want to get out! After I got trimmed I just took my time and walked down here and then I decided I’d write a little. The three of us have talked about going out to Golden Gate Park this afternoon. It seems to be a pretty nice day so we may go. It’s 10:45 now so the inspection ought to be over by the time I get back. I guess I am the official waker-upper for my shift. Well I’ll cut this short for now. I’ve got you back on my track with me and you are up to 11:00 a.m. I sort of got you sidetracked last night. So long for now until I see you on the next installment. This is some pretty stationery, I don’t think you’ll think. So do I.

Just got check so am sending it right back. Son

My Spirits Were Under the Linoleum

Saturday March 27, 1943

Columbia Square in San Francisco, 3:30 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am but I don’t know exactly where or why as yet. Anyhow I have moved and if the work is no better, the surroundings are at least so that is something.

Last night after I finished that letter, I mailed it and went right to bed. I slept plenty sound too until 4:30 when the flashlight came through as usual. My campaign against whistles now includes flashlights also. I got up and dressed and went and washed a little. I was too tired last night. When I finished I went back and lay down again until the guy came after us again. Then I had to go to work. For breakfast I had pancakes, scrambled (G.I.) eggs, rice krispies and milk. Then after breakfast I started cleaning the dining room. I quit for a few minutes to take breakfasts over to a couple fellows in the dispensary. Then I went back to work on the dining room. I’m telling you we were all shot this morning. There were just the 4 steady K.P.s and the sum of our ambition wasn’t enough for one good man. I thought I never would get that dining room finished and as it turned out I didn’t. I scrubbed all the tables, took time out for a couple doughnuts and 2 or 3 glasses of milk. Then I swept and mopped the floor. That took me until 9:30 or so. Suddenly the phone rang and at last I heard, “Forist report to the office on the double.” Boy I had been waiting for that and I really lost no time. My orders were to pack everything and be ready to leave after dinner for San Francisco. I shaved, cleaned my teeth, took a bath, got my laundry and put on some clean clothes. Then I began to pack. I didn’t know I had so much stuff. I had to discard what old State Journals I had left although I hadn’t read them. I didn’t want to after you paid the postage all the way out here but I didn’t have the room. You see I had to bring my comforter and 2 blankets and those plus all my other clothes and equipment filled both barracks bags. I also had my grip filled with my toilet articles, books, a few candy bars I had left from that last box, etc. I ate early chow at 11:30 – potatoes, macaroni salad, cold tomatoes, bread, blackberry jam, and cocoa. Then I went to see one of the fellows who works at Reg. Headquarters to see if he knew what was cooking. He said he found an order which had been misplaced evidently. I was supposed to have reported here yesterday according to him. He says I am getting a break. I hope so. I got 3 letters today; your Sat., Sun. & Mon. letter p. marked Tues. and Gram’s letter mailed at the same time. That brings me back up to date again. That is only 4 days and that is good for regular mail. I also got a letter from Amelia in answer to the card I sent to her. At 12:30 I loaded up my stuff and started out. They stopped me on the way out and told me to leave my rifle. I was glad to get rid of it. The 1st/sgt gave me a talk on how to dress and to keep neat and all that stuff he is always spouting. Finally I got started. Two other fellows on pass rode along with me and the driver. We went all the way to Frisco in a jeep. It didn’t take us long either but it was a pretty windy ride. I got in here about 2:00 I guess. I unloaded my stuff and reported with my special order to the office. I was shown a bunk in the barracks. I got out my clothes, hung them up, shined my shoes up a little and here I am. One of the first things I had to do was take my insignia patches off my shirt and blouse. They can’t wear them here yet. They are wearing the 4th army four leaf clover here. So I did that much sewing for nothing. I still don’t know what I will do for sure. I am here on special duty (until my turn for college comes up maybe). They tell me I probably will work in the office but that is not definite. I imagine I’ll find out when they want to tell me. I don’t know exactly in which part of Frisco this is but it is very near the heart I believe. Our buildings are in Columbia Square. I don’t know what my address is as yet. It is very nice here. There is nice grass lawn all around and the buildings are more attractive. The barracks is swell. It doesn’t have the barn-like appearance of Benicia Barracks. This is Brigade Headquarters Battery. We have double deck bunks here but I am on the bottom. I left my foot and wall lockers in Benicia. I really need a foot locker so I may have to build one. I may be here a couple weeks and I may be here several months. No one seems to know. They have a full day here but since I am on special duty I may not get all of it. That’s something else I don’t know yet. They have reveille and also retreat which I haven’t had since I was at Custer. Retreat is at sundown so that may get later, maybe not. Whether I will get K.P. and guard I don’t know either. There are men stationed here permanently who probably get all of that. You see I am still a part of a battery, 501st. There is no fence around this place but we still can’t walk out. Passes are one 6 hour & one 12 hour a week with a 24 hour every two weeks. That is good. They have full field inspections every Saturday. That is bad. That’s about all I know. I don’t know if I’ll like the setup or whatever I’ll be given to do but I do like the place itself. As I’ve said so much, time will tell. It doesn’t make any difference anyway what one wants, it is best to take it easy because you’ll get what they want you to get and when they want it. Maybe everything will work out all right. I guess I get impatient but boy my spirits were under the linoleum this morning. I hope they won’t give me too much clerical work to do but I guess I can get along. The men here are mostly from Minnesota I guess. One fellow said these college trainees have come to [from?] Oregon, Mich. & Minnesota. I still think I am in on that college training and that they just want me here until I come up for that. Maybe I am wrong but I was put in class I which will be the last one to go probably. That college program outlined there in the paper is tough but I guess I could handle it (?) Whew 15 hours of Physics. That’s an awful lot. I guess there is no doubt that a person has to be in the groove on that kind of a setup. The point is though, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. A lot of the fellows here are at least Pfcs. Most of them are experienced men but a few are L.S. Well that’s all I know at present. There goes a bugle.

