353RD ENGINEER REGIMENT. G.S.
CAMP WHITE. OREGON
18 February 1943
Dear Aunty Clara:
That letter writing situation has turned into an awful mess once again. I thought at first when I had sent out fifteen postcards in one night telling the folks back home that I did not have time to answer their mail just then and then following it up with my change of address cards, that I would not be flooded with such a preponderance of mail. However, the mail has not let up at all. I still average three letters a day.
I have made an attempt to keep the things up to date without letting them pile up but it looks as if they are making it tough for me. Why was it my fate to get into a company which "is on the ball?" Tonight it was a roster of the men and Class E allotments. And to top it off the roster was incorrect. I discovered I had left out two men so the whole thing will have to be done over again in the morning. And that isn't the only thing that kept me occupied. One of the discharges bounced back and has to be done over again. I am saving that little task for after Reveille tomorrow morning. And then I had four inquiries from fellows in our company for various things such as Class F allotment corrections, Officer Candidates School and Application for the Air Cadets. But hold on that still isn't all. There was a Jewish Warrant Officer Junior Grade walking around the joint earlier this evening and he asks me if I am busy. Well, I told him I was typing a letter of importance back home. That didn't stop him from asking me to type up a latter and two endorsements for him.
After that mess was done away with at 10:45 oops I meant 9:45, I began writing a letter. Guess to whom. Yes, another one to that gal, just so she gets on the beam and answers them. But of course, those must be well nigh perfect, at least to begin with; so I had to take it plenty easy. And then there was that trouble of finding something appropriate to say in the first letters. A person really has to rack his brain to figure out what would be o. k. and what wouldn't be. I probably botched the job anyway.
In that short note of this afternoon, I told you I would tell you all the details of the last few days. It seems, however, that I followed that statement up with a brief resume of what had happened and I guess that is all you are interested in anyhow.
Comments on the pictures: The mountain pictures turned out as I expected they would in that the mountains do not show or cover very much of the snap. I did expect them to turn out a little clearer than they did. Did you notice the snow capped peak of that mountain which I have been giving quite a write-up? Nyalka wanted his picture so I gave it to him. I am going to give Sergeant Davis his picture in the morning. On the full face picture of me and my bum eye (at that time) I sure do look tough, eh? And that side view wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have my hands in my pockets. I should have stood at attention.
That evening I packed that box of stuff, I was in a rush to finish it so I don't remember all I put into it. I think I enclosed another tube of something or other, didn't I? Did you use it?
I was afraid I would never get a chance to. use up all the Air-Mail envelopes I had on hand when I found out we were preparing for immediate departure but we have dilly-dallied here so long that now it is so low that I ordered another dollar's worth. Who is going to kick about that. I would just as soon send Airmail letters than V-mail any day of the year.
By the way, could you tell which fellow was Nyalka by looking very closely at him thru the magnifying glass? He had a pencil stuck behind his ear.
The watch gains five minutes a day or maybe it is three minutes a day. But it never stops running.
I am saving the writing kit Fialas sent me until I get into such a place where it will be hard to get paper. As it is I am still drawing on the few scraps we have around the office. Master Sergeant Warner, Fiala's friend or Elvira's girlfriend's brother received an identical writing kit, from either them or his sister. He didn't tell me from whom.
Marty and Virginia tell me they have sent a package to me and that they hope I like it. Now my curiosity is aroused. They also couldn't see how the scissors they gave me were so valuable. They don't know that I cut down pictures, letters, papers and everything with them. I assumed they would assume the uses I had for the scissors other than cutting thread.
P.S. I am going to leave this letter unsealed and perhaps in the morning I will add an extra sheet.