Let My Hair Grow Out

Ft. Riley, Kans.
1 November, 1942
Sunday.

Darling:

Got a letter from my sweetheart yesterday, so I’d better answer before she leaves me for another guy. How is she, the darling?

I hadn’t heard about the toaster, which is swell, I think. People are sure nice to us, aren’t they? Now, if we only had a washing machine and an iron, we could nearly take in laundry and boarders. Do you think you and I could do enough laundry over a week-end to make a paying proposition of it?

I’m glad you were able to get a cedar chest. As yet, I haven’t had the chance to check up on trunks, as the P.X. closes at 5:00, and we work until 5:30 or 5:45 every day except Sunday, and they’re not open Sundays. Don’t know whether I told you or not, but next week we get one hour of free time all week. It’s really pretty sad, isn’t it?

Got paid yesterday, and will send you the money as soon as possible. I’m thinking of starting a checking account if I can arrange to get the money in to the bank.

Darling, I have a slight surprise for you. Since coming down here, I have let my hair grow out a bit. It’s nearly as long now as it was when I was a civilian. They did sneak up on me once and cut a little off the top, but I restrain them as much as possible. Do you really like it better when it is longer?

Darling, I too get a lot of kick out of recalling the hectic time we had getting married. It was fun, wasn’t it? Remember the bus ride to Portland from McMinnville, and the bus driver? That always kinda tickles me when I think of it.

We certainly are going to have to have a picture taken together. My folks have been after me for a picture ever since I got into the army, and they’re wanting one of us, now. Aren’t we popular, though?

I wish things could be more definite with us, so that we could know just what is going to happen graduation, where I am to be assigned, etc. If we had a lot of money, we would just let things take their course, and get together as soon as we could make it after graduation. I don’t know how you stand, but here’s how my situation is financially: On graduation day, I’ll have enough to pay all my bills excepting $4500. That will leave me approximately $10000 with which to spend my furlough and living expenses for December. That way, there’s not much I can do financially until the first of January. On the first of January, my check will be approximately $29000, less deductions for insurance, etc., which will leave about $27500. After I pay the $4500 left on uniform, and possible other things which will come up, there should be about $200, or maybe less, but not much less, I hope. If I’m to be here until after January 1st, there’s not much chance for us to be together. Some of the fellows who are having their wives up for graduation, are paying $1000 per week, and up, for a decent room. Things are terrible around here as regards living facilities. So, darling, please pray for a quick assignment. I’m going to ask for the west coast, preferably the Northwest. If I have to stay here, I don’t see a chance for our being together for Christmas, and it nearly breaks my heart to even think of that. The days are so long without you now, and they’ll be even worse from graduation until we get together. Especially the holidays. Whenever I think of our being apart, I almost wish I had stayed with the 115th and had my wife with me there. However, my being an officer rather than an enlisted man will have some advantages, but they’re not apparent right now.

Darling, how are your teeth? Are you having any more trouble with them? Hope they aren’t bothering you too much, and that they won’t give you too much trouble when they come out. Please take care of yourself, sweetheart.

I must close now, as the lights are about to go out. Write again soon, darling. I miss you terribly. You know that.

Lovingly, your
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter 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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