It sounds like this is not the first letter, but unless I have some misfiled, it’s the first one I have. [Letter changed from January to February on 5 June 2016.]
The letter answers the question of why Ruth began saving the letters—for an album that was never created. Still, she kept the letters even long after the idea of an album was abandoned. I suppose such albums were kept by people as reminders of their past lives, something to look at in old age—now here I am looking at them in my old age.
Walt uses the term unh quite a lot and I think it means what I would write as huh, meaning a number of things, like asking for agreement or expressing surprise. Anyway—get used to it, because it is the expression of choice in the letters.
A transcript follows the letter images.
Jan 3, 1942
FORT RILEY—Ha (with Fort Oglethorpe crossed out)
I’m back again—This time at a desk with pen and ink,—but I dare say the penmanship will not be much better—Ha.
I think your idea about an album of our life together is O.K. Especially just us or us two at present and well hope for the future one—Unh? I think it is a very good idea.
In reference to MJ’s letter it seems very funny to me that they have no place to send the fellows who wanted to enlist. I think there must of been another reason—don’t you?
I think you
would will look good in your new suit—In fact ( I never) I’ve never seen you in anything that didn’t look alright—excepting your little “Dutch Hat” Ha-Ha—Don’t get me wrong it just didn’t suit you. I didn’t think so anyway—listen to me “spouting.” I’m really glad you are getting something for Easter—you ought to—I only wish I could be there to see you—and get you some flowers. It will also occupy some of your spare time.
We were out on the range all day yesterday and today—and will be for the rest of the week—I think I came in second in our barracks in the rapid fire today I made 74 points out of a possible 80—Not bad for the first time—Unh?
I was hoping the snapshots would be done tonight—but they weren’t—I’ll “crawl [illegible] (
somebodies) somebody’s frame” if they are not done tomorrow. There will be some for the ( abl) album.—some for you to look at now and for us to look at in the future.
You know “Honey”, I think you have a very good attitude on this “thing” called war—[illegible] especially in relation to us—I’ll bet there is many a soldier boy who wishes he had a “girl” like you. If he only knew it though he couldn’t have one quite as nice as you. (
We) I must be getting nervous or something with all these blotches—Unh?
Well this is a very short letter.—but I will write tomorrow—So Long
I see you
Love and sweet dreams
Love Walt. (to my Wife),
P.S. Thanks a lot for the stamps.