A Beautiful Big Red Hickie

Mon. Aug. 30, 1943

5:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Whew! No let’s just sit down and see what this is all about. I’ve been writing pretty fast lately and I guess I haven’t been saying enough to make everything clear. I cut my sentences too short and didn’t put everything across I see. Anyway I really don’t think things are as bad as they seemed to you. As for the furlough I signed or applied for that several days before last Wed. There was nothing signed for me by the other fellow. On our applications we stated where we wanted to go. Mine was 1010 Beech, his was just Lansing. Any that they thought was quite a distance they called down to check the time. We both had the same town so we figured it wasn’t necessary for us both to go. Mark didn’t sign anything for me or for himself. There was nothing to sign. Mine said 1010 Beech Lansing and when it was 19 hrs. the Lt. signed it and that was that. Mark told him he was going to meet his folks and go on to St. Louis. The Lt. wanted to know how long it took by R. R. and when Mark explained that there was no train to St. Louis the Lt. said O.K. and accepted Lansing as the distance. Now I didn’t bother to explain all this before but I don’t think there is anything dishonest about it. I’m not connected in any way with where he’s going and besides he explained the situation to the Lt. and it was O.K. with him. Nobody signed for me for a furlough. I had applied several days before. The Lt. knows where he is going so it isn’t anything dishonest. He didn’t lie about it. If someone asks for his furlough in St. Louis that’s his worry not mine. I’m not connected in any way and I don’t see where you got the idea I was. If it hadn’t been O.K. I would have been called in anyway. All they wanted to know was the time to Lansing. I understand how you mean things and I hope you’ll see its O.K. I should have explained things a little better but I’ve been dashing my letters off in a hurry and just saying the bare facts without going into detail. I hope this straightens that out a little.

Now about the train – Dad’s right. There is a train into Chicago at 7 p.m. but I get into St. Louis at 8:10 a.m. if I’m on time. My train leaves at 8:58 and gets into Chicago at 2:05. It’s the Alton streamliner. There are two other trains before the one Dad mentioned. So why should I stay around 4 hrs. in St. Louis when I can leave sooner. Of course if our train is late that’s something else. Anyway I won’t take a bus from Chicago unless it’s faster than the train. If connections connect and we hit Chicago at 2:05 I might catch a bus by 4. If so I could probably be home by midnight. Money doesn’t mean anything on this. Time is more important. Now I’m trying to do the best I can and I can’t see anything wrong with this. You see Dad’s timetable doesn’t show all the trains from St. Louis to Chicago. Yes it does too. The Frisco book shows connections on page 22 but I guess Pop overlooked it. The one Pop checked gets into Chicago at 5:50 p.m. but 3 hours is 3 hours if I can pick it up. Another thing if I bought a round trip to Lansing according to what I’ve heard about train trips I might get screwed up good. The money isn’t worrying me so forget that part. I have $35 and I may get paid Sat. I can make out the chart O.K. but Dad overlooked the page in the Frisco table giving connections at St. Louis. If he had seen that he would know what I mean. Train time from there here is less probably because there’s no lay over in Chicago. Yet if it leaves there at 4 its 27 hrs. because it gets here at 6:30 which is 7:30 your time. I’ll have to wait over 5 hrs. for the train if I catch the Alton and during that time I could be well on my way home by bus. It’s only about 225 miles. Once more let me say the other fellow didn’t do any signing up for me at all. Now I’m not peeved at anything but I hope you see how things are and that it all isn’t as you thought. Don’t jump too quick at conclusions from now on please As far as finding out about my furlough, they told us last week we were all getting them except those who were told otherwise so I’m getting one O.K. I’m not responsible in any way for what he asked for and I don’t see how you get the idea I am. I certainly am not getting a dishonest furlough nor so far as I know is he since he explained everything to Lt. Thompson. Now this is all in answer to your Sat. Sp. Del. letter. I hope I’ve made things clear and that I haven’t said too much this time instead of not enough. Anyway everything is above board on the furloughs and I’m not taking the bus unless it saves time. So that’s your Sat. Aug. 28 letter.

