I wonder what the topics of conversation included in Lester’s six minute phone call home. Perhaps a family journey to visit him in Detroit was suggested. The folks are missing Lester very much.
Tuesday evening: 2000
There isn’t anything new since I talked to you Sunday afternoon except my new barracks letter. We will be moved by the time you get this so use the new address. I sure had good luck getting the call thru. It didn’t take over five minutes from the time I started the call until I was talking to you. All of the phones here were busy all afternoon so I went into Detroit & called from the YMCA. It cost $1.45 for the first three minutes & I talked over-time three minutes for another 1.45. That wasn’t bad, was it, considering that it is nine hundred miles apart? I could hear you fairly well but not as well as the time I talked to Josephine from Great Lakes.
No, I never get lost, Mom. Usually I go with someone who knows the town & we don’t usually get far off the main part of town. It wouldn’t matter much if I did get lost because I can always inquire the right way & it doesn’t cost anything to ride the buses or street cars. We always start back in plenty of time to get here before midnight. There are lots of bums but they never bother us except just to ask for a dime or quarter. There are always enough sailors around they wouldn’t dare start anything. You would have to get around the same as we do—get on a street car & ask if it is going to the place we want to go. The name of the street route is on the front of the car, too. It isn’t so hard to get around.
The two white stripes on my cuff show that I am a second-class seaman. One stripe is for apprentice seamen; three stripes for seamen first class. That will be my next step. We can’t get a higher rating here at the station. Some of the boys in my company are already first class seamen. They are the ones who went to sea instead of school. The discipline here is getting very strict & most of the boys are glad to be going to sea. I manage to stay out of the way so I don’tmind it yet. We will have different guards when we move to the other barracks. The diesel boys are the main guards at the gates but don’t have to stand any other guards.
It is 2020 now, the sun is just setting & colors has just been blown & the flag lowered. The band usually plays in the mornings when the flag is hoisted.
I must close now so good-bye. Hope everyone is well.