Back at 6:30. It was for supper. They blow a bugle every time one turns around it seems. I have been talking to several fellows. One fellow is from Rogers City, Mich., another from Massachusetts, another from Utah. The kid over me is a Kelly from New York. I guess it’s like it is everywhere. The men are from all over. Supper was pretty good – potatoes, gravy, carrot & raisin salad, apple sauce, lemon pie, cocoa, raisin & white bread, butter & jam. The food is on the table like at Benicia. The tables here are covered with oilcloth and it seems more homelike. When we are through eating we bring our dishes with us and pass along by some tubs. Each of us washes his plate & cup and thus saves a lot of work for the K.P.s. I am told that so long as I am on Special Duty I won’t get guard or K.P. I happened to be seated across from a fellow at supper who is on S.D. from Bat Q. I had heard his name a lot back there. He has been on S.D. for 5 months so I may be here a long time. He is a graduate chemist from Purdue & he expects to leave for school soon. He thinks I may go to work in the stock exchange where he is now. He is a really intelligent talking person. I may not be up for this college stuff for quite awhile so maybe I am getting a break at last. I think it is about time. Boy I’ll have to be pretty sharp by next Sat. They got a lot of them on today’s inspection for little things. Well I guess I’ve told all I can about what has happened today. I’ll know definitely what I’m doing in a day or so no doubt.

Now to my mail. Amelia says they are working Russell pretty hard. Fred is in New York at a seamanship school. He is working for a rating. Johnny is still in Duluth but he is going into the air patrol. Fred is one of 6 who were sent to school so he is doing all right for himself.

I have about four letters from different ones to answer but I’ll wait until I find for sure about this address and things.

Well at last I got your letter and it caught up 3 days at once so I haven’t lost any mail. I guess they must have a plug between me and me that catches my letters. I get around to write at least one page as you have seen by now. For gosh sakes don’t ever let Dad work like that again. Jones is interested in Jones. You know that. Didn’t Dad get anything for doing all that work? You tell Jones to go hunt up another man. He won’t make up Dad’s lost pay. That’s too hard on dad. Gee he must have hurried like he did on Gramps garden or when he was mowing his lawn. After all we come first (the 5 of us). Let Jones solve his own problems. Let him get a woman to do the work. It makes me feel awful to think that happened. I sure hope Dad is on his feet again by now. I didn’t think the car would be worn out in 3 months. Make it last until I can drive it again. One thing though. Money will buy more cars. You should do more driving. I think I’ll get to be a jeep driver (joke). I don’t blame you for not being cheerful when Dad comes home looking like that. He was worse that I the day I went to the circus. That shows me one thing. He definitely isn’t fit for the army, even L.S. I guess Dad and I will always be biff bangers [??]. It is just natural. It was a shame to lose those 4 gallons but if you couldn’t help it that’s that. Conditions alter situations or something. You don’t think they are going to tax you to pay $200 to a lot of old ducks when we are getting only $50. Counting our food & everything we don’t get over $80 a month. Don’t let Dad tell you what to do. If he is sick I want to know it. Boy you really were sort of on the spot but I guess things will be O.K. Right now I can’t place any Kenneth Greer. I may remember him later. I am glad they pulled the plug on the mail. I sure am glad my watch got there O.K. I imagine you have the other 2 packages by now and I hope you will like that 64 package. If those letters made dad feel any better maybe it is good they were held up a little. I didn’t get in any noisy crowds in Frisco. It seems very peaceful here tonight. We are sitting right here in this square in the city with no fences or nothing. My hands are coming O.K. The old dead skin is coming off now. It was worth it to miss nearly a week of that K.P. Just one thing worries me. I am afraid they’ll put me in a clerical job that I can’t handle. Still they know what I can & can’t do I guess. Maybe I’ll be given a job entirely different from that. The reason it cost me more to send the watch is simple. The postage was 24 cents but I insured it for $75 which cost 25 cents. The one he sent was insured for much less. Now do you see? The insurance made the difference. Don’t worry about sending me candy for awhile. I have money and you are going to be a little flat for awhile. Sure I write nice letters when I get a chance. Look at this one for instance. They aren’t like the ones I wrote at McCoy though. You were right. That red shirt was green but I didn’t get it anyway. Now I feel I deserve a little credit for Dad’s feeling a little better but I’ll give you 99% of the credit. Now let’s see what answers Gram’s letter needs. Walt better appreciate his porch and everything that goes with it. He won’t be seeing it much longer I’m thinking. I guess Babe is always ready to go to bed. Gee you can’t afford to let carrots or parsnips spoil with things like they are. I had it figured out that you would get all the butter you needed but maybe I was wrong. I forgot and stuck my arm in the water with my watch on but it didn’t do any damage I guess. It is running a little slow I believe. I still have my ring on. It isn’t so bad but what I can wear it O.K. Say mom did you notice Bob Munroe’s picture in that one clipping you sent? If I were in Custer I’d be home every other weekend. Orson Wells is in terrible shape. We are getting sliced bread again too. The army even had to slice its bread for awhile. The turkey was roasted. The breast is light but not so white as chicken. I like it when it is really cooked. $4 a bushel for parsnips sounds like Calif. prices. The rent can’t be raised now without gov’t permission. Mom has the ceiling rent statement.

