Dear Aunty Clara:
Yesterday (Sunday) Molyneaux, Griffin (Clerk of Company D) and I went into town at 1:00 or thereabouts in search of the golf course. We walked from the bus station to the old USO at Main and Bartlett which is about a block or a block and a half from the bus station. The lady in charge of the information desk must have had the question as to the location of the golf courses asked her many times for she had the answer on the tip of her tongue. She said there were two courses, one public and one private. Both of them were about a mile and a mile and a half down Main Street on the outskirts of town. She said both courses were nice and that the public course was the cheapest of the two although they treated soldiers very nice at the private club.
We thanked her and left. We started to walk the distance until we came to one block which did not have any sidewalk and we were forced to walk along the road. Well, the very first car that passed by stopped and the driver asked us if he could give us a lift to wherever we were going. When we told him that we were heading for the golf course, he said he lived right across the road from it. The only drawback was (we discovered this later) that it was the private links from which he lived across the way. After thanking him for the ride, we walked to the clubhouse. The set of clubs were supposed to be rented for 50¢ but evidently the manager forgot to charge us and we were given a set without charge. They did not have any golf balls to let us use so we were hit 85¢ apiece for brand new golf balls. Especially when I think of the dozens of balls laying in the bedroom right now (and at least as half a dozen of them are brand new, too). The fee was 50¢for nine holes and 1 dollar for 18 or all day. You may think that is rather high; but for a private course that is extremely low. In the first place they are doing you a favor by letting you come on the course at all.
After a four month layoff from the game, I was not quite in trim but I did manage to get quite a few good drives and some other good shots. The final score was 122. The par for the first nine holes was 36 and I made it in 59 while par for the last nine was 34 and I made it in 63. That is what I usually do Columbus Park in for the first time out in the spring. My game was a lot better than my score would indicate. For the first three or four holes I was not quite relaxed or loosened up and as a result my drives were not beauties which they had become towards the later part of last season. But after the warm up was over, that golf ball would sail just about 200 yards on every drive. And on the shorter holes were I used my 2 iron and 5 iron the ball landed on the green once and just short of the green the other time. Several times my Spoon shot (that's a wooden club used on the fairway when still over 200 yards from the green) was perfect which is something I couldn't do at all last year after I had purposely bought that Spoon. Several times I lost a few strokes because my ball landed on the green then rolled off. That blew me up and my next shots would be terrible.
The first few strokes I took with the 7 iron were not so good because I was afraid to hit it too hard as is required with that club. When I did get into the swing of using it once more, I had several beautiful lofts which sailed high into the air and fell perfectly onto the green. My putting started off with last year's finesse. Every green was a two or one putt job. Then for no good reason at all I missed several one putts by an eyelash. Now that is enough to jar a person to see that ball going going and then stop at the lip of the cup. From then on in my putts averaged two or three to a green instead of one or two.
We wore our khaki shirts and I appeared out of uniform by not wearing my hat; but since there weren't any officers around, I got away with it. Another thing which might have had something to do with my game was Jack Molyneaux who did not observe good sportsmanship in that he talked when a fellow was swinging and said such things as, "Now don't dub this one" or, "Don't slice it into that grove of trees". That is quite irritating as any golfer knows. And on top of that, he insisted on arguing over ground rules which most golfers out for a good time do not worry too much about. Jack wants to play according to PGA rules and I said that most friendly games are conducted according to winter rules. For instance, once my ball went into a little tunnel dug by one of the local animals (around our house they are gopher holes) and I simply took it from the hole and set it on the ground beside it. He insisted that I take a stroke penalty and I insisted that I didn't have to. Another time my ball landed behind one of those protective screens to keep golfers who are teeing off from getting hit by balls coming their direction from the next fairway. Perhaps in a match for professionals they would play from behind that screen but I never saw such craziness pulled back in Chicago where the ground rules themselves state that the ball may be moved a club's length away from any ground equipment or building.
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I pause now to read two letters from you which just now were delivered to me.
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Before I answer your letters (and incidentally, I have five of them unanswered right now) I will finish telling you about that which happened yesterday.
When we finished the eighteen holes, it began to rain. Yes, Aunty Clara, the sunny summery weather of last week and the weeks before that are gone and we have now entered into another rainy season. We walked along the road for about two blocks and a man came along in a beauty of a car and drove us downtown. He said that this second raining spell does not last as long as the other one nor is it as bad as the first one. He said that after this rain stops sometime in early June or late May, there will be no more rain until late in the fall. A lot of good that will do us. By May we will surely be out of this camp.
We ate waffles and a milk shake at Prices and then strolled over to the Ice Arena. I was all set for a good solid night of ice skating but somehow Griffin and Molyneaux vetoed that idea and wanted to go roller skating. I didn't say anything to them for not keeping their promise about going ice skating but just let it go as one of those things. I did not have any intention of going roller skating nor was I in the mood for it. It so happens that they were. I tried to get out of it and let them go on alone but they seemed to become rather peeved that I should leave them after spending the entire day in their company. Then they said I was stubborn and a few other things like that; so I threw up the ice skating business and said I was good enough not to say anything about that so they had no right to question my mood in not wanting to go roller skating. It finally wound up that we did go roller skating but I had a miserable time and just sat around most of the night. In the back of my mind something made me think I would break my neck if I kept skating around the floor and when I was skating, I was like a beginner. That just shows you that you shouldn't do things which you don't want to do.
