Penny boxes of wooden matches

March 24, 1943

Dear Mom, Dad, Sis, and Jackie,

Well I’m in the army a month today, that is in uniform. It hardly seems that I’ve been away that long, maybe it’s because everything is so new.

I received four letters and a card tonite, two from you Mom, one from Walter, one from Margaret Goslin in behalf of Gus, and the card from Veronica Mac. I just finished reading them and thought I’d drop a line in return. It’s funny, I wrote to Walter this afternoon and received a letter from him tonite.

I don’t know whether I told you but we didn’t have a sleeper on the way down. We ate on the train. They set up a kitchen in a baggage car and we would file down thru it and pick up our food on paper plates, bring it back and eat it in our seats. My appetite is good, but I don’t know whether I’m gaining any weight or not, for I haven’t weighed myself. I don’t know if you ought to send the hat or not because we’ll be putting our heavy uniforms away the middle of next month. I’ll pick it up myself when I get home on furlo. You can send me some cookies if you wish and a carton of book matches, if you can get them. All they have down here are those penny boxes of wooden matches and they are too bulky to carry around. (Excuse me for skipping around but I’m just writing as the thots come into my mind.) I read that article about the B.C. affair and it must have been quite nice. It’s pouring out now, the worst since I’ve been down here. Thanks a lot for your gift in your letter of March 18. I guess the reason the mail is so long in getting to me is because it’s all going to the Field Artillery. Perhaps by now you have my new address and I’ll get the mail sooner.

It’s too bad Mr. LeBlanc had to work and spoil your whole evening, but you had enough company to make up for it. (There must be something wrong with the lights for they are going on and off in all the barracks. Now they’re all out. Gotta stop till they come on. Almost an hour later and they’re on now).

Look in my drawer and send me that green telephone book I got from the Co. Boy it’s really raining here. We had the afternoon off because of it. We also took an electrical test this afternoon. 50 questions in 25 minutes, mostly on telephone equipment. I think I did fair on it, whereas most of the new fellows were completely lost.

That rest I had in the hospital did me a lot of good besides completely curing my cold. I was there six days.

I’ll bet you’re doing a swell job, Mom, rolling bandages. If every woman who has a son in the service would do as much, the bandage situation would be greatly improved. Tell Dad not to work too hard. You don’t have to do all the work at the Meisel Press.* Why don’t you let the bosses do some; that is if it’s alright with you.

In the barracks now I’m surrounded by sergeants, under and around me. They’re a swell bunch of fellows. One of them has a box of cookies and he’s passing it around now.

Pass this news on to the fellows and tell them I can’t write them all because I’ll only have to tell them all the same news. Also tell Bob MacLean that I could use a couple of those books and I’ll write to him within the next few days. I’ll also write to Da & Frances, and in the meantime tell them and the LeBlancs that this is sure a swell pen & pencil set. The pen writes by itself. All I have to do is hold it. I really appreciate it. This watch that you gave me is really on the ball. It will go pretty near two days on one winding and it’s keeping good time.

Well I’m running out of works now and it’s nearly time for lites out so good night and   Love, Murray.

By author

Laurel lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts in Colorado's Rocky Mountains! She has published several multi-genre books and hosts the podcast "Alligator Preserves," where she interviews fascinating people, talks about the human condition, and shares scary stories from her "Dark Ebb" collection.

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