Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guns and Newspapers

January 13, 1952
Fort Knox KY

Dear Mom, Dad and all,

If that check don’t come soon I will have to see the Capt. to see why it hasn’t been sent out. [1] Did you find any use for that apron like bag I sent?
It was my turn for K.P. I didn’t get out because I was late. One of the other boys folks sent the Dem.[2]  I see that show was on today in Center. Can you send the picture out of the Capital Times?[3]
According to my figures I owe J__ $290.00 that’s what you had figured too.
We won’t be driving tanks this week. We will be shooting .30 cal. machine guns and M1 rifles.[4] We have classes tomorrow and shooting 4 days. Next week we will be shooting 75 mm tank guns for 2 weeks. Our last 2 weeks will be out in the woods. We will have our full field packs that weigh about 50 lbs. I think we go out 28 miles and then each day come back so many miles till we are back.
Tell R__ as far as I am concerned he can use the pickup. Its kind of cold with one window gone and no heater. It needs 2 brake rods. Ask R___ if he knows how to take that fender skirt off that is bent. I might have him take it down to Wilson’s and have it ground it out and painted moonstone grey. You won’t have to put it back in till I get there. Loosen the two back bolts. Take out the middle one and slide that arm one way or the other. Think you can do it?
[1] Many servicemen sent part or most of their monthly earnings to designated bank accounts back home. Here he seems to be complaining about the slowness of his allotment account being set up. For a while it must have seemed that his money was disappearing into black hole. He must have thought it was a real SNAFU.

[2] The Richland Democrat, now defunct, was one of two newspapers serving the local Richland Center newspaper market. 

[3] The Capital Times was a Madison daily founded in 1917. The paper only ceased daily publication in April, 2008 and becoming an internet-based news entity. My dad worked for the Cap Times in the '60's and '70s, begining as a printer and then moving into graphic arts as a paste-up artist, assembling the pages, e.g. cutting the columns, getting all the news and ads to fit and flow correctly on deadline.  He actually worked for Madison Newpaper Inc., a jointly-owned entity which printed both the Wisconsin State Journal (the morning daily) and The Capital Times (the afternoon daily). When I was a kid, both newspapers were located in the same building just off the Capitol Square on 113 S. Carroll Street. I have fond memories of visiting the "composing room" which seemed one of those very busy, very grown-up places.

[4] The .30 cal machine gun was no doubt a Browning M1919, then the infantry standard; the M1 semi-automatic rifle was the standard infantry weapon of WW II and Korea. M16's replaced M1's during Vietnam and became the standard issue carbine.

Browning M1919 .30 caliber Machine Gun

Next to the bomb, the machine gun is perhaps the most wicked device ever invented.  Leonardo da Vinci, that celebrated renaissance man, gets the credit.

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