We came home rather early about 11:00 and I hit the hay immediately. This morning I had the same depressed spirit that I ended yesterday in and after Reveille I laid down until time to come to work without eating breakfast.
And this ends the tale of Sunday with the exception of a sequel to what I said I was going to do in the end of my Sunday's letter. I did go to the library and browse around for a few minutes; but since I walked over there with Ray Gradler and he wanted to come back to eat, I didn't stay there more than twenty minutes. In that time, however, after looking over some five or six books, I picked up a swell one entitled "How Odd of God". It is a story of the Jews written by a Jew. He starts out by saying that from time immemorial the Jews have been considered a Chosen People and then a Cursed Race. He says that the total number of Jews in the world is not more than a hundredth of the world's population although from the looks of things and other people's reaction towards them one would think they glut the earth. He states that people have always tied up explanations of the Jewish omniscience with the Bible and religious backgrounds but he contends that that is not an explanation but only an evasion of the answer. The book is to explain just why the Jewish people are what they are, how they got to be that way and a conjecture as what is to become of them. I imagine it will be quite interesting. The Jews always have had that web of mystery surrounding them and since the beginning of time they have been involved in conflict with their neighbors. I'll tell you more about it as I go along in the book.
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And now to answer your letters which came in this morning.
If Anna doesn't give Uncle Jack anything for all the trouble he has gone through during the times when Stack was sick and driving them around all over the country and providing them with company all those years, she will be a first class heel. And that is what she probably will be. She just seems to be one of those individuals who forget very easily. Although you can never tell about human nature and we may be entirely wrong.
I am not sure that Pat does know that my house is where it is although she knows the address of the place. I should say she passes the house quite often. About twice a day going to and coming from school. And then she has a girl friend that she visits that lives somewhere down on 57th Avenue. You ask me how I know all that. Well, how can a person miss a vision swinging down the street every day for more than a year. As far as Jean knowing Pat it is one chance in 66,000 because Jean writes and tells me she quit school and works to help her mother out at home.
We made up a Supplemental Payroll for all the new men in the company and for those fellows who were redlined. All our trouble between the C.O. and the 1st Sgt is now settled. I don't think they will really dislike me. They were just huffed up on the spur of the moment.
I came in on "Random Harvest" a few minutes after it started and thought I had missed more than I did; consequently, I was bothered by the part I missed. The picture was swell though as you say. But isn't Ronald Coleman getting to look old? Greer Garson took her part pretty good.
In a way, now that we missed the first going away boat, we are now in a worse position than before. This regiment will not know when it is to leave (except for the 5 day notice) whereas before they knew pretty definitely what date had been set. Chances are too, that we will not wind up at the original destination which was planned for us in the tropics. I only hope we don't go out with the 91st Division which is rumored to be going to Alaska to take care of the Japs up there.
You can say "hello" right back at Mrs. Reed for me. I wonder if we will ever see the day when Mrs. Reed will not have to be going to the doctor for something or another.
Something funny happened just now. It is ten to twelve and that is the time they blow "Recall". The bugler wasn't around so Goldenberg the 1st Sgt of B Company (and a swell fellow, too) took the bugle and went out in front of Headquarters and blew the call. Just as he was blowing it who should come by in his car but the Colonel and the Major. We couldn't see the Colonel but the Major was laughing to beat the band. There isn't anything that Goldie can't do. He sits down to the typewriter and types by the touch system, he blows a bugle and just about everything else you can think of.
Just now I happened to recall to mind that the set of golf clubs they let us use at the course were Pathfinders (Johnny Revolta model) of Wilson make. In other words, the bag and the set were almost identical to mine. The clubs are the next set in value above my Pinehursts.
No, Aunty Clara, you needn't worry that I might say anything inappropriate in my letters to Lana. And besides that is just the kind of thing I wanted you to say in that little advice column.
Maybe I forgot to mention it or perhaps I have done it since I last wrote to you; but I have ordered a company picture. It will be mailed directly to you because there is no telling when they will be done or how long we will be here. You can expect it within the next two months I imagine. I think I ought to get hold of the copy they have upstairs and copy down the names of all the fellows as they appear in the picture so that after the wars we will still know who is who and what is what. Incidentally, by looking at the picture with all the names attached you will be able to see who I am talking about from time to time.
From all indications the bivouac has been called off. It is just as well now that the weather has turned sour again.
We are going to have quite a bit of work this afternoon because they have finally gotten in the new Class B war bond forms and Harvey and I will have to type up about 170 of them.
So far we have received no word from the Army Institute concerning our extension courses. I would like to get started on it.
By the way, what is the reason in back of that move to take out all the cradle phones and install the old fashioned variety? It almost seems like the Army way of doing something. After all the phones are out and the old ones in, someone will wake up and say that it didn't have to be done that way after all.
I thought I told you that when and if we get to Frisco chances are that we will be restricted to the port and will not have leave to leave.
I really shouldn't have let my letters lapse for such a long time because you have already started worrying about whether we have moved or not I think.