Guess I Better Cut the Gas Line

Saturday Oct. 9, 1943

11 p.m.


Dear folks,

It’s about time for lights out so I’ll just start this tonight and finish it tomorrow. I finished your letter last night and came back and went to bed at about 10:20 I guess. I was up at 5:30, dressed & out for reveille. I decided not to sleep so I shined my shoes before breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, corn flakes, milk and a pear. After breakfast I made my bed, swept, shined my buttons and my buckle before going to class at 8. First we had study which I spent on Chem. At 9 we had Physics drill & worked on Problems. At 10 we had another study and I worked on Chem. some more. I found out my grade in Physics. It’s a B. I got a score of 25 on that test. It was 3rd highest in the class and what do I get on it, a C. I didn’t like it very well but what can I do about it. I can see right now my grades will be lower. He doesn’t use class average like they did last term. Actually I’m doing better work. Oh well, I’m not flunking so they think we should be happy. At 11 we had Chem. We did problems & I hope I got it O.K. I got a 97 on last week’s test. He only gave me a 93 but he made a mistake in adding it up so I’ll get credit for it. At 12 we ate – stew, string beans, salad, bread, butter, milk & lemon pudding. Then I came back and shaved, took a shower, dusted & got dressed for inspection. It was a fast one but we were lucky. He asked everybody to show their dog tags. No dog tags – one demerit. Neither of us had ours on but he forgot to ask us so I guess I better wear them from now on, for inspections at least. After inspection we heard the results. By then it was about 2:30 so Freese, Ferd & I went to the football game. They played Arkansas A&M – a team of sailors & Marines. They beat Arkansas Univ. 19 to 12. Those boys were really rugged. It was a swell hot afternoon. The game lasted until nearly 5:30 so I kept my laundry. I’ll send it out next week. There wasn’t very much anyway this time – just some socks & a couple sets of underwear. So you’ll know why you didn’t get any wash. We went on over to supper from the game. I had scalloped potatoes, cheese, beets, salad, bread, butter, milk & lemon pudding. After supper I changed to my blouse and about 6:15 Freese & I went over to the Union and played ping pong until after 7:30. I won 8 games & lost 5 I guess. He’s a better player than I am though. We were alone tonight. Bill Anderson hasn’t been around all week. He has a knee that has troubled him for several months and he may be out at the hospital. Leonard & I may go out to see him tomorrow if he’s out there. I haven’t seen him since we played tennis Sun. but his knee was bothering then. From the Union we went to the show – a newsreel, short on black markets, & “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” It was a good musical show with Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Ann Sheridan, Joan Leslie & lots of other stars. The story wasn’t too good but there were a lot of swell tunes & good scenes. It lasted until 10:30 and then we came back here. The Union was too crowded so we didn’t stop. I got your Wed. Oct. 6 letter today. So that’s today in a nutshell at 11:20 and I better get this light off so good night.

Sun. Oct. 10, 1943 – 9:08 p.m. in late study. Here I am again. This won’t be as long as last Sun. letter probably. I went to bed as soon as I finished writing on this. I was awake off and on from 6:30 and I finally woke up for good at 8. I got up, rounded up some books & got back into bed and went to work. I filled in my Chem. experiments in the new manual I got. It took about an hour to write up the 9 experiments. Then I read 2 chapters of Chem. for Tues. At about 10:15 I got up and dressed. Then I read 2 chapters of Physics before going to dinner at 12. I had roast beef, potatoes, cauliflower, salad, bread, butter, biscuits, milk & ice cream. Then I went to work on my Physics Problems. At about 1:00, Ferd, I & Rudy Helle (from Columbus O.) went out and took some pictures. Then I came in & went back to the Physics until 2:00. Freese & I caught a cab and went out to the Vet’s Hospital to see Bill. We were out there until about 3:45 talking to him. He isn’t sick. He just has a bad knee that he hurt before he came into the army. He’s bucking for a C.D.D. but I doubt if he gets it. We came back and went down to the drugstore for something Freese wanted. Then we stopped at the Union & I got a couple sandwiches. We got back to the dorm at about 4:45 and I went back to work. I finished the Physics, copied over some of my Geog. notes and started on Analyt. until we left for study at 7. From 7 to 9 I worked on Analyt. but didn’t get far. So you see how I spent most of today. I put a lot of time behind a pencil & book but didn’t accomplish too much. I hated to do it too as it was a beautiful warm Indian Summer day – But I guess I had enough recreation last night maybe. I still have Analyt. to do and History & English to read for Tues. I’m 5 chap. behind in Geography but he gives most of it to us in class. So long as I get a good set of notes I’m O.K. Practically all day and 9 experiments, 2 chap. of Chem., 2 chap. of Physics, one set of Physics problems & some analyt. done. I can’t decide if that’s good or not. I brought a couple letters along to answer tonight but I probably won’t. One I got from Amelia Aug. 28, the other from Lillis Aug. 30. I imagine people have a low opinion of me by now for not writing but I can’t do everything. They are talking of a new setup now so that fellows can get tutoring in their weak subjects. The tutors are to be the ones who know the stuff. So far it’s on a volunteer basis but I absolutely refuse to be a tutor for anybody. I have to grind my nose practically through the grindstone to keep up myself let alone take my study time to help somebody. I’m always willing to help anybody here or there if I can and the fellows all know it but that’s right where I draw the line.

