The army brought together young men from all over the nation, giving each a chance to learn about guys from vastly different backgrounds and culture. Frank responds to his mother’s rather defensive worry in one letter that perhaps he is “ashamed” of his mother.
[Note again: I’ve spaced out several letters written all bunched together, so each is not appearing exactly on the date it was written, but close.]
ARMY TECHNICAL SCHOOL
Sioux falls, South Dakota
I hope you got the money I wired you as I might need some before the week is up. I’ve been treating myself fo T.M. [Trench Mouth] and am getting better. I was thinking of going to a dentist in town but passed the thought. I’m using Lavoris straight as often as I can!
My boxing is the cleanest sport on the field and all the boxers are trained before they enter the ring. Now I’m taking exercises to toughen me up and then I will practice my timing on the punching bag. It is uncomfortable working out in my fatigue uniform, but It will have to do until I get the equipment you are sending me.
Explain what money I got from work and which job. What was it for? I’m going to write to Herman at Burny Bros [Bakery] and thank him for the bread and cake tonight.
You asked how many men are in this field. The last time I heard it was between 20 and 30 thousand. I’m working in the laboratory with the boy from Tennessee and he is a damn nice fellow. I call him Rebel and he calls me Yankee. liked you very much and told me how nice you were to him. Thanks! I’ve never been ashamed of you and never will be. Please don’t talk like that. I doesn’t make me feel too good.
The package arrived safely as always and was very good. I had 4 meals out of it….The muffler[scarf] got here in a few days and I was using it a lot, but it’s getting warm now so I’ll put it away soon.
I’m glad to hear you are getting your fingers in politics. It will do you good. I hope they get a good organist for our church, but I’m sort of sorry to see Miss Zinter go. After all, she gave me my first musical training.
Keep Dad well and don’t let him work too hard. Have Will draw a diagram of the 6 flat building’s new basement flat and entrance as planned. Frank [Von Arx] is lucky to get so close to home and now Johnny is in Madison, Wisconsin, so he too will be in town on the weekends.
Today I hooked up a radio for the first time and it received the maximum [stations] for this type of set, the two stations in Sioux Falls. Well I haven’t written letters in 3 days now and I have a stack to answer so I’ll quit for now. Till I write again, I remain your
P.S. I’m going to send home all the letters I’ve received since I’ve been in the army soon.