Back In The Saddle Again

Sunday Sept. 12, 1943

1:35 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well here I am in old Fayetteville and in a few hours I’ll be back in the saddle again. I’m writing this at the U.S.O. downtown. I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday morning. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings by the way I left but it seemed like the best way to do it to me. I’d been afraid of it all week and I decided the quicker I got it over the better. I think you’ll understand what I mean. I didn’t want to get rid of anybody but leaving is something I can’t do a vey good job at. See. The train came in about 10 minutes after you left and we pulled out at about 6, so there wouldn’t have been much more time anyway. We got seats but separated. I tried to sleep but couldn’t seem to get to sleep. When it got daylight I watched the country go by. There wasn’t anything to look forward to at the end of this ride like there was going up. We got into Chicago at about 9:30 and took a cab over to the Union Station. We wandered around the station for awhile and finally got in line for our train which left at 11:25. I couldn’t find any pennants in the station. There may be some though because it’s a huge place and easy to get lost in. We got on the train at about 11. Mark had a lunch too so we had a snack. I ate 2 sandwiches and a candy bar and some olives & a pickle that he had. Then we settled back for another long ride and we both got some sleep. Illinois is pretty flat and mostly corn country except for the occasional towns and several large refineries (Texaco & Standard). We got into St. Louis at about 5:15. We walked around inside the station some and went outside for a few minutes but the boys were beginning to accumulate so we got in line for the train and got on at about 6. It was supposed to pull out at 6:30 but it was well past 7 when we left. The Pennsylvania from New York was ½ hour late and we waited for it. A lot of our boys were on it so it’s good we waited although some fellows missed the train and still got in O.K. Now I find I could have gotten home a lot sooner. Some fellows took  the 12:45 bus last Sat. to Mohnet Mo. There they got the train to St. Louis and were in Chicago at 8 Sunday morning. If I had been on the ball I could have gotten home by 2:30 Sunday afternoon. It’s too late to worry about it now but I wish I had done that now. If I come in Dec. I’m going to try to get more speed some way. Of course I have to be in Chicago by 8 a.m. in order to have it make much difference. Next time they may not let us off on Sat. noon. Oh well only 12 weeks to go. At least there is something to look forward to. For the first 6 weeks I can look back at what I was doing 1, 2, or 3 weeks ago today. Then the last 6 weeks I can look forward to what I will be doing between Dec. 5-12. It’s a long time to wait for 5 days of real life. I was just beginning to get back into the old swing of things when I left. You probably noticed that. The ride from St. Louis down here seemed endless. I guess I tried to sleep in every position possible in a seat but I didn’t get much.

