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THURSDAY, NOV. 18, 1943
K IWY V'j $ SYNOPSIS CHAPTER I—Edward Thomas Marion Lawton Hargrove, feature editor of the Charlotte (N. C.) News, receives notice from his draft board that he is to be inducted into the army. Before he begins an account ing of his actual experiences in training camp he issues his quota of free advice to prospective in ductees. After his induction Har grove, with his new buddies, leaves for Fort Bragg, where he is to re ceive his basic training. CHAPTER II—Private tells of the physical exam, the first few days of army, how he was out fitted with his uniform, and how on the sixth day he received bis first KP duty. He is classified as a semi skilled cook. CHAPTER HI—Hargrove CHAPTER VII One of the nicest things about working in the kitchen in Battery of the 13th Battalion has been the knowledge that its number-one chow hound, Buster Charnley, would drop around after supper and the conver sational fat. It’s like a letter from home to listen to Buster’s slow' and mournful drawl, and his refreshing ly dry humor is a pick-me-up at the end of a long, hot afternoon. Buster came prancing up the chow line, the other evening with a grin that started at the back of his head and enveloped his face from the nose down. “What’s eating you, Walter,” I asked him, “—besides that egg-suck ing grin?” “Leaving here, boy!” he sang. “You won’t see me around for three months. And when you see me, son, you’ll see stripes on my sleeves and a look of prosperity on my clean-cut Tarheel face!” The man behind him wanted to get to the mashed potatoes, so Buster had to move on down the line, I got the whole story from one of the kaypees while I waited for him to make his evening call. Of the 200-odd men in Battery C, two men had been selected for three months’ training at Fort Sill, Okla homa. At the end of their three months, they will come back as gun nery instructors, with a non-com missioned officer's rating and a spe cialist’s extra pay on top of that. Mrs. Walter Charnley’s little boy Buster was one of the two men selected. I was chopping kindling for break fast when Buster came around again, and I painted Fort Sill as a nest of jack rabbits, gophers, and rattlesnakes and assured him that Battery was sending him to school to cut down the grocery bills. If we hadn’t been insulting each other in a friendly fashion for years, I would have told him that I wasn’t particularly astonished and that I was sure he’d make a good instruc tor and the kind of noncommis sioned officer the boys borrow mon ey from. Battery will miss Ole Buster while he’s away. The cooks will miss him because he always re members to compliment them when he likes the meat loaf or the cherry “Leaving here, boy,” he sang “You won’t see me around for three months. Then I’ll be wearing stripes on my sleeves.” cobbler. The mess sergeant will miss him because he livens the kitchen when it comes his turn to do kaypee. The boys will miss him because he’s one of the best-liked boys there. One of the sergeants near here came back from a recent leave with one of the most glorious shiners that ev££ darkened the. human eye. See Here, Private Hargrove! Im Marion Hargrove .atwu Hargrove relates his conversation with his sergeant who is trying to find out why he spends so much time on KP duty. He also reports on the session the trainees are put through by the ex ercise sergeant. He has trouble learning how to handle his rifle and is given plenty of special attention by the sergeant and corporal. CHAPTER IV—Private Hargrove relates some of the incidents sur rounding the advancement in rank by some of his friends. Why he fails to so advance is a puzzle to his sergeant, who inquires about it. CHAPTER V—Hargrove is given a review of his faults by his ser geant who tells him to snap out of it and start working for his cor poral’s stripes. He also gets a les son in the art of goldbricking. CHAPTER VI—Private Hargrove lists a series of army slang defini tions for the enlightenment of the civilian population. He also tells how he and two of his pals spoil a perfectly good date for one Private Zuber. Going home on furlough he goes to visit a newspaperman friend who dominates their conversation recounting his experiences in the first World War. He also under goes another trying experience at inspection. "Run info a door?” I asked him. “Gave a guy the wrong answer,” he replied simply, “or rather, the answer he didn’t want.” I looked at his face his teeth were all there and his jaw was still in one piece. I looked at his hands the knuckles showed the marks of service. “I was at a party,” he went on, “when this fellow who lives next door to my folks wants to know ‘how’s the morale in the Army?’ ‘Excellent,’ I tell him ‘excellent!’ He looks me up and down sort of pitying-like and wants to know don’t I read the magazine stories about how poor it is. Well, I tell him, ‘I spend all my time with the boys and I believe what I see more than what I read.’ “He goes on from there making cracks at the Army and the country and the suckers we are for giving our time for what’s not worth fight ing for in the first place. I listen politely for a while, because even though I’m not in uniform I don’t want to look rowdy. I stand as much as I can and then I ask him to his feet. It isn’t long before his three brothers join the fight. It was one of the brothers put his finger ring in my eye.” “Brother,” I told him, “that ain’t a black eye. That’s a badge.” “I lost the fight,” he said. “You won the argument, though,” I told him. “I’d like to use the sergeant’s name, but he made me promise not to.” “I told the Old Man,” he said, “that I got the shiner playing base ball.” “How can I fit you into a coat,” moaned Supply Sergeant Israel, “with you fidgeting around like a race horse at the post? Stand still, dem you, stand still!” “Heavens to Betsy, Thomas,” I complained, “you’re getting to be the fussiest old maid in the outfit. I’m not squirming!” “In the first place, my man,” he said, “don’t call me Thomas or try to get overly familiar with your eld ers and betters. In the second place, don’t argue with me. In the third place, don’t fidget in the first place. And in the fourth place, don’t agi tate me unnecessarily. I’m at the end of my patience with you and I ain’t feeling in no holiday spirit anyway.” I buttoned the handsome winter blouse and he stepped back to in spect it with the eye of an artist. “Every time my wife gets mad at me, she has her picture taken to send to me. The picture I got to day showed she’s going to eat my heart out unmercifully when I can’t put off my furlough any longer and I have to go home. And with do mestic difficulties on my hands, I have to fit your winter uniforms.” He yanked at my coattail, straight ened the collar and scratched his head. “Hargrove—37 long,” he yelled to the boy at the desk. "Man that is born of woman,” I comforted him, “is of many days and full of trouble.” “Git off the platform and into this overcoat,” he sighed. He held the coat while I got into it and he slapped my hand for fidgeting again. “Sometimes I wonder why I go to so much trouble keeping you boys dressed right. Here I spend the whole afternoon vziping sweat out of my eyebrows, just to see that your clothes fit you and you won’t look like a bunch of bums—which you are. “Do you know what some ungrate ful kitchen termite said the other day? He started putting it around that the Army could double itself in half an hour by filling up the extra space in its trousers. Do your trou sers fit you bum?” He straightened the pleats in the back of the over coat and gave the tail an unneces sarily vicious yank. “Did I say they didn’t?” I groaned, raising my arms despair ingly. “Just because somebody else says you stretch the coat in the back so the man will think it fits right in the front, you have to go picking on me!” “Me pick on you?” he screamed. “It’s a wonder my nerves ain’t com pletely shot! Do I come around and put signs on the door saying, ‘Walk Up One Flight and Save Five Dol lars’? Do I throw gunny sacks on your bed and ask you to take up the cuffs two inches? “With my thankless job, it’s a wonder I haven’t collapsed before this. I wish I was a permanent kitchen police instead of a supply sergeant. Hargrove 37 long! NEXT!” -m “This battery is my baby,” Cor poral Henry Ussery said, loosening his belt for a real bull session. I’ve watched it grow from thutty-one men to what it is now. It was hard work building up this battery to what it is now, but it’s worth it when you look around and see what you’ve done.” The assembly sighed en masse and decided to loosen its belts. Us sery was wound up again. “When I got here, there wasn’t anybody here but the instructors. We spent four weeks eating dust and running rabbits. There I was—I’d spent thutteen months learning the old drill and tactics to where I reckon I had it down better than any man in the whole Army. Then they started this ‘minute Army,* with a bunch of green ignorant Yan kees—and I had to teach them what they had to know!” The bull session nodded wisely e nd Cornoraj,Ussery went cn- “Nowt this young Corporal Joe Gantt, for instance. Now, this Corporal Gantt, when he first came in, was one of the greenest rookies in the bunch. But he snapped out of it and made corporal in four months. “Was that soldiering,” a voice broke in, “or handshaking—as the Latins used to say, mittus flop pus?” “Much as I can’t stand Gantt, I’ll have to admit it was soldiering. That’s the way it is. You sweat your head off hammering the drills and the calisthenics and the military courtesy and guard duty and the physical hygiene and the manual of arms into them. They’re all clumsy and awkward as a bear in an egg crate at first, but then you can see them, after a while, snap ping into it and getting better and better. By the time we’ve had them thutteen weeks, and they’re ready to be assigned to their