November 25, 2010

Mail Call

Pelham Bay
November 3, 1918

Dear Mother,

Got a dozen letters yesterday afternoon -- all mailed to California and forwarded here. I read about half of them yesterday, and saved the rest for this morning.

The weather here is great. It hasn't been too cold except the first morning or two. The sun is shining, and it's just cold enough to make you glad you are wearing thick clothes and at the same time feel full of pep. It's an ideal football day. Hope Donovan makes at least a sub on the team -- I know how it is to wait on the edge of a team while waiting to grow big enough to play.

Still have my job at Headquarters and will keep it. You ought to see me running down fellows yesterday who have to work on the coal pile all the time. They duck out and hide whenever they get a chance -- run to the woods or in the "Y." Yesterday noon 19 of them ducked, so out we went after them -- we got 12 -- see them run, and run grab them, and bring them to Headquarters. I really don't blame them for not wanting to be on the coal pile, but it made a good game while we chased them.

I took a look at styles while I was in New York the last time, and the women are wearing their dresses long again -- no short ones at all could be seen. And they are wearing military coats with putters, very much especially with the younger set. You ought to see the Navy and Marine Corps yeomanettes -- they certainly look nifty.

The "Y" and the "K of C" are certainly pretty. The insides are furnished with nice stuff and with good taste -- big fireplaces with big, comfortable chairs, and the room where shows are held will hold 2,000. It was packed last night to see Clara Kimball Young -- I've forgotten the title.

Those ducks you said you were cooking! That part I read to the barracks, and they sure yelled -- shoes and books flew toward me. It's a rule that no one can speak of eats while camp is under quarantine -- rather, a rule the gobs made to keep them from getting so hungry.

I'm gaining weight right along now since I got here. I'm not working so much as I did in California, and it's cool and I eat more. We wear a belt all the time, which gives us the right to eat first mess and as much as we want to. I weighed 158 yesterday. Am getting fat. Wish I could be there to eat duck and to go hunting -- but I won't be gone long. Not over a year (as things look now) before I'll get out -- a year and a half at most.

Heard from Aunt Hattie yesterday -- am sure sorry Slaton's wife couldn't find me. I'd have enjoyed her, I'm sure. I didn't earn yet any more liberty to see Mrs. Johnson. Write her, will you? I think she must believe I didn't want to go out. Her address is 249B South Sichel St., Los Angeles.

I also heard from Cora Neville yesterday, and from some fellow in Pedro, and from the Bradford girls in Dallas.

I saw Freddie (Mrs. Bliingsly's brother) once in Goofie Camp and once afterward, but he lived in another part of camp so we never chummed together for that reason. I liked him very well.

Stop staying in the house -- get out and see people more, if for no other reason than to be able to knock your son down to them when he comes home. He'll want to know people if he lives in Wichita. How do you think Navy blue would look in a wine-colored car? I'll see sometime.

Love from your affectionate Son,

(Postmarked New York, New York, November 4, 1918)

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