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Short Sheeting

Posted by on February 23, 2016

May 18 and 22, 1944: Dad writes two short letters home from Topeka. Things are pretty routine in Kansas. The weather is getting nicer in Topeka as Dad keeps up his correspondence with family back home as well as his brother and a former boss, both stationed overseas.  He is also taking a correspondence course in Physics. Meanwhile, in the “other barracks” there seems to be a uniquely Army way of celebrating the appointment of one of the men as bay chief.

Dad is writing “…in the office during one of the slow moments.” He reports that he is “getting along alright as usual and the May weather down here isn’t too bad at all.” The weather has been so nice that “…the Wing played the WACS softball team. We won but nobody bothered counting the score.” He is looking forward to even nicer weather in the summer as he plans to “…try to do some fishing here and see how I make out.” Dad also observes, “Here in Kanas, the high schools have their graduations in May. The reason I believe is so they can attend to the farming…” 

Like Anna, he has been busy lately and hasn’t had a chance to write in the past few days owing to his “always going somewhere or coming back.” He also compares his new boss (Capt. Chenault) to his old boss (Capt. Jordan) stating that Chenault, “isn’t bad but he is a lot older than Jordan. As far as doing work is concerned, they both are alike. I get the so-called opportunity to do most of it.” Dad mentions that he heard from Capt. Jordan who is now with an Aviation Ordnance Ammunition Company in England. Dad will be sending Jordan his brother’s address (and vice versa) on the chance that they may be close to each other.

Dad also writes about another fellow who was assigned to certain duties in his barracks which were immediately marked by some hijinks. “The other barracks…have a fellow named Sgt. Ansel who was appointed as bay chief by the 1st Sgt. A bay chief takes care of the floor of the barracks he is on and sees to it that the fellows keep their bunks neat. At date of appointment as barracks bay chief, someone short sheeted Ansel that very night. Short sheeting is folding a fellow’s sheet in half and when the fellow crawls into bed he thinks the sheet is stuck in the middle of the bunk and sometimes they shove their feet right through the middle of the sheet.”

Dad writes that he is “taking a High School Physics correspondence course from the United States Armed Forces School at Madison, Wisconsin. It is quite the subject. And I’ve spent many a night up to 12:30 and 1:00 trying to figure out the problems. It’s like old school days…” He has already scored 100 on his first lesson with nine more to go. He is looking forward to getting a certificate from the Armed Forces for the class and hopes that it will translate into High School credit even though he notes he already has a College Entrance Certificate from the State of New York.

Before closing his letter of the 22nd, Dad writes, “I’m just sitting here trying to think of something to write but can’t, so I guess I’ll have to end the letter. Nothing much ever happens around here.”

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