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Lena B. Rees & James L. Carter Family Papers: Transcripts - MS 964
Mrs. J.L. Carter
Was Inducted this afternoon but cant leave for Great Lakes till tomorrow. Until then staying here. Getting along swell. Will Write Later
Great Lakes Ill
November 19, 1942
Dont know what to write about so guess Ill just tell you what I do. Was supposed to receive stationary and other things today but the company didn't get around to it.
We arrived in camp about 8:00 PM Nov. 17 and was issued two 100% white wool blankets 1 pillow + 1 mattress. Before bed went for chow (supper). Menue
Beans, Beans + Beans
+ 1 cookie some balonie
There was nothing else to drink so I drank 1 large cup of coffee without cream or sugar. Since then however I have had cream. I still don't like it but I drink it down, although I wouldn't have to. Every one is dished the same amount of food although many do not finish all of it. At first I thought I should eat it but know I want it. Many don't like it but its really good.
As yet we haven't been taught how to put our capt. so finding something in a large sack is quite a problem Today we got shots in the arm. We waited so long in line that I came as close to passing out as I ever had. Was just going to call the chief of our company when they started to move our line. You just walk slowly by the doctors and they jab you as if they were delibertly sticking a pin into you. Immedeatly afterwards we started drill and I felt ok, but the guy next to me almost fainted so I grabbed his shirt + called the chiefs attention. Several others were dismissed from drill but the rest of us feel fine.
Have barracks inspection every single morning + the inspectors run their fingers over all window ledges so you sure have to keep things clean. They have just changed the training period from 4 to six weeks so don't know about getting home for Xmas.
Forgot to tell you Warren + I were separated the first night haven't heard of him since.
Got to do some washing so for now.
Be seeing you
P.S. This Letter was given to me by U.S.O. ladys with an apple when we stoped a minute at Elkhart.
Also don't see what I can spent my money on.
Great Lakes Ill
November 23, 1942
Dear Mom and all interested:
Received yours and Elizabeth Ann's letter November 22nd. Today I received the Daily Times, Dorothae's letter and a letter from the McLaughlin's. I wrote a letter last sunday but it was so unorganized that I tore it up [in margin: "need stationary"] I still don't have stationary, things are hard to get. Please send some kind of stationary or at least some envelopes. By then I'll get around to writing more often.
As I stated in my other letter I still haven't seen Warren. The McLaughlin's wrote and said that he sees me going to chow. Please write his company number and ask him for his barracks number then I can get an idea where to find him.
Tell Elizabeth Ann I get up between 4:30 and 5:30 make my bed, dress, + wash. At 6:00 we do exercises till chow time at 6:30, then the work begins. Our barracks, which are about 100 feet long and 35 feet wide, are cleaned very thoroughly. The hard wood floors have to be steel wooled swept, waxed and polished every other day. The windows are washed every day and every single ledge is dusted. Our bunks which are unfinished wood also have to be steel wooled and wiped with furniture polish. All these ------ make a days work to be done by 8:15 AM; thats then the gold braids come around and inspect. Therest of the morning we have a few drills and really a lecture. The lectures so far have been an insurance and military curticies. In the afternoon we have been getting more of our supplies; we have to march to the small stors dock for them and drill. At 4:30 we have chow and from then on were usually free. Once in a while we have to stand a four hour trick as guard which may be day or night. All men have their turn at this.
I can't think of anything I need for Christmas. I might mention my shaving kit I brought is very impractical because it is unhandy to get in to with out laying on a table which we don't have in the washroom.
As yet we don't have a radio be we all chipped in to get one.
We have 3 movies a week and I have been lucky and seen two. One movie was out of Camp Greenbay, my camp, so we walked two miles to get there. After the show it was raining in sheets so everybody broke into a run. I ran all the way back. I didn't want to be left with the stragglers. I missed the Filicker band wagon program which was here but 1-6 men from our company went. There are 120 men in a company.
When I first came here I was short of space for my things so I threw my dictionary away am sorry now as this letter plainly shows. [in margin: "need dictionary"]
We were ordered to send out clothes home COD and also ordered to keep our shoes in case the ones issued couldn't be fitted right away. My shoes fit perfect.
Say I cant find the pipe Joe gave me. I must have sent it home or lost it when packing my civies. Please look in my overcoat pocket. [in margin: "would like pipe"]
I took out $9,000.00 insurance made out to Lena B Carter or due to any accident it is automatically evenly split between my brother and sisters.
Did time so better close. Till Later.
P.S. Here for six weeks boot training no leaves till then. Home for 9 days starting Dec 31. Starting Jan 1942 recruits will be given 8 weeks training
Just finishing this letter on the 25th found I had really wrote this the 24th. Received Stationary and letter thanks. So rushed I had better send this immediately or Ill never get one off. Had one tooth pulled.
Great Lakes, Ill
November 29, 1942
Have received everything thanks alot.
The only papers sold around here are chicago papers but one boy gets the Toledo Blade from home every day. I would like the Times every day but so far I have had only time to read the headlines. Judge for yourself whether you wish to bother to send the Times but I definantly don't bother with magazines. On second thought you better send the Readers Digest I better make a point of reading some current news.
Our company now has a radio but theres quite a fight over it. Half of our company is from Virginia, N Carolina and around there, and want hillbilly music were getting together on it though. One day a Virginian and a N Carolinian were argueing about the tobacco raised in their respective states. You learn alot about different countries or districts that way.
Regarding things I need I will list them below. The trouble is there is several things I want [caret mark] practically tailored made so I'll draw a picture of them and if they can't be bought about the way I want them I'll fix something up. My Dictionary is in the right, small drawer of the large bureau also the bottle of [caret mark] blue ink which is there. Friday we received our small stores supplies but still no clothes brush or hair brush so send small stiff whisk broom and my hairbrush. I could use a container for a full length tooth brush.
Need a clothe bag of somekind to keep my shoes in as I put them in with my clothes. Want only one container for both shoes. On second thought maybe a real large sugar sack or that cloth bag I kept my sailboat sail in would do then I could put my tennis shoes, rubbers and leggings in. As yet haven't received rubbers, tennis shoes or second pair of shoes. I guess that was why we were told to keep our civilian shoes. Need another small bag to keep my shoe cleaning outfit & cleaning brushes in. Something about twice the size of a 10 lb sugar sack. You asked for it so hers quite a list of things to get me. If you send these throw in a couple of apples.
The first week I drank coffee every meal but for some reason I only take a sip now. I guess I just don't like it or its to strong or something.
Happened to think if you can find one would like some kind of soap container for my P & G cleaning soap.
So much for now and that's enough
P.S. Throw in several 5 lb sugar sacks may prove useful also small bal of 1/8" braided sash cord
Idea of what I want for my toilet articles.
|A & B pocket||large enough for cake of P & G & ordinary toilet soap|
|C "||for 2 inch square can of talcum powder|
|E "||for razor, razor blades etc.|
|D "||for large tube of shaving cream|
|F pocket||for tooth brush in container (full length)|
|G "||" large tube of tooth paste|
|H at least 4" wide||for alcohol or shaving lotion I may want|
|I||comb & brush||Z||just a flap|
|J||space for whisk brook [brush?]||Y||rope to tie around waist when using|
The idea is to tie around waist and have everything when washing. When not in use roll it up & tie with waist band. believe I mentioned could use a small sewing kit or a book of needles & pins.
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