Then I Got Ambitious

Sunday May 30, 1943

6:15 p.m.


Dear folks,

Memorial Day. This won’t be too long because there isn’t much to say and I didn’t get any mail today to answer. Last night after I finished your letter, I dressed and signed out for Palo Alto. I left at 15 to 8 which was too late really. I started to walk but a soldier stopped with a car and gave me a ride in to town. The town is a nice quiet, neat looking place. I walked the length of town looking for a place to get cards or souvenirs. I didn’t find any so I went to a show at about 8 o’clock. I should have known better than go so late. I went to the Varsity theatre which is quite an attractive place built on Spanish lines. I bought a couple candy bars and went in. I saw “Enemy Agents,” a spy story, a short about the war, a newsreel and part of “Hello, Frisco Hello.” You see we are supposed to be in by 10:15 so I left at 10:00. I saw the last 5 minutes and the first 10 or 15 minutes of the picture and that was all. I came too late. That was the picture I wanted to see. It was in Technicolor and about Frisco. I left at 10:00 and walked back here. I got here at about 10:20 and signed in and went to bed. I guess I could have stayed and seen all of the picture because most of the guys signed in at 10:15 at around midnight and nobody said anything. Anyway I got in so that’s all that matters. I slept until about 7:15 this morning. I got up and dressed and read the funnies until time for breakfast. We marched to breakfast. I had Kellogg’s 40% Bran, roll, milk, and I can’t remember if we had fruit or not. Oh, no, we had orange juice instead. We also had S.O.S. (initials for what the boys call —- on a shingle). It is creamed meat of one kind or another on toast. When it’s dried beef or hamburger it’s good but today it looked to me like diced ham so I didn’t eat any. After breakfast we came back here. I finished reading the funnies and then lay down and slept until about 11 o’clock. I got up and wrote until dinner. We marched over to eat and had to wait a long time but the meal was worth it I thought. I had breaded veal, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered peas, biscuit, butter, milk, berry pie and a half of a cantaloupe. After dinner I came back and finished writing. I wrote letters to Amelia, Elmo, and Dick H. in answer to the letters I got yesterday. After I finished writing the other fellows were all gone so I tried to rinse out some socks, 2 prs. of brown and 2 prs. of wool ones. Then I got ambitious and swept and mopped out the room, cleaned the sink, and wiped off the mirrors. That lasted me pretty well up to supper time. I had an Eskimo pie during the afternoon. I have my share of ice cream now instead of so much candy. Supper was about the usual Sunday night G.I. meal – soup, crackers, potato salad, ripe olives, cheese, white and dark bread, butter, milk, and ginger bread. After supper I am back here now writing. We had just one mail call today and I didn’t get any. It looks like spare time will be pretty scarce as soon as I get into refresher courses. They have a schedule on the bulletin board. From 8 to 9 and 9 to 10 we get military science. From 10 to 11 – phys. ed.; from 11 to 12 military science again. From 12 to 1 we eat. Then from 1 to 4 we have 1 hour classes in Chem., math and physics. From 4 to 5 we get phys. ed. again. From 5 to 7 we eat and are free. From 7 to 9:30 we either have study periods or military correspondence whatever that is. Maybe its time to write letters. From 9:30 to 10:30 we have a whole hour to ourselves. That won’t leave much time for writing. Just when that goes into effect I don’t know. Up until now the refresher courses have been sort of hit and miss. It will be a little different once we get to a regular unit. They have about 6 hours a week each of  phys. ed. and military, where we have here about 15 hours of mil. science and 10 hours of phys. ed. Dick H. writes that John Elsenheimer, a kid we know, is going to U.C.L.A. and is carrying 24 hours of work. I had 17 ½ at State. It is possible I might be sent to U.C.L.A. – Univ. of Calif. at Los Angeles. It’s hard to tell. I’ll probably put in about 2 weeks at least here yet. We hear that Santa Clara is full. Maybe they’ll have to open courses in some of the Midwestern and eastern states – I hope. I don’t like the sounds of Oklahoma or Oregon. If I have to stay out here I think U.C.L.A. would be O.K. probably. Give me Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio State if possible. Well it’s 7 o’clock here now – 10 for you and I’ve got nothing else to say so I guess I better quit. I ought to get some mail direct here in a day or so. So far I have had no opinion from you on this setup at all. Well I’ll call it quits for tonight. If you went up there I hope you had a nice weekend. I don’t suppose Dad will get tomorrow off for today’s holiday since he works but 5 days a week. Take it easy.



Son  [sketch of him with nose in a book, captioned “me pretty soon”]

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