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Friday, February 6, 2009

Letter 36 ~ October 5, 1918

Minnie writes me from her parent’s home in Manhattan and reminisces about earlier times.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas
Manhattan, Kansas
Saturday Morning, 11:00 A. M. [October 5, 1918]

Dearest Boy:

Well I’m home. The folks -- Papa & [my sister] Bertha – came up about 3:30 yesterday and visited my school. I was glad to see them. We were so tickled coming home. We noticed once the horn honked when Papa didn’t make it. We went about a mile further and the old thing began to honk and it just kept honking. Papa couldn’t stop it at all. He stopped the car and kept pulling on the button but it kept on honking. Well Bertha and I were just doubled up with laughing. Papa ... got just as red as a beet. He finally got out and [found that] the wire was grounded. We had 3 people following us wondering what was up.

I just now went out to see an airoplane sailing over. It looked so bright and pretty.

Bertha is going to leave here in two weeks. [Her husband] Charlie [Scholer] has a place [in Washington, D.C. where he works for the War Department] – 2 rooms and porch. [They] have to pay $55 [per month] but it’s very nice, Charlie says.

It’s certainly too bad that you are quarantined... I feel awfully sorry for you boy, but that doesn’t do you any good. I wish I could do something that would. If I could come over to see you, it would be some better but of course they won’t let me go now. Just remember, Ward, that you will be on my mind every minute tomorrow. I’ll not be away from you in thoughts. I never am, for I am waiting for a real man. My, but I am proud of you. A girl just can’t help but try to live up to the finest that is in her when she has a lover like you, Ward. When this war is over, I’ll work all my life to try to prove to you how much I love and respect you. Not in words but in actions.

I told you in my last letter I wasn’t going to look for you any more – but I am. I’m going to plan and look for you home – until you do come. I know it will be soon Ward.

I got to telling Bertha and Mama this morning when we were sitting on the front porch how you hated the squeak of that porch swing. I said I was going to oil it before you came home. Mama got up, went out and got oil, came back and oiled it. It had its effect. It doesn’t squeak anymore.

I had a letter from you yesterday. Maybe you think it wasn’t welcomed? I’d given anything if I had come home last Sunday and we had gone over in the evening and brought you home with us. If I could only be home here, I’ll bet there wouldn’t be an opportunity pass by for getting you home or my going over, between your folks and mine. I’d sure be there.

All the boys came in and I had to stop to help them sing, “Keep the Home Fires Burning.” Bertha’s playing the piano – it’s the first chance we’ve all had to sing together for a long time. I’m going to get “There’s a Long, Long Trail.” I’m sure crazy about that [song]. Remember one evening you and I sat out here on the porch railing and sang that? I wish I could hear you sing it now. I will someday tho, and I will play it for you too. I am sure going to take music lessons and practice hard next summer because I believe it would please you if I could learn to play – and I would do anything that would do that.

I’m going over to see your mother this evening, I guess. Maybe not till tomorrow but I’ll go sometime before I go back to school.

Charlie [Scholer] says it looks like now the war will be over before the end of the year even. We would like to know whether that is his own opinion or if he had some inside information. It can’t be over too soon, it’s time the poor boys are coming home. The casualty list is growing – a long list of Kansas boys are named everyday now. It just scares me. The worst fighting has been done since these lists have been out too. The Kansas and Missouri boys are just getting into it now.

I wish, boy, I could walk shoulder to shoulder with you all thru this, but I’m with you just the same. Well, if the quarantine should be lifted by any streak of luck, I’ll get to see you. I wish you would call up. I’m worried about that sore throat you had. I wouldn’t have you get that disease for anything. Two boys from up Sherman [Township] were brought home to be buried yesterday – one from Camp Funston, another from a camp in the East.

I should think you would get a letter from me everyday. I write everyday and send everyday. Try to be happy tomorrow, Ward. We’ll think lots of one another anyway. – Minnie

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