Category Archives: Uncategorized

Detective Work and a New Cousin

(I hope I can tell this story clearly enough without using the names – I don’t want to betray any privacy without permissions)

So I was recently contacted through Ancestry (a genealogy database that I have subscribed to for ages) by someone who had done their DNA test and reached out to me as their 4th cousin.  Now I’ve gotten those requests before and I usually reply cordially, with a “nice to meet you, thanks for contacting me”, but this one was more intriguing.  She said that her mother was adopted and she knew who her birth grandmother was (I’ll call her EM) but my dna match was from what she suspected was her birth grandFATHER’s side (whom she knew nothing about).  She told me a few background details that sent me scurrying to those branches of my family tree to check things out. (I love a good mystery)

So I thought if I could place the family of her grandmother (EM) near or around the suspected grandfather’s family (JG), there may be some evidence that my JG was indeed her grandfather.

EM worked at the Albert L Stockman beauty shop in 1940,41,42. The address was 218 Lyceum Bldg, which was on W. Superior (corner of 2nd) which was part of the ‘Bowery District’. (that historic part of Duluth was demolished in the 60s in the name of urban renewal) She lived with her family and son (whom she kept and raised) nearby.  JG was married with 4 daughters in 1940. He worked at the First Street store (131 W First Av corner of 2nd Ave). He was unmarried by 1942 and living at 2801 W. Superior and then remarried in 1946 (she was listed in 1948 as a beauty operator). A theory could be that since his work was so close to EM’s shop (same cross street, one block up), that they may have met? Coincidence also that he became divorced around the birth of EM’s second child as well (1942) …

So I sent these details off and she responded that there was a family rumor about her grandmother being ‘a mistress’ (there’s usually some truth to those family rumors) and that she looked at the 4 daughters of JG from 1940 and one of them popped up on her DNA matches as a second cousin!  Confirmation and mystery solved?

She contacted this second cousin and it was confirmed that JG was their common grandfather so she is hoping to get to know her new relatives and see pictures of her half-Aunts and cousins.  Her great grandmother and my great grandmother were sisters, so we are more distant, but still family.

I am so happy that this worked out for her.  I’m honored to have been involved and to have provided some resources to help.  This is one of the most satisfying parts of being a professional genealogist and historian.  And also a big shout out of thanks to old City Directories being transcribed and indexed!!

p.s. – feel free to contact me at 314-292-9153 for your family mysteries — CJ


Quirky Hobbies

I love transcribing historical records and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Because I use digitized, searchable records almost daily in my research, I consider indulging this hobby as contributing and enhancing my business success.  (At least that’s how I justify the obsession)


photo courtesy of DariuszSankowski, CC0 Creative Commons

Currently, I’m working at the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers site and transcribing records of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

The Bureau of Refugees, Freemen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of North Carolina, Series 4: Letters Received.

However, I am not the speediest transcriber as I have a researcher’s penchant for looking up every minute detail and fact – I have learned so many interesting details about post-Civil War reconstruction in North Carolina that I feel I could write a book. (well, not really, but…)  I also transcribe for the Missouri State Archives and Ancestry’s World Archives Project.

So if you happen to ask me what I’m working on, be prepared for my obsessive rant about some detailed account of what I’ve been transcribing lately.  Because if I’m between ‘paying’ research projects, that is more than likely what I’ll talk about.  It’s one of my quirky hobbies!


Call me at (314) 773-2881 or contact me to discuss your historical research, legal, writing, or genealogy needs.

Reblogged: “Neighborhood Watering Holes”, Marquis, 2005

My “Peeking into the Past” column and this article originally ran in the Lafayette Square ‘Marquis’, which was published monthly by the Virginia Publishing Company until 2011. It’s always fun to go back and see what I was working on in years past – it inspires me to keep digging too!

Peeking into the Past: Neighborhood Watering Holes

By Cara Jensen

Around the turn of the century, St. Louis was known as “first in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League”. It seemed St Louis residents took this slogan to heart, as there were over 1100 saloons/saloon employees listed in the city directory in 1890! The term highball was said to have been coined at a St. Louis saloon that catered to railroad workers. The drinking glass was nicknamed a ball, and the workers who only had time for a quick drink started calling their whiskey and water a “highball”. In 1874, St. Louis native M.W. Heron, bartending in New Orleans, created a peach-flavored bourbon whiskey that became known as “the grand old drink of the South.” Heron named his invention Cuffs and Buttons, a takeoff on a popular beverage of the era called Top Hat and Tails. He changed the name to Southern Comfort only after moving back to St. Louis. Whether you prefer to call them bars, pubs, taverns, or ale houses, here are a few that called this area home:

1700 Russell: McKinley Heights saloon run by Leonard Bachmann.

2400 Menard: Soulard establishment operated by Robert Zanto and family.

1700 S. 11th: LaSalle canteen run by Anton Filip who resided at 1046 Soulard Ave.

1700 Geyer: Soulard taproom operated by Thomas Hause.

900 Geyer: Soulard pub owned by Bernard Duesterhaus.

2800 Missouri: Benton Park tavern kept by August P. Koebbe.

1800 Park: Lafayette Square lounge managed by John Schnieder.

NE corner of Menard/Emmet: Soulard saloon run by Charles Kreichelt who lived nearby at 1019 Emmet.

Tuesday Twigs: The Johnson Girls

Each Tuesday, I will post a tidbit from my family tree – I hope you enjoy!

Irene, Evelyn, Ardis & Verna

photo from personal collection

I love this picture!  These cuties are my great aunts – Irene Margaret, Evelyn Maude, Ardis Helen, and Verna Lucille.  The picture was taken around 1910 in Minneapolis where their Norwegian immigrant family lived (on 16th avenue) – probably in the Spring as by the 1910 census they had moved to a farm in Mahnomen County.  Maybe an Easter portrait as the two youngest are holding bunnies!

I would love to find those gold lockets or at least to know that they are kept and preserved by our family.  After the Johnsons moved to the farm, four more children (including my grandmother) were born, and the rest is history!

George & Tina Johnson & family.jpg

The George and Tina Johnson family ca 1930, personal collection

(They are arranged by age below, so you can match the four above to the eldest four girls!)

Visual Genealogy

There’s been a fun trend twisting on the genealogy blogging sites – visually plotting your ancestor’s birth states or countries. I had to join the fun – here’s mine and my husband’s!!

Cara Jensen 5 gen birthplace chartRyan 5 gen birthplace chart

It would be fun to do other things this way – imagine zodiac signs, or how many children in a family, city/country living, etc.  Ah statistics!!

“‘Bob’ Grierson in Town Again”

This article from today’s 1890 St. Louis Post-Dispatch piqued my curiosity – “‘Bob’ Grierson in town again”.

Bob Grierson

8 Dec 1890 St. Louis Post Dispatch

This poor man had a story – what was his background that made for such an unfortunate highlight in the daily paper?

Robert was the son of Benjamin Grierson, a major general of volunteers who went on to be Superintendent of the General Mounted Recruiting Service in Saint Louis, Missouri from 1873-1874 and later commanded several forts in Texas. (He also had commanded the 10th US Cavalry, one of two units composed of African-American soldiers)  The family was originally from Jacksonville Illinois but moved extensively as General Grierson was posted out West.


Robert attended medical school and suffered a history of mental illness.  He managed the family ranch outside Fort Davis, Texas in the 1880s, and was elected county commissioner.  Family investments fell on hard times as drought devastated the local cattle industry.  When the county treasurer embezzled $2000, Robert, as the commissioner, was held personally accountable for the loss.  That pressure, coupled with the death of his mother in 1888, overwhelmed him and he collapsed into depression.  His family eventually had him committed to the Insane Asylum in Jacksonville, Illinois, where they still kept residence.

In the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census he was listed a patient at the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane.  He apparently indulged in frequent unscheduled trips to St. Louis during his stay at the asylum – I don’t blame him, I can only imagine how horrible conditions were at a turn-of-the-century insane asylum.  He died in 1922 and was buried in Jacksonville, Illinois.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the past – it’s always fascinating for me to find the back story on a particular situation especially with a local connection!


“GRIERSON, ALICE KIRK | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).” Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) | A Digital Gateway to Texas History. Accessed December 8, 2015

“Benjamin H. Grierson: An Inventory of His Papers, 1827-1941 and Undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library.” University of Texas Libraries. Accessed December 8, 2015.

“Wooster, Robert. Frontier Crossroads Fort Davis and the West.” College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2006. Google Books. Accessed December 8, 2015.


52 Ancestors #26 – Another wife ’round the corner

This is the halfway point in Amy Johnson Crow’s Ancestor’s challenge – it feels good to look back on all of my narratives made public and to know that more is yet to come.

