V-79878 P.O. Arthur Bergquist
c/o General Delivery,
May 18, 1944.
Dear Ma Pa Rub & Ruth:
Just a few lines to let you know that I received your letter to-day and that I am okay. The weather has been pretty nice here so far this week. It sure was cold first thing this morning though. When we were walking down the main street to work this morn-ing, the wind was so cold coming off the water that our ears felt like they were almost frozen. It warmed up though about 9.30 so it was alright after that.
In one of your letters, you asked me about whether that was the place Jim & I stayed at where I am standing on the steps. That is the place all right. It sure wasnt much of a place to look at. Most of the houses in Toronto are pretty old. Ill bet this place is at least 40 years old maybe even 50.
Well I am still working on the “Chinon” and in a couple of days it will be finished, good enough to go to Toronto anyways. Another lieutenant came up from Toronto to-day. He is going to be here for the summer, and he will be the X.O. (Executive Officer) Next month they will open up “H.M.C.S. Minnecoq”. It is on an island about 14 miles from “Midland”, I was talking to the X.o. for a while this afternoon and he was saying that a shipwright might have to go with him to the island for the day to-morrow. Seeing as there are only 2 of us shipwrights here I don’t know which of us will be going for a boat ride to-morrow. He sure seems to be a nice fellow, and that sure can mean a lot. Earlier in the day someone had mentioned to him about our not getting any money, so when I was talking to him he told me that he had phoned “York” and they told him that they would have some money sent up to us by Saturday or Monday of next week. So I will be sending the money I asked you for back next week, and if I get quite a bit from the “Navy” I will send more to you. I will let you know when I phone you Sunday whether I got paid or not.
I have quite a bit of laundry to pick up but I can’t afford to get it until I get the dough. I have just enough left now to buy stamps and another writing pad. Larson is in the same fix. He wrote to his wife last night and told her she had better send him a few stamps anyway, if she expected to get any mail, because he only has enough to last him the week too.
I dont know how long I will be staying here yet. According to the X.O. we were sent up here to put these boats into shape. They have a couple of shipwrights on the island for the summer, to look after the boats, but whether we will be the ones to go there or not we dont know yet. They have another camp here too not far from “Minnicoq”. The X.O. said something to me that didn’t sound too bad. He said that we were sent up here more or less on our own to fix the boats and they figured that t would take around a month to do it. From his saying that it looks as if they figured that we were the best shipwrights that they had on hand to send here at that time. This Larson fellow is a good shipwright so the jobs have been getting done alright.
Larson and two of the Motor Mechanics were over to the [?] place that we were at last Saturday. They have a summer camp somewhere near here and they are going there on the 24th of May and they invited us all to go there for the day with them. Larson told me about our being invited to their camp when he came in last night. I didn’t go with him last night because I was writing a letter to Lorraine and so I didn’t have time. With very little news to write about these days it takes me quite a while to write a letter.
It sure would be swell to be back building houses again. It sure is a lot better to be working on our own. May be it wont be so long now before this business will be over and then we will be on our own again.
I sure would be glad to get a letter from you this week, Ma. And I am glad that you liked the plant. Are there any flowers on it.
Well Rub, it is this Saturday that you are going down to the “Navy” isnt it? It’s hard to say when you will have to leave, they may keep you at “Discovery” for a while like they did with me or they may send you away right away. All I can say is that it will be awfully tough to leave, otherwise as far as being a shipwright in the “Navy” goes it is a pretty soft job. So don’t worry to much about it, and I am going to do all I can to get to see you the first week-end and every other week-end too that you are in Toronto. I will be able to tell you a lot about what things are like and we will be able to look around Toronto to-gether. Write me a letter and let me know how things go, and also when I phone this Sunday you can tell me how you made out on Saturday.
Im sorry that you didn’t have very nice whether for your trip last Sunday Ruth, but the weather will soon be getting hot there now. and then you will get a good suntan. Im glad that you talked to Lorraine after I had phoned her It’s too bad though that it took so long for me all to get through. Lorraine said to me that she had been waiting from 3 o’clock, that sure was a long time to wait.
Well I guess I will have to stop for now so hoping that you are all well I will stop here.
Love to you all
P.S Will write again to-morrow.