About All I Care To See Of Fayetteville

Thursday Aug. 12, 1943

9:25 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am sweating again in late study. I got to bed at 9:30 or so last night after taking a shower. I was up sleepily at 5:15 and dressed for reveille. When I came back in I shaved and cleaned my teeth. Then I put on a clean uniform and made my bed before breakfast. My laundry this week will have 2 new prs. of pants & 1 new shirt. I sure hope this one pr. of my own pants doesn’t shrink. For breakfast I had potatoes, an egg, toast, butter, shredded wheat, milk and an orange. After eating I swept and at 7 we took off for Chem. class. We had our lecture and Sat. we get our weekly test. At 8 we went to Military and worked some more on maps. At 9 we went to Physics Lab and did an experiment on pulleys. It was easy for a change. At 11 we went to dinner; stew, potatoes, cauliflower, greens (mustard I think and I don’t like ‘em), salad, bread, butter and watermelon. After eating I took it easy until 12 when we went to study. I read a little Geog. but not much from 12 to 2. A big green bug about 2 ½ inches long just lit on my arm so I had to quit and knock him off. With the windows open, the light attracts everything. When an instructor covers 160 pages a day I give up. I can’t keep up with reading that much. Something has to go slack and it’s going to be Geography and History. No kidding he covered during the last of Tues. class & today 160 some odd pages in the book. At 2 when we went to class he gave us a nice little quiz also. As far as I can tell I missed 3 out of 20 or 85% which is pretty good considering I wasn’t ready for it. If I can pull a B in Geography I’ll be happy but more surprised. At 3 I went back to the dorm and got a hair trim instead of going to study. At 4 we had free campus today instead of drilling so Freese and I went over to the Union to play ping pong but the place was closed. We had a limeade and came back. At 5:15 I went to supper after reading your Mon. & Tues. letters which I got today. That’s real service too. I had spaghetti, peas, salad, bread, butter, milk and chocolate pie. After eating we went back to the Union and played ping pong until about 6:30. I have never played much but I caught on quick and won about 4 games out of 10. In a week or so I’ll be beating him pretty often. We came back and at 7 went to study. I read my English and since 9 I’ve studied my Algebra and Trig. That brings me up to now. I could read some history but I suspect I won’t get to it. I have 3 letters of yours that I better get at now. Sat-Sun. Aug. 7-8 – I’m scarcely anything when it comes to singing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. You may like the stove better once you get acquainted with its peculiarities and differences. I haven’t heard from Sunfield in quite awhile. I haven’t heard from Hugh since I’ve been here. I wonder if he may have been sent over. Mon. Aug. 9 – Now this furlough deal is really getting complex and I don’t know how it will turn out I’m sure. Of course there is the possibility that I won’t get any but forgetting that for the time being here are the new developments. The Lt. flatly stated to one of the kids that our furloughs start at midnight, Sat. Sept. 4 and run to midnight Sunday Sept. 12 or 8 days. He says unless he receives official orders he will not give any passes to us so we can leave before midnight. This may be changed but if it is not it means this – since only 1 train goes north here a day we miss the one on Sat. night and have to wait until 8 p.m. Sunday night for the next one. That loses 20 hrs. Then we have but one train from the north a day so we have to come in at 6 a.m. on that Sun. or lose another 18 hours. That’s 1 ½ days there plus 2 on the train only leaves 4 ½ at home. Now all this is assuming I go by train. Now this afternoon a paper was put on the bulletin board asking all men interested in having a bus chartered to go as far as St. Louis to sign up. If all this other stuff is true and it very probably is (judging by everything else the Col’s done so far) I decided that was probably my best bet so I signed the list as “interested” along with about 70 other guys. If the bus leaves right after midnight we’ll be in St. Louis before Sunday noon at least and in Chicago by train from St. Louis by 6 p.m. probably. Then just how long it takes to get to Lansing is another story but I should be there by midnight. Of course they haven’t made anything definite yet but there has been enough response so we’ll soon have a time schedule and prices published I imagine. If they refuse to let us go until midnight that is my best setup. I’ll be here 8 months and when I get a chance I want to leave but fast. But all of this puts a crimp in our plans. If I wait for Pop and have him come it means I lose a day at home with everybody. That is a big question. I know he’s been planning on it for a long time and I hate to disappoint him but it’s out of my control. I think I might better get off as fast as I can. Now please tell me what you think and what to do as there is still time. Of course it may all change overnight but it seems to be gradually solidifying now. If Pop got in on Thurs. or Friday we still couldn’t be together except for 1 hour each night. I can’t leave the campus until Sat. afternoon so he’d be sort of alone until I did get loose. Then we’d have until Sunday night here but there would be nothing much for us to do that would take that long and to come down to the point, I want to spend all the time I can someplace beside Fayetteville. He and I could catch an early Sunday bus but 38 hrs. is too long too. By having a chartered bus making no stops we expect we can make pretty good time to St. Louis & then catch the 1st train to Chicago. Now if as you say Pop came back with me we could get in at 6 and spend the day together here and he could go back on Monday night say at 8. I imagine I’ll be back under restrictions starting at midnight but we’d have 18 hours to wander around together here. Maybe under uncertain conditions like there are it would be better. Then if somebody gets good hearted & lets us go early and catch the Sat. train I’ll wish I hadn’t discouraged Pop. I believe tho that a bus will outspeed this cattle train that runs thru here. It stops at every crossroad to look for automobiles. The way I figure I’ll either send or bring my laundry that last week. Then the stuff I send the week before on about Aug. 28 just keep and don’t send as I wouldn’t be here when it came and also that way I’ll have a clean uniform or two at home without dragging any along. C. The theme on Al came mostly from my thesis with the help of my Chem. book here. I’ve seen about all I care to see of Fayetteville. I doubt if discharges will come fast after the war and you forget the longer we stay in school the longer we are apt to be in the army because the more we’re worth and the more we’ve cost. A shirt gets dirty in no time on a train but one blue one might last Dad. Dad says he would get here at 7:10 a.m. but I think he’ll find its 6 instead but I’m not positive of the exact time. It will cost me about $23 I imagine for round trip by train. If I go by this bus I don’t know how it will run. Time and not money is the object with me. The Grand Trunk only goes to Chicago. There are a lot of lines from there to St. Louis. Then you get the Frisco line to here. We could work it fine but there won’t be 2 or 3 days that we can be together before my furlough starts and once it starts I begrudge them that 20 hrs. I could be at home. Don’t worry about that wash as it wasn’t any uniforms and I have lots of socks & stuff. That covers your Tues. letters too I guess. Now I really am not sure what is best to do and I hate to have Pop disappointed because he’s been planning on this and it was my idea but I think you know how I feel. Another 20 hours at home is just that much better the way I look at it. If it changes so we catch that Sat. night train then it would be different but after 8 months another 20 hrs. at home is important to me. Now please be honest and tell me what you think. Now if tomorrow the whole thing changes again then I can figure out something else but that’s the way things stand tonight. So at 10:22 I’ll say good night and




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