Sometimes strange quirks pull me in to my family tree and I turn to investigate a little deeper.  Such is the case with my 1st cousine (they were a French-speaking family, so…) 2x removed – Gladys Elizabeth Rancore.  She was the eldest child of 16, born in 1899 in northern Minnesota, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River.  What got my attention was where she was in 1920.  The 1920 census showed her as an inmate at the Salvation Army Rescue Home in St. Paul, MN.  St. Paul was about 200 miles away from where she grew up – not unusual for a 19 year old to go looking for a job, and she did die in 1925, so perhaps she was seeking medical treatment.  But she came back north to teach in Beltrami County – I found a newspaper clipping from September 1920 saying that Gladys Rancore was teaching at the Winan and Murray schools there. Then she got married in Jun of 1921 to James Lyle Angell .  (My new subscription to really has come in handy!)  This was marriage #2 for James Angell, as his first wife, Harriet Bogart, had died from childbirth complications in June 1920, leaving 2 daughters.

Going back to Gladys in 1920 – I found out that the Salvation Army home in St. Paul was for ‘fallen women’ and had a maternity ward – so it seemed Gladys had a child out of wedlock in January 1920ish.  There is no birth certificate that I can find for the child, so we don’t know who the father is, if she would have named him at all.  But I suspect perhaps that it is James Angell, for reasons to follow.

Gladys and James had (another?) child in 1923, and then Gladys died in June of 1925, I suspect of childbirth complications even though I can’t find a birth certificate for an infant at that time.  James rebounded and married for a 3rd time – Ethel Leonard, who gave birth to a son in Feb 1930.  James and Ethel had no more children after the son, James Lyle Jr. [ Ethel’s sister Emma married James’ brother George around the same time, which confused me somewhat with the birth certificates since they had children all around the same time.]

The relationship between James’ third wife and his children seemed strained  – in 1930, his eldest daughter Fern (mother Harriet) was living with her father (perhaps the 13 year old was helping take care of the baby?).  Second daughter Florence (mother Harriet) was living with Aunt and Uncle out in faraway Skagit County, Washington.  Third daughter Lavurne (mother Gladys) was living in the same community, but with Uncle and Aunt Angell.

Given the rapidity with which James Angell remarried after his first two wives died from childbirth complication, it does seem like he was quite popular with the ladies.  Could he have had affairs during his marriages? (with Gladys Rancore?)  I may be watching too many detective shows and ‘Forensic Files’, but could he have contributed to his first 2 wives deaths, impatiently waiting for another wife to give him a son?

Update:  I found the obituary of James Lyle Angell, and I was slightly wrong about some things.  He married Ethel in August of 1929, not right after the death of his 2nd wife, and his son, James Lyle Jr., died in infancy.  So perhaps I should lay off those mystery murder shows…

52 Ancestors #25 – The Old Homestead

This week’s theme is ‘homestead’ and I immediately turned to a picture I have in my office:

OlgaAltaOrvilleWaldoOscar_ErmalIvaCyLindstromThis is my great grandfather and grandmother Oscar and Alta Fuller Lindstrom with a few of their children (Alta had 14 births, of which only 9 survived past infancy).  The are, from left to right, eldest sister Olga, mother Alta, my grandpa Orville (who I’ve been transcribing WWII letters from if you’ve been following me), Waldo, father Oscar, then in front it is Iva, Ermal, and baby Cy.  I can safely date this picture to 1918, since the youngest son, Cyril, was born in September 1917, he looks under 2, it is summer (even tho the long sleeves, it is northern Minnesota after all), and the next child was born in December of 1919.  (I don’t know much about log cabin construction but the roof looks a bit crooked to me.)

Don’t know the story of the cabin, but my great grandfather moved up to Hubbard County, Minnesota from Webster County, Iowa in 1913 and farmed in Hart Lake Township, section 10.  The dark blue dot is Oscar Lindstrom’s and I put the aqua dot as reference to where my mother grew up.

Hart Lake twp

1916 Hubbard Co. plat map, University of MN, John R. Borchert map library.

I wish I could find some more information about why they moved from the fertile black gold soil of NW Iowa to the rocky, boggy soil of northern Minnesota.  Oscar’s parents both died in 1909 and the heirs sold the 80 acre farm on 12 Jan 1911 for $8270.  So that is still a mystery for another day.  But it is nice to put that cabin on the map!

52 Ancestors #23 – June Weddings

I’ve been lax on my 52 Ancestors posts – I’ve been busy working on projects for clients, so I guess that’s a good thing.  Anyway, I thought this one would be easy – “June Weddings” – why do I always think that?  I have a large collection of beautiful wedding photos from my paternal side and seeing that June is the favored month for weddings, I dug in to look.  Surprise, surprise – nothing in the Aprils, Mays, Januarys, and finally … the elusive June wedding!

