October 29, 1941

Wed. 7:00, 10/29/41

Dear Mom & Dad:

Well I finally got a chance to write you a few lines. I trust you are in receipt of my post card that I wrote last night. I would have written more but I met Bob Coll at the Service club last night & sat & chatted for quite a while over a couple of chocolate sundaes.

Coll had to wait for 3 or 4 hours for his gang to show up last Sat. Consequently, he didn’t get in camp ‘till noon on Mon. A.W.O.L. for 6 hours – not bad eh! I thought I was naughty when I came in ten minutes after reveille. But I guess his Capt. wasn’t as fussy as ours about getting back on time because he wasn’t punished any. By the way, I won’t be seeing Bob for probably a long long time. He’s leaving with his outfit tomorrow – bound for Fort Knox, Kentucky. Seems as if he can’t get out of the hillbilly country. He seems to think they’ll be going right from here out on maneuvers for a month or so. Sure am sorry to see my good pal leave.

I’m going to be really sick for a while when my friends here in the barracks go too. They’re due to leave next Sat. for Fort Dix up in New Jersey. It’s about 50 miles from New York, 25 miles from Philly, & 20 miles from Trenton. That’s what I’m going to miss by staying here. I wonder if I did the right thing by staying behind. On one hand I’d like to see the New England states & stay with all my friends, but on the other hand, if I can make good money & do an interesting type of work, that’s not so bad either. I think there are some pretty good Joe’s at the office to make friends with so I think I’ll get along all right.

I certainly did my share of the driving on the way back. You see one of the fellows brought his car back with him & there were only 3 of us to drive the Pontiac back. Of course it was nice for the man who could crawl in back for a little shut eye. But then you know all three of us are Licensed Military Drivers of Govt. vehicles so we got back plenty safely. Did I tell you we waited 4 hours for one fellow, Dave Turner form Beloit, & then he didn’t show up. We left at 7 bells thinking he must have deserted or something. When we got back there he was safe & sound. He had taken a train back because he had to stop in Washington on a business matter for his dad. He wrote us a telegram telling us about it but for some reason it wasn’t delivered.

The punishment for coming back late from furlough was the loss of our rations money. I guess they didn’t count our 10 minute tardiness against us because I was payed my rations allowance yesterday. It amounted to $3.08. Quite a life saver too coming at this time. As you know I was kinda hurtin’ for money. In case you don’t understand this rations business its like this. While we were on furlough we missed several meals here in camp – about 21 to be exact & we are payed for them at the rate of 44¢ a day. At times the army is pretty fair isn’t it? We will be payed our regular $21 next Sat. – the 1st. Think I’ll try to send some home to strengthen the old bank account that was depleted a bit when I was home.

Boy this ol’ camp certainly looked bad to me when we rolled in Sat. morning. By now however I’m back in the groove & think I can stand it for a couple more months – ‘till Xmas. I experienced a slight touch of homesickness again for awhile because I had such a good time when I was home. Wasn’t it nice of Bob Bain to come down & see me off? I’ll have to write him a letter soon & thank him for his thoughtfulness.

This evening we had a real feed. Gosh I thought I was home again. It was sort of a farewell dinner for the battery. We had chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, mixed fruit salad, 2 slabs of ice cream, 2 pieces of cake, & coffee. Everyone was very surprised at first & very stuffed afterwards.

Pretty nice the way Minn. beat Mich. Last Sat. I listened to the game on the train & at Sukovic’s tavern. I’m waiting to read the account of the battle in the Star Journal.

Well I just ran out of thoughts so I’ll say goodby for the present. Be good now & write me soon. So long.

Your soldier son


P.S. Thanx for the stationary – was I surprised. Need it too.

Christian Olsen