May 14, 1943
Dear Mom & Dad:
At last – here’s that letter I imagine you’ve been sweating out. Hope you haven’t been pacing the floor – Daddy. Hope you got the two cards that I sent along the way. I was going to write last nite but fell asleep on the job – guess I’m still a little weary from that long train ride.
The trip down was interesting in a scenic sort of way – no special excitement. The Rocket to K.C. was a swell deal, but the “Golden State Limited’ (sounds classy doesn’t it) was just another cattle-train. And I was stuck with it all the way from K.C. to Los Angeles – didn’t even have reclining seats so you can imagine how much sleep I got those 2 nights.
I sat with a Cpl. Bartow from St. Louis & we became quite well acquainted during the trip. He was just coming back off furlough just 40 miles South of Roberts. He knew the country pretty well so was quite a help in pointing out spots of interest along the way.
Never knew the U.S. had such a broad expanse of waste land & desert. All thru Arizona & New Mexico & Eastern Calif. All you can see for miles & miles is sand & cactus & more sand. Not a tree for miles except around little towns & villages along the way. Saw several outfits on desert maneuvers in Ariz. & boy I don’t envy them one bit altho I’ll probably be one of ‘em before long.
I got in L.A. at midnight on Tues. Night & the Cpl. & I took a room in a hotel downtown. We really hit that hay after a warm bath. Wed. morning we took the Daylight Limited at 8:15 – it was a classy stream-liner complete with radios in each coach. This trip – from L.A. to San Luis Obispo was the most interesting of all. We passed the big airplane factories on the way out of L.A. & saw the clever camouflage job they’ve done on them. The countryside along the coast was the most beautiful I’ve seen anywhere – like a big fairy-land. As the train wound along the mountain sides you could look down into the valley below & see rolling green hills with flocks of sheep on them, big orchards of walnut & orange trees, little Spanish type farms surrounded by large leafy palm trees & flowers everywhere – it was really California at it’s best.
From San Luis Obispo I took a bus in to Cp. Roberts arriving here at 4:30 P.M. It was too late to do much formal reporting-in so they just sent us down to a Regt. to spend the night. All day Thursday we spent signing every book in camp & reporting to just about every headquarters. Earle Cook got here the day before me & yet somehow I wound up in the same battery as he – luckily. Today I finished signing some papers regarding my travel & regular pay vouchers & took a trip into San Miguel (the Fayetteville of Roberts only much smaller) to see about my foot locker. It wasn’t there much to my disappointment so I’ll probably have to start having it traced. We go into khakis here Monday & all mine are in my locker. I’ll have to buy some more I guess. By the way, please send my barracks-bag right away because I’ll need all that suff.
Don’t know yet what’s in store for us here at Roberts but will probably be assigned to school soon. Right now we are attached to a training battery for duty. Haven’t done anything but observe so far but they’ll probably find some jobs for us soon if we don’t go to school.
This is quite a nice camp about 30 miles from the ocean, 5 miles north of San Miguel & about 15 miles north of Paso Robles – now you can get the Atlas out & mark the spot. The weather is pretty variable – very cool at night & in early morning & warm in the middle of the day. Altho we go into khaki on Mon. – we can wear winter uniforms on week-ends the year around. The camp is spread out along a valley & completely surrounded by little mountains or big hills – don’t know exactly which they are.
Our living quarters are nothing special but at least there clean & comfortable. All of we newly attached officers live in a barracks together. We have boys come in during the day to make the beds & clean up the place. The food here is super & served in the best of style. Today we had pork chops for dinner & beef steak for supper. Last night we had a smorgasbord supper – never saw so many different meats & salads in all my life. For breakfast we usually have 3 choices including eggs (any style), French toast, or wheat cakes. Ought to get fat here if the food keeps up to present standard.
Well – enuff of this letter – I’d better end it & mail it so I can get some from you soon. Naturally again – after such a swell leave – I miss you all & home very much & will be waiting to hear from you. So write fast. G’nite.
Lots of Love,