Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, February 4, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Lee-Huckins Hotel Oklahoma City [Feb. 4, 1918]

Dear Bess:

I am at Oklahoma City this time sure enough. Wired you this afternoon. I am like a parrot out of his cage. We have been hitting it up at such a rate down at camp that some of us almost have nervous prostration. The Scottish Rite are putting a class through, and General Wright issued a bulletin allowing four-day passes to Guthrie. It came out yesterday morning and was revoked at noon. I got mine before the cancellation intending to go to K.C. on it, but after they recalled the privilege I thought perhaps I'd better not risk it. They are always hunting for some good excuse to rim a N.G. officer, and if they should suddenly take a fool notion to call me at Guthrie and I not be there, it would be all up but the signing. It is most surely a disappointment because I was planning on stepping into your front hall this evening at about seven-thirty and perhaps causing you heart failure for one minute anyway. I have been doing squads east and squads sideways, arms up and hand down until I can't open my mouth without telling someone to straighten up or get in step. "Hold your head up. Look at the back of the head of the man in front of you, if he isn't there look anyway. This ground's level, you won't fall down if you don't get your feet tangled. - - - -xx straighten up, step out like a man, put some snap into" etc. etc. ad lib. Then after some hour or so of that I go count nickels and dimes up to four hundred dollars a day more or less. I guess I should be very proud of my Jewish ability. My thirst emporium is the only one in camp that's open. The rest are insolvent or can't make a clear statement of their financial standing.

I am going to forget drill-book exercise and all of it for three days anyway and occupy my mind on higher things. Perhaps that won't hurt me any because I have acquired an ability to swear like Sam Jones or Captain Kidd, and there may be a high reckoning on it sometime. I think not soon.

We have exams every Saturday. I have passed every time yet but the next one I'll probably blow up on. The hotel is full of soldiers and first lieutenants. Some going to Guthrie and some going to the School of Fire and some, I fear, just playing hookey. I sure wish I could have happened in this evening, but I can't. I look for a letter every mail even if I don't send one.

Yours always, Harry

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