Saturday, October 17, 2009

August 14, 1942

Dear family,
There are just gobs of things to tell you. I’ll probably forget a lot of them and have to write them next time. To begin with this camp is about 9 miles from Coshocton, and 4 miles from Fresno, hence the address. We are in the foothills of some mountains, I don’t know what ones tho. The camp looks much like any CCC camp, long green buildings. The country is very rough and the camp is built on sort of a hillside, so one end of the dorms have been built on stilts or legs.

Now for the project. About 40 rods north I believe (everything is built on a slant here) is the experiment station that we work in connection with. It has about 8 buildings all of brick painted white. This experiment station is the largest of its kind in the world. When the CCC boys were here there were about 28 Gov’t paid men that worked at the station. Now a lot of them are gone now and their work is being done by camp boys. These fellows were highly paid technical research men, so you see what sort of education some of the fellows have that are here in camp. Ferinsence the five men that work in the annylisis department are from the camp and they have had from 7 to 9 years of Math. Harry knows what that means. The Gov’t man that they work under doesn’t know as much as they do. They had it all figured up and there are about 59 here and 40 of them are college graduates. Among them is a musician that was working for the New York Metropolitan Opera co. and the fourth ranking Botinist in the U.S. He lives in our dorm and his job is to make a collection of every plant in Coshocton county and index them, so the station is very fortunate in having him in this camp.

The Idea of this whole project I guess is to collect enough data and evidence and find methods of farming suitable for farming this sort of marginal land. They want to prove to the farmers all over the U.S. that they should use certain methods of farming this poor land.

We have an amazing variety of men here, ages range from 22 to 28, 25 different denominations represented, 52 methodists, 24 friends, 18 none and 11 Jehova witnesses. The rest are in smaller numbers 13 of them are the only one of that denomination here. The farmers lead as an occupational group but there are only 19 of them. Next is Lab. Technitians, 17 of them. Most of the fellows are from Pa. NY. Ill. Ind. Ohio and Kan. And some of them sure talk different. 35 men are married and there are 90 colleges represented. The statistics aren’t quite up to date so we weren’t counted in them.

That first page was mostly about the camp. Tomorrow Ab and I both are going to work for the first time, we will be on a camp maintenance crew. They just work til noon on Sat.s . Mon. I go to work washing dishs fro a 6 week term they sort of rotate the kitchen jobs but you don’t have to do anything you don’t want too tho. If you aren’t happy you just tell the personell director whose job it is to keep everybody happy. He is a camper and a really swell guy. He was elected to that position by the rest of the camp. Ab is going to sweep the dorms for a couple of weeks till a fellow gets back from ferlough.

We have met a lot of very nice fellows and a few that seem to be just Objectors. Ab and I talked to E.J.’s brother for the first time tonight. He works with the farm crew. They have 1300 acres of land that they experiment on some of it belongs to the station and the rest to the co-operating farmers.

I intended to write last night but the typhoid shot got me down and I didn’t feel like it. Today We were interviewed by the personell director and the superintendent of the project who is a very fine man and they say he co-operates very well with the camp.

I don’t believe my small pox vaccination is going to take at all they are supposed to only last 7 yrs and its been 9. But we had the disease. We get two more typhoid shots but they tell me that only one of them will make you sick you never know which one.

I got my cloths marked to day too. A fellow had a bubber stamp printing set that uses laundry ink on and I used it.

I think we are going to be pretty hapy here. Ab misses Opal a lot I guess, but that doesn’t bother me any.

They say this is the best camp, best project and best director. The director is Sumner Mills.

I’m going to bed now, its only 8:10 but I’m sleepy blame it on the shots.


P.s. Send me my crooked flashlight, my shirt, and a little blue spiral vestpocket notebook that should be in that little dresser drawer or the bookcase or the library table, it has my correspondence record so I don’t know who I owe letters without it.
Good night. And thank you.

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