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usmc-docs  ē  emil thomas letters P. 2
personal letters OF USMC Private emil thomas of ohio TO his FIANC…E BEATRICE
 
P . F . C .     E M I L     " P O R T E R "     T H O M A S ,     U . S . M . C .      L E T T E R S

1.  HOMEPAGE & CRITICAL INTRO

2.  BEFORE NICARAGUA
1923-1927

3.  BEFORE
NICARAGUA

1927-1928

4.  IN NICARAGUA
APRIL 1928óMARCH 1929

5.  AFTER NICARAGUA
APRILóJULY 1929

     This is the second of five web pages devoted to the personal letters of Private First Class Emil "Porter" Thomas of Cleveland, Ohio to his fiancťe Beatrice before, during, and after the year he was stationed in Nicaragua (April 1928óMarch 1929) ó and the first of four web pages housing the collection.   The original letters reside in Alden Library of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  All text and images of the letters © Alden Library.   (Right: US Marines marching north to supervise the November 1928 elections, much as Emil Thomas did in April 1928.  From the US National Archives.)

     Pasted below is pasted the full text of the first 107 letters, organized chronologically, taking things to the end of September 1926.  Select photographs of the original letters are inserted into the text (in JPEG files), especially when P.F.C. Emil "Porter" Thomas speaks directly to issues of overseas interventions and race.  Click on thumbnails for full images.

     I thank Thomas W. Walker for alerting me to the existence of these letters, and especially Douglas McCabe of the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections of Alden Library for his kind assistance during my research, including sharing the Library's transcription of every one of the collection's 331-some letters.  I am also indebted to the Dick Joyce Endowment at Lebanon Valley College for the financial assistance that made this research possible.

Cleveland Ohio April 4, 1923

Miss Beatrice Keeran;

Dear Beatrice at last I have found time to write you a few lines and even now my time is limited to eight minutes. I did not write for lack of time & paper until today and do you know what Im having done Im having a cute little picture frame made to fit that picture of you. Ive been thinking of you day and night since Ive last seen you and that seems like a month and while I was thinking of you and wondering whether you would ever turn me down because Im not fast enough or something like that I made up a little poem here it is
Tis sweet to love but oh how bitter
To love a girl and then not git Ďer

isnt that nice I was just hoping it would never come true in our case dont you. Well Bee Ive got about one minute to get the Dinky so I can meet the old man on time so I am closing with one X fore Growler and XXXXXXXXXXXX for you

I remain Your Friend
(Porter)
Emil Thomas

P.S. Excuse the Scribble drop me a line when youve got time

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Oct. 14, 1923

Dear Bee:

Please explain the cold reception

Porter

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Sept 7 1925 Post Band Quantico Va

Dear Friend

You may have forgotten me a long time ago but I havent. Ill tell you who I am Im Emil Thomas I was looking through a book of mine today and found your address in it I have tried for a long time to get it but never succeeded but now I am glad I found it Im at the Marine Barracks here Im a Marine since June 15 I left Cleveland that day I tried to see you or get your address before I left but couldnít I joined one day and left the next day for Parris Island in South Carolina where I put in 10 weeks of hard training and now Im in Quantico Virginia I am hoping your folks wont care about you getting letters from an old School mate Im taking a chance and writing at any rate

How are you and everybody else up there? I want you to write me a nice letter and tell me if it will be allright to write again but above all things donít you forget to write Im closing now so you may address my mail to

Private Emil Thomas
Post Band
Quantico Virginia

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Sept 11 1925 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dear Bee:

I just got your letter today and it sure cheered me up. You know it gets pretty lonesome down here some times when I donít hear from anybody at home

You told me you just got back from your vacation Im glad you had a nice time you say you saw the Ohio State Fair. I never was at the Fair but Ive heard a lot about it

You want to know about the Marines Well Im a marine so Im going to tell you what I wh went through I joined the Marines on June 11, 1925 Left Cleveland on June 15 at 9 PM got into Cincinnati at 6:00 AM on June 16 traveled through Kentucky Tennessee and Alabama and got to Atlanta Georgia and stayed over night and left the next morning at six and went on through Georgia and on to South Carolina from through Carolina to the Atlantic coast to Port Royal then we took the Govt. Ferry across to Parris Island we put in a whole week at the Receiving Barracks and went over to the East Wing where we drilled for three weeks more and all the time we were under quarantine and taking inoculations in our arm with a hypodermic needle about 4 inches long and our arms sure were sore we finaly got through there then we went to the West Wing where we did 1 solid week of K.P. Duty that is Kitchen Police or Messmen Cooking and waiting on the tables Then for the next four weeks we shot the Rifle Range and all this while we were nothing but recruits we had to say (sir) even to the corporals but after we shot the Range we were transferred here to Quantico and now were not recruits anymore and we have it easy here we have good eats to ice cream twice a week we have cake and pie and everything. Ive got it easy now I blow a trombone now and I practice from 8:30 AM till 10 AM then Im off until 8:30 next morning this week Im shooting the Range but then I wont shoot again for a year and all Ill have to do will be to practice from 8:30 till 10 and then eat sleep and eat some more

You wrote about the Shenendoah well I knew one of the Fellows as got killed on it there were two men that were transferred from the marines to the Navy and were put on the Shenendoah The Guard at its hanger were Marines that I knew stationed at Lakehurst New Jersey Im closing now so I can go and eat so I Remain

Semper Fidelis
Porter

My address Private Emil G Thomas Post Band Quantico

Write Soon

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Sept 20 1925 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dear Friend,

In my last letter to you I told you that I was shooting the range. Didnít I? Well Im done with the Rifle Range now and I made (Marksman) by a score of 262 points. Next week I go out and shoot the Pistol Range I hope to make as good on the Pistol Range as I did with the Rifle.

I saw a good picture last night the name of it is (Grounds for Divorce) and it sure is a good picture. We have a free picture show here every night but Friday and then we have a free dance and people come from Washington D.C. to attend. The Govt. runs a special train to & from Washington every night people coming to & from the shows and dances donít even need a ticket. Dont you wish you lived in Washington?

How are you and your folks. How do you like school this term. What subjects are you taking up. Im taking a course to only mine is from the (Marine Corps Institute) Im taking up Railway Postal Clerk.

Im getting a few pictures made that I took on my trip to Panama & the tropics Ive got a picture of a saloon where they sell the real stuff at 60₵ per qt. and its not poison either. Ive also got pictures on Board the ship USS Henderson, the ship I went on she made another trip after I got here & she pulls in at Quantico again today at 11 oclock A.M. so Im going down & see her dock so Ill close & hope you will write

Your Schoolmate
Porter
Emil

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[ca. 23 September 1925] Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dear Friend:

Ive got a few minutes left till lights go out around here so Im going to try to pencil you a few lines

Do you remember I said in one of my other letters that I may some up to Cleveland some time in eh near Future? Well I was wondering if you could let me come & see you when I do come up you know its so long since I last saw you. Id like also to get a picture of you to keep on my shelf here. So if you have a spare snapshot of yourself it would make me very happy if you would send it to me

How is Techs Football team coming out Are they doing any fancy playing.

How are you getting along in your violin are you practicing very regular. I donít get any to much time to practice my trombone because Im taking a course in (Railway Postal Clerk) and it takes a lot of study then to Im studying Phsycology and its pretty deep and requires lots of study Then I play the Tenor Banjo and I like to practice it once in a while then Ive got to get in some time on the Trombone so you see Im always pretty busy Im going to close now before the lights go out. I hope you will write soon and maybe even send me a picture so I remain

Until Me Meet Again

Your Schoolmate
Porter

Emil

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Oct 6 1925 Post Band Quantico Va

Dear Friend:

I just got your letter of October 5 and I was really glad to hear from you. It isnít that Im lonesome because I havenít anything to do because I have Ive got to get some practice on the Banjo also Ive got to get more practice on the trombone than we get at the school but Im caught up on my course now so Ive got a little time to write about 7 or 8 letters Ive caught up so far that all the time I need to knock off of my writing now yet is enough time to take a shave. So much for that.

You told me about Techs first Football game and also asked about the Quantico Marines that played the Carrol U Team last Saturday it sure was our team and the Band School was supposed to go along but in the last minute they told us we were going to stay right here

You told me you havent got a decent picture to send to me. Well then send me one that is otherwise.

Im not going up to Cleveland now until Thanksgiving or Christmas.

You said you would like to get an instrument to play in the Band. Dont
Do it unless its drums because it takes so long to get hard lips unless they are very thin and even then its pretty hard to get up a decent lip. Ive been blowing for quite a while now but I havent got a hard lip yet and dont expect to for about 3 months yet.

Your imagination of Pearl Rd is pretty good but it makes me think of the Rolly Coaster at Euclid Beach with a landslide over it.

Ive shot the range again down here and I made Expert Rifleman this time and Marksman on the Pistol the Rifle medal is nice it looks like this [drawing of medal] sure looks pretty on the Blue Blouses

I wish you could see how studious I look when I am studying my Postal Clerk course there are some words there that can be spelled in fifty different ways and weve got to be able to spell them right for the Civil Service Test so weve got to study Ill close and hope you write soon
Yours As Ever

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June 9, 1926 Post Band Quantico

Beatrice:

I havenít written to you in a long time now Beatrice and I suppose you think I am a very poor specimen of a friend but in spite of everything I havenít forgotten you. In fact I tried to get in touch with you last month when I was at home but when I got in front of your house your father was in the yard and I was kind of bashfull about coming in so I just left the old machine go right ahead. Maybe your father remembers seeing me drive past for I was in uniform and he saw me because he looked right at me. I was driving by in a mud colored Ford Coupe. You just ask him and see if he donít remember. Im very sorry I couldnít get in touch with you but my friends deserted me and wouldnt deliver a message no matter how much I urged them

Well Beatrice, how are you anyway? Are you still going to West Tech? I know without asking that you are still playing the violin because I know you liked it. I brought my violin and also my mandolin along when I came back from furlough but Im not putting in much time on either because Im playing a (B[flat]) clarinet in the Band now and I put in all my spare time on it, and goodness knows Ive got plenty of spare time Im on duty one week and off duty 2 weeks. Then to Im not only trying to learn something so I can better myself when I get discharged. Ive already completed a Postal Clerk Course and graduated with an average of 98% and now Im taking a course in Architectural and Mechanical drafting so I wont have to go back to my old knitting trade when I get out of here. It seems like I was starting to get sensible since I came into the Marines. Do you remember Beatrice how I used to hate to study when I went to school? I just couldnít get my mind on it I was to flighty, but I think Im starting to come to my senses now.

Well Beatrice I donít know if you can read my writing but I hope you will excuse it and forgive me for not writing oftener and I hope you will write sooner than I did and tell me all about yourself.

School Mate

Pvt. Emil G. Thomas

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June 22 1926 Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter this morning and I was very glad to hear from you. I will consider myself bawled out for not writing and I will try to do better in the future.

I am very glad to hear that I can come over the next time and believe me I intend to, but as for your seeing me in uniform well you didnít miss very much because it is the same old Emil in or out of uniform.

Now I want to know something Bee. Why do you say that I should have seen the pretty dresses at the graduation you know your self that I wouldnít have noticed them if I had been there. I never used to did I?

Im glad to hear that you are in the orchestra yet because I donít think there is anything more wonderful than music and I intend to stick by my music just as long as I can.

I donít have very much fun now anymore, only fun I get now is breaking out a couple of times a week to play for some one of the notables whoís name appears in (Whoís Who) We have dances here every second Friday and shows every night but I donít go. They are all free but thatís just why I donít go because I donít get a kick out of anything free and there are to many women at the dances to suit me.

Im not a bit surprised to hear that you donít believe that I study and Iím not a bit surprised that you want proof, but really its true. Ask my sister if you ever see her and if you donít believe her take a run out to the Appalachian Lumber Co some night and ask my father he will show you my diploma because he has the diploma. Now I suppose you will want to know just what came over me to make me study all of a sudden but I will tell you that to. I just simply decided not to waste the time that I put into the Marine Corps and Ive got a year in now already and I donít think it is wasted wither. I learned everything from pealing potatoes and sewing on buttons up to a how to fly an aeroplane and why.

Well Bee I cant say when I will be back again but if I am still in Quantico at Christmas time I will most probably be up then for about ten or 15 days. I wont say for sure though but if I do why you can expect to see me.

Now you want to know how things look around here. Well the trees grow the same way as up there and water donít run uphill here anymore than it does in Cleveland. Ill say they have some nice horses here and I wouldnít mind owning one either. We see all the baseball games around here if we want to or not because we have to furnish the music for them and they arenít so far between either and the same during the football season. The boating isnít so very good around here because we arenít allowed to row on certain parts of the river but the fishing is excellent I caught a turtle a week ago Sunday whose shell was 22 inches wide and almost 25 inches long. I was fishing last night to and caught a few perch and a few catfish we also catch a lot more of them than we like to take off the hook because they are so hard to handle

Now listen to me Bee donít ever blame me for writing these letters in pencil because I cant help it, the only time I can write in ink is when they donít forget to fill the ink bottles in the hostess house. You know that is sort of a club house for us and if our folks come to visit us why they stay at the Hostess House and weve got everything just like home there only they forget to fill the ink bottles every once in a while they to sometimes I have enough time to write a letter but wouldnt have enough time to go over there and write it.

Well Beatrice Im going to close and hope you can read enough of this letter to write me an answer soon

As Ever
Porter

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July 8 [1926] Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter this morning and I was very glad to hear from you. I just got back to the barracks in time to get your letter. I had been in the hospital and just got out. In all the time I was in there I didnít get a letter and the days sure went slow. I think I told you in my last letter that I was shooting the rifle range Well I was but they shot for record today and seeing as I was in the hospital I couldnít shoot so now I am not even worrying because when the next bunch goes out I will get my chance to shoot over and qualify.

No Beatrice I never go to the dances although I admitt I like to dance but the girls that come to a dance in a service camp arenít the right sort and so far I have succeeded in going down the straight and narrow path and I donít want to get off the path after following it for over a year and as for the show I go once in a while but I think I can count on my fingers how many shows I have seen since Im in the Marine Corps.

You say you know that I didnít used to like to study and I will admit that I didnít but I kind of got to thinking of the future and Im sure I donít want to go back to my old trade because there is no future to it and not enough money in it.

I go dishing here once in a while to but I donít get much time for that but I sure like it. I caught a big turtle while I was watching my line one day he just swam right up to the dock and I grabed for his tail but caught his head by mistake ang and I promptly took my hand away when he snaped at it but I didnít want to lose him so I grabed his tail and pulled him out and we had turtle soupe in the galley the next night.

I did take some pictures from the USS Henderson and also on shore when I made that tropical cruise last year but I sent them home Now I cant take anymore because someone liked my camera better than I did so they swiped it or rather swiped them because Ive had 3 of them since Ive been in the Marines and Im going to wait a little while before I get another but I will get those pictures if you want to see them real bad I mean the ones Ive got at home.

Yes Beatrice I often think of WIH but when I do I get sore because I think of what I could have learned there and didnít

Well Beatrice I think I will have to close this letter now because Im running out of paper so I hope to hear from you soon

As Ever
Porter

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August 5 [1926] Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter this morning and was glad to hear from you again. I was just going to give up hope when your letter came I didnít get time to write sooner or this letter would be half way there by now, as it is this letter wont even get mailed until tomorrow

I havenít been doing very much of anything lately but I guess I better get over that idea pretty quick because for the next few weeks the Post Band is going to be so busy that we will be lucky if we get enough time for show and sleep we are going on a trip next week so it may be a while before you hear from me but I will write when I get a chance and you may write as much as you can to this same address because my mail will follow me everywhere I go You asked me how I was coming along with my studies but I hardly know myself Beatrice because my drafting course has been changed to (electrical engineering) and my first lesson hasnít arrived yet so you see I donít really know how Im making out. Im still with the band as you see by my address and every day I am playing better and learning more about music and when this cruise is done I expect I will be a bandmaster. I am going to the tropics soon and if that isnít before Xmas then I will come home then but if it is before then why I wonít be able to.

I wish you would send me a picture Beatrice (the one in the overalls) Im glad you liked the cherries you picked, and Im glad you are enjoying yourself.

Well Beatrice I must close now as it is nearly time for taps to blow and weve got to be in the bunk then so Im hoping you have a good time on your vacation and at the Ohio State Fair, and I hope you will write soon because my mail follows me everywhere

As Ever
Porter

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August 18 1926 Post Band

Dear Bee:

I received your letter yesterday but I was kept so busy that I havent been able to answer it sooner. Im glad to hear that you are off on your vacation Bee because it sure feels good to get one of these things

Yes Beatrice my new course is very interesting especially the part called Menswration and Formulas and also Trigonometry and Graphs Oh Yes! But as hard as I find it it still is interesting

As for my music Bee Im alright in that. I got in the symphony orchestra yesterday as a violinist and Im still going strong on the clarinet. I didnít get much practice yet today only 2 Ĺ hours on the clarinet and none of the violin yet but Ill make up for that tonight like last night I made up for lost time in the clarinet from 3 P.M. till 7 P.M. and from 7 till 9 P.M. on the violin

I know how you must feel with sunburned shoulders but I donít ever get them they donít make the sun hot enough to blister me anyway. Talking about swiming I swam from Virginia clean over into Maryland the other day and after a little rest I swam back. But you see the river is a little less than a mile and a quarter wide where I swam it and very smooth. It took me 1 hour 10 minutes over and 1 hour 25 minutes to come back because I get winded so easy and so I had to stop and float for about 10 or 15 minutes every once in a while to get my wind.

I wish I were with you now Bee Ill bet we sure could have some good times because I also like swiming and tennis and horse back riding etc.

Well Beatrice how are you anyway? Are you enjoying your vacation etc. I hope you have some better weather than weve got today because its rained most all day.

Im not sure if Ive got the name of the town right on this letter but Im going to try it and see if it gets to you

Well Bee I guess this is all Ive got to say for the present so Ill close

Semper Fidelis
Emil

P.S. hope you can read my scrawl and excuse the pencil E.

Thanks for the picture E.

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August 30 1926 Post Band Quantico Va
Dear Bee:

I received your letter yesterday and I was very glad to hear from you. Im glad to hear that you are having a good time on your vacation, because you know the old saying that we only live once. Then to if we donít enjoy ourselves while we care young why Im sure that we wont be able to as we get older. That is the while trouble with me, I take life to serious.

No Beatrice Trigonometry doesnt exactly spell misery for me although it did mean a lot of study and it wasnít so easy to catch onto either but Ive got my Trigonometry examinations sent in now so all Im waiting for is the return of my papers to see if I passed it

You seemed to be quite surprised to know that I can swim but did you ever hear of a fellow that was brought up near a swimming hole who couldnít swim? I used to like it a lot but my wind is so very short now that if I swim any distance at all I get all winded. I guess I used to smoke to much but I will get over that now because I am cutting down on my smoking slow but sure.

Yes Beatrice I did notice the moon on the 22nd. It just happened that we were playing a concert over in the Gymnasium that night and my clarinet was broken all week so I got out of playing, and went down to the river and was laying there wondering if that moon was shining on you.

Talking about scares Bee. If you were a Marine there wouldnít be anything could scare you at night because there isnt anything made that makes enough noise to wake up a Marine once he gets to sleep. When they want to wake up a Marine why they just tip the bunk over on us or something. So if you want to be able to sleep at night without getting scared by screech owls why you better dress like a man and Join the Marines.

Say Bee, are you sure that the fellow that drives the milk truck is your uncle? Im going to get real jealous here one of these days So do I wish I was up there with you but that is out of the question for the present time anyway. So far Im not on this tropical detail but Im liable to be put on in the last minute. But if not and if Im here around Xmas yet why you can expect me over to see you.

We havent much of a band here right now, weve only got 62 pieces but Ive seen it as high as 119 pieces. There is no most popular instrument in a band because one instrument is just as important as the other and the second and third clarinet or cornet or alto or Bass or Oboe or bassoon or sax or any other instrument is just as important as the solo chair because while the solo man carries the melody it takes the last chair man to play the harmony and the harmony must be there to make the piece sound nice. We play both popular and classical music but most classical music and marches

Well Beatrice let me know before you go home so I will know where you are at and dont forget to write once in a while because I look forward to your letters

Semper Fidelis
Porter

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Sept 7 1926 Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I got you last letter some time ago and answered it but Im not sure whether you are in Pataskala or Cleveland so Im going to send this one to your home then I will at least be sure that one of them will reach you.

Well Bee:, how are you anyway? I suppose your jolly vacation is just about done now Isnít it? I hope you had a pleasant time at least.

I suppose you have heard that there is a football game between John Carrol University and the all Marine team from Quantico and its coming of in Cleveland. I donít know the date because I havenít seen a schedule as yet. The Post Band expects to go along on most of the games this year, but I doubt if we will go along up there although there is a chance that we may go and I sure would like to although I suppose it would be just my luck to get left out.

Im not sure if Joe told you this before but a tropical detail left here Friday and I wasnít on it so if everything goes right and if I can get a leave or furlough I will come up over the holidays so you want to be sure and save me a date, because Im pretty sure Ill come.

I havenít been doing much except study lately so I havenít much to tell you so I will close this missil and hope to get an answer soon

Porter

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Sept 11 [1926] Quantico Virginia

Dear Bee:

I received your letter several days ago but I didnít answer it till today. I donít know why unless it was just because I was tired and wanted to sleep because that is what I have been doing for the last three days.

Do you really think that you would like the Marine Corps if you were a man? Do you know what we have to forfeit for four years. We have to leave all the pleasure of a home and all the pleasures of loved ones, if we have them, and a fellow has to nearly give up his girl because no decent fellow would expect a girl to wait four years for him. Then to we dont get our food and cloths for doing nothing. Men in the line companys work and bandsmen have to practice and some of this isnít 8 hour days either although it is in this band of course we all expect to give up something when we enlist and then it does some good to. It builds a man physicaly and about the moral part that is up to the man himself. It depends on how much backbone heís got because there is plenty of chance wither way Do you still think you would like it? Of course if you got into a soft job like in this band or something it would be different but every body isnít lucky.

You went to the Ohio State Fair this summer and Im going to the county Fair across the river in Maryland this afternoon. We are going to furnish some of the music, one of the numbers is Tschaikowskyís, (March Slave) then selections from ďMartha,Ē and ďMaritania,Ē ďWm TellĒ and ďPyre Gynt SuiteĒ and some fox trots etc

Well Bee if I want to get some chow before I leave Ill have to hurry although Ive got loads to tell you

I hope you will excuse the scribble and answer soon.

Remember Me Ever As
Porter

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Sept 17 1926 Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter today and I was sure glad to hear from you. Your letter was the first real exciting thing that has happened since last Saturday night at the Fair. Im writing first about the thing that you asked me last in your letter. Yes we had a good time alright, all the band but about 4 men got dead drunk right after concert that night and we sure did have our hands full trying to get them back down the boat and I wasnít any to strong in the knees myself so you see all but us four had a real good time and we didnít sit down and cry either. The men that were sober all got invitations to dinner from about 5 different girls, and as my bunky and I are a little girl shy we didnít want to go so we hid under the exhibit hall.

I wish I were in school again and knew what I know now. You can bet your sweet life that I would study. Id tale up all the subjects you have including special sewing and Iíd take up about 7 more subjects.

Im sorry to hear that you cant get orchestra on your programme because I just feel it in my bones that you are going to lose interest in music if you donít get orchestra and you have such a beautiful start on it and it sure is a nice study.

You say, that your first football game comes off in about a week, Didnít you? Our first one donít come off till the second of October but then they will come close together. Did you ever see a picture of our mascot. He is a big dog and about 40 years older than I am. I am enclosing a picture of him that was clipped from a Sunday paper. They call him (Sergeant Jiggs) in the paper but his real rating is (Sergeant Major) he wears a helmet a campaign hat a blue blouse a Khaki blouse and he wears them and he has gold braided (Sgt. Major) chevrons on them all. When he is dressed up in blues we have a little lad here that belongs to some officer and he gets dressed in full blues with white belt and white gloves just like we do and he leads Jiggs all around at the head of the parade and all over the sides of the field while the game is in In this clipping he is shown sitting on the bats at one of the games in Philadelphia

I suppose you will be wondering how the deuce I expect you to read this scrawl but I never was a good writer and besides this pen is simply rotten (good excuse) I donít know how I like your pen Beatrice as I havent seen it yet but I do like the way it wrote that letter you sent me and I only hope it keeps up the good work and dont get tired, of course I also hope that you keep up the good work and write as often or oftener than you have been doing

I have joined a debating club to waste a couple of nights a week and Im learning a lot from it. Another fellow and myself were to debate last night and the subject was (Resolved that the world of color will within the next century engage in war with the white nations) and we fliped a coin just before to see which side we would take and we took negative and the other fellow was to get the rebuttal and he got rattled and tacked on the wrong side and his rebuttal was the same so I debated 3 men alone and lost they got 2 votes to every one of mine

Iíll close now and say the same as you Au Revoir I know its French and your learning so keep it up.

Always Just Porter 

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Sept 27 1926 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter this morning or rather about 10 minutes ago. I am doing detached duty as a visiting bandsman with the 10th Regt. Band, Im going to stay with them for 2 weeks this morning I had to get up at 4:15 A.M. to play a battalion of men down to the boat that left for the tropics and to play the boat out. I got my breakfast in the 10th Regt and then we played colors and Guard Mount and just now got back to find your letter waiting for me. Ive already did one days work today but I canít stop yet because some Marine got killed in an accident so we have to play for his funeral and Formal Guard Mount is a nice formation but not half as nice as a full military funeral and seeing as I like them so much I really wont mind the extra work. My playing with the 10th Regt. Band wont change my address so keep on writing.

You bet your life Tunney won and your bet was good as gold. Why? Because he was a Marine and a Leatherneck and they are a pretty hard thing to keep down in anything. They put up a good honest fight with their fists or in baseball or football or in anything else and you can always bank on a Marine.

Did you think you fooled me with your French in your letter? You didnt though what you wrote means not so good.

You certainly are the first person who ever said our mascot was good looking and I dont blame you for wanting to see him in the daytime although he couldnt bit if he wanted to because heís so old he hasnít any teeth left.

Our first Football game came off Saturday and we walked away with the University of New Hampshire. Weve got another game next Saturday but seeing as Im with the 10th band I dont suppose Ill get to see that one but Ill sure try my best you say you dont like blond curly hair. Well what kind have I got? Do you like my kind? I hope so.

I hope you dont lose interest in your music because it sure is great stuff only music makes more crazy men than anything else if you study it as a profession because youve got to be very exact about every note and how it is hit and youve got to be honest with yourself and do the best that is in you and not get discouraged

Well Beatrice Ive got to get a blouse pressed etc because the funeral is in full Khaki so Ill have to close. I hope you think of me sometimes and will write again soon so Bye Bye

Yours
Porter

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Oct 4 1926 Post Band Quantico

Dear Bee:

I received your letter this morning and I sure was glad to hear from you I really cant guess what I would do if it werenít for your letters You see I donít correspond with my dad very much lately and what I do hear from him is nothing but a growl. Ill tell you why he tried to pick a girl for me and I objected but at the same time did as he said and then she turned out to be crooked and I rubbed it into my dad and told him that he was trying to engage me to a crook and then I told him that I was making my own choice of a girl so now we are both growling You see the only letters I get now are from you and my sister and once in a while one from Erv.

Im sorry to hear that W. Tech came out second with latin but things like that cant be helped We played our second game of the season on Saturday and there was an 80 piece band went along. I was in that 80 pieces to and I donít mean probably and our team made a touchdown in the first 2 minutes of play and the other team was so bad that our coach put in some 2nd team men and some substitutes in the backfield to give them a chance and still we won 27 to 7 and our team didnít exert itself either

Do you call doing duty a visit? I dont. I expect to go to the 10th Regt band for good in a few weeks but Im not sure yet. Ill tell you what a formal Guard mount is. There is a new bunch of men go on guard for every day you know a guard for every post or station or certain territory and and the guard mount is the new guard relieving the old and when it is formal why they have the band and the old and new guards march up on the parade line and present arms and they get their orders of the day and they are told who the new officer of the day is and are inspected then they are taken back and posted or put on their respective posts or beats.

Now for the military funeral. I involuntarily stiffen up a little every time one is mentioned because they are so very stiff and soleman When the body is brought to the chapel the armed troops present arms and everyone else salutes and the band plays ďNearer my God to theeĒ and no organ can sound nicer than this band does on that, then the body is taken in the chapel and the services are held and the band stays out on the street and when the services are over we again paly while the body comes out it is put on a carriage and 8 horses pull it and 8 mounted men guide the horses The band leads the parade and plays a slow funeral march and if any body is on the street when the the thing passes they better stand at attention and salute or they are liable to get locked up

Well Bee I havent been got much more to say and anyway I doubt if you can read this because my writing is so poor and so Im going to close and hope to get some more of your sweet letters soon

Semper Fidelis
Emil

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Oct 13, 1926 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dear Beatrice:

I just got your letter today but I am afraid to answer it today because this is the 13th of the month and thats supposed to be bad luck and I dont want to lose your friendship for anything. I want you to stay Semper Fidelis

I guess you think I dont know what you were writing when you closed your letter in French but I do, it means Your Friend always. Donít It?

You sure got me fooled Bee when you say that you found letters that I wrote you when we went to Tech. I saw so much of you that it wasnít necessary to write but I can still remember how I used to come out to see you and you used to come out every time you heard a whistle. Those were the days alright.

You sure will get a chance to take in a game that our team is playing on the 6th of next month. I have heard some rumors that a 50 piece band goes along to the John Carroll University vs. Marines game which is the one Im talking about. I may get to go if they do take a band but I may get transfered before then, so if I dont get to that game why I guess youíll have to wait till Xmas to see me. Ill sure try to come up next month though. I heard from my sister yesterday and she told me how bad Commerce got beat by John Marshall. I gave her the merry laugh and told her how punk her school is and Im afraid Im going to have a mad sister for a couple of weeks but sheíll get over it. That 97 yd run for a touchdown that Tech half back made must have been pretty exciting, wasnít it?

I sure pity you girls who were initiated last week. I guess you felt like everyone was looking at you all the time. I felt that way when I first went out in my blue uniform but it isnít so bad here as it is in Cleveland where they donít see many marines. I know how it feels to wear something different than someone else.

I dont get much chance to read for pleasure but I do once in a while. Here lately I have been so busy that I havent had much more than a chance to breath. This afternoon I did manage to find enough time to play a few sociable hands of pinochle and its so long since I last played the game that I nearly forgot how to play it. I should be out practicing right now but Ive just got to write this first.

Ive got a couple of pictures of our last game in Washington where we beat King College 27 to 7 and didnít even use our good men. We got beat once since then but only our second team.

I also have a picture of the eighty pieces band that went along but it isnít very good if I can get a better one I will send it to you.

Dont forget now Beatrice tell me if I translated your French correctly if not please tell me what is right

Im going to close this letter and hope you can decipher it and will answer Soon

Lonesome Marine
Porter 

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October 18 [1926] Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

Im writing to you tonight not because I have anything new to tell you but because I have some time that is hanging heavy on my hands.

To start with, I havent done one bit of work today except to play colors this morning and guard mount so I havent did a thing worthy of mention since 9 oclock this morning, only to eat, read, play a game of pinochle and to think, and when I think, -- -- well you can just bank on it that something is going to happen. I dont know what it is going to be but I feel in my bones that its going to happen.

I read a book here a few days ago by Henry C. Rowland, the title is ďOf Clear IntentĒ and I liked it pretty well. I also saw my first slow in quite a while last night. I saw Johnny Hines in the Brown Derby, its not such a new picture but I got my first laugh in a long while out of it. I donít know why but Im not as interested in shows since I took up music seriously. I guess its because I devote so very much of my time to music. I was playing my violin in our symphony orchestra here for a while but I got so disgusted that I broke my violin. I swore I wouldnít never try to play two things at once again. I was never meant to be a violinist and I told the Lieutenant so when he urged me to stay with the symphony and as long as Im playing clarinet I dont intend to ever touch another instrument to play it. so much for that.

I have found out for sure that no band is going to the football game in Cleveland next month but I am pretty sure that I will be able to come home over the holidays. I could he sure if I wanted to ask my fathers assistance but I dont want to because I am pretty sure I can do the trick without his help.

I suppose winter is just about starting in up there about now, it is getting pretty cold down here now we change to winter uniform tomorrow morning it isnít really cold yet, you know I can get up in the morning and if I stand beside the stove for about forty five minutes why Im thawed out enough so I can stoop over far enough to touch the floor. Ė Now you tell me one. I stand corrected on that one alright but all fooling aside it does get pretty cold down here. I froze four reeds in one afternoon between numbers of an afternoon concert and it isnít so very easy to freeze a reed.

I guess I will lay this letter aside until something happens or till I get an inspiration. This is all tonight.

Well here I am again only this part of the letter is a day later than the other part. I was kept busy most all day today we played colors in the morning and rehearsal after that then dinner and out to play a parade I found out some more news today my transfer to the tenth Regt band is through and is O.K. and I move about the first of the month. I also heard that they are going to try to put something over on my and not live up to the agreement with me. If they do try something like that on me why Ill pull something on them I wont play as good as I can.

I dont know what is the matter with me lately but I sure get discouraged with life here every once in a while I cant bear the idea of being away from my loved ones for three more years but then again I reflect about how quickly the first 16 months passed so I really dont know what I want, but I guess I can stick out my time and the experience wont hurt me any.

Our baritone player here has the same name as I have except for his initials and he went to Washington and got drunk and locked up and everybody was asking me today how I got out because they know my name but donít know there is another Thomas here and theyve got me worked to death explaining.

Ill close now

Still
Emil

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October 25 [1926], Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your letter and Im very glad to hear that everything is jake with you.

You tell me that you got 95 in a history test. I call that pretty good, I used to like history better than any other subject when I went to school and I hope you like it as much as I did.

I had a little fight with the Lieutenant and the drum major here last week about a couple of days off duty and I got them so I started out to read a little I read The Black Tulip by Dumas and am just finishing Chicot the Jester also by Dumas and I think they are both very good books.

I hope to say that Jiggs was at the King College game but he isnt a bull dog he is a devil Dog. Thats what they call Marines and thats what they call Jiggs. You know Jiggs gets more consideration around here than a lot of enlisted men do he has a service record book and record of enlistment just like I have and he holds a sergeant majors rating and that is as high as a enlisted man can get. He stayed away over night once and got a court martial just like I would and he was reduced in rank to first sergeant but has his old rating back again, so you see we think a lot of him when he gets all that consideration and we dont want him to be called a common bull dog.

Dont forget to behave when you get to your girl friends cottage on Lake Road. Think of me while you are there will you Bee. I cant think of any Halloween costume for you right now but if you were a little broader shouldered you could get Erv to get you a suit of my blues from my house. I left one complete uniform there when I was home the last time and it would make a good costume but it would fit you like a sack.

Now about tonights letter, you gave me some good advice alright but Im not a coward or anything just yet and even if I do get disgusted with the breaks I get out of like, I still know better than to disgrace myself by being rash. It may be lonesome alright but I still cant be rash because Ive got something more than that to think about. I do wish I could see you but if I came without permission why you wouldnít want to see me and I know you never would want to see me as a deserter so Ill just wait. I only hope no one else catches you before I get there.

I wish I could come up on the 6th to but now I know that I cant because it is doubtfull if the band will make the trip and then to I will be transfered before then. I dont mind the not seeing the game but I sure would like to see you a little.

Well here is the dope on the 10th Regt band. We have 3 regiments in Quantico namely the Fifth Regt, the Tenth Regt and the First Regt and each of these has a band. The 5th and 10th Regt have 28 piece bands which is a regular regimental band and everything over that is put into the Post Band and that is why the Post Band makes all the trips and why it is considered the better band, but if I get transfered to the tenth Regt band I will play solo parts while here I must be satisfied with 1st parts and sometimes even second & third parts and besides if I go to the 10th Regt band I will get more money after the first of the year. I wish I were over there now and I would be getting it next month. I will be sacrificing a lot of these trips but I will have more of a chance to make good over there so I dont care. Then to if I get over there chances are that I wont have to get go to the tropics again and the last time I only went through but this time it would mean to stay there 15 months and its worth sacrificing all those trips just to know that I wont go to that nigger country again. I was anxious to go once but since then I have decided that life is still worth living. Once a man goes down there its pretty hard to keep them in the states anymore because they get lazy and shiftless and drunks and lots of them dope fiends and lot of them get to be nigger lovers and marry natives and waste there life down there and the couple of weeks of it that I saw have convinced me that its best to stay in the good old U.S.A. because I dont want to ruin any chances if I can help it because if I got down there and didnít get mail any oftener than I do here I just know I couldnít stand it.

Who does our gang include tell me in your next letter or Ill get jealous and Im a bad actor when I get jealous.

I guess Ill close now before you start calling me some of your pet names like you do your Physics I wouldnt mind the other kind though

Sex Bits
Porter

Write Soon

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Oct 27 1926 10th Regt Band Quantico

Dear Bee:

Just a few lines this afternoon to let you know that my address is changed. Im in the 10th Regt Band now. I got transfered yesterday. This morning I got an instrument and got a rating promised me, it will only be a small one but will probably mean that I get to come home Xmas if I can only get a leave and I think I can.

We are going to have a Halloween dance this Friday and Im going to go because there are a couple of wise guys going to try to get me pickled and Im going to show them that Ive got enough backbone not to get drunk and Im going to show them that all the women they can bring dont bother me.

I got a letter from my Brother in Law this morning and he tells me that Ive got a read headed step sister and that got me sore and Im sure that she and I will have a fight the first time I come home I think Ill bring some boxing gloves along when I do come home to be prepared.

Well so much for this time Beatrice Ill close and hope to hear from you soon

S.B.
Emil
Porter

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Nov 3, 1926 tenth Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

Your letter got here this noon and I sure was anxiously waiting for it. You didnít surprise me when you said that you met my sister, she told me in her last letter that she is in you Sunday School class, but she hadnít met you yet but she told me she was going to Im glad to hear that you like my sister, she sure is a good sport.

Yes I did tell my sister I wouldnít be up for the game and I thought I told you I wasnít sure though The Post Band was supposed to go and then it was called off and no one was going then they changed their mind again and they are going, but Im not in the Post any more so Im not coming along. They are only going to take 60 pieces along but thats enough to make a little noise with. Im sorry I cant get to come for this game but Ill make sure to come up over Xmas if its possible to get a leave. Right now the whole tenth Regiment is scattered all over the United States as mail guards and the band is doing the guard duty here. I went on last night at six and Im available till six tonight then tomorrow night I go on again. I should be getting some sleep right now so I could catch up with the world. I only had an hour and forty minutes sleep last night and standing by all day and Im nearly all in.

Dont bawl me out for not writing oftener to my sister but I write three letters to her for every three of two she writes to me, but she writes pretty regular and I always answer her letters prompt.

I dont know where your history teacher gets the idea that there are so many snakes down in the tropics. That is Gods country all but the heat and mosquitoes and lonliness because there arenít many wild white people there. The only reptile to be found are lizards and half of them are harmless and the other half are afraid of anything that moves including a fly, so tell your teacher to join the Marines and see the world Ė through a port hole.

I hope you will be able to read this letter but thats nearly impossible because I cant hardly read it myself. Im so sleepy I cant hardly stay awake to finish.

Write soon and Ill write more next time

Porter

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November 8 1926 Tenth Regt Band

Dear Bee:

Im half asleep while Im writing this letter but Ill try to make it so you can read it.

I suppose you went to the game Saturday and saw the Marines get beat, didnít you? Well that just goes to show that they must have been playing in a good state and against a good team because it sure takes a good team to beat the marines.

I did guard duty all last week and Im pretty well down right now although I have caught up on some of the sleep I lost even now Im still sleepy. I did one twelve hour watch walking post as a sentry and instead of coming off I immediately went on again for a twenty four hour watch as corporal of the guard and that made thirty six hours straight. I got relieved yesterday morning at six and slept till 5:30 P.M. last night then I went over to play the Sunday night concert and went to sleep right after concert and slept till nearly noon today.

I got a letter from my sister the other day and answered it while I was at the guard house as corporal of the guard but I havent got downtown to the Post office to mail it yet but Im going to try to mail it tonight unless I go to sleep again.

Well I just found out that there isnít any danger of any bandsmen going out on this mail guard because there was an order sent out from Washington saying that on no condition would a bandsman be taken from band duty for the mail guard. I wouldnít mind it if I got sent to Cleveland or some town near there but I sure would hate to get sent farther away than I am already, so I guess its just as good this way.

Ive been fighting around here during all the spare time I could get last week trying to find out what kind of Christmas leaves they are going to give but they arent sure themselves yet if they will give any and if they do they will be very short but whatever they put out Im going to come home for Xmas if I have to come without leave. I put in a little time in the brigg at bread and water already and I can do it again.

I guess the tenth Band will make some short concert trip to some small town in Virginia over the eleventh of the month. We celebrate the 151st birthday of the marine corps Wednesday the tenth of November so that makes two holiday concerts for us this week.

I really dont know how you are ever going to read my writing here because Im hurrying so I can finish before chow.

Hoping to hear from you soon I am
The Same
Porter

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November 12 [1926] Tenth Band

Dear Bee:

Your slightly rushed letter just arrived about three minutes ago and Im going to answer it while the answering is good.

This band made a trip to Manassas Virginia yesterday for Armistice day and we all went in machines because the town is about 45 miles inland and all of it over dirt road. I didnít go in one of the machines that they sent for us but went out in one of the fellows Essex Coach and it was so cold that we froze even in the closed car and beside that we all had overcoats on. The road are all dirt roads but they are fairly smooth and we were going between 50 and 60 miles per hr. most of the way.

By the way Bee if you want to see some of the pictures Ive got ask my sister and she will show them to you I have some from every place in the tropics only donít let those pictures get away from you because they are dear to me and Joe lost my envelope of films so I cant have any more printed and I doubt if I will get down there anymore and I want to keep them to remind me of the trip.

I just wonder what some of the things are that my sister tells you. Ill promise to be very good if you will tell me some of them, please give me at least a hint of what they are because I am anxious.

You closed your letter by saying you hoped I mean who you think I mean. I dont understand very clearly but I have an inkling of an idea and Ill tell you about it some day if Im not to bashful and if I am to bashfull ? why then Im afraid Ill have to wait for leap year. What do you think. Why did you write (The Old Friend) Ė that sounds like you was my grandmother. Ill show you how close that. Hereís how (Your Sweetie) How is that? I like it better, dont you? Try it and see

Ill close this letter now

Bashful
Emil

Write Soon X

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Sunday Nov 14 [1926] Tenth Regimental Band

Dearest Bee:

I suppose this letter will get to you house just a little before you get back from Pataskala but it will get to you anyway.

Ive got a little sad news and a little news that may or may not be good news. In the first place I got thrown out of the office on my ear for trying to put in for a Christmas Leave. The company commander says there will be no leaves or furloughs granted this Christmas in the Tenth Regt. I turned around and decided I wasnít going to foolishly spend the money I saved to come home so I got a permit to open a lunch counter in the barracks and invested in that so now Im in business here and maybe I will have a little bank acct when I get out of this outfit. However I havenít given up all hope of coming home yet, and if its possible I will come home. I wouldnít try anymore if it werenít for you but I know that you would like to see me so I will try.

Did you enjoy yourself while you were in Pataskala? I hope so. How was the hunting? I wish I was there to go hunting with you I suppose you nave about a foot of snow up there by now, havent you? We havent any snow but we sure have plenty of cold here.

I am going on guard again tonight as sentry and will probably go on as corporal of the guard tomorrow then I will be off duty again for 3 days. I wish it were 10 days but its got to be and a good marine never gets discouraged because he gets work to do and Im trying to be a good marine.

Im going to write a letter to my sister when I get through with this and if she dont answer that one pretty soon why she wont hear from me anymore. I havent heard even one word from my father since two weeks after I came off of furlough which was May 22. Do you see now why I say that if it werenít for you I wouldnít come home at all, but I sure want to see you so be patient and if I cant come home for Xmas I sure will come in spring and it will be a longer furlough than I could expect for Xmas

Im going to close now and hope to have a letter from you from Pataskala and hope to hear from you soon

Yours As Ever
Porter
XX

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November 22 [1926] Tenth Regiment Band

Dearest Beatrice:

Your letter just got here and I sure was waiting for it. You didnít tell me if you got the letter that I sent to Pataskala I wrote it as soon as I got your last letter and it had plenty of time to get there I hope you got it.

You asked if I ever felt like I could stop everything and just quit living. I hope to say Ive felt like that and it sure happens often especially when a man is in an outfit like the Marines. Sometimes when I see some of the crazy things some of these nuts do around here Ė well I just feel like dying, then other times I feel pretty contented and enjoy the experience I really dont think yours was such a big mistake if it was yours, but I dont think it was. Just donít worry about it.

Im glad to hear that you had a good time on your trip and I wish I could have been along. I know you enjoy trips like that and they also make a person very healthy if they spend much of their time in the open air Now I get all the fresh air I want without going hunting. All I have to do is go on guard and I get all the air I want and then I come back and turn in and I get all the fresh air I want through the cracks in the floor where my bunk stands and oh boy it sure makes a man sleep like a rock.

You arent the only one thatís got a cold dear girl. Ive got one so bad I can hardly talk I was walking port one night last week and at 10 oclock it was raining to beat the band and at 2 oclock it started to freeze and my legs and feet were wet below the raincoat and when I came in off of post I had an awfull cold and a coat of ice on my pistol the ice was so thick on it that the blamed thing would have refused to function if I had needed it.

Yes it is pretty hard not to get to come home for the holidays but if they stick to what they say and really dont let me come for Xmas I sure will come in the spring But listen Beatrice I dont want you to think Im old fashioned or anything like that but please dont talk like you did in your letter. You wrote that word (damn) just like it was nice and I dont like the idea of my girl using that kind of language. Its bad enough to know that I am in a place where it can hardly be avoided and Im a man but even at that Im trying to cut it out, so please try not to use such words.

We Marines are allowed to receive any thing from loveletters to box cars. Tell me about this idea which you have cooked up I cant imagine what it is but I guess you know what you are doing

Im getting along fine in my new business but the first few months there wont be much profits they all go right back into the business We just bought a new percolator for $22 and that came out of the profits or most of it did anyway so you see when we get on our feet we will be making pretty good money. Weve always go to go downtown for the food and supplies and town is quite a way off and we need quite a few supplies and after a while if we make good I think we will get us a second hand car to get the supplies in. I sure need to be in some kind of business if I expect to earn enough to get married on because out of the $20 per month that the government pays why I couldnt save enough in 30 years to get married on although I will be getting more by the first of the year but that all goes to lessons. You know I still take them and still need them to. After giving you all these statistics donít you think that I ought to be in some kind of business?

You asked me what this place looks like and what everyone does. Well 00 if I wanted to tell you what it looks like Id have to swear so I wont tell you and as for what everyone does Ė well everyone does nothing when they can get away with it and as little as possible when they have to do anything.

Did you read about the Army Ė Marine Corps game Saturday? Well we won 27 to 7 and it was a good game. Im going to send you the Marine Corps paper called the leatherneck with all the teams pictures also the army teams pictures and the Presidents cup for which they played There is also a picture of Sgt. Major Jiggs in it. I Will send it the first time I get down to the Post office.

Ill close now so write soon to your

Marine
Porter
XXXX O

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November 25 [1926] Tenth Regiment Band

Dearest Beatrice:

This is Thanksgiving day and this is my day off because I did my guard last night so Ive decided to write to you. I have been trying some more to come home for the holidays but so far I havenít found out anything definite, however I will keep on trying and if I canít come up this Xmas I sure will come up next spring.

We had the Thanksgiving dinner today and I guess we are all pretty well down, from eating to much, but you canít blame us because Thanksgiving, Xmas and New Years is the only time we get a real feed and right now I feel so much like a stuffed pig that I can hardly see.

Now Beatrice Im going to get real serious with you. I canít wait till I get to see you to ask you but I want to ask you to marry me when I get out of this outfit. Im nearly 20 now and I still have two and a half years to serve so neither of us will be to young by then, and as you know already I have been studying hard preparing myself for a good job and I have several promising offers of work in the line of music and I am now studying to become an electrical engineer and I have several trades I can always fall back to. I worked quite a while in a hardware store and am considered a pretty good hardware man. I am also an automobile mechanic so you need not be afraid that I cant support you. Now Please Beatrice say yes and make me happy Im sure my two and a half years will pass very quickly with something like you to look forward to and after your folks meet me Im sure there wont be any objections from them. I wont say anymore now but will anxiously wait your answer.

Did you get my other letter and the Leatherneck magazine that I sent you? What do you think of the two teams?

Im going to close now and hope to hear from my sweetheart this time

Only Your
Porter
XXXXXXXXXX

P.S. Answer Soon

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November 30 [1926] 8 P.M.

Dear Beatrice I received your letter today and I considered it all bad news. I donít blame you though and anyway I wasnít figuring on getting married just yet I was counting on at least 4 or 5 more years to save something only seeing as I am away I spoke up early because I wanted no one else to beat me to it so I acted like the proverbial early bird Then to if I had a goal to work for I could make something of myself in the 2 Ĺ years I have to do but if I havenít a goal Im not so liable to save or study.

I sent into the office today and asked for a transfer to China and was told I couldnít go before March or April and if I do go it will mean sign up for 4 or 6 years more and if I do that I may as well stay in the service till I can retire and I might as well do that and at least be a soldier because if I do get on the outside Ill never be any good. You said about finding the right one Beatrice. I donít want to find no other one. I have a deep feeling for you. I donít know whether you would call it love or not but it is the feeling that I would be proud to have you for my wife. Of course I donít hold it against you Beatrice and I dont blame you because after all you now it wouldnít be nice to have to have a funny faced husband, but no matter what happens my proposal holds good and I will be free and if you if you should ever change your mind just write and tell me and give me the size of ring you want and all details and I will come running. I hope you havenít told my sister anything yet and if you havent please dont because I want to pull a nice trick and quit writing in Spring if I do sign up for 4 or 6 years more for China because if I do I will probably stay there for a 16 or 20 year retirement and stay in China and I dont want them to know why I am going if I do go I will simply tell them Im going and not write to them anymore because it would be so much harder to bear for my folks and myself. Dont forget Beatrice my offer holds good and if I hear from you before March I wont ship for China if I donít -- ? No one knows.

I just happened to remember you told me about keeping a collection of pictures etc. Do you save stamps? Im enclosing a Chinese stamp if you dont want it throw it away or give it away I dont care which

I hope you liked the concert by the Cleveland Symphony. Maybe after Ive got 20 or 30 years in the service as a bandsman I may be good enough to play with them.

Well Beatrice Im going to close now but dont forget Ė I love you now and always did and always will, only I know how much.

Semper Fidelis
Porter

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December 9 [1926] Tenth Regiment Band

Dear Beatrice:

I received you letter this morning and I think it was about time you wrote I told you I would wait till March for my answer but I didnít say to stop writing till March so keep it up but Beatrice please dont say that I should be very sure I havent made a ďfaux pasĒ because I just know I am right

I donít know about chinese girls being so bad to look at or about getting sick of China for that reason and the only reason I dont want to go is because I would like to make a home of my own and I cant very well do that as long as I stay in the Marines and if I havent any hope of making that home I might just as well see something of the world.

Thanks for not saying anything about that letter Beatrice. There really is nothing to forgive Beatrice because if I have been hurt it is my own fault because I shouldnít have reached for the moon. If I had any sense at all I could have known better than to ask you to marry me because Ive seen my face in the mirror often enough to know that it would stop a freight train and I sure pity the woman that would willingly look at that face across the table or anywhere else for the rest of her life, so dont think I blame you.

This may be my last letter for a while because Im getting locked up for being out of camp without leave I couldnít help it though my machine broke down and I was reported away 17 hours without leave and alibies dont go here so I will probably have old Santa Clause visit me in the brigg I wont be able to write but a friend of mine will smuggle in my mail for me he will probably get smokes in to me to so Im not worrying but write often and I will make up for it every chance I get because your letters and my sisters will be the only thing I will have to read or do. (if)? My bunky can smuggle it in to me and Im sure he can.

Lets hear from you soon so

Semper Fidelis
Porter

P.S. Send my mail the same as ever to the Tenth Regiment Band.

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December 22 [1926] Tenth Regiment Band

Dear Bea:

I received your letter the other day but this is the first letter I have been permitted to write and it will be the last until the 25th because that is when I get out. Im supposed to do thirty days of solitary confinement with a square meal every fourth day and today I got special permission to write two letters seeing as this is my square meal day. Today almost every other fellow is getting ready to go on leave and expecting to see their sweethearts etc but all I can look forward to is the 25th because I get out then and all the while I have been in here enjoying my bread and water I havent even had one word from my folks, the only letter I got was the one from you my bunky sneaked that one in to me. Im just about disgusted with everything including all the hard luck I have been having, and if I thought that I could keep from getting caught I would break the walls on the brigg and desert long enough to get a smoke. I havent smoked since my trial and Im nearly crazy now.

Then to top my hard luck off my partner in business collected all the money we had standing out and went over the hill. How do you like that for luck? So much for that.

Tell me something about yourself and what Santa Claus is bringing you when you write again. I hope he is good to you and dont go past your place.

You will have to excuse this pencil writing but Im real lucky to be allowed to write at all let alone trying to get some pen and ink or something to write on.

Well Beatrice I guess Ive just about bothered you enough with this scrawling so Im going to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

As Ever
Porter

P.S. I wont be able to write again till after the 25th because they open the doors that day but write soon.

Porter

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Sunday Jan. 9, 1927 Post Prison

Dear Beatrice:

I guess its about time Im writing you, isnít it? Well to start with thanks for all the nice candy and the book. Ive already read it. You know we are allowed to read every night after supper. I also got a couple of letters from you which I will try to answer now if I cant why Ill catch up when I get out of here, which will be next Sunday morning if I get ďgood timeĒ like I expect I will.

Say Beatrice youve seen this new sister of mine pretty close which is more than I can say. What do you think of her and my new mother? I havent even had one word from either one yet but I hear that my new mother cant write so she is excused but how about Elenore or whatever her name is. Im pretty prejudiced against her. Do you think Im right? Dont be afraid to tell me what you think cause I wont get sore and they will never know.

No Beatrice I didnít make any New Years resolutions for the simple reason that I dont want any to break. I just do the best I can and I cant do better with all the resolutions I could think of.

I guess thats just another false alarm for a while about my coming home I was going to come home and work for a month and try to get a start again in a financial way but I guess thats out of the question because Lett says work is scarce up there. But I will come home sometime this spring if it is anywhere near possible but I dont bank on it.

What do you expect I would do with a clarinet while I am in the Prison? We arent even allowed to talk out loud because if we did we sure would make an awfull racket. When I get back to the Tenth Regt. Band I guess will do a little practice again to build up a lip and limber my fingers, but I dont get out till next Sunday at the earliest.

Who was this neighbor of yours that said such nice things about me? I can just about guess but tell me for sure.

Well Beatrice it gets pretty tiresome writing on a stationary box on a persons lap so I will close for now but I will write you a young book just as soon as I get out of here where I can write in comfort, so Ill close

Porter

Dont forget what I told you about the month of March.

Emil Write Soon X

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Jan 22, 1926 [1927] Band Quarters Tenth Regt.

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter the day before yesterday but this is the first chance I am getting to write so Im going to make this letter that young book that I promised you.

Im glad you liked that picture ďTell it to the MarinesĒ I havent seen it yet but I dont think they showed everything that happens to the ďbootĒ or ďrecruitĒ when he first joins and goes through training because it would discourage a lot of fellows from enlisting you know just because I say that I like the outfit doesnít mean it all gravy, its not l like it because of the pleasure I get out of my brute strength and because I get an opportunity to study music and also different courses. I have learned much both in music and otherwise and I have, gloried, may I say in my strength, when I was in the prison for instance I was given the hardest job there because I am big and dont look weak. I lifted ash cans that the other fellows couldnít lift or more and that is why I like it but being a Marine is no joke by a long way like I got out last Sunday and was immediately put on guard and this is Saturday again and the first chance Im getting to write. I dont know why they kept me on all week unless it was to further punish me but Ill show them Im no baby anyway. I can stand as much as they can give me.

Im sorry to hear that your father has been ill and taken to the hospital. I hope by the time this reaches you he will be better. Your father has my best wishes at any rate. I hope you get over that blue feeling of yours because I know how uncomfortable it gets when one feels that way because I have felt that way many and many a time.

Talking about when a fellow first joins the Marines I can tell you a little about that. I myself joined on June 15 1925 and got to Parris Island S. Carolina on June 17 we were sent to what is known as the receiving barracks to wait the forming of a company and for medical observation and what I mean when a man passes all those observations he is physically fit. I know I wasnít going into anything easy but I didnít expect it to be quite so hard as it was so to give the boys entertainment I took up pugilism in the welter weight and light heavy weight class I was perfectly content until I met a better man on July 4th and I got beaten I gave this up then till I left recruit training after which we were real Marines the training took eight weeks and those were 8 weeks of Hades with a capital H reveille at 4:30 and drill till 4:30 then scrub clothes and mend them and clean a rifle and all the equipment then write letters if we still had enough ambition. The last 3 weeks we spent on the rifle range we walked or rather marched 4 miles to the range starting before daylight and getting out there about an hour and a half later just in time for day light then we filled our canteens with water and started shooting or working targets and laying in the hot sand all day and all we had to drink was the water in our canteen and it got warm and most always got empty before noon and drinking to much of this hot water caused a lot of the fellows to faint and drop out of line on the march back it was to much for some of them to endure. Then the chow we got there was poor and not enough of that but we were kept busy so we couldnít find time to grumble. I never told my folks how hard it really was because they would only think Im showing a yellow streak and Im not. From the Island we got on board the U.S.S. Henderson and made a little tropical cruise. I think youve seen the pictures I took then I came up here. I tried prize fighting again as recreation but I got beat again and I decided that to be a musician I couldnít risk getting my lips cut or my fingers hurt so I gave it up for good. Does that look like the picture ďTell it to the MarinesĒ?

Well Bea: Ive told you quite a bit in this letter because I scribbled smaller than usual, then to Im sleepy as this is my first whole night off this week so Im going to close and get to sleep.

Semper Fildeis
Porter

P.S. Im glad you havent forgotten and Im hoping one way only

Write soon please

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Feb 9, 1927 Band Barracks Tenth Regiment

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter a couple of days ago but I was busy then and afterwards I forgot to answer it and I just now remembered it. I was waiting for a letter all the time and never thought to answer yours first. I have been pretty busy lately, the band has been relieved from guard duty and we have been restored to band duty then in the last few days we had a number of men transfered out and among them was our assistant solo clarinet player and I was put way at the back on account of being locked up but I jumped about four chairs the other day and I got solo & 1st clarinet which is third chair and today I made another jump to assistant solo and in order to keep that I will have to spend very much of my spare time practicing about 6 hours per day.

I heard from my sister the other day and she told me that your father has returned from the hospital. Im glad to hear that because I know what its like to lay around on your back in the hospital for Ive spent plenty of my time there since I joined the marines. I suppose Lill told you that Im fooling with radio again only I dont get much time for it Ive been building one for a fellow now fir the past 14 days but I get so little time to work at it that I havent finished it yet when three hours work would finish it.

Im glad to hear that you have your letters for WTH and I guess you will be plenty proud of them wont you. Im glad to hear that you are a senior now and maybe you can give me my answer now. I hope so anyway because I want you all to myself. That may sound selfish but I dont mean it that way. I wont expect you to sit at home like a bump on a log just because Im not there all I want is your promise to say ďI doĒ well so much for that now for some news.

I suppose you have been reading in the papers of the Mexican affairs and also of the Chinese affairs. Well our whole regiment has been standing by for to go to China and the whole 5th Regiment has been standing be to go to Mexico in case war is declared. I hope we go over anyway. They want to leave the band behind but if war is declared I think I will put in a special request to go there once Im over there Ill put in a request to remain there at the post in Pekin.

We have been having some wonderful weather here lately, (for polar bears) gee its cold here we went out to play an open air concert and we sure made a nice mess out of it because we were so froze that our fingers and lips simply refused to function properly and the results were awfull.

I suppose you will be thinking that Ive got an awfull nerve to write you on this kind of paper but an ex jail bird cant afford more for a couple of months until he gets his fine paid. Im not worrying though because those fines are paid back to us when we get discharged.

Well Beatrice next month tells the tale, whether I go to China or come home this summer Im hoping to come home myself, but I dont want to let a chance to see China go by without trying for it and again I dont want to spoil my future by reenlisting or extending my present enlistment unless I intend to put 30 years in the service so I can retire on a pension but if I have any chance for a future in civilian life I certainly want to take that chance. I have several offers for musical positions for when I get out of the service but I dont know what to do myself.

Well Beatrice I guess this much of this letter is enough of a puzzle without torturing you with more so please say yes, and answer soon. Im going to close this letter and be a Hopefull Marine Porter
Feb 18, 1927 Band Quarters Tenth Regiment

Dearest Beatrice:

I received you letter today and even though I was expecting it I was like a big coward. I was afraid to open and read what you had to say. Im sorry to hear that you feel the way you do because I sure would try my best to be good to you and to make you happy and as far as becoming a milliner is concerned I dont see where I would be in the way nor do I see where I would prevent you from trying to partly repay your parents for all they have done for you and anyway you would still have several years before I get discharged Twenty months is all I have in the service which still leaves me about twenty eight to serve or in other words two and a half more years less two months then I would have to make a fresh start on the outside so you see I wouldnít be in your way any, but donít think I blame you because I donít. I just got a look into a mirror and I just got to realize how I really look especially when Im not shaved. I only wanted to know how things look for me. We are standing be here for God knows where we have all the portable galleys or kitchens all the tanks tractors planes and artillery pieces in readyness and some of the men are leaving here at least by next Wednesday if not before no one knows when they will be called on to leave to go to some country where there are war clouds blowing around. No one knows when they may go nor does anyone know whether they will be Nicaragua or China bound when they do go. Myself I would like to go and if war should be declared I would request a transfer to line duty so I could get into the scrap I would never be content to be a strecher bearer and that is just what they would make of all bandsmen.

We were pretty busy today we started out by rehearsing all morning and we got a number called (I Lombardi) and it is one of Verdiís famous operas and the range of the clarinet is from one octave below the staff to one and one half octaves above the staff and some fake notes above that and this number runs from the lowest note on the clarinet to the highest and its sure a hard one I got so disgusted with myself I was going to smash my clarinet and kill a couple of guys and everything but I finally got control of myself again. Then after dinner we went out to play a concert and just got back in time to eat chow at 5:15 P.M. now Im through for the day except for my practice. I never really knew how bad I needed to practice nor how rotten I really was till I tried to play my part in (I Lombardi) this morning.

I received your box of cookies yesterday and thanks muchly for them they sure were good and they only came just in the nick of time because I got up so late I had just missed show and was thinking what a long morning it was going to be without breakfast. Those cookies made me want you more than ever Beatrice and whoever it was that created that saying that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach sure said a mouthfull and dont never worry about my not liking ginger not that I know the difference, because I dont but my sweet tooth just told me they were good so I must like ginger. Who is Hoppy? Not that it concerns me but you told me that Hoppy and you made the cookies so Im curious to know.

Well Beatrice I dont know if I would like to go through the ninth grade again or not. I first met you there but when I think of the good times we had there and the pleasure I used to have by being with you it makes my heart hurt to think that it is all to no avail.

Well Beatrice the weather has turned here and for the last couple of days we have had some very nice spring days here in fact it was so nice out yesterday that I took my clarinet and junk out into the open air to practice.

Well Beatrice right now I am in a pretty sad state of mind and I am afraid this letter is going to bore you something terrible so please forgive me for that and the pencil writing so Ill be always

The same Hopefull
Porter

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Feb 20 1927 Band Quarters Tenth Regiment

Dearest Beatrice:

I suppose you will be surprised to hear from me twice in the same week but that is what I am doing.

To start with I am leaving everything just the way it is today I havent practiced a bit today and I dont intend to Im feeling real mean today for some reason or another, and Im afraid if I were to practice I would get disgusted and smash my instrument I cant say why I feel that way, because I dont know but like this Im getting the chance to write to you and it makes me happy and brings a feeling of relief.

I have been laying here on my bunk doing nothing but growl all morning and all my thoughts have been of you. I have just decided for to stick by a certain expression which may be a little rough but here it is Im going to have you for my own (in spite of hell and high water) Ive decided that the only way to get what I want is to stick by my guns and keep trying, so dont be surprised if I keep writing to you and asking you the same old question Then sometime in a few months when I feel extra rich some day I will get a little furlough and come home and ask you some more and Im going to get you to promise if I have to get a 30 day leave and ask you 3 times every night for 30 nights I was hoping to get your promise before I came home and I still hope to for the simple reason that I would like to know you care at least a little in case I should be sent away before I get to see you. I had foolishly hoped that you might care for me and although I shall never be able to offer you much I shall at least be able to support you comfortably and I would try to make you happy I hope you will think this over Beatrice and I hope some day you will care like I do.

Well Beatrice last night we had a young blizzard and snowstorm here and this morning it got warmer and about 6 inches of snow started to melt and form into slush. There were about 300 more men came in from mail guard this A.M. and all of them turned to and cleaned the slush off the street. Those men who came back this morning are just about the last of the tenth Regiment that were away and they were brought back to be handy in case of emergency.

I hope this all shall pass over pretty quickly and maybe I will come up sooner than either of us expect. Well Bea Im going to close now and hope to hear from you soon

I still Love You
Emil

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March 3 1926 [1927] Band Quarters Tenth Regiment

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter yesterday and I was just ready to think that you werent going to write any more and I felt better after your letter came. Im sorry to hear that your father is sick again and Im glad to know that you like me well enough to write to me when you feel blue. I hope some day I will have the privilege to sheer you always.

I should say Im not sick from those cookies I think they were very good By the way Beatrice, Helen Hopkins sounds familiar isnít she the girl who went to W.T.H. with us. There was some friend of yours whose name was Helen, I believe she was a blonde if Im not mistaken and she lived out in Lindale Is that the girl you mean?

I sure would like to see you and get acquainted again although I dont think you would notice any difference in me Im still the same old nutty porter I still like music and Im still in love with you just like I was when we went to Tech. Im still inclined to see what makes anything moved when it is something Mechanical The only difference in me now is that I study a little more now than I used to.

Well Beatrice I have given up all hope of going to Nicaragua and I have very little hope of going to China now. I guess Im being disappointed all the way around. Well in one way Im glad if I donít go maybe I will get to come home some time this summer so maybe Ill see you then.

We are supposed to play a outdoor concert at Sick Quarters this afternoon but I guess its to cold and windy. We have been playing some very beautiful music lately and yesterday we started a number that Im in love with The Unfinished Symphony I could play that thing all day long and still ask for more.

I got a regulation hair cut yesterday and Im afraid to look in a mirror now for fear Ill laugh myself to death when I say regulation I mean they are cut high around the back and short on top and when I say short I mean less than two inches on top but that is a military haircut and Im in a military outfit so its best to soldier and do things right.

Well Beatrice you asked for a jolly letter and Ive failed something awfull but Ill try to do better next time so write soon

Porter

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March 5 1926 [1927] Sick Bay

Dearest Beatrice:

I suppose you will be wondering how come that Im writing this letter and how come the ink & pen etc but Ill explain all my queer actions.

Im writing this letter in the sick bay but that donít mean Im sick because Im not Im just standing one of the gobs watches here because there is a big poker game in our barracks and he feels lucky so he asked me to stand his watch over here and seeing the pen and ink over here I thought I might as well write you a few lines gee but writing with a pen and at a desk makes me feel up in the world again I havent enjoyed this privilege for so long that I feel lost in a swivel chair.

Well Beatrice from the looks of things right now I guess Im slated to stay behind again and miss all the fun, but if I do stay behind Im not going to miss all the fun but only part of it because if they keep me here, Im going to get a furlough this summer and I dont mean perhaps, but that only holds good if I get a promise to see you at least two out of three nights for the duration of my furlough. Is that a go with you? If it is then I donít care if they do leave me behind.

Well I was looking over some of the orchestrations today and Ive found about 30 fox trots that Ive got to throw away just because they are incomplete The only part that I could find for everyone is the piano & violin parts & of course the clarinet & saxophone parts and those only because I was the man that took care of them. Some of these fellows would loose their neck if it wasnít tied on they are so careless.

What have you been doing with yourself since you wrote last? Have you been having a good time? Write oftener and tell me because I get so lonesome and your letters help so much.

How is your fathers illness? Has he shown any improvement? I hope so, but no matter dont take things to hard and just be your cheery self and you will help your folks as well as yourself.

Write me a letter real soon Bea: Ill be waiting for it

Porter

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March 11 1926 [1927] Band Quarters Tenth Regt.

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter this morning and it arrived during our regular rehearsal but that inly put off reading it for a half hour but that doesnít keep me from answering right away, does it?

Im glad to hear that you are feeling better and also glad to hear that your father is feeling better.

Tell Hoppy that if she is going to go a couple of rounds with me when I come home she better not let me know or I wont come, but then she never did get a look at me I dont think or she wouldnít be so anxious because I look so ugly my face would stop a freight train going down hill. Then to you better remind her that I weigh close to 180 pound and did a little fighting in the ring myself so she better start training because she will only have till May or June to train, because Im going to try to come home then but still Im afraid of her if she is anything like you say she is.

Im glad to hear that Tech has been victorious again because once a Techíer always a Techíer and I used to go there you know so I sincerely hope Tech gets the State Championship.

I suppose you will be ready to drop dead by now but Ill explain why Im writing with pen & ink again its this way Ė my bunky is careless and left his fountain pen lay out where I could find it easy so that explains, dont it?

Ill say the name of your Thesis sounds interesting but its by me, tis to deep for me.

I know how your lips feel because our lips get sores & chaps in them a lot from playing outside in the cold and we have to play anyway but why did you wash your face before applying the iodine? That takes the powder & paint off and your taking a chance of someone seeing you without arent you?

I would take a chance at solving and kind of problem for that promise even if I dont know a thing about Physics problems.

I hope your senior meeting today gives you lots of inspiration to write a nice long letter next time because this one was so short I could stand on my ear and read it. Then if your senior meeting donít give you the inspiration your friend hoppy of the boxing gloves ought to be able to give you all kinds of things to rave about.

Do you still practice on your fiddle? Dont give that up for sakes but dont leave it drive you crazy either. Im doing that right now and someday Ill wither go crazy or throw the thing in the river most probably river.

We are rehearsing Franz Schuberts (unfinished Symphony) and the clarinets do all the work but it is nice even if it is hard. Well we play at the show tonight and Ive got to practice some beside write a letter to my sister yet so Ill sign off

Hopefull
Porter

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March 14 1927 Band Quarters Tenth Regiment

Dearest Beatrice:

This is our week off duty so we all get liberty on Monday because we are on duty Sunday which was yesterday, but I dont go on liberty so Im back here almost alone there are only five or six of us here and I practiced a couple of hours and decided to call it a day so I borrowed a book from my bunk and the name is, ďWith the help of God and a few marines,Ē I mean the name of the book, not my bunky and itís author is Brigadier General A.W. Catlin the most of it is about the world war and some of the battles that made the Marine Corps famous, especially the 5th Regt The author does quite a bit of bragging about the Marine Corps and the bravery of some of the men in it but never the less it is a good book and it gives many views of warfare that would be pretty hard to get anywhere else and I would recommend it to anyone to read as a very good book.

By the way Beatrice some time ago you said something in one of your letters about having heard part of the Marine Hymn and wishing you knew the rest of the words well writing all this about the old Corps and reading that book just made me think of it so Im going to send it to you with this letter. I did have an Army & Navy Hymnal that contained this song but someone wanted that sheet worse than me so the tore it out so I wont be able to send you the music but only the words. Here goes

The Marines Hymn

1. From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our countryís battles,
On the land as on the sea
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean,
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marines
2. From the pest hole of Cavite
To the ditch at Panama,
You will find them very needy
Of Marines Ė Thatís what we are:
Were the watch dogs of a pile of coal,
Or we dig a magazine;
Though he lends a hand at every job
Who would not be a Marine?

3. Our flags unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun
In the snow of far off Northern lands
And in sunny tropics scenes
You will find us always on the job Ė
The United States Marines
4. Heres health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve,
In many a strife weve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heavenís scenes
They will find the streets are guarded by
The United States Marines.

We are a proud lot and although we are always growling it would be pretty hard to find a man who would be put to the test and found wanting at the crucial moment. Our Corps made a reputation for itself during the war at the cost of many human lives and we dont intend for those mens lives to have been given in vain.

Oh lets quite raving about the marine Corps and talk about something sensible. Last night we played our concert in the Gym and it sure went over big We played our unfinished Symphony again and the people appreciated good music and we got a good had hand for it. Then we played several overtures and the Gems of Steven Foster and a waltz and closed in the regular way by playing a waltz a march and the Star Spangled Banner and our solo clarinet players lip went bad on him so I had to bear the brunt of The whole concert and my lips arenít any to strong either and today they are so sore Id bet I could put a raw egg on them and fry it as quick as any stove would. I have a big blister on the lower lip just where the whole pressure of the reed comes and it sure is painfull

Well we just got notice right now that our preliminary A & I inspection will be held tomorrow and that means get ready. I also found out another thing. If I want a furlough Im going to have to ask for it early and know when I want it. I was thinking of coming up in May but now I dont know it may be the middle of summer before I get to come up and again I may come up unexpected sometime I dont know myself just what to do. Ill see and let you know when I make a move and dont forget what I said about seeing you. I dont care if I have to study out or dope out all your lessons for you. The only way you can keep me away will be to put up a barbwire entanglement in front of your place & then Im liable to get through.

Well Beatrice Im going to close now so I can get ready for the inspection tomorrow and Ill expect to hear from you soon

A Still Hopefull Porter

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March 18 1927 Tenth Regiment Band

Dearest Beatrice:

I donít know if I will ever get this letter finished or not because since your letter arrived which was 15 minutes ago, I have started this letter 3 times each time with a different pen but I finally came back to my old buddyís fountain pen.

I dont know if I should bawl you out for nearly getting bitten by a mad dog or not maybe I should just be thankful and I think thats what it ends with I know I wouldnít have liked it if the dog had succeeded one of the boys out of the band got bit by a mad dog the other day and he is in the hospital now being treated for the bite.

Im getting to be quite a radio expert around here Beatrice I go all over the camp fixing radios for people, not as a professional but just for the fun of it. The other night the band master called me up and said a friend of his had a radio and the radio man from downtown couldnít fix it so I went up and when I got it fixed this mans wife kept me there for supper and boy what a feed. I ate about 3 lbs of steak and everywhere I go I get a swell meal so when you see me again I may be pretty fat.

Ive got a pocket full of bad news for you now Beatrice. Your going to have a bad, mad man on your hands starting about June 6th or 7th and heís going to stick around for anywhere from 15 to 30 days, in other words Im coming home on furlough then. I figured if I came then I would be up there in time for graduation am I right? Well at first it looked hopeless from a financial view but I have overcome that so I told the bandmaster Im going in June and he said its O.K. with him so now Ive only got the Company Commanders O.K. to get then the Colonelís O.K. then General Coles O.K. then get it O.Ked in Washington so Ive got 1/5th of my furlough already only its no good without the other 4/5ths.

Well Beatrice I have started work on my electrical engineers course again I did one lesson and Im going to start another one tonight.

You told me in your letter that you sometimes feel like writing pages and pages. Well why dont you write when you feel like that just see how close to 50 pages you can get instead of how close to 560 words only let me know in advance because getting such a big letter would make me die of heart failure of course I appreciate all of your letters no matter how long or short they may be only I would like a long one once in a while.

No we havent mastered the (unfinished) yet but we did murder it although we played it at two concerts and the audience liked it both times

I dont know if I have grown any since Ive joined the Marines or not and I donít know if weigh exactly 180 lbs or not but I know that about 5 months ago I weighed right close around there but I may have lost some or gained some since then, and I hope I havent grown any because if I did why Id have to stoop to go through a door because I was just about 6 feet tall when I enlisted and even I darn those mistakes, even if I didnít grow any I still think I have been benefited by my service so far because where I was getting soft as a clam before my muscles are getting pretty hard now and no superfluous flesh and although Im darker complected due to tropical and Southern sun Ive still got all my skin, none of it burned off yet

Im sorry to hear that Tech lost at Akron but after all you know there is a poem goes something like this, It isnít the fact that your licked that counts, Its how did you fight, and why? Im sure Tech fought as good as they knew how. Well pretty soon starts the Baseball season and our team is slowly but surely being put in shape. I dont know how much of a baseball season you are going to have but ours is going to last from April 1st to May 30th and that will mean we have to play 2 or 3 or 4 times a week for the baseball games so it also means more work for us.

Well Beatrice weve got a concert to play at the hospital in about an hour just as though those poor fellows arenít suffering enough without us but its orders so I suppose we better play.

Im going to close now Beatrice hoping you will excuse the spelling and scribling etc and will write me 50 pages all at once real soon

Porter

P.S. Tell your friend Hoppy that I am looking forward to that fight with her that she promised me. Tell her I prefer broad swords at 60 paces.

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March 23 [1927] Quantico Virginia

Dearest Beatrice:

I dont know what time you got up but you wrote at a nice time at any rate, but what beats me is that you measure your rain by the bushel. I think they used to measure it with a micrometer when I lived in Cleveland. Well we had a few days of constant rain and now a couple of days of extremely cold weather but we should worry we go out to play for our first baseball game in 1 hour and about 20 minutes from now. The regimental team plays the all Marine team a practice game and naturally the boiler makers have to be present to render the fox trots and marches between innings.

How does your Mr. Elmer know so much about the Marines? Sure we fight every way even on the bunk and if the odds are against us we put our backs to the wall and fight anyway.

A & I means (adjutant inspector) he is one of the big boys from Headquarters in Washington and I believe he is a major. When he comes around it generally means every kind of inspection from short arm inspection to Heavy Marching order inspection so you can imagine how we like that.

Dont worry about water or barbwire keeping me away dont forget I can swim a mile in nothing flat and marines are trained to capture machine gun nests & cut barb wire and if no other way whats the matter with an airplane?

Tell me about your bright idea I like to hear about your ideas. What is it about this time?

Anytime suits me to just so it isnít any later than Ive fixed it now and Im giving you plenty of time to powder your nose because from now till June 6th is still a long time but is it worth while powdering your nose for me? You know powder comes off very easily and it would only be wasted. By the way Beatrice, You arenít going on your vacation just when I get there, are you? please dont.

Well we are getting ready to go on the rifle range again and Im not even going to try to hit the target if I get the least suspicious of the rifle I get, because there were 3 of them blew up in one week last year and the results were one eye put out on one fellow and a crushed skull on another and another fellow lost his thumb so Im taking no chances if my rifle dont look good.

Well Beatrice its almost time for the game so ta ta for this time and write soon to

Porter

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March 29, 1927 Quantico Va.

Dearest Beatrice:

Your little book just arrived and Im still wondering how you did it eight pages sure is a lot for you to write all at one time. Im not sure now just how many baseball games I will get to this year and right now Im not at all so sure if I will be up on furlough when I said I would in fact I may go to China next month or maybe sooner. They just reorganized the old 6th Regt. And started sending them away now the first detail left about an hour ago the rest follow tonight they go by rail to the west coast and to China on board the U.S.S. Henderson I wasnít lucky enough to get in that first bunch to go but I have good hopes of following I nearly fought Saturday when I found out I wasnít going Ive did nothing but grouch and growl ever since and I think Ill keep right in growling until they quit cheating me like that. Everything has a bright side though if you can only find it, and if I dont go over Ill be good as my word and make a furlough.

I guess this Helen must be a pretty good friend of yours, isnít she? Every other word you say is Helen, but I dont blame her I just envy her. Im kind of scared of blonds though. Im sure I would rather stick a Chinaman with a bayonet or just strangle a couple of greasers with my bare hands than to fight a blond. They are bad medicine.

If I did come up in a plane you might pester me for a ride and you may even do the driving but when you do I stay down on the ground but dont worry I wont bring a plane. You arenít the only one thats going to buy a plane some day. I am to. Its great sport flying I dont mean perhaps.

It may be good news for you to get the handfull of money to buy a new spring hat but Ill bet the person that gave you the fist full didnít think it was such good news.

My sister told me that you have one of those goofy pictures of mine now Im going to ask for one of yours when you get this. Thats fair isnít it? if not then I will swipe mine back when I come up again.

Good Lord havent you a dog yet? You told me you were going to get another one quite a while ago and here you havent got me yet you have to play with other womens hounds.

Well Beatrice I just heard some news the First sergeant just said sign the pay roll which is good news so Ta Ta and write soon to

Porter

P.S. Three Rousing Cheers. I just got news Im going to China Ill Write Later

Plenty of Love
Porter

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April 5, 1927 Still Here
Dearest Beatrice:

I suppose you will be surprised to see this letter come from Quantico again. Well so am I. We were ordered away and we took the dozens of different inspections that go with the moving of troops and now in the last minute we find ourselves left behind. They have no use for the boilermakers as they call us the only time we are any good is on parade and at athletic contests. Im sorry in a way to miss the trip and the fights etc, but Im also glad this way because it may mean that I will get my furlough this summer. I hope so anyway. I hope to come home in time for graduation but of course in a time like this a person canít say anything is sure all one can do is hope and Im doing that.

We have been busy all this morning playing at the depot when the other troops embarked and left and we were left behind. We were all peeved and half of us were trying to think which kind of suicide would be quickest and which would be painless. I know of one way I could have went along but I found it out to late. They needed good mechanics in the garage force and I could have been transfered there if I had only known. That is where that big two letter word comes in again.

Well Bea! What are you doing with yourself? Are you having a good time? When do you graduate? If its any where near the same time as my sister graduates then I may get to see you graduate.

Im soaked to the skin right now because all morning while we were playing it was raining and I havent changed to dry uniform yet because we may have to fall out again and I dont want to get both uniforms wet not only my cloths are wet but my clarinet also. The pads are so water soaked that I can hardly blow.

Ill close now Beatrice but please write soon because Ill wait for some word from you soon

Only
Emil

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April 13 [1927] Quantico Virginia

Dearest Beatrice:

I had a, well shall we say a notion this morning that I was going to hear from you and sure enough along comes your letter.

Yes the 6th and 3rd Regts left from here all right, the 6th is an old Regt that was doing all of the big fighting with the 5th during the world war. The 6th was split up after the war and was reorganized for this trouble but the 3rd Regt is nothing more than the 10th Regt. I should have been with the 3rd just like all the rest of this band should be but we were just held here for no reason at all. You better not start cheering yet because I may get a furlough yet. I was just talking to the Top Sgt. And he said there was no chance so I requested to be transferred either to the garage or the aviation and the funny part was that I was so mad that I meant it, but the Top didnít want to lose one of his First & Solo clarinets so he said he would try to give me my furlough but he is only giving me 15 days but Ill turn around and get an extension of 10 days so Ill have 25 days anyway. I told him that as long as I had to stay here I was either going to get a furlough or a transfer and he decided it was best to try to get me a furlough but I wouldnít count to much on it because it is only a good try at the best. But. (It isnít the fact that your beat that counts, its how did you fight and why?)

Yes We are having some spring weather this morning but not like it should be. I feel like going fishing this morning but instead of that I am going to write this letter and then it will be just about noon. We have killed the best part of the morning by falling out for police work.

When you get your pictures dont forget!! Im still alive and I dont like to be an orfan.

What is a little thing like 3 measly tests staring you in the face. Ive only got eight and one final examination to do. I guess that is a little more than 3 tests isnít it? When I get those done then I get another diploma.

Where is Rittman at? You said you and the family went to Rittman but itís the first time I ever heard of her or is it maybe a new kind of a machine? You must be some driver judging from the way you write. Im sure going to go for a ride with you when I get up there. I donít know any way that I could die happier.

You asked me if I had any bright ideas and you know I have only you wont accept my ideas. I wish you would myself nothing would l=please me anymore but Im still hopefull.

What do you want me to plan for Lill? Ill tell you what. You get a big box to send it in and Ill catch her about an 8 ft rattle snake. How is that?

Lill is a good joke all right she wrote me a letter the other day all german. I can just barely read german but I can get over enough to make out the letter.

Well Beatrice I guess Ill close now seeing as Ive scribbled this much. Dont forget my bright idea or the plan for Lills present but mostly the bright Idea and above all else write & make it soon

Porter

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April 16 1927 Same Dump

Dearest Beatrice:

Time hangs heavy on my hands tonight and as I just wrote a letter to Lill I thought I might as well send you a few lines.

Im going to tell you what I told Lill now because that is all that has happened since I wrote last.

We went fishing today. By (We) I mean the fellow we call (half pint Thomas) and myself called (big Thomas) and we both caught a nice string of perch and bass so we had a fish fry all by ourselves and boy they sure tasted good and I dont mean maybe we ate like a couple of hogs

Tomorrow I go to church and behave then Monday we go on the rifle range again and boy how I hate the ordeal. I have a rifle though that looks pretty good to me and if I keep it good and clean I should get through without accident.

Well I dont know how my chances look for a furlough but you can believe me Im going to try my best to get that furlough and I think I will to by hook or by crook.

Spring has come here to stay I guess from the looks of things it as warm all day today and half the time it was really uncomfortable I suppose it will start to not start to rain for it just now started so I suppose it will rain all day tomorrow I hope not though pretty soon the river will be warm enough to swim again then I will have another try at swiming to the Maryland shore and seeing as Im in fair condition I hope to make it.

Well this is all for this time so I will close as ever.

Only
Porter

P.S. What did you think of my bright Idea? Answer Soon

P

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April 26 [1927] Quantico Virginia

Dearest Beatrice:

If you ever start to mention the fact that you are writing with pencil again I think I will go crazy Im going to tell you now that all I care about is that you write a letter every once in a while whats more I like pencil better myself so dont let that stop you but write.

Im glad to hear that your pictures are finished and I only hope you wont forget to send mine. I have one of my sisters now and Ive still got plenty of room for three or four of yours yet.

What do you mean my plan is lively? Cant you catch and wrap up a little snake? I caught 3 of them in the last week, two at once in fact and I killed one that was a little to viscious and big and two watersnakes that got in my way when I was fishing. Should I catch and send you a couple of the live ones?

My bunky and I have been busy here lately in an empty barracks building a motorcycle and if we can get an engine number and title for it I may come home on it sometime. I am afraid my furlough looks like it might fall through right now but I havent given up hope yet so dont you.

You asked me why I dont like rifle range well its this way it wouldnít be so bad if you just shoot all day but we shoot about 30 rounds then pull targets till noon or vise versa and the same in the afternoon.

Im glad you like my little niece I do myself but I have really only seen her about a dozen times you know but I like children and it dont take me many minutes to get acquainted I wish I had dark long eye lashes maybe you would hug me then.

Im changing pens here so this letter will be two different shades.

Say what is this big surprise that you have cooked up for my sister she has accused me of being in on the secret she says the surprise comes in June.

What do you think of my bright idea you havent told me lately but I certainly hope you will change your mind in my favor. I am going to build my future on your decision so lets have the final decision in favor of

Porter

Write Soon

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April 30 [1927] Quantico Va.

Dearest Beatrice:

Your picture arrived the other day but I have been so tired at night from the range that I havent sat down to write till today. We shot for record yesterday and I made my Expert Rifleman right on the head. I made 306 and not one point over or under. I needed a bulls eye to make 306 and I had just one shot left and I wanted to extra money every month so I made my last shot perfect. I rested up this morning so I could write this afternoon. I expected a letter from you this morning but it never got here yet.

I have been in love with you for some time now but after looking at your picture Im still more in love. Im getting wild, better say yes now before I come and kidnap you. Im not fooling either I mean what I say. Try me anyway and if you still feel that you cant care for me by the time I get discharged then you just tell me and I wont even ask you to give up any boy friends you may have all I ask is one chance to prove to you that I care and that I will try my best to make you happy then as I said when Im out of the service if you still donít care just say so and Ill go away.

Well I suppose you are pretty near done with your exams now, arent you? Dont forget Ill come up there pretty soon and Im going to try to come before graduation time because Im afraid I wont be able to get a furlough then. Ill close now because Im going to send another small letter so write soon to your

Porter

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May 3, 1927 Quantico Virginia

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter today and if it hadnít arrived when it did I believe I would have lost my mind. I was starting to think that you werenít going to write anymore.

This day has been quite eventfull. We had a review by the A & I and this afternoon I received my new medals for Expert Rifleman. I lost my old one so I just needed a new one Tonight the A & I held office hours to hear all tales of woe and remedy them if possible and our new band was well represented because we have been taken from band duty again and we are once more doing guard so he promised to do his best for us so no telling what may happen in the next few days.

If I get the motorcycle going dont worry about me because Im always carefull. Ask Lill. She will tell you how I drive.

My furlough looks pretty bad one way but Ill get it and you can bet your last cent on it because I always have a few good tricks up my sleeve in reserve dont day anything but just watch my smoke. I could get the furlough next week if I had a mind to but Im not quite prepared for a furlough yet but dont get restless just have patience.

I know you havent forgotten my bright idea and please dont. I am banking everything on that idea. I have been pretty blue today but the thought of that idea inspired me to study and I finished another lesson.

We took a walk last week and took a few snap shots Im like a wild beast on the picture Im sending. I just crawled down the tree in time to sneak in on the picture so I look rather shabby compared to my buddy. He is a Abbey. Do you like his looks?

Well Bea: I havent had a real long letter from you yet and Im still waiting for it so sit down sometime and write me a nice long story book romance or otherwise. Ill be expecting that kind of a letter so get busy and Ill promise to come home and see you real soon.

Im going to close now Bea and hope to hear from you soon. Also please say yes to my bright idea give me a chance at least to try to make you happy. I would do my best.

Write soon to your

Porter

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[ca. May 16, 1927] Union Station Washington D.C.

Dearest Bee:

I am sorry I couldnít write on the train last night because I hadnít any paper etc. I tried to get some from the Porter but couldnít. Good Lord! That porter could get me anything else under the sun from a pin up to a gallon but not paper, so I finally fell asleep and slept till just before we hit Washington.

I dont think I will be able to finish this letter before my train comes so I will probably mail it at camp.

I never really realized just how much I missed you until I left last night and then I sure felt awfull and I still do. I am glad that you gave me your promise on the pals idea last night. Iím not giving up the ship you see all the same I will always love you as a pal or a sweetheart or Ė no I wonít think that far ahead.

Im now on board the train on the home stretch honey and there is a little comfort in knowing that and still it makes me feel sad and depressed. I saw one of the boys up here who is taking lessons on the oboe and he tells me that our date of departure is now set for Saturday at 12:20 P.M. so that sounds pretty interesting if true.

Dont forget honey my mail follows me no matter when or where I go so write to one who loves ever

A Pal
Porter

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May 16 1927 Back Home

Dearest Pal:

I started to answer your note on the train but I feel so bad today that I hardly know my hand from my foot. I didnít even answer your little letter in it so I decided to send this letter with it.

I have some more news for my lil ole pal now though. We are not going to San Diego Cal. Nevertheless we are getting transfered, over to the first Regiment I think.

Are you sorry after all, that you left me kiss you? I hope not. I would like very much to know sometime that those kisses meant as much to you as they do to me perhaps if you are sorry you might want me to return them! Do you? I hope not.

I hope you really do think of me often dear pal. I wish I did have the right to use the word I started but Ill wait and see. I havenít given up yet.

Sure tell Helen that I said thanks for those cookies. I meant to tell her while I was there but it always slipped my mind.

Jimmy and Erv and Jimmyís girl took me to the train and they showed me what real friends they were. They stood out in all that rain and waved to me just as long as I could see them.

Sure weve got nicer weather here than it was in Cleveland but its not as nice as it could be.

I couldnít very well tell you much about the trip back because after trying to make the porter understand that I wanted some writing material I just go so tired that I dropped to sleep and the first thing I knew we were just outside Washington.

Well honey Im on guard tonight already and Im going to try to sleep a little and practice a little. I think this will be our last week of guard through because they have a regular guard company in the First Regiment.

Im sorry to think honey that you were crying because I felt hurt that night it was cowardly of me to show how I felt and Im sorry I made you feel that way.

Well I think Ive written enough now so Ill close this with a sad heart but high hopes and aspirations

Still
Porter

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Write Soon

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May 17 1927 Guard House Tenth Regt.

Dearest Little Pal:

I suppose you will notice that I am writing this from the guard house and as I havent even a locker box here Ive got to use my knee as a desk so you mustnít get peeved if you canít read it.

More rumors out now. They sent about 400 more men to Nicaragua last week and the rumor now is that 500 more men are going. Hope I get to go.

I was corporal of the guard last night so that means Ive got 24 hours on & 24 off so Ive got to do another 4 hr watch today and Ive got to hang around here until its time to go on. The night was very nice last night and I only wish we could have had a couple like it last week. Boy what I mean. I sure am lonesome now after a week of seeing you I just cant see what the dickens Im going to do without you. I sure wouldíve liked to have had you here last night. I was singing or rather huming that song last night. (Dear old pal how I miss you Im lonesome tonight)

Do you know what I did Sunday night in my big hurry? I ran off and left your picture and my sisters at home. Im going to write and have Lill sent them. I missed them as soon as I left and it made me feel pretty sore and mean.

Well dear girl I guess Ive said all I can without breaking my promise and making love to you so Ill close

Lots of Love & plenty kisses from The Greatest of the Great Devil Dogs

Porter

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Write Soon

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May 18, 1927 Tenth Regt Quantico Va

Dearest Pal:

Ive been back here about 2 days now but boy it seems like it might be two months. The days seem to be so dull since I left you. I never realized just how much you meant to me until Sunday night when I had to leave. We havenít heard anything new today about our transfer so the latest dope is First Regt. And stay in Quantico. I wouldnít mind now because then I would come to see you again about in Fall or in winter but on the other hand I wouldnít mind going to China either.

I happened to think today about your scrap book and I have a R.R. ticket here that Ive had for some time now I got it from another fellow it is for the Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto R.R. The ticket means nothing but you might want it if not why it burns as good as any other paper. Im also enclosing a piece I took out of the paper you might get a little kick out of it. I know I did. I wasnít drunk either. I was just dazed to think that after finding you I must leave you so soon instead of having you for my very own just a little dazed is all.

Im getting so disgusted with the way Im loosing out here that Im going to close up the business. Im getting tired of working for a few months to get things running smooth and then to lose everything so Im going to quit and make both ends meet on my present income. I got a fairly good offer for the cups percolator knives spoons etc that I have and I took the offer so now Ill get a little more time to practice and to write letters and much less worry.

I wrote to Lill yesterday and I sent a note to Ervin and Jimmy. I told Lill to send me the pictures that I left behind by mistake. I miss the picture almost as much as I miss you. I used to have it set right on my shelf where I could always see it even when I went to sleep at night also when I woke up in the morning and I got so in the habit that I feel lost without it.

Well Pal, I expect to hear from you tomorrow and I expect to hear more so dont fool the

Porter

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May 20, 1927 Tenth Regt Guard House

Dearest Bee:

I havenít heard from you yet since I returned from my furlough and Im worrying. Why dont you write? I miss you so very much since I returned and then not to hear from you for so long makes it harder to bear. Get busy and write to a pal once.

I wanted to write you yesterday but I was on guard, for that matter I am yet and will be till 5:30 tonight but my watches are over and all Ive got to do now is stick around for reliefs at mealtimes so Ive got time to write for a while now.

We got definite information today that we get relieved from guard on Sunday and restored to band duty, then on decoration day weve got a big parade and celebration of some kind to play for in Fredericksburg so I donít think we will get transfered before then. That dont make up for last night though. I walked the corporal of the guards post for 4 hours in a 40 mile wind and it rained so hard I thought it was a cloud burst. This morning it is very nice though it has quit raining and the sun is out and almost no breeze. Just the kind of day I would have liked to see last Sunday.

I donít know if you noticed or not honey but I said some pretty rash things last Sunday and if they have offended you I am sorry but I just couldnít help it. I have to say some things to get myself mad sometimes when Im with you, if I didnít I believe my passionate nature would get the best of me and spoil everything and I would rather say something out of the way and tell you Im sorry later than not to say it and maybe lose you. I havent got you yet and even though I havenít given up hope yet Im sure I donít know what I would do if I were ever to find out that you were someone elses. You asked me in your note to the great private not to do anything rash in a case like that but that is one thing I canít promise. I believe I would rather get hanged than to know that I have lost out. I havent given up yet but oh! How much I love is something that no one else can possibly understand.

Now dear pal dont forget the old soak down here and send him a bit of encouragement because he sure needs it.

Tell Hoppy and Ann that I still think of them sometimes and give my regards to your folks.

Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXX

P.S. Your letter just arrived so Im writing a bit more.

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May 20, 1927 Letter no. 2

Dearest Bee:

Ive already told you in the P.S. of my first letter that your letter just got here. I was just about wild to because I couldnít figure why you didnít write.

Well I guess Ill have to write on my knee again because these boneheads chased me away from the table so they could play 500

Sure honey I hope to say that Lohengrin is a pretty selection only a week ago you wouldnít agree though.

I think they might at least have gave the contest to a band that played a real number even if they didnít give it to the best band. I like Stars & Stripes Forever but it is to common a number to play for a contest anyway for such a big one.

Heck no I dont mind about those pictures paste them on the walls if you like. I told you before that what you do is O.K. with me just so you are happy.

Im sorry Ive never taken any special notice of Levey so I cant give you a very good description of him now but I will try to see him and observe more closely in the near future. However tell Hoppy to eat drink and be merry for he is very good looking I will try to see him and tell you more later.

I dont suppose you can read this as Im using my knee for a desk but try to decipher it and write soon to

A hopefull Private
Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXX

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May 22, 1927 Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bee:

Im going to try writing you a few line but I dont know if I will get them written first or die first. I did a twenty four hour watch for another fellow last night so he could go on a week end liberty. He said he would be back today in time to stand my watch but he isnít back and I got relieved at 5:30 PM and mounted guard for myself again for another twenty four hours. Im waiting to go on post now. Im on from ten P.M. till two A.M. and Im so tired now that the sight of a bunk makes me sick, Im afraid if I was to lay down I would never get up again.

So much for the sob stuff now for the bawling out that you get. Why in the heck dont you write? All Ive heard from you this week is the note I got from you the day before yesterday. Im anxious to hear from you, and you know I am so please write.

We are getting transfered to the First Regt. Next week and from what I hear there is a detail going to Haiti next week or the week after. I may get to make that detail.

Now Im going to tell you a little secret just tween you and me. If I dont make that detail then my bunky and I are going to come up there over either Labor Day or Thanksgiving. We are figuring on coming up on the motorcycle. We want to try to get a five day furlough and a week end which would make us seven days all told. How would you like that?

Say talking about scraps for your scrap book would you like to have something from China? My bunky has some Chinese R.R. tickets and several other things and he told me I could have them if you wanted them. I donít know just what you want for the book myself but if you want these I can send them.

I havenít had a chance to see Levey yet but I will and Ill try my best to get you the desired information. Im not much at that myself but Ill try.

Ill close now honey but dont forget to write soon to

The Great Master
Emil

XXXXXXXXXXXX

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May 24 1927 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bee:

I received your letter about two hours ago while I was in the act of loading my property etc on the trucks. We got transfered today and Im in the Post Band again but I donít know for how long. I would like to stay now but Im afraid I wont. I heard of a tropical detail that was to leave here in the very near future and it goes to the worst tropical post there is, namely Cape Hatien Haiti.

How should I know if the sun is great in Cleveland when I havenít been up there for a week or over It seems to me like a month must have passed since I last saw you. It sure is to bad we didnít have any nice weather like weve got here today.

Dont worry about your man getting into anymore dutch down here. I can do my remaining two years standing on my head if they tell me to.

Im glad you can make use of that ticket and Ill send you some more junk like that if you want me to. I can get something like that from China I think.

Do you think of our trip to Brookside every once in a while? I see you do, and I do to. Do you realize that beside that little trip we were never really alone together all the while I was home. That little trip was very muddy and wet but it was heavenly. I shall never forget it. I only wish we could be together like that always, just the two of us.

Well I guess Ive told you that Ive given up the business havenít I? To much chance to lose money in it. Id rather not have the extra worry anyway. I may also lose one of my specialist ratings by this transfer but I will still have 5th class and although I dont expect to hold solo in this band because it is a much larger and better band I wont get set very far back though. There is a trip and a parade scheduled for Fredericksburgh Virginia on Decoration day but Im going to try to get out of it because it will be in Full Blues and the weather is to warm here for that.

I havenít heard one word from home yet. I suppose Lill is still bullheaded and sore. She wouldnít even say goodby to me when I left. Im not worrying though, she will write before long.

Well I donít suppose its any use asking you if you have decided in my favor yet because if you did I am sure you would let me know right away just like you promised. I cant hardly wait though I suppose you can guess why? Because Im afraid of losing you.

Well honey no more to day now so goodby for the time

Yours Only
Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXX Ė 2 minutes

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May 27, 1927 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest Pal:

I have waited for both mail deliveries today and no letter from you in either one. Why didnít you write? I havenít heard from my sisters or my buddyís up there either since I came back, but I wouldnít mind that if only you would write.

Tomorrow morning we leave here at 8:10 A.M. for Frederichsburgh for some celebration or other. I may get back Tomorrow yet and I may have to stay over night to play for some dance they are giving up there tomorrow night so no matter when I get back I wont be able to write till Sunday and if I get a letter in tomorrows mail I wonít know about it till late tomorrow night or maybe Sunday.

I suppose you have read in the paper where the Marine team beat the Japanese team from Waseda University of Japan. Well we did, the score was 9 to 6 in our favor. Thatís not so bad when you consider that the same team played an exhibition game with the Giants and beat them. I dont remember just what the score was but I think it was 12 to 5 if Im not mistaken. So I dont think our team is so rusty after all.

Say honey Ive got about two and a half copies of the (Leatherneck) here and Ill send them to you sometime Ive also got two copies of the (Metronome) here. They have some good dope for violinists in them and a couple of orchestrations.

Well Bee: Im going to try writing a letter to my father now and Ill find out why they havent forwarded the pictures that I left at home and why they wont write to me. Boy what I mean Ill bawl out the whole crew up there and I donít mean maybe. I miss that picture and I mean to have it if I have to bawl out everyone on Ira Ave.

Have you seen Erv or Jimmy yet since I came back here? Jimmy had a picture taken in my outfit you know and Im dying to see one of those pictures. Ill die from laughing if I ever do see it.

Ive seen, ďMcFaddens Flats,Ē here since I came back and its pretty good. I saw Lon Chaney in ďMr. Wu,Ē last night and it wasnít so very good. But if you get the chance go to see, ďLet it Rain,Ē I know youíll like that it is a marine picture and nearly as good as, ďTell it to the Marines,Ē so see it if you can.

I guess Ive said enough for this time because Ive got to get my cloths ready for tomorrow so Ill ask you again to write soon to

One Who Loves You

XXXXXXXXXXXX

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May 28 1927 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dearest Bee:

I just returned from the Fredericksburgh trip, and found your letter waiting for me. I knew that it was there without seeing it and knowing it was there I could hardly wait to get back so I could read it.

I just dreaded that trip before we ever got started and boy she turned out to be just as hard as I expected and then some. It wouldnít been any worse than I expected if they almost starved us to death and then put us out to lead the parade and play for every float etc that came by and we stood in a sandy place and when we were done we were to our knees in sand.

Im glad to hear you say that you can understand me, everyone else up there takes everything I say the wrong way, even the sister that I thought might know me. I trusted her with my innermost thoughts, things I wouldnít tell anyone else and still she didnít understand.

I donít think Iím going to get put on that detail after all, anyway I hope not. I donít know what you mean that it would be a hard trip on a motorcycle. The motorcycle would go by freight and I would be with the rest of the detail but I donít think Ill get to go on the detail.

You tell me that you witnessed the first street fight last Monday night. Well you donít know how near you came to seeing several of them when I was up there. I sure would have liked for someone to say something about my uniform. I was so disgusted with myself that I would have welcomed even a riot. Im still disgusted with myself and I still think that any baby that is born as ugly as I was should die. It would be a blessing because if it didnít it would always regret it. I know I wish I had. Then I wouldnít have to face failure. Maybe!

I am glad and proud to hear that you made such as good average in school. That is what I call excellent, to be eighth out of 137 students is no small task.

I hope you didnít forget to write that letter because not only am I anxious to hear how the field meet came out but Im also anxious to hear from you. I am always in better humor when I hear from you. I suppose that is the penalty for being in love, to be disgusted until one hears from the loved one, and then to be miserable again until the next letter arrives. Ill be expecting your letter tomorrow also the secret that you promised to impart to me. When I read that you had a secret, for just one minute I had a wonderfull hope but since then I saw myself in a mirror and realized that I had hoped for to much. I agree with you though that the fun of a secret is to tell someone, it lots more fun than keeping it locked up tight where it never seeís the light of day.

I have no lucky number honey but my favorite march in the black book is number twelve its ďFort Lawton,Ē and a pretty march I say so I like twelve for a number. Why do you ask though? I would like to know what is happening that can be connected with My march.

