Communication breakdown

March 20, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Got letter from Elinore. She is all ready to leave St. P. for camp.”

I was trying to explain to my kids last night about life before cell phones and texting (and even answering machines), and what it was like to try to reach someone with time-sensitive information. 

Robert talked to Nora by phone on the 17th and she was planning to visit on the 23rd. He was quarantined on the 18th and sent her a letter telling her  not to come. That letter crossed in the mail with the one he received today, saying she was getting ready to visit. 

There had to be a sense of desperation here too – Robert had been seeing his fellow soldiers start to leave Camp Dodge for other camps in preparation for the trip to Europe. He didn’t know exactly when he would be leaving Iowa, wanted to see his new wife before he left, but his health delayed the visit and communication by mail was a major frustration.

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

Next: Telegrams

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