November 6, 2010

Q and A

San Pedro, California
September 28, 1918

Dear Mother,

Didn't get our liberty this weekend -- the camp is in quarantine and we can't tell when we get out. But such is war.

It's been hotter today than any day since I've been in camp, and they wouldn't let us go swimming so the showers were crowded. I didn't get to cool off but will get a bath tonight.

Am certainly sorry to hear about Alice -- I can hardly believe it of her. She always seemed so straightforward and aboveboard around everybody. I heard from her the other day but haven't answered -- will do so tonight, I think.

Question #1. Do you want a wrist watch? Ans: As this is war and watches have risen all out of proportion to their original value, and as I can get along without one -- I say no ma'am.

Question #2. Do you want your old watch? Ans: Pockets few -- also small -- no ma'am.

Question #3. Do you want an Endors Razor? Ans: The one I have is perfect and so far hasn't had much heavy work to do, so I say -- no ma'am.

Question #4. What about your weight now? Ans: When I left Dallas I weighed 140 stripped -- now weigh 145 stripped. By careful study you can see I'm gaining.

Question #5. What about your money? Ans: It's still mine -- that is, part of it -- I've still enough to run me for a while -- over 30 Bones. Thank you.

Question #6. How much do you get a month? Ans: Pay of apprentice seaman is $32.60 per month. Insurance: $6.50. Hospital Fund: $.50 (total minus $7). $32.60 - $7.00 = $25.60 per month. But as they hold out $35.00 before we get paid at all, I won't get a payday for a while.

Note: The editor of the Weldon Pub. Co. will be glad to answer any perplexing problems which may arise -- if he doesn't forget it.

I thought that I would look up Mabel Johnson today if we had gotten out -- I suppose she thinks I'm not going to take advantage of her offer of hospitality, but I've written her explaining it.

We were moved out of our barracks today and onto "the ship." Have I explained what "the ship" is? It's a long building built of concrete and all the fellows who sleep there are on cots. These are about the dimensions: 1200 ft. long, 600 ft. Sub Base, 600 ft. Ship, 200 ft. wide. The inside is marked off by lines indicating the different parts of a real ship, and the rules governing the different decks are observed on the good ship "Concrete." There is an officer of the deck who has a tall desk like on board ship, and he must be consulted in all matters of importance. The officer's class are sometimes trained for deck officers there, and they rate as much saluting when behind the desk as a Gold Braid would -- it looks funny to one friend coming to attention and saluting another when both are wearing the apprentice seaman uniform.

Well, wouldn't that jack you. I left just now to get a light for my cigarette and some bird took my chair, so will have to finish standing up. The "Y" is crowded so I can't get another.

Gordon and I had a feed last night. His mother sent him a package and I went over to his barracks. We ate sausages and crackers. Then he opened a can of pineapple and we cut some cake, and ate til our "stummicks" stuck out. He's a darn good fellow -- don't you think?

Would write more but don't care to stand at a low table to perform.

Love from your son,

(Postmarked San Pedro, California, September 30, 1918)

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