Here Is I Again

This still isn’t my address for sure.


Monday, June 7, 1943

7:35 a.m. Central Time


Dear gang,

Here is I again. I’m bouncing along somewhere in Eastern Kansas headed for Kansas City. I finished your letter last night just before we got to Pueblo, Colo. We stopped there to unhook the diner so we had quite a bit of time. I went over to the depot and mailed your letter and then bought a couple folders. One shows pictures of Southern Colorado, the other shows the Royal Gorge with the Bridge and everything that I tried to describe as I saw. Pueblo is quite a large sized city with trolley cars, etc. We left there just before dusk. A short way out we passed another army camp but this was much smaller than the other. I learned that the big one was Camp Hale. From Pueblo on we hit the plains and left the mountains behind. As soon as it started to turn dark the porter began to make up the berths. There wasn’t anything to do so I washed up a little and went to bed at about 9:00. We passed through a fairly large town and then stopped at the next town while they repaired the water tank on a Pullman. The fellows were getting off so we jumped into our clothes and got off. It was La Junta, Colo. They didn’t have much but I did get a folder on Denver Mountain Parks. Some of these folders aren’t the exact places I’ve seen but they give a good idea of the type of places anyway. I got back on with my folder and went back to bed. I looked out a couple of times during the night but I could see only about 100 feet for fog. When they called us for breakfast my watch said 4:30 but we entered the Central time zone during the night so it was 5:30. I got up, dressed and washed and then went out on the platform. It was and still is very foggy although it is very slowly lifting. We stopped at the town of Newton, Kansas and ate breakfast in the station lunch room there. It was scrambled eggs, potatoes, fried corn meal, jelly, toast, butter and milk and an orange. After breakfast I bought a folder on Kansas and its capital and 3 cards. I sent one to you and have the rest here yet. Johnny found some card maps so he gave me one of those also. We were there quite awhile. We finally pulled out and I sat and looked out the window until the porter made up the seats. Then I started to write. We passed through Peabody and Strong City and stopped a couple of minutes at a nice little town called Emporia.  We just now went thru Lebo. I remember from literature that Emporia is the home of Wm. Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette and a famous journalist. You probably remember his son Bill White who used to report from Helsinki when the Russians invaded Finland. When we left there I came back to writing and here I am.

When I saw Kansas in Feb., I didn’t think it could ever look good to me but it does now. It’s the nearest thing to home and Mich. that I’ve seen in 5 months. It’s still flat although it is slightly rolling in places here. I am south of where I came thru before. But now the fields are green and the trees are leaved out and in places it looks just like a little corner of Michigan. The god forsaken appearance has disappeared for me. The fields are green with hay, corn, or wheat and cattle are all around. I guess I’m pretty clumsy at saying things but in plain words it looks swell to me. The mountains are beautiful and awesome but aside for seeing them on a vacation or trip I wouldn’t care to live there. I’ll take Michigan. The towns here are quite frequent. They are neater and better looking than the ones out west and they are something more than just railroad sidings. We used to say out west in Kansas but it doesn’t seem like the west to me. I guess my conception of distances has changed. Remember 53 miles to Cheboygan? We asked the girl in the restaurant how far it was to Kansas City. She said it was an awful long way. I suppose it was to her but 200 miles doesn’t seem like much anymore. We are really hitting it off now as you can see from my writing. We are to reach Kansas City in about 2 hours.

I now have a lot of folders and cards. I suppose I should have mailed them at the places I bought them so they would have the postmarks but I didn’t. For one thing I didn’t have stamps and also I didn’t have time to put the little arrows and remarks that I like on them. Johnny just said it seems good to see something besides palm and eucalyptus trees and I agree. The only tree I recognized in Calif. was the elm. We are going thru farm country that very easily could have been whacked out of Michigan and set in Kansas. Well I guess I’ve run down for now so I’ll stop for now and be back later. This will probably be mailed from Arkansas. 8:55

10:30. We’re 10 miles from Kansas City now. We’ve been rolling along pretty fast. We went through one section of woods and ferns and stuff on low rolling hills that sure was like Northern Mich. We’re out on flatter ground now and we are following the Missouri River. There are a lot of gravel pits along the river and the towns are getting closer together. The gardens are pretty far along out here. The tom. plants are real large and the spuds are in blossom. We’re in a big R.R. yard now so Kansas City must be close. Off at 10:35.

