Camp White, Oregon
11 January 1943
Rec'd 1 and 2
Dear Aunty Clara:
Whew!!!! I just don't know how I stood up under today's avalanche of work, but somehow I managed.
To begin with I started the day on the wrong foot. I remained in bed as usual around Reveille time. Then I heard them calling off the roll before you knew it they called, "Klick! KLICK!" twice without an answer. I was promptly sent for and had to fall out on the double.
I was actually tired so instead of going to breakfast after Reveille, I laid on my bed and slept for another hour. Then I went to work. And work just wasn't the word for it today. It was slavery. Not only were they pulling little extra jobs on us down here in the Personnel Section but my "on the ball" company saw to it that they sent a runner down every hour or so with a special letter to be typed or some forms to be filled out and even when they found out I was going to work this evening (I had hoped on the payroll) they lambasted me with a beautiful job. I had to type up an addition to the officer's survey test. They are mathematical problems and you recall the figures I used to put on the blackboard so you can easily imagine the easy typing job they gave me. I tried to get Harvey working on the thing but after an hour at it, he had gotten nowhere.
Then to make the day a little bit more drear, I learned that the Colonel wants every fellow in the regiment to begin rifle training this week. I didn't want to fall out with the company for this so I asked Lt. Hanton if he could arrange an evening class of instruction. He did and it will last for three weeks. Whew!!!!
Then I am flooded with this payroll (which the other company clerks have almost finished while I am not even begun).
Someday, perhaps and then again only maybe, I will be able to have a simple eight hour working day in this army but not now. But then again this is just one of those depressions which come along every now and then. You know what we used to say, "It never rains, but it pours". Well, I also learned that as long as I am with this regiment my rating will stay as Corporal and as company clerk, I haven't the ghost of a chance of going out on a cadre to form a new regiment and thus get the opportunity to go up to Sgt, Technical Sergeant or Master Sergeant. They figure it takes too long to break in a clerk and they want to keep them as long as they can.
But why am I complaining. This is a general service outfit, non-combatant, I have an office job and even though the work may be tough going at the present time, it is ever so much better than being out on the line.
I received a letter from Marion Kuehnle, the RH&R gal from Berwyn, and she waxes very enthusiastic etc. It seems that the Christmas card which I sent her made a hit. But I am surprised at the terrible form to her writing. Just as I am surprised at Marie's writing. Dolores takes the cake in that line.
Did I tell you about the time I rode a government bicycle a few Sunday's ago? If I didn't, I will tell you after you answer me.
Thanks for the clipping, "The Home Front".
Boy o boy, Aunty Clara, it seems amazing that you contributed FIVE PINTS of blood to the Red Cross already. You can talk about buying bonds, sewing things for the soldiers, and waving a flag but there is one of those simple and quiet little things which call for more personal sacrifice and receive little if no notoriety. I am not being patriotic or gallant or anything like that (or even trying to plug the war) but I am proud of you, Aunty Clara.
Does my Daddy ever say anything that I haven't answered any of their letters? I am awfully sorry but it is just one of those things. Like I haven't written to Uncle Jack again and he has never written to me. I want ever so much to write a real nice, good and long letter that (and you know what's coming) I never get around to writing it. The other letters I think I will dash off in a hurry and then have time to compose a masterpiece and somehow it never turns out that way. Will you try to explain that to him if he ever says anything. You know that is the way I am.
By the way (and if you have already answered this in a letter now en route to me, forget it) what ever became of the Postal Telegram I sent to you? I sent it at 1700 Tuesday evening which is 7:00 P.M. your time and yet you write me a letter sometime on Wednesday morning without ever having received it. How come, chum? (as they say down at work) If it never got there I will register a complaint at the Telegraph Office.
Say, "hello", to Aunty Florence and Uncle Joe.
If Elaine begins writing, that will make me a regular Romeo. I have received letters from Marie, Mary, Eleanor, Dolores, Genevieve and now Elaine. What a list. Even Sgt Major, Nyalka, wants me to write to his sister or cousin or somebody like that who is looking for a nice (?) soldier boy to write to.
Can you beat it but with all this work and a never seeming end to it, I have now been seized with a great longing to come home and rest. It seems as if home is quiet, peaceful and lazy. I guess I will never change. Once a lazy man always a lazy man. I thought for a while that I would pitch right into all this activity and become one of those geniuses like Einstein, Edison or Franklin who could work and work and work constantly without those huge idle gaps I now yearn for.
The watch is on my wrist again, as you have probably gathered from my other letters. It has stopped twice since I wore it again but both times I caught it during a few minutes.
The Air-Mail is terrible. Your letters mailed on the 6th arrived at the same time Mary Kuehnle's slow mail of the 5th arrived. One of the chief reasons is that for the past week the valley has had a never ending fog which has grounded all planes in the vicinity.
I like hearing about what happened to the Barbours. It was like hearing about old friends. I heard their theme song over the radio this Sunday but just as they were being presented the fellows turned on some music. You can't get soldiers to listen to anything like that.
Also thanks for the identification holders. I will use it starting tomorrow.
It sure is funny to be a Corporal and not even have my Engineer Buttons. How can I take a picture without all the display. As a matter of fact the stripes themselves are hard to get. The day I was promoted they ran out of them in the Supply Room and I had to try getting them someplace else. They haven't any in the PX and they are beginning to run short in Medford (or at least that is what the fellow told me who I sent in to get them). I have them sewed on one shirt and my field jacket. That is all.
I still haven't gotten around to sending the films we exposed in the office over a week ago. I have gotten as far as bringing them into the office again and putting them into my desk. To tell the truth I don't know when I will find the time to pack them now.
And incidentally, Friday night is another bivouac and this is going to be ten times better than the first one. That will kill any letter writing that night. I don't mind going on those hikes at all because I think they are a lot of fun. What gets me is that it makes a big dig into my available time.
Didn't I ever tell you this: that an Army Camp is just about one of the cleanest places you ever see. You can't see a speck of paper or waste anywhere in the camp. The barracks are immaculate from 8 in the morning until 5 at night. There aren't even any cigarette butts around camp. First of all the fellows are very careful about throwing away any paper and the like and second of all we have what is known as "policing up" which consists of a squad of men whose duty it is for a short while each day to roam around picking up any loose scraps. Medford actually looks dirty compared to the camp. And when I think of the pile of junk our hedges catch, it is a disgrace. (Pardon me, it is a dizgraze with the full nasal sound).
Naturally with such cleanliness there is not a bit of room left for a bug to breed and I haven't seen anything but a small type of spider around heah.
Well, toodeloo, solong, goodbye.
P.S. Be prepared to expect my Christmas cards within the next week or two. In fact I think I will try to take some new pictures and then send both rolls along with the cards.