Well that’s the mail for today. Its 8:30 and I think I’ll go to bed early for a change. I can sleep until 7:30 tomorrow.

I am not sure about this address but it should get the mail here O.K. and faster than waiting for it to be forwarded.


Pvt. ———

Bat. A 501st C.A. (A.A.)

C/O Hdq. Bat. 101st/C.A. Brigade (A.A.)

Columbia Sq. San Francisco Calif.


Of course mail sent to Benicia will be forwarded. I am not going to send out a change of address to everyone until I am sure of staying here awhile. Write as often as you can.




He Would Clean Toilets If He Could Be In Indiana

Friday March 26, 1943

8:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well I’m back. I bet that letter I wrote this morning didn’t make a lot of sense. I must have been about ½ asleep at the time. I just couldn’t bear to have my string of letters to you broken so although it was written at 3 a.m. Fri. it was your Thurs. letter, see! I want you to have one from each day. I didn’t get any time to write so finally I just took it. When I finished that note I went back to work and we finished the mess at about 15 to 5. I just lay down on the table seats as did the others and we went to sleep. The tables are made something like roadside tables. Come to think of it you have a picture of them at McCoy. These are the same. I woke up at 5:30 when the mess sgt. came. He found out that we had worked all night and told us to go to bed. You can bet we didn’t argue. I didn’t even wait for breakfast. All I ate was an orange. I went to bed and finally got to sleep. I was awakened at about 10 to go on a detail to take the dishes back to Richmond. I missed the truck so I went back to sleep until about 11:30 when I had to go on K.P. again – about 5 hours sleep in all. We got off at 10 to 8 tonight, but it was because we had 9 K.P.s. 3 volunteered to work this morning, there was the 4 steadies and 2 extra duty men. Tomorrow afternoon there will be only 3 of us so it won’t be early tomorrow night. My next pass will be about Monday noon I imagine. Oh to be on a train headed east right now. My back is very tired and I wrenched my ankle today and that is pretty sore. I swear, everything happens to me it seems. For dinner I had potatoes, salad, spinach, tomatoes (I don’t like to have them put sugar in them but they do), bread, butter, and peaches. I worked in the kitchen just about all day and we did get chances to sit down a couple minutes now and then. Supper was spaghetti, peas, salad, bread, butter & doughnuts. We really percolated after supper and we finished in about 1 ½ hours. As soon as I got through I shined my shoes and straightened up my locker. I hear there is some kind of inspection coming soon. Now I am in the day room writing. This day like the rest fits right into the groove and there is nothing interesting to tell. I wait each day for a notice to leave but it may not come for weeks. I prick up my ears every time the phone rings but I guess patience is the best policy. If I didn’t have this to look forward to, K.P. and the whole setup would get pretty discouraging at times.

