Smarty Pants

Tues. Jan 5, 1943

8:10 p.m.


Dear Everybody,

Did you get the other letter and my clothes?  You can write to me if you want to at the address on the envelope but I don’t expect to be here long.  They finished processing us yesterday.  In the morning we wrote the intelligence tests.  On the general I.Q. tests I did 132 and Guggemos (the fellow who had 2 years at State) did 133.  The rest seemed to be in the 70’s, 80’s or low hundreds.  Of course I don’t know how many I got right.  After that we went through our classification.  They really try to find out what you can do best.  First we signed up for insurance.  I got $5,000 which will cost me $3.25 a month.  I didn’t see any sense in getting $10,000.  They tried to get us to sign up for bonds but I declined politely.  If I want any I’ll buy them myself!  After that we were given a personal interview.  It included education, work, experience, sports, hobbies and just about everything that shows what you are and can do.  The fellow that interviewed me used to go to college at Kalamazoo, his home.  He said he goes home 2 or 3 times a week.  I told him everything I could think of and they gave me a typing test.  I said I could type 25 words a minute.  I was pretty jumpy and made a lot of mistakes but did 30.  When I turned in my card the sergeant said it looked very good.  After that we got our shots.  The vaccination in my left arm looks as if it might work.  The shot was for typhoid.  The fellows around here have been trying to scare us about the needle.  The guy really did take a poke at you but the needle was so small you hardly feel it.  My arm is a little sore but O.K.  We got off quarantine last night and they split us up to fill the vacancies in several barracks.  I’m in 1056, Hugh is in 1054.  I sleep above a fellow from Detroit.  Last night I went to a show and saw “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”  The pictures are good and it costs only 15 cents.  I got in about 9:15.  They turn the lights out in the barracks at 9:00 but you don’t have to be in till 11:00.  Then came the fun.  They woke us up at 4:00 this morning to go on K.P. (Time out, the kid in the next bunk plays the harmonica.). Those jokes are all right but it’s no fun.  We went on at 4:30 and got off at 7:15 tonight.  For nearly fifteen hours I shoveled coal into six cook stoves.  Boy my clothes and me were black.  Now I’m in my bunk.  I washed and shaved but most of the dirt came off on the towel.  Well that brings you up to date.  If I’m still here Saturday, I may be home, but don’t plan on it.  It’s now 8:35.  Maybe I’ll go over to the show.  Love to everybody including Babe.




P.S. – We’ve got a guitar now.

Original Letter


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