Camp White, Oregon
16 February 1943
Dear Aunty Clara:
I am using a typewriter this evening which skips spaces every once in a while; so if there are any errors in this letter it will be traceable to that cause, naturally.
There is a lot to tell and then there isn't so much to tell. It all depends on the way you look at it. For instance, I was called down to the dispensary once more today to get a second pair of glasses. That's right. I now own two pairs of glasses and they haven't cost me one red cent. That is o. k. isn't it? The army has a regulation which says that every soldier who goes overseas must be supplied with two pair of G. I. glasses if he wears glasses. Many of the fellows have their own civilian glasses and now own two pair of G. I. spectacles in addition. Just think, that is another gift from the government which amounts to some $30 to $40 bucks.
And I was talking with Isaacson for the second evening in a row at chow time. It seems that he had his wife in Medford for the past year (I knew that before) but he sent her home the day before yesterday and now he has more time to get acquainted with his fellow soldiers. The best part of it came when I began to admire the mountain with the white peak and the other hills and valleys in the vicinity. He was appreciative of it as I was. From that, our conversation led into a general discussion of sunset's etcetera.
He knows quite a bit about this locality since he was here all the way back in last September. It is amazing that the distance from camp to Medford is approximately that of our house from downtown, yet we can see across the desert the full length (the town is hidden by a rise in the ground). He was able to point out to me the general direction in which the rivers flow thru the valleys and he also pointed out the opening of the mountain formation called Ashland Valley. That is where the city of Ashland is located right on the side of the mountain. It is too bad I will not be able to get to that town while I am here. He says the main street runs right up and down the side of the hill and if a person stands in the center of the street he can look up to see houses above him and look down to see houses below him. We also talked about the peculiar formation of the Upper and Lower Table Rock Mountains which rise to their respective flat mesa like tops from the floor of the valley.
I received a letter from Ray and Dotty today and once again Johnny (that's Ray's brother) beat him out. You see, Johnny got married before Ray did and now Johnny and Elvira are a papa and mama before Ray and Dotty. They also sent me a valentine. In the evening after coming back from the hospital, I mosied over to see what was cooking at headquarters and I found three Valentines upon my desk. One was from Rosana, the other from the Eubler's and a third from Mary Kuehnle. The one from Marion is a dandy. It is not expensive but it was picked.
Today Warner called me up to his desk and asked if my records were up to date. I told him that they were and he told me to keep after them. He said I should go out and get the information I need instead of waiting for people to come around and give it to me. I agreed with him and said I was beginning to find that out. He was rather pleasant then.
I began working on the payroll again and now have completed a little over 1/4 of it. All the boys in the barracks are asking when the payroll is going to be signed and I just say, "Forget it. You're going overseas. You're not going to get any money for a long time now". Cheerful am I not?
I have been wearing the glasses since 7:00 this evening. I figured I would give them an all night try to see how they are.
When I was over at the hospital I picked up four V-mail forms and then I got three from Johnson the mail clerk. My supply is picking up. Did I tell you that I think the V-mail allowance per week per soldier from overseas is three to a man? That makes it rather tough, doesn't it?
Well, I guess I'm just not on the ball. An order came out today that all stripes and stars must be sewed on the clothing today. I would have had all that done and had the chance for it at a previous time. For instance, I always could have had the stars sewed on my two original shirts but I was of the opinion that maybe we would not wear them for a long time and that if we did our blouses would cover our sleeves and then we might have different insignia by that time anyway. You also know how I took my shirts into Medford on my day off but forgot the stripes. That leaves me with eight stars and stripes not on my summer shirts and I can't afford to spend the time sewing them on.
We also must leave camp with all our clothes clean. We have not been able to send any laundry for the last two weeks because we don't know when we will pull out. As a result almost all my clothes are dirty and I am in no mood to become a laundress. I think, though, that tonight when I stroll in around twelve o'clock or after, I will dump them in the tub and give them a scrubbing, hang them up and hope they will be dry in the morning.
The climate has been splendid. It is very warm. It is like summer in Cicero. It is not so warm that we sweat or maybe it is not quite as humid here. That would have a lot to do with it. Neither has it rained for quite a spell. There is the drawback. This Oregon Valley may be ideal but man alive, if a few days layoff on the rain situation produces such a dust situation it would be terrible later on. Although then too we are having an unusually breezy weather. Ordinarily there would be no wind to stir the dust.
One thing more about that mountain. All the other hills were dark but the mountain's peak was still resplendent in light. Ike said that there was a picture he would like to have. I sure wished I had my picture taker then.
Just now the mailman walked in and told me he had a package for me. He said to me, "You and your packages". It seems that every other day there is another package for Klick. Guess who it was from? Dolores! Now see, I should have sent the mallow delights! Although I don't think she expects anything like that in return. I have sent her those stars, stripes and pictures. It was a pound box of Andes Candies. She also enclosed a real nice Valentine and a short letter. Johnson weighed the package and found that if the Postmaster had opened it and found the letter it would have cost 66¢ to mail it. According to her note, Rathborne just isn't the same anymore with all the new faces and the old faces gone.
I believe I will try to get off an answer to her right now while I have the time. Is it o. k. to stop here? Alright then, I will.