March 5, 1918 – Letter to Robert’s sister Ruth (on YMCA “With The Colors” letterhead):
Camp Dodge Iowa
You won’t know your brother when you drive the Lizzie down here. All dressed up in khaki.
This is the way I feel like a board. We haven’t got guns yet but will soon. There will be a knife on the end of it 18 inches long. Not short ones like they use at schools. And these are sharp, too.
The weather has been real [illegible] here until today. It got cold + foggy. But we must drill anyway. The big excitement here is when the mail comes. You ought to see that bunch. If I don’t get any I feel bum all day, and so do the other fellows.
You might make some candy once in a while if you feel like it. Don’t send much at a time tho.
How do you like my little wife, Ruth? Isn’t she a dear girl? When you are at home make a chum of her. She must be lonesome. You know how you would feel under the same circumstances. Go to the movies.
I was going to write to Helen tonight too but the lights go out at 9 so will have to let it go till tomorrow. Give her my love.
Your loving brother,
I couldn’t love this self-portrait any more. Ruth was five years younger than Robert and would have been 17 when he wrote her this letter.
“Lizzie” or “Tin Lizzie” was a nickname for the Ford Model T.
I can’t figure out that word in the third paragraph. “scrumer”? OK, probably “summer.” Thanks Jeff Staley!
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.