Mr. and Mrs. Braithwaite Backus,
Bald Buzzard Ridge Mountainville, KY
Dear Ma and Pa:
Am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Army beats working for old man Minch. Tell them to join up quick before all the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m.( but am getting so I like to sleep late. All you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things -- no hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. You got to shave, but it is not bad in warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, beef, ham steak, fried eggplant, pie and regular food, but you can always sit between two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon, when you get fed.
It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route marches," which, the Sgt. says, are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys all get sore feet and we ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but awful flat.
The Sgt. is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school board. Cols. and Gens. just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.
I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why, the bull's-eye is near big as a chipmonk and don't move and it ain't shooting at you, like the Higsett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it, you don't even load your own cartridges they come in boxes.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellows get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving son, Zeb
P.S. Speaking of shooting, enclosed is $200 for barn roof and ma's teeth. The city boys shoot craps, but not very good.
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