January 27, 2011

Loads of Stores

April 30, 1919

Dear Mother,

Loaded stores [Ed. note: ship's supplies] all day yesterday so didn't write you. All that the ship lacks now to make it complete is finishing putting on the listening tubes, and they are working on them now. They are a new kind, and over 150 holes must be drilled in the hull of the ship to put them on.

They took all but one last load of stores on board this morning, but I decided not to go over since I've been working pretty steady for the last week -- that is, making the trip every other day. When we go in commission we will have all our stores aboard, which will leave us more time to gets things fixed up, and be ready to shove off within a week. We go to Newport, R.I. first to get torpedoes, I think.

We had a game of baseball matched with the Marines for tomorrow, but they canceled it for some reason. They have a good team and we wanted to play them.

That poetry was fine. I let Wagenseller and John read it, and they agreed with me. I'll return it since I might lose it if I keep it in my bag.

We are about used to hammocks again, and as the showers, wash, and scrub rooms are so much nicer where we are now, we are satisfied with the change.

I know Mrs. Russell thinks he Navy is ruining me, but it's not at all. I haven't changed a bit. You didn't notice any change when I was at home, did you? I don't think I'm one bit lazier than I used to be, and really believe not much so. Of course I don't work unless I have to, or don't go round hunting, for it's not like the outside -- you get just as much out of the Navy by being a good manager as you do working hard in civilian life.

I do hope Father makes money on his oil land. I don't much blame him for not quitting his law, for I know he likes it, but he should be able to make himself some money on the side.

I'm sure I'll like it at home if I ever get there, but I can't see far enough ahead to see a discharge paper yet. It may be I will get a chance to get out when I'm least expecting it.

A fellow named Fricker was paid off only a week after he got a new suit, and he wants to sell it for twenty dollars, so if I draw twenty next pay, I am going to buy it if I have to stay broke another two weeks. I have got to have one -- this old one is just about gone. A new one from town costs at least $30, so if I can get this one I'll save, and in the next place I'd never save the $30 to get one, I'm afraid.

White hats [Ed. note: "Dixie cup" hats] are going to be the uniform of the day beginning tomorrow, but I'm all right for mine are still clean from the time you washed them at home. I'd rather wear white hats except they are hard to keep clean.

The only bad feature about sleeping in our new barracks is that we have to rise and shine at 5:45 every morning, and as you know that's pretty early, especially since this new hour went into effect again. I think I'll live, however.

Love from you son,

(Postmarked Philadelphia, April 30, 1919)

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