Now I want to know what’s wrong. Are you sick or what? I don’t get excited or start worrying easily, but my mail is way behind. The most up-to-date letter I have is your last Fri. Mar. 19 which I got on Mon. the 22nd. That was good speed but since then all I have gotten are the Wed. & Thurs. letters mailed before that. In other words I am now a whole week away from you. I got nothing at all today. Of course there is probably a reason somewhere but I hope it isn’t because you are sick or something. One of the cooks said he didn’t get any letters for 3 weeks and then he got 16 all at once. His home is only in Los Angeles so maybe I shouldn’t worry. Now to answer your Thurs. Mar. 18 letter I got yesterday. It was sent to San Bruno Cal. Why I don’t know.  That was some cinder. This morning my eyes felt like they had cinders in them and they are getting a little rough now. I am going to get to bed as soon as I can. That drafting women idea must be quite on the fire by the way you write. I never buy a paper so I don’t hear much. Butter rationing is about all I know about. 16 rationing points per person a week for meats & fats and 8 pts. for a lb. of butter so if you use 3 lbs. a week it will take ½ of your points. That is not too bad. You don’t eat much meat anyway. I wouldn’t worry about being sent anywhere. I have all the boxes but I should hear pretty soon if you get my watch and the box of junk and that surprise package. Gee I’d like to know. Of course if you have written then don’t worry. I’ll get it in time. That’s the trouble with the bananas on the market now. They rush them out green. Ours we had here were ripe. Well we will have plenty to eat as long as we can get it but we go on field ration next week. We are on garrison ration now. I’ll explain the difference when I have more time. We will have as much maybe more to eat but not so much variety. A lot of spinach and green stuff like that. That was very nice of Miss Lang I am sure. I guess it won’t take very long for me to get back in that old home groove. I suppose I will have some changes but I doubt if they will be marked. Let’s not worry. I’ll be home the first chance I get and I ain’t kiddin’ either. This tough hard way you mentioned makes us all appreciate home. To show you they typical feeling, one sgt. said he would clean toilets if he could be in Indiana. You are right. I does do something to a person to be away from home but I guess I can take it if you can. If I have changed the one I know about is that I want to do a little traveling and see things. My curiosity has been aroused. My self confidence is improving too. Oh if I can only get this training and make good. Bachman was to get 3 months. I imagine if I can hold it up I’ll get 2 years which ought to be the duration the way I look at it. Now you see why I feel the way I do. Yes I knew Walt Kuhn all through Jr. & Sr. high schools. He came from Russia. I think you’ll find these men who are killed in crashes are air corps men & not just anybody. Bachman went alone by train to Mich. You better hold that check unless there is a deadline for cashing because if I should leave here and go very far, it would take a long time for me to get it. I think those underwear shirts with the short sleeves are best. When it is really hot you can take off your outside shirt and still be respectable. About a 34 or 36 shirt fits me. I wear 30 army shorts but I don’t know if that would be big enough or not. This war has every one of us gloomy but it won’t last forever. Someday it will all be just an unpleasant memory.

I hope to be able to send you good news as much as you hope to get it. It seems I should hear something in the next week or two if I am ever going to. Of course you can’t rush the army.

Well this is a little more like a letter. I never know how much time I’ll have from day to day but I’ll do my best again next time whether its 1 page or 10 you know the spirit is there.


Love to you all



I sure hope I get some mail tomorrow.

A Heck of a Note

Friday March 26, 1943

3:20 a.m.


Dear folks,

This is your Thurs. letter although I didn’t get a chance to do any writing on Thurs. itself. That is the first day I’ve really missed but this will count O.K. because it will go out tomorrow morning the same as if I had written it last night. I haven’t been to bed since this morning and in all probability I won’t get to bed until tonight at the usual time. That’s a nice shift. 4:30 Thurs. until about 8:30 or 9 Fri. night – that’s only about 40 hours. K.P. is great stuff. We still have a stack of dishes left. You see we had that dinner party tonight and they borrowed about 1000 dishes from Richmond. I was up at 4:30 but I slept until 5:30. I decided I’d get all the sleep I could. Breakfast was French toast, oatmeal or Farina I can’t remember which and grapefruit. I cleaned the refrigerator and store room and did a little of everything during the day including helping to shell a crate of peas. Dinner was potatoes, string beans, corn I think, bread, butter, ovaltine and plums. Boy we have jumped all day and I am tired. Supper was steak, potatoes, corn, those peas, salad, bread, butter & tomatoes fresh. I am just taking time off to write this. The way I feel if they don’t like it they can do the next best thing. Thank goodness this is the last of these dinner parties. We go on field actions April 1. I finally got that Thurs. Mar. 1 letter today. It had been sent by mistake to San Bruno Cal., wherever that is. Now my mail is all up to date to last Fri. Since it is now Fri. my mail is one week in the past. Is anything wrong? Maybe some more of it has gone to San Bruno. I’ll answer your Thurs. letter when I can get time. The Bachman boy finally left at 9:47 tonight for Ann Arbor. His classes begin next Monday morning so he won’t have time to spare at all. Well this is a heck of a note (joke) but it’s the best I can do under the circumstances. I want you to understand this is Thurs., 25 (I hope that’s the right date) letter so my chain still isn’t broken. Don’t worry. I may be leaving soon, a month at the most I believe. Classes seem to begin the first of each month. Anyway good morning and love to you all. You see I keep my word.


