January 17, 2011

On The Town

Club House for Enlisted Men
of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps
Northwest Corner of Broad and Spruce Streets
April 6, 1919

Dear Mother,

Am in town and have just gotten up from my peaceful slumbers at the service club, where I slept for the paltry sum of 30 cents. John had to go over to Cramps' shipyard and go aboard the Blakeley last night, so Wagenseller (another quartermaster) and I went to the Globe theatre. It's like a Keith's vaudeville house only has a good bill every week.

It certainly is a great day here. Not quite as warm as it was while I was at home, but the sun is shining and there is no wind. It has rained a couple of nights lately but it's not like when it rains at home, for we don't have to go anywhere it's muddy in camps, and when on liberty we never see anything but paved streets, so it really makes no difference if it does rain.

I went on liberty Friday night for the first time in about 10 days. It sounds funny that a fellow would stay in when he has money to go out, but it's lots of trouble to dress up. We have to be in on weekdays by seven the next morning, so I always come back the same night and that makes me sleepy the next day. Besides we have shows at the recreation center every night, and can go to the camp cafeteria and get eats any time we want to, so why bother to go to the city?

I suppose Katherine is entirely well by now. Will enclose her a note in your letter.

We go into commission this week sometime but will stay in the river here for a couple of weeks getting stores aboard. Then I don't know where we go.

Just pick up a little book that tells about Philadelphia. I went on one of these hikes so will send the book along. Where the cross is on the map of the city is where I live when on League Island.

Wagenseller and I went down to his old ship, the Felix Tausig, which had just docked a day or so ago, with a soldier from France. He knows all the officers well and we sat in their cabins and talked to them as if they were just plain gobs. They all laughed and told jokes with us. It seems that they all like Waggie as well as each other, for they told me about going ashore with him. It's the first time I ever saw officers all like a gob so well. We ate dinner last night at officers' mess with them -- so you know we had a good chow. Wagenseller lives in Decatur, Ill., and was on the Tausig over a year. He is a first class quartermaster and is going to be with us on the Blakeley.

I got a letter from you the other day written on the 5th of March -- before I went home. It hadn't been forwarded from anywhere so I suppose it had just laid around at the camp post office all this time.

Am sorry to hear that the Texas company has to be dropped from the firm's business list, but it's bound to be for the best. I'd rather do without their money than to be under any orders about my actions.

You know Clyde Haney who used to work in Brad Stagg's tailor shop -- well, I met him up here in the yard about a week ago, and since then have seen him several times. He is in the Marines.

I hope Alice and Larry make good in Wichita -- send me their address so I can drop them a line.

I left the barracks before mail line yesterday, so I suppose I'll get a letter from you when I go in tonight.

Love to all of you,

(Postmarked Philadelphia, April 6, 1919)

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