Rah Rah Joe Buck the College Kid

Monday May 24, 1943

Stanford University

Sequoia Hall

Palo Alto, Calif.


Dear folks,

Well here I am. Don’t ask me how I like it because I don’t know. If I were free to come and go as a civilian student it would be heaven and the next best thing to going to good old beautiful M.S.C.

After I wrote that short letter to you last night I went over to the mess hall and saw the tail end of a movie. It was “Swing It Soldier.” I saw the picture before back home on Xmas 1941, the night Julius and I took in 2 double features. After the show I went back and got to bed at about 10:30. The boys rolled out at about 4:45 to go on the morning alerts. They eat afterwards now. I got up at 5:30, washed, dressed, got a snack – rice krispies and an apple and was ready to leave at 6:30. I got my stuff loaded on a truck and rode as far as 211th Hq. in Vallejo. There I met another kid and we rode in a carry all to Brigade hdqs. in Frisco. So for all the good it did I could just as well have stayed in Frisco and had a full day off. But that’s the army. We waited around at Brigade and finally got started. We then had four men and a variety of bags and trunks. We rode in a big 2 ½ ton truck with the canvas off. It was very cold and foggy in Frisco but as we came south it got hotter and hotter. The scenery and buildings are much more attractive down this way. We passed through Daly City, Redwood, San Mateo and other smaller places.  Judging from the homes, the wealthier people in Frisco must live outside. It was a nice ride and very entertaining for me. We got here about 10 I guess and we drove and drove around this campus for nearly an hour trying to find where they were supposed to deliver us. After many stops and retracing of our paths we finally arrived at Sequoia Hall which was once a boy’s dorm before the army moved in. We unloaded our stuff and were marched off across the campus to dinner. I think I’ll like the food and no K.P. We eat on trays like at Custer and they have silverware. For lunch I had milk, spaghetti, asparagus, white and whole wheat bread and butter and jello. After dinner we marched back and were given a cot, 3 comforters, 1 blanket, a sheet, pillow and pillow case. We were then given a room for 5 of us and we put up our beds. There is a dresser, four chairs, a table, a closet and a sink in the room. It isn’t bad at all. We were taking it easy when they came looking for us. They had a little detail for us at headquarters. We went over there at about 15 to 2 and they put us to work. I took service records out and filed them, and checked out the cards of fellows who are gone. Kinney went to Santa Clara. They seem to stay here from 2 to 4 weeks. We are all practically supposed to be engineers I guess. The biggest groups are going to Santa Clara here in Calif. and to Oklahoma. Give me Santa Clara or U.C.L.A. We worked there until about 4 then we came back here and here I am. They sell milk and ice cream downstairs and I see where I am going to get my share while I am here. We get classification tests in a day or so, 3 hour exams. They will be on math and maybe also chem. and physics. I think I can handle basic math but I’m a little afraid of the other two. Still if Kinney could make it so can I. It’s a little like Custer here. I can see we’ll be stuck for details every once in awhile. The campus is quite large I guess from what I’ve seen. The architecture is beautiful and much better than M.S.C. yet the grounds can’t compare in beauty. The grass around the buildings is cut for hay instead of mowed. I’ll look it over more when I get a chance. I thought I would like to get to school and I believe I do but it makes me a little homesick. For some reason I don’t resent the civilian students, I envy them. I wonder how they keep out of the army. There are a lot of things to tell probably but I can’t think of them now. I bought about 15 cards in Frisco last week showing views. You probably have most of them on those folders already but I’ll send them anyway. There are a few showing Stanford also. I think you can read my address O.K. ASTARU means Army Specialized Training & Reassignment Unit. I may think of more things I’ve forgotten next time. My mail will probably get a trifle balled up but I guess I’ll get it O.K. Don’t send any packages for awhile until I’m settled someplace for awhile. I may get only 3 mos. and then be sent to O.C.S. It’s hard to tell yet. Well I think I’ll quit until after supper.

Back after supper of asparagus soup, roasted potatoes, gravy, spinach, whole wheat biscuit, butter, crackers, milk and cake (good cake not the G.I. kind). Now I think I’ll arrange my stuff a little and then I may sign out and go to town or look over the campus. Its 6:50 now and we have to be in by 10:15 so you see they don’t give us much free time. Well I’ll write more another time. Write when you can. I got your Mon. letter last so I’m a week behind but it will take time for it to catch me. For tonight so long and take it easy.



Rah Rah Joe Buck the college kid


MSC ‘46

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