Signing off at 3:35 a.m.

A very tired K.P.,



I hope I get some mail and that it gets back to only about 4 days instead of a week.

The Spirit is Here But the Flesh is Tired

March 24, 1943 Wed.

8:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am killing 2 birds at once. I am writing and also relaxing at the same time. I got off K.P. at about 8:30 and here I am. I’ll warn you now that I probably won’t write tomorrow. I’ll try if I can but I doubt it. I’ll be up at about 4:30 in the morning as usual. Tomorrow night at 8 they are having a big dinner party and we’ll have to work until about midnight cleaning up the debris. Only one thing can save me and that’s a notice to pack and get ready to leave and I am expecting it anytime now within the next 6 months. I am trying this in pencil to see if it will be easier for you to read. My black ink seems to make an imprint clear thru the paper that’s hard to read.

After I wrote that letter to you in Benicia last night I walked down and mailed it and then got me a snack at the bakery. Then I went back to that recreation hall until it was time for the show to open. Then I went to the show. It was “Give Out, Sisters” with the Andrews Sisters & “Night in New Orleans.” It was a pretty good show – quite funny and lots of music. There was also a newsreel and “Information Please.” When the show was over I came in to camp at about 10:30. The corporal on the gate looked at my pass and saw I had 14 hours left and let me keep it. I came in and went to bed and slept until at 15 to 5 when the K.P.’s were called. I dressed and took the pass over and gave it to the corporal and then signed in at the office. I counted the time and knew that same corporal would be back on. It’s a good thing the officer of the day wasn’t around because the guard was asleep when I went back. Then I lay down and slept until breakfast – pancakes, syrup, boiled egg, farina and that’s all. Then I came back and put on my fatigues and crawled into my bunk and tried to sleep. It seemed I had been sleeping hours and I was afraid it was past dinner time – it was 8 o’clock. I slept until 10:30 then dressed and washed. I also got a U.S. button & a C.A. button issued to me so I have that now. Dinner was roast beef, potatoes, gravy, spinach, salad, bread, butter and an orange. Then I went on to the usual routine of K.P. at noon. I waited table, cleaned spinach, and unloaded freight up to supper time. It seemed good to be handling cases of corn & peas & stuff again. Supper was stew, corn, spinach, salad, bread, butter, apple pie and Ovaltine. After supper I helped on the dishes. I fished them out of the hot water after they were washed.

9 o’clock. Boy we worked to get out of there but 8:30 was the best we could do. I am getting so I don’t mind K.P. and I can see plenty of advantages. My big kick is I don’t have time enough to write decent letters. I got no letters today. That’s 3 mail deliveries with no mail. I still haven’t got last Thurs. letter and the last one I got was your Fri. letter and here it is Wed. I should have gotten your Sunday letter today. I hear air mail is going to stop. Maybe it already has. Since I have no letters to answer that will cut the length of this letter some. Now let’s see. I have told you what I did today. I got my 24 hours off and didn’t stay away either. I think they are going to let us do that from now on. My next pass will be Sunday or Monday if I am here.

Here’s the big news. The rumor has been confirmed. This fellow, Sloma, from Headquarters battery has gone to Oregon State. He is a graduate chemical engineer from Northwestern Univ. I didn’t know him but he is from McCoy and was at Santa Rosa. Here is better news. This boy Bachman who has the master’s degree got orders to pack and get ready to leave probably tonight or in the morning. He was never with us before we got here but he was drafted in Illinois and graduated from Penn State. I never was much to envy people but I envy him. You can see why when I say he is being sent to the Univ. of Mich.  Oh do I think I wish I were in his place. Maybe things are meant to be otherwise but I can still think I’d like to be going there too. Oh boy, home only 85 miles away. I guess that’s too good to be true. Before I heard that I’d have been happy to get anywhere within 1000 miles of home but now I won’t be satisfied. I probably won’t get my orders for a couple weeks or even longer but then it might be in a day or two. They evidently are taking the college grads first so I will be down at the bottom of the list. I still think it won’t be long now. At least it gives me something cheerful to look forward to and that helps like the dickens. I should shave tonight but I think I’ll try to chisel time tomorrow off my K.P. time. I’ll need all the sleep I can get tonight.

