Katherine Trickey; WWII
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Tues. Nov 23
I find it difficult to concentrate long enough to write a letter in this atmosphere. However this morning there are only four of us left in the barracks so it is very quiet. We never know how much time we are going to have before being called out again so it is hard to start to do anything which can’t be put away in a hurry.
Yesterday morning we got up at six o’clock got dressed & lined up outside by 6:25. After rollcall we had until ten minutes of 7 to make up our beds, sweep the floor, & dust. After breakfast, however, we found out that Monday was airing day and we had to take all our cots outdoors & pull them all apart again. From 9 to 11.30 we all (went) to the testing building and took first a General Intelligence test, next a mechanical aptitude test, & third a clerical aptitude test. Wish I knew
how I did on them, but I don’t think we are ever told. After dinner, our group got mops, brooms & pails
& scrubbed the barracks floor. More fun! Really not bad at all when everyone is doing it. After that we went to the classification building where we were interviewed as to what we want to do and all about our business experience, etc. The girl who interviewed me was very nice. I think now that I shall apply for Officer Candidate School. She said there was a chance to apply about two weeks from now. If I don’t get it immediately after Basic Training I’ll be put in any office somewhere which will be all right with me.
We are still at the Reception Center, hoping to get some army clothes this afternoon – particularly a sweater & flannel pyjamas. Boy is it cold until about 11 o’clock in the morning.
Right now the four of us left here in barracks are huddled around the coal stove, “Junior,” trying to keep warm.
Last evening some of the girls from the other barracks came in and we sang song until about 8.30.
Then I got undressed & went over to the wash room (which is called the latrine) and took a shower before going to bed.
This morning we have made our beds & got ready for inspection and then most of those in the barracks went to get their clothing.
I’ll really be glad when I get to our regular barracks & start our basic training with a definite time schedule. Now all we do is hang around & wait for whatever is going to happen next.
I like it though. It is the same as being back in camp again with a group of girls. Most of them are very nice.
Naturally, I miss you all whenever I’m not busy, but that is to be expected and I don’t let it take away my enjoyment of these new experiences.
I am sending home a booklet that shows quite well what we are and will be doing.
Perhaps you’d be interested in what we are having to eat. I’ll give you some of the menus if I can remember what we’ve had.
This morning there was scrambled eggs, sausage meat, pep, muffets, (1) biscuits, marmalade, coffee, oranges. You took what you wanted. This is the usual breakfast, although sometimes there is cooked cereal instead of dry, grapefruit instead of oranges, bread or muffins instead of biscuits, & sometimes there is milk enough to have some to drink.
Last night – Beef stew, (very good) cinnamon buns, asparagus, spinach, apple salad, coffee. One noon – baked potatoes & ham, carrots, bread & cake & coffee.
I can’t remember the others but they’re all tasty and well prepared.
I think of you often.
Love to all of you,
(1) Peps was a wheat cereal produced by Kelloggs and Muffets was a shredded wheat cereal by Quaker.
P.SS. I just read your letter again. There is one hour difference in time. We set our watches back when we got to camp. I don’t need those slacks now, and no one wore them on the train afterall. I guess I forgot to mention that I really got a big thrill out of having Aunt Ruth & Uncle Walter on the train.
That must have been some snowstorm! I am not going to be able to do much Xmas shopping I am afraid. There is nothing here on the Post & we can’t go into Chatanooga (sic) for a couple of weeks
& even when we do get a chance to go probably the stores will be closed. I’ll have to make letters do I’m afraid. Don’t send the stockings. I have plenty – Use them yourself. The clippings were interesting.