posts, they’re as keen and alert as a bunch of West Point cadets. They’re extra good cooks and better soldiers.” “Isn’t a good soldier a specialist at griping and growling?” somebody asked him. “When a soldier can gripe,” the corporal announced in a pontifical manner, “he’s happy as a pig in the sunshine. When he doesn’t gripe, there’s something wrong with him. That’s another thing you learn. When you first came here, you didn’t know the first principles of griping. You griped about the clothes you griped about the beds you griped especially about having to go to bed at nine o’clock.” “Griping is an art, just like gold bricking is an art. Before you leave here, you learn that you don’t enjoy griping a bit when you spread your energy all over everywhere, griping about everything. You learn to choose cne thing and specialize in griping about that. “If you want to be a specialist at griping, you have to get on your toes. You get to where your clothes are comfortable. Where you used to think the food was terrible, now you pretend that you don’t get enough of it. You like the beds and by nine o’clock you're sleepy. So you have to find something special to gripe about. If you haven’t got any originality at all, pick you out one special noncom and gripe about him. “Now, you take Private Hargrove, for instance. First came here, he griped about me telling him he was carrying his rifle wrong. Now he gripes w’hen I tell him he’s carrying it right. He might have something there. He still carries it like it was a 75-millimeter gun. He’s getting so shiftless, even at griping, that he can’t find anything to beef about ex cept not getting any. mail. I’m going to write all his creditors, so he won’t even be able to gripe about the mail.” "That reminds me,” I said. “Did I tell you boys what Sergeant Taylor told me about Ussery today?” "Nine o’clock!” Ussery shouted. "Lights out! Break it up!” ta— Somewhere on the wild coast of South Carolina, the battalion in which I cook is being treated to a weekend to combine business with pleasure. We can romp in the At lantic while w’e get a "taste of the field.” With the wind blowing the sand into kitchens and pup tents alike, it will be nice to get back to At night we sleep, or simulate sleep, in pup tents made by our own hands with loving care. Fort Bragg for a taste of the food we eat. A vexed soldier here doesn’t grate his teeth. He crunches them. We made the trip here in lorries, which are the mechanical age’s nearest approach in appearance to covered wagons. You’ve probably seen them rolling noisily but smoothly through town—large can vas-topped trucks with a fold ing bench down each side inside. You’d expect to be hauled out of one of them, beaten to death, at the end of a 130-mile trip. They give a tolerably bumpy ride, just tolerably. When we started pitching camp, about a quarter of a mile back from the beach, we found the place al ready inhabited by cannibals. These creatures, which masquerade as harmless flies and even camou flaged by the harmless sounding name of sand flies, must have vam pire blood back in the line some where. I don’t bear any grudge against the easygoing, good-natured house fly—in fact, I feel rather cruel when I squash one for tickling me—but it arouses my pioneer fighting spirit to see a stunted horsefly light on my bare leg, make himself sassily com fortable and start draining off my life’s blood. But what can you do? Slapping one only serves to make him mad at you. At night we sleep, or at least we simulate sleep, in pup tents made by our own hands with loving care, blood, sweat, tears, two pieces of waterproof cloth, two lengths of rope, and a handful of turned lum ber. I share my little duplex with Pri vate Warren, the new student cook who told me the story about thp man at the boarding house. When I stumbled home last night, primed to the gills with a blend of sand and salt water, I discovered that we had an overnight guest! The chief cook on our shift, in the task of packing the field kitchen, had neg lected to put his owm field pack (tent half, blankets, etc.) on the truck, so he decided dl£D over and have fHE BLUFFTON NEWS, BLUFFTON, OHIO Mainly PeManal Mid-November when fall and winter meet ... a rose from the garden of Harry Meicle on West Elm street exhibited in the News window. that looked like summer but winter followed when the thermome ter dropped to eighteen degrees Sat urday night and a Bluffton min ister late to church Sunday morning —’cause his anti-freeze was still in a can in his garage and not in his radiator and some of the farm ers missed church entirely Sunday— not because of frozen radiators— they were combining soybeans and shredding fodder despite favor able fall weather shredding opera tions are reported as far behind schedule and boys with soys still in the field remember last year’s ex perience when hundreds of acres were lost because a spell of early winter caught them unaware even Monday’s rain failed to halt