5:00 p.m. Sitting in the Kansas City yards waiting to leave. It will be pretty late when we hit Arkansas now. We got in here right after I quit writing. We got off the train and lined up and walked over to a lunch room in the basement of the station. For dinner we had tomato juice, salad, potatoes, peas, buns, butter, milk and cake with lemon sherbet. After eating they took us upstairs to the lobby and told us to be back there at 3:45. Johnny and I headed downtown. It was quite a walk. We stopped in a barber shop and got our hair cut. I hadn’t had one for close to two months. I got gypped I think. Haircuts are 65 cents. He asked if I wanted anything on it. I thought he meant to dampen it a little so I said yes. The guy put some goo on and gave me a massage and it cost 90 cents. From now on I don’t want anything but a plain haircut. From there we went on downtown and looked around in several dime stores and just walked around. I got a pennant and some cards and a folder. We were going to go to a show to see Gildersleeve but it didn’t end until 3:42 so we knew we wouldn’t have time. We started back and I got me a shirt on the way back. I figured if we wear suntans I’ll need another shirt so I bought one. – $3.01 with tax. The tax here is by mils. They have little tokens they use for tax. Johnny got a handful in his change and he gave me one. He got a shirt and belt buckle in another store and then we came back here at about 2 or so. We looked around at all the stores and shops in the station and then we went across the street to explore the Liberty Memorial Building. I bought some pictures of it so you’ll see a little of what it’s like. It is really a joke now because it is a huge memorial to the peace of World War I. In the middle is the tower which we didn’t go up. The city was covered with smoke and haze so we didn’t figure we could see much. We did explore the buildings on each side. One is a sort of church. The other is a museum of clippings and odds and ends of the war. We spent some time there and left at about 3. By then it was beginning to rain a little. We went back to the station and looked around. There is a book store, a drug store, a toy shop, a lunch room etc. in the huge station. We wandered around and I got a few cards and another folder. I also bought a couple of little trinkets for you which I’ll mail later. I don’t like them as well as I thought I did but I think you’ll like them maybe. I hope so. We’re moving out now. I’ve added a new state to my list – Missouri. I’ve got a lot of stuff to send home now. I don’t know just when I’ll send it but I’ll do it as soon as I can. We’re angling south now so this is the closest I got to home. Arkansas here we come. We waited around the station until 3:45. Then they got us together and we went down to supper. It was grape juice, salad, turkey, macaroni, peas, bread, butter, milk, and cake with sherbet again. Then we got together and they counted us to see if we were all here. We got on the train and here I am. I’ve got to watch how I spend for awhile. I wasn’t paid so I’ve got to make it last until July 1. I have 30 bucks now. I had 43 when I hit Stanford 2 weeks ago. I spent 5 today and the other 8 went here and there for candy, ice cream, stamps, shaving cream and this and that. I broke one 5 since I started this trip but it’s gone for cards, folders, etc. etc. I really don’t mind because I don’t go on these kind of trips very often. I’d have plenty of money if I get paid. I’ll get 93.50 next month I hope. I’ll make what I’ve got last O.K. I think. I don’t want to draw on what little I had saved because it had a purpose. We are going thru a moderately woodsy sector now a lot like parts of Michigan. It will be very late when I get to Arkansas so I may not write any then. I’ll leave this open and may add an ending tonight or it the morning. Right now I guess I’ve covered everything except I don’t care for Kansas City very much either. So for now I’m signing off at about 6 p.m. somewhere in Missouri.

Back at 8 p.m. somewhere in a freight yd. in Kans. or Missouri. We’ve been going along the state lines so I don’t know which one we’re in. We won’t get there until about 6 a.m., so I am going to finish this and mail it. I hear we make to [two] changes and stopovers. It sounds to me as if Fayetteville will be a hard place to get into and out of. It will take a lot of time off a leave. Well I’ll quit for Monday June 7. I’ll try to mail this tonight yet.




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