March 1, 1919 – Letter to Robert’s father:
Your letter of Feb. 2 came today. It was delayed some as you did not put the Co. on it.
We are being deloused now and expect to be out of this town within a week and out of France inside of a month.
I got a nice box from Uncle Geo. and Aunt Teenie West today. That is the second I have received from them. The three day leaves that you spoke of have been cancelled. No one from the 35th ever had a chance to take advantage. I applied for a special furlough but it did not go through, so I guess I won’t be able to go to Scotland. My trip would be just twice as nice if I could have gone to see my relatives. They have sent me altogether a dozen boxes. The only one in B Co. to get boxes. Only soldiers who have homes in Europe can be mustered out here, so I am out of luck there too. The 2-day passes would not permit leave out of France.
You will be surprised when you see my boy. When he was four months old he had two teeth and weighed 16 pounds. I suppose he is heavier than Teddy because Elinore has been able to nurse him and Jane has not.
Your suggestion about the furniture business appeals to me strongly. The only thing is that I have a family to support and might not be able to earn enough to support my family on while learning something about the business. That kind of business appeals to me though and I could put up with most anything for a time. It is good of you to be thinking of me that way, I had not thought of furniture. Let’s keep that in mind until I get back.
Since I am not to go to Germany, Bolshevism does not interest me as much as before. I still have my work here tho. There might be Bolshevic or German influence in the A.E.F.
Your second Digest came today.
The weather is fine today. It is not raining for a wonder.
So far I have not been able to locate an appropriate souvenir for Mother. I see a lot of nice “real Frenchie”things but they are usually “made in USA.” Especially silk and linen + lace stuff.
I am anxious to know whether Elinore + I can have the little cottage at Rebecca for a few weeks. I am planning on that a lot.
The big de-cootieizing machine just pulled into town now.
Love to all, Rob.
Robert and his father seem to be birds of a feather. As you go through these letters, Robert goes on and on about how he doesn’t want to think about his future career yet, but keeps bringing it up. And his father says he doesn’t need to worry about a job yet, but seems to be mentioning it frequently. Today’s “maybe you should sell furniture” is the perfect example.
Here’s a delousing machine from the era:
And a video of them being loaded and unloaded (WARNING: brief rear nudity at the end!)
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.