Letters from the Past
November 28, 1918
My Darling Helen,
Today is Thanksgiving Day, and it is a very disagreeable day. It is raining, so it makes it rather dreary.
I just had chow, but I did not have as near as good chow, as I had a year ago, at San Francisco. We had turkey and gravy, oranges, cookies, sweet potatoes, dressing, ice cream, pumpkin pie, and cigars.
I gave the cigar that was handed to me to one of the mess cooks who did smoke. I believe I can safely say that I have had as good a meal before I came into the service, although I did have a good meal here. Somehow the meals don’t have the same taste, as those I have had at home and elsewhere.
One of the other boys and I almost lost out on chow this noon. We always eat second chow, and we were standing at the entrance of the mess hall when the Chief Boatman’s mate in charge, came out and said that second chow would be just one hour from then and that was a quarter of twelve, so the second chow would be at a quarter of one. Well at 12 o’clock or a little after, I believe, a number of fellows were going to the mess hall, so we went too, only to find out that chow was to be at 12:30. We went back again, and chow had already been served, and the serving pans took back to the galley, so we lost out then.
At a quarter of one, we went back and stayed there and waited until next chow. While we were waiting, the Chief came out and asked us where we belonged, so I told him, and he said that he was sorry, but we should have been at second chow. But I was not to be cheated out of my dinner, so we went in with the armed guard, and that way got our dinner. A narrow escape wasn’t it? Well, that’s the way of the Navy anyway.
Yesterday I was working on those fenders during the forenoon, and in the afternoon, we let out the motorboat which was in the boathouse and pulled in the old steamer in its place. This steamer is in pretty bad shape, and from what I heard, the engineer of the boat says they will practically have to rebuild it from the keel up, including a new sternpost and engine bed. I guess it will stay in here all winter.
The day before yesterday, the order came out that we had to wear our flat-hats and peacoats to go on liberty. Before we had to wear our white hats, and you were not allowed to take your coat out with you except on one very cold night. I will have to have the ribbon changed on mine before I can go out on liberty.
I expect that you will have had about a week’s school by the time you get this letter, won’t you? How does it seem to be teaching again?
I am feeling fine and enjoying good health, and I hope that you are in good health too. I am hoping that it may be possible for me to get out before very long and come see you. Oh, how I long to be with you again.
With my love and kisses to my darling sweetheart.
U.S.S. Richmond, Rec. Ship
Note: This is a series of letters offered from the personal collection of popular author, Laurie Davis. Some letters date as far back as World War I. You can view other letters posted by Laurie by clicking here.