Back in the dorm at 5:25. I got a little sleep now and then. The night dragged on until at 6:30 this morning we pulled into Fayetteville. I finished my sandwiches last night on the way out of St. Louis. Boy I was glad to get off the train but I can’t say I was glad to get back to Fayetteville. Every once in awhile today I’ve had a sort of disgusted, discouraged or homesick or something feeling. It’s the first I’ve noticed it lately. I sent you a telegram as soon as I got here which you should have gotten by about 10. It was short. I could have said a couple more words for the same money I guess but I didn’t know it then. You see what I’m thinking of when I say “Be seeing you.” After that I walked back here. Boy were those pants dirty. I undressed and took a good shower. I ruined those white shorts. I went to kick them off and I stepped on one leg and pulled the other. As a result the seat parted in a couple of places. After washing I put on clean underwear and pants and the same shirt. At about 8 Freese, I & Bill Anderson meandered down to the campus grill and got a snack for breakfast. We got back here about 9. Bill wanted to play tennis so we went out at about 9:15 and played until 10:30. We lost 3 sets of doubles 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. We really were lousy. Then I took another shower, unpacked my bag, rearranged my foot locker, hung up my clothes, shined my shoes, shaved and in general got settled again. By then it was nearly 12. I found the letter from Mrs. C. It was postmarked Sept. 8 which was Wed. I didn’t find your letter tho. All the ones that were here were postmarked since the 7th. Yours would be the 2nd. None of us can find any dated that far back so maybe they are still over at Hdqs. or someplace. I hope I find it O.K. but lots of other guys are looking for mail that they know people have written. I’ll let you know when or if I locate it. At about 12 we 3 headed downtown. We got sandwiches for dinner. Then we walked on down to the U.S.O. where I started this. We stayed there until about 1:30 when we went to a show which lasted until about 4. It was a newsreel, comedy & the main picture was “Jungle Princess” an old one with Dorothy Lamour. It wasn’t too bad but the story was pretty weak. After the show we walked back to the Union. I had a cheese sandwich & a shake. Then we came back here and I went to writing on this some more. Just now Freese & Ferdinand Giorza, one of my ex-roommates went out and we took up their film taking pictures of each other so maybe I’ll have some more to send you if they are any good. Now you are up with me today at 6:30. I wonder how it is back there – if you folks are O.K. or if you are in bed. I hope Pop is on his feet and also that you didn’t dive into that wash too fast. I have a feeling it’s sort of quiet around there. I didn’t make a lot of noise yet everything seemed pretty bright around there. All of us are saying the same thing. We had a swell time but why do we have to come back. I was justing [?] beginning to fit into my old groove too. I’m lucky to be coming back here instead of some places but I still wish I were you know where. I think a lot but I’m not much good at saying or writing things like that so I’ll just say you probably know how I feel about things and stuff. You were worried that I wouldn’t be at home when I got home but you can forget that as you ought to have been able to see. Well so much for that for now except to let you know I appreciated everything. I may not have showed it but I wanted it all to seem like it used to be when I didn’t go around thanking you for everything. You know me. So all I can say it’s the only 5 days that have really counted out of the last 8 months & 10 days. It’s 6:35 now. Guy Lombardo is on on the Fitch program. It was a little chilly here this morning but it was plenty hot by mid day. After being home this place has no attraction for me and the campus smells. I could stay in and write letters to people but right now I’m not in the mood to write to anyone except you folks who understand me and my ways. I think I’ll take off and go to a show. For some reason I feel like getting away from the dorm. This will be our only free Sunday night all term probably so I guess I’ll take advantage of it. So I’ll sign off for now. I still have my furlough in my pocket. I hate to part with it but I guess I better go turn it in. See you later. Signing off at 6:45 p.m.

Back at 10:05. Lights are out so I’ll have to cut this off. It won’t be long now before we’ll be back in the saddle again. I have a lot of good ideas & intentions for making my work easier but maybe they won’t work. At about 6:45 the 3 of us went to the show down here. It was “So Proudly We Hail” the one that was at the Gladmer last week. It wasn’t bad but it was pretty realistic. Now after going down to the drugstore with Freese to leave his films I’m back for bed. I can use some sleep. So its’ my ball and 12 to go. I’ll be seeing you. Lots of love and thanks for everything.




Creamed Cabbage

Thursday Sept. 2, 1943

8:20 p.m.


