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.




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