Well I’ve rambled on that long enough I guess. According to what the Lt. said tonight we may get a new Analyt. teacher. At first the Army acted as if they didn’t particularly care if the fellows made it or not. Now they seem to try to do all they can to get us through our subjects.

I don’t suppose you folks went up there today. It doesn’t really seem like October here. The leaves are down a lot but not from frost. The fall colors are lacking too. I imagine it’s a lot cooler up there than it is here. The Yanks won again today. I sort of think they’ll win this year. How did Detroit get way down to 5th. They were in 3rd I believe when I was home. Boy Notre Dame really tromped on Michigan too.

Well now to your Wed. Oct. 6 letter – I didn’t send my laundry as I said so it will be a little larger next time. This baking you keep mentioning sounds swell if it means what I think it does. Well Lake View & Lansing aren’t too close together. I don’t know when I’ll write to people unless I write each morning after reveille instead of sleeping. You’ll see some low marks on those papers too. Mark lives in Razorback now. He’s in a different Company so I don’t see him too often. We were never very great friends anyway. His ideas & mine aren’t so close together. Freese is much more nearly my sort of a guy. He still has his mind set on the air corps and he’ll make himself believe he can’t get this until his mother gives in & lets him try for it. Johnny never wrote so I don’t know his address. One of the fellows he went with has had or soon will have a boat ride. Whether Johnny is in on that or not I don’t know. Yeh, I lose a lot of tennis games. My racket is no good for one thing. The strings are so loose that you can shove them back and forth with your fingers. I don’t think they stopped teaching German anywhere. The army is sending a lot of men to school to study. I once heard that they quit teaching it in high schools during the last war. That may be what he was thinking of. They never taught it at Eastern. That 7% is just another rumor but it’s hard to tell what is true and what isn’t. Starch is a polysaccharide of the formula (C6H10O5), so now you know what you put on your clothes. Jack Caron’s name sounds familiar but maybe I’m thinking of a wrong one. We don’t hear too much but I guess the American 5th is doing O.K. in Italy. What’s the milkweed for – cellulose – (C6H1005)n?

That answers your letter at 9:55. This would be a sort of important & looked-forward-to week if I were home but it doesn’t mean much now, just one more year. I really wish I could have gotten to college a year or so sooner. If I ever go back now I won’t be out until I’m 26 or 27. The most lively part of my life will have been spent behind a book or in the Army. By the time I get ready to set back & enjoy life I’ll be getting too old or beginning to slip. Each generation slips a little sooner. Oh well, enough pessimism. I should be happy that I was drafted out of good school & a scholarship and sent to the Univ. of Ark. with free clothes, book, tuition, food, shelter & what have you. Oh I’m fortunate to get this training. Well I’ve spouted about enough for tonight so I guess I better cut the gas line. No kidding I’m not really this disgusted so don’t take it too seriously. I’ll be sort of looking for my laundry along about Tues. or Wed.

Well for another mad (?) weekend, I’ll say so long.




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