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  • Writer's pictureFlea Market Love Letters

July 30, 1944.



Hi “Pappy” Schwenk:

I sure was glad to hear from you, I thought you had gone into the army or something since I hadn’t heard from you for such a long time. I just got back here about a week ago, I had been down in the desert at Yuma, Arizona for about a month on special duty, and my mail is still not quite straightened out yet. 


I had a pretty nice time down there,I had to work long hours each day, but I sure made up for it on weekends, ha ha. I bummed around quite a bit and sawa many interesting places and things. I got to Los Angeles and Hollywood California on a three day pass, I spent two days there, boy it sure is nice and I had a swell time, the climate is ideal, sunny, and yet cool in the shade and the people are swell, I stayed at the Hollywood Guild Canteen, its sure nice and just like home, and gals, um-um, they sure are slick and hard to beat, too long I didn’t have more time there. I didn’t get to see any movie stars however, but I sure saw plenty in the time I was there. 


I also went to Mexico three times and spent some time in El Centro, and several other southern California cities and towns, I was in Mexicali and Algodones Mexico, they are both border towns, they were interesting and very colorful, but dirty as all heck you couldn’t do much more than sight see or drink yourself silly on Mexican beer and Tequila. (mex whiskey) they are both stronger than American beer and liquor, I sampled them, ha ha. After seeing Mexico I sure can appreciate the American standard of living, those Mexicans sure seemed poor, and even the streets of Mexicali were not paved, boy I nearly died from the dust, ha ha. 


It sure was hot and dry down there, the field was right out in the desert, and nothing but sand and sagebrush around, it was 108 to 120 degrees every day, plenty hot but it was so dry I didn’t mind it mich, we lived in air conditioned barracks so that helped. I didn’t do any flying, I was teaching in a ground radio school, I didn’t learn much there because we were assigned to do things other than what we were sent there for. There was nothing to do either on the field or in the Yuma, that place sure is dead, only a few bar rooms in Yuma that’s about all, and they close them about eleven each night, the place was full of Mexicans, negroes and Indians, and I didn’t see a single white girl all the time I was there, all the whites I saw were married, so most of the fellows went to other towns on weekends for entertainment. 


Our trip back was pretty rough, but we had several nice long layovers, and had time to see some of Kansas City, Omaha, and several places in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, there was a train wreck near Dalhart, Texas and that held us up several hours. 


Dalhart was a small place, so there wasn’t much doing, it was rough spending all that time there, finally they got the track cleared and emergency rails laid to let us go by, five cars were off the track yet when we went by, only one woman was hurt in it, it happened on the level west Texasplains and none of the cars overturned though one of them was nearly over. 


I was teaching here last week, but I start on a new job tomorrow, I’m going to be an examiner and examine the students to see if they are qualified to pass to the next building. It’s a much better job than teaching and I’m glad I got it, after teaching more than two years I think the change will do me good. 


From the latest I heard here on furloughs, I may get my next one in November, boy I hope so, I’d like to be back for hunting with you boys, each year I tried to make it but no luck so far, here’s hoping I make it this year, I got hold of a couple boxes of shells in Arizona so I will have enough to hunt here in S.D. and also back home if I can make it. 


How did you make out with the fishing? Hope you at least got enough to feed the cat, ha ha. I was to go on a fishing trip on the Colorado river when I was in Yuma but I never got to it. 


Well I must close for now, so long, write when you have a little time. 


Best wishes to all, 

“Red” 


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