San Pedro, California
September 10, 1918
My dear Mother,
Am a messenger at the Adjutant's office today and it's a snap -- on from 8 til 12 and 2 til 4, and off all the rest of the time. While on guard we have to be on those hours in the daytime, and also guard 4 hours straight at night.
Was just vaccinated and they don't do it like Dr. Yeakley did. They smear the dope on your skin and then take a sharp pointed instrument like a needle and jab holes in your arm through the dope. I hope mine takes the first time, for if it doesn't they make you take them over until it does.
I think we get out Saturday. Will look up Cousin Mabel at the first opportunity, but am especially invited to go home with one Californian, and have been asked repeatedly by others. Everyone in the camp seems to know me, and they call me Texas Red -- what do you know about your son being called red? It's not on account of my red face, because everyone in Goofie Camp have red faces. It must be that my hair is getting sunburned while it's short.
I wrote Father yesterday. Worked in the kitchen yesterday and although it's hard work, we are paid for it by them giving three of us a whole pie, and believe me, pie is a luxury in this camp. That is, to anyone except the cooks. They eat what they want to cook. Last night they each had a thick T-bone steak smothered in onions. I was tempted to take my big bar of hard soap and bean one or two.
Expect a letter from you this morning because I haven't gotten any for several days from you.
A letter would undoubtedly help out here, because there are so many they can't notice individuals (but just pick a man at random, and he makes good -- all right -- if not, they try another). But any such thing should be sent to "the ship" or permanent camp, and not to Detention.
I failed to lock my neckerchief in my sea bag for a few minutes last Friday, so someone stole it. Now I'll have to be issued another which will take $1.20 out of my list -- of course I don't have to pay the money, but we have $100 worth of clothes coming, and when we have gotten that much we have all others taken out of our pay. I still have $44.00 to get yet.
The YMCA is still closed so my "knee writing" is still bum.
Love to all of you,
(Postmarked San Pedro, California, September 10, 1918)