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Monday, February 9, 2009

Letter 42, October 8, 1918

Minnie writes me about the deaths from influenza in Riley County, possible school closings, and saving ink bottles to send to the YMCA.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas
Sherman, Kansas
Tuesday Evening, October 8, 1918

My Dear Ward:

I hope I will get lots of mail pretty soon. I’ve written two letters already this evening and this is my third. I just finished a long, long letter to Stella [Munger]. I ought to be ashamed. This is the first real letter I’ve written her and she has written to me about three times I think, or more.

Wasn’t that an awful wind we had last evening? Mr. & Mrs. Parkerson and I got up and staid up till the storm was all over. Mrs. Parkerson and I staid up till midnight to talk.

I was honored today by receiving a letter from Ward C. G. I was sure glad to get it and I should say I won’t care if you have better writing accommodations, if it will mean a letter from you any oftener. I sure like to get them.

Do you think there is any chance of the quarantine being lifted anytime soon? I noticed in tonight’s paper that the disease is worst at Camp Dodge and Camp Funston came next. Over two thousand new cases in the last 48 hours. That sounds pretty bad. They are having it around here. I hope it doesn’t get in my school. The Stockdale School was closed last week and last night Mrs. Parkerson heard the general ring. She went and listened and Central [Switchboard] announced that the Riley School was closed yesterday. One of my primary girls hasn’t been to school any last week or yet this week. Her mother has the influenza. I see the doctor go by every evening going out there. A man about a mile west of here died yesterday. He was sick less than a week. I never heard of anything that spreads like it does. It’s not so bad anywhere tho as in the camps. It sure is good to get your letters saying you are well. I’m not a bit afraid of it myself, but I’d be scared to death if you were to get it. It’s different altogether over there. You can’t be cared for the way you should be.

If it’s clear, I’m going to take a picture of the school children tomorrow.

I’m glad you were moved in a new tent before that storm last night. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, but if it blew there like it did here, I’m afraid your tent left you.

Only three more days and I will go home again if the weather man sees fit. I wish, dear, I could share my visits home with you. If that quarantine is ever lifted, I’ll be happy.

We are gathering and saving all the empty ink bottles we can find. They need them up at camp to put on the writing tables for the boys in the “Y.” They say they can’t keep in ink bottles. The boys take them to their barracks and tents. And the manufacturing company can’t supply them. So they asked the children of Riley County to save them.

You notice I have been censoring my own letters. I thought I had better tear off the bottom on the other side. I sure am going to College next fall. It’s going to be tempting to teach. That bank account all of my own looks good to me. But that will never do me the good that a College education will, no matter how I would use it.

Sometimes, boy, you seem so far off and I [too] among strangers. I just wonder if you do really exist. Then I get your picture and look at it. It sure is a comfort. My, Ward, I do hope you come back just as good and pure looking as you are in that picture. Because that is just the way you looked before you went away. And that’s the way I always think of you. With lots of love for you, Ward. Your sweetheart, -- Minnie G. F.

These photographs of my twin brother Willis and I were taken on our 21st Birthday, 30 July 1918. This picture of me (left) is the one that Minnie refers to in the last paragraph of her letter.

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