Dear Aunty Clara:
To tell the truth, I was working from 8:00 all the way until 5:00 today so that I did not get a chance to write any note to you during the daytime. This will have to serve for Friday and possibly Saturday. I will explain in a minute.
You see, I was supposed to "zero" my rifle in today. (Zeroing in a rifle means finding out if it is right; that is, if the sight is set for 200 yards, you find out whether that is accurate or whether it shouldn't be placed at 300 or 400 instead. We are only firing 5 shots but it takes half a day anyway because we go out in groups. However, I thought I might have been able to get out if it and then again I thought too that perhaps I might be able to finish the war bond job this afternoon by staying at it.
As it is I will go out tomorrow morning (Saturday) and then come in around 11:30. Whether we work tomorrow afternoon or not is another thing. If we do not, that will mean I will be able to write to you then. If we do, I will try to write anyway but I can't promise.
Since I am looking for dough, it begins falling in my lap with the usual Klick luck. The Officer's Dance is tomorrow evening and all the clerks in headquarters run the affair. I was finally asked if I want to work at it this time and I agreed. If it goes thru as scheduled, I will be making sandwiches all night long --- for $2.00. Molyneaux, Farley, Poutch, Walston and a mess of them are all working there too.
You probably do not know it yet (unless the slow mail was delivered exceptionally fast) but I have inaugurated a system whereby I intend to send slow mail and air mail on alternate days. Why? To economize over the present depression. Personally, I have already found it obnoxious and I will probably dispense with the habit in a few days. The reason is that I can't write with the usual fervor and enthusiasm when I know that it will not reach you for over six days and that another mail may reach you by airmail sooner than that.
This note is also a bit messed up because it is 10:30 and I want to be out of here by 10:45.
I received your letter today of the 30th. It pleased me to find that Dr. Kolar still remembered me.
By the way, our branch of the army is no longer called the S.O.S. (Services of Supply) but has been officially changed to A.S.F. (Army Service Forces).
Nevertheless, the following little paragraph taken from an Army Dictionary by Jack Molyneaux is still humorous and has its point.
"S.O.S. (Service of Supply) --- Units in the far rear of a great fighting force which supply materials, munitions etcetera to the troops. It was first used in the army during the World War. First called the "Line of Communications" the "Service of the Rear" and now Service of Supply. A fighting soldier always scorned the S.O.S. personnel singing the following song.
'O mother, take down your service flag,
Your son is in the S.O.S.
He's S.O.L. but what the hell ---
He's having a wonderful rest.
He's weak and pale but that's from ale
Or else I miss my guess
So mother take down your service flag
Your son's in the S.O.S.'
Jack personally read the whole thing to the entire personnel section and we roared with laughter. I wonder how true it will prove during the entire war. It will suit me fine if we are thousands of miles in the rear of the main fighting force.
I gave my book on company administration to Driscoll two days ago to give to Hanton for a certain sum of money but since then I have seen no money. Frankly, I am beginning to worry whether I will see either the book or the cash again. The reason I am selling the book (you will see by one of the slow letters) is to help raise funds for me to last out the month.
Today I paid off my last debts and what I have is now all my own. The only trouble is that I haven't one single red cent.
I think I will rather like working at the Officer's Dance because I will be able to fill up on sandwiches and milk all night long. Our mess hall meals have been simply terrible lately.
I tried studying the Army Institute tonight but no such luck. Lack of concentration spoiled it. I also lacked ambition to write letters. After spending an hour in the Service Club Library reading the latest war news, I just idled away my time in the barracks.