cleanup of soys and fodder and Bluffton’s coal situation still in a bad way—al tho there were some deliveries up to a ton where bins were empty and the town council Monday night quietly pigeonholed the curfew pro posal after giving it a fishy stare— looks as if management of the youngsters will still be up to the parents instead of the town’s night watch and indications are that Santa Claus must have hit a detour— anway the council doesn’t appear to be interested in handouts from the city treasury in event properties are discolored by sewer gas and comes Friday—with zero hour at 11 a. m. for opening of the hunting season and a mad last minute scramble for lodging—and shells— with prices for the latter reported ranging upwards of $10 a box when you can get them don’t crowd, boys and girls—the line forms on the right for prospective school board candidates—since members are eligible for pay and if you know anything about the troubles member ship on the school board brings with it, you’ll agree they are entitled to at least the maximum compensation of $20 per year however, Bluff ton’s board hasn’t voted themselves any pay as yet and the straws in the wind indicate that there may be salary boosts in the offing for some other municipal offices after the first of the year. And every fall the story is revived concerning the Bluffton man who some years ago partly drained the radiator of his car—in order, as he put it—to give the water room to expand if it should freeze. Came the first cold snap and he found that water on freezing expands other ways besides up—all of which he learned at the cost of a bursted ra diator. Bluffton high school wound up its football season Friday night continu ing its record of never having had to postpone a game in the Harmon field stadium because of bad weather. However, Friday night’s game didn’t interest too many of the fans be cause the weather was undeniably bad—but the boys took on Colum bus Grove just the same and chalked up another one in the win column. Co-captain Bob Burkholder, altho ill saw action for a few minutes in the game which closed his high school grid career. Just in case you are looking for Albert Vermillion on Friday morning at 11 o’clock, he will be at his farm east of town—but don’t bother him as there’s an important deal on at that particular instant. But to get back to the beginning of our story— seems that about a w'eek ago a hunt er from up Findlay-way asked Albert for permission to hunt on his place. Albert readily agreed—but at a price of two boxes of shells. The deal was us put him up for the night. A pup tent, as you probably don’t need to be told, will accommodate two men, provided neither of them walks in his sleep. If three men are to sleep in one tent, at least two of them must be midgets or babes in arms. Cooks should never sleep two to a tent, because of their tendency toward plumpness. We arranged ourselves in the tent by wrapping knees around the tent poles, putting all feet outside for the night and raising one side of the tent high enough to make a rus tic sleeping porch of the whole af fair. The guest proved to be one of those loathsome creatures who pull all the covers to their side of the bed. We had quite a lot of trouble with him, since he slept in the middle and rolled up in both our blankets. We remedied this by wait ing until he started snoring, then recovered our blankets, rolling our selves in them and throwing a rain coat over him. The three-man arrangement was very uncomfortable for a while. When I finished opening my eyes by scooping the sand from them, I found that I had rolled through the opened side of the tent and spent the night under a myrtle bush ten yards down the slope. During my first off hour, I suc ceeded in getting a tan which must have darkened the very marrow of my bones. My chest, back, and legs looked the color of a faded dan ger flag and smelled like the roast pork that the cook forget to watch. After that, the surf and the sun went their ways and I went mine. & &?■ *OF COURSE, WILBUR, MEAT IS SCARCE IN WARTIME/ BUT I THINK YOU ARE OVERDOING IT JUST A BTTf made and the hunter and Albert agreed to meet Friday morning at II o’clock to complete the transaction —the Findlayite will get to hunt and Albert will get the shells and every one will be happy. Incidentally the Findlay hunter apparently is well stocked with shells as he inquired as to the gauge of Albert’s gun and agreed to supply shells to fit. Mrs. Lazarus Basinger has left on her biennial trip to Dallas, Texas, to visit her son and three daughters. It’s a happy arrangement whereby the Bluffton woman at two year inter vals spends part of the winter in the southwest—this being her sixth trip. And incidentally Mrs. Basinger at the age of 69 is a great grand mother. Bluffton which has long been known as one of the best, if not the best lighted town of its size in the state now has another distinction of having a water supply which should be ample for any