January 7, 1919.
Dearest Bess, –
I hardly know how to express my appreciation for the box which I received today. It was a little late but I had faith all of the time. Please do not think that I am flattering you and our kind friends when I say that it is exactly what I wanted. Little did I think that so much could be put in a 3x4x9. You are a dandy at packing such. You are a little dear any way. Well it all kept just as nice as could be. The box wasn’t crushed at all. Am well pleased with the pen. This is my first time to try it out. The point is a little sharp but I have to get used to a new pen just as I do new shoes. The car mittens is a new idea and am sure will be some comfort if it ever gets cold over here. Hang Jessie’s neck for me. The Camels or humps from Miss Smith hit me just right for there is nothing like a change from Bill Durham. Thank her for me and I will write her soon. Tell Helen that the gum and Life Savers were real life savers and that I thank her sweetly. She may expect a letter from me soon. And my dear old friend Mabel was so good to me. Tell her the gold piece arrived and is appreciated more than words can express. I will keep it always so that I will never be broke again. The handkerchief is something always useful. Now the last and best is the Abels. My! They were good. I liked the collection letter they sent to Stanley. He got his share of these. I never had so many friends till I opened the candy. I never insisted on their taking more than one piece tho. The Hersey’s were fine. This Xmas present was appreciated more than any I ever received. Unless it was the one last Xmas (my trip home). You cannot realize the joy of such things to one so far away. Just to receive something from your friends back home. It is quite different from those R.C.pkgs. ‘Tho the principle of the R.C> are great. Give my sincere thanks to all of the donaters and I promise to write back of them real soon.
I received an Xmas card from [unreadable]. It is sweet to be remembered away over here.
Well it continues to be the same old grind. One day it is wash windows the next day wash doors and the next day is go out on the truck etc. So this old war continues to be first one – thing after another. Tonite I am on guard. Do not go on duty until 24H. Am quite an important factor – acting Corporal of the guard.
Received a letter from my kid brother today. It was dated Nov. 27. He was to be mustered out Dec. 15. This would permit him to be home for Xmas. He was envying me for getting over here. He doesn’t envy me half as I do him at home Xmas in city. Bill was very disappointed in his military career. He would be much better satisfied had he disregarded promotion and come over once. It is nice to be alive but we will all look alike when we get back in city. Bill went back into a position better than he left. They have written me to make my plans of 4 years. Of Colby C. I know to expect them to offer me something and I’m not surprised at this as I have written. I have given up the idea and I know they are going to be disappointed. No doubt it will be a great mistake if I refuse. If I could be near you I might consider it. They wrote me to take my choice of any school so it might be possible that I make connections yet. I will not say what I will do until I get back and see how everything is. I would have to have one heart to heart talk with you before making any plans. That is one thing that I ask of you when I return – that is, open up your hear and mouth and feel free to express your feelings and opinions.
I am at the Y/M.C.A. now. They are going to have pictures in a few minutes. All the pictures we get are ancient and the Vaudeville is rather. They don’t seem to try for they do not fear losing their jobs and they spring jokes and sing songs that make one want to cry instead of laugh. I realize that we make a very stubborn audience for nothing seems to satisfy us expect the thoughts of going home.
In fact we are a home sick bunch. We have the “Home-sickness blues”.
It seems that the time to return will never come. I have no hopes of being back before summer. Am decided that our Easter this year will not be spent together as it was last spring.
Well Bess, my thoughts are ever with you. Accept my many thanks and hugs and kisses for the wonderful box.