November 3, 2010

First Liberty

San Pedro, California
September 23, 1918

My dear Father,

Haven't had but one or two letters from you -- but I must have neglected you too.

At last we got out of Goofie Camp and on our first liberty after being held six days over time while barracks were being erected. I went to Los Angeles (round trip 35 cents) Saturday afternoon, and we stayed until Sunday til 8 p.m. as to get back to camp by 9:30 when our liberty was up.

The first thing Gordon Standifer and I did was go to a cafe and order a square meal -- although we get enough here it's not like you get when you order exactly what you want.

Gordon, two other Dallas boys, and I went to the Hippodrome Saturday night, and slept until 9 o'clock Sunday -- the latest I've slept in a month. In the afternoon we went to Venice -- Culver City and Ocean Park -- all in automobiles for nothing. Nearly every automobile out here has a sign

Soldiers and Sailors
Salute & Ride

and they are all more than glad to pick us up. In fact, several took us on rides before they finally let us out. Ono our way to Venice we saw (in Hollywood) the home of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks -- and several movie studios, including Charlie Chaplin's. The homes are certainly beautiful in Hollywood.

In our company in Detention was a millionaire, Kidd, and as we passed his house he yelled at us, so we went in and ate fruit, and then went down into his pool and billiard room. Had quite a nice time -- met his father and mother, and were invited back again.

One of the cars we rode in was owned by a young married couple. The woman was very active in society (so Victor Sweet, told us), and she asked us especially to call them up and let them introduce us to some nice people. I think I will, although I hate to go around with highbrows, but they didn't seem stuck up even if they did own a house that looked like a courthouse.

Am in a company where life is in the barracks instead of a tent. We practiced tying knots for about an hour, and then went swimming. This afternoon we drilled for two hours and were dismissed. I know you thought I'd get tired of Navy life, but I don't think so -- at least not yet.

Love to all of you,
Your loving son,

(Postmarked Los Angeles, California, September 24, 1918)

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