Aunt Edna’s Marriage Tips

Friday January 22, 1943  6:45p.m.

Camp McCoy, Wisconsin


Dear Folks,

Another day just about over and it has been a beautiful hot day. It has been so hot that the snow has dropped a lot and icicles have dripped all day. I should judge the temperature to be about 40 degrees. Quite a change from 33 below day before yesterday. Last night I stayed in and wrote to you folks and got to bed at about 9:30.

I was up at about 5:50 this morning. No reveille again today. I had breakfast at about 7:00. Pancakes, syrup, Post Toasties and an apple. We went out for drill about 8:00 and drilled for quite awhile to take advantage of the warm weather. We got back to the barracks and had over an hour of spare time. During then I wrote two pages both sides to Aunt Marie and one page on both sides to Gramp in answer to their letters and cards I got yesterday. I had dinner about 12:00. Mashed potatoes, corn, veg. salad, bread, butter, p’nut butter and cherry pie. Mail call at 12:30. I got 3 letters today. 2 from you written Tuesday and a short note from Aunt Edna believe it or not. About 1:00 they sorted out the ones with sore feet & blisters and the rest of us went on a hike. We intended to go about 10 miles but cut it down to about 6 miles. It was swell. The scenery was pretty and it was warm. The snow was wet and heavy in spots though and my overshoes got pretty heavy on the way back. When we got back we scrubbed the barracks. It was easier this week because we had taken all the bunks outdoors. They were left out in the sun all afternoon to air out but soot fell all over them and some got kind of dirty. When we finished cleaning and brought in the bunks it was supper time. We had hamburger, baked potatoes, fried onions, veg. salad, bread and butter. After supper I came back and topped off the meal with a couple of choc. cookies. Not much mail tonight and none for me. I shined my shoes for tomorrow’s inspection and that brings me up to the present. I did figure on going to the show but I have to shave and clean up and I should write letters to Stachel & Aunt Edna and I think I’ll send a card to Mrs. C.

Aunt Edna sent a letter written on a piece of white card. It never dawned on them that I might be called into the service. Uncle Roy’s nephew, she says, flew from Honolulu and made them a visit and then volunteered for army service from Mt.Pleasant & left Jan. 18. He is over 28 and enlisted in the army about 7 years ago. He was in Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941. Bill, Aunt Laura’s boy, hasn’t been called yet. He was married Feb. 14, 1942. She thinks he was too young to get married and is glad I didn’t “do that trick.” She thinks “it is plenty long to live with each other if they wait a bit.” I wonder if she is getting tired of Uncle Roy’s company?

Uncle Roy is an air raid warden and bowls for recreation. She will write often she says and wants me to let her know if my address changes. She wants to know if I smoke cigarettes so I’ll have to write and tell her “no.” You mentioned those cigarettes in your letter and I got to thinking about them and finally gave them to a kid from Port Huron. His name is Aaron Francois, French I guess. He is a big tall slim fellow about my age and I like him quite well. He just graduated from high school last June. He worked nights & went to school days the last year to get through and he wants to study medicine if he can.

Now to your 2 letters written Jan. 19, Tues. They came right on schedule and I always know what I’ll get unless the mail doesn’t get through. That reminds me. Don’t ever get excited if you don’t get a letter, even if it’s for several days. There may be a perfectly good reason and it doesn’t mean I’m sick! I might be on my way someplace else or the mails might be delayed. We got no mail from Mich. at all Tues. because of the heavy snow. I mention this because this morning while we were on the drill field the sgt. was stopped by a runner from headquarters who was looking for a certain soldier among probably over a thousand on the field. It seems his folks hadn’t gotten a letter for 2 days and had sent a message to the camp wanting to know what was wrong. Don’t ever do that. If anything is wrong you’ll know about it. There is always a reason for everything. They say now we will graduate a week from Mon. on Feb. 1. That means I may leave Feb. 1 or I might stay here a week or longer. If I stay it leads to complications because I won’t have a permanent address during that time. They have been sending a lot of fellows to Custer so here’s hoping. Of course some went to San Francisco too. I guess that instructor job went up the chimney. We with experience have been drilling with the rest except for that one day. Bill Andrews I guess will stay. He is an acting corporal now. So is some other dope from the 2nd platoon. Our barrack leader has sucked around too and I understand they are trying to stick him in. So far as money, these instructors draw the same as I do now. Someplace else I may get a real promotion. I guess I don’t have much to say about it. If I find there isn’t much chance of getting back to school I’m going to see about Officer’s CandidateSchool. Limited Serv. men can be officers in certain branches and they were particularly interested in the fact that I had handled large sums of money down at Custer, maybe the Finance Dept. Some of the fellows know what they got on their I.Q. tests. I didn’t ask but the sergeant who took my classification card when it was completed looked it over and said “You have a fine looking card here, Arlington.” If that means anything or not is something else. Maybe you are tired of me making so many wild guesses about where I’ll go or what I’ll do but you can see how much we are up in the air about everything. The whole thing will take care of itself in a short time though I guess.

