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Friday, March 20, 2009

Letter 137 ~ February 13, 1919

I let Minnie know I think about her all the time and that I believe my discharge is eminent.

Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Stockdale, KS

Nitro, West Virginia

Dear Minnie,

It is raining this morning so we didn’t go out to drill; hence the letter.

Have had two letters from you since I wrote last. The one containing an edict concerning the use of certain objectionable adjectives which of course I will in the future refrain from using or even mentioning again. Am sure no disrespect was meant & I am sorry that it was taken in that light. Also one stating the fact that your thots coincided with mine to a strange degree. You wondered why it was. Well, they say that sometimes two hearts beat as one. I suppose when that can happen those same two minds can think as one, can’t they?

When I am on guard is when I do most of my thinking about going home. I just came off again yesterday & if I could have set down on paper just all I had thot about during my eight hours on post, it would have been a piece of literature unsurpassed in happiness & joy, love & kisses….especially kisses.

Say kid, do you all reckon you have forgotten how to kiss like you used to? It has been something like three months now since I have practiced any but I believe I could do tolerable well at it even now. How about you? Say, which do you like best, two or three little short snappy kisses or one great big long one? I’ll bet you think I am crazy writing this kind of stuff but that is what I am thinking about.

I will try & write a little sense now, if such a thing is possible. I’ll bet I have been to church more since I have been in the army than you have. I went twice last Sunday & the Sunday before too.

After church last Sunday a lady asked me if I wouldn’t like to take dinner with them. Sure I would. So I staid to Sunday School & went home with her afterward. They sure treated me fine – the mother & two girls. The father is dead. They have a son & brother in France & so treated me just like one of the family. Kentuckians, you know. They certainly showed the true southern hospitality. Mrs. Cox called me son. “Have some more biscuit, son?” I said, “Certainly Mother.” It tickled her to death. Hot biscuits, dressing, roast beef, jelly, pickle, & all the rest. Oh yes, I had a good time.

The younger girl was awfully jolly, like you. She had just graduated from high school. Well, about four o’clock we went to the afternoon tea that they always have on Sunday afternoons at the school house. I beat retreat. I thot there wasn’t any use in breaking up a nice time like that just for a little thing like retreat. I took her home afterward & was about to leave when she asked when we had supper. Without thinking I told her that they had already had supper so she asked me to stay to supper. Well, I thot that was mighty nice but I didn’t want to impose on good nature, etc. etc. “Well if you don’t want to come alright.” Of course I couldn’t refuse then so I had supper. Then we went to church at the theatre & stayed for the [picture] show afterward. You don’t know how it seems to get to eat in a home where there are women who treat you so good after eating at the barracks so long. I tell you a fellow appreciates it.

Well kid, I signed my discharge last Monday evening. I signed my last payroll last night & must now wait until my discharge goes around again & my transportation papers come. Such things are slow but I am sure of it now at least. So I feel safe in saying that I will see you within two or three weeks. My papers will not come before the twentieth. If possible, I am going home by way of Niagra, Chicago, etc., but I may have to take the most direct route possible.

I expect that I won’t have to do more than one more guard. Thank goodness. When they call, “Turn out the guard,” I won’t have to jump & buckle on my cartridge belt & grab my rifle. I can tell them to jump in the lake. If you want to feel just real good once, all you have to do is put your name on an honorable discharge from the U.S.A. & you will say you never felt better in your life but once, & that was the first time you kissed your girl.

The last time I was on guard, some of the fellows wired the door knob with electricity from the electric lights. We had brot some pies & cakes out & put them in the next room. When I came off post, one of them said, “You had better go in & get your pie before the other fellows get it.” So I grabbed the knob to open the door and --- turned loose of it. Everyone who came in had to get a jolt off that knob, even the officer of the guard got his. Enuf is enuf – yours till you hear otherwise, -- Ward

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