I Don’t Care For Any Boat Rides

Friday 28 July 1944

7:05 p.m.


Dear folks,

Well another week is gone so far as I’m concerned as I’m C.Q. tomorrow night. I’m over at the Service Club writing this tonight and is it hot. Last night after I finished writing I lay down in the shade until my ice cream came out. I was quite surprised because it was melted only a little. When I finished eating, a few of us reconnoitered the area and found a little store about ¼ mile away. They had some cold pop so we got some to drink and then wandered back. We lay around talking until about 10:30 I guess and then tried to get to sleep. I didn’t do too well. The ground and my body didn’t fit very well. I slept on my raincoat instead of unrolling my pack. I used it as a sort of pillow. The moon was about ½ size I guess but it was real bright until early morning. I guess my longest stretch of sleep was ½ hour or so. It would take me awhile to get used to it. If it were up north where we used to go I’d probably have done better. We were woke at about 5:30. All I had to do was fold up my raincoat & stick it into my pack. We took off about 6:00 and rode back in to camp. I washed and headed for breakfast – French toast, butter, syrup, milk & an orange. After eating I unrolled my pack, took care of all the junk, made up my bed, shaved and headed for work. I got my morning report done and a few more things and then ran into that courts martial deal again and spent nearly an hour on it which took me up to noon. For dinner I had roast beef, potatoes, salad, peas, bread, butter, and pears. After dinner I loafed awhile, then I got a pint of ice cream & headed back for work. I fixed up an allotment or two, did a couple letters and in general didn’t accomplish too much until I quit at 4:30. I went back and showered and then ate. I had potatoes, peas, beet salad, bread & peanut butter. After supper I fixed up my footlocker and all my equipment in the new way which came out. We are expecting an inspection by our old buddy General Ben Lear – remember him? Then I changed clothes & took off. Sam & Rudy hadn’t come in from the field yet so I came over here by myself and here I am. I got your Tues. letter today so now I have 2 to answer. I stuck my chin out a little today. I’m not able to tell yet whether it was or wasn’t a good idea. A lot of things are making this outfit look too hot for comfort for me. First of all, basic training was suddenly trimmed by 3 or 4 weeks and they’ll wind up Sept. 1. Then today orders came through to report all men in physical Class “D” for transfer to other units. It looks like they want to get rid of the physical misfits in a hurry. It doesn’t seem as though this outfit could have “plans” already but then one never knows. Anyway I was watching them as they made up the forms and I made the remark, “There’s a guy with eyes like mine only his are better.” Sgt. Kumins asked to see my service record & I showed him the “Divergent shabismus, amblyopia exanopsia” and my sight ratings 20/800 & 20/40. He offered to put me on too if I wanted to. I’ve never bucked any on my eyes so they had no forms or anything in this organization on me but it’s on my service record & also my classification card. Come to find out Sgt. Kumins is on the list too. So I thought it over awhile and told him to go ahead & put me down. So he did & it’s gone to 9th Hq, 4th Army. It’s possible that they’ll consider my eyes O.K. and leave me where I am in which case I’ve lost nothing. Then by some chance I might get a transfer. There’s the big question. Will it be good or bad? I have a swell setup here and I’d hate to get into something a lot worse but I figured if Sgt. Kumins is in on it he must expect something fairly decent. I know lots of times you’ve said I should let people know about my eye. So today I did and I hope it was the right time. The ones they transfer will supposedly go to service Command Units – that is become part of the Station Complement or permanent part at some camp. They are cleaning all the able men out of those units & filling them up with 4-F’s or whatever you’d like to call them. When the 1st/Sgt of H&S Co. found Kumins was going he put in his also as he has a trick back. Probably all the flat feets, etc. will be pulled out and they’ll leave the eyes behind as always. Kumins has his eyes plus asthma. Well time will tell and I sure hope I didn’t open my mouth at the wrong time. It is pretty good here now but I don’t care for any boat rides if I can avoid it and it just looks to me like the rats are pulling away from the ship. Then I might be way off the beam as usual. Anyway I dood it so it’s too late to worry now.

Now your 2 letters – Mon. July 24 –

That picture of Dad was very good I thought. Did you mean you jammed up your thumb pulling the tiger lilies or doing something else. I have a nice grazed spot on my arm that just seemed to appear. All of a sudden I noticed it was sore but I don’t know from what. Gee, I figured rationing would continue to let up but I guess I was wrong. You’ll get gas O.K. some way though. You got me wrong. I merely meant I would have more trouble firing since I was out of practice. Don’t think I wanted to get out and practice. That’s one thing I don’t like to do. I don’t like firing that way although I could learn to like it with something like Dad’s 22 maybe. I didn’t see any SOS on the shelf but I remember a lady having some in her basket in one of the stores. I have all the laundry. Well the army will soon be after that kid if he’s 18. Amelia said Johnny got home so his boat must have been in or else he’s not on one now. I didn’t care about the firing and all I wanted was to get it over with. If I hadn’t qualified they’d have dragged me out again. I could probably have done much better but I just armed & squeezed & let her go where it wanted to. I figured things would take care of themselves. You weren’t 30 years too late and I have a pretty good idea about how you feel about a lot of things, See!!! No bivouac on the schedule for next week. We get paid Tues. & then comes the supplemental payroll. Those 7 men had to go out again and fire until they made it. The cookies, Dr’s Orders, etc. were all swell. I heard a little about that explosion from some of my Calif. neighbors. It must have been right across the bay from our old gun positions. Yi! We could see Port Chicago, Martinez & Pittsburgh all right across from us.

Now Tues. July 25 – Well, the dilemma has arrived. You got me stuck as financially I ain’t worth much when it comes to figuring out what’s good. $3000 is an awful lot for the place. Also do you really want to live there. You know you could buy and then sell it for a little profit but that sort of thing is pretty much over my head. Finding a place to rent is not impossible probably but you’d have a little trouble & get soaked plenty for rent. Pay the whole $500 down if you can or more. The more down the less interest, right? At $20 per mo., that’s $480 or roughly 500 a year. With $2500 left that’s 5 years not counting any interest. How long does he say it will take? Or doesn’t he? What’s his % of interest? Maybe something will turn up that will change the picture. Regardless of what you say I’ll make this offer. You scrape up $500 or as near as you can & I’ll put $1000 with it. That’ll pay half. That’s the best I can do and I’m willing to do it. So you can take it or leave it as you feel. I’ll leave it up to you. The offer isn’t too bad considering prices now but do you like the place well enough to buy? I probably haven’t been much help to you but it’s a little hard to get the whole picture from here. Think it over. I’ll lay down the $1000 if you can get $500. For that much down he ought to knock off at least 10% don’t you think? You do whatever seems right to you. That’s all I can say.

Well that’s the letters & today at 8:20. I’m going to sign off before I just drip away. Be seeing you, (might surprise you too)




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