Right this minute there are a bunch of fellows sitting around the bunk across the way from me playing the game of, ďfive hundred,Ē I cant see how they can do it after that trip today. I am so tired myself that I feel like sleeping right where I sit now. Im so tired that if these barracks started to burn right now I would refuse to move I would take a chance on the fire department getting here on time and doing a good job. I really believe I would rather roast than move.
Well honey I suppose I have to close this letter unless I want to tell you some more about how much I love you but I guess that gets pretty tiresome so seeing as Ive told you all the news I know at present Ill close

Semper Fidelis
Porter

Write Soon

XXXXXXXXXXXX and a couple of hugs OO

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May 29 1927 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest:

Your letter that you started in the study hall arrived today and if anything ever made me happy it sure did, especially the part where you told me about having a better chance since Ive been home, and also the part where you told me about your name being put on the cup for Domestic Science. That sure is an honor honey and Im proud of you. Id like to be up there now so I could hug you for it.

Talking about Erv and Joe reminds me to tell you that Ive received a letter from Erv the same time I received yours and also one from Chisler Jimmy. I havent heard so much as boo from Joe and I dont intend to write to him again till I hear from him and he better make it snappy to. I havenít heard from home yet either. Nice people!

Im reading some very excellent books now to honey Im reading The electricians Text book by Bullard and Naval Warfare By Mahan. I sure need all the knowledge I can get out of those two. Math and all.

I hope to say Ive finished with guard duty and Ive caught up on some sleep in the bargain. I hope Ive done my last guard and I dont think Im hoping in vain.

Maybe you think I dont wish I were going to that senior picnic with you. Im so jealous that Im always afraid Im going to lose you altogether when you go somewhere where other fellows will be present. Im looking at things broad minded though. Im in here for two more years and even if you had promised which you havenít yet I would still think that you are entitled to some fun so Im going to restrain my jealousy and be glad you are having a good time.

I hope you make up with Hoppy pretty soon honey because I know how it feels to be disappointed with a friend. I know it will blow over though because you are pretty close friends and she probably feels as bad as you do.

Ive got a bunch of stuff for your scrap book honey all came from China. Guides and concert programs etc. I will send them when I send the Leather necks.

I dont know what promise you are trying to get out of me so how can I promise? I dont know what it is all about so if youll tell me maybe Ill promise.

Say young lady dont I compliment you on your volumes every time they arrive. Ive told you that no matter how large or small they are they make me happy and no bunk, and your latest edition has made me the happiest of all and if you ever write one with your promise then Ill remain happy.

Well honey Ive did a little work today. I repaired a phonograph that had a broken spring. I couldnít get a new spring so I had to fool around and fix the broken one because they needed the darn thing for a party for tonight.

Ill close now for nothing new has happened since my last letter but write soon to

The Great Private Porter XXXXXXXXXXXX OO 

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May 31, 1927 About 9:15 PM Post Band

Dearest Beatrice:

Your commencement card arrived here and boy you canít possibly imagine how sorry I am that I cant be there. I sure would be happy if it were possible.

I was kept very busy all day yesterday and today. It seems like everyones radio went on the rocks last night and the night before and they all seem to pick on me to fix them, then beside that we are the duty band and had to play colors and an outside concert beside a very stiff rehearsal this morning so Ive been kept so busy I couldnít even write till now.

I suppose by this time you have made up with Hoppy havenít you? If you havenít then you ought to be spanked because high pride is a bad thing in a case like this.

Beatrice honey Iím going to go crazy yet if you donít promise to marry me. I canít possibly see why you wonít promise or at least give me a trial, you have told me already that there is no other man and you have told me to that I have a good chance so why not give me your promise or at least a trial. I love you so much that I believe I would die if you ever married someone else. I have been thinking of that for the last couple of days and the mere thought of it nearly drives me mad. I know I shouldnít be telling you all this now because we said we would be pals Ė but when a man is in love he just canít help it. Im afraid if I canít at least tell you about it I would find myself in a upholstered room with bars over the windows and a sign on the door with the inscription ďVisciousĒ on it.

I got demoted as far as music is concerned and Ive lost some of my rating and I donít seem to have ambition enough to buckle down to work to get it back but Im going to start tomorrow and work hard to get it back. Im sitting 5th chair now quite a difference isnít it? and each demotion makes me feel worse and lose more ambition.

Well honey I guess this letter is going to be about as cheerfull as a county morgue to you but I just canít help it. I must pour out what is in my heart and to whom else could I tell this. No one I know of. I only hope to God you donít get so disgusted with me that you quit writing. Your letters are about the only comfort I have now and if they ceased to come it would simply be disastrous.

I know that its going to be hard to read this and the spelling isnít very good but try your best and write to a

Love Sick Marine

XXXXXXXXXXXX OO

dear beatrice so glad to hear from you & that you got along so well I am sending you a little gift I wish it was more be a good girl & you will get along in this world where there is so much sin but giving trust in god to be true to him & all will be well you have my blessing let me know if you get it just a ___ from granma 

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June 1, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letter arrived here this afternoon so Im sitting down now to answer it. It does seem a bit different to write a letter at home where no study hall teacher can bother you. I know just how they pry into other peoples affairs.

Im sorry to hear that your trip was spoiled on account of roads but cheer up you can always make the same trip some other time under better circumstances and Im quite sure you will enjoy it as much then as you would last Saturday.

Ill tell the world my honey has some original wit and if your car shone like a Marines buttons for inspection then you sure must have done a good job.

Im glad you stayed home and wrote me that volume instead of going fishing with your Dad although Im sure you would have had a nice time but Im sure I should have been jealous as the dickens because the fellows next door was along.

I dont suppose its any use telling you again what a flop our trip was but I will say that if our return train hadnít come when it did I would have started to walk back. I was that anxious to get away from there.

No I didnít know that I was being decorated for decoration day but now that its all over I suppose its to late to kick. I am thankfull though for the kiss and the bear hug that I was decorated with at the end of your letter. I think Ill see Coolidge and have him declare 365 decoration days each year.

Ive met the Rev. Knapps of whom you spoke. It was several years ago but I remembered him the minute I saw the name in your letter.

I hope your scales lied a little because I dont want my light heavyweight to be to much light or to much heavy either.

Well honey there goes my call to arms. My bunky has asked me to do him a favor and I havent much time now he ready to go already so Ill have to make this short.

Ill have one of those pictures taken the first chance I get if the camera dont break. Im glad beyond words to hear that you really remember Brooky and I hope you never forget. Ill close now honey and go with my buddy so write soon to the

Hopefull
Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX OO

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June 3, 1927 Post Band Quantico Va.

Dearest Beatrice:

I waited for the mail today morning and afternoon and no letter from you yet. I had hoped to hear from you today although I just knew I wouldnít but Id almost bet I have a letter tomorrow.

Im sending you some scraps for your scrap book, most of it is from China and some race track tickets to. Dont think though that Im betting on the horses because Im not. These are from the fellow that gave me the rest of the junk. You will find some with this letter and some in another envelope. Ill send some more later on. A Chinese city directory etc.

Weve been pretty busy here lately by playing for the farewell ceremonies of Maj. Gen. E.K. Cole yesterday and last night and the welcome ceremonies for the new, Maj. Gen. Nevell and I hope thatís all we play for generals for a while at least although Im afraid it isnít.

Im having a nice time here trying to write. I write about five words and the lights get dim and I canít see so I have to wait about ten minutes for the lights to go on again trouble in the power house.

Have you seen my sister since that day you saw her? She hasnít written yet. Im getting real sore at her now. I disgusted and sore and donít know what to do. Do you?

We have to play concert again night after tomorrow. We have The Bronze Horse Overture and Vision of Salome and a couple more Columbro Overture and several Fox trots and a couple of Marches its all pretty stiff stuff to You would like this concert Im sure. Its going to be worth hearing. Not throwing any roses you know because now Im an, ďalso ran.Ē Just one of the clarinet section so without throwing roses Im telling you its going to be good.

Im lucky I came home when I did and I just found out today. They arenít putting out any furloughs at all, not even sick leaves. Im going to try again in fall though. I should worry for the present time.

I bought myself some very good French imported clarinet reeds yesterday 40₵ each. Boy. Ill never again run into a bargain likes that so I bought thirty of them enough for a year. Itís a pleasure to play with a reed like that. I get a much nicer tone and I can tongue just about twice as fast.

What is my sweaty doing at Tech now? What is Tech doing in the athletic line? Tell me all about it in your next volume. Tell me about Hoppy and Ann to, you know youve never told me if your falling out has blown over yet or not. Im anxious to know.

Im going to close now before I start making this a mushy letter. I know you dont like me to tell you how much I love you in every letter so Im going to write every other one like this.

Write soon to a Lonesome Marine
Porter

Love and Kisses XXXXXXXXXXXX OOOO

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June 4, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I going to send the two copies of the Metronome and a couple of old Leathernecks I have either this afternoon or Monday morning.

I wrote a couple of letters yesterday or rather one letter and an envelope full of scraps and I told you I would hear from you today and I sure did. I felt it in my blood. I just felt that you couldnít keep me waiting any longer. Im glad to hear that you and Hoppy are still friends and still running around together. I know how it hurts. I know how it feels to have the best pal tell or rather say something that hurts like that. Ive felt it and not so long ago either and it still hurts.

Oh a trip to Cleveland on a motorcycle wouldnít be so bad. Thatís only about 550 miles or maybe a little better and if I could get to make it I think it would be worth the jars and bumps.

Im going to write Lill a nice letter today seeing as she denies having received the other one and Im going to register it so there wont be no mistakes made. Im going to do the same to Joe.

I really shouldnít be trying to answer your letter today because I feel all out of sorts and all my other letters sound enough like a funeral without writing when Im disgusted to a point where Id like to committ murder. One of the fellows went up to Washington today to get married and boy what I mean every fellow turned out to see him leave and wish him luck even if he is only going to be gone till Sunday night. I canít tell you how it made me feel except that it made me realize more than ever that I havent even got a promise yet and I just feel like tearing loose and doing something. A riot or a fight or even a cyclone would suit me fine right now.

You said that a girl prefers a man who is physically fit, who keeps his teeth shining and who has a straight forward look in his eyes. Well Im trying me best to be all that so what more do I lack?

Im going to try to get one of the radios around here working so I can listen in on the 12th Id love to hear your orchestra.

Well today was the Irish Flag -- ? I mean the Jewish Flag day in camp here in other words pay day. It doesnít mean much to me though so Im not excited most of the fellows get week end liberty and go to Washington on payday but I cant not if I want to take lessons. I cant afford it especially since Im transfered. Im only getting $32 per month now although I expect to do better soon again then maybe Ill be able to be thrifty and even if I was making three times as much I would rather stay here and play pinochle or practice a little. I get more kick out of it and its much easier to keep out of the brigg that way.

Now honey Im going to ask you some more why you wont marry me. Is it something the matter with me? Something I can remedy or is it just that you dont ever want to settle down? I would like to settle down and make a home myself and I thought you would or I would never have asked you. Then you know that I love you and I always will. I would give up anything for you and you know it. All you have to do is to day the word and Ė (ďNot mine to question Why, mine but to do or die,Ē) I dont know what Id do if it wasnít for the fact that I still have hopes. Im starting to doubt however if those hopes will last very long. I was at the point a few days where AI would have thought nothing at all of dishonor and thatís why my hopes look slim.

Now do you see why I cant keep my promise to be just pals? Ive simply got to get those things off my chest so you may expect lots of letters like this. Dont be surprised if you do but at the same time dont think I dont mean every word I say because I do and Im still waiting for the promise. Its not sympathy I want cause I can find that in the dictionary and I dont want it any way. Just give me your promise or at least a chance to prove my words.

You must be just about asleep trying to read this so Ill say Chin Chin for the time being so write soon to

Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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June 7, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I wrote you a nice letter last Saturday and put it in my pocket to be mailed and forgot to drop it at the post office Yesterday my bunky and I decided to put on some old cloths and we took a couple more fellows and hopped a freight train for a ride. I put my hand into my pocket for my smokes and found the letter still there unmailed. I didnít have any stamps along so I brought the thing back here to be mailed. I changed my mind and decided to mail this explanation with it.

To begin with I just came back from mailing the Leathernecks etc. that I was going to mail Saturday.

Yesterday on our freight ride four of us left here about 2:30 P.M. and started out for Richmond but we got as far as Dumbarton and got off that is five miles before Richmond or eighty six miles from here. We got there just at supper time and no restaurants so Stankus my bunky goes to the General store and buys some Bread, cheese, ham, and pie enough for four of us and some left over and they asked all of 48₵ for all that stuff. I think Im going to live in that town some day at that rate. The biggest piece of change they ever see there is a half a dollar. We caught our train back and should have been back here by ten oclock but the air brakes on our Quantico Special (Freight) locked and we were tied up for two hours half way between here and No mans land so we got in at midnight we were sleepy to and I dont mean perhaps so I slept till breakfast time this morning. I didnít know anything about it when reveille went I just slept till it was time to eat again.

I( donít suppose I have any right to ask why I havent heard from you seeing as I forgot to mail my letter but nevertheless I havent heard from you since Saturday and this is Tuesday. Is that Nice? Write soon to

Porter

XXXXXXXXXXXX

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June 9 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

Im afraid you are going to have to make the best of a letter written with pencil because the band isnít here and my buddy has our pen with him. I used my influence and got out of the trip thinking I could practice and write. You see your letter got here some time yesterday but I was on another one of those freight rides and coming back we caught a local and rode it for five hours making the progress we should have made in one hour. It was two oclock this A.M. when we decided to leave it and wait for a faster one and it was 3 A.M. before our fast freight came. We made good time with it and got back just in time for reveille, then I slept a while and after dinner I practiced and now Im writing.

What was there about Let it Rain that made you so lonesome? I canít remember any such a part in the picture.

I hope to sneeze that picture of Jimmy is good. I got it some time ago and I thought I told you about it. I sat down and laughed till I cried when it arrived here.

Now who is Nellie supposed to be and how should I know if I like her chocolate pie I dont even know who Nellie is nor what kind of pies she makes. Make your statements clearer or Ill always be in the dark. I dont suppose I would be human though if I didnít like chocolate pie.

Say Bea: tell me how much does Hoppyís brother mean to you? I hope Ė never mind I dont even hope any more I just take things for granted.

Why donít you think I should send so many kisses? You admitted yourself that the only reason why you ever left me kiss you was because the kisses were nice and you liked them so why decide against them now? Ill send twice as many for that and dont worry about me ever running out if Im not economical because Im not built that way

Why tell me that I should think of you sometimes when you know that that is all I do all day long and all night long and those same thought are liable to make me nutts if you dont come across pretty soon with that promise. I canít see yet why you wont tell me one way or the other then I could run according to schedule. Oh I have every move figured out one way or the other so dont laugh because I mean every word I say.

Ill close this now with more Love and twice as many kisses

Semper Fidelis
Porter

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P.S. Write Soon and dont forget E

P.S.S. I have found an envelope already addressed in ink so dont think I found a pen in the last inning because I didnt

Porter 

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June 10, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I finaly got it figured out just when to expect mail from you and I expected your letter today so I didnít go away and sure enough here comes your letter.

Im praying for your nice day monday alright but what for do you all want this nice day? Going on a picnic you say. What kind of a picnic is it? Tell me all about it. This letter will get to you just as soon as you get back from the picnic so Ill expect all the details.

Did you receive those magazines and Leathernecks yet? And the Chinese Restaurant sign? I used that sign here just as a joke and as there is no more restaurant left I sent you the sign.

Sure I sent Lill a letter. Do you think Im talking through my hat? You know I dont do that.

Im sure you wouldnít have enjoyed that concert because the solo clarinet ruined it. I could have done as good as he did myself.

Well they are pretty stingy alright with the furloughs but Im going to try for one this fall or winter and its going to be a real long one.

Why the heck dont you go to the formal? You dont necessarily have to be in love with a fellow in order to go to the formal, so why be so d!!X! particular. You talk like you was going to pick a husband instead of a companion to the formal or rather an escort.

If your definition of a mushy letter is like you say (ďSilly and untrue) then I take back that word and Ill just call those letters (Love Letters) How is that?

Im not doing anything very interesting or at least nothing beside practice and read. I read two and one half books yesterday. Neither of them was much good.

I havent any more to say now unless I want to write another one of those -- ? shall we call them Love Letters? Ill write more later but donít forget Im still waiting for your promise or at least for a chance.

Semper Fidelis

Porter

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June 13 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

Your kind of luck that today isnít Friday because I wouldnít write if it was but I dont mind writing on the 13th but if the 13th comes on Friday then I get scared.

Im glad you liked the magazines I sent and I wish I had many more to send.

What do you mean when you said you signed Tatlers? Did all the seniors sign Tatlers?

I guess you always wind up on or around the athletic field when you start out with nothing to do I dont blame you because it gets pretty interesting sometimes

Im surprised to hear you ask if it was you that hurt me. You know it wasnít because there is only one thing you could do that would hurt like that and you havent exactly done that yet although you have hinted that way, but it wasnít that. Ive been hurt that way twice once when Joe Joe may turned back on me and now when my own sister goes back on me.

No danger of me having any peg leg or arms like a scarecrow they are perfectly humane flesh even if they are rather dark and sunburned and I try to keep them as muscular and pliable as possible. Sure Ill admit that ďPatience is a Virtue,Ē but sometimes my patience gets out of bounds and I cant hold it try with all my might.

Well I guess you are human to just like any other woman only I dont believe you know how to translate or interpret your feelings I know for instance that I could make you happy and you say you dont care that way but still you care enough to write all the time and always think of me. I know you care only you dont know it That is why I want you to give me a chance anyway and maybe I could help and at the same time I would feel more sure of myself.

I got a letter from my Dad yesterday and it turned out that it got here just one year after the last one he wrote. June 12, 1926 was the last I heard from him till yesterday. You know I wrote to Lill and Pa about that picture and I was waiting for word from him and most of all for that picture but he never even mentioned it. I wrote back and told him for the last time to send it and if he dont Well there is more than one way of getting personal property returned when it belongs to a service man and Ill go the limit

I sot suppose its any use of me telling you what I think about my sisters good looks or try to compare them seeing as you already know what Id say and then you would only call ne a fibber but call me what I you will Ive got my opinion.

I suppose Ill have to stop being so disgusted if you say so though I dont know how unless you really mean that you are My Beatrice.

Write Soon Honey to

Emil XXXXXXXXXXXXO

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June 19, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

Ive been waiting all week now for the letter you was going to write after Monday and it finally got here today. I believe I would have gone crazy or come up to meet the letter if it hadnít got here today. You donít know how miserable I feel when I dont hear from you in such a long time. Im always worrying and thinking maybe Ive said something to offend and it nearly makes me sick when I worry I was a little sick this week anyway from Monday till Thursday and then when your letter didnít get here I got, well you might call it bloodthirsty

This band has been on the go all week playing for the Marine Corps Reserves that are here, and as sick as I was I never missed one formation I stuck right with them.

Last night or rather yesterday afternoon was the first peace we got this week and then I got a little job on the side repair job on a motorcycle and I need all those little jobs if I expect to keep on taking lessons.

Well now that you are out of school what are you going to do? I suppose you are going to start to working now I know Lill is because you told me so and so did my father.

I havent heard from Erv or Jimmy for 3 weeks now so I expect a letter from one of them tomorrow or the day after.

Well honey today I have two years and two days more to serve in this Marine Corps. The past two years seemed to go by on wings I cant even guess where they have gone to. I seem to have a feeling that part of those two years have been wasted although I hope it is only my imagination because I have no use for a man who wastes time. I would rather have anything else said about me than that.

I dont suppose its any use asking if you have changed your mind about me in the matter of matrimony yet, but I dont see any other way out of it but to ask you every time I write. I sometimes think it is hopeless but then Im one fellow that believe (A man may be down but never out) Do you believe that?

Im sending you one picture I had taken on a trip we made to Dumbarton Va. via freight train. We all wore just what you see on me a civilian cap a white shirt the white trowsers from our blues and civilian shoes. Im sending you this picture hoping you can help me to decide which side of my face hurt me the most when the picture was taken. We found an old stone quarry that was filled with clear water from an underground spring so we went in swimming and it was swell only we couldnt find even one spot where we could touch bottom so I climbed a cliff about 45 ft. high and dove of and tried to touch bottom but failed so I tried jumping off with the same result although the time I jumped I went so deep that the pressure of the water was so great on my eardrums that I couldnít hear a sound for half an hour. I believe you could have fired a cannon beside me and I wouldnít have heard it.

My father hasnít sent me that picture yet and Im getting darn tired of waiting but Im giving him another week and if the picture dont get here a week from Monday I put the matter in the hands of our company commander. Donít say anything about it but just watch and see if I get that picture or not.

Well honey I havent much more to say only to ask you to marry me again. Im not even going to go into detail because you must be getting tired of it by now but it never hurts to ask does it? It would make me very very happy and I am sure I could make you happy if I got the chance or I would never ask you. I still believe we were made for one another.

Im going to close now and Ill write more soon hoping you do the same

Semper Fidelis

Porter

P.S. I havent had a chance to take that picture in blues yet but Ill have it taken and send it the first chance I get.

Porter

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June 22, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Dont think that I have neglected to write to you as often lately because I didnít want to because I did want to very much, in fact this pencil is very dumb when it comes to telling you how much I wanted to write or how much I love you. I am still a soldier you know and my first thought must dwell on duty but I promise the second one shall always be of you. I wont have to put you second very much longer though dear one because yesterday I started the down hill journey I passed the two year mark. I hope the next two may pass as quickly as the first two did

I got a roll of films today and when we fall out in blues Friday Im going to take your picture. If Ė it isnt raining again. You havent a picture with blues and white cap cover have you? Ill take one of those to.

No I havent heard a thing about my family going to Michigan. Tell me more about it. What do you mean a part of the family. What do they intend to do there? I suppose my dad has that silly beet raising idea again. He has decided to do the same thing eleven times in the last twelve years and changed his mind each time.

I think Levey is either paid off or on leave or doing duty some where else now cause I cant seem to locate him around here anywhere Im sorry I cant give Hoppy the desired information because I dont notice those things. The main thing with me is that he is an excellent athlete. I do know though that he is Jewish and his hair isnít red so I could notice itís pretty dark in fact. He seems to have a good set of teeth so far as I can remember, but did you ever see a Marine who didnít? Those are some of the physical requirements. Ill see Cal about that Army vs Marine Game and Ill also see to it that mister Emery the weatherman up there is on the job with plenty of sunshine.

Now to start the old story again. I wish you would get the idea out of your head that it wouldnít be fair to give me a chance to make you happy by giving me your promise I wish you would just take my word for it. It seems that I can get just so far with a letter when all I can think of is I love you and more I love you and still more. My pencil seems to want to write nothing else but that. My heart is saying the same How can I help it.

Well honey Im afraid Ill have to close because I seem to have only nine minutes till taps and I cant write in the dark. Ill mail this tomorrow A.M. the first chance I get. Dont forget now honey I want you always so give me your promise in the return mail to

Porter

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June 24 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

Your latest volume arrived this morning as we were going out to practice parading for the benefit of those darn Reserves. Boy we sure did some tall playing to to Agilance call then march the troops on the line then sound off and march from one end of the line to the other and back we call it the trooping of the line Then officers center and pass in review Then we started all over for review and inspection which meant playing all those same ceremonies and one more in addition while they inspected the whole Batalion and keep repeating it until the whole Batalion was inspected Then we went over the formal guard mount for their benefit and after that we had to play to bring them back. Tomorrow we fall out early in the morning in Blues with white cap covers to do the same thing for the Major General Comandant etc. Thats when Im going to try to take those pictures.

Does it seem like so much more than two years since I left home? I didnít think that you even knew when I left. I think or in fact Im pretty sure I can get another furlough this fall But I donít know if I can afford one now because instead of getting better ratings we lost what we had when we came to this band. I still have a small one though and even at that if I do get leave Ill come up if I have to ride a freight. Ive smashed my motorcycle you know. I fell on a slippery pavement. I didnít intend to tell you but you would have to know sooner or later anyway. I may fix it up but I dont think so its to darn dangerous on those things anyway (Sour grapes) my post permit was also revoked on account of the accident. Nobody hurt though.

Why do you start my letter in such a formal way (Mr Thomas) sounds like you wanted to cut my throat. Who addressed the envelope? That sure wasnít your handwriting Ė Was it? Must have been Helenís seeing as you wrote the letter at her house

I even envy a dog. Can you imagine why? It for the simple reason that I wished you thought as often of me as you do of dogs. I think Ill have to catch a couple of dozen of those around here and send them to you.

Ive been trying to do some reading to but I dont get much time Ive read, ďUne Vie,Ē by (Guy De) Maupassant and also ďThe Odd Number,Ē by the same author. He writes some very good and select books. They seem so different from those written by other authors. If you havent read some of his try them Im sure you will enjoy them. You must understand him though in order to really enjoy his stories.

Well you better go with Hoppy and learn all there is about the Saturday shopping because I mean to have you do our shopping sometime Why do you keep putting me off all the time? You know yourself that sooner or later you will come around to my way of thinking. I have told you for the last year now that I would do my best to make you happy and I know I would succeed. That is my big ambition Why keep putting me off.

Im closing now to clean my Blues for tomorrow so

Love and Lots of Kisses

From
Porter XXXXXXXXXXXX OO 

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June 27 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dear Beatrice:

I received your last letter and it made me feel happy to know that you are tempted to say the word but you said you wonder how it is possible that I can love you and I couldnít understand that part. It isnít really possible to know you without loving you I cant help it. I wish you would forget this fooling around and promise to be my wife That should be fair exchange you would be promising that and I would at the same time be promising to try my best to make you happy. You would in the vows be giving yourself to me and I would be giving myself to you I just know you would be satisfied and Im certain that I would. I would be very proud. Im afraid I would get a swelled head.

You said you wish you could put down what you want to Why donít you? Try that sometime. Thatís a good way to get things off your chest. I know when I wasnít to get anything off my chest I wouldnt want to tell anyone only a loved one.

Ill agree with you that housework isnít easy. Thatís why I think you are making a sacrifice if you say yes to me but in return you would be made happy Still in spite of all that I cant say what would be a ladylike word to use. Im not a lady you know I would probably tell you what a real he man would say D:**!:;?-d could you pronounce that? I hope not, at any rate dont try.

What did Hoppy tell you when you stopped to look at the recruiting Sgt. You said it would keep but Im afraid it wont. Im curious. Then to if you keep telling me about the men you stop to look at etc. Ill be getting so jealous that Ill be biting my arm off or something D------ ouch! Some guy got some candy and he was hollering at me trying to give me some and when he couldnt make me hear him so he hit me with a carmel. Boy that thing was hard as rock. I even got a bump in my head.

