Here’s another letter addressed to Esther Brittsan. I haven’t a clue how I can find out the story behind this. Perhaps they were staying with Jim and Ann Collester for a time and Jimmie just decided to address the letters this way. Since Jimmie and the addressees are all deceased it would be difficult to ascertain. Apparently Jimmie Lee Collester, at this time, also did not enjoy the foggy coastal weather of California. The interesting thing is that he later moved to a not too dissimilar climate in Oceano, CA.
Written on Back of Env: “P.S. – I saw Norm today”
Dear Bob, Esther & all,
Our Company is separated no as about 10 or 15 (I’m one) of us have to stay back from the Basic Training Station for K.P. Monday. (3:00 AM or so)
The weather is just plain crappy with fog, dampness, and cold breezes off of the ocean. I am still at the Induction center, or whatever it is.
I hope you are fine. It has no been hard for me to get up a 4:30 AM.
The chow is good and so are most of the officers, but I never will care much for this type of a life. The worst is yet to come though, in Basic. I am sitting out in front of my barracks (#2137) writing on my knee.
It is about noon and I am done with chow.
In the part of my company that left, were two of my best friends, John somebody and Clarence Smith. John is an ex-marine & ex-sailor and I sat up all night in his compartment on the train we came down on. We each had our own compartments with bed, toilet, sink, cabinets, air conditioning and so on. Smith reminds me so very much of Don Keeney, his face, stance and build, and even his voice. It was almost as he were here.
There are guys ranging from old ex-army boys to real found guys. I have met some real dumb guys. We got our Typhoid & tetanus shots, one in each arm at the same time and you couldn’t even feel ‘em. (until now) My right leg is sure sore around the ankle from my boot. I’ll be glad to get home now, no telling how I’ll feel in eight weeks. We got our Dog tags and $20.00 yesterday.
(Doodle?) Love J. Lee
Here’s the first piece of mail which was received from my Father when he was inducted into the Army. It was a pre-printed postcard which the soldier simply filled out to be sent home. Interestingly, this was not addressed to my Dad’s parents, but rather to his aunt Esther.
Aug 3 1954
I have arrived safely at Fort Ord, Calif. During the next few days I will be given tests that will determine my assignment and the type of training I will receive. To avoid possible error in delivery of mail, please wait until I inform you of my assignment and address before writing.
Fort Ord, California.