Sunday, May 30, 2010

blog #404 >> Grandpa's Diary: Installment #6

December 22, 1943 - December 27, 1943

I believe the following will be one of my most exciting & happiest experiences in the army.

On Dec. 22nd I got a 3 day pass & went up to Portland with Claud Green & his wife. We left Taft at 2:30 P.M. on the 22nd. We drove steady for 24 Hrs. We drove it in a 40' "Willys."
Our gas cost us $8:25. And we used no oil. The 3 of us changed off at driving. We stopped just for gas and averaged 50-60 m.p.h.

We stopped off at Salem & gave Ted's sister Ted's luggage. I located Al & Nita at about 5:00 P.M. Dec. 23rd. They took me out to Ruth's and then home.

Everyone was sure surprised to see me!!!! I got 5 Hrs. sleep on Thurs. night Dec. 23rd & that was all the sleep I got on my pass.

Dec. 24th I visited and saw lots of my friends Xmas-Eve. We had our celebration. Then we (Norm, Leroy, Trudy; Erwin, Dorris, Grace & I) at 2:30 A.M. went Xmas caroling. We (Dorris & I) had a swell time. After caroling we all went to church. Mother, Dorris & I went together. I left church at 6:30 A.M. and took Dorris home & also all the folks. Then Al got out of bed & took me to the depot. I caught the 8:00 A.M Xmas-Day train from Portland. I had a pretty good trip down on the train. (I slept about half of the way!)

Got into Bakersfield at 5:00 P.M. on 26th. I went over to Johnson's & they fed me & sent my telegram home. Then they took me to the bus depot. I met Capt. Farthing (aside: I also met Cecial Sager) at the bus depot, and we went out to Taft & then out to the field together. All together my pass was 100 Hrs. (60 Hrs. traveling time, 40 Hrs. at home!)
Distance from Port. to Taft. Calf. is 885 miles!

All in All I had one swell pass even though it was pretty "rough" traveling.

Tonight Dec. 27th I opened all my Xmas gifts I brought a few extra from home. I sure got a swell bunch of gifts!!! All the fellows just sat in "Amazement" as I opened all my gifts!! I treated them all to my goodies.

I hope by next Xmas we'll all be home with our families and friends!!!!!!!

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