Oscar Anderson Irene Johnson wedding

from personal collection

This is my grand aunt, Anna Irene Margaret Johnson and her husband Oscar Theodore Anderson on their wedding day June 16, 1920.  I found it interesting that in the 1920 census, Oscar was listed as a farm hand on the Johnson farm!  Her parents must have vetted him very well and obviously liked his potential. I like the details that pictures can add to a story.  His face seems to be more tan than his forehead – a sign of a farmer for sure!  Her huge bouquet of roses, ferns, and ribbons match the ribbons on her dress and that style of veil is so unusual – wonder if that was in vogue, or if it was of Norwegian style?  (They were Norwegian-Americans)  Her hair looks to be bobbed in the 1920s style – how chic! I’ll continue to look for more June wedding photos this week to add to this post – thanks for reading!

Orville Merton Lindstrom – WWII letters, pt I

Note: These letters are from my grandfather to my grandmother from the time of him being drafted into WWII in May 1942 until his wounding in Ste Suzanne, France on 6 Aug 1944. These are not the original letters as my grandma transcribed them – I believe she did some selective editing to make them PG as they sometimes abruptly end… The photos I have attached have been found via internet and I’ve tried to credit the original source or at least the site from which they were found. – Cara Jensen, 27 May 2015, St. Louis Missouri

Monday, April 6, 1942

  1. 2 Btry. 343 F. A. Bn.

Here I is “Deep in the Heart of Texas” is plenty warm, too, quite some change from northern Minnesota. Left Ft. Snelling 4:20 Sat. afternoon, arrived here about 10:30 this morning (Monday). Was plenty hot on the train, too, wouldn’t allow any windows open. Only left the train once on the whole trip – that was yesterday in K.C. We marched double file from the train thro’ the depot up a hill to some sort of a museum and back. Had to stay in ranks, couldn’t even mail a letter or buy cigarettes or anything

The stay in Snelling seems like a dream when I think back – were rather busy, too, Med’s, I.Q.’s, tests of all kinds, instructions and what not. Didn’t even get a high end rating to register in the I.Q. Leastwise didn’t hear of it.

There were a dozen (approx.) Hubbard Co. boys on the train coming down here. Edmund Dyburg was the only one I knew though. Several went back home the next day after we got there.

Saw Marvin and Christie the nite before I came down. They had their uniforms, so imagine they are on the way by this time.

We just stood retreat and back from chow and is it ever raining as you no doubt can tell by the splobs in the indelible. Are in tents, six men in each, guess I got in the only leaky tent in the whole lot. Guess they want us to get tough right from the start.

Well, we get free postage now, pretty good, eh? Now for the 42 bucks per month.

It’s a rather poor light for writing, have a day room somewhere in these parts but as yet haven’t located it. Will send this air mail can use a couple stamps and hope to get an answer soon.

Address: Pvt. O.M. Lindstrom

343 FA Ba

H.2. Btry. 343 F.A. Bn.

Camp Barkeley, Texas

Hope you can make this out. This is the same camp where Waldo is. Don’t know if I can find him or not. Will be in quarantine for 14 days.

April 12, 1942

Was kinda expectin some letters for a couple of days or so – but no see ‘em as yet. Maybe I was expecting ‘em too soon. It really is quite a long trip way up there – so naturally would take several days.

These two weeks have gone rather fast, have been so busy. I guess I haven’t had time to think much about time.

Our first night here, will be remembered a long time. We nearly drowned. Put our overcoats over our clothes and our raincoats on the bed. Sure was a mess the next day, too. No walks here and is this mud ever sticky.

Will try to give you some idea of what we have been doing the past week. Have taken radio aptitude test, truck driving, and mechanical aptitude. Get movie instructions on military courtesy and discipline. Lectures on interior guard, movies on sex hygiene, classes on care of clothing and equipment, lecture on the care of rifles and Howitzers (105 M.M.) Tried to teach us how to take the rifles apart and put ‘em together again, taking apart is easy – but.

Have taken another typhoid shot, have still one more to go. Will get three more shots for various things before too long.

All rookies have to be in quarantine for two weeks, are supposed to stay inside our own boundaries, and to only one certain theatre, and to the Post Exchange. We do wander past the limits once in a while.

Have to take a physical every day for the 14 days – have only 8 more times to go, so that will help some.

