Who Are All Those Girls Whose Pictures You Sent?

Thursday, February 18, 1943


Dear folks,

This letter will be limited by time so I don’t know how long it will be. It is about 8:30 I believe so I’ll write till 10:00. I slept till 6:30 this morning. I was up and dressed and had my bed made before breakfast. I had 2 pancakes, syrup, oatmeal, & stewed dried apricots. I went back and got one more flap jack & syrup and more oatmeal and apricots. I really like those apricots. They are the dried ones stewed up. I used to like to eat them dry when I was at the store. After breakfast I shined my shoes and fixed my bed a little better to satisfy the sergeant. Then I sat around a few minutes until we went out. First we had to do our usual morning job of policing up – picking up all the matches, etc. on the ground. Then we went out and marched for an hour until 9:30. Then we had another medical inspection. They looked at our chests and throats again. After that we had a talk on the organization and tactics of the coast artillery. I think I have given this all in the order in which it happened. After the talk we went over so those who had laundry could get theirs. I had a little spare time then until dinner. Dinner was mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and peas and bread. I went back and got more of each. After dinner we had a talk on personal cleanliness. Now that I think it over, I am not sure where that examination or inspection came but it was this forenoon. This afternoon in his talk the doctor emphasized the need for keeping our hands clean, for taking showers and washing our feet and for caring for our teeth. When I was first here our teeth were examined and I was given a number 4 but I didn’t know what it meant then. He explained that to us today. Number 4 means I have good teeth that don’t need attention. After the lecture we went on a hike which lasted up until supper time. We walked about 7 miles I believe. We went off to a little town called Fulton and back. It sure seemed swell to see something besides barracks. It was a swell hot day and boy did I feel good to get out. It doesn’t seem possible that this is February and you are having cold weather back there. We passed several lovely homes. The grass on the lawns and in the fields is green and jonquils and crocuses (I guess) are in blossom. I saw one little tree with yellow blossoms all over it. We also saw a palm tree or two and one little orange tree in a front yard. All around are plum orchards (prunes) and vast vineyards, probably those sweet grapes we like so well. There is fruit all around for miles everywhere. The town of Fulton is just a small place and we didn’t go very far in. We stopped near the R.R. tracks and rested. We saw the Fulton Box Co. Warehouse and boy was it dilapidated. A lot of fellows complained about their feet but I enjoyed the hike except for about ¾ mile over a rocky stretch of new road. Supper wasn’t too hot. Navy beans, potatoes, salad and bread. I just got back to the barracks when we had mail call. I got 5 letters but still not the one you sent to McCoy Feb. 5. The last one I got was written the 3rd and sent the 4th. Tonight I got 5 letters – Your regular letter written Friday, your air mail letters of Sat. and Mon., and letters from Julius & Elmo forwarded from McCoy Feb. 10 & 11. I can’t understand why I haven’t got your letter from McCoy. It was mailed Feb. 5 & Elmo’s was mailed Feb. 8. Maybe I’ll get it yet though. I got your Fri. air mail letter yesterday & the regular letter today but I also got your Mon. air mail today which was post marked Feb. 16. It only took 2 days whereas the Fri. letter took 5. Evidently the air mail schedules aren’t too steady or we just aren’t getting good deliveries. There was an awful lot of mail tonight. I sure hope that letter wasn’t lost as I have gotten all of my mail O.K. up to now. After I read your letter I got to thinking about what you said so I took a chance and did up my glasses and watch to send to you. I don’t know when I’ll get it out but I want to send it air mail and I’ll insure it for 85 dollars. Then I shaved, cleaned my teeth and took a shower and here I am.

