Fifteen letters
[ Fifteen Letters ][ Introduction ]
1954: [ June 5 ][ June 15 ][ June 26 ][ July 10 ][ July 27 ][ Aug. 1 ][ Aug. 11 ]
[ Sept. 18 ][ Sept. 30 ][ Oct. 29 ][ Nov. 3 ][ Nov. 11 ][ Dec. 13 ]
1955: [ Jan. 23 ][ Feb. 20 ]
[ Epilogue ]

20 Feb. '55

Hi Aunt Ruth

Got a letter here dated 6 Dec. inside and postmarked 7 Feb. on the envelope. However, since you say "2d semester begins tomorrow" I guess the latter date is correct. Under such an assumption, I think I know the letter to which you refer regarding my indecision on self & future. Frankly, I racked my brain to remember the letter.

Quonset huts of the 207th PMCDStill can't remember much -- I expect I was down in the dumps when I wrote it. However, I guess it's safe to say I didn't exaggerate too much or I'd have thrown it away as I've done to many others. To give a more fair picture of it. I do feel that way bee, where life is meaningless. However, I believe that upon my discharge I'II regain a sense of values more conducive to a "normal" life. Perhaps even transferring to Japan will do it. It would if I were able to get into a job where a little personal initiative could be used. But since that is doubtful I expect I'II continue in this stagnant jelled condition.

You commented on the three needs of man -- reconciliation with god, environment, and self. I think you got the wrong impression from something I said -- I'm not reconciled to any of them -- I just feel their importance is inverse to the listed group. And they are all in a state of upheaval -- but only when I bother thinking. The rest of the time I just vegetate, enjoying life, not accomplishing much or solving anything.


Egads, Barbette really did rack up the points in her courses. Have to get her out of that school into one with some tough courses. Make her work for that degree.

Speaking of working for that degree, you mentioned the number of flunkeys at UM with some degree of consternation. For them I suppose it's a tough break, but I'm glad to see a few get booted out. If they are intelligent enough and just don't study, they shouldn't be permitted to go -- they have forfeited the right to that education. If they just aren't capable, it's too bad but they're in the wrong element. Best they find out now rather than ruin the school for those who can handle enough to make a college education a truely valuable opportunity.

A boy in the fieldsI'm just not democratic enough to believe in a college education for the masses. The masses are not capable of achieving the quality of work supposedly inherent in a Bachelor's Degree.

If they, in fact, yes, give them as much education as possible. But for the sake of education, don't include a Bachelor's Degree in this schooling. When I was a kid I thought of a person with a Bachelor's Degree as an educated man or woman. I was wrong, they aren't. They may be a specialist in some field, yes, or they may be too lazy to work, they may be draft dodgers, their old man may have money, or may have "given them what I couldn't have as a boy." But darned few of them are educated -- as the college graduates I meet here will illustrate, as the kids I knew at UM illustrated, as others I have known illustrate.

Received two crazy valentine cards here. The fellows got a bang out of it. They liked best the one with the big NOPE inside and the stubbornly resisting rabbit on the spring glaring out at them.

Incidentally my location changing won't upset the mail too much. It'll just be another APO change. I did it in September -- APO 248 to APO 971, in January -- 971 to 301; and will again from 301 to (I think) 500, and the mail will be redirected accordingly. I think our unit will still be designated the 207th PMSD.

Chang Dok Palace Upper Pavilion and gazebo, Chang Dok Lower Pavilion and drained pond, Chang DokToday I went to the Chang Dok Palace to get pictures of the snow which fell last night. I left here about 10 this morning in to Seoul. It was cold and a bitter wind was whipping around, but my trusty old long johns kept me warm. Anyway, just as I neared the South Gate a Korean man offered (as many do every day I go to the city) to buy my camera. I said no several times until he offered $30 for my $45 camera. So I agreed and he pulled out the notes, showed me 7 crisp, genuine $10 US scrip notes. In an alley I gave him the camera, he slipped me a wad of bills. Then his big buddy came along and diverted my attention. I looked at the wad -- one dollar, 10-10 hwan notes. $1.20 for a $45 camera! Neat slight of hand. I dashed back ready to kill on sight -- but there was no sight. Gone, vanished. Probably good, too, because I'd either have clobbered him or the two would have worked me over in good shape. The perfect sucker! How many times has it happened before?

How many times have we been told? Lord knows, but like so many others, I learned the hard way. Finally I got ahold of myself and went back to the 8th Army Snack Bar, sat over a cup of coffee and then went to the PX, bought a cheap but versatile 35 mm camera and went on into Seoul to take pictures anyway.

8th Army snack bar

Stayed in the Palace until about 3PM, then went to Newgate Inn for some tea, chips, and leaf sausage before heading back here.

It was a bitter lesson and I'm sorry I had to learn it, but it's over and done. Can only blame myself, as much as I'd rather blame it on the Korean people in general. Anyway, I got the snow shots, have a camera, and still a good money supply so I'll survive.

Last night was one of the nicest evenings I've spent here. Went to the club, drank orange soda all evening, sat and talked with a very very nice girl, enjoyed several dances together, laughed and joked pleasantly and then very opportunely some other GI took her home saving me from the too great temptation. Wish all party nights worked out as well.

Now I sleep


 AC124 at Kimpo Field