Letter from AG at Camp Grant to LL in Ripon, 10/5/1917

Camp Grant, Ill.

Oct. 5, 1917

Miss Lora Lang

Ripon, Wis.

My dear Friend Lora:

I received your letter of the 4th in which you inquire why you have not heard from me. By the tone of your letter I can imagine how you have been feeling because you did not hear from me. I hardly can think up an excuse and in fact I have none, only that my time has been taken up with a lot of new and strange things here. Yes, I said that I would write and that your letters would be welcome, and I will renew that statement, and assure you that it is my intention to answer all letters. Do not feel that you have offended me. No, you could not offend me. Since receiving yours of the 19th of September and up to about 4 days ago I have been feeling rather miserable from the effects of the vaccination, and three inoculations for the prevention of smallpox and typhoid fever. That has had something to do with the delay in not answering your letter. I want you to feel as if you received this letter in due time, and for all this I beg your most humble pardon.

I will now answer your letter of the 19th. You are glad that I can get a position. Since writing you I have received my appointment and am now a non-commissioned officer bearing the name of Mess Sergeant. You seem to be very sympathetic and fear that we do not get enough to eat. Uncle Sam is pretty good to us and feeds us well. As far as I am concerned, I can eat what I wish as the position I hold now puts me at the head of things in the line of eats. I am boss in the kitchen and dining room and I prepare the bill of affairs or menu for the cooks. The cooks are all under me, tho I have a lot to learn from them. Yes, I have to learn to cook. The most important of my duties are in seeing that there is a supply of food on hand. I have 185 men to feed and it takes a lot of food.

Sundays we have a special dinner. Next Sunday we will have chicken and ice cream and cake for dessert. I invite you to Sunday dinner in Battery A. If you were here this evening (I am sitting in the kitchen alone and writing this) we could have a fine feed as Minnie sent me a box filled with cookies and cakes, and say they are good, – the cake also. I am again reminded of the cake deal on the way home from the Dells. Wonder when we can make another trip like that. (?) I think the next trip I take will be a long one and it will be on a boat too, but not on the Wisconsin River. It will be on a big boat and a big pond. There will be no blow outs until we get to Berlin, Germany, and there we will have a blow out at the expense of the Kaiser.

I am getting used to camp life now and do not mind it. However, there are so many things to learn for me in my new position, and I have very little time to think of where I really am. I was down town yesterday afternoon and ordered the ice cream for Sunday, and while there I also took in a show. Camp is about 5 miles from Rockford, and I am about two miles from the edge of camp. So I am about seven miles from town and to get there one must hire a taxi. In a few weeks the street car line will be completed and one can then get to town quicker than now. Taxi is quick enough but there are so many that want to go and the taxis do not go around.

When the boys all get here there will be over 40,000 boys in this camp. A regular good sized city. To give you an idea of how large it is, we’ll say, that it is six miles square, or 24 miles around the outside of camp. There are 32 miles of paved street in camp. It is laid out the same as a city with blocks and streets, electric light and water works, and steam heat in the Barracks. However the plumbing is not finished as yet and just now we have no heat. We could use a little just now, and that is the reason I am sittng at the kitchen table near the range, writing this letter.

I will close for now and trust I may hear from you again, and let me assure you that I shall try to answer sooner next time. I can see by your last letter that my delay has bro’t you disappointment for which I am very sorry. I met your acquaintance last summer and was glad indeed to do so, only I’d liked to have met you sooner. I saw you about 12 years ago.

With best wishes believe me I am

Your Sincere Friend


Third of April, Symphony Forgotten

Sit down at the keyboard right here
To reconstruct the lines of April third.
The lines of April third, the lines of April third,
To reconstruct the lines of April third.

It works that way at the piano sometimes.
You think you can’t remember the melody,
Then the notes come back to you,
Your fingers know which keys to touch
You wonder how that melody could stay
In some mysterious place for so long.

Writing is like a melody, it stays inside you.
In a long, rich piece the interplay of thoughts
Resembles a symphony, many instruments at play.
Not like the simple notes of Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Strands of thought weave their own meanings.

Government Goes After Two Activists for Openness

Bradley Manning: A Window Into The American Soul – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Glenn Greenwald, the constitutional attorney, concludes that “the US establishment journalists have enabled the government every step of the way.” The presstitutes hold “themselves out as adversarial watchdogs, but nothing provokes their animosity more than someone who effectively challenges government actions.” Greenwald praises Bradley Manning who “has bestowed the world with multiple vital benefits. But as his court martial finally reaches its conclusion, one likely to result in the imposition of a long prison term, it appears his greatest gift is this window into America’s political soul.” The window into America’s political soul reveals total evil. The US government constitutes Satan’s Chosen People.  Nothing else can be said for those who rule and oppress us.

