League Island Navy Yard
January 22, 1919
Dear Mother and Father,
Am sorry you didn't hear from me -- I've written you twice (you have those by now I'm sure) and should have sent more. Haven't made but one liberty and that was last night. I drew only $5.00 and will have to lay low like I have been doing, for I needed face soap, scrubbing soap, and toothpaste, which I got the first thing. I'll draw $22.00 next payday less whatever a suit of dungarees. It's a suit of overalls with the trousers built like ordinary civilian pants instead of having a bib and suspenders like overalls [Ed. note: This is a blue chambray shirt and bell-bottom jeans]. That will be about $3.85.
Am invited to go to Wilmington Saturday for a birthday party and to stay over Sunday, by a fellow named Whiteside, a quartermaster. Don't know whether I'll go or not for it will cost me $1.00 for the round trip -- may though, for I don't know whether I'll get to go to Washington or not, and would at least like to go over to Wilmington, Delaware.
Another thing -- I ruined your bag I started -- broke one of the rings. However, next payday I'm going to get another set of rings and make you one. Will send the belt on as I can't send the bag for a while.
The last few days have been warm and it's still pleasant, although the sky is overcast and it's a little foggy.
I haven't gotten a letter forwarded from New London, and have only gotten a few from you. Haven't heard from Lt. Ray but have his address, so will look him up in about a week if he doesn't find me. I may wait til after the 5th of Feb., which is payday, so I won't be absolutely busted.
I had some stamps you sent me somewhere in my sea bag but couldn't find them, so three letters I'd written you remained unmailed til yesterday. I tore up one I'd written you, though, as I'm writing a new one. Got a letter from Rene Richards and he told me he couldn't pay me til later -- but since I can't even pay my own father and mother what I owe them, I haven't the heart to get mad at him. He's like I am -- will pay when he can. He has an allotment too, so that is against him. However, I guess he will cancel his insurance and that will let him have $6.50 per month more, so he ought to send it to me in a little while.
Hope to hear from you today. Will have to stop for the ink is running out and I'm at the barracks writing with Whiteside's pen.
Love to all,
(Postmarked Philadelphia, Penn., January 22, 1919)