I am introducing a new series that I am calling “Letters from the Past.” I love history, and I am a collector of “old things” like antiques, vintage letters, journals, and old stories. We can learn so much from revisiting the past, and I have to admit sometimes I feel like I am doing something that I am not supposed to when I read vintage letters and journals from others. I think it is because I feel like I am peeking into something private that wasn’t planned to be shared. And yet, I find that no matter what year a letter or journal was written, we are all human, and I think we can relate to much of what is in these letters when dealing with human emotions. I believe there is a commonality in all of us that wants that little peek or glimpse into someone else’s life. I hope you enjoy these letters. I am not using last names or addresses in order to preserve a bit of privacy but the contents of the letters are as written. I hope you enjoy these letters over the next few months. Please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page.
LETTERS FROM THE PAST
November 14, 1918
I have just had chow and will try my luck at writing to you. It is Thursday night, and I have been pretty busy all day. This forenoon, one of the boys and I worked changing the chains around so they would pull in a little different way from the float. It was all just monkey work but just the same it gets tiresome and takes more or less time.
This afternoon, we were putting on clamps on the cable that holds the other new float, alongside the Richmond. That was not hard either but more awkward, especially when fastening the ends on iron rings fastened in the side of the Richmond, having to stand in a little row boat and the waves making it bob up and down like a cork.
The other two boys were making some kind of a mat to put on the corner of the float to protect the boats.
Yesterday, we were working on the floats changing some of the lines, also stretching the cable securing one of the floats. These cables slipped during the night so we had to tighten them up again, and this afternoon, we put the clamps on differently and much tighter.
Yesterday afternoon or rather at noon, I got a card from Glenn, so as soon as I got through work I shaved, and as soon as I had eaten chow I went over to Norfolk to meet him at the Y.M.C.A. where we sat and talked for a long time. We were talking about things that had happened since we had last seen each other. I was telling him about my furlough and a little bit about my work, and he was telling me about some of the places he had been. Later we took a walk around town and also had a “lover’s treat” but as it happened instead of it being you and I which would have been just grand, it was just two old pals. It seemed good to talk to him again. He said that on one trip he had been down to Panama again and had even been up and visited at the station where we were stationed when we were both down there.
In your letter, you spoke about having heard from Glenn and that he had said something about a furlough. I asked him about it, and he said all they were giving were 5, 7, or 10 day, and no traveling. But he thought if he could have gotten about 10 days, he would have gone to some town in Missouri and visited with some relatives, if I remember rightly. He said that he had received a letter from Olive saying that I was there on a visit and the next letter where she spoke a little more about it. Has your mother ever said anything to you about my visit with you at the ranch? I was just a little curious, although I am a little inquisitive at times.
I didn’t get to go to bed until quite late last night so I will probably go to bed a little early tonight, to make up what I lost last night.
I am feeling fine and dandy and cannot complain but nevertheless I am always longing to be back with you, with my love and kisses to my darling.
U.S.S. Richmond, Rec. Ship