September 15, 1942.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
At least I’m getting a little time to write, boy I’ve been so dam busy lately that I didn’t get much writing done, I’m teaching school again and boy its a job now, I have to teach some courses I have not taught before, and it requires plenty of study and I sure am having my troubles.
I was made corporal on August fifteenth and am I glad they gave me a break at last I’m getting sixty-six bucks a month now and boy I sure can use it. It means more work and responsibility though, and therefor a while I was teaching and running a barracks full of students too, boy it was a job, I hd to keep after the fellows to keep the barracks clean and in order.
They started student self government now so I’m relieved of the barracks now and boy I’m glad, it sure does take a lot of work and chewing to run a barracks. Heck Pappy the women are even taking the army over, we have a great many going to school here to be instructors, I have one in my class and she is pretty nice, but heck I can’t cuss much so I can’t do my best teaching, ha ha.
Boy I like this country very much, it’s very much like back home, it’s primarily farming country with little manufacturing and small country towns. It’s very nice country and the people treat us swell. Sunday I and several fellows were on a sightseeing tour, we went out about thirty miles to see some old bandit hideouts and some beautiful canyons. It is really beautiful these deep canyons of red granite and dwarf cedars growing along the rim, one was called Devils Gulch, it was once a bandit hideout, and Jesse James is supposed to have shook off a poss by jumping across it, at the place he jumped, it is narrow, but deep and its a pretty nice jump for a horse carrying a rider.
We went to another place to see a cave and upon going through a tunnel to the cave entrance, we came out on a ledge about seventy feet above a creek, boy it was a beautiful hideout for bandits. I found an old coon was living in a hole in a rock ledge near the cave, his tracks were in the mud at the foot of the cliff and they looked almost like bear tracks, I’ll bet he is old and gray.
This country is full of red granite and every here and there along streams, high cliffs re seen, it looks funny to see these cliffs right in the middle of a pasture or field, and the farmers let their stock run all around, they don’t fence the cliffs off, I should think that occasionally cow would fall off of these cliffs, and they re from sixty to one hundred or more feet high.
We then went to the “Palisades” , a large canyon on the “split rock creek”, they are beautiful sheer cliffs about one hundred feet high, and pinnacles and tall columns standing alone. This canyon was caused by an earthquake long ago, the rock is actually split and the cliffs are smooth and straight, we done some fishing here for a while, one of our fellows for a six inch bullhead and the local couple we were fishing with got five big bullheads about ten or twelve inches long and missed one. They want us to come up this sunday and fish with them again, they are going to bring doggies for a ‘a little roast.
Boy it sure is nice country here, and most of these cliffs and canyons are right in the farmers fields and you wouldn't know they were unless you knew about them, you have to be right on top of them before you can see them. Hunting season starts September twenty-sixth and I may get in some hunting, we saw a ringneck rooster and a cottontail and several jackrabbits on the country roads here, this is all field hunting here, there are practically no woods other than pence rows.
Yesterday I saw three large flocks of birds fly over camp, some say they were snow geese, but I don’t think so, they were large but didn’t fly like geese, they flew slow like a heron and I think they were herons or cranes, there must have been more than a thousand in the largest flock, and it sure looked nice with all these white birds with black wings outlined against the clear blue sky.
Snuffy was home in August and was going to visit you, but he was called back before his furlough was up, so he didn’t get to see everyone. They moved camp suddenly and he is now at Camp Hood, Texas, right out in the desert about forty miles from the nearest town.
I’m glad to hear you got a break at last Pappy, keep the good work up, Hartman was advanced to Junior engine mechanic so he’s doing good too. I advanced also, I’m a corporal now as you know, remember Pappy they can’t always keep a good horse down, ha ha. I’ll have to close now, so take it easy and tell the folks I wish you all the best of everything.
P.S. I moved so I don’t have to fix the leaky roof, ha ha. Here’s some pictures again, description on the back of them.