Letter 11

Say the girls sure treated me fine. I was the first one to return here from France. So you can imagine what a time I had”

We have a surprise guest in this week’s Letters by Lillie! Lillie forwards a letter from George’s friend, Alvin, who was also in the army during World War I. So this week, Lillie’s letter is just a short introduction to Alvin’s letter.

presidentgrant

One interesting point we learned is that Alvin rode home on a ship called “President Grant,” surely named after Ulysses S. Grant who was America’s 18th president. This ship made eight round-trips across the Atlantic during WWI, transporting nearly 40,000 passengers (mainly U.S. troops) to the European war zone. Following the 11 November 1918 Armistice, President Grant brought home over 37,000 war veterans and other persons in the course of another eight round-trip voyages.

Alvin wrote this letter to his friend, because he knew what it was like to be away for so long and how much a letter can mean. I also think it’s noteworthy that Alvin went right to Lillie to get this letter sent. It indicates that friends and family know that Lillie is devoted to Georgie, although she does tease him frequently about dancing with other boys… Also RIP black chickens.

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The paper Alvin used is so thin and soft you could almost see through it.

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Ft Lupton Colo.
July 3 -1919

My Darling Sweetheart,

How is my Honeyboy today? I am feeling fine. Only I have been wishing and wishing that my boy was here to go with us tomorrow to the mountains, but I guess I will have to be satisfied with the other boys, until my Georgie Boy returns, won’t I dearest?

I received a letter for you, from Alvin Goodman and he asked me to send it to you, for he had lost your address. He didn’t write, only just a wee bit to me, I read your letter but I didn’t think you cared, just so it wasn’t from your girl (haha) no offense meant.

All of Uncle Carl’s family, Sylva & Herman, mama, papa & Edna and myself & Ernest- (the boy that works for Uncle Charlie) are all going to the mountains tomorrow (the fourth). Then I guess Ernest and I will go to Denver Sunday, mabe all of us will Sun. I don’t think you will care while you are away do you Honeybunch?

I asked Mama if she had anything to tell you and she said “nothing” only that she was still saving those young chicks til you came home, only we were going to kill 2 black ones tomorrow. But we were going to save the white leghorns for you, you see?

Well Sweetheart I must close now & help Mama with the dinner dishes, so Bye Bye From your Sweetheart Girlie XXXXXXX (I Love You)

Will write more next time.

 

Alvin F. Goodman
St. David, Arizona

Saint David, Arizona
June 29 – 1919

Dear friend George,

I guess you think I am never going to answer your letter. I received it some time ago & was certainly glad to hear from you. I have been so busy the last 4 or 5 weeks I hardly have had time to eat my meals. See Father is not able to do very much so it falls to me. (Karl) my brother is in Indiana. I told you about the large contract, didn’t I? Well about the 3rd of July all books and things have to be straightened up. All the cement work grading excavating and all such as that needs to be fixed so that we will be there the 3rd. Every 15 days we had to pay the men. Some worked by contract, others “force account & some days pay.” All of this kept me busy with the pen & pencil. The contract amounts to approximately 35,000 dollars in all. Clear about 15,000.  The way the contract is done is so much a yard for concrete for grading & surfacing, so much for having steal and cement and lumber. All I have done since I came home is to check up yardage weight on steal, etc. I love to be on the works during the day. Then at night- all the figuring needs to be done. On Sunday I generally put in a weekly account so I can go to a dance on Saturday night. After the 3rd I will have more time for awhile. Then the 15th. Another man here and I are going to take the mercantile furnaces in Saint David. I am going to put up the garage and run the store and he is going to look after the garage. The Bauker in Bunson, a town nearby, is going to back me up in the financial affairs. I only have about 1500 dollars and he is going to put up the balance and I pay-it-out.

Well I am sure glad to get back home again and that sure you would be there by now. We were 18 days crossing the water. Landed on the 20th. Went to camp Clix, from there to Ft. Russell Wyo. There we got our discharge & $60.00 bonus. We had a swell trip home. John Graham took sick on the way to Wyo. and had to go to the hospital. But he got out ok and landed in Phoenix, his home, a day or two after I did. I have heard 3 or 4 times from him but none of the other boys. I certainly would love to see them all.

But say you don’t know how good it seems to be a free man again. One certainly can appreciate civilian life after being in the army for a few months. But say I am not married yet. Say the girls sure treated me fine. I was the first one to return here from France. So you can imagine what a time I had. I went to work about three days after I got home. It surely was hard to settle down and figure. I was surprised when I started, for I had to forgotten and that made it harder, but now it came easy.

I never got sick coming across the pond. But London & Graham sure was. We sailed on the “President Grant.” A large boat, with a good many accommodations. But by the ocean was sure rough. The weather is certainly warm here. Lots of work & hay. But not much rain. I guess we will have a big celebration here the 4th. Much better than the last one. Well George I will write again when I have time. I have misplaced your letter but I guess Lillie will send this on to you. Will try & send you a picture next time. I guess Lillie thinks I never will write, but I can’t help it. The first time I get a chance I will again. I know how good it seemed to get a letter while in France, excuse this writing but am in an awful hurry. Wishing you great success I am as ever your friend.  Alvin

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