April 8, 1919
Got two letters from you yesterday -- both written on the 4th, and before you got a letter telling you I was all right again.
The Blakeley made her speed run yesterday and made over 36 knots without pushing her. That's about 40 miles per, and after she gets run for a while, they are sure of 40 knots. We are supposed to go aboard Friday, but they have had such hard luck so far that I doubt it seriously. Really would rather wait til after the weekend.
We went out to Fairmount Park (the largest park in the country) Sunday, and got a canoe and made a pilgrimage down the Schuylkill River. It is some pretty park and has mansions all over it. You've heard of the Strawberry Mansion. We had ice cream and cake there when we came in off the river. There are canoe and boat clubs all along the banks of the river, and we saw a pretty race between 3 eight-oared racing shell teams -- also a good canoe race. The park is so large that it has its own trolley system and we rode over part of it on the car.
The weather is still war and I suppose spring is here to stay now.
We never miss a day going swimming in the Y natatorium and it's surely fine. It's the first time I've gotten to swim all winter long.
If I've got enough money Easter Sunday I am going with Wagenseller to Atlantic City. The fare will be reduced on the holiday I'm sure.
We went up to the store room and made a few more hard swabs, and came over and played basketball. Went to a dance at the recreation center last night, and had just as good a time as if I was ashore.
I hear we are going to New London for a couple of weeks to put on listening tubes. I hope we wait til summer, for they say it's a fine place then. They have several big summer hotels there on the Thames, and I know it's the coldest place on earth in the winter, so it ought to be cool in the summer.
They won't let anyone here talk to them about getting out. Maybe I'll have better luck when I get aboard the ship. I hope so anyway, although it will be hard to come back to Texas right in the hottest weather. I'll get out any time I can though.
We got some fishing lines out of the ship's stores the other day, and we are going down to the river and try to catch something this afternoon. Will dig worms out behind the barracks at noon.
This weather makes me want to go camping, too, an that's the first thing I'm going to do when I get back.
I did a big washing last night before I went to the dance, and hung 'em out to dry. Now I've got to go back and roll 'em up.
Love from your son,
(Postmarked Philadelphia, April 8, 1919)