October 29, 2010

A Letter to Dad

San Pedro, California
September 9, 1918

Dear Father,

Got your letter day before yesterday but have been too busy to answer it until now. I have an hour and a half off from my duties as a pot washer -- a noble occupation for one of my intelligence, but it just lasts one day so I won't be bothered.

Am due out Monday, but hope they let us out the Saturday before -- they did one bunch that way, so we may be out two days sooner than expected, and you may believe I won't object.

I don't think there is a chance in the world for advance merit by having good work recognized, for they don't put you to doing anything that is even halfway important.

Some fellows have an awful time here because they fuss if they get put on mess duty or anything that's unpleasant, and are always worrying about their shots or something. It's not so bad here, I don't think, but I just let things rock along and take whatever comes. I hope we get better things after we get out of Goofie Camp, and I think we will.

Our meals here haven't enough sweets in them but anyone surely won't starve. As I was working in the kitchen today, the cooks gave me hotcakes for breakfast (they eat what they want), and tonight they promised me a piece of apple pie, which will be greatly appreciated.

Have been invited to go home with several California boys when I get liberty, and think I may do so, although sailors can get cheap places to stay at some hotels that give rates to men in uniform.

Am glad to hear your oil stock is doing so well and hope the oil field makes the law business pick up.

Got a letter from Donovan today and will answer him tomorrow -- am always glad to hear from any of you. This post office at detention certainly does a big business.

Have had lots of fruit to eat in the last three or four days, for half of the fellows lived close to San Pedro, and their parents come over and give them boxes of food. They always include Texans, for we are so far from home they know we won't get anything til we get out of detention.

Will write again in a few days,

Your affectionate son,

P.S. Excuse writing -- YMCA is still closed and as the only articles we have in our tents are our sea bags and hammocks, my lap had to do for a table.

(Postmarked San Pedro, California, September 10, 1918)

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