foreseeable contin gency. The four wells at the muni cipal waterworks and electric light plant have a daily capacity of 600,000 gallons—which by the way is quite a lot of water. This is approximately 100,000 gallons daily above any esti mated future requirements. Three of the wells are used to provide the city supply which runs some 200,000 gal Every hour of the day headline news of overwhelming interest to every person in Ohio is being made all over the world. But without our modern communication systems and particularly our news papers it would be next to impossible to find out what’s going on. Getting even closer to home, we wouldn’t know what local boys are back on fur lough—who’s getting married and when what’s happening in the comic-strip world what events are taking place all over town. All of us should feel proud of the fine job newspapers are doing to keep Ohio in touch with the times. It’s a strong and free press, serving free people—one of the first things the dictators would suppress if they had the chance! And it would be hard to over-estimate the part lons every twenty-four hours. The fourth well supplies water to the Page Dairy plant. Bluffton’s largest water consumer, which uses it prin cipally for cooling purposes. In ad dition to the well, water from the Bluffton Stone quarry is available for cooling purposes at the dairy plant. Flight Commander Bud Lora, formerly of Bluffton now stationed at Jones Field in Bonham, Texas, was late in returning home the other evening. “Sorry I’m late, ladies” said Bud when he finally arrived, “but I had to meet the governor.” In explaining the situation to his wife who lives in Bonham and his mother, Mrs. B. R. Herring of Bluff ton who is visiting there it developed that the Governor of Texas had paid a visit to the field that day and was introduced to the commanding per sonnel. Bud as flight commander has 14 instructors and a check pilot in his command. His wife is the form er Josephine Mohr, Bluffton college May queen in 1941. FARM BUREAU INSURANCE Auto—Fire—Life—Liability Paul E. Whitmer. Agent 245 W. Grove St.—Phone 350-W IIInfTfon. Ohio OHIO ffornetoMt Paper IOC A 0OY MCO/tAW IN ITALY.' a/tfyNOU»o Sffives PINE RESTAURANT 140 N. Main St. Phone 368-W L__. ____ LINES GREYHOUND PAGE SEVEN i .... LaFayette Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Moyer and family and Miss Jennie Roberts spent Friday at Toledo. Mrs. Bess Kenyon of Lima was a Wednesday dinner guest of Mrs. Lou ise Cloore. Mrs. J. G. Knoble returned from Chicago, where she was the guest of Mr. Clifford Knoble and Mr. and Mrs. Warren Knoble and son. Joey Hall was a Thursday guest of Mr. B. F. Hall. Mrs. Raychel Rex and sons were Sunday dinner guests of Mrs. Belle Heath. Mrs. Bertha Thayer, Mrs. Inez May and Mrs. Alma Robinson attended a meeting of the County Federated Culbs at Beaverdam, Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. John Hullibarger and family of Lima were Sunday guests of Mrs. John Hullibarger. Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Bailey and daughters of Cridersville were Sun day afternoon callers of Mrs. Bertha Desen berg and daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Sherritts of Lima were Sunday evening dinner guests of Mrs. Louise Cloore. Mrs. Grace Vorhes of Lima was a week-end guest of Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Moyer and family, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Roberts and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Roberts and family and Miss Betty Pugh of Lima were Sunday dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Dorance Thompson and son and Miss Betty Lou Hull. The affair was in honor of Miss Betty Lou Hull on her 9th birthday. Mr. William Brown of Lima is vis iting at the E. L. Roberts home. Mrs. John Marsh who fractured her hip, was removed to St. Rita's hos pital. Francis Basinger, D. D. S. Evan Basinger, D. D. S. Telephone 271-W Bluffton, Ohio D. C. BIXEL, O. D. GORDON BIXEL, O.D. Citizeni Rank Bide.. Bluffton EVF.SIGKT SPECIALISTS Office Hours: 8:30 A. M—5:30 P. M. Eveninc*: Mon., Wed.. Fri., Sat. 7:30 to 8:30 P. M. Closed Thursday Afternoon. LOCAL AND LONG DISTANCE HAULING Every Load Insured STAGER BROS. Bluffton. Ohio VSi sail played by Ohio’s 113 daily newspapers and 390 weekly newspapers in further ing the war effort. Nearly three and a half million people buy these papers— far greater numbers read them the whole State relies upon them for infor mation and inspiration. For this reason Greyhound depends upon such newspapers as this one to carry its information on bus service to those Ohioans who travel. Greyhound, in turn, carries many newspapers to rural aieas not served by any other transportation system. As fellow citizens of this State, the Grey hound Lines take much pleasure in help ing to make near neighbors and good neighbors of all the communities we serve in Ohio linking them to each other and to the rest of the country, as newspapers do.