June 21, 1918
Ft. Riley, Kansas
My Dearest Lucille,
I received your letter this morning and sure glad to get the same. Say, I sure do wish I could have slipped into that lonely old kitchen about the time you were writing my letter. Believe me, it would have been far from lonely.
We are still getting plenty of drilling but I have begun to like it now, and feel as though I was "almost" at home. I sure wish you could hear the company band playing right now. They sure are fine. They are playing for us two hours this evening. We have been changed a little, and I had a chance to leave the tent, so I moved to the barracks. We have a piano, phonograph, violin, and mandolin in my room, so just imagine at the fuss, though sometimes it sounds pretty good.
I laughed my sides sore today. A couple of the boys got into a real heated "argument" so our sergeant just went and got the gloves and told them to settle it all. Sure was some fight but didn't last very long. I could have whipped them both easily, ha ha Believe me, I never saw a tall man until I came up to camp. We have a number in our company that are 6-6 or 6-7. Now that's getting up there, eh? I have seen more Negro soldiers today than I have ever seen in my whole put together. They have been moving them to some other part of the camp, I guess. I also saw a poor little Ford go the streetcar route this morning. Just happened to be sitting right close, looking at different cars as they passed. No one was hurt, but it was a miracle for the Ford was completely demolished.
|Boxing seemed not only to be good entertainment but also a way to work out frustrations. Dad is the second from the left.|
I would like for you to see our mansion. They are low, long, 200 ft. buildings about 30 ft. apart for as far as you can look most any way. The camp reservation has 35,000 acres so we have plenty of room to exercise on. If I stay here a month, I am going to lope across every foot of it each day just so I will have a good appetite.
Well, sweetheart, it is getting pretty late for a soldier boy to be writing and not ready for bed, so I will have to turn in before I get turned in. They are good, but very strict up here. They pull me out about the time I was used to going to bed. ha ha So I will kiss you goodnight for the 9,999 time tonight as usual and fix my cot.
Your very own,
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1998-2002, Tom Johnston