Three Skins

Ft. Riley, Kans.
Sept 12, 1942

Darling:

Here it is Saturday afternoon, then end of the busiest day week in my life to date. I have had more schooling this past week than in any three weeks before. We get up at 5:30. Wash, shave, etc. Breakfast at 6:00. Fall out at 6:45. Beds must all be made and everything cleaned up by 6:45. If everything isn’t in perfect shape, they give you a “skin” and three “skins” are enough to confine you for the week-end. I got one the middle of the week for failing to latch my foot locker, and then I got two more today, one because my sheets were not folded exactly 16 inches, and another because they found some dust on top of my wall locker. It really fixes me up, too. Not because I was planning to go anyplace, but I have to report to the charge of quarters every hour on the hour from 3:00 this afternoon until 10:00 tonite, and from 7 tomorrow morning until noon. Ain’t it awful? Kinda tickles me, because it’s just a bit on the unusual side. But it gives you and idea of how tough it is here. We go to school from 8:00 until 11:50 A.M. Then again from 1:00 till 5:00. Then we have two hours of study period from 6:30 until 8:30 every night except Saturday. I’ve studied till I’m black in the face. The work isn’t too hard, but there’s so darned much of it to do. It’s really a problem to find time to write letters, bathe, get a haircut, or anything else, so that’s the explanation for the brevity of my letters so far.

Outside of what I have just written, and what I have told you in previous letters, there isn’t much more to write, really. The weather here isn’t too bad so far. We have had quite a bit of dampness, and not too much heat. It has been kinda muggy, though, kinda stuffy. Whenever I walk a half a block, I’m perspiring pretty well.

The instructors here are really tops. They can give you hours and hours at a time, without losing their class’s interest, and without becoming too monotonous. That is, most of them. There are some who are not quite so good, but as a general rule, they are very good.

In spite of the lack of free time, I have found an amazing amount of time to think of you. Every spare moment, I turn my thoughts to you. I’ve looked at your pictures, our pictures, I don’t know how many times. I’ve read your letters over and over. I’ve read looked at your picture a thousand times. We’re not allowed to keep pictures outside, but I have yours on the shelf inside my wall locker right where I can open the door and talk to you; and I do it every so often. Can your ears ever catch my words? Darling, I love you so very much, I don’t know how to tell you. And don’t ever think I don’t miss you, even though I don’t have much time to myself. If I had any more time to myself, I’d go nuts missing you. I do miss the moments I spend with you. The moments we spent together two weeks ago will always remain bright in my memory. Every moment we’ve ever spent together has been so swell. I still feel that when we married, and even before, I was getting a very good bargain, while you weren’t doing so well for yourself. Really, Marjorie darling, I don’t deserve such a wife as you, but I sincerely hope that you will never realize that fact. I want to be good enough in your eyes, always. I’ll always try to be the kind of a husband you deserve. If ever I do anything to hurt you or make you unhappy, please let me know and please leave room in your heart to forgive me, because I never want to hurt you, and if I should do so unintentionally, I certainly want to make amends. I love you so much, really, darling. If only I could hold you in my arms and tell you how lucky I feel to have a wife like you. Honestly, darling, when I think of how unlucky all those fellows are who are not married you, it makes me feel so proud. When you write or say “I love you,” it thrills me to the very soul. Sw Sweetheart, you are the most beautiful, the most lovable person I ever met. Please always love me as I do you, please.

I must close now. Please write me soon again, and tell me you love me a little.

Your loving husband,
Jim

P.S.—Say “Hello” to all for me. Will write more tomorrow. I love you, now and forever.

Your
Jim

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Ed. Note—This letter once again has a bit of shorthand at the end. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

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