Do you mean that you are going to Cumberland Maryland? If you was coming up there I could have come up there to see you on a week end liberty. I guess you must have gone to some other Cumberland though.

Ive taken those pictures but the Post photographer is closed and I havent been downtown to drop the film in there I will have them back maybe this week maybe next. Ill send them as soon as I can if they are half way decent.

I went on another one of those freight rides Saturday I had a week end liberty. That is till 5:30 A.M. this morning we slept in in the woods (4 other men and myself) and went swimming till noon yesterday and came back. That is, we started back at 12:15 P.M. and we broke all records by getting back here in two hours and eight minutes. That is we got back at twenty three minutes past two yesterday afternoon then I slept till suppertime (5:30 PM) and slept from then till reveille this morning exactly twelve hours

Say! Ė if that darn sun is keeping you from writing to me Im afraid Ill have to do some thing. Ill have to send some awnings for your window or Ill have to pray that it should rain up there or something like that.

Please excuse me for running out just now but the photographer just came in and I got word of it so I took a run over and dropped the films. I think I will get them back Saturday if I can find a minute or two free when he has the shop open

I just heard more news. I heard that I am making a 5 day trip with 19 other men to Whitestones and Caho starting Saturday. I dont know what time we start or anything but I know we go Saturday unless I can get out of it. On a trip to the backwoods like that we are always considered city slickers and people treat us like Generals. They dont let a person forget that they are wearing a uniform they make us feel like big butter and egg men

Well honey Im going to try some baseball this afternoon so Ill close now. dont forget to try telling me what you want and try saying yes. Get the habit.

Write soon

Only yours
Porter

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June 30 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I was expecting to hear from you today and waited for both mail deliveries but no letter so Im writing one instead.

I donít remember if I told you that we are making a trip to Caho Va with a twenty piece band this Saturday. We were supposed to stay five days but Im only staying over Saturday and Sunday. Its going to be some job. We had a special rehearsal yesterday and today and weve got another one tomorrow. The music was passed out yesterday and weve got about a hundred numbers, some Fox Trots some Overtures a couple of Serenades and a few trombone Smears.

Ive been trying to remember to tell you in the last two letters that I cant see my way clear to let my folks keep that picture. I would be an awfull coward if I left them get away with it. That picture was given to me. I hope there was a reason. No matter if there is or not that picture means much to me, so if I start any trouble Ill have to hope that you will forgive me. I just cant see no other way out anyway I havent seen it yet.

Do you know what I did? I traded in my old motorcycle on another one Im getting a Harley Davidson now. Its all tore apart now being overhauled. I traded my other one for it and Im putting a few dollars worth of parts in this one and Ill have a good machine I intend to make a trip home on it in a couple of months. Now what do you think of that?

When the heck are you going to write and tell me that word. Im still waiting for it. I love you so much that I lay awake nights just wondering and hoping. I wish you would say yes pretty quick now. I sure would be happy and Im sure you would to. Im so much in love right now that my pencil dont know what to write and my mind is dead for fear that you might refuse me. I love you so much that I dont know what I would do if you should refuse me. I honestly believe I would go crazy. Say the word wont you honey? I want you worse than anything, whats more I mean to have you if I have to steal you.

What are you and Hoppy doing now? I suppose you are still looking for work, arent you? Work is something thatís pretty hard to find now, especially for women. Are you really anxious to find work? Or are you just doing it to pass the time away.

I havent finished my course yet and havent even sent in a lesson in a month because there is no more Marine Corps Institute now. They were forced to close out when they sent all available men to the West Coast for China and Nicaragua. Ill start work again and finish the course as soon as they open up the Institute again.

We played baseball Tuesday with the Aviation team and we lost 6 Ė 5. It was a close game to in the morning we had two men on base with two outs and one of our best hitters was batting and he hit a long fly to center field and the center fielder caught that ball in a way that was a miracle. Ive never seen such a nice catch. That catch won the game for them and they sure deserved it with a play like that. We are tie for the company Championship with the Aviation now. I only hope they dont win games like that all the time we play the series off with them. They sure are the fighting boys though. Last week when they played the Signal Battalion they were losing 8 to 3 in the 8th inning and won 18 to 8 at the end of the 9th. They sure fight right to the end and they are good sports to. All of them.

Well honey weve got a little concert yet this afternoon so I guess Ill have to close this letter now. I havent anymore to say anyway unless I want to tell you a couple more times that I love you. I donít hardly suppose that is necessary though. You must know it by now.

Well honey write soon and dont forget.

Your
Porter

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July 3 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

I just received your letter now because I just got back from that trip now. I believe the letter got here yesterday yet but Im not sure.

The trip didnít turn out a failure for a change The whole performance was for the benefit of the church which they are building. They were charging 25₵ and $1.00 admittance for the concert. The open air concert all day was free.

We ran into some reall Southern Hospitality up there. We stayed with private families last night and nothing was to good for us while we were there. All they w3anted to know was what we wanted and they got it. The sky was the limit. We made the trip from here to Fredericksburgh in a buss and the rest of the trip in private cars.

Now honey you shouldnít bawl me out just because I have a little accident. Those things happen to the best of drivers and it makes me feel bad when you bawl me out like that. A Post Permit is like a liscence plate only smaller it shows that the driver has permission to own and operate a motor vehicle

Im sorry I forgot to answer that part of your letter about the belts. No we arenít supposed to run around without them we are supposed to be in full uniform at all times when out of quarters. That means when we are anywhere where we may be seen by the public. That fellow probably took his off so the rain wouldnít make the polish run onto his uniform.

Thanks for the picture honey I sure appreciate it and I only hope that the individual in the picture will be mine as well as the picture and I hope it will be real soon if she donít tell me soon Im afraid Ill go crazy.

Good Lord honey. Do you realize that if I have to wait for your bright idea until I get to go on another furlough it will be late this fall? Do you intend to keep me in suspence until then? Ill be getting desperate and do something rash if you make me wait that long. I cant wait.

Why dont you say yes and tell me what size ring you wear and what kind you want and Ill get it and send it to you. Please honey donít make me wait any longer I just canít stand it. Im only human you know and you also know that I love you and even though you say you arenít sure you care still Im certain that you do. I saw it in your eyes honey. I saw it more than once now please dear donít try to goad me any more and dont try to fool yourself anymore either. It dont work. Now please dont think that Im just trying to get wise, because Im not. Im just telling you for your good and my good just what I know to be true. Im telling you what your own heart is telling you.

Ill tell you what honey. Ive thought this out to a tee. This will have to be the last time I ask you and the answer will have to be one way of the other. I only hope it will be yes. Im saying this because I know it is the right thing to do but still it hurts to say it. You dont realize how much it hurts but I do because I realize what it may mean it may mean joy and happiness for me and it may also mean sorrow and grief To write letter after letter and to hope in vain is breaking my heart so I guess it will have to be up to you if I keep on writing and always waiting in vain Im afraid the boys will start calling me a cry baby. Im going to leave it up to you now Bea. Im going to wait for your decision. You know that I love you more than anything and that I would do anything for you. Anything to make you happy. I would sacrifice anything including my honor and self respect. What more can I say?

Ill close now and hope and pray for one thing so tell me soon as possible that you will belong only to

Porter

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July 9, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letter arrived and Im afraid my pencil isnít capable of telling you how happy I am. I have been waiting for that letter now for six days. Those six days seemed more like years to me. I just couldnít wait for it. I thought I would go mad when I didnít hear from you at least by Thursday and when I didnít hear yesterday I was wild. I was rather hard to manage the last week. In fact Ive had a couple of little scraps with the bandmaster. Ive got it smoothed over now already.

Im so happy honey that Im afraid its all a dream. I really canít believe it although Ive been pinching myself and reading your letter over and over for the last half hour.

No honey the Harley Davidsons arenít about the best because the Henderson is a four cylinder motor and the Cleveland is putting out a 4 cylinder affair now but of the two cylinder ones I think the Harley are considered superior.

Have you named your nice new Chevy, Elizabeth? or were you in another car? Just think now. If I had been there when the machine stuck in the mud then you could have sat on my shoulder and let me carry you through the mud.

There were two little children at the place where I stayed at Caleo to. Both girls one was six and the other eight years old. I made a nice acquaintance with both of them the older one was Dorothy and the younger one was nicknamed Buster Bean. I love children and they were no exception I played with them all night on the kitchen floor.

Ive got those pictures I took that day they all turned out punk as you will see from the ones I am enclosing. They look like I had a pain in one side of my face. They were taken while we were falling out for the big doings just before the Reserves left. There is another bunch of Reserves coming in tomorrow to keep us busy for a couple of more weeks.

I know you would love one of those Marine rings honey and Ill get you one of those but you will want an engagement ring and that is the one I meant when I wanted to know what kind you wanted.

Ive had two offers now to get transfered to the motor transport company to work in the garage. More chance for advancement there and they need mechanics and drivers but I think Ill stay in the band for a while longer after all the advancement and better pay isnít everything, not unless a man wants to put more time in than four years.

Im afraid darling that from this letter or any other one I can write you would never know how happy I am or how much I really love you but Ill make up for lost time when I come up again and I hope that that time may be soon.

Im going out to the triangle now honey to work in my machine but Ill write more tomorrow Ė so drop a line when you get this to one who is

Semper Fidelis
Porter XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX OOOOOOOOOOOO 

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July 11 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

I promised to write this letter yesterday but I went out to the garage right after breakfast and worked so late that I nearly missed the concert last night. I just barely got back in time This morning weve played colors and went to the depot to meet another company of Reserves. We just got back and Im writing this letter

Do you know honey Ive been trying to get transfered to the tropics for the last eighteen months and never got it now there is a Nicaraguan detail going this week. Since youve said yes Ive been very happy and now I donít want to go. So far Ive missed this detail but I may have to go yet. Then if I dont go on this detail Im fairly sure of going in September to Haiti if thatís the case, Im going to try to get another furlough before I go so I can come up to see you. Im just so much in love with you that I cant bear to think of putting more miles between us than we already have. There is a better chance there for a man to get a rating but I just dont want it but of course what ever my superiors say goes.

Have you told your folks that you have said ďYesĒ? I had forgotten but I think they might have something to say about your ----- shall we say (ball and chain) or shall we say your (hubby to be)? Nevertheless I think they have something to say and Ill have to ask them when I come up again. Dont you think so?

Do you know what I did honey? I looked over a couple of the new Chevrolets and when I get out of here Im going to get one and build it over into a speedster thatís going to be so fast that nothing will pass it. Ill put a long classy body on it. How would you like that?

Next Saturday the same twenty men that went to Calio go on another trip to some Hick town around here Hicks crossing is the name I think. Im not sure though and I really dont care.

What are you doing with yourself? Are you and Hoppy still looking for work? I suppose you look for a job all day and for a good show at night, dont you? I wish I were up there with you so I might go where you go

Do you see my sister anymore? If you do see her please dont give her a bit of information about me. If she wants to know anything leave her write to me. That surely isnít to hard for her to do. I hope you get angry because Im telling you this Bea: but I think Im doing the right thing in this case. Dont you think Im right here? You remember how she insulted my friends and I even wrote first after that and she never answered so Im not going to write to her till she tells me that she was wrong.

Do you know honey that I worked all day yesterday even missed dinner and supper to get my motorcycle engine overhauled and I burned the old paint off with a torch so I can paint it I expect to have it all painted and ready to run by the end of the week. Ive put in a lot of new parts the crankshaft bearings the connecting and bearings new wrist pins and bushings and a mob of new nuts and bolts. I washed every part with coal oil and put the engine together already to put back into the frame. I had every part off every nut and screw. There wasnt a part I didnt have entirely apart. Im going to put a tandem on the back when I come up and Im going to show you what kind of speed that thing will make.

By the way honey I have a chance to get transfered to the Motor Transport Co. here to work in the garage if I want to. I would lose money at first but Id make up for it and I wouldnít have to leave the States. Do you think it would be wise? Tell me what you think about it honey. You are the big Boss now you know. Whatever you say goes you know.

I suppose by this time you are wondering just why you took a chance on me and said ďYesĒ Arent y9u honey? Are you sorry? I hope you will never be and Ill do my best to keep you from being sorry. Ill make you happy or Ill know the reason why. I know Ill be always happy as long as I have you. Do you know I still cant believe its true. I have to drop everything about a dozen times a day and read your letter over and over just to be sure Im not dreaming. I sure am a lucky devil.

I was dreaming of our trip to Brookside last night and I was going to take you in my arms and kiss you and instead I fell out of my bunk. My bunky has threatened to more down the other end of the barracks for fear that I might dream of fighting. He says he dont mind a black eye as long as he can stand up to get it but heís afraid of getting one while hes asleep. Wait till you get to know him. Heís going to come to Cleveland with me when I get discharged. Boy heís a reall buddy.

Well honey Im going to close now with lots of Love and Kisses

Your
Porter

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P.S. Dont forget these nice fresh hugs Ill make them good some day soon I hope

P

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July 12, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Im in charge of quarters tonight and cant leave so I thought I might as well get a little practice in writing. I only wish I could write well enough to tell you just how much I love you. So far Im quite sure that I havent succeeded. But! Someday Some-way in the near future Ill prove it.

My intuition tells me that tomorrow I should have a letter from you. Am I right? I hope so. I dream about you all night honey and then watch the mail truck all day hoping to get a letter from you and after the last mail truck I begin all over by telling myself that your letter will arrive the next morning. Im proud as a peacock and as happy as they make them since youve said you would be my wife. That is now my big ambition honey. That and making you happy. I know and Im sure you do to that I wont be able to keep you in luxury all our life but Ill sure be able to make a comfortable living for the two of us and be able to put aside a bit. The first thing we will have to get will be a Chevrolet for you for Im sure you would never be happy without one. At the rate they are paying me now I wont have very much saved when I get out of here but Ill show you how to save money in two years or so. Ill be able to save enough at any rate to make a nice sized payment on a house or to get some furniture with, then we wont have to do like my sister did. She had to stay at our home till they got theirs ready well beat that. Well have one ready. Ill tell you what Id like to do for a honeymoon Beatrice. Id like to motor all over the western part of the United States unless you might have something else to suggest. Of course we can always cross those bridges when we get there but I just love to plan things out like this. Dont you Honey? I love to sit around and just think how happy we will be. Im so happy now that Im afraid I wouldnít be able to stand the greatest of the great happinesses but if I can die that way Im sure I wonít mind

The men from Nicaragua who havent much time to do came in tonight and I expect the replacement will leave in a couple of days now. Those men sure were glad to get back to the good old U.S.A. Those boys would do any kind of work tonight without a growl because they are so glad.

Well dear Ill close now because its nearly taps and Ive got to turn out the lights and secure the quarters for the night so Ill close this volume. Ill write tomorrow if I get the chance. Write soon to the one who loves only you and who is only your

Porter

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July 14 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your letter arrived this morning but weve been busy all day. Youíll have to excuse me for saying with those damn Reserves but thats the only way I know of referring to them. Weve been out with them since 7:05 A.M. this morning stopping only long enough for dinner.

No I didnít have anything the matter with my arm last week honey. Ill tell you why I didnít write. Do you remember my very impatient letter that I sent about the third or fourth of this month? Well I was just as doubtfull as I was impatient. In fact I still cant figure how I could be so lucky, any way I was so much in doubt about what your answer would be that I couldnít write till I heard from you. I was so restless that these fellows must have thought I was a maniac. Do you understand now why I didnít write?

All right honey Ill agree to the Marine ring all right so lets go. They dont have regular sizes in those rings so you will just have to tie a string around your finger and cut it so it will just fit the finger and send me the string and Ill get the ring.

The Triangle is a small dot on the map. That is on some maps. The place forms a triangle where three roads run together. They have three garages and a general store there. What did you think the Triangle was.

Im not surprised to hear that your tummy hurt if you eat as many cherries as you do pieces of candy every hour. I think if I ate so much candy as you ate one Sunday Morning when I was there I think ------- well I think they would start measuring me for an overcoat. I might as well add that it would be wooden.

By the way honey. If you really dont want me to start a war on account of that picture you will either have to get it and send it to me or get another one. The only pictures I have of you now are two snap shots one that was taken in a pair of overalls and one with the sweater. Both of these just fit in my billfold but none to go on my shelf. Try to get the one I forgot at home if you can I would rather have that one. It seems to mean so much more to me.

Guess what Im figuring on doing honey. Im figuring on making a nice furlough in about a month or a month and a half. I might come up on the motorcycle. Ill save about $14.00 each way and when a man looks forward to getting married heís sure got to think of saving all he can. I was just going to add to buy the baby shoes but instead Ill say to buy a wedding ring.

I would like to have you see the way Im sitting here right now. All Im wearing is a pair of trousers and a undershirt and a towel around my skull to keep the sweat from dropping onto this letter. This sure is a hot day here. When we came in from playing for those *-!! Reserves we were soaking wet. We all made a rush for a cold shower and a change of clothes and every one is trying to keep cool. Not even I the practical joker and champion kidder is cracking wise. That is saying a lot for me as a rule Im always taking someones bunk apart or putting nice tight knots into someones bed sheets or tying their bedding to the ceiling or nailing their bunk up there. That is of course when Im not writing or studying. Then I dont fool around and nobody that likes the way they are put together ever bothers me at a time like that because Ill tie them to a rafter or something if I have to knock them cold to do it. I cant think when someone bothers me and these fellows all know it and when a new fellow comes in he soon learns.

Well honey Im going to close this letter before I miss my chow and Ill be waiting for your next letter.

Heres lots of love & Kisses from

Your
Porter

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Dont forget youll give me these or Ill take each one double

Porter

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July 17 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Well honey, I went on that trip yesterday and just got back at five oclock tonight just in time to play the Sunday night concert. When I got here I found your letter laying on my bunk waiting for me.

Ive made up my mind to stay in the band a while longer anyway honey. I didnít intend to go to the Motor Transport to get in practice you know honey because I get all I need on my friends cars around here. I would like to do duty in the tropics dear, but I just couldnít bear to think of being away from you for eighteen months.

You saved me a little job then didnít you honey? I mean by telling your mother about being engaged and Im glad she consents and Im glad she is strong for me as you put it. Of course I dont care if you tell Hoppy. You may tell her anything you like you are the boss. The only persons I donít want to know are my folks. How did your Dad take the big news? Did he say he was going to beat up on me if I take his daughter?

Well honey I donít think you will need the advise Im going to give now but Ill say it anyway. If,!! Lill or anyone else ever says anything about me that you dont like please donít you get your temper going but just tell me. Let me do the fighting for this family honey you can do all the bossing and managing but please let me do the fighting.

My word, honey, sure you can keep a collie or any other kind of a dog you want. Ill get you a dozen of them if you want. You know dearest that Ill get you anything in my power just so you will be happy.

I think Ill be able to get one this fall but Im not a bit sure of it. A man never can be sure of anything in the Marine Corps except food and a place to sleep. In the service language we say, (three square and flog each day.) Thats how we tell how many days we have to do, we just say so many and a flop which means so many days and an extra nights sleep. Im afraid we might not be able to arrange for my buddy to get a furlough the same time I do so Ill have to come alone but donít worry you will meet him some day sooner or later.

Sure I would have to drive most of the time honey girl. You dont know of very many times when I went out in a machine that I didnít do the driving, do you? Except on occasions when I had a good excuse such as holding you on my lap or when I was trying to steal a kiss when you werent looking. Otherwise I almost always do the driving. I suppose if your Dad thinks enough of my driving to let us use the car then he must approve of me

Oh! I nearly forgot to tell you about eh adventure I had Friday night honey. Its a long story I was a deputy that night and I brought back a brand new Hudson Coach with 120 gallons of corn whiskey in it I happened to be working at the garage on my motorcycle when the Marshall came in and caught one bootlegger and got information that another one was going to pass in a while so he gave me the power of deputy and put me in charge of two men and the fellow that owns the garage was one of the men so when mister bootlegger comes by we went after him in the garage mans motorcycle side car and all. We couldnt catch them but we could keep real close so we shot holes in their rear tires and they deserted the car and took to the woods. We never did get them but I got into the Hudson and drove back with the 120 gallons and the Marshall confiscated both car and whiskey.

I agree to the Marine ring all right honey but I havent been silent about it. Have I? I donít think so anyway.

Im glad to hear you say you are thinking of me honey. You cant possibly realize how really happy you are making me dear. Im afraid Im the only one who can fully realize that, because my vocabulary is to limited to explain it fully enough. I havenít a voice for singing honey but nevertheless that is just what Ive been doing since you said (yes)

Ive been swimming a bit and Ive tried the big swim but cant quite make it. Im to short winded four and a quarter miles is my limit and the big swim is about 80 ft less than seven miles. I bit off more than I could chew.

Ive seen a couple of small games around here but one big league games. They never play those there you know.

Well honey Ive told you all the latest news so Ill close now but write soon to your Greatest of the Great Privates

Porter

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July 21, 1926 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letter arrived here is the noon mail yesterday but I was out working on my motorcycle from 9 oclock in the morning and didnít get back till 3 oclock this morning. I was going to come back at about 7 oclock but the constable required my services on the revenue squad. I couldnít quite get my motorcycle working so the garageman let me use one of his. We had a bit of information saying that the big bootlegger was going through again last night and we were ready for him but he didnít come so I came back here at about 3 oclock.

I found your letter here and Im sorry to hear that your grandmother has passed away. I sure would have liked to have met her sometime.

Im sorry I didnít come up to your expectations by writing at least two letters by today I would have written sooner today but weve been busy all day so far now weve got forty five minutes off then we fall out for a funeral. There was a bugler here who dove to deep while in swimming and hit something. His neck was broke. They are having a military funeral for him at 3:30 P.M. This lad was about 16 years old and well known and well liked and every one will be out to pay their last tributes to him. The nice part of these funerals is when they blow taps over the coffin and as this lad was a bugler I think it will be a very touching ceremony.

Say there honey if you go talking about eats here very much Im going to have to do something, especially if you talk about olives and baked ham and other such luxuries. Ill have to go down and buy me about four quarts of nice olives and bake myself about twenty pounds of ham. Im afraid I would eat myself to death.

Ill admit it is loads of fun to ride the roller coaster honey but I know something I would have looked for before the roller coaster could even be heard. I would have looked for the roller rink. Do you ever do any roller skating honey? If you dont then Ill have to teach you someday. Thats great sport and its also very healthy.

Im going to work on my motorcycle tonight if I can find time. Ive got to get it in good shape so Ill be able to come up to see you dear. Im thinking of coming in September but Im not sure. I just cant seem to wait. I want to hold you close to myself so bad that that month and a half is going to seem like ten years.

Ill close now honey seeing as it is nearly time to fall out in Full Khaki for the funeral.

Lots and Lots of Love and Kisses

Porter

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July 22, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I had some good intentions to write you today but Ive been busy all day. I argued with the First Sgt and Lieutenant till I got blue in the face. I was trying to get liberty tonight so I could go out and get the motorcycle tuned up and running good. I finally got the liberty but it dont start till 3:30 this afternoon and its now 2:45 so Ive got 45 minutes to wait yet so Ill try to write a letter in that much time.

Are you sure honey that your ring size is 7 Ĺ? Why that is a half size larger than the one I wore when I was home I only wear a seven. I think you better get a piece of paper that just fits your finger and we are more liable to get the right size. You send something like that and Ill get the ring the next time I get to go to Washington.

How do you like the way the big fight came out yesterday? I was pretty sure Dempsey would win and at any rate I was wishing he would because I know that Dempsey can beat Tunney anytime and the same for Sharkey and the last thing I would want to see would be for a gob to take the title from a Leatherneck. Id much rather see Dempsey get it back.

I havenít been doing much practicing here lately. I got so disgusted as far as music is concerned that I believe I would have sold my musical knowledge for two cents and considered it a bargain on my part. I guess I was just overdoing it. Those things shouldnít be practiced to much either because to much is worse than none.

Did you find out yet if your dad is going to beat me up for taking his daughter or if he is giving his consent.

What is Helen doing now? Is she still keeping house for her father or is she working now? Tell her I said hello etc. and tell her that when we get married we will leave her come and keep house for us and we will leave her bake bread.

Do you think you are going to like my motorcycle? Ive painted it sky blue and instead of the dark red stripe Ive got a silver gray stripe. The name is light red and trimmed with gold and the foot boards and pedals etc. are all black, also the lights and seat are black.

I like a motorcycle. I dont know what is nicer than to ride along at about 50 miles per hr and feel the air in your face. I dont know of anything nicer unless itís a chance to kiss you but next to that honey I like a motorcycle best.

Well honey its time to leave now cause I want to get started as soon as possible so write soon. Heres more Love and Kisses from

Porter

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July 25, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letter arrived here yesterday but again I wasnít here when it arrived. I started out Saturday to go out on my motorcycle and when I got out to the garage the owners wife asked me to take one of his motorcycles with a sidecar and go to Alexandria to tow him in. He went up for supplies for the garage and for the lunch counter and coming back he broke down. I got up there alright but he made repairs by then and came in by another road and my battery went dead so I worked around trying to get it started but no use so I called back to the garage long distance so he came out to me with a battery. That one didnít last long either because I had a short so I taped that up and started again and it was dark as the dickens and no lights except to follow the garage mans tail light at about 48 miles per hour then to make things worse my chain broke 6 miles from the garage so he towed me in. We got back in time for breakfast so after that I went to sleep in the back of the garage and slept till about three oclock then I took care of the garage till nine oclock last night so he could get some sleep because he stayed open all night in Sunday. I stayed with him till two oclock this morning and now Im all in.

Why the deuce didnít you send me your (wobbly) letter as you call it? Im sure I could have understood or rather read it. I know your handwriting pretty well now so dont hesitate to send a letter even if it is wobbly. Ill dope it out.

You would let on a gob! Why didnít you ask me who to bet on. I know because you couldnít get anyone to bet on Sharkey on a bet. Not even the gobs in the sick bay. Sharkey was no match at all for Dempsey. Sure thing honey the fight in September will prove much but thats going to be an even fight and I wouldnít bet on it at all unless of course if I got some nice odds. Nobody but a fool would bet otherwise on this coming fight honey so go easy no matter which way you bet.

I sure wish I could be up there to protect you from being mobbed by your bunch. Ill be doing that some day alright but Id like to start right now. I love you so much honey that even this life that I liked here is a bore. Im always thinking of you now and the life here makes me sick when I think of the joy I could get out of life if I were with you.

