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Monday, January 26, 2009

Letter 23 ~ September 24, 1918

Minnie tells me about more school activities including concerns that someone may be stealing the coal to their stove.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas
[Sherman, Kansas]
Tuesday evening, September 24, 1918

Dear Boy –

I had a letter from you yesterday and another today. But I wish it didn’t take the mail so long to get here. I got the letter you wrote last Friday today. My, but I liked that letter and was sure glad to get it.

Don’t you know dear boy that I will always have time to do anything for you? I’m sure glad you suggested something I can do – because I’m sure anxious to do something for you. I won’t make it for a couple of days yet. Then maybe I will know your new address if you have been transferred. I wish I could have known and taken it to you Sunday. I just love to make candy and do things that way and then it gives me something to do up here [that is] different and I won’t get so lonesome.

Parkerson’s are still in the evening [so] that when I sit here [in my room upstairs], sometimes it seems like there isn’t anyone for a hundred miles around. You know it’s so noisy at home.

I lost the set out of my ring today, or rather it came out but I didn’t lose it. I’m glad of that. But it seems funny not to have it. I’ve had that ring for nine years and have worn it nearly all the time.

Ward, you were right. That monthly report is a report I send in to [the] County Superintendent giving the attendance, absences, tardies, etc. I was looking thru my supplies this morning and I found the little blank [form] that I have to fill out.

Philip Chalmers came up to me today and wanted to know if I had been keeping the woodshed locked. I told him I had not and he said his father said I had better put the padlocks on every night. One year the coal disappeared faster than they used it at school. So I have to put those two old rusty padlocks on every night. They are awfully hard to work. I don’t mind it now but when it gets real cold, I won’t enjoy standing out there working with those locks. I guess I’ll try oiling them up a little.

Miss Carey didn’t get to come up with me Sunday night. We had to come up in the Ford – the Hudson hasn’t been fixed yet, so she couldn’t come. I don’t know when she will come now if I don’t go home Sunday – and I don’t intend to do that.

I sent three letters this morning and I must send this and one to Mama tomorrow morning. Then I will only have one cent left to my name. I think it might have been well if I had of used my brains a little Saturday when I was at home and thought ahead a little. I expect I’ll have to borrow from Mrs. Parkerson until Mama can send me some stamps. I hate to do that but I would hate a whole lot worse to disappoint you.

If it’s so you can’t write to me boy, I’ll not think you’ve forgotten me. I’ll never think that. I’m glad I know you, Ward, as well as I do. I know you care and will do the best you can. Ward, I’ve been glad all the time that you are in the army, not that I would have anything happen to you for the world, and I don’t believe there will. But it takes a brave boy to do what you’ve done – given up your good times home and so much [more]. Homer and Eve aren’t in because they don’t want to give up a good time, so [your brother] Willis says. And I believe it. How much more I think of you than I do those boys. Ten boys like they are not worth as much as one like you, boy. You are sure standing the hard knocks now, but I bet you’ll be a whole lot happier some day than they ever can be. I’ve always had the most confidence in you, boy. I was scared to death when you went and yet I was glad too, and I thought if you went, you knew what was best. But my, I’m anxious for the day to come when you will be home again. It will seem a long time Boy to me. You’ll be so be much better than me tho Ward. You can’t help but be when you’ve gone thru what you will half to. I’ll feel pretty small.

Well I wonder where you are tonight. For all I know you may be on your way to a camp a long ways from here. I hope tho last Sunday wasn’t the last time I’ll see you until you get back for good. But I guess the last time’s got to come sometime and maybe it would be just as well for us not to know it at the time. It’s hard enough to say “goodbye” anyway, isn’t it? We use to think it was awful to say “goodbye” when we knew we would see one another the next Sunday evening. It seems kinda funny now. But I bet I would be as bad again now if you were home.

Well I guess I had better go to bed. It’s getting pretty late. Good night, dear boy. – Minnie G. Frey

P. S. Wouldn’t it be grand if we should have the good luck to get to spend Sunday home together? I’m almost afraid to hope but I do anyway. Sometimes I just forget and get to planning on it. I’ve thought we would for so long.

  • Philip A. Chalmers was the ten year-old son of 46 year-old Will Chalmers and his 34 year-old wife, Leila whose farm was located in northern Grant Township, Riley County, Kansas.

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