Fresh From Mars

Tues. Sept. 28, 1943

5:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well, I’m back again. I’ll write a little until time to go to supper. I finished writing last night and got to bed at about 10:45. I was up at 5:30, dressed, and out for reveille at 5:45. When I came in I shaved, washed, and cleaned my teeth and then lay down until breakfast at 6:30. I had toast, butter, 2 boxes of Rice Krispies, milk and a banana. After eating I swept under my bed and then lay down until 7:30. I got up, tore up my bed to air and then we went to class. At 8 we had Analyt. He talked all hour and then gave us 3 problems to do. I’ll swear I really got disgusted. I hurry like the devil to get through so what do I do, I mess one of them up completely. When I go slow I don’t finish. When I hurry to get through I make a lot of foolish mistakes. I’m about ready to quit worrying about it and just do as many as I can and let it go. Maybe I’m excited over nothing but boy I really was mad with myself. The thing was easy really but I sure screwed it up all right. Oh well that’s gone now. The point is studying won’t iron out that kind of mistake. I stayed disgusted until I went to English class and then I felt better. From Analyt. we went to Physics Drill. By the way we get a big test in Analyt. Friday. It will either floor me or I’ll do O.K. I’m really not having trouble with the subject. I just don’t go for him or his way of teaching. In Physics I already had the problems done so I started doing some reading. I’ve about 2 chap. to read yet. At 10 we had Chem. lecture on Phosphorous, Arsenic, Anitimony and Bismuth. You put PbAsO4 on your spuds. (Lead arsenate). We start organic Chem. now and except for a few odds and ends it’s all new stuff. This should be the good part. At 11 we had study until 11:35. I looked over last term’s themes for a subject for a 3 min. speech in English. Then we ate – spaghetti, carrots, lima beans & corn (is that succotash?), salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. After dinner I polished my blouse buttons and got out my belt and polished it. The buckle has lost its plating and isn’t very sharp looking. I probably won’t wear the belt much. All of us seem a little small for our blouses. Mine isn’t bad but it was fitted over my O.D. shirt & heavy underwear. Last spring the buttons were pulled tight but now there is a little slack. At 1 we went to class and had History. I’ve got to start reading that too as he might give a test. I counted 250 er-ah’s in his lecture during the first ½ hour and then quit. Time out for supper at 5:40.

Back at 7:15 in study hall. At 2 we came back for P.T. It had been sprinkling but it quit and I played volleyball. At 3 we had English. We had a little quiz on an article we read and then instead of giving speeches he read those themes we wrote the first day. Then he gave them and the exercises we did on outlining back to us. It really made me feel pretty good. I got 100 on the outlining and as you can see, 92 on the theme. That’s probably about a B+ but I’m happy to get that on a theme written in class. I don’t think I’ll need to save it so I thought I’d send it on to you. You can see there was just one place where he crossed out a word. At 4 we had a training film on the Articles of War. It’s the 4th time I’ve seen it I believe. We left there about 5 and went back for mail call. As usual on Tues. I didn’t get any. Then I wrote on this until supper. I had potatoes, more succotash (?), beets, tomatoes, bread, butter, milk, and prunes. After eating I went over to the Union. I got me a beginner’s slide rule $1.50 and found some pretty stationery which I bought. This paper I’m using now is what goes with these long envelopes. I’ll use this up before I start on this I just got tonight. I don’t use stationery like I used to. A pack didn’t last a week at McCoy. I came back and took a shower and changed socks and stuff and then at 7 we came over here. All I have to study for tomorrow is Analyt. and I read that last night so that’s why I’m writing now. At 8 there is a G.I. movie for us so I think I’ll go to it and then go to bed. The slide rule is just a beginner’s rule but it seems to be pretty accurate and will give me something to learn on. Now I have a couple of your letters to answer so I’ll go through them. Wed. Sept. 22 – I wish you could have known I didn’t have to have the pants and shirts in a hurry. I now have 3 clean shirts & pants hanging in the closet. We wear suntans 2 more days and then we quit until next summer. I’d like to think we wouldn’t be wearing them by then but I guess that’s just a wild hope. It’s hard telling when this will quit. We hear fellows in Italy & Sicily have written that they expect to be home for Xmas. Good if true. Gee how do people get those 6 mos. discharges? Thurs. Sept. 23 – You two really have a rough time with your heads. No demerits yet but they are handing them out right and left everyday now. I’ll go see Sat. if my jacket is here yet. The t shirt looked large enough but I didn’t try it on. Say when you get this hat I bought back there, stretch it all you can as it can’t afford to shrink. I’ll have to buy an O.D. cap too probably as I’ll have nothing to wear while this one is being cleaned. I wish that guy would try to claim that shirt. He’d find it hard to explain where my field jacket is. I’m sort of tired of hearing “Pistol Packing Mama.” There’s one song, I guess it’s an old one, that I like but I don’t know the name. Nobody gets a field jacket or overcoat now with a discharge. When the war is over we’ll keep all our clothes. 45 days in the army isn’t bad. I don’t know my ring size. For which finger. I have my H.S. ring on & can’t get it off. You see I have slim fingers and wide knuckles. There aren’t any radios in Fayetteville. Freese & I looked all around once. I don’t want to vote. Why should I? I know how you feel about the B. Day but I’m not the only one. Defer it for awhile why don’t you? Fri. Sept 24 – I wish you hadn’t tried to iron feeling like you did as it wasn’t necessary. From now on take your time with the shirts. You put the AAAF on the right pants. I may send them back for you to keep during the winter. I haven’t decided yet. Roger ought to make Cpl. All fellows who washed out of O.C.S. used to be automatically a Cpl. We are allowed $5 breakage. All over that we have to pay. I look like Orson Welles with my gas mask on – fresh from Mars. I found the eraser O.K. and all the candy too. By the way, how about a hint as to something to commemorate that 22 yrs. “in the harness.” How about it. Furloughs come after we pass these subjects. Well that covers your 3 letters and it’s about 8:45. I guess this will be it for tonight once more. So for tonight,




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