The Spirit is Here But the Flesh is Tired

March 24, 1943 Wed.

8:45 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am killing 2 birds at once. I am writing and also relaxing at the same time. I got off K.P. at about 8:30 and here I am. I’ll warn you now that I probably won’t write tomorrow. I’ll try if I can but I doubt it. I’ll be up at about 4:30 in the morning as usual. Tomorrow night at 8 they are having a big dinner party and we’ll have to work until about midnight cleaning up the debris. Only one thing can save me and that’s a notice to pack and get ready to leave and I am expecting it anytime now within the next 6 months. I am trying this in pencil to see if it will be easier for you to read. My black ink seems to make an imprint clear thru the paper that’s hard to read.

After I wrote that letter to you in Benicia last night I walked down and mailed it and then got me a snack at the bakery. Then I went back to that recreation hall until it was time for the show to open. Then I went to the show. It was “Give Out, Sisters” with the Andrews Sisters & “Night in New Orleans.” It was a pretty good show – quite funny and lots of music. There was also a newsreel and “Information Please.” When the show was over I came in to camp at about 10:30. The corporal on the gate looked at my pass and saw I had 14 hours left and let me keep it. I came in and went to bed and slept until at 15 to 5 when the K.P.’s were called. I dressed and took the pass over and gave it to the corporal and then signed in at the office. I counted the time and knew that same corporal would be back on. It’s a good thing the officer of the day wasn’t around because the guard was asleep when I went back. Then I lay down and slept until breakfast – pancakes, syrup, boiled egg, farina and that’s all. Then I came back and put on my fatigues and crawled into my bunk and tried to sleep. It seemed I had been sleeping hours and I was afraid it was past dinner time – it was 8 o’clock. I slept until 10:30 then dressed and washed. I also got a U.S. button & a C.A. button issued to me so I have that now. Dinner was roast beef, potatoes, gravy, spinach, salad, bread, butter and an orange. Then I went on to the usual routine of K.P. at noon. I waited table, cleaned spinach, and unloaded freight up to supper time. It seemed good to be handling cases of corn & peas & stuff again. Supper was stew, corn, spinach, salad, bread, butter, apple pie and Ovaltine. After supper I helped on the dishes. I fished them out of the hot water after they were washed.

9 o’clock. Boy we worked to get out of there but 8:30 was the best we could do. I am getting so I don’t mind K.P. and I can see plenty of advantages. My big kick is I don’t have time enough to write decent letters. I got no letters today. That’s 3 mail deliveries with no mail. I still haven’t got last Thurs. letter and the last one I got was your Fri. letter and here it is Wed. I should have gotten your Sunday letter today. I hear air mail is going to stop. Maybe it already has. Since I have no letters to answer that will cut the length of this letter some. Now let’s see. I have told you what I did today. I got my 24 hours off and didn’t stay away either. I think they are going to let us do that from now on. My next pass will be Sunday or Monday if I am here.

Here’s the big news. The rumor has been confirmed. This fellow, Sloma, from Headquarters battery has gone to Oregon State. He is a graduate chemical engineer from Northwestern Univ. I didn’t know him but he is from McCoy and was at Santa Rosa. Here is better news. This boy Bachman who has the master’s degree got orders to pack and get ready to leave probably tonight or in the morning. He was never with us before we got here but he was drafted in Illinois and graduated from Penn State. I never was much to envy people but I envy him. You can see why when I say he is being sent to the Univ. of Mich.  Oh do I think I wish I were in his place. Maybe things are meant to be otherwise but I can still think I’d like to be going there too. Oh boy, home only 85 miles away. I guess that’s too good to be true. Before I heard that I’d have been happy to get anywhere within 1000 miles of home but now I won’t be satisfied. I probably won’t get my orders for a couple weeks or even longer but then it might be in a day or two. They evidently are taking the college grads first so I will be down at the bottom of the list. I still think it won’t be long now. At least it gives me something cheerful to look forward to and that helps like the dickens. I should shave tonight but I think I’ll try to chisel time tomorrow off my K.P. time. I’ll need all the sleep I can get tonight.

I wonder where my mail is. I look for some at every mail time but I don’t seem to be getting it. Maybe they really have quit air mail. Boy if I could get near home I could get one day deliveries on mail. The news would still be hot. Well this is another punk letter but I am doing my best. The spirit is here but the flesh is tired or something like that. I’ll try to get a note written to you during the day tomorrow if I can. I don’t want a day to pass without writing to you. It’s my daily privilege and duty. Well good night and sometime I’ll be able to do things the way I want to and maybe we’ll be together again before the year is over. I’d like to think sooner but if I don’t build hopes they can’t be smashed. Too many of mine have been.


Love to all my people


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