V79879. P.O. Arthur Bergquist
April 28, 1944.
Dear Ma, Pa, Rub & Ruth:
Well to-night I am writing you this letter to let you know that I am alright, and I hope that you are too.
You will have my new address from the heading above. I think I will send you a telegram to-night so you will be able to send your letters to that address from to-day on. I will be leaving Toronto at 8.50 A.M. Monday morning for Midland, Ont. It is only about 90 or 100 miles north of Toronto so if you come to Toronto Rub, I will see if I can get a week-end off and come to see you. If I can I will see if it might take longer, all depending on the number of calls going through at that time. Gosh! I sure am looking forward to hearing you all on the phone. I sure would like to be phoning Lorraine to-night too, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to this time. I told her before I left that I would get her an identification bracelet and send to her, I got on at “Birks” store here but wont get it until this coming Saturday. It takes quite a while to get the Engraving done. Anyway she should get it sometime during the first week in May. Im trying to think of something to get you folks I’d sure like to send you something from Toronto. I will have next Saturday afternoon off so I will take a look around and see if I can see some-thing you might like.
Next Friday should be pay day for me again so I will be sending you some money the end of next week, Ma. The “Victory Bond” business is coming up again, and it looks like they figure a person should get one, so I cant make up my mind what to do about that yet.
Yesterday I was on duty watch so I couldn’t leave the shop at all yesterday. I got off to-day at 12.30 All duty watch means is that all the fellows are divided into four groups or (watches) call Red, White, Blue & Purple watches—I am on White Watch, so every fourth day my turn comes around. All a fellow has to do is to clean up part of the ship, on any odd job there is to do. There is usually not much to do though because there are so many fellows to do the jobs. Last night 3 other fellows and myself got hooked into the job of washing the dishes in the “Officers Mess”. Theres not much chance of getting that job though—thank Gosh! For that. It wasnt bad though because after we were finished we had “Fish Cakes” fried in lard-fried potatoes & peas and coffee. There just so happened to be enough left over for the four of us. In a couple of weeks I will be probably through with this basic training its just to get a fellow used to doing what you are told and how to march etc.
They had quite a parade here yesterday. I wasnt in it because some of the fellows in the outfit I am in haven’t quite go there uniforms yet & besides I was on duty watch.
This afternoon I phoned Mrs. Wittakers sister, and so I went up there for a couple of hours this afternