Dear Aunty Clara:
Just to keep up on the current news while I am writing you that miniature autobiography I am now inserting this up to the minute letter on the latest activities. The Adjutant has told everyone that this inspecting staff only comes around when an outfit is ready to move. Gosh and this place was beginning to feel like home. Most of the fellows who had originally scoffed at my liking this place now agree with me that they too would rather continue on for the duration at Camp White. Their reasons are not mine. They seem to have scared up some steady dates with the local femmes.
My locker which was once perfectly cleared of all excess baggage is now cluttered to the hilt with this that and the other. Among some of the potpourri I have collected in it are: a milk bottle, 4 old tubes of toothpaste, shaving cream or the like, one empty can of Listerine toothpowder to put out for inspection purposes only.
I really should put the time of writing my letters at the top along with the date because on a day like this when I have written three times it is well that you know how they were spaced. It is 3:45 in the afternoon and although I have enough work to keep me busy, it is the type which gives any clerk a headache. It is draggy work which will remain incomplete even after working on it. I'm in no mood to do it until it can all be cleaned up at once.
On the day I came back to work from the three day pass I received three letters from you and 1 each from Ulysses and Ray Bernatsky. In the very first letter you started talking about my blistered feet and then kept it up for the next two letters with even an additional comment by my Dad thrown in for good measure. Didn't I explain to you that even though they were my very first blisters to ever form on my feet I just ignored them? In the first place I, as a rule, do not blister and when I do like that time, they are insignificant. I just don't believe in blisters. The part of my foot that was doing the hurting, as I thought I mentioned to you, was the part where the big toe bends and the leather of the shoe cuts into my skin. That is the part which, because of the unnaturally big steps they were taking, had the skin cut deep into and started to bleed. Within a days time they began heeling up and two days later I was well and sound once again.
Of course, since you have long since received word that I had intended to go golfing, you must have realized that I was back in good condition.
Last night Blumenfeld and I had plans to go ice skating but this order going around to prepare for inspection put a crimp into all passes into town. As a result, I had to go to headquarters for work but Molyneaux and I soon talked our way out of it and I got hold of Rube and off we went to the show instead. This evening, however, we still plan to go skating. Whether or not it will turn that way yet remains to be seen.
Perhaps you might ask what I did with Sunday morning. A very good question. I got up at 8:00, at chow, went back to the barracks, laid on my bunk and went to sleep until 12:00 when I got up, ate and then went over to the office to write letters. That is when I ran into the inspectors the first time. They and the other clerks pestering around the office made the letter spin in circles. Finally I walked back to the barracks and continued my siesta until food was served. After supper I tried to write once again but that was when the hub-bub began in earnest and I was lucky enough to get out of it.
By the way, in your letters you occasionally mention getting three to four letters and one time. Isn't that rather tiresome to read these long ones one after another? Or do you save them for a few hours taken off every so often during the daytime?
That cold which I told you I had was the first cold that disappeared before the full 14 days were up. In fact, the night of the bivouac I thought sure I would come down with it more than ever and here that seemed to be the last time it bothered me.
Friday night at the show I began wondering about Senor Gonzalez and wished he and I could carry on some of the old Saturday night conversations once again. Then I came down to work Saturday morning to read your letter telling me about his 'Saint's day birthday'. Every so often out of the clear sky there is something that I used to do at home that pops up in my mind and I wish I could be back home doing those things again.
Say, I got the dates today and now they are all gone. It does without saying that I enjoyed them otherwise I wouldn't have made such a hog of myself throughout the morning and early part of the afternoon. Thanks!!!
That rationing business is lousy, isn't it? Doesn't seem much like the America we used to know. And it becomes less and less so as the days go on. I'll always say that those people who lived and died between the period of the Civil War and the World War in this country were the most fortunate people that ever lived. They didn't have one major war during that time.
Sgt. Nyalka is not in Company A but in H & S Company. Mike was Company Clerk of Company A along back in September of last year but when he was promoted into his present position he was transferred out of the company into H & S. How about some comments on the picture? Who is the best looking, the funniest, the most peculiar, etcetera? Did you take a look at Censky? I hardly ever see him anymore. How does Lt. Hanton strike you? He's a first lieutenant now. That is part of my vacation story but I might as well insert it at this point. The first morning of my vacation on Wednesday all the fellows who I had typed up recommendations for promotions to first lieutenant away back in December received their new commissions. Warner, Hanton, Yantis, Matheson and Maack.
I gave that dance ticket away to a fellow who habitually goes to those Thursday night affairs.
I just don't know why Camp White is slighted by the movie stars. Perhaps we are too small. Other camps have 50,000 to a 100,000 men in them while we have only 35,000. Seems funny that Medford is the fourth largest city in Oregon with about 12,000 people. I just asked Molyneaux about that movie star situation and he heard that our camp has finally received a rating (we were just a new camp and didn't have any before this) and will be getting our share of stars on their next swing. It seems that an outfit called Camp Shows Inc. runs the whole business.
You mentioned Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and her speaking here and there and especially in Chicago. Well, since my movie going business has become a habit, I have been able to follow her travels across the USA in picture. I thought you and I had talked about her being raised in America. Or maybe it was Clarence and me.
That fine Spring (Summer) weather that prevailed thru my 3 days and the weekend just now over has ended and the day has been miserable. It reminds one of the early days during the training period of this regiment when it rained and rained and rained. That is all is has been doing from the middle of last night to the present time. Other fellows don't like it but it's okay with me.
I don't think they will discontinue the air-mail service, Aunty Clara; it would upset the morale of the soldiers and the people back home and probably be a greater harm than any saving which might be accomplished by that move.
This last month's Reader's Digest came last Thursday and I will soon be finished with it at the rate I am now going. I'm glad that you too are reading it that way the full value of the magazine is utilized. Some of the articles in this month's edition are pretty interesting and others are flat. Naturally, it would have to be some magazine to prove interesting in every detail. Do you find it that way, too? The reason I had to add that extra 1/2 cent stamp was because it was an especially bulky edition and weighed more than the previous ones. Next time you go downtown or ride the "L" take a look at the Digests on the news-stands and see if they have the words Service Edition printed on them the way mine do.
Maybe we ought to prepare a few affidavits testifying that you need me at home to put up the pulley line. You know, something along the line that I am a key man in putting up the clothes lines and the home cannot operate without me. Maybe we can work a discharge, eh? I hope nothing goes wrong and that you can thread a string line through it when you take off the dirty one and then put the new one on the same way. Maybe Jerome would do it for a little tip, that is, in case you can't manipulate it from the porch window. Incidentally, have you any conception of what 100 yds or 150 yds are? That clothesline must be about 75 ft or so in length.
How is Doris and Brad's dilemma working out? Why don't they get a couple shelter halves and bivouac in an empty lot? Soldiers do it, why not civilians? Tell them all the fun it is. I'm sure they will appreciate the suggestion no end.
I'm glad to see that you still have the old common sense with which you were gifted. And you are entirely right by saying that whatever they might have been giving away was not worth the trouble of waiting, shoving, and pushing for. I wonder if other people who should know you and your traits realize that that common sense is your strongest and probably the most valuable one.
Did Mae's nephew mean swimming in the ocean for fun or swimming because he had to? Maybe when our ship is torpedoed I'll be writing home a similar message.
5:00 --- "quittin' time!"