CAMP WHITE, OREGON
one and oniy
Dear Aunty Clara;
If you haven't read my first Thanksgiving Day letter, read it before you finish this one. If you have, "As you were."
"As you were" is a command given by an officer to his inferiors to resume the activity that they had been doing. It is not quite applicable in our case were you are not an inferior nor I an officer but just the same, "As you were."
It is rumored that we student clerks will receive our basic training in the mornings and report for clerical duty in the afternoons. I hope this is true.
I forgot to tell you how I got to type this second letter. I had no legitimate excuse to report back to Headquarters this evening; but the sergeant in charge of the Personnel Dept said I could come back if I wished to type personal letters. After chow, I noticed that the Company A sergeant seemed to expect that I would be going back. However, our overseas caps were taken away from us to have the piping put on them tonight and. a soldier must not appear in the outdoors without proper headgear. I finally found an old timer in our barracks who had two O.D. hats; so I borrowed one. The size was the same as mine, 7-1/4. I then went to the sergeant, told him I had borrowed a hat so I could go to Headquarters and I then stepped out the door. Pretty clever, eh.
I am going to do some heavy study even though I could spend all my time writing letters this evening. We have a book called Company Administration which covers just about ever phase of the conduct of an army regimental office with all the forms used. This book, properly read is an answer to all questions that may come up from time to time. It is something like the work I was doing for Eddie Dietrick when I told you I had been sitting at my desk all day reading the Unemployment Compensation Tax Laws.
We also have to read, study and memorize the 11 general orders of a sentinel. Our sergeant is making the men back in the barracks pull out their soldiers manual every so often and memorize them. Since I don't want to get "behind the ball", I am making it a point to take a gander at the thing myself, every time I open my lockers.
I don't believe that I have described the foot-lockers to you. Have I? They are about 18 inches wide, twelve inches high, and as long as the cot is ide. They have two parts. An upper shelve which is divided into two section and the lower part which has no divisions. I won't go to the great length to explain just in what fashion and way we put our things away but I will say this. Every article of clothing or toilet or miscellaneous item has its proper place. Clothes must be folded just so and put in just such a fashion as prescribed by the regulations. If by some chance, the foot locker is not in perfect order when inspection day rolls around, the soldier is called upon to do some extra duty such as Kitchen Police.
Another thing is that matter of making up the beds. Each sheet, blanket, pillow and cover must be in just the right place and the entire bed must be looking tight (not drunk). All the folds and wrinkles must be kept out and the corners of the beds are tucked under in a tricky fashion which gives it a squarish shape. When every one else is making their own beds, and you know that no one else is going to make it for you, it seems natural that you should make it yourself and it makes you feel good when you get the knack of it.
Incidentally, I went back to the barracks at 5:OO but chow wasn't ready. Did I just sit back and take it easy? Did I write letters? Did I do the things an ordinary soldier does on a Sunday or Holiday? No!! There they were -- every recruit in the barracks--dressed in their fatigue outfits and drilling their heads off. I stepped in the ranks with my 0. D. outfit and, can you beat it, the sergeant didn't call me out! I don't mind an occasional drill because that is the only way those things begin to come natural. I will really have to "hit that ball" since I am not going to be with the bunch all day (maybe).
0 yes, they are scrubbing the barracks now. I know that for certain because I heard the sergeant give that order to the corporal during mess.
The evening supper was not up to par with afternoon's splurge but we did have ice cream.
I am enclosing the carbon copy of my first sheet which I made by accident. I am getting in the habit of inserting that carbon sheet for ever letter. Just tear it up and throw it away.
We finally saw Bill Meier today. He was lined up in formation outside Headquarters and was standing at attention. I didn't see any officer around so I had the nerve to talk to him. After all, I hadn't seen the fellow for three days. He is having a run of the mill time of it and his company was getting ready to go to the football game in Medford. The 353rd Engineers vs. the 35lst Engineers for the Championship of Camp White ended disasterously for our side. We lost 13 to 0.
According to what the other fellows say, the Colonel Trower, Regimental Commander, will begin tomorrow by chewing off everybody's head. They say he gets in a bad humor when we lose a game. I don't suppose that football talk interests you very much. I can vividly recall how you could skip through my baseball articles to Uncle Jack in less time than it takes to tell about it.
How is Richard Lopez making out in the army? Has Aunt-Aunt told you anything about it yet? And what about Red? Has he been called? According to what he told us when we were in Milwaukee, he should be leaving December 1st. How did the rent situation work out? 0. K. I hope. If you have answered these questions in letters that are now on the way to me, I will understand what happened. Although I don't know about that ---- I still don't know how you knew I was in the Engineers before I did.
I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts my letters are hitting you like my twelve o 'clock conversations were I would be all wound up and you were ready to call it quits. If you think some of the stuff I tell you is not particularly important, tell me about it. And if there is something I am overlooking in my daily narrative, please tell me that also.
Und now say "Hi there, Aunty Florence," to Aunty Florence for me und then say to Uncle Joe, "Hello, Uncle Joe," also for me to him. Und as for you ma chere tante, I hope your back is not troubling you nor that 'appendicitis'. Also tell me in your next letter what you did with my typewriter.
It has been very enjoyable for me to write these letters even though I haven't been getting answers account of because I didn't know where I was going and I think its going to be infinitely better getting answers. What you tink, eh?