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Letter, June 29, 1917

[Letter on stationery of the Army and Navy Y.M.C.A.]

Quincy Ills- %5th Reg Band. June 29 1917

My dear Mother.

I can't tell how glad I was when I rec. your letter today and found out your were at home. Or rather yesterday when I got the card. But the letter told me so much about home I wanted to know. I certainly wish I could spend a week or ten days at home. I sent you a letter the day I wrote to daddy. It went to Okla. tho. I heard this evening that we would be in Springfield within a week from now. That may give me a chance to see home, but outside of that I don't want to leave Quincy. I like it here so much. We have such a beautiful camp here and the people treat us fine. In Springfield you are thot of as much as a yellow dog would be thot of. I hate to leave here sure enough. Am getting pretty well acquainted here too.

The reason I never sent you a picture, I was waiting until you got home. I thot you could see the one I sent Ray, and when you got home I would send you a couple of me.

Well you should have seen me Wed. night. Rained something terrible here. But I had the time of my young life. Camp life is without doubt the most interesting life there is. Well as I started to say it rained. And as luck would have it the fellow in charge of the tent for the day forgot to close the cap on top and it began to rain in the tent. It was just pouring down and almost hailing. We did not want to get our clothes wet so two other fellows and myself took off all our clothes and went out and arranged the ropes and put the cap on right. It was about 9 oclock and dark as pitch. We worked by the flash of lightning. After we fixed the tent we chased around on the out side for about a quarter of an hour. when the lightning would flash and you could see us, it reminded you of the dance of the Mermaids. Rain drops stuck like needles on our bare hide. When we came in we dried our selves with a good hard rub, and rolled up in our blankets and rubber cloths on the outside of that, and felt fine and slept like a log. Has not hurt me a bit. Now that is what I call real sport. And the water was almost as cold as ice. We have a good slope here and while water ran thru the center of the tent, it had not stopped raining long when all the water had drained out.

Well dear mother I am sorry If Maude really does take things that way. I feel sorry for you, placed as you are. But if it comes to having to hurt her feelings - just do as you see best. For there is only one woman Ive ever loved and that is my mother, so it is up to you to do as you see best always.

Well I am having a good time but in a descent way. Absolutely. And I am not the only one either. I am sorry if you thot other wise. And as for Art Kellogg - you will have to give him more credit than that. What ever he has been, he is alright now, as Chief Musician he has quite a bit of responsibility and it stands him in hands to carry himself straight so he can demand the same of us. The band is a better bunch of fellows than you find in the companies. And Art does not drink, chew or smoke and I've never seen him in bad company of any kind. I can't say any more for myself. And the corporal of our tent is the same way. So altho I am in the Army I have some good companions. Some of the band are from families that are quite a bit above the average.

Am sending you an account of my money since I've come here. Am almost paid out on my I.C.S. course.

I am in the Y.M.C.A. tent just now - Piano here and phonograph. Gas lights reading & writing material here free to the boys.

A machine goes past here on the drive every few minutes. There is always some one out here. A woman is playing and her little boy is singing. Little chap certainly is right there with the goods. We have quite a bit of entertainment of that kind out here.

I am acquainted with a pretty nice young lady here that I see once in a while. She comes out here on Sunday afternoons to hear band concert. It is pretty lonesome for a fellow being with girls like I have and not see any one, so I tried to get acquainted with a descunt girl and did. Will probly send you a picture of her, for I think she is pretty good looking girl.

I don't think from what I hear just now we are going to Springfield.

This is certainly a beautiful evening, sitting up here on the bluff looking out over the Miss. river, and see a steam boat going up all lighted from one end to the other. And music going on, makes a person think of home pretty much.

I will try and write some more soon. But we are kept so busy I don't know just when it will be. But write when you have time. I was more glad to hear when you got home than if I had gotten to go myself. Well dear mother I must go to bed. From you loving son

Paul B-

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June 1917