Now to your letters. I still have 50 minutes. I threw away the boxes before I left McCoy but I did keep the papers. I have since discarded all the papers I have read. My grip was heavy with books, toilet articles, fruit, candy and everything. I have a lot of things to remember. The Swede is still in my gang. I sleep better in these beds than I did on the train. The pennant from Omaha has an Indian. I think it’s the same one I got all over Michigan. I haven’t changed my wool underwear shirt yet. It isn’t all wool. We have to wear our wool socks. I heard today that regardless of how many cans you have, they can only take ½ of your months points. Is that right? I haven’t had any shots here yet. My finger is O.K. now. I have Listerine & sinus pills. That reg. mail took 6 days. Air mail takes from 3 to 5, usually 3. You can see how long it is before my letters get started. I did up my glasses and my watch as best I could and I will try to send them out tomorrow night. The plane better not crash with $85 worth of my stuff. I should have sent them home a week ago but I was afraid maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. I can’t get them fixed here until I get assigned. I have seen everybody I could about them. I haven’t missed them too much (I’m not telling the army that though.) but my eyes have tired easier and the bright sun has bothered a little. When I get stationed I’ll get 2 pairs on my prescription free. Nobody that wears glasses for eyestrain is in L.S. They all need them here. Do you have to order meat now? Al must be in bad shape to be turned down. Gee fix things the way you want. Don’t stop just because I used to like something. I don’t take cold showers. The barracks has two oil heaters. I have plenty of tissues even after what I used on my packing in the box. I imagine we are at least 30 miles from the ocean and maybe more. I really haven’t missed my long underwear pants. They would have been too hot here. Ewing is no relation to Ferl. We will probably train for at least 5 or 6 months and maybe longer. Non-com is for non-commissioned officer – corporal or sergeant. 15 days is all I can get out here. Maybe you might better keep my good watch & send the other one. My Bulova probably should be cleaned and oiled now after more than a year. The cook didn’t get any candy bars so I got my money back. Francois got a box of 24 choc. cherries and it cost him $1.50. They were pretty good but not worth that much. My heart candy was better. I have two pieces left. 10 minutes to go. Those old men aren’t married. Anybody that wipes on an army towel is briskly rubbed. It is a swell big towel though. I haven’t got your Sunday letter yet and it looks like I’ll have to quit.

Back again early Fri. morning. This is still considered Thurs. letter though because I didn’t have time last night. This will go out just as soon though if I mail it before tonight’s mail call. I have already answered the second Fri. letter & the Sat. letter. Now to Mon. Boy the Ebright’s are meeting violent ends. Who are all those girls whose pictures you sent? Setting the clocks back will make it nicer in that you’ll have daylight earlier. I don’t care whether the envelopes are stamped or not just so I am able to mail them air mail one way or another. So you finally got the sugar book straightened out. I wonder how I would go about getting a pair of shoes if I would ever need them. I’ll probably get your Sun. letter tomorrow. I got the air mails mailed Mon. & Tues. both on Thurs. Dad is getting pretty sharp on his driver’s test. That sewing kit is something I have been thinking about asking for. I may need it sometime soon. I think a lot of your questions are probably answered by my letters before I get your questions. Is that right? That R.O.T.C. manual is for infantry and probably won’t tell you much. You are right about the anti-.  You may not get my insurance policy for 2 or 3 months I understand. There shouldn’t be anything out of my pay because they didn’t sell it to us by our orders and they didn’t take our names as we paid. They just brought out the stuff they knew we needed & first come first served. I keep the candy in my grip with everything else. We have oranges for breakfast here too. The Hodgeman boy didn’t come. I have plenty of bath towels. I don’t know my job classification. I like your confidence in my grocery abilities. Sometimes I think if I shouldn’t get back to school that I may try to get a good grocery store job. A man who couldn’t take the Olds work has no business on dad’s truck.

Well that covers your mail I got last night. I also got letters from McCoy from Julius & Elmo which I’ll cover next time. Now I’ll try to get my glasses off to you tonight. They may be a little slower that the letter so don’t worry. I’ll have it insured for $85 and if anything is broken, collect. The lens was not broken, just the nose clip, see.  The watch is minus its stem. This is the first time I’ve had to take two days on a letter but this is Thurs. letter really and it will go out tonight as usual. I have done well to finish this since breakfast. We’ll go out to drill in a few minutes so I’ll close. Keep the letters coming. I’ll write a real Friday’s letter tonight. This will go out just as soon as though I had put it in the box last night. The Breakfast Club is on now. Love to you all until the next time,


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