Letter, February 11, 1919
[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A. Received March 6, 1919.]
Feb 11 1919
My dear Cecil -
I rec. your letter today of Jan 22. & sure am glad you have
finaly heard from me. My diary showed me where I was on date the
letter was written. And I guess the card was sent from this town.
I hope you get all the cards & letters Ive sent you while on our
long hike and since.
But why sign your name with the prefix of "lonely friend."
Gad - I hope you are not as lonely as I am over here - you with
your studies, your home, and friends, your daily work, shows for
recreation. and I suppose company - either boys or girls - which
ever you choose - and lonely. I am going to ask you to explain -
to the best of your ability just why you feel this way. As a good
friend of yours I hope you will write and tell me all about it -
if there is any particular reason for it.
I'll admit I am - lonely - homesick, disgusted - sarcastic -
grouchy and any thing else along that line you would be of a mind
to add. I am getting such a soured disposition here of late, that
I imagine by the time I get home I will be rotten with contempt.
Is it any wonder I can cuss so eloquent & fluently as I have
mentioned before? I suppose you wonder how any one can play music
& get any good out of it, feeling like this. Well music is one
relief I have. It takes my mind, keeps my thots off the questions
& subjects that are doing so much to sour me - but I am not
occupied with my music always. Have been promoted to first
trumpeter or second chair cornet. Harder work, but I enjoy it.
Well I see the fighting 86th Div have returned with honours
- from the s.o.s. - and Chicago has accepted their returned -
selected men with open arms & purses. But - having received them
they are ready to quit. There are ones I notice - on the welcome
committee who have resigned - & admitted that welcoming soldiers
is an expensive & tiresome job. All that was intended to begin
with was to welcome the one div. & they are ready to quit. It may
be quite honourab[l]e to be kept over here - but any one is
welcome to my share of the honour - if he can get over here &
relieve me - & I know of hundreds & even thousands that look at
it just as I do. They are boys who have fought & now they want to
see their home. They have endured hardships & dangers & exposures
to the elements that no one else know about. They are desirous of
no more honour than having fought hard for the one great
objective & having gained - now are willing & more than willing
for the selected men of the country to be honoured by having a
stay in the army of occupation. I refer to the selected men who
remark about being so sorry they did not get across. And to many
that got across only for a very short time. It looks like we will
be along the last to come across & that means months yet.
By gad - if you can stop and reason these things out and
then wonder why I am getting soured - Then some thing must be
wrong with me & hundreds of others - equally as bad.
Y.M.C.A. girls are giving our band a party tonite and I
think I will go - may do me a bit of good to meet some women
might relieve my temper a bit.
So you will play for me until I get tired of hearing you.
Well I wish I could be with you just that much - for realy I
don't know how long it would take me to get tired of hearing you.
And I will see to it that I have time to come down and hear you.
And play - not for you - but with you. For you will have to do
your part when I play - while I can listen to you - so I have one
on you - havent I. I don't wish you could hear me so much as our
band. For you would enjoy & appreciate it I know - while no one
seems to give a darn around here if we play or not - for its an
every day occurance. Well cheer up & don't get so disgusted as I
am - with love to all - I am
Paul B Hendrickson Hdq. co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.