My Dad and I were discussing “love” and romance this evening, when I told him that romance is something that doesn’t come natural to me. It’s something I have to be conscientious of or else I might easily fall into a comfortable routine. This prompted him to pull out a box full of letters he has between his parents (who died of natural causes before I was able to meet them). My grandfather Ed wrote my grandmother Jeanne nearly every day for several years while he was in the U.S. Navy. As far as I can surmise, this is his first letter to her after being shipped to training:
“Somewhere down in Kansas”
June 18th, 1935
At last I’ve gotten down to where I can try and write you a letter — understand — I said “try” and write one.
It is now about 7 p.m. and the porter brought in a table for the gang to play cards on. So I monopolized it long enough to write to you.
We had a fairly decent trip to Omaha though we were riding in fog and rain most of the way. We got in there about 1 o’clock and had dinner and then went down to the Recruiting Station for our examinations. Believe me, they were plenty particular and did they ever handle us rough!! There are just 13 of us going to San Diego out of over 300 applicants which means that each one of us was chosen as the best man physically, mentally, etc. out of about 25 men. You can see by that, that they were awfully strict. [Mark: this is my grandpa doing some bragging. Work it!]
We left Omaha about 6 hours ago and have been passing through some pretty scenery although about 10 miles back we passed through a part of a (illegible) flood area along the Republican River.
We are going to San Diego in a private car holding just the thirteen of us and a porter who [sic] preparing our upper berths for us right now and believe me I am going to crawl in plenty early on account of I’m (illegible) tired as (illegible)!!
Our train is the Rock Island and our route takes us through Lincoln, Nebraska, part of Kansas, Colorado (if we pass close enough to “Grand Canyon” to see it I’ll try and describe it in my next letter.) We also go through “Salt Lake City,” Utah and stay 3 hours there. From there we’ll go back south through Los Angeles and then to San Diego getting there around 2:30 Friday afternoon and then the work begins.
I suppose my past cards are well on the way, darling, but (illegible) I won’t be able to get any answers or here [sic] from you until I get settled in Diego, which means there’s going to be one sad, lonesome boy for almost two weeks when I can hear from you!
I’m thinking of you all the time darling and will write again sometime tomorrow.
Until then —
All my Love,