It’s been a few weeks since the last post. Nothing to worry about as I have been away on vacation; hiking on the Appalachian Trail and visiting family. I am just getting back into the swing of things. Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we? In the previous post Dad had just arrived in Salt Lake City after completing his training at the Savanna Section Ordnance School in Illinois.
April 21, 1943. Dad writes another letter home from Salt Lake City. He is still waiting for classification and to find out where is next assignment will be. Until then, the Army does its best to keep everyone busy. He explains, “I might be sent out to an air base as Stanley was but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, they have us do details in fatigue outfit, such as digging up the soil and leveling it out. So far I had no K.P. and have been successful in dodging dirty details such as cleaning toilets or firing boilers.”
The previous night they were given 6 hour passes “enough time to get a bus and go about the town.” He saw the Mormon Church and the State Capitol building and sent a few postcards home showing some of the sites that he saw. He notes that “the impression that a majority of us soldiers got of the people (Mormons) in Salt Lake City was that they didn’t want soldiers…We saw many fellows our age who in one way or another are out of the Army.” Dad notes that some of the guys in his group speculated that the men in Salt Lake City who were passed over to serve “were queers”. However he notes, “I wasn’t looking for what the other soldiers were, and I enjoyed myself.”
He continues, “When I saw the capitol building in Salt Lake City it was rather dark and as you looked down upon the city it was one of the beautifullest sights with twinkling lights. You see, the capitol is on a hill and overlooks that city.” His impression of the camp is softening from his last letter as well, “This camp isn’t too bad once you get used to it and know where everything is and what to do when.”
Speaking of things to do, he mentions that there are plenty of distractions at the camp. His plans for the rest of the evening are to “go to the PX after I write a letter to Stanley” and to listen to the radio a little more. He also says that he is writing from the day room which “is a separate building outside the barracks where you can play pool, ping pong, and read books.”
As he wraps up the letter he notes that he continues to pay close attention to the religious calendar with Easter approaching noting “Tomorrow will be Holy Thursday, then Holy Friday and Holy Saturday. I will remember to fast. May I again wish you the best that God can give you all, and let Theresa-Marie make it a Happy Easter.”