I dont know what to make of this weather here honey some days its nice and warm sometimes its extra hot but half the time its cold as winter on the nights when the day is warm we have to use two blankets and I never use much more than that all winter. Im beginning to think our summer will start this November or maybe December.

Well honey I havent any more news now cause nothing is happening around this dump but Ill write more as things happen around here

Semper fidelis

Porter

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July 27, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Im afraid you have the big advantage over me in the matter of writing letters honey. You answer at most any hour of the night but Ive got to write during the day with all kinds of noise and scuffling going on Ive got about twenty minutes till chow time now so I dont expect to get much of this letter done by then.

We are having some pretty heavy rehearsals this week. We are preparing a big programm Sunday night. Our band officer Lieutenant Culpepper is leaving for duty with the Gendarmy in Haiti and he is going to direct us Sunday cause this is his last with the Post Band. Boy what music they are putting out. The Sextell from Lucia is one of them and a couple more I cant remember all the names and I havent got time to go find our from my folio if I want to get this written. There goes chow call now. Back from chow and feeling fine.

Well honey I dont think four quarts of olives can be much worse than two quarts of Bacardi Rum and Ive gone that much down at the Bay and didnít even get sick. Thats why I quit drinking cause I dont get anything out of it. I dont even get a headache like most men do. dont worry. You wont have to go in mourning cause Im not built to die. Im built to die in my boots. In other words food will never kill me.

I dont know just when in Sept Ill come up and it may not even be in Sept Then again chances are I might not get another furlough Im going to Haiti in the next bunch that goes and no one knows when that will be. I do know that Im on the list though. If I do come up just let me know when in Sept Ill let you know if I can make it and you tell me when and Ill try to come then.

Sure honey I put in lots of time on my motorcycle. Ive painted it and striped it and everything. I also put in new bearings and wrist pin Bushings and ground the valves.

I guess you were pretty near right after all about your ring size. I didnít think I could get a ring of yours on my small finger but according to that string you sent I sure can. Ill get the ring the next time I go to Washington

That is the Reform school at Mansfield not a penitentiary The penitentiary is in Columbus Ohio and it looks lots different. You wouldnít think the Pen is so nice if you had to put in a little time in it. When it comes to briggís just ask me.

I didnít even know you were taking a course in math honey. When did you start?

Ill close this letter now honey and Ill write more tomorrow

Love & Kisses
Porter

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July 29, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your letter arrived here this noon but Ive been unable to write sooner. I wouldnít have time now if it wasnít raining. Like this the concert for this afternoon is called off.

Last night the whole gang that goes out to the garage got together. That is all those men who are in the band and we all went to some benefit chicken dinner and dance and we were known as the Triangle Tire and Service Co orchestra. They had both round and square dancing. Did you ever go to a square dance? Boy what fun honey. I didnít know the first thing about them but I soon learned and I danced one set. I sure enjoyed it honey I only wish you could have been with me so you could have enjoyed it to. I got so dizzy from swinging and turning that I could hardly stand up. I donít think it would have been very hard to make a mistake and think I was drunk either, I was just that dizzy.

No honey thats no way to look at a prize fighter. I donít like Dempsey either but I still think he is a better fighter than Tunney even if he isnít as much of a sport. I donít think that he deliberately lost that other fight with Tunney I still think he wasnít fit physically but I think he is now.

So you just kept quiet when your Dad mentioned a hope chest. Well honey I thought he knew about me but seeing as he dont think Ill have to let him know about the secrets that his charming daughter keeps from him. Do you think he would spank you for fooling him? I know I would if I were him. I think Ill have to let him know about it.

Do you know why the first place I think of when I think of my last furlough is always Brookside? Ill tell you dear it because that was the only time when we were really all alone. The rest of the world just seems to fade out and leave Brooky dominant. Iíll admit it was wet and muddy and everything honey but I would go up to my ears in mud any day to have you all to myself like that again. Im afraid I would b]never leave you go again.

Yes honey that fellow was my buddy on that picture. Do you think you would like him?

I wish I could be there to hear Sousaís Band. I sure would enjoy hearing them. I say Lindy at a distance of about 250 ft You know the U.S.S. Memphis came right up the Potomac going to Washington and everyone went to the dock to see the ship pass and Lindy was on the bridge.

Well honey no more news now but Iíll write more soon

Love

Porter

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August 1, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

You arenít the only one that was mad I guess I was pretty mad yesterday. My buddy and I went out on the motorcycle Saturday. We had only the weekend and we had to get excused from concert to get that. We started out for New Freedom Pa. That is about forth miles north of Baltimore just over the Pa. border. We got there fine and stayed over night. Yesterday morning we started back right after the heavy rain and I hit some wet sand and took a nice spill. I didnít get hurt though except to take all the skin off my right knee and also my right arm. They are both pretty stiff right now but they will soon be all right. On the way back we stopped at Jepson Maryland to watch the Motorcycle Hill Climb. That was great sport and I wanted to try but I didnít belong to the club and anyway those fellows use special machines so I had to be satisfied to watch the sport.

Why make me wait to tell me why it is Im going to have to bake my own bread. Whatís the matter? Is Hoppy going to get married, or something? Tell me why Ill have to bake it myself. Dont make me guess at riddles all the time honey cause Im really no good at guessing.

Ill try this coming stunt in September although Im not sure how things will turn out. Yes Ive got to go to Haiti. In one way Im glad but in another way I dont want to go. The time passes much quicker down there but on the other hand there is no chance at all of coming on furlough while Im there and I dont see how I could stand that. If I go down it will be for a period of eighteen months and I would be a short timer then I would have about three or four months to do when I got back. The duties down there are the same as here only (Mano Mano) meaning more so and maybe a little police work and guard thrown in.

Oh honey what a dumbbell I turned out to be. The light just now shone through my head about that Math course. Of course I know what you mean. That wont really be Math though. It will be only addition, in other words only a branch of Math. I think Ill have to study auditing then.

Didnít you ever see a stamp like that one before? Gee honey thats a White plains stamp. They are supposed to represent the battle of White Plains which took place during the Revolutionary war.

Im afraid you will have to do all the praying yourself Im afraid God dont hear my prayers but Im sure he wonít refuse to soften someones heart long enough to give me a furlough I sure want one bad. I love you so much honey that the days here drag along like months and because I know that my furlough is no certainty I get even more restless. I love you and I want you and I donít think the Marine Corps is playing fair when they wonít let a fellow go to see the girl he loves any way its not fair when they do it just to be stubborn and for no apparent reason at all. I have one consolation though sweetheart. I know that you will be mine one of these days and that thought alone is enough to make me extremely happy.

Do you know what I do down here most of the time? Ill tell you honey. I just day dream. I build castles in the air and unlike the proverbial castles in the air in this respect. They seem to stand, they dont break so easily

Well honey Im afraid if I keep telling you of my castles in the air and how substantial they seem to by you will be thinking my mind is wandering so Ill close with another lesson in Math

Semper Fidelis
Porter

P.S. I dont know but what I ought to make this lesson in something beside addition but the only thing I can think of is multiplication so take this lesson

(X) X (100X) X (100) = ?

Porter

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August 2, 1927 Post Band Quantico Virginia

Dearest Bea:

Ive just been teasing around with, ďStubby,Ē Thats the dog that one of the fellows brought back from Port Au Prince Haiti. Ive tried to buy him several times but couldnt get the fellow to part with him for love or money. I havent anything to do today except to lay around here. I went to the sick bay for my knee this morning and was put on light duty and restricted to the quarters.

They are asking for five men to get transfered to the Navy building in Washington and I was thinking of going because then I could stay in the states, but they wouldnít let me out of Band duty. Im afraid Im doomed to be a bandsman the rest of my enlistment and if I do it means Ill have to go to Haiti. Last spring or last fall I would have been only to glad to go but now things have changed. Its very funny how a man changes when he falls in love, he seems to look at every thing from a different angle anyway I do.

I guess you should be wearing a big smile today honey. Your favorite team, (meaning the Indians) won yesterday. I donít think it will do them much good though theyve lost to many already. Id like to see them put out a real good team next year. It seems that all the men they get are real good until they start playing with Cleveland and then they always seem to go stale.

I got a new pair of officers Breeches today for motorcycle purposes they are tough Khaki waterproof and lace tight around the calves of the leg which makes them very neat. Ive got to get myself a pair of leather puttees now then Ill be all set. Id like to ride tonight but cant get away because Im restricted to quarters.

Well honey I really didnít have any news to write about today in the first place but I was just thinking of you all day so I decided to write you a few lines.

Write soon to your
Porter

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August 4 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Im still on light duty on account of a sore knee, so Ive nothing to do now but write. Ive practiced all morning and waited for the inspecting officer to come through but I guess he isnít going to come, so Ill try to write a few lines. The lord only knows what Im going to write the way this knee bothers me. The knee wont let me sit still long enough to think what Im writing about.

Do you know what I think honey? I think Im going to give up the motorcycle idea. The darn thing weighs quite a bit and especially when it tips on to of a fellow. I donít want to break a leg or anything like that you know because then I wouldnít really be in good shape to get married and that is the thing I want most you know. I think if anything happened now so I couldnít marry you. Well I donít know what I would do. I think all in all it wouldnt be a half bad idea to stay away from motorcycles. This is the second time now you know. What do you think about it honey.

If my game leg permits traveling I think Ill go up this weekend and get your ring. Ill have to be off of light duty though because they wouldnít let me check out when Im on light duty. I think Ill be all set by the weekend though

August 5th
Same Place

Dearest:

I quit writing yesterday because between my knee and my headache I was having a very nice time. I received your letter in the noon mail and I was happy to learn that you were thrilled when I kissed you goodbye. This is the first time I knew that honey judging from the way you always tried to get away from me when I tried to kiss you I would have said that you didnít like those kisses. Im glad to know that you did like them after all. I know I did.

I believe you are right about anyone having a job on their hands if they were going to try to spank you. Im afraid I wouldnít want the job, even if I could perform the operation I wouldnít want the job.

There is no definite information to be had about Haiti as yet everything is still rumor except the fact that I go with the next bunch. I know that.

Ive read, ďThe Mark of Zorro,Ē but its been such a long time ago that Ive even forgotten what it is about.

How did you like, ďThe Yankee Clipper.Ē I liked it myself. I missed out on, ďThe Big Parade,Ē but Ill see it when it comes around again.

I just approached the Drum Major about a furlough next month and he wouldnít say yes or no so that means that if Im still here he will do his best for me. I hope Im still here and lets drink to his power and influence I love you so much that if he gets me the furlough Ill kiss him. You dont mind do you Love & Kisses Porter XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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August 10, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your letter arrived here but I couldnt tell you when. I got a pass the day before yesterday and slept till this morning I just checked out on liberty and stayed asleep until my pass was up and then got the pass extended so I could sleep some more. Im sending you a couple of passes so you can see what they look like.

Say listen honey. If any of these fellows around here ever write to you donít pay any attention to their letters. There are some fellows here that like to swipe an address and write to any girl they get a chance to There was one fellow wrote to my sister like that once and I dont approve of their method of getting acquainted. There have been two fellows trying to get your address and Ive had to be very carefull not to leave any letter or anything else laying around for them to get your address from. If any one ever writes to you like that donít answer their letter but just forward it to me.

I went up the other day to get your ring honey but I couldnít get the kind I wanted and the other kind they only had in large sizes. They expect a new shipment of them in about the 18th or 20th of the month. I was so mad I was going to get you another kind but you told me you wanted a Marine ring so thats the kind you will get. Its to bad and Im sorry you have to wait so long for your ring honey but I cant help it. I wish I could!

You tell your cousins husband, The one thats the ex gob that you know a dandy Marine who likes to have gobs start to use him for breakfast and tell him Id be glad to accommodate him any time Im home if he wants me to I weigh 182 lbs and never train so if he wants to let him come up to my weight. Ill give him an exhibition of a Marine. Ill have gob hash for show yet.

My knee is still stiff but Im doing duty now. Im still limping though. Im one legged Pete around here and peg leg and all such things.

Which gas station on which corner do you refer to in your letter? We stopped at about a dozen and passed many dozen more. Do you mean the one between Ira and Wetzel Ave. on Pearl Rd. I do remember our Brookside trip though. You had me so much in love on that furlough that you are the only thing I can remember of the whole furlough.

In your letter before the last one you asked how you were going to wait eighteen months more and told me how the girls are driving you crazy singing, ďThinking of you,Ē and, ďLonesome and Sorry,Ē etc. Now I know that, ďAbsence makes the heart grow fonder,Ē I knew you would get to care just like I do in time. I told you so all the time you were hesitating. Didnít I? Dont worry honey. Im not gone to Haiti yet. I may have to go but Love will find a way. I imagine I could get a furlough before going if I tried but if I go it will probably be before payday and I dont know where Id get the necessary funds from before then. If I do go Ill try anyway Ive just got to come up there honey if I dont get to see you soon Im afraid Ill go crazy.

I guess stubby could tell a lot if he could talk. In fact he could tell more than Id want you to know about Haiti. Im afraid you would be worrying about me if I went if you knew what Stubby knows. I know how to take care of myself though honey and I love you so what else matters.

Only Your
Porter

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August 11 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

I suppose you will be surprised to receive a letter on this kind of stationary and I guess you are still wondering what its all about Well the Red Cross is getting big hearted and is furnishing us the paper, and just at the right time to. Im just out so Ive decided to use this if you donít mind. I wish they would get us furloughs this way, Donít you? Im sure I wouldnít kick.

I received your letter this morning but I was a little bit puzzled. The handwriting isnít quite the same as in the majority of your letters. I was thinking that someone else might have addressed the envelope but the letter was written the same way. What is it all about. I thought at first that something might have happened. I thought you might have been excited when you write it. I sure was relieved after I read the letter and nothing was wrong.

Now I know I wont kiss him if he gets me a furlough. Im jealous of him because you said I should kiss him for you to. Ill split the difference with you though if its all right with you. Ill take a punch at him to see how he looks when hes surprised. Hows that?

What do you mean that Helen dont like heavy duty, and why underscore the word, ďheavy.Ē Im not sure that I catch the drift.

Say! Young lady. Donít you ever get tired of going to shows? I should think five in one week should be enough. How many do you go to? About three each night? Ha Ha. Do you know honey Ive tried going to the show several times since Im back but Im afraid I canít really enjoy one unless you sit beside me. I turn around and look for you on either side about fifty times during every picture but only find a Marine sitting next to me every time.

I hope you have had a good time on your moonlight ride, honey. I wish I could go along. Im only afraid that someday you will meet some nice guy on one of these trips and Ill be heartbroken. I just cant bear to think of it. I cant imagine anyone else getting your kisses or your love. I think Id go crazy if that were ever to happen.

Ive already got rid of the motorcycle. I sold it to a fellow that needs it. Heís got a wife in Fredericksburgh and he is trying to support her on $30 per month and still go down and see her once a week. The motorcycle saves R.R. fare for him and I sold it to him for just what it cost me and Im giving him time payment priveliges to Say there Sweetheart. What do you mean calling me the, ďBoy FriendĒ? Do I look that way? From now on if you canít think of any worse names to call me Im just ďThe Old Man.Ē Do you get me?

Im getting to be the big cheese around here as automobile and motorcycle mechanic. They consult me before buying new car and before buying or repairing used and old ones and want advise about repairing them and also want me to do all the big work when it comes to the overhauling part. I just brought down a new Studebaker Special Six Coupe Comander Type body from Alexandria today for our Bandmaster. I also gave another fellows some advise about buying a used car or rather some used junk. He wants to buy a Jewett Sedan. Then I told a fellow that owns an Excelcior Super X motorcycle just how to go about gearing it up so he can get 90 miles per hour out of it. I think Ill start a garage here when I get out. From the reputation Im getting as a mechanic now I ought to have a lot of steady customers. Dont you think so? I would start something like that if this state only wasnít so far in the interior of Russia or Japan or somewhere If Virginia only was located in the United States and not in No Mans Land.

Well honey I really dont want to send this by freight so Ill have to close while it will still go as mail. Ill write more tomorrow after our concert if I get a chance

Love & Kisses
Porter

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See other side for P.S.

P.S. By the way dear. When do I get that long promised picture. Soon I hope

Porter

X mm Ė Boy that tastes good.

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[August 14, 1927] Sunday morning Early

Dearest:

The first mail today just arrived and with it your letter. Im sorry honey if Ive caused you to worry by my not writing oftener. I wrote on Thursday but then that is when you wrote this letter. I think you must have received mine by this time though. I intended to write some more on Friday night and mail it in the morning yesterday but Friday night I got one of these last minute notices that I would have to go with the 20 piece band to Hamilton Va. We had to start right after colors yesterday so instead of my writing I had to prepare for the trip. We didnít get back till about 2:30 A.M. this morning. I should be making up for that lost sleep now but Ive simply got to write this letter first. I hope you will understand honey, that I didnít neglect to write on purpose. Donít worry about me honey cause if I do get shipped out of here in a hurry Id sure find some way to let you know about it. Id either find or make time to write or tell my buddy to let you know. They always tell me that, ďLove will find a way.Ē Do you think so? I do.

You said in your letter that neither of you felt like dancing on the moonlight ride. Does that mean that you didnít enjoy yourself? I rather hoped you would honey. I lay awake half of Thursday night just thinking about you and hoping you would be having a good time.

I feel Beastly this morning. These country affairs always make me feel that way the next morning. You know the people appreciate our coming to play for them and are always ready with the best of food and drink. The most of the fellows forgot when to stop though. Those of us that did know when to stop sure had a job on our hands to get the others back so they wouldnít get locked up. Iím beginning to think that, thats their reason for making me go on all these trips, because I know when to quit and Im always able to take a couple of the fellows in hand that donít know when theyíre beat.

Yes dear. I did get a letter and a card from Jimmy and a card from Erv that I havent answered. Im going to answer them when I get this written. I really should have written to both of them much sooner but I just didnít. I will Today.

Ive just had a little intermission of about five minutes. I felt a little sick so I went out for a little fresh air. I feel much better now. I guess I had to much Lemon pie yesterday. Thats my old favorite you know.

I think Ill lay around and day dream some this afternoon. I canít seem to get my ambition to practice today and anyway Id much rather day dream and think of you.

Do you know what Im singing all the time? Theres one line goes like this, ďTo think that im the Lucky one. I cant believe that Youíre in Love with me.Ē I really cant believe yet that Im the Lucky One. Im always afraid Ill wake up to find it was only a nice dream. Tell me if Im dreaming honey or is it really true. I wish someone would stick a hat pin or something into me.

Ive been poking my nose around the office quite a bit for the last week but I cant seem to get any more information about tropical details or about furloughs either. I know I can get the band masters O.K for a furlough but the Drum Major is going to be a little hard. If I cant come in Sept Ill come in Oct. Ill tell you a little secret. The Doctor at the sick bay gave me what we call G.O. time I other words he claims I hurt myself due to my own misconduct and Ill either have to do a month extra after my time should be up or Ill have to forfeit a months pay so I told them to stop my pay for a month Id rather lost twice as much than to do an extra month now and then to if I was to do an extra month it would go on my record and even onto my discharge and its worth that much to keep G.O. time off my record. Dont you think so honey? Ill be alright though if I can only get a furlough. Ill be up if I have to walk. I just cant imagine myself walking though as long as the trains beep running. Can you? Ill make it some way though. Trust me.

Well honey I dont know if you will be able to make head or tail out of this letter or even be able to read it. I cant write nor can I think of anything to write about now so Ill close and Ill try to write oftener.

Only
Porter

P.S. If I dont get a picture pretty soon my arm will get so it will stay up by my left hand shirt pocket naturally cause Ive got to reach up there every time I want a look at you. Do you want a deformed husband?

Porter

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August 16 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Beatrice:

I received your letter this afternoon just before time for concert so I had to wait till I got back to answer Dont you think that I got a laugh out of your last letter honey cause I didnít I know just how it feels to look for a letter day in and day out for a week as you say. Ill addmit its enough to worry a person.

Im not exactly worrying about the ring but Im kicking myself for not going for it about a week earlier because they had a full stock of them.

Since I remember the gas station on Broadview honey and I remember putting water in the radiator but Im darned if I remember any girls being across the street. If there were I didnít know them.

We donít have Heavy Duty around here. Light duty is hard enough work and straight duty is twice as hard as any respectable nigger would work in civilian life. Do you mean that you and Hoppy both dislike hard work? How do you know what hard work is like? Oh! Yes I remember now you are the hard working young lady arenít you? Really honey youíve never answered that part of one of my letters which asks you why Hoppy wont bake bread for us. I asked you if she was thinking of getting married.

Really dear I think you would rather see a wild west show and so forth than to eat a good meal.

You wait till I come home and if you say so Ill hit a couple of dozen men for you so youíll get used to seeing accidents. It will do my fists a lot of good to. Is that satisfactory?

I dont know as its my place to give this advice but you said the more you earn, the more you spend and Im about the same way. Thats why I shouldnít say any thing but if I were you I wouldnít get into the habit cause its hard to break.

Im going to Fredericksburgh tonight to a wedding. One of the fellows here is getting married and Im going to be best man I donít like the fellow myself cause I think hes crooked but when he asked me I couldnít very well refuse. Could I? That would be an insult. Ill learn something about weddings anyway and thats something Ill need to learn anyway someday.

I had such a large head the last letter I wrote that I forgot to give you a lesson in math, and I dont want to lose out on those kisses so count the ones in this letter twice. Half of them are meant for the other letter

Write soon to

The Old Man
Porter

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About Aug. 18 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

My clarinet is in the repair shop this morning getting a new set of pads put on so I donít have to go to rehearsal this morning nor can I practice without it so Ill try to write you a few lines.

I saw an article in the morning Herald on a page that I very seldom read but the subject caught my eye and I read it. Im enclosing the article so you can read it. I think its good common sense. What do you think if it?

I spent all day yesterday working on the band masters car. I took out all the valves and refaced and reseated them and then ground them down. I was going to write last night after that but a fellow from the Triangle came in for me so I could go out and fix his radio. I didnít get in till after taps again so I wanted to get in some sleep today but again I canít because we have inspection of quarters this morning so I guess Ill have to wait till this afternoon for my nap.

I wrote to Jimmy and Erv the other day. I expect to hear from them again about Sunday or Monday. I also had another letter that I wrote to you night before last but I forgot to mail it until yesterday on account of going to a wedding where I was Best Man and yesterday I was downtown working on that car most all day.

No kidding honey Im getting a drag with the Band Master. Yesterday he told me that the Drum Major gets discharged in a couple of weeks and there is going to be a captain takes his place so he is going to use his influence as Band Master and try to keep me if that detail going to the tropics. Id like to go in one way but I think its best that I dont go, so Im glad hes going to try to keep me off the detail. He also said he would approve of my furlough but he says he donít think Headquarters will. Not next month anyway.

Do you know honey I kind of expected a letter from you this morning and still at the same time I knew there wouldnít be one. I just felt it in my bones. I donít think there will be any in the later mail delivery either. Not till tomorrow morning. I do expect that picture today though and Im keeping my eyes open for the mail.

Well honey there is really nothing ever happens here so I havenít any more news but Ill write more later. Write soon and let me know what the answer to all our math lessons is Ill close now with

Love & Kisses
Porter

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P.S. See other side

P.S.S. They are showing Rookies here tonight so I guess I might go to see a show for a change. I wish you were here to see it with me.

Porter 

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August 23 1927

Dearest:

I hardly know how to start this letter seeing as I have so much to say, and still I suppose by the time I get to it Ill forget half of it.

To start with thanks for the picture. I also received two letters from you since I wrote last. Ill try to answer both of them in this one. I went on a liberty with the fellow that bought my motorcycle because he cant drive yet. Our rear tire blew out coming back and we took a spill. The other fellow and I got knocked cold when the motor fell on me. I came to first and carried him back to the first garage where a pint of bootleg was secured and it sure revived him. Well I didnít get back till today. I got liberty extended and I went out with my buddy today to look at a Dodge Sedan he wanted and he bought it so you see honey this is the first chance Ive got to write

Well honey Ive got my experience at Weddings so I guess its your chance now. I hate the idea of standing before the minister Id just as soon go to a ďJustice of the PeaceĒ cause they donít make a man as uncomfortable as a minister does. Of course Im not trying to tell you how we will get married cause thats up to you just so you do marry me. You can have any kind of wedding you want.

Yes I saw Rookies and I honestly believe I got as much kick out if it as I did the first time even though I wasnít watching the picture to close the first time.

I wish I could get that habit of going to the bank every payday. Im afraid the banks would go bankrupt if they depended on me though.

Tell Helen thanks for accepting the job if baking our bread even if it will only be for holidays etc. Tell her I said she should get married so you can get a little experience.

Im writing this out at the garage sweetheart so you will have to excuse the paper etc. Im even using a pen from out here and it sure is no good. I donít think we have anything to do tomorrow honey so Ill try to write some more then.

The idea! Taking my coat and pants to the shop to be pressed and leaving me to go home in a barrell You better wait a while for such monkey shines honey.

Ill close now and write more tomorrow.

Lonesome but Happy

Porter

1 year and a butt.

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August 24 [1927] About 7:00 A.M. Post Band

Dearest:

I wrote you a letter last night but I didnít get to a place where I could mail it. I guess it was about midnight when I wrote it and the General store and Post Office was closed so I had to bring it back to camp so I might as well write some more.

We took the Dodge out onto the road after the traffic thinned out a little and I taught my buddy to drive. We drove back and forth from about one oclock this morning until our liberty expired which was 5:30 A.M.

Today we are going to take one of the motorcycles from the shop and go to Alexandria for the title and a set of liscense plates and when we get them we are going for a little ride.

I was talking to my buddy last night and we are going to try to get a furlough together and come up together in the Dodge. What do you think of that idea? If it works out. Pretty nice I call it. If I cant do that then Ill come home this fall sometime at the first chance I get. I can hardly wait for that chance honey. It seems that now that Ive got you to look forward to, the days seem to drag by so much slower, each day seems like a year.

Who are you going to get for a girl friend for Paul if he comes home with me? Have you any Lithuanian girl friends? Real nice ones you know or are you going to be nice to Helen and leave her go with him?

How did you manage to get that picture? Is that the same one I had before. Have you seen Lillian lately honey? Do you know Sweetheart that no matter how sore I got at Lill and as sore as I still am I still expect to hear from her. It feels sort of funny not to hear from her in such a long time. I canít be worried though. Ive still got you honey and nothing else matters. I only wish I didnít have so much time to do before Ill be able to see you all the time. I wish I was an officer so Id marry you right away and take you along every where I go. I think you would like the tropics. In fact I know you would.