From earlier:

Let’s look at some similarities between the Dreyfus affair and the Bradley Manning affair. All of you know the basics of these two stories, don’t you? No? We’ll have to go over some similarities and differences in another post!


Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer, Found Dead Amid Prosecutor ‘Bullying’ In Unconventional Case

The federal criminal justice system has another suicide to its name, The feds couldn’t get Julian Assange, but they did have access to Aaron Swartz. If you have any doubt about what the feds will do to someone they regard as a threat, you’ve seen it. Some call the federal prosecutor’s behavior in this case bullying. Others would call it tyranny. The federal government didn’t go after Aaron Swartz because he violated JSTOR’s terms of service. It threatened him with thirty years in jail on thirteen felony counts because he was a troublemaker, and they wanted to stop him for good.

Everyone needs to stand up for underdogs like Bradley Manning and Aaron Swartz. They cannot protect themselves from the government alone. If we don’t stand up for them, we will find that we’re next.

Long Trail Hiking Log – Initial Entry

I hope that my desire to keep a log of Long Trail adventures does not diminish the fun of the adventures!

Foray Number 0

Day trip a couple of years ago. Drove to SW Vermont via Massachusetts Route 2. Left about 2:30 pm and arrived about 5:00. Hiked north from Vermont Route 9, two miles or a little less, then hiked back. Discovered that the Long Trail is not a particularly easy trail.

Not hiked: the segment between the Massachusetts state line and Vermont Route 9, where I parked.

Foray Number 1 – 2012

First backpacking trip on the trail. Start at the Canadian border and head south.

Sunday, March 25

Drive to St. Johnsbury. Stay overnight at the Comfort Inn.

Monday, March 26

Drive from St. Johnsbury to trail head for Journey’s End connecting trail. Hike into Journey’s End Shelter about three quarters of a mile. Set up your base camp at the shelter and scout all about.

Tuesday, March 27

Linger at base camp. Depart shelter for northern terminus of the Long Trail at the Canadian border, then points south. Climbed Carleton Mountain, then Burnt Mountain. Camped on the west side of Burnt Mountain because I could not find Shooting Star Shelter in the failing light. Conditions wintry.

Wednesday, March 28 (Rob’s Birthday!)

Hike down Burnt Mountain to Vermont 105. Follow Vermont 105 east to disused road and a network of snowmobile trails in the east side of Carleton Peak. Intended to go around Carleton Mountain, but chose a snowmobile trail that took me near the top of the peak instead. Rejoined Long Trail just short of the peak, climbed over the mountain and on to the Canadian border. From there hiked the Journey’s End connecting trail back to the base camp at Journey’s End shelter. Spent the night at the shelter. Too wet to make a fire.

Thursday, March 29

Pack up and hike from Journey’s End Shelter to the Versa parked at the head of the connecting trail. Always good to see the car! Adopted my Granville Bennett driving style to get through some rough patches on the back road. Hooked up with Vermont 100 and drove south all the way to Waterbury. Then took Interstates 89 and 93 back to Boston.

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This article explains how bloggers can help readers find their posts.

Annals of the Greffenii, Twenty Eleven

Hi Everyone,

Our family has experienced some big changes this year – at the extremes of happy and sad, and in-between, too.

Rob and Jess were married this year in Chicago, where Jess grew up and where her parents still live. Leslie wore non-smearing mascara, which weathered severe tests. It was a wonderful wedding, if also a little bitter-sweet for us: Rob left home years ago, but the wedding marked the formal end of his childhood. It was hard to say goodbye to that. Fortunately, Jess is as intelligent and fun and caring as she is beautiful. We love her and feel blessed to have another daughter (and sister).

This spring also, Steve resigned his position as technical publications manager at Conexant. Shortly thereafter, he went to work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In one of life’s surprises, he joined a team that will design a prototype of the Massachusetts healthcare initiative for use by the other forty-nine states – from printer chips to health care reform in one short summer!

Emily, 13, still rides horses and dances competitively. She loves school, but acknowledges it would be much better without the classes.

Sadly, Steve’s dad died of multiple myeloma in June, at age 86, two months after Rob and Jess were married.  Especially when considered in retrospect, his attendance at their wedding, involving several hours of traveling cramped up in a car, was heroic. His immune system was weak and his doctors advised him to avoid crowds, but he would not be stopped.

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming year!

Leslie, Steve, Rob, and Emily

Wedding Photograph, April 9, 2011: Thanks to the strong young men present, we rode high above the crowd during one of the dances. Leslie smiles, but holds onto her chair for dear life. Note Steve, opposite, triumphant.

Holiday Photograph, December 27, 2011. Top Row, from left: Ellen, Willem, Laura, Emily, Leslie, David. Bottom Row, from left: Jess, Rob, Steve.