It’s been a warm day. I worked in the corrals this A.M. This P.M. I helped to make gravel walks around the barracks. Went downtown this evening. Mary is still at Milanes. I don’t know how much longer she will stay there.
This is a memorable day for us as it is the anniversary of our betrothal. I would like to be with her tonight, but could not as she was busy all evening. Little Girl, I wish there was some work you could get where you were free in the evening.
With this job, she is so tied up with the children there. The evenings are the busy time of the day. I can’t see her except for about four evenings a week. Of course this is better than if she were up in Waterloo & I were way down here in camp.
We have been talking over going up to Ft. Worth for Bible conference the eighteenth through the twentieth of this month, but there is so much of this Spanish influenza around that we don’t know whether to go or not. We have a few cases here in camp. There is a great deal scattered over the country in the various camps. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Friday October 4, 1918
Weather has been cool at night and warm in the day time lately. The routine work here goes on about the same. They have thousands of tons of hay stored here now. The great sheds are full and they are stacking outside now.
The people of the Methodist church gave a kind of social for the Remount men on Friday evening last. Mary and I went. It was rather nice. They had some recitations and a few songs. Then they had sandwiches & coffee. It was so very nice of the church to entertain us that way.
Last evening, the church people were out here again. They gave us some entertainment, then we were all invited out to the church again next Friday evening. I don’t know whether I will go to the next event or not. Mary is not so well and my back is troubling me again.
They are going to start a G.M. School here & I have enrolled for it. I wish they would start soon. It seems that I am getting stagnant. My brain is dull & slow & I must do or have something to get it working again. This school will help me to get polished up again.
The weather is very much cooler than it was a month ago. I drew another blanket Saturday and I need it, too.
Mary sent home for a blanket for me, too. So I guess when that comes I will be pretty well fixed for the cold weather. She is not very well satisfied with her job. I think she will change soon. They keep piling on the work & expecting every minute of her time all day.
I had a letter from Mother today. She has been to Wilcorse, Minnisota. She visited with the Christians there, four families of them, and she liked it very much. She is not certain yet, what to do. If she does buy up there then Ben would have to sell the farm and go to training camp. It is hard. She just doesn’t know what to do. She will have to seek God’s mind on it. After all, that is the only thing to do.
Other than that, I don’t have any other news here.
Yes an entire month has gone by and I haven’t been keeping this diary up. And quite a lot of things have happened. I was in the base hospital for six days with enteric dysentery. I was taken over there on Friday the 13th and discharged from there Thursday the 19th. I am still not feeling so well. Mary is working at Watkins at 1401 Austin St. She started there a week ago Thursday the 12th. The folks are very nice, but Mrs. Watkins is so very nervous herself that she gets on Mary’s nerves. I don’t know whether she will stay there very much longer or not.
There are rumors of this outfit leaving here and of the men getting their overseas exams very soon. I guess it might be some more of the stuff they have been spilling around here for six months or more.
I had a letter from cousin Ada Shearer of Emerson, Nebraska last evening. I received one today from Mr. Matthews containing a reference for me & Mary, too. I have two references now regarding my fitness for motor work. I may go over & see the man at the aviation camp soon. I am undecided yet what to do regarding this matter. I am very tired of this work around here and would very much like a change soon.
I have not had time to keep my diary up since Mary got here last Saturday. I have stayed with her every evening since. She doesn’t like it very well here. I don’t blame her, because I don’t like it here either. We have a room at 1014 Jefferson St. in town. It isn’t a very clean place thought the lady who rents it is very nice & accommodating. However, the plumbing is in bad shape & need attention. I have taken it for the next week, too, but may have found someplace else by then. I am hoping so anyhow.
I have been taking care of the riding barn in company of Ziegler who is from Lawrie, Iowa. But Tuesday noon they called me in to see the top Sargent. He gave me an order on the Warehouse for a padlock & keys and told me to lock and stand guard over the No.7 corral, which was put in quarantine. I was responsible for said corral and was to let nothing in or out and was to keep the gate locked at all times. I was to let the feeders and cleaners and any who had business there in & out. So now I am corral guard & and cannot get off tomorrow or Monday (Labor Day) all day as I could have otherwise. So Mary wants to come out to me tomorrow. I’ll have to see about it. I guess as some other wives have been here before that maybe I can have mine out to.
The weather is rather nice today for Texas. Last night I went to town and as it looked like rain, I took my raincoat. It did rain. Actually it poured before I got to Waco. A bunch of us caught a ride on the back of a truck. I was the only one with a raincoat. Just as I got off at thirteenth to look at a room to let, it began raining very hard. I found a room on Jefferson St. Not such a nice looking house, but it had a large, clean-smelling room. Honey Girl will be here tomorrow. I pray she misses no connections and that He will keep her safe in her travels.
The weather was hot from morning until early evening, then a nice wind blew in.
I am rather excited and nervous today. I went downtown last night looking for a room and I expect I will go again tonight.