Well honey Ill have to stop for a while now to get ready for colors and Ill finish after colors. Well Im here again honey. I really donít know how Im keeping my eyes open or anything but here I am any way still trying to write.

Paul is on his bunk right now trying to see just how much sleep is equal to two hours or so. We intend to go out and take that run to Alexandria in about two hours and he is intent on making the time till then count. Do you know what honey? Im going to learn to pray and Im going to have to employe those means every time I ride that motorcycle until I can get a decent set of tires. Oh say Bea. You must be puzzled cause I told you I sold the motorcycle. Well Ive another one now that I have the use of until a fellow gets back from China. This one is a Harley Davidson to, not so fast as the other one but its powerfull and dependable all but the tires and Ill get a good set some time and Ill be all set. This Harley is slow but the slower I go the less chance there is of breaking my fool neck and 68 miles per hour is plenty anyway Im satisfied.

Well honey you arent sorry that youve promised to marry me are you? I hope hot. I know Im not a bit sorry. In fact Im so glad that I love you more each day. They say that absence makes the Heart grow fonder and Ill back up the man that makes that statement and Ill also say that it makes the heart yearn.

I wrote a letter to Erv and one to Jimmy but I have no answer yet but I guess Ill hear from them soon. Ill close now honey so write soon to Your

Porter Old Man

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August 26 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

This is Friday night and everyone has gone over to the enlisted mens dance so Im going to try writing a letter while its quiet.

To begin with I would have written sooner but I was on a working detail to get Ferns, wild flowers, and leaves from the woods to decorate for some officers dance, and weve been out all day.

Last night I went to Fredericksburgh to tow in the motorcycle I sold cause after our spill we just left it there in some garage. We went up and I towed it in with mine. We started out right after concert which was at 4:30 P.M. and we didnít get back till midnight.

I was looking for a letter from you today honey but for some reason or another it never arrived I suppose it will tomorrow though so I wont kick. Ill just stand by and watch the mail tomorrow until the letter gets here.

Do you know what I just did honey? I just got an inspiration to draw your picture just as I see it and I started to draw it on the blotter pad So far Ive made a pretty good job of your head but Im terribly afraid Ill never get the nose and eyes in the way they belong. If I ever do, Ill send it to you and see what you think of it. Ill have to wait for further inspiration to finish it Im afraid.

Id like to do a little practicing tonight because I havent been doing it as much as I should lately but Im afraid I cant because my one hand is full of poison ivy and it makes my fingers stiff.

We arenít hearing any news here lately about tropics but the last I heard was that they are going to send the detail down a couple of months late. That is instead of September it might be October or November before they go. Id like to go in one way. To get out of this (Sunny Virginia). This state is the coldest in the United States. We havent had any real summer yet this year except a couple of days and they were nothing to boast of, and now its getting colder again. Right now Id like to wear an overcoat it so darn chilly.

Im afraid I canít finish my course in electrical engineering honey because they are discontinuing the M.C.J. Schools for an indefinite period of time. No one knows for how long. If they ever start up again Ill finish though cause I liked that course. I think Ill send my reference books away for storage or Ill throw them away or something. I get so mad to think that I cant finish the course now that Id really enjoy doing something to them just for spite.

Well honey Im getting cold sitting here and Ive been sleepy all day so I think Ill just tumble in.

Your Porter
Emile

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August 28 1927 About 3:30 A.M.

Dearest:

I received your letter today just as I was about to start out for the garage and I intended to answer it as soon as I got out here. When we got here though the work was standing knee deep and three deep so I pitched in and helped by doing all ignition work and weve been kept busy most of the time since then and that was about one oclock yesterday afternoon. There seems to be a lull right now though so Im going to try to write.

Of course I still love you honey. I love you more than anything else. Please dont think that I dont love you anymore just because Ive neglected to write a couple of times Ill really try to do better honey cause I know I should write oftener but I just leave things slip like that, but honest honey I do love you and I always will.

Yes Im still on the outs with Lill. God knows I would write if she only would but I wrote the last letter in fact I wrote the last two letters with no answer so its up to her to break the ice I think.

Ill tell you how fast we were going when we took our latest spill. We were going about 20 miles per hour and we are darn lucky we werent going faster or we wouldnít be here to tell the tale cause the spill took place on top of a big bridge. I cant tell you now what made me slow down unless it was another one of my lucky hunches.

Ive got my motor out cause a hanger in my frame broke and Ive either got to weld it or use one of the frames that are laying around here. Thats what I came out for in the first place yesterday.

I dont know when you will get this because I dont know when or where I will mail it. Im all alone in the garage now so I cant leave now but Ill mail it first chance I get.

Can you read this letter? Im writing this in my lap using a magazine for a desk. Ill write more later on honey and this is just so you will know that I still love you as much as ever and Im still tickled pink to think that you are to be my wife.

Well honey its getting daylight around here and Ill have to keep the fire going so the steam pressure dont go down so by by for this time. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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I Love You
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Porter

Write soon honey to

Your
Porter

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August 30 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your card arrived this morning and it sure fits. Ill admitt that much although I wrote to you I mailed the letter yesterday honey. I wrote it out at the garage on Sunday Ive landed myself a spare time job at the garage now. Im getting $10 per month and I make about as much on tips so even though it is small wages its experience and even those small wages help. I got liberty yesterday and made a run to Washington on business for the garage to get some tools and also some parts for a job Im working on now. I stopped in to see about that ring and he didnít have it yet so I told him not to bother and I found another place to get one that even nicer than what I could have got at the other place. Im going up again on payday to get some stuff I need and Ill get the ring then. Would you rather have one like mine was with the red glass or ruby or what ever the dickens it is, or would you rather have one thats gold and no stone? Either one is nice. I donít know which one I like best myself.

Well honey they are making up a detail for tropical duty right now but its going to be Nicaragua and not Haiti So far Im not on it yet and if I can help it Ill not be. I think I would die if I had to go down there for 18 months now, still if I was one the detail I donít suppose there would be anyway out of it. Still if I did go Im afraid Id die of a broken heart. Ive set my heart on coming home to see you and Im afraid I might not get there if I was on the detail and I love you to much to leave without seeing you first. If I should be on the detail Id try to get a leave honey although if it comes before payday Id have to ride freight trains so you would have a pennyless lover on your hands for a few days. No shows or anything. I donít think we have to worry about that though cause myself I dont think Ill have to go so I wonít be coming up for nearly another month or so when Ill be rich enough to come up by train or motor so lets not worry any honey.

Im not feeling so rozy today because Ive got a cramp in the tummy for some reason or another. I guess its some more of this good Marine Corps chow that cant be digested. Ive had these cramps since 9 oclock last night and its one oclock in the afternoon now so that gives me about 15 hours of misery so far. Lets hope it quits soon.

I found a nice poem in last night Washington Herald. One of Edgar A Guests poems and Im going to enclose it. Do you know honey that man writes some of the most beautiful poetry that Ive ever seen. I cant understand where or how he gets all his ideas and thoughts. I read his poems every time I get a hold of a paper with one in it.

Weve got a concert to play this afternoon at the Generals house and if everyone is feeling like I do Im afraid it would be all noise.

Gee honey those cramps kept me awake most all last night and Im so sleepy Im almost going to sleep sitting up here while Im writing and I sure donít want to do that. I just now had to bawl out my buddy for making so damn pardon lady I meant to say darn much noise. He was rolling around wrestling with women other bozo and I was called upon to bawl them out and if they start again Ill feel called upon to beat up on them. Now I just got through trying to tell these guys about regulations on furloughs. I won the argument though.

Well honey Ill close now and start getting ready for concert Ive got to shave yet and I havenít any to much time so bye bye for now and write soon to Porter XXXXXXXXXXXX

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Sept 1st 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letter arrived this noon but till now I have been busy with a rehearsal and a concert. Its raining out but we got into the band stand and played just the same. We just got back so I decided to write till supper time.

Thats what I call nice entertainment It seems to make one feel like an entirely different person when one does something to make some one else happy like that, especially when the someone else is a child.

Have they got Balts and his team mates at Brookside permanently now? Id like to see them when I come home again. Lets hope that is pretty soon.

When you were in Brooky did you think of our afternoon together? It seems to me that the whole park has a different glitter to it since then When I think of you now I always think of Brookside at the same time and I never think of Brookside except in connection with you.

Do you know honey Im not really slipping on my music cause they dont give a fellow a chance to slip but I am getting disgusted with myself as a clarinetist and although they tell me that its just my imagination Im sure that Im playing worse every day instead of better but Im sticking by my boots and saddle just the same

Dont worry about me going to the tropics for a while honey cause Im not on this detail now although I was. I got another clarinet player to request to take my place.

Im going out to the garage again tonight in fact Im going in about 20 minutes cause Im going to finish the overhaul job Im doing now and Ill collect a couple of dollars. The little extra money I make there sure comes in handy or anyway it has so far this month.

I going to see about a furlough tomorrow so Ill let you know more definitely what its all about either tomorrow or as soon after that as I can find out for myself.

If I come at all I think Im going to come up on the motorcycle if I get that far. If I dont get that far just send a bunch of violets and never mind the mourning part.

Well honey there goes chow call so Ill have to close in a hurry and Ill write some more as soon as I get some information. Tell Hoppy hello for me and dont forget to keep writing no matter what happens

Yours
Porter

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[September 2, 1927] Saturday Morning Library

Dearest:

I received your letter yesterday but didnít answer because I was at the garage when it came and I was working on a big job. I decided to write this morning and just as I was about to start I hear of a police detail being made up so I came over here to write and I might be able to keep out of police work and get this letter written.

The first thing I did after colors this morning was to put my name on the liberty list cause Im going up today to get your ring. You havenít told me yet whith which one you wanted so Im going to get the one you asked for first. I was going to go you yesterday but I didnít get the chance but Im going up today in spite of everything.

Well honey the detail for Nicaragua is approved and Im not on it. I canít tell you just how it all happened because I dont know myself. Itís a big mystery to me, but I have more than a hunch that the band master was working for me because I donít see any other possible way it could have happened.

Do you know what I wish? I wish I had the means of supporting you for the next year and nine months. Id bring you down here and we would go to the tropics together. Thats one place Im sure youíd like. Do you know why I said that honey? Its because a soldiers or Marines wife always lives the life of Rielly as they say because they do plenty of traveling. I only wish you could share this life with me honey. Im sure you would like it.

Im going to get the best of my dumb pride today and Im going to write to Lill today if I donít get caught on that detail. I dont know I may be foolish and I may not but Im going to get over this stubborn spell.

Im thinking of a furlough the end of this month or the first of next and Im going to go the limit for it. Ill go so far as to fight for it if I have to. They canít do any more than lock me up you know and this wouldnít be the first time either.

Im afraid if I didnít get a furlough you would think that I dont love you any more but I do. I believe from the scarsity of letters I write you have already formed a little doubt, and I really canít blame you either. Well just you be patient and Ill do my best for a nice furlough.

Im going to expect a letter from you tomorrow or Wednes Monday. You will have to excuse the scratches but I havent much paper along and I dont want to go to my quarters on account of that police detail.

Well Bye Bye for now honey and write soon to

The Greatest of the Great Privates
Porter

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August 6 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

I wrote you a letter Saturday so I expected a letter this morning but I was fooled for none arrived. Ive been away from here since Sat. noon. I stayed at the garage all night helping out and got new liberty from Sunday night until Reveille Tuesday which was this morning so Paul and I went out for a little Labor Day trip in his Dodge and we had a nice time we went to see his friends at ďNew Freedom Pa.Ē Itís about 118 or 120 miles I guess it might even be more or less we didnít watch the speedometer Just think honey I was about one fifth of the way home then.

I believe I told you in my other letter that I was going to get your ring Saturday and send it didnít me? Well Im sorry honey but I didnít get it yet. I got there too late. They didnít have a ring in that size left with the emblem. I was going to get a seven but thatís too small and there is no sense in getting one to small you know. Ill get it as soon as possible though honey.

Gee Im sleepy today. I stayed awake all night Saturday and all day Sunday and we didnít even start on our trip till Sunday night and I drove all the way because traffic was heavy and Paul is just a beginner at driving so I drove all night Sunday and fooled around all day Monday and drove all Monday night till we came in this morning. I was so tired I fell asleep at the wheel two or three times. This morning at our rehearsal I fell asleep while playing and Id always wake up just before Id fall out of my chair. After rehearsal I started to get my stuff out to write to you and fell asleep doing it so I just layed down and slept all day. Im still sleepy though.

There were some men came back from China and some from Nicaragua last night. All men who are ready for Discharge. I donít even know if they are going to be replaced or not but why worry.

I still love you honey so write to me real soon and let me know what all is happening

Only Your
Porter

P.S. Do you still count these honey?

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August 9 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Why donít you write? Ive gone half crazy in the last week trying to figure out a reason for you silence. You arenít sick are you? I hope not and I felt sure that you would have let me know if you were sick and I canít figure any other reason for you silence unless I might have said something that would make you sore at me but I really cant think of any thing I might have said that would offend. Well so much for that Ill just have to be patient until you do write

I got a letter from Erv if you want to call it that. It seems he is trying to learn to operate a typewriter and is trying to learn on my sisters machine. Im enclosing a part of his letter so you can get a good laugh out of it. Id like to send you the whole letter but I canít for it is written in such a way that it even makes a hard boiled Leatherneck blush. I sat down while I was reading his letter and laughed so much that I very nearly missed colors by forgetting to fall out.

Ive been quite busy here the last couple of days. Some drunken fellow ran smack into the side of the Dodge on me and the sheriff got him and told him to either get the car fixed as good as new or go to jail so he is having it fixed, everything new, including two doors. The accident will cost him plenty cause the Bill for Pauls Dodge will amount to over two hundred dollars alone then the fellow will fix his own car up I suppose. I had to go to Washington last night on account of that to see that two new tires are put on and to see that the doors are fixed properly.

I went to see about your ring while I was up there but he hasnít one in yet he said to come in Monday and I told him if he hasnít got one Monday August 12 that I would send to the factory for one so now I know he will have one cause if I wrote to the factory and told them that I tried to get one at his place and couldnít they would take his agency away from him.

We are having a lot of duty around here lately. One thing after another, parades colors fall out to meet someone or another and concerts and trips to different fairs etc. They are splitting this band up into three orchestras and two bands tomorrow. The two bands each play for a different Fair and the orchestras for God knows what kind of dances and functions. I think Ill have to break my clarinet and take a chance on not being able to get another one for a few days.

I donít suppose you know it but Ive been bawling you out half a dozen times each day for over a week now cause you know thats how long it is since your last letter arrived. Ive got so I cant look at you without giving you a bawling out for not writing cause you know I havent any way at all of knowing just why you quit writing and the suspense is terrible. I donít suppose Ive got any kick coming though cause I did the same thing not so long ago. Im making up for it though cant I am I not? I believe that is better English.

Well honey I still love you as much as ever and I still think of you real often and you are still part of my dreams. I believe I love you more than ever if that is possible. By the way honey you told me once that you donít know what (love) is. Have you found out yet?

Well sweetheart Ill close this volume now and hope to hear from you real soon so write to

Your Porter XXXXXXXXXXXX OOOOOOOOOOOO [portion of letter from Ervin J. Laykun] 

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August 11 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

Your letter just arrived and it has solved the big mistery. I just couldnít guess why you werenít writing and all the time my letters were going to a different part of the United States from where you were. I saw the light of day just as soon as I saw the postmark.

Oh Ill admitt I dont exactly dote on police work but after all you know a fellow really canít be blamed.

Im sorry but I guess you will have to wait a few more days for your ring. I hate to do this but Ive just got to because I simply canít get away today or tomorrow and it might not do any good if I could. I wasnít supposed to make that trip to Indian Head yesterday but I was told to go in the last minute so I missed my chance to go up yesterday on that account.

No Im not on the Nicaraguan detail and donít want to be either. Im going to try my best to get out of every detail that leaves and then maybe Ill get to come up with the band that goes to Cleveland for the football game this fall. Dont misunderstand me honey Im not worrying about the tropics because there have been lots of men went there before now and I think I can stand as much as anyone so you see it dont worry me only I dont want to go now.

See now honey if you had your hubby with you to fix the flat tire you might not have had to cuss cause you could have made me fix it. Thats one of the advantages.

Grrrrr!!!**??!:;,. Why in the heck do you always insist on talking about goodies such as home made ice cream and so. You know I never get any of that here and it makes my mouth water. Cut it out. Orders from Comanding General Emil G. Thomas the Greatest of the great privates.

Sure thing sweetheart we can go anywhere you want when I come home and Id love to meet your folks. What are some of these obstacles we have to overcome to visit these people? They say that Love will find a way so we ought to find two ways cause I love you just twice that much.

Do you know honey I havenít overcame my own pride yet. Not enough to write to Lill anyway. I suppose I will one of these days though.

Why worry about diets. Donít forget you are still my light heavyweight you know. Ill be the proud man when I claim that light heavyweight for a wife. Donít think I wont either.

Well honey Ill close and you will hear more from me soon.

Your Lonely
Marine

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Sept 14 1927

Dearest Bea:

I received your letter a couple of minutes ago and Im going to try to answer it although this one will have to be in a hurry if one ever was.

Do you remember my telling you about the drunken fellow running into my buddyís car and smashing it up? Well they are taking every one concerned out today, that is the Post Inspector is and they are either going to straighten the trouble out or that fellow has to face a charge of being drunk while driving and hauling whiskey in his car and take a chance on getting from $100 fine and 6 months to two years imprisonment which would mean that he gets a bad conduct discharge and loses 17 years of service that he already has to his credit. The Post inspector is taking us out to see the sheriff and have a look at the booze that was found in the fellows car and they are going to try to bring all of us to an agreement. So you see honey why I say that this letter is going to be written in a hurry.

I thought you told me you are working? How can you go to watch football practice then? Or do you quit in time to go over there.

I had a nice boil on my neck and just opened it this morning and boy what I mean they sure hurt especially while opening. This one hurts so much that I cant even move my foot and the boil is on my neck. It interferes with my wiggling my ears to.

Well honey Im going to have to close now but Ill write more tomorrow morning cause I dont expect to be back till late tonight

Only
Porter

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Sept 17 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Do you want to know why I didnít know about your going to Pataskala? Ill tell you cause I just found the letter. Who ever got the mail that day just put it under the cover of my table and I never found it till just before.

Yesterday I was on a police detail all day and started to go fishing at night or rather crabbing. We started out on three different motorcycles and they all broke down we got two of them running again and went on then and we had salted Herring for bait but when we got to the place most of it was gone. The fellows in the second motorcycle ate the bait. We fished for crabs until 1 oclock and then we lost the one dip net so we ate our sandwiches and drank our coffee and after swapping yarns for about an hour we came in minus crabs. The darn things saw me coming I guess. Next time I go Ill disguise myself behind some wiskers an sneak up on them.

No honey I havent given up hope for a furlough yet in fact I put in another request this morning for the sixth of next month but I dont know how far it will get. All I can do is hope it goes through cause I sure want to come to see my sweetheart in the quickest way possible.

Im going to go to Washington again this afternoon for that ring and if they havent got the right one now then Ill wait till just before my furlough if it comes through and Ill bring it with me. Will that be alright honey? You dont know how much I hate to keep you waiting so long honey but there are no two ways about it and if they havent got one by next month then you will get a real ring whether you want it or not. The old man is speaking now.

We are all waiting for the twenty second but very few bets are being made although everyone expects Dempsey to win and although it is customary to give odds in favor of the champion no one seems to be willing to give odds. I believe this is going to be one of the best fights in the history of the ring.

Tell Helen that I agree with her about shows they are alright if an exceptionally good picture happens to come along but otherwise Bah! And Humbug!

I feel like bawling you out some more cause th you are starting to threaten me and Im hoping you beat me up good cause I need it. Ive nothing to bawl you out for though.

Well sweetheart I guess you will have your hands full trying to read this much so give me a kiss and let me close this letter.

just Porter
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September 20 [1927] Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

I just received your letter you wrote on the twentieth of September and mailed in the nineteenth. Donít you think you had better turn your time back a day or so up there anyway I was glad to get the letter no matter what the date.

I was just up to see about my furlough this afternoon and I think Ill get it cause two fellows backed out and now I think Im fourth on the list and that gives me a chance anyway. If it comes through it will start on the day after payday and by the time I get up there Ill be nearly broke. Ill only have about twenty dollars so we wont be able to see a show each night. But if you donít mind Im sure I wonít. I wouldnít mind if I had to walk home. All I want is to see and be with my sweetheart.

Yes that drunk sure was a Marine and he is a fair example of what the Marines can make of a man in one way and of course there are examples the other way to. Just what a man makes it.

Honey Im going to have to hurry this letter a little to get done by supper time. I just found out that our supper comes at 5 oclock now where it used to come at 5:30 oclock and its nearly 3 oclock now.

You asked what Ive been doing lately. Ive been thinking of you and wondering how I could manage to get a furlough short of committing murder. Do you know Ive been thinking of you so much and wondering about a furlough that Im getting down right lazy and the only remedy for that is a furlough. Im only hoping they will let me undergo that treatment. Id love nothing better.

Well honey time is getting close so I suppose Ill have to close but Ill write more as soon as I get more definite information about my furlough so now Ill close with

Love Your
Porter

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Sept 23, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest:

Your letters are making me fall more and more in love with you all the time I was getting kind of disgusted on account of Tunney getting the decision over Dempsey and then along comes your letter and drives the blues away.

Certainly honey certainly I know that Ill get your ring but what gets me is all the useless delay.

I donít care how bad you think a motorcycle is sweetheart but I know that if my furlough comes through my motorcycle is going to be a blessing cause if I didnít have it Id sure have to walk but like this everything will be rozy.

Honey if you mention the (Mr Bryant from downstairs) again Ill have to beat him up when I come home so he will know better next time and not fool with my girl. Private Property

Today we had general police work again. We have every Friday now. This new Comanding General sure is ambitions when someone else has to do the work. My knuckles are all skinned up and bruised up and what is left of my hands is all torn and bleeding from the thorns. My left eye is closed because I got a cold in it from the motorcycle rides of course. All in all considering the second boil on my neck Im a very good Marine for the shape Im in. I think Ill live though unless they leave a couple of bombs lying around loose for me to stub my toes on.

Do you know what I think Im going to do starting in November? I think Im going to manage the garage out there during the evening until about next spring. It will be a wonderful oportunity for me to learn all about the tire repair business and maybe Ill realize my big ambition some day and be a master mechanic. I can make an automobile engine do everything but talk now. A little experience with tires and a little more ignition work should fix me up fine. Dont you think so?

Well honey I really should be out at the garage now so Im going to close cause the boss is waiting for me so bye bye for now and Ill let you know more about my furlough later

Your Old Man
Porter

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Sept 25, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

This is Sunday afternoon and as Im not doing any thing else I thought I might as well write a little.

I was out at the garage all the afternoon and drove one of the fellows eighteen miles over a dirt road last night to a square dance just for his sake and I nearly froze. The nights down here are worse than winter. I came back to the garage at about two A.M. and it was closed and no one there and me without my keys so we came into camp and Im not going back out till after concert tonight.

My request for a 30 day furlough went in to Washington yesterday so if everything goes right I should be home by the eighth of October cause Im going to drive up and seeing as it gets pretty cold Ill just have to take it kind of easy and make a stop to get warm every once in a while. Ive been looking up the roads and if the maps donít lie I should have good roads all the way up and if I have a warn dry day and my tires dont get to hot I should make it in 16 hours but Id rather take it a little easier and be sure of getting there. I may have a riding companion most of the way up if his furlough comes through.

How much did you win on the fight? I lost but Im not saying how much. I do wish I had bet the way you told me though. I could have made a nice 6 months furlough on it. I dont know how you judged the fighters but you did judge them right and my hats off to you. If Dempsey came back again Id bet on him again though cause I think he is the best man and I still maintain that there isnít a man living that can knock Dempsey out. I dont care how big he is.

I dont know why it is but Im still froze since last night. I slept till noon to plenty of time to thaw out but I dont seem to be any warmer. I think I should have slept till supper. Im going out and work on the motorcycle some more tonight cause I want to be darn sure its in good condition before I start my furlough. I dont want to breakdown on the road no way.

I think Ill have a letter from you tomorrow so Ill close now so Ill have something to write about then so bye bye for this time with

Love & Kisses
Porter

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P.S. Dont forget to Write Soon

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Sept 29, 1927 Post Band Quantico

Dearest Bea:

I received one of your letters yesterday afternoon and one this noon so Iíll answer two in one. I would have answered the one last night already only I went on guard and it isnít like the Tenth Regt. guard was. There isnít a chance to write between watches here. I came off at 8 oíclock this morning and got breakfast and went to sleep till noon and still I could sleep quite a bit more.

Sure thing honey Im coming home to see you if I have to come A.W.O.L. Ė but I dont think Ill have to although I wonít be able to come on the sixth. Im fairly sure Ill get to come on the tenth. They arent giving any more furloughs till then on account of the tri monthly report but I am figuring on the tenth We will have to consider ourselves darn lucky that I get a leave then because it isnít the custom to give furloughs to the band during the football season but I think Ill get mine anyway.

Our football season opens this Saturday when we will beat Washington University or at least when we hope to. The game is going to be played right here and I suppose the entire camp will turn out. I know one private that will.

When you told me you were calling for Lill to go to church I knew without my reading another word that my father would ask about me but! The idea is Did Lill ask about me? I suppose not. I guess she is just as stubborn as I am. I really dont care how much my dad knows about me just so I donít have to do the telling.

Im afraid you dont quite understand honey. In the service a man can never say anything for sure so I really canít see into the future far enough to say for sure when I will come. All I can say if when my furlough is requested for and if I think Ill get it or if I think I wonít. I have a half way decent reason though for thinking mine will go through and that is why I seem to be so confident.

For the love of mud honey wish for anything but snow cause Im going to drive that motorcycle home and snow would make the driving pretty hard. You know It would make it nearly impossible.

Well honey all I can think of is I Love you and I canít get my mind off of it long enough to think of anything else to write so Ill close hoping for a nice furlough to come through real soon

Porter

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END OF PAGE 2

P . F . C .     E M I L     " P O R T E R "     T H O M A S ,     U . S . M . C .      L E T T E R S

1.  HOMEPAGE & CRITICAL INTRO

2.  BEFORE NICARAGUA
1923-1927

3.  BEFORE
NICARAGUA

1927-1928

4.  IN NICARAGUA
APRIL 1928óMARCH 1929

5.  AFTER NICARAGUA
APRILóJULY 1929

    

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