Camp Barkeley marching

FIGURE 2 Camp Barkeley

We get some drilling each day, right full about face, by the right flank, march, column left, all that sort of thing. Get plenty practice marching to and from the theatre, class hall, and where not.

Waldo was over here for a visit this afternoon, he still insists he would rather have a rifle than just a first aid kit. We took in a movie on first aid the other day, also a lecture on insurance. Don’t know if this is very clear or not, maybe you can get some idea of what it’s all about.

Am on K.P. tomorrow, so guess I’ll quite now, maybe I’ll get a letter tomorrow. Must get my clothes lines up for morning.

Wed. nite

Your long looked for letter came today and was I ever a happy lad. Two weeks and one day since we last met, seems like that many months, but each each seems to go rather fast.

It seems to take the mail a long time to get thru – don’t know if I gain much by sending it air mail, will send this free and see how much difference it makes if any.

Army Day wasn’t so exciting for me, arrived here about 10:30, then it was nearly 2 o’clock before we had dinner. Just got things straightened up that afternoon and stood retreat. We are going to take part in a big parade tomorrow, the whole battalion. Don’t know just how many men in each battery, but there are five btry’s in this bn. Our outfit got complimented this morning at practice, hope we can hold up tomorrow.

Today we had our first gas and gas mask drill. Got a whiff of three different kinds of gases. They really take a hold, too, no foolin’! We have what are supposed to be the best masks that are made – good in all gases known so far.

This letter so far is rather strong on the military side, but guess that’s what I’m here for. Sure will be glad when our quarantine is over. Don’t care much for a physical inspection every day, will be over with it next Tuesday.

This is a dry country, we can’t even get drunk, sure miss that. The closest town is dry too, so isn’t much advantage in going there. Everybody says you see more soldiers in town then out here, that wouldn’t be much of a treat either.

Am planning on what I’m going to do when I get my furlough (if and when). Will be here seventeen weeks then don’t know where we’ll go – probably on maneuvers some place. From what I can gather we will be on foreign soil before too long. They seem to want that plainly understood.

Had a letter from Cy yesterday saying he had traded off my old jalopy, seems to think he made a good deal – hope so, only wish I was there to help wear it out. Will instruct him to give you a ride in it for me sometime. Sure would be swell if you could come down here for a visit – isn’t the nicest place that I know of – but sure would be glad to see you.

April 20, 1942

Didn’t get finished last nite when the lights went out – had only one stamp on. Did manage to get by with my flashlight after the Sargent had gone down the street.

April 19, 1942

This is a beautiful sunshiny day about 90 in the shade and no shade. Have been loafing and wondering about the post since I got my washing done this morning.

Found out where Marvin is or rather found his tent. He was out looking for someone he knew so didn’t get to see him.

Stumbled into Edmund D. in the P.X. barbershop the other nite. He said the whole bunch of Hubbard men that left the same time I did, are all in Camp Barkeley. There are only about 45,000 men here so there isn’t much chance of finding them unless you have their address.

Heard a rumor that we are going to get foot lockers. Surely hope we do. Everything gets in such a mess and whatever you’re looking for is down in the bottom of the barracks bag.

On the whole, army life isn’t so bad as it might seem. Of course we don’t know what’s going on in the outside world or as much I should say as the civilian population. Really the whole situation doesn’t seem as gloomy as it did from the “outside”.

Imagine it is getting rather springy up there by this time, soon be fishing season and won’t be long till school is out, then —.

Later, Marvin just dropped in when I was writing. He said there was a Hubbard Co. gathering up the street. So I dropped everything and joined them. There were nine present and several more accounted for by the time we broke up. Those present that I knew were: Marvin, Christy, Carl Haines, Bill Finlay, Norman Gladen and a Bashal from Laporte. They are all in a small group within 8 or 10 blocks of each other. So Hubbard is rather well represented in the TO division (Texas and Okla.)



Looks like a bad electrical storm brewing in the North – hope it doesn’t get too close. Have only 3 min. left before lights out – 9:30.

April 20th continued

You may think something is wrong with my writing so soon, but really do feel okay and have time now. Have my shoes shined, laced up and put neatly under the foot of the bed.

Have tent inspection every morning so everything has to be just so. We do have some distinction tho, one day we had the worst, sloppiest — tent in the whole… Then the next day we were on the excellent list. Nothing like starting on the bottom.

Being as you suggested it I will send this letter free and save the 6 cents. By the way I … different… there in the time. Seems to be quite a little difference from there here, your letter postmarked the 18th, got it today noon, so that isn’t too bad.

