Rumors and Partly Fried Eggs

Sunday, January 31, 1943, after dinner

Camp McCoy, Wisconsin

 

Dear folks,

Well this may be my last letter from here. I got to bed last night about 9:30. I was up at about 7:10 or so this morning. I dressed and washed a little and then lay down till breakfast was ready at about 8. Breakfast was wheaties, toast, an orange, and 2 partly fried eggs which I didn’t eat. I’m not going to eat half fried eggs as much as I hated to see them go to waste. After breakfast I came back and washed, shaved, cleaned my teeth and put on clean clothes. Then I did my washing – underwear, 2 pairs of socks, 2 towels, wash rag, and 4 hankies. That took me up to mail call and dinner. I got 2 letters – from you and gram written Thurs. We waited around a long time for dinner because we didn’t want to stand in line. I didn’t figure we’d get much to eat but I did O.K. – potatoes, green string beans, veg. salad, bread, butter, strawberry jam and I even managed to get a piece of pie – pineapple custard. Now I’m back from dinner and sitting here on the edge of my bunk. I have started to pack my things some because I have a feeling we will be leaving here tomorrow night or Tues. morning. We know absolutely nothing but we hear a lot. The shipping orders are upstairs now and the common rumor is that we’re on our way to California. Just to show you how much we don’t know we have also heard we’re going to Fort Sheridan, just out of Chicago, Fort Custer, Fort Brady, and someplace in New Jersey. It’s just a lot of wild guessing but we will go somewhere if we get out of quarantine which we probably will. I did want to send a box of stuff back home but I don’t want to do it up and then not be able to have time to send it so I guess I won’t. I’ve got to economize on space someplace but I don’t know how. I have a lot more stuff than I had when I came. You won’t get this until Wed. and I may be where I’m going by then. I don’t imagine I’ll be able to mail any letters or cards while on the train because they don’t let you off. I do have stamps though and a couple 1 cent cards if I should get an opportunity.

Last night I switched money belts and put yours on. I cut the belt and I hope I didn’t cut it too short. It has a much nicer snap than the one Aunt Marie sent.

So there are some more Arlingtons around. I wonder if that Adcock from McCoy is L.S. or regular. I didn’t notice that about Clerk L for awhile. I thought you just wanted me to see the dog. Boy that’s quite a mess at Custer over the theater tickets. You weren’t wrong when you said Roosevelt was in Africa. I think if you can find a map you’ll find French Morocco is in the northwest part of Africa. That Sweet girl must be Howard’s sister. Right?

So they finally started post marking our letters with dates. It’s about time. I can’t see where the date could betray any military secrets. I imagine you got my letter yesterday telling I got the box O.K. I am glad you have your car and trailer licenses. I was wondering if he would get the trailer license. I’m glad the hat came out so good. It sure was a mess when I packed it. Boy when I get home I’ll be able to take a choice of all my shirts, my suits and everything. They’ll all seem like new to me and yet like old friends too. Me and another kid were saying today we wish we could have a civilian suit and overcoat on for awhile again. It sure would seem nice. I sure want to get my watch fixed as soon as I can. I hope they can fix it while I wait as I am afraid to leave it anywhere. Boy you sure are using a lot of coal this winter. It seems a long time since I used to wham the tennis balls in that gym outfit. Is the brace on my racket and is it in a dry place? Boy the strings are just about wrecked now. If we get down south maybe I can get in a little tennis or ball of some kind. I was kind of excited when I wrote that Monday because at first they said we couldn’t send or get mail but that was changed later. The letters are the things we look forward to and without them the quarantine would have been pretty stiff. So far as I know and have seen no one is sleeping in tents as I said. If anyone is it is the regulars when on hikes but I doubt it. Some days we see as high as maybe 2000 men go by on hikes with snowshoes and skis but they always go back by at night. You’re right, it is a pretty decent place although I can think of another I’d rather be. I found those spoons O.K. and have been using them every day. I must have neglected to mention them. I might get a job here but I doubt it.  I haven’t tried for a job as instructor and anyhow I hear Andrews who had the in road is going to be shipped with the rest of us. I am beginning to believe what I’ve thought a long time. Most of the stuff they tell us is a lot of bunk. I have no intention to take a rest from letter writing to you folks. If you wait for yours just half as expectantly as I do then I have enough reason to keep writing every day. I bet you won’t find many soldiers who write home every day and get an answer every day. I know. Some of these fellows get a penny card from their mother once in awhile. Nearly everyone gets lots of mail but not much from their parents where it should come from and go to. Gramp might have been a 2 dollar a year man if I could have sent him a card although I don’t suppose I would have sent a dollar. As it is I didn’t send anything because I couldn’t get out to get a card. Maybe they’ll send me someplace where I can get a lot more pretty cards to send home. I never got anything at Custer because I never went to the P.X. I didn’t know they had such a variety of stuff there. I thought it was just a place to guzzle beer. I’ll look after that show going guy as best I can but I need you folks’ help once in a while.

