My Grandfather’s Words: Monday July 8, 1918

Waco, TX

Weather: hot as usual

Breakfast was fried spuds and some sort of cheese and egg scrambled together, coffee & bread. Dinner (lunch) was a kind of meat cooked with peppers – very hot, sweet corn, bread & jam, & water. Supper was hash, pickles, bread, peanut butter, water, & chocolate pudding.

I had a letter from Mary dear this P.M. It was written Friday evening. She’d been out to George Herman’s picking berries Friday. Was expecting to have her tonsils taken out on Saturday at 1:30. She was going to get Aunt Francis to go with her to the doctor’s office. I have been very much worried about her the last few days. But if she was not getting along all O.K. I know they would have wired me.

waymark-gallery

I was up at first call this A.M. Had ten minutes to bath and dress. Had to go some and did, too. Right after reveille went to “policing streets,” a new thing for the new recruits. Orders are to “police” every morning hereafter.

Usual work this A. M. cleaning in the 5th corral and evening cleaning in alleys and lanes of all corrals. Off at 5:30. Bathed & got into my uniform by 5:50. Supper and retreat over, I read the Waco paper & then wrote to Mary. I am now in recreation room writing in this diary.

Mary sent me that Sears and Robuck. Co. check for 12.95. I endorsed it & sent it back to her. She will need it much more than I do. I have enough to last me till pay day.

It is 9:00 and bed time for me tonight.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday July 7, 1918

Weather hot & clear.

Breakfast was spuds, coffee, bread, cornflakes, and 1/2 cantelope. Dinner (lunch) was boiled beef, dressing, root beer, spuds, eggplant, jam & bread. Supper was lemonade, bread, a kind of cake, oranges & bananas mixed in a kind of sauce, and fried spuds.

Up this A.M. at 6:20. Reveille sounded before I had time to bathe. I took a cold shower right after reveille, got into my uniform, had breakfast, read my Bible a little, and then shaved before I got my G. I. clothing arranged for inspection. Afterward, I started a letter to Mary girl. I did not finish it before inspections. Inspections finished about 11:00. I finished my letter to dearest and enclosed 4 postcards of the Remount.

Ralph came to my bunk house to say that Stokes was ready to take our pictures. Mess call blew before we got to the picture taking tho. After mess, had six exposures made of Ralph & I in different places around the Remount.

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Digital-commonwealth picture of the Y.M.C.A

Then up to the Y for Bible class. Mr. Cook of the Y had insisted we come up there. We have been having a little class by our selves here in the Remount. We had our class at the Y and it was not so very satisfactory.

I was appointed to lead a class next Sunday Evening. I don’t feel able to handle this & am not sure it is where God would have me.

Somerville, Ralph, Rohi, Baxter & myself went from here to the class. I wrote a letter to E.G. Matthews & to mother after the class. I read a while & had to hustle back for mess at five. Mess over & am now out on the warehouse platform writing. I will read a while & write to Mary before I go to bed. Went to bed at 10.

My Grandfather’s Words: Saturday July 6, 1918

543-taken-at-camp-macarthur-waco-texas-durWeather: Hot as usual.

Breakfast: Grapenuts, milk, fried spuds, bread, coffee. For dinner (lunch) we had boiled ham, cabbage, spuds, bread, water. Supper was sliced ham, cabbage, boiled spuds, bread, pudding, peaches, water, raisin pie.

Usual routine, up at six bathed & dressed by 6:20. Revielle, breakfast, finished a letter to honey-girl, then to work at 7:20. Worked till 11:15, came in, found a package in my mailbox from sweetheart, no letters. Shaved before dinner, then to work again at one. Worked till four, then quit for the day. Had a bath, changed into my uniform & was ready for supper.

Went to see the canteen sergeant about a job as short order cook. Some of the boy’s said it paid $10.00 a month extra. Told the sergeant I could hold it down. He wanted to know where I had cooked before. I told him “to home”. I told him I had “batched a year on a farm.” He didn’t say much, said that he wanted a cook’s helper, that he was not sure about the extra pay. They had promised extra pay, but he was not sure about it yet. It was not a satisfactory visit.

Went to library. Drew out two books. American short stories & Life of Franklin to read.

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Mess call at six. Ate supper, washed out some clothes, then read awhile. Ralph E. and J. Bohi came along. They were going to the Y to weigh themselves. They urged me to go along. I went & was weighed at 155 1/2. I’m getting used to the grub and the climate. Back to barracks. Read awhile, then to bed about 10:40.

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday July 5, 1918

Weather: Hot. Fair.

Breakfast was meat loaf, bread, fried spuds, and juice. For dinner we had beans, tomatoes, water, bread, beef, and onions. For supper we had bread, water, and cornstarch pudding.

A usual day…up at 6, a cold shower & dressed by 6:30. Reveille & breakfast & work as usual. Two letters at noon. One from Mary Dear & one from Mother. Mary will have her tonsils taken out tomorrow at 1:10. I am worrying, more or less. Yet I know she is in God’s hand. He will take care of her. Mother & the boys are well. They expected to stay home on the 4th, but they may go to Marshall, she thought.