I wonder where my mail is. I look for some at every mail time but I don’t seem to be getting it. Maybe they really have quit air mail. Boy if I could get near home I could get one day deliveries on mail. The news would still be hot. Well this is another punk letter but I am doing my best. The spirit is here but the flesh is tired or something like that. I’ll try to get a note written to you during the day tomorrow if I can. I don’t want a day to pass without writing to you. It’s my daily privilege and duty. Well good night and sometime I’ll be able to do things the way I want to and maybe we’ll be together again before the year is over. I’d like to think sooner but if I don’t build hopes they can’t be smashed. Too many of mine have been.


Love to all my people


I Comb My Hair Once in Awhile

Tuesday March 23, 1943

4 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am again. I am writing this in the service men’s recreation room in Benicia. I am on a 24 hour pass but I didn’t get started until about 3:30.

I shaved and washed and cleaned my teeth after I finished writing last night and I got to bed at about 10:45. When I came into the barracks from the latrine, everyone was sleeping but the lights were still all on. I was awakened to go on K.P. this morning at about 4:35 I believe. I made up my bed and got to work at about 5:00. Every 2 days the alert gets 3 minutes earlier so if they don’t start eating after the alert we will be getting up pretty early. K.P. today wasn’t bad: For breakfast I ate 4 eggs, bread, butter and shredded wheat. That sounds like a lot of eggs but I was really hungry. This waiting around an hour or so before eating makes me hungrier I guess. I waited on the tables and then I cleaned on them and set them. I worked in the dining room just about all morning. I also peeled a few carrots and potatoes. K.P. was very easy. It seemed as if we had a lot of spare time for a change. I got off at 11:30. I had potatoes, gravy, string beans, asparagus, salad, bread, butter, cold Ovaltine, and an orange. I ate early and changed my clothes to leave at 12. I couldn’t get my pass because all of us who hadn’t fired the rifle or who didn’t qualify had a class from 1 to 4 this afternoon. I changed back to my fatigues and spent from 1 to 3:15 doing things I did in college, making slings and sighting for shot groups. They let us who had passes leave at 3:15 so I rode in to camp and changed my clothes once more and got my pass. Three of us started out together and we got a ride into town in a small army truck. Now here I am. One fellow went to Frisco, the other is here in Benicia somewhere. I don’t know what I’ll do. I have until tomorrow noon. It is a little too late now to go to San Francisco. It would be too expensive for the time I’d have. I can’t stay in Benicia after 12:30. There is a curfew here and the M.P.’s run you out after 12:30. There is a good movie on here so maybe I’ll go to a show and then go back to camp and take a chance on sleeping until noon. If they make me go to work, well I won’t have lost anything. One of the K.P.s came in and still wasn’t put to work until noon. The other fellows are on duty when they return but we may be considered the same as cooks. We don’t get rest periods as the other men do. Oh well, I am getting used to K.P. by now. It isn’t so bad. I guess I’ll survive O.K. until I get a break if I am to get one. I heard today that all my records are gone. They were sent to Brigade Headquarters several days ago. The fellow who told me works at Reg. Hdq. and he knows quite a bit about what goes on. I just filled my pen and they have blue ink here. I told him I thought my records were all down there that Sat. for the interview. He said that might be it but they haven’t come back so I may not be staying here much longer. Your records go with you wherever you are. That would indicate they are holding them down there for some reason. If they have been sent since the interview (he wasn’t sure) that is even more encouraging.

Gee, that spinal men. is getting tough. That is the only reason I am glad I’m not at M.S.C. I am glad I’m not at McCoy. We hear that the whole 2nd Division up there has been quarantined. One fellow who used to be in the 2nd said half of his old company has been in the hospital. Am I glad I’m not there. I’ll take mud and K.P. any day over that stuff. I never heard of an epidemic of it before. I’ve heard of infantile paralysis but not that.

I see by the clipping that Walt Kuhn is a Corporal. He went in in Aug. Not so bad. I used to think it was easy to get to be a corporal but I don’t think so any more. It may be easy in the infantry but not here. I got 2 letters this noon. One [was] one of those missing letters, the Wed. Mar. 17 one. Now only the Thurs. letter is still to come. I may get that on tonight’s mail call. I hope so. I like to keep my mail coming in order so I can look forward and not backward to my mail each day. This Wed. letter must have come by regular mail or something to take a

week nearly. The second letter today was a note and some clippings from Gramp. I am sending you the letter so you can see what he has to say. It isn’t much of a letter but you see he mentioned your birthday letter. I hope that by now he has written to you. Incidentally his letter came faster regular mail than yours did by air mail.

