Full transcription of text follows:
J.E. Henschel M.T.C. School #1- APO 772- Am. Ex. Forces Decize- France- 10/22/18 Mother dear- There are two kiddies who are interfering immensely with the weekly home. You see - I have found a home. To be sure - it is a cafe with a rapidly increasing American patronage, but that makes no difference, for I claim the corner by the kitchen stove as my own. Also I have advanced through the various stages of friendship, until now I am permitted to assist in peeling the good [ms illegible: 1 wd] de terne and sad-storing the steel knife that goes with
beef steak. I have even picked out the pattern from embroidery that will soon grace the fair Marie and Louise. (To be honest - they are not remarkably fair). Also - I bribed my way with the Madame with a while rose - and she calls me now "mon gareon". And thus runs the campaign that results in a home. The kiddies (there is Emile the violent, and Jean, and dearest of all, little Raymond) who call me "Monsieur Net" and climb all over me when I show up in the doorway in the evening. I like 'em immensely.
And the secret? Oh - the wonderful dinners that Madame and Marie and Louise can cook! And the pleasure of coming in the cold and wet at night and having a warm chair and a glass of the excellent coffee - all the while the good folk are so solicitous as to one's comfort. A home is highly desirable - and no one could wish a more delightful one. Even the wines are better here than at other places in town. We were issued Christmas package slips, without which no one can receive a parcel from the States at the best time of the
year. It was announced that in case anyone had no one to whom they might send the coupon, it could be sent to the American Red Cross at Washington, and they would send a package. There was only one lad in my company who had his addressed to Washington - Poor chap! He turned his letter into my office when I was not around. So, I am seeing it to people at home - along with my own slip - for I know that you would enjoy sending a package to the boy, and I can't imagine anything more horrible than to receive only an impersonal bundle from even so
excellent an organization as the Red Cross at a time when all the others were looking for things from home. Perhaps Elizabeth and Mary might write him a letter - explaining about the package - for I haven't told him anything about stealing his slip. (Don't think he even know my name. Calle me "Sergeant"!) The schools - all three - finished up the course last night, and believe me, I'm glad. Of course - it will only be a few days until another outfit show up, and there are about a thousand more to be told gently but firmly not to keep a foot on the
clutch a run into a tree - but it will be a new groupe. And as with new faces will come new problems and new difficulties - it will be more enjoyable - even if only for variety's sake. I'm gradually becoming reconciled to Decize. (It can't be helped, and to feel bad is of about as much as the old one - head and stone wall. I suppose that we are really accomplishing quite a necessary and valuable work; at least I try to think so. No one can tell a rookie just how it's along except one who has been up front himself
I suppose - but - gee - I wish they hadn't picked me. (Raymond just brought me a few violets to place in the letter - Which I have done). "Tad" Robertson has been sent down here to work in the office - and now wishes that he had never seen a typewriter. I expect that before long Coburn Herndon will be drafted as well - and then a valient trio of warriors will be reunited again. You might suggest to Mrs. Harmman (or have E- do so) that about the only opportunity I still have to cross the w.k. Rhine will come long after it ceases to have any grave military portence. (That's about right - isn't it?) In short - it seems
that my only acquaintance with it will be to teach the truck drivers how to "camioneer", who carry supplies to the army of occupation. It rather looks that way - (Does Min H - still give her "bridges" parties?) Everything comes to an end - even this - except the guerre. Say howdy to my good friends near home for me. With my love to you and Dad. Ned.
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Date||October 22, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I