When I get my furlough, I think I’ll charter a plane, maybe I mite be able to thumb a ride on a bomber. There is an airfield about 80miles from here, don’t see many planes here tho!

Don’t know how far it is to San Antonio. If you can find Abilene on a map you might be able to ‘figger’ it out, as we are about 10 miles from there. Waldo’s address is Pvt. W.H. L. Co ‘B’ 56gh Med. Tng. Bn. Camp Barkeley, Texas. Imagine he would enjoy getting an extra letter as most soldiers do.

Our quarantine is over now., boy oh boy, bet we’ll make whoopee now. Don’t think I’ll bother about going to town, till we get a chance to go to a real town, such as L.A., Frisco, New York. They keep telling us every day that we will be in the midst of it before very long. Don’t think they know any more than anyone else about it. Guess they want us to get ready for the worst and hope it doesn’t happen.

Everyone takes the same basic training here unless they are entirely hopeless. Then after that I guess we will be put where ever they want us. Of course, it depends a lot on the ability. If you can figure out some of things that they pull here, that’s more than most people can do.

April 24, 1942

You telling of spring outfits, doesn’t exactly help our comfort here, as our uniform is wool until May 1st, then we officially change to cotton. Have our summer outfits now but no wear ‘em.

Were to go on an overnite hike yesterday leaving after dinner, did start – just got nicely started when it began to rain and did it ever pour. Got soaked in about 2 minutes. There is a short space between our raincoats and leggings so naturally the water would get on the inside of the leggings and run down in the shoes. Didn’t mind so much tho till I floated out of my shoes. Only went a couple of miles and returned about 2:30. The ‘old man’ dismissed us for the day to dry our clothes. Pretty good of him, don’t you think?

They hauled us out in trucks today to the rifle range, where we were supposed to be last night, for a little rifle practice, 22 caliber, didn’t do so hot, got 20 points out of a possible 25. It was above average but not good.

It was quite a treat to get out for a while to see nice green grass, leafed out trees, flowers, even the cactus looked good as there aren’t anything like that in camp. If it could grow it would be all trampled down.

Haven’t gone to a single show since I’ve been here except in the line of duty. The evenings go so fast, retreat at 5:45, supper at 6:00, mail call 6:30, read letters when I get ‘em, shine my shoes, write a letter or two, sweep out, and one thing or another and it’s lights out. Believe I told you last time it was dark at 9:30. Imagine it won’t be so bad after I get onto the ropes a little more, as it is now have a lot to learn about the equipment and so on. Have to memorize our general orders, there are eleven of them and some are not too short.

I am fine physically. Got a new tent now only leaks thru the floor (upwards, no foolin’)

There is an old radio, magazines, playing cards, dominoes, dart games, etc. in the Day Room, also a coo cola machine – only one nickel.

Chow at 7, 12, and 6.

Don’t plan too much on me getting a furlough, as we were freshly reminded a couple days ago by the B.C. that a week end pass is the limit until further orders, excepting in extreme emergency. Doesn’t sound too encouraging, does it? Hope we’ll get further orders by the time I’m ready for a furlough. As if I wasn’t ready now.

One of the fellows in our tent got a picture of his wife in Mpls. A few days ago. Every time he looks at it he says, — the Army, got a notion to go “over the hill” (Death Penalty). Hope I don’t get such ideas in my head. Really makes it worse for themselves. The best way is to grin and bear it or take it with a smile would sound better. How about it?

Army life is just about what you make it. There is plenty to choose from, good, bad, or indifferent. I really don’t mind it at all. It’s just this idea of being isolated here in No Man’s Land – so far from civilization. Without much hope of getting away for even a short visit.

Have a swell bunch of officers here, non-com’s, too, with about two exceptions. They are not directly connected with us, so doesn’t make it too bad.

The 45th Div. Started moving out from here last Sun. Going at the rate of a train load every two hours, that includes equipment and all. Gives you some idea of the hugeness of a single division. Their division is larger than ours – it is a square and ours triangle. Imagine that is about as clear as the mud on the floor in this tent. Haven’t “mudded out” since the rain yesterday and does it ever get muddy and dries up just as fast – then gets like concrete. The tent leader is scraping the big chunks with a wide board so guess I’d better quit and help a little.

Have a lot of letters to write yet – if I don’t go back on my word to all those I promised. Should have a stenog and stenog’s remind me that after we soldiers get back in civilian life we will make model wives with the experience we get making beds, scrubbing, shining and the such like. Now if we could only cook. Must quit now.

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