Now to your letter. Boy you were all set on St. Patrick Day. I wish I could have been there with you. You were really all out and it makes me feel good to hear it. The alerts aren’t much. You just stand at your station or work nearby. They are a nuisance. I was out at the positions today for that rifle practice and I looked over some of the instruments. They seem awfully interesting but of course if you are on them you get air guard and marina guard and K.P. and all the rest. I still have my check. I was going to cash it today but the bank was closed when I got in here to town. I probably am as well off here as anywhere else. They tell us definitely that all of us L.S. men are permanently stationed here for the duration plus 6 months. That last 6 months will be the longest. I don’t care about the rising part. The private is as good as the rest but I want to be learning something I can use later or use to advantage now. If I have to do kitchen work I may as well learn to cook. I guess I’ll have to be patient. There is nothing else I can do. If I get in Gov’t Chem. Warfare that is part of the army and I would get my discharge as if I were in any branch. However I’ll want a job some day and doing research for the gov’t is nothing to be sneezed at. I was off St. Pat. day but on doctor’s orders. I’ll know I am going to school all right but if conditions are right, I never saw a course yet I couldn’t crack. Why should this be any different? In a classroom I have supreme confidence in myself. Maybe its conceit I don’t know but I’ve always done pretty well for myself so far. If I can’t handle it I certainly won’t have lost anything. I have a 1921 silver dollar I got in Vallejo the other day. They are pretty thick out here. I got 166. The 168 & 165 etc. are rumors but the other fellow himself told me he got 165. The boy who was said to have gone to Oregon State is still here I hear. Rumors are thick in the army. I have all the packages and I am just about broken in to those new glasses. I got some pretty sore ears at first though. I don’t really count on things too much but I have to tell myself encouraging things after all.

5 p.m. Oh I wouldn’t mind going to O.C.S. but officers have their headaches too. If I knew I wasn’t going to get college training and I was offered O.C.S. I’d take it. I don’t worry about black heads. I comb my hair once in awhile. It was short so it was easy to handle. I’ll have to get it cut pretty soon. There is a fellow who cuts hair in our barracks. I will get me a bottle of shampoo and wash my hair some nice day. We haven’t had any actual alerts for supposed enemy planes as yet. You are bound to put me in planes aren’t you. When a person goes over the hill he goes AWOL, he just leaves. To heck with being an officer if I can get some real practical training that I can use. Being an officer won’t get a job after the war is over. That covers your letter I guess pretty well

I don’t know how I should spend my time. I think I will go over to the bakery and get a snack and then take in one or two shows and go back to camp. The Andrews Sisters are on in a musical show and it ought to be pretty lively. There are 2 theaters in Benicia.

This service men’s room here is what at one time was probably a store. It has a big writing table with a typewriter, several easy chairs, a piano, a ping pong table, a radio, 2 billiard tables and lots of games and reading material. It makes a nice place to drop in to. Big headlines on the paper: Butter Frozen. That will be tough if it means rationing is next. We still get all we want. You know what it costs to feed us? $3,000 a month, $36,000 a year, about $100 a day. A little load of meat, butter, eggs and cabbage & spinach ran over $200 today. We really get good food according to men who have been in the army quite a while.

We are having a dinner here at the mess hall Thursday night so we K.P.s will be going till plenty late. After the dinner there will be a dance in another building.

These 24 hour passes are O.K. but it is expensive to go to Frisco for so short a time and there isn’t much in Vallejo or Benicia for me. A short pass will do me as much good. I don’t care to bum around like some do. I like to see interesting things and go to shows once in awhile. Well it’s about 5:30. I don’t know how interesting this letter is but it’s another page in the book. It will be 12 weeks next Sat. since I left. The winter term must be at its end and a lot of fellows won’t be going back to college this time. It seems as if Elmo’s boy could get his diploma by taking an exam like the one you sent the clipping about.

Well I am going to call this a letter and quit for today. I should get paid again next Wed. I am willing to leave here for college (only) any time after that or even before. I know I’ll get all my money eventually. I have about half of my Jan. pay left yet so I am not too much of a spendthrift.

Well good night for Tues. Mar. 23. I hope I’ll have mail waiting for me and especially that last Thurs. March 18 letter. Keep a smile on around there.


Love to my folks,



I took this paper along to write on. I didn’t know whether I’d find any. You see I intend to always write no matter where I am. Of course if I get to school you may get neglected a little. You know how things are there.

Postcard to Pop

March 19, 1943

San Francisco


Hi pop,

Just a line to you to let you get some mail. I know you won’t get any unless I write. No kidding though this traffic here makes Muskegon pretty tame. Say a sgt. from the British army just sat down on the other side of this desk. They wear their stripes the other side up from ours. I hope we never have to turn ours over. I bet you would enjoy a lot of the things there are to see around here. Take it easy.




Then I Hunted Me a Hotel Room

Friday March 19, 1943

5:50 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am in San Francisco. I am writing this in a U.S.O. run by the Salvation Army and it is a really wonderful place. If they are all like this the people’s money has gone for a good cause.