Now that that’s O.K. (I hope) I’ll get on with the usual lineup. I finished your letter and at 7 we went over to study hall. It was locked up so we came back to the dorm. I managed to get through my English and to go over my Alg. & Trig. before lights out at 9:30. It’s pretty noisy in the dorm to try to do much. I was up at 5:15 this morning and out for reveille at 5:30. I slept after that until breakfast. I had toast, butter, corn flakes, 2 bottles of milk and sliced up cantaloupe. I seldom eat eggs or potatoes any more. I take the extra bottle of milk instead. After breakfast I made my bed, swept and put on my shorts for P.T. We did some of those tests we did when we first came. First we ran the 100 yd. with a man on our back. Freese ran it in 21 sec. with me. I made it in 24 sec. with him but he weights [sp] 8# more than I. In June I did it in 29 so I must be improving. Next we did a 4 count Burpee. In 20 seconds I did 11 which was 2 more than before. Last came the 300 yd. dash. I didn’t have what it took I guess. I came in 6th out of 6. I started to sprint at the end but Freese pulled away so I just trotted in in 45 sec. 1 less than the other time. One kid did it in 35 sec. We finished with that and were through be [by] 8. I took a shower and cleaned my shoes and dressed while listening to Breakfast Club. Then I cleaned out my grip a little until we went to class at 9. It was Physics and we finished up that test. My way was right for that problem. I asked him if it would make any difference. He showed me my average and I shut up. I had a 92 before that test. After that it was 95 so I decided to be quiet. 95 is a lot better than I ever expected in Physics Drill. That’s an A I believe. My averages are Algebra 100 (unofficial) and official – Chem. – 97, Trig. 98, Geog. 98, Phys. 95, Hist. & English unknown as yet. We did some problems and at 10 we went to English. We argued out some articles and then did some words like we’ll have on our test. He better get some easier ones or it will be bad. At 11 we went to dinner – stew, green beans, salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. After dinner I sewed a patch on one of my O.D. shirts before we went to class at 12. In Algebra she buzzed thru a mess of stuff. At 1 in Trig. we did some problems. At 2 we had History which was pretty dead. At 3 we went to study and I did a little Algebra. At 4 we went back to the dorm. I sewed a patch on another shirt before mail call. I got your Thurs., Fri., and Sat. letters, a card & letter from Lillis and my copy of the M.S.C. Alumni Recorder. I read my mail before going to supper – spaghetti, squash, sliced toms, beans, bread, butter, milk, and cake. After supper I got on to this letter and wrote until 6:30 when we had our monthly so called physical. I have a beautiful big red hickie or whatever you want to call it on my left leg. I was afraid they’d notice it and sure enough he did. He asked me if it was sore and I said “some” so he said you report for sick call tomorrow. I think it’s the beginning of a boil although I’m not sure. I’ve been having quite a few outbursts or eruptions lately. I had a beautiful one (by the feel it must have been) on my right cheek (not my face) but it has just about disappeared. So I guess I’ll have to go over there. I intend to go to Chem. Class and then I’ll miss just military. Personally I see no sense of even going as it will come up and go down by itself but I guess I have to obey an order. I don’t want to miss classes. It feels like a boil. I don’t know what he thought it was. After that at 7:25 or so we came over to study. I finished off my Chem. and here I am. It’s 20 to 9 now. I have 7 chap. Of Physics to digest for an exam Sat. so I’m going to stay tonight and read some on it. I answered your Sat. letter. Now to your Thurs. one while the time lasts. Well I guess I’ll have to “RUSH” all my letters. Babe is having her troubles eh? Ah. A week with no reveille, no whistles, no “keep your eyes up,” “cut down your arm swing,” fall in, etc. I don’t know if I’ll need woolens or not. Not if I can help it. They’re too woolie for inside work. Real food will seem good and I ain’t kiddin! Peanut butter; umh! I just saw Johnny. He’s shipping out Sat. to Camp Barkley Tex. Oh unlucky boy. He’s lost on this deal. He gave up a job in L.A. similar to mine in Frisco. My furlough begins at 1 sec. after midnight Sat. Sept. 4 and ends at midnight Sun. Sept. 12. Midnight is 2400 in army time. I said I hoped I wasn’t a dream. It would feel funny to wake up and find I’m not. I’m not so sure I won’t go outside the house with clothes on. I haven’t decided for sure yet but I’d sure like to get some real clothes on for a change. I can do it inside legally. Fri. Aug. 27 – It’s not cold here by a long sight. I have the only racket with strings although Freese has patched his so he can use it. I’m wearing suntans the same as the rest on my furlough. I though of bringing O.D.’s but gave up the idea. There’ll be no wasted milk while I’m home I think. I guess that covers your 3 letters. I hope I’ve cleared things up a little. It’s 9:15 now and I’ve got to put in an hour or so on Physics so I’ll have to sign off for tonight. Take it easy,




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