August 25, 1918 9:30 p.m.
My dear Mother and Father,
Had to go to the Recruiting Station three times today -- tried to telephone you from town but Central couldn't get any connection so I canceled it. Left Dallas at 8:20 and we got to San Antonio at 7:30 in the morning. We have six hours in San Antonio -- will try to see grandfather but doubt if I can for it will be during working hours. There are only two of us -- a fellow named Gordon Standifer, who is a good friend of Earle's and the Walkers. His father is well acquainted with Kemp and Tell and with the Weldons in Ladonia -- are we related to them? Their family seems exceedingly nice -- live in a big house on Clinton Ave. in Dallas.
San Pedro is a suburb of Los Angeles -- have Mrs. Paul Johnson's (Mabel) address and will call her up. We have one hour in Los Angeles before we leave for camp. We get to San Pedro at 11:30 Monday night. Went in as an apprentice seaman and so did Standifer. He is 18 too. Will keep my white shoes to wear with my white suit.
The doctor at Dallas said I passed one of the best physical exams of anyone in a long time, and they tried to find scars for identification but besides those on the back of my neck from boils, I didn't have any. They took my fingerprints and the ink isn't off my hands yet.
We have a lower berth in the middle of the train -- am glad we ride all night to San Antonio -- also all night from S.A. to El Paso. I think we get to Maricopa about 1:30 Sunday night, so if that's so I won't telegraph Aunt Hattie, for she wouldn't want to get up at 1:30 to see me. They allowed us $4.50 for meals, which is about 75 cents each, and gave us our tickets and Pullman tickets.
Clyde and Earle and I were to play a little tennis if I ever got through going to the Recruiting Station, but got busy and couldn't go so we went to Kidd Springs and got caught in the rain, and I couldn't get back and see Grandma and Aunt M before I went to town to report to Navy Station, as I didn't know when I left so it made no difference. Had left my grip at Clyde's office. When I repacked it was too fat so I left my soiled shirt for Aunt M to send back home -- will send grip when I get there.
Give my love to the kiddies and more for yourself -- am sure glad that the only Wledon who can go didn't register and be drafted.
Your loving Son, Heywood
P.S. 'Scuse writing as we are moving. Notice how I get to sign my name -- got a handle, just had to try it so put it on back of envelope.
(Letter postmarked Denison, Aug 25, 1918)