Evidently you had the same cold wave we did. You mustn’t make too much fun of Aunt Edna because she really did write after all even without free postage. I don’t think the cocoa would be too good an idea because I don’t know whether the hot water would be good to drink. I can get along without it O.K. I guess. I haven’t heard a word from Julius. I am afraid he is in the army. Did it get down to 10 below Tues. night? It was 33 below here Wed. morning. I can’t understand how Mrs. C. could get Sunday’s letter ahead of you as they were mailed together. Anyhow by the way they have been going you wouldn’t get Sunday’s letter until Wed., right? Air mail is not so hot. There was only 6 hrs. difference in time. Boy you really must have a lot of snow there. Aunt Edna & Marie both mentioned it too. You should see the plow I saw today. I bet it could go through an 8 or 10 foot drift. I’ve seen just about every type of military vehicle there is since I’ve been here. We saw a little tank today. It was painted nearly all white and boy it really buzzed along. While we were on our hike we saw a lot of soldiers learning to ski. They weren’t doing so well because the wet snow stuck to their skis. I see no reason why I should take 13 weeks training. They have made no steps to reclassify any of us with eye troubles and the men who have been here longer say they never reclassify men with bad eyes. That Gildersleeve show was O.K. That Cub ball player is O.K. so far as I know. He is quite an interesting speaker. In the long run that other stationery wasn’t cheaper. I haven’t noticed my hair cut a great deal. I can have my wool shirts, pants, and blouse (O.D.’s) cleaned and pressed at the P.X. I haven’t even read those magazines yet. All of a sudden I hear from everybody but don’t seem to be able to find time to answer. Here it is 10 after 8 again. I’ll read them Sunday if not before. I put my name on them so if anybody borrows them I can claim them. I think Red is one of the craziest yet funniest guys in pictures and I don’t think I’ve missed any of his big pictures yet. I said La M. was a huge bore. The seconds are just as good as the firsts. This noon when I came along I said, “Oh, boy corn.” The fellow put on some and asked if I wanted some more. I said a little and he filled half of the plate. Boy you ought to see the way they slice bread. The butter is usually too cold to spread so I just smash it on and eat it in a lump. I’m going to get my share anyway. We have to wear our tags all the time. I’m not neglecting myself.  If I had I could probably been sick with a cold with the rest. I don’t need garters now but will probably next summer or if I go south. I really ought to break myself of the habit of sleeping in my socks. You see I wear 2 pr. and take one off when I go to bed. Today is the first day my feet have been warm enough to sweat. Maybe I’ll send a card to Amelia. Does she know I’m gone? So they make you slice your own bread. That seems silly What’s G.F.S. going to do with his automatic slicer, scrap it? Who was the freshman who died from the broken leg? Pickets is no better to shovel than the rest of you. I see butter is 54 cents. One boy from Detroit says it is as much as $1.25 there when they can get it. I can’t hide those eats so I am putting everybody on the honor system. I scanned through all the papers and read the funnies, sports, and theaters and the headlines like I used to at home. No commands trg. here or or anywhere for us. The 2nd division, field artillery and tank destroyers are leaving for maneuvers in Texas, we’re told, before they go overseas. I guess those tank destroyer outfits are really something. We saw some fellows building tank traps today in the woods. I’d like to know where the radios are too. There is one upstairs but we can’t hear it much. I have both mouth organs and play them once in awhile but there is a reed stuck on my new one and I can’t get it loose as yet. One fellow wanted to buy it but I refused to sell it. He already has 2 or 3. We took up a collection for that corporal just because he was a swell guy and we gave him the money. I guess they put it on his bunk so they wouldn’t be breaking any rules by giving it to him. Before we left he thanked us by saying we had been swell to him in more ways than one. My throat is a little rough but the syrup helps. I don’t have any real trouble with my leggings. All you need to know is how to go at it. We give the barracks a real scrubbing every Fri. afternoon and we sweep and mop every morning. I have to sweep tomorrow morning. I don’t have trouble keeping awake mornings but I don’t have any trouble going back to sleep either. I ate 4 pancakes this morning. No blisters on my feet but they did get a little sore across the toes. The pancakes are O.K. We have syrup on them. There is no indication at all that I will be assigned to active duty so worry about something else.

I haven’t heard from Thelma yet. I like to get dad’s letters even though I may not mention them a lot. He doesn’t ask many questions for me to answer.

Well that covers the day. They brought in some copies of the Real McCoy, camp paper for us to read. There aren’t enough for all so I probably won’t be able to get one to keep and send home. Here it is 15 to nine and I wanted to write to Stachel tonight. He is worried about the draft I think and he wants to know about army life. Personally I think the army is no place for a kid of his age.

Well this letter is a little more like it should be – 8 pages. I guess I’ve mentioned everything so I’ll call it quits for tonight. Be careful and don’t worry. Good night to all with lots of love,


Original Letter

Share your thoughts