15 December 1942
Dear Aunty Clara:
I am writing this now because I may not get another chance to write for the rest of the day. Tonight the company goes out under the stars to see if they can find their way at night using maps and compasses. I may be with them and that will eliminate this evening for letter writing. My cold is developing along the usual lines and I hope to be rid of it by Christmas. Have I ever told you about the bugle calls? They are putrid. I knew more about the various bugle calls before I was in the army than now that I am there. The call for chow is the sickliest thing you ever heard. Reveille (You can't get em up, ditto) doesn't sound off until we had it about 10 minutes back. There is a call to work and a call from work a 9:30 call and they all sound the same. The 11:00 call is also terrible with a week sounding Taps coming in at the very end. In the morning the band is out there playing to beat the band. One of the hit tunes with them at 6:15 is "You're in the Army Now and Not Behind a Plow".
On rechecking the supply of Rice Krispies I find that I have five left. I read the Cicero Life and the Sunday Times jokes and appreciated your sending them. Even though I am away out here I can still be interested in local events back home. I guess it is pretty hard to make a clean break with all the old contacts, eh?
So long for now,
Aunt Clara: I may get a rating (PFC) in the near future for my job and I am going to try to have things working smoothly by then; so after you read the notes you will realize why I am not writing much this evening. I got your letter with the one Aunty Florence wrote one in it too. It takes four hours to get a phone call thru so I can't promise. Maybe I better try a different day or is Christmas the day my sentimental old lovable Aunty Clara really wants to dramatize? Just about 10,000 or more soldiers are going to be calling somewhere or another on Christmas Day and this camp hasn't anywhere near the facilities to handle such an influx of calls.
Personal Note: (#1)
Here is what happened to the cigarettes: I sold two packages apiece to three fellows and one to another. I had to get rid of them for 12¢ since they only cost 13¢ a pack down here. Another pack went to Censky and I will keep the other two in reserve for this good fellow business. I decided that I didn't feel like having them about just to get rid of nonchalantly because then I might give the impression that I do smoke and they would try to reciprocate by offering them to me.
As to the financial condition.
Since you put $56 in the bank instead of in the weekly fund, that means instead of lasting until February 26, 1943 the fund will only last until January 29 with two dollars left over. Now take out $5 out of my $40 leaving $35 in my personal fund. Add the $5 to the two left over and make the weekly fund last until February 5, 1943. From my personal fund take the amount of Aunty Florence's purse and $1.14 for the postage on my grip and hat. Write and tell me how much I have left as working capital after these deductions. From my next payroll I will send you at least $35 for the weekly fund and after I take out the bond deduction in the following months I will still send you $28 for every four weeks. We will always try to keep the weekly fund about a month in advance.