October 6th and 9th 1943. Two letters from Stanley to Dad. Stanley is still in Great Falls, MT “with a few more days to go” before deployment overseas, while Dad is at Topeka Army Air Base in Kansas. At this point Stanley writes, “Since we started to pack why I have a little more time to write letters…” All the same he comments “Now that we will move someday from here boy my payrolls are beginning to get screwed up plenty and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.”
He goes on to note that “Censoring of letters was to have started but I guess they postponed it for a few days. It sure feels funny to start packing. Fellows usually start to pack early and you see more junk thrown away than ever before.” He also notes that “Our adjutant is going to be the censor. One fellow here asked if he could write in a foreign language – Hungarian as his folks can’t read or write English. The Adjutant laughed and said if he can’t read it it won’t go through.
It looks like Stanley is taking advantage of the opportunity while he has a little more time to send a few things to Dad. “I am enclosing a cartoon which one restaurant gives out to its patrons. Some of the fellows were there and brought them along here from the tavern… Also enclosed is a cartoon of two dogs. Quite the thing eh? One dog pulling his rank on another.”
As far as life on base in Great Falls, Stanley writes that they “had an inspection with full pack and whatnot and then we marched around for a while.” He also writes “Nobody can sleep in the barracks when they go to town. They keep putting on the lights half of the night and whistle and sing and wake everybody up for pisscall and throw tin cans around and what not. …One night when the fellows got drunk why they put photo flash bulbs in the sockets and when you pulled the string they would flash in your face and blind you and on top of that at the same time you pulled the string a cup of water fell on you. Boy what a mess the barracks [of] ours was that night.”
Apparently Dad had written to Stanley about his experience at Camp Upton back in January when he was inducted. Stanley comments back. “I remember when I went through there, I put something [on] that fitted me and they took it off and yelled to the guy to give him some other size. He said he only put the other thing on to try for size. I guess them guys get a kick out of the poor fellow who walk around with pants too tight that almost crawl up your ass and a blouse in which you can swim and shirts you have to roll the sleeves up almost to your elbows just so something will fit. When I was down in Ephrata …we had a sign which read: IF IT FITS BRING IT BACK. Some sign eh?
Stanley makes a comment in his letter of the 9th that “Now that we will move someday from here boy my payrolls are beginning to get screwed up plenty and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.” This brings to mind a document that is in the archives that is obviously an office joke memo that it seems Stanley had sent to Dad . In a case of dark Army humor, the “memo” to “All Supervisors” outlines the procedure to be followed (including the proper forms) when people die in the office and do not fall over. A copy of the “memo” is here.