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  • Flea Market Love Letters

July 4, 1919.




Dear Bess,

Just think here is on the afternoon of one of our greatest holidays and I am on the goo. Most every one has left the hospital grounds, patients and all, but some one has to stay so it fell my lot. THere is little work to do so I will celebrate by writing you. 

All of the forenoon I was very busy as we are getting ready to make another big shipment of patients tomorrow morning. It will surely be good when the time comes to evacuate the last one. It seems that such a thing will never come to pass. I am surely getting some experience handling me. Every day I have to answer two hundred and fifty questions asked by my two hundred and fifty patients. They are just like so many children. Some say that the army makes me but from my observations it makes kids of out of men. 

I took Smitz on surprise by writing him a letter yesterday. I hope that he and Ike have both visited you by now. It is surely hard to see those other boys go home and have them visit you while I remain a permanent fixture in Coblez. My time will come about next month so be patient. I have also written Ike. Haven’t heard from Earl in sometime. Hope to soon hear that he is home. 

My thoughts drift back to one year ago today. Do you remember where I was? I was in Paris with just two days between me and the front. It was a gay old time and I never expect to see an other Fourth of July Celebration that will equal that one. Those Parisians really know how to carry on festivities. I regret just a little that I failed to visit that old City again. I had the opportunity to go this month but didn’t. 

How do you like my stationary? I borrowed it from one of the nurses. Have become very stingy lately. Keep thinking that if I buy stationary I will go home before it was used. A man in the army gets in the habit of writing on anything there is convenient. The said place on head of stationary is where I go to get ice cream and listen to good music. So many of the soliders have departed for the U.S. that they have closed the largest places of amusements. In fact there is very little to do for passing time. By the way I have been working during the last few days I don’t have to bother about spending past time for I have none. I am going to try to get off a day tho and visit my friend in the Marines next week. 

Bess, I am worrying about what I shall bring you from over here. I could get you something much nicer in the States and still I know that you would appreciate a good souvenir from over here. If i do not bring you something from France or Germany do not be disappointed. I am still watching for something but very undecided as to what it shall be. I want to give you something, not that I feel obligated to do so, but you know there is a little pleasure in giving as well as receiving. It seems that I have always taken the advantage of you about such by being in the army. We use the old army dope for lots of excuses don’t we. 

Am raving to see you Bess. Do you think I ever will? Our meeting will be so strange that we will hardly know how to act. No doubt our actions will be more or less foolish. We will be excusable anyway. Shall I let you know when I land in Easton or shall I take you by surprise? Am a little afraid to try the later for I might  find you’ve gone on your vacation or at home all dolled up with another fellow – 

How about it? Well I should worry for I do love to see you enjoy yourself. 

Perhaps you will be surprised at me new title. Don’t know what is the matter for I haven’t been going A.W.O.L. or anything lately. 

With love to all, I am sincerely yours 

Sgt. Jess MCook

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