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Letter, October 28, 1918

[Letter on color stationery of the Y.M.C.A., Union Franco-Américaine.]

Oct 28 - 18

Dear father and mother

I am quite well and happy now that I can hear music again and be able to produce some myself. I got your letters of (clippings - very uninteresting) the one of Sept. 25, Oct. 2. and your letter you mentioned of about Sept. 4th, I must have rec. I have a record showing I rec. 4 letters in one day and I forgot to put down the date of each one and no doubt it was in that bunch. In three days I rec the 3 above mentioned letters of Sept. 25, Oct 2. One came each day. Am now sorry I wrote what I did about the clippings but [Ill] tell you I was so dissapointed I could not help it. No - clippings are not at all interesting. I get to read all I want over here as there are three different papers we get, 2 daily and one weekly. You say you know of nothing so interesting, well if you were living it every day, it would lose some of its interest, but as you are interested in it so am I interested in what you are doing at home. as simple as some of the things may seem, it is so different from my life that it has a peace and restfulness about it that is soothing to a fellow, lets your mind drift from present to the past or possibly the future which ever appeals to you most at the moment. That is why letters from home do more good than the best meal the army is capable of producing. or clippings either.

As regards my brothers and sisters writing to me. I possibly have not done the proper thing by not asking them to write me or expressing my wish to hear from them. but kept expecting to hear from them all along never dreaming I would have to ask for a word from them at all. And they certainly dont understand a soldiers position over here if they have the least idea I may not care much to hear from them. Its hard under some of the trying circumstances to think of all you want to write home. and as a rule you have very little time and generally not much space. And there is more I don't get to write each time I write than I get to put down. So dont judge me too harshly if I fail to mention things from time to time that should have been mentioned. I sometimes fail to mention some of the most interesting things. I've now heard from Della and Arthur, now I am expecting one from Bertha and Lee's. Bertha ought to be able to write me every once in a while, while she is a convalescent. I believe she will.

I rec. some nice snapshots from Pearl of Aunt and Uncle and little Lloyd saluting the stars & stripes. Some good ones of herself and Viola and Ethel & Audie. Only one's up until now I have of them. Having lost the ones I brot across in my barrack bag which I never saw after leaving the states. And for a while I had no pictures and hardly any letters so you see the first months were rather lonesome in that respect. But was quite busy getting accustomed to things, and now, it is the same old thing always. Am sure glad more mail is started coming across to me.

As for the girls at home, anyone of them if I have more than one, can know all about the different girls Ive been with and write to and everything else as far as I am concerned. If any one dont like it, they sure have the privelege of learning to like it, for I make no excuses for what I've done as I did everything because I wanted to. I know at times I was very lonesome, being away from home and the company of the different girls I was with at Quincy and Pearl in Alvin and all, gave me quite a little bit of entertainment. but am I going to take any one of them as my only wife? I havent considered taking anyone at all, so little I care what their opinion may be concerning men. So if it may happen that any certain one should not like my conduct during the past few months, of course, you need not hesitate to tell them anything you wish for it makes no difference to me whatever.

We moved today, have electric lights, a fire place, a big old fashioned hall clock on the front of our room. it stands at least 8 ft high. You know how I used to hate condensed milk? Well I buy it by the can now, eat it on my bread. Sure tastes fine as it is about all the realy sweet stuff I get.

We are going to play a concert at another town this afternoon. Probly will have to finish my letter when I get back. Our band is becoming recognized quite a bit lately. Playing for Y.M.C.A. shows and giving concerts right along. Sure puts pep in you. and the boys all love music more than they ever did before I believe. I know I do at least. And I never seen the band take so much interest in their work. They appreciate their chance to play. Well I will continue when I return if I have time today.

This is the 29th. I got some good ink. Its not often it can be done but I did it today. What do you think, you know the toe I had that big absess on, about two years ago this time; well its getting sore again just the same way it did that time. Only I am not going to pull out anymore hairs as I did then. My rhumatics is not bothering or has not since the one time I mentioned it.

I engraved or rather cut out my emblem of the lodge on my souviner ring and I put the stamp of it in upper corner as you will notice. Did you know I could do that kind of work? I did it with a pen knife. Took quite a few hours but was not hard.

I heard from Rays some time ago, when I was up on the Amien front but have not heard from them since. would like to know some more of them. have lost letter & address. can you tell me anything. I've seen Verdun. went thru there. I havent many souvineers yet. I don't save any. Did not know until not long ago I could send anything home. From now on, should I happen to get anything I will send them to you. Well mom am sorry to hear of your work in putting out literature being stopped. And daddy you are sure lucky getting such a raise as you said and getting in a couple months so well.

Will write again soon. Your loving son

Paul Hendrickson

Hdq. co 129 Inf. A.E.F. N.Y.

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October 1918