My Stooges Tell Me I’m Leaving

Stamps are for my collection. After I got them I noticed plate no.


Thursday May 20, 1943

11:59 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am again. Hooray, yippee, wahoo and stuff. My stooges tell me I’m leaving tomorrow or next day at long last. I’m told I will go first to Stanford University which is at Palo Alto, about 35 miles south of here. I guess I better start at the beginning as I usually do. I finished writing to you a short time after I got here last night. The night was uneventful so I took myself in hand and wrote nearly all night. I had my pen in one hand and the telephone up to my ear with the other listening to radio music in East Bay. I wrote a card to Thelma thanking her for the candy and letters to Elmo, Aunty, Gramp, Hugh and Amelia. Writing, making line checks, listening to music and conversations all kept me awake O.K. By 8 I was beginning to get pretty sleepy and was glad to get off. During the night I began to get a little perturbed about this ASTP so I decided to do something about it. We rode back to the battery as always. Breakfast was pancakes, jam, butter, syrup, milk and a banana. After breakfast I decided to see what I could find out so I went to the battery office. The battery clerk advised me to write to my battery and ask if my ASTP records had been returned and if they had to ask them to submit my name to go before the board again. He said that since the setup was changed some person’s records had been sent back even tho’ they passed before because they hadn’t qualified for a technical field. He believed that my field was considered as technical and that was why I hadn’t been called before the board again. He recommended writing as a double check. The captain also thought it was a good idea. This captain down here at the btry is an all right guy. He is a lawyer from Minnesota. I decided maybe they were right so I intended to write tonight to my battery when I got to work. Then I headed for bed. I slept until noon, woke and went back to sleep. I slept off and on until about 5. I got no mail at all today. I dressed in time for supper – potatoes, salad, bread, butter, jam and lemon pie. After supper I had decided to loaf away the evening when one of the corporals asked me if I was Forist and if I was up for ASTP. I said yes and he said you’re leaving. He said the orders came thru for me and another kid at about 4 this afternoon. You can bet I felt pretty good so I decided to clean up and go out someplace. I passed another fellow and he says you’re leaving tomorrow or next day. A little further on a kid says “goodbye.” I asked why and he says “You’re leaving.” So I guess I must be leaving. They all work at Brigade where they know what happens. As yet of course I’ve had no official notice about it. That might come tomorrow or it might be a week. I washed, changed my clothes, got a pass and left. I got some stamps, left some negatives at the drugstore for Haxton and bought some cards to send out. Then I walked around a little and finally went to a show at the Warfield Theater. I hope you can read this. My writing is getting worse all the time. The movie was “Follow the Band” with a lot of radio and screen stars. The stage show was fair. A couple of the acts were very good. After the show I came on up to work here. I got here a little after 11. I started to write this but had to help on the board down here for awhile. I finally got back to this. The lieutenant had a birthday the 10th so the ladies brought him a cake tonight. It was very good. I’ve been writing tonight and also visiting some with the boys on the lines. I have a date with a corporal from the 216th for tomorrow night if I’m still in town. Neither has seen the other but we’ve talked a lot over the phones. He wants me to go to a show with him. He has suggested it several times before. He is the boy who flunked out of O.C.S. He sounds like a pretty decent fellow over the phone. He’s from Ill. That brings me up to where I am now. I bought a pack of those FREE cards to use to give people my change of address. Now I can’t give you much information because I haven’t much to give as yet. Stanford is a sort of reception center. They hold you about 2 weeks there unless you are assigned to a unit there for training. During this preliminary period several tests are given to determine abilities and aptitudes to see just what one is best qualified for. After that one attends classes until he is assigned for training at some school. In all probability the school will be in the 9th Service Command – Calif., Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada I believe. They are supposed to keep us in this command. If I can’t get back East I think I’d like to go to Southern California or someplace in Oregon. Of course this is just assumption and nothing definite. The stay at Stanford is about 2 weeks. New men come and go every day so trying to conduct classes is a joke. One thing it will give me a chance to get used to studying again before I hit the real thing. Reveille 6:15 – lights out at 10:15. This sure has been a cinch setup here. I’ll probably appreciate it more after I’ve been gone awhile. I’m willing to grind a little though if I can get someplace by doing it. This will with good luck lead to O.C.S. in time. I’ve always wanted to go to O.C.S. but I wanted to do it this way. After having had all this training O.C.S. would be much easier. Where it all leads I don’t know yet. I hope I’ll never wish I hadn’t got this because I really think it is a break. I’ll probably get K.P. again at Stanford but once in awhile won’t be bad. I can take it I guess after having done K.P. at its worst. I haven’t ordered you not to write for awhile because I’ll be only about 35 miles from here. If I make a big move I may send a telegram saying, Moving, hold mail, or something like that. Anyway don’t send any packages for awhile because my mail may get tied in knots. I supposed I would have to return to Benicia and give them my bedding and stuff but maybe not. Kinney took his with him and then was issued more. He had 2 comforters and 5 blankets. He said he was the only one with a rifle down there. There is one drawback. This probably kicks a furlough right square in the teeth. Maybe if I get on the ball and keep my nose to the wheel I can work nearer to home and if I do get a leave I can have more time there. As it is I would have 7 days of a 15 day leave at home – cost $150 and up. As I said I bought a pack of post cards because I don’t expect to write many letters once I get to really hitting the books. I have too much at stake. So if my letters get a little briefer and cut off don’t pay too much attention. I’ll write as much as possible but they don’t allow much time for writing. Of course each school is just a little different. Maybe I’ll hit a good one. Anyway I’ll know in time. I guess this is all the info I can give you this time but I’ll keep you posted. Write if you can. I haven’t gotten a letter for two days. The last was your last Fri. one. I’ll get all mail eventually but it may be tied up for awhile. My blouse & one set of O.D.’s won’t be back from the cleaners till Sun. so maybe I better hope to stay here till then. Well so long for tonight or I should say for Fri. morning. Maybe by tonight I’ll be a rah rah boy again. If you think I’m not happy you are much mistaken.




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