I didn’t find anything that was just what I wanted. One little room was very nice and the people, a Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were very nice, too. (409 N. 15th.) However, they wanted four dollars a week for the room. I thought that was too much. I found another place where they had a large room and a sleeping porch. They wanted $15.00 a month. (711 N. 13th) I wanted to look at some more so I didn’t take either place. I looked at several other rooms. In all I walked about eight miles, I expect, as I walked down and back again.
I worked in the riding barn all day today. Yesterday, Ziegler and I were talking in the oats room, when Sargent Eglestrom and another Sargent came along. “What are you two doing in there?” they wanted to know.
Z told them – “finishing up our barn work. It is the job that we were detailed to do.”
They said, “Come along and we’ll show you some other work to do.”
They pointed out some stalls that hadn’t been in use and said, “Clean these out, clean out the bedding, and generally clean up everything in the riding barn.”
Which was what we had been trying to do.
So we spent until late yesterday evening doing that and then all day today. I haven’t heard yet if this is to be our job every day now or not, but next week we start drilling. I reckon with the hour a day drill that we are charged with we can keep busy doing that and not this.
Weather today is hot and windy. I didn’t get today’s weather written up until the 21st. I had four letters today from Mary Girl, one from Mother, and one from cousin Cecelia Bahl. From Mary’s letters I get that she is as lonely as I am. I expect she’ll be down here soon.
It’s the 21st today. The weather is hot and windy again. For breakfast we had hotcakes, syrup, coffee, grape nuts and milk. At lunch we had bread, roast beef, spuds and gravy, water and pudding. For supper we had bread, stew, water, and apple cobbler.
I was up the usual time for rising, reveille, and breakfast. I had to hustle for some hot cakes. Finally, I took my plate right up to the cook and got four hot cakes right off the griddle.
I worked in the riding barn this A.M. Then I worked in the hay till about 3:30 this afternoon. Then I stayed in the corrals.
I am rather excited tonight. I had a telegram from Mary that she would be here Saturday noon. I have a reason to be excited. I get to see my honey girl. I guess I will go to town tonight and see if I can rent a room right close-in and handy. There is sure a lot for me to see to. Sometimes I wonder if she had not better have waited until the first of September. I expect I don’t know. I do hope she gets my last letters before she starts out to come here.
Weather is very hot, very dusty, but a cool breeze blew this evening.
Breakfast was one plum, hotcakes and syrup, and coffee. For lunch we had spuds, beets, beans, bread, water, and pudding. At supper we had lemonade, liver & onions, spuds, tomatoes, bread, and pie.
Up at 6:15 and stood reveille and then breakfast. I walked to Waco last night and went to a large church meeting. I did not enjoy it at all, got there late & left as soon as it was over. They received a young man into the church. I’m afraid the ceremony they went through left me very disgusted. I had taken a packet of tracts and left some at the city center and some at the soldier’s club. I wished afterward that I had stayed at the club instead of going to that church meeting.
I went from that church back downtown & found a fine place to get something to eat, a place on a side street. It was clean & nice. I had a large portion of cornbread dressing, a double order of bread & butter, & a glass of ice tea for 20 cents. I thought that it was the most I had ever got for my money in Texas.
I had four sweet letters from Mary Dear today. All written different days, but they all reached me today. They were indeed welcome. She is well, but lonely as I am lonely. I think – God willing – she will be down here yet. The letters are so dear to me. I can’t express in words what they mean. She is my dear wife, my best beloved on earth. They are her handwriting, here words, her thoughts for me, her love for her husband as unworthy as I am. Surely I have much to be thankful for. And I do thank thee Almighty God. Help me to be more thankful.
Hurricane Harvey dumped a lot of water.
I don’t believe anyone really believed it would be that bad. I mean, the weather people exaggerate, right? They get a bit excited and talk about it without stop. I know I feel sometimes as if they have called “wolf” a few too many times.
I take it back. They didn’t exaggerate this time. It was so bad one of our major television stations on Buffalo Bayou had water to the second floor. It didn’t stop raining for four almost five days. At night it would get bad. The wind would kick up and the rain slanted first one way then another. We didn’t have rising water at our house. Our neighborhood was one of the fortunate few that didn’t have rising water even though we are only six blocks from a bayou – six blocks up a hill though. Some water came through one of my windows and warped a bunch of pads of writing paper I had sitting on the floor. Now, it’s been almost two weeks and there are some parts of Houston still under water. I don’t know what will become of those homes.
You know when you write a character in your story, the best way to show character is to throw that character into adversity and see how the character reacts. I lost a few pads of paper, but it is truly tragic to lose everything. Many Houstonians have stories. The best ones are about the helpers. I’ve always been proud to be a Houstonian, but this tragedy showed this city’s true character, one with a huge heart.
Despite the last terrible two weeks, the organization I am a co-director of is still having what we call our KILLER event.
Houston Writers House is excited to announce: This Friday night will be a murder mystery dinner with actors acting out a play where all of the guests might be suspects. Also, it’s time to pull out that flapper dress you never thought you would wear again, because the murder takes place in a 1920’s speakeasy. The next day, Saturday, we will have real-life experts impart their special knowledge on aspects of crime scene. So if you love CSI or you are writing a crime novel of any type, you will want to come. To find out more and to sign up here is the link: http://www.houstonwritershouse.net/september-2017