Gram is right. We don’t get any layer cakes. Either pie or little cup cakes is all they give us for sweets. There are usually about 100 pies. Its funny nobody knows where Donald is. One kid got a letter from one of the fellows who left Lansing with us. He is near Cheyenne Wyoming. Boy did they spread us out. They’ll do some more of it here in the next 2 or 3 days. I hear there are 1300 going out before Tues.

It is a beautiful day here. It has snowed all morning and every little branch is piled high with snow and now the sun is shining. It is a warm day. Well I guess I’ll stop for awhile and keep a-going with my stuff. I have all my summer issue stuff in the bottom of my bag. You ought to see the gaw [?] shirts they gave me [sketch of very wide shirt]. Size 44 must have been a mistake because it should be 34. If I get where I need shirts and shorts I think I’ll have you send me a couple of mine because they gave me only 3 sets.

Back after supper: between 5:30 & 6 because Gene Autry is on. Well I spent the afternoon arranging some of my stuff in my grip. I managed to make a little more space. Then I read some on those papers and a little in the New Testament. I made sure of getting there in time for supper. I had potato salad, corn, vegetable salad, crushed pineapple, bread, butter, jam, and cocoa. I came back and read a little more before starting to write. I have read all of the papers but part of Sunday’s and nearly all of the new magazine.

The sun is still shining and the wind is blowing some. I hope it’s a nice day tomorrow because we will probably have to march with our rifles in the graduation. The shipping orders are here but I haven’t seen them.

I still haven’t written to Aunt Marie but I guess I will after I finish this one. I probably will be getting mail here which they will have to forward to me. I’m not going to write to everyone and tell them not to write. I’ll send my new address to everyone who has written to me when I get there.

The rest of the evening I’ll probably write and read some more. We can’t go to a show doggonit. I haven’t been to a show for a whole week. I haven’t spent much money in the last 2 weeks either. I throwed in a dime for FDR today. Tomorrow is payday $46.75. You bet I’d like to be a corporal at $66 a month. A 1st class private gets $54 and a staff sergeant $98.

Jack Benny is on now. It seems a little funny to hear everything an hour sooner. Are you going to set your clocks back an hour there? I see there is a lot about it in the papers lately. The farther west I go the more the time is set back.

There is a lot of stuff in this envelope. I don’t know if you want it all and I hope it isn’t too heavy to go through free.

Well back from listening to part of Benny’s program. I saw Dennis Day last Sunday in “Powers Girl.” He’s pretty good. I think I mentioned that I saw one Benny broadcast in a movie short since I’ve been here.

I wrote a card to Aunty telling her I got the book. I don’t think I’ll write to anyone else before I leave unless it appears I may be here for quite awhile. You keep writing though. I’ll get them eventually and its swell to know someone is writing every day.

Well I guess this is about all I can think of today. I took down all my washing but the underwear and socks. I notice a small whole [sic] near the seam in my underwear pants. It looks as if I’ll have to get a needle and thread unless I get where it’s warm. I’ve seen some of the fellows have been darning their socks. Not such hot jobs. I haven’t had any holes yet.

6:30 and the end for today. Tomorrow I may be writing on a train. Don’t think I’m sick if you don’t hear from me for a week or so. I hope the heads and ears are beginning to feel a lot better.

 

Lots of love to all,

Arlington

 

You know we’ve all been thinking where we are going. The most important thing really is what we are going to do. I hope I get a good job.

Original Letter

2 Comments

  1. Leo
    Apr 25, 2014

    thanks, Ann – every new post is a real treat! I remember making Daddy lots of eggs over easy that I remember he liked, so partly fried must have been pretty bad!

  2. Ann Forist
    Apr 25, 2014

    I just love it when he’s afraid of food! Good thing they had plenty of pie at Camp McCoy!

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