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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Letter 85 ~ November 5, 1918

I write Minnie about camp activities, voting in the national election, and close with a poem.

Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Stockdale, Kansas
Camp Republican,
[Tuesday evening,] November 5, 1918

Dear Minnie,

I am still in good health, well fed, but anxious to get away from here. It is very tiresome waiting for something to happen when you don’t know what it is.

I got back to camp all O.K. Sunday evening & nothing was said about overstaying the pass. Last night Ralph Currie & I went to the picture show down to the “Y.” It was the first show I had seen since that night before I left for the army. We had to stand up outdoors to see it but we were glad to do that even. The pictures were only fair. Before the pictures, we sang songs that were thrown on the screen by slides.

Today we fooled around the whole morning voting [in the national elections]. They would line us up to march us over to the polls & then fall us out for awhile & then line us up again. Finally we went over to the “Y” & just before noon we got to vote.

You must be a good schoolteacher or the children wouldn’t be anxious for school to begin again. I don’t see why you want to tell me why you have a trade last for me & then not tell me what it is because if you are planning on waiting until you see me, it may be so long that you will forget all about it.

Tomorrow is inspection again & we always have it on Saturday too. If we have a dirty gun, that means no pass! So if I don’t get a pass next Saturday or Sunday, it may be from other reasons than that I am transferred.

I saw that picture today that I told you about. It is fairly good but would have been better if the camera had been closer. The man said he was going to have several struck off so if both of us are still in camp by the time they are finished, I will have some. Like you, I hope those we took Sunday are all right, if I don’t get transferred away from here, I want to have my photo taken as soon as I get my other clothes fixed up.

Well good night Kid

[P.S.] I hope you are having good luck with your school & don’t get lonesome up there by yourself. My visit home was about half dream & about half reality. I don’t know which.

It’s the faith of a little girl like you that counts when the world goes wrong. When a fellow’s down & mighty blue, and his lips can voice no song, when the loneliness seems hard to hear, and the scheme of life seems tame, it’s knowing somehow that still you care, that makes a fellow game. It’s girls like you that keeps men straight, keeps them white clear thru & clean. It’s girls like you that keeps men great, and not what they might have been. Oh it’s good for the man when all seems night, when the clouds hide the goal from view. Just to knuckle down & fight, yes fight, for the sake of a girl like you.

  • Ralph Alexander Currie was the 22 year-old son of Charles and Nancy A. [Fleming] Currie who lived on Osage Street in Manhattan, Kansas. He was born 24 October 1896 in Garrison, Kansas, married Katherine A. Ryan on 3 June 1922 in Topeka, and died June 1980 in St. George, Kansas.
  • October 25, 1918, may have been the single most decisive turning point in Wilson’s entire eight-year presidency. Before that date, he enjoyed bipartisan support as a war leader for the entire nation. Then, with just ten days before the elections, he released a note calling for the return of a Democratic Congress as essential to the nation’s security. Wilson’s questioning of the Republican party’s patriotism turned what had been a listless campaign into a heated contest.
  • On November 5, Republicans swept the congressional elections, compiling a two-seat majority in the Senate and a forty-one-seat margin in the House. Local issues, the tendency of the president’s party to suffer losses in midterm elections, and dissatisfaction with Democratic legislative accomplishments accounted for some of the Republican gains. But the bitter and egotistical tone of Wilson’s plea also made a difference. For Wilson, the worst consequence of the election was that it placed his Republican nemesis, Henry Cabot Lodge, in two vital Senate posts: majority leader and chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. His subsequent failure to work agreeably with Lodge to secure ratification of the Treaty of Versailles ultimately doomed his presidency and set in motion the ominous chain of events that tied the first world war to the second.

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