Dear folks,

It won’t be long now. Just 2 more days. In 48 hours I’ll be waiting for the train to start for St. Louis (I hope). I studied a little military last night and did my Chem. before going back to bed at 10:30. I was up at 5:15. After reveille I shaved and then slept until breakfast. I had toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and a peach. After eating I swept and made my bed and at 7 we went to Chem. We spent the hour reviewing laws and theories for Sat. exam. At 8 we went to military. I may get my lowest grade in mil. because I didn’t do too well on our test. I know I missed two which would give me a 92 and I was unsure of a few more. I probably stayed above 85 though. I missed questions on aerial photography which  I think they covered while we were at Chaffee. At 9 we went to Physics lab and did a fairly easy experiment on springs. I got my lab test back and got 24. There were 30 questions. I got 25 right, 2 wrong, and left 3 blank. Our grade is the number right minus ½ the number wrong so I got 25-1=24. That was about high for the class – the average was 15. At 11 came chow – spaghetti, salad, creamed cabbage, bread, butter, milk, and pudding. At 12 we went to study. I spent the two hours going through my Geography notes. I expected an exam. At 2 when we went to class we had just a short quiz because our regular teacher was gone. As usual I missed 1 out of 20 for 95 so I’m not worried about that. We had study from 3 to 3:30 and then went back to the dorm. I got on the end of a line and in time I signed Arlington A. Forist on a beautiful printed page with big black letters on the top saying FURLOUGH. I hope it’s in the bag now. At 4 we fell out and formed and then had some announcements – no classes Sat. and at 8 Sat. morning we get paid. Oh if there were only a morning train out of this berg. The big thing is we’ll miss our Chem. and Physics exams on Sat. There is the chance we may get the Physics tomorrow but if we do it will be too bad. I was supposed to report for sick call in 2 or 3 days so I’ll go tomorrow. My boil is practically gone and the soreness is gone so I guess the salve was O.K. Between 4 and 4:30 we had formal retreat and parade. Everything went off swell. After that we got a whole set of changes. We all moved from our rooms to different ones. They grouped us according to whether we are leaving, taking term I over or going into II. I’m going into II and I had to move down to the second floor. I’m in a small room with 3 other fellows now. It’s pretty small but I guess we’ll make a go of it. I came in and got my mail – your Sat.-Sun., Mon. & Tues. letters. I read that until supper – potatoes, cauliflower, salad, biscuit, butter, milk and baked apple but not like yours. Then I came back and got my stuff together and moved downstairs and got partially settled between 6 and 7. Some bright boy has borrowed my field jacket and a shirt since yesterday and left another shirt in its place.

Back at 10. I hope you can read this where it’s washed out. As I said somebody left a new shirt in place of mine but forgot to leave a field jacket. I can get the shirt exchanged for one my size but the jacket is another proposition. I searched everywhere I could think and could find no trace of it. At the advice of the cadet 1st/sgt. I put a notice on the bulletin board but I know that won’t make any difference as it didn’t “just happen.” It was there yesterday morning. Today I just put my arms around all my clothes and carried them down here. I noticed one hanger fell out loose and when I got down here I saw it was the one my jacket had been on. It’s a dirty trick and it made me mad. I reported it to our cadet Capt. and he said he’d see that something was done. My name is on the jacket, also it has a patch on the sleeve and the shoulder loop has been ripped and sewed. All I got to say is I better get it back or I’m out about 5 or maybe 10 bucks for another one. Just now when I came in I saw another fellow had a note on the board. He’s minus a shirt too. There are about 40 guys leaving and that’s probably where the stuff went. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. We have to hang out our clothes. Yesterday it was there, today it wasn’t. I’ll very likely never see it again so I better go on with this letter. At 7 we went over to study. I spent about 10 minutes on Algebra & 30 on Trig. for tomorrow’s tests. I didn’t do Physics so I better not get a test. The rest of the time until 9 I spent writing on this. At 9 we went over to some more of the G.I. movies. They were on different subjects and were pretty good. We just got back from them and I’m writing this. Lights will go out pretty quick so I’ll finish this off. You won’t get this until Monday probably so I won’t answer your letters tonight. Anything I write now will get there after I do so I’ll talk in person instead of writing. I’ll probably write a little tomorrow & Sat. but it will get to you a couple of days after I get there so there’s not much value in writing it. It’s getting pretty close to lights out so I’m going to have to sign off. I want to take a shower yet before I go to bed. I’ll watch you read this when you get it Monday unless you get it Sat. I doubt if you will though.


Anyway good night & Love



I’ll see how the mail man Rushes and how you look when the mail arrives. Be seeing you.