I was awakened at about 4:50 this morning. I sleepily dressed and made up my bed and went over to work at the mess hall. I helped set up the tables and then I ate – pancakes, syrup, farina, grapefruit and later an apple. After breakfast I cleared the tables and scrubbed as many as I could before time for sick call. Wed. when I was over there, the captain told me to come back today, Fri. I didn’t work Wed. but yesterday I did. When I went over, the major asked me what I had been doing and I told him working in the dining room. He very emphatically told me he didn’t want me working until my fingers were healed. They are coming fine but they are a little sore yet. So he had a fellow put bandages on 6 of them again. I went back and told them what he said and they sent me back for a written statement which I got. He said I am excused from duty until O.K.’d for duty by him. So that was all the K.P. for me for today. I went to the barracks and changed to my O.D.’s and got my dirty clothes turned in for the laundry. I could wash them myself in the machine but I don’t have time. I took it easy until they put me to doing puttering jobs, picking up trash and helping clean the day room. I ate early at 11:30 (K.P. privilege). I had potatoes, string beans, salad, bread, butter, rice and cocoa & ice cream. I was ready to go at 12 when my pass began but they wouldn’t give us our passes until after a medical inspection at 12:40. We were checked for throats, piles, flat feet, athlete’s feet, etc. That took time and I never left until 1. Then I walked in to Benicia and went to the post office. I mailed that box of junk – 81 cents, and my good watch – 49 cents by air mail insured for $75. I sure hope it gets through O.K. Then I sat down on a seat reserved for service men and waited for the bus. A fellow going to Vallejo asked me if I wanted to ride so I got a lift that far. He was going to Mare Island. At Vallejo I got a round trip ticket to Frisco on Greyhound bus – $1.30. I just about went to sleep during most of the ride. We got into Frisco at about 3:30. At first I was a little lost but gradually I got used to the set up of things. I walked around looking in windows. I found a huge Woolworth store and bought some folders -52 cents and later pennants – 16 cents. There is a tax beginning on 15 cents here in Cal. I walked several blocks and tried every military store I saw but I can’t find a U.S. lapel button to go with my crossed cannons. I did get 4 shoulder insignias $1.00 and a belt $1.75 and hooks 20 cents + 9 cents tax. I walked around until about 5:00. Then I hunted me a hotel room. I got one right next to the bus station, with bath for $2.50. Extravagant ain’t I. On my next pass I’ll have to sleep on a park bench. I got to thinking that you would probably worry about me sleeping in a hotel for fear of a fire or something but it is a modern building and the escape is just outside my door. I have a nice room with tub and sink and bed and 2 chairs and table. There is a radio that runs 30 minutes on a dime. I went up and addressed and stamped those folders for you. You will get them after this letter. I hope you will like them. I tried to pick a variety of things about Cal. & Frisco. X’s near pictures mean I have been there or have seen them. After I did my looking over I started out again. I saw this sign of the U.S.O. so here I am. I had a choc. milkshake and a piece of apple pie for a snack. I ran out of ink so I am using the pen and ink here. I am not going into much detail because I haven’t the time. When I have time to write or when I see you I can say more. This is a busy and noisy city. The streets go at crazy angles. So long as you stay on Market St. I guess you can’t get lost. Street cars are going everywhere and traffic by auto & pedestrian is heavy. There are 15 sailors for every soldier on the streets. To salute every officer would be an impossibility in these crowds. I saw an escalator in one store. The stores and the merchandise is tops but so are prices. I saw 3 or 4 shops that deal in postage stamps but I am not in a position to fool much with them now. This pen of theirs isn’t much good but I don’t know how good the ink is and I don’t want to ruin my pen. I still haven’t got my braid sewed on my hat and now I have insignias to sew on too. This U.S.O. is a big place set up like a regular living room. It has a sandwich and coffee bar. Off of it are game rooms and this writing room. There is 1 Marine, 2 soldiers and about 20 sailors writing in here. Some kid is trying to play a piano somewhere near here. It is nearing 6:30 now and the place is filling up some. I want to look around some more and then maybe go to a show. I have to be back by tomorrow noon. I’ll leave here at about 7:30 and get to Vallejo at about 8:45. That will give me about an hour to look around there before the 10 o’clock bus to Benicia. So far I have spent $8.32. That is kind of extravagant but this is my first pass and if I do ever go again I won’t be buying some of the things I did. I wanted to come because I have hopes of leaving Benicia and I wanted to see a little of Frisco first. I’ll probably never come back after the war so I may as well see what I can. This is a heck of a letter but I am keeping my word you see, a letter a day. That one I wrote last night wasn’t much either. I didn’t get any mail this noon but I may have gotten some tonight. Well so long for now. Until next time, love to you all,