Ben never writes to me. I guess he does not care for my telling him of the Lord Jesus. I surely wish he were saved or that I could make him see his need of a Savior.

I don’t know much else to write tonight. Just finished a letter to Mary so will go to my bunk. 9:45 P.M.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday July 3, 1918

Breakfast was coffee, bread, fried spuds, cornflakes and milk. Dinner (lunch) was boiled cabbage, potatoes, bread, and cold coffee. Supper was water with coffee and cocoa in it, jam, bread, rice pudding, and potatoes.

Weather was cool in the A.M and hot in the P.M.

Nothing much to record. Usual work in the corrals, I pushed the water cart around in the mess hall. Pretty easy job for me. Top people read orders at Retreat giving all who could be spared a holiday tomorrow – July 4.

hollopeter-back-of-army-horse-corrals-2I wrote Honey Girl this A.M. and again at noon. One doesn’t have so very much time, what with Reveille, and Retreat.

Ralph Evans borrowed a camera & him & I are going in halves on exposing the film.

My Grandfather’s Words: Monday July 1st, and Tuesday July 2, 1918

From Rebecca: Yes, the above is the correct date for the very next entry I found in the diary. You haven’t missed anything. All this time, the diary has been from memory. I wondered why he never mentioned what he ate, just that he’d eaten. Now, fast forward a month.

Monday: I don’t recall anything that occurred today out of the ordinary routine. I bought this book Saturday evening, but did not start my diary until Tuesday. I will have to fill in the back days from memory.

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This was purchased in Waco, TX

Tuesday: Weather cooler today, cloudy nearly all day.

Breakfast consisted of coffee, fried potatoes, bread, oatmeal, liver & onions. I did not eat of the oatmeal.

Dinner (lunch) was pretty good. Cocoa, or rather, cold water with enough cocoa in to color it, roast pork, bread, potatoes, peas, a kind of dessert made with the oatmeal left from breakfast with raspberries added to it – tasted pretty good.

Supper was water, cheese, bread, and a kind of stew of liver, onions, & tomatoes.

I had water cart job again today. It is pretty easy on me especially days like this, cool & cloudy. I worked hard yesterday P.M. for awhile. It was 108 here at the barracks. That is getting pretty hot. We were paid this P.M. I got $11.95 my first pay day. Mary Dear received $20.00 in June for May. She will received $30.00 soon for her June allotment. I wrote mother tonight & must write Honey Girl yet.

Had a letter from her today. She is feeling better again. Her tonsils are not so sore. Many of the men went to town tonight to spend their pay – having a good time, they call it. Maybe they do, but for me it is a lonesome town. There are ways that are particular to northern people among the people here, too. One has to get used to them & to their odd speech & ways.

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday May 17, 1918

Today, we were taken to the infirmary and given our second shot of anti-toxin. It made me pretty sick. (I did not eat for twenty-four hours.) I was feeling very homesick at the same time.

Good news: I heard from Honey today, the first time since leaving her in Waterloo. I don’t recall ever getting a letter I was happier to get than that one. Dearest wrote me several pages and I almost cried when I read it.grandpa-and-grandma2

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday May 16, 1918

About the first thing we done this A.M. was to get a suit of unionalls apiece. These are a one-piece work outfit. Then, they set us to work at pulling the weeds, the grass, and picking all the trash out of our Company Street. We were told that that was policing up, and we had to do a very thorough job of it. In other words, pull that grass out by the roots. It seems to be against military law to have a weed or a blade of grass grow around the quarters.

The didn’t give us any other exercise or drills the rest of the day.

hollopeter-army-horse-corrals-1I have not heard from Dearest since I left her in Waterloo. I write every day. I am so very homesick and lonely that I pray for death many times. It’s as if Satan is tempting me. I think of it as the boil of self-destruction. It hurts.

Sometimes I cry at night when it seems my loneliness is more than I can bear. I pray and cry and then feel comforted somewhat. God keeps me from sinking too deep. Though I get terribly discouraged at times, yet I can thank Him for keeping me thus far. At other times, I think were it not for the thought of my dear wife, I don’t know what would become of me.

The heat bothers me a great deal, too.

Altogether, I am in a rather poor state.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday May 15, 1918 Part B

Our tent was in a row about 30 to 35 rods long and there were thirty four tents in it. (A rod is a measurement that was commonly used by farmers in those days. A rod is 16.5′.) At the head of the company street was the mess hall and kitchen. It was quite a long building. At one end was the kitchen and a kind of counter where they dished up the food and placed it on each mess plate as we passed by in line. The main part of the building was given up to two long board tables with stationary benches built on each side. It could seat almost the whole company at once.

At the other end of company street there was the company bath house, a frame building with board floors and open drains behind it to carry out the waste. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday May 15, 1918 Part B

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