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  • Writer's pictureFlea Market Love Letters

January 23, 1943.

Hi Pappy: (muskat Boone?)

I guess you thought I would never get around to write you, well here I am, after a little struggle I’m getting to it. I’m still very behind in letter writing but am slowly catching up again.

My trip out here was not so interesting, it rained or was foggy most of the way so I couldn’t see much, and the trains were so terribly crowded and uncomfortable and late that it wasn’t so pleasant. I left Reading monday night at about eleven thirty and got in Sioux Falls wednesday noon. I got on the train at Harrisburg and had to fight my way on and was lucky to find a seat. I didn’t see much of the flood at Pittsburgh it was too dark to see much when I got there, when we got to Chicago it was after dark tuesday night and I only had time to get a soda and catch my train, so I didn’t get to see anything of Chicago.

About all you could hear or see of these was of the shooting and capture of those gangsters that was big stuff, hell all the newspapers had the whole front page full of picture and stories of it, they forgot about the big war for the time being.

When I got back at the field and went to school to see what was “cooking”, I sure got a big surprise, things had changed so much I hardly knew the place, and best of all I found I had a girl for an assistant instructor, she’s single and not too bad, nothing exceptional however, she seems to be fairly sensible and both her parents are instructors at one of the colleges here.

We get along pretty good, but I haven’t dated her up as yet, I guess she is getting discourage because I haven’t dated her up yet, it looks like I’m still the old woman hater, what do you say? Maybe some of these days I’ll get a little ambition and date her up. I don’t have so much teaching to do now that she is my assistant, but I have do do plenty of “policing” and keep the students in order.

Last week I had thirty three men washing windows for two hours, the shift chief picked them up because they didn’t march properly, so he turned them over to me and told me to put them to work washing windows, I don’t like to put them to work but I’m not going to buck the shift chief.

Boy you should be here now pappy, about a week ago we had a big blizzard, and it really got cold, it was the worst blizzard I ever saw, not much snow, but the wind was terrible, you could hardly see ten feet ahead of you for blowing snow. It was my day off and I wanted to go to town but I went to get the mail and I damn near froze so I “holed up”, I didn’t want to freeze, ha ha.

Since then it has been anywhere from twelve to thirty degrees below zero, and this dam prairie wind never stops blowing, you can’t walk against it, you freeze so fast you don’t realize it, that’s the way this dry cold hits you. I never sway so many men with frozen ears and faces as I did last week, I got off with a partly frozen ear so far, it’s O.K. now and I’m more careful, ha ha.

On the windy side of the field here it was forty below and Minnesota had fifty one degrees below zero and if that isn’t cold then I don’t know what is. Boy it sure takes nerve to crawl out of bed these mornings when the temperature inside the barracks is below zero.

I sent my cameras home today, they want us to put them in storage here and we can’t use them out on the field, so I sent mine home. I sent those films away to be developed but have not received them as yet, when I do I’ll send you some pictures.

At school last evening we had visitors, a whole swarm of journalists, and the lieutenant brought them in my classroom to show them what and how we teach here. IT was a good thing I had the room in order, ha ha. Or I might have been shoveling coal today, ha ha. I can’t figure this army out, we can’t take any pictures for our own personal use here, and yet they can bring these journalists here and show and explain everything to them and then let them go out and write it all up for newspapers and magazines. It just don’t make sense.

We had a few fixes here, none serious though, my biggest trouble is to keep the fellow from smoking us out of the barracks, we use a poor grade of hard coal here and if the stoves are not damped properly, it smokes to beat hell, one morning the smoke was so think when I got awake, that when I turned the light on I could hardly see the light the smoke was so thick, boy this is a great life, between the cold and smoke we sure have our fun, ha ha.

I heard from Woody the other day, he wants to know why you don’t write him, he says he’s damn sure he wrote you last, how about it? He says he has a furlough coming March the second, so you may soon be seeing him, he’s still at Macon Georgia.

Snuffy moved again, he’s at Camp Carrabelle Florida now, he’s near Tallahassee, right on the beach and boy does he like it, he says its the worst place he’s been in yet. Nothing but sand and water, their barracks are “chicken coops” with sand floors and soft coal stoves, and even his jeep has to go along in second gear to travel through the sane, it must be some place.

I wrote your folks a letter a few days ago and I want to thank you all for what you did for me on my furlough, I sure had a good time and enjoyed it very much, thanks a million.

Well, I’ve about run out of news, so I’ll have to close for now, take it easy and here’s wishing you all the very best luck.


Sft. John S. Pounder Jr.

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