Jul
2012

Tampico, Mexico, November 14, 1918

Tampico, Mexico
November 14, 1918

My dearest Maude,

Well, here we are, anchored in the harbor of Tampico and from what I can see of it I would just as soon be somewhere else. It sure don’t look like very much, but oil wells and tanks down here, but I guess we are about 10 miles from the real town.

Well, at last the war is over. It hardly seems possible. I may get my walking papers in about 6 months. I expect to be on here 4 or 5 months yet but don’t know for sure. I doubt if this ever reaches you but it mite, so I am taking the chance. We only get fuel oil here and tomorrow go about 60 miles down the coast to Tuxpan for our cargo. Then as far as we know now we leave for Chile.

We sure have had a fine trip down. Been pretty hot for the last couple of days and I have a nice case of sunburn but we are getting used to it now.

I guess it is getting pretty chilly up there now. I hope I don’t go north till spring now that I am where it is warm.

We went close by the coast of Florida for one day and it sure is pretty. Saw Palm Beach. It must be some joint by the looks of it.

Well, I guess Clark won’t get a ship now unless he gets set to a battleship. I may have to go on a battleship, but I don’t know for sure.

There is about 5 monitors in the harbor now and when we came by they said “no liberty for any Armed Guards in any Mexican port.” But I am going to try to get ashore anyway. I am pretty sure we can get ashore in Tuxpan anyway.

We saw a lot of flying fish and porpoise on the way down and some sharks but no whales. I think there are whales around here but we saw none.

We have been standing regular watches, 4 on and 8 off but from now on I guess we  will not have to stand watch so regular. I will write you a long letter from Panama. I don’t think it’s much use to write much now because I doubt if this ever gets out of Mex.

We were working pretty steady on the gun all the way down. It was an old one and we had to work on it pretty hard to get it in shape but we fired two shots the other day to try it out and it works fine now.

Well, I will close for now and write again soon.

I am as ever yours with love,
Sylvan

Jul
2012

Brooklyn Naval Yard, November 11, 1918 “I guess the Germans have quit at last. It sure is some big day.”

Brooklyn, NY
Nov. 11, 1918

My Dearest Maudy,

I received your letter last night and was sure glad to hear from you.

I guess the Germans have quit at last. It sure is some big day. Parades are going all the time and the streets are very crowded. Oh, how I wish you were here to see the things that happen. The people are going crazy. They are just mad with happiness.

I am going to try and get out just as soon as possible and then that will be happy day for me for I am tired of the life. It don’t suit me very well.

How will it suit you to have me come back and tease you and go out and have a real old good time, the kind we used to have only I have changed a whole lot. I know I sure would like to be back and have a real time once more. I will someday, dear girl, and then we will have a real time.

I must close for now.
Your loving Clark

Jul
2012

Brooklyn Naval Yard, October 28, 1918

Brooklyn, NY
October 28, 1918

My Dearest Maudy,

I got your letter yesterday and was sure glad to hear from you. I am back again in old Brooklyn. It is lots better than the South Dakota. Say, I may beat this letter there but if I don’t, don’t forget I am coming. How many dances are we going to have? Sylvan is here and we are having a very good time.

Say, Maude, I can’t think of very much to write so I will close for this time.
From your loving Clark

So at this point, Sylvan’s sent her a ring. Clark keeps talking about it. What sort of notes to Sylvan and Clark share? I wonder.

Jul
2012

Brooklyn Naval Yard, October 28, 1918 – “You make money slow in the Navy.”

Brooklyn, NY
October 26, 1918

My Dearest Maude,

I am back in Brooklyn come back yesterday and will til about the 20th of November and then eighteen months in France.

I seen Sylvan this morning but did not get a chance to talk to him.

I am sure glad to get off the S[outh] D[akota]. She sure is a madhouse. I never put five months of my life like them.

Say, Maude, I will try and send that ring by Xmas. I have got $70 toward it already. You make money slow in the navy and I don’t want to draw any out of the bank. Will that be all right? If not tell me, dear, and I will send it. Now don’t be afraid to say no.

I and my pal was out of New York about 40 miles last night. A lady took us out in her car. Some time, believe me. Of course I was kinda in the road being the third one but they said I had to go along. Gee I wish you were there. It would have been much nicer.

Well, I must close for this time.
From your loving Clark.
Navy YMCA

Jul
2012

Camp Kearny, CA, October 22, 1918

Camp Kearny, California
October 22, 1918

Dear Maude,

Well, my dear, I will not tarry so long this time, because you say if I do I’ll get mine. Whatever you meant to give me I’ll take no chances. I rec’d your letter yesterday and enjoyed its contents immensely.

You will have to pardon this ink it’s the best I could get in a hurry.  I have some blue ink over in my barracks, but I’m not there now and really am too lazy to go over and get it, or rather I’m too busy. Ha. Ha.

Gee, somehow as other my thinking cap is not on the dimmers. This quarantine is getting on my nerves.

Well, how’s the weather out your way pretty cool in the morning now, isn’t it?
Rather chilly out here some these mornings. You’ll have to excuse scribbling as I can not write at all today.

Have a letter lying in front of one, addressed by a student of the Tamblyn School of penmanship, and when I look at it and then at mine I feel like tearing mine up.
Gee can’t some people write swell, tho, wish I could. I just love a swell handwriting, don’t you?

You seem to be having some time with your rain out there again.We sure had a good shower here, too, the other night, just poured down.

Well, Maude, as yet I have not heard from Marion H but had a letter from EJ and enjoyed it fine. [E.J. Would be Maude’s friend Ellen.] You ask me if I’ve met Marvel’s wife yet. Well, I haven’t but am not surprised to that she loves Calif.

Well, here I am again about 3 hours later and I’ve been quite busy, too. The Sgt. Sent me to have some papers signed by the Mayor, and when I got there he wanted to see the patient so of course I had to go back and bring him. And as he got his furlough alright, I had to get his clothes and then it was time for my laundry, so you see I’ve been on the go all the time and goodness only knows if they’ll let me finish this now without interrupting me again.

When I sit down to write a letter I do like to finish it, but then I’m writing while on duty, so I have no reason kicking.

Well you ask me if I am as wild and wooly as I look on that picture, well I’m not quite so woolly. Ha. By the way, dear, are you going to send me another picture? I’ll send you one when I have some more taken, where I don’t look quite so woolly but in the meantime you might send one of those dolled up in your best suit.

This is a punk letter and I know it. I had really ought to tear it up. But you wanted one to ans immediately so here I am. It’s the best I can do today.

Gee can you beat it really, I got out of going for chow tonight. Well I’m tickled to death, and now I see where I finish my letter tonight or today rather. Mistakes is all I can make today.

The bugle blowed so I must go eat.

Well I’m here at the desk once more just got back from supper.

You ask me if I’m any kin to Albert Larson, and in reply will say I have no kin by the name Larson that I know of. And right here I might tell you my right name is not Larson altho I’ve used it so long that it’d be hard for me to change it now. You see, I have a stepfather and Larson is his name so that where I got it. My real honest-to-God name is Odegard, very odd isn’t it?

Yes, dear I’d like to see Germany get what’s coming to her and she’ll get it. Really I think if you had your say you’d tell me to ring off and I’m now going to do so, and make it snappy. Hoping to hear from you real soon.

I am ever yours,
Teddy.

I don’t know what it is about Theodore. Maybe it’s that at the bottom of every page it says “Help your Country by Saving. Write on BOTH Sides of this paper” and he almost never does. Or maybe it’s because he’s a tool. Anyway, this was the first letter where I almost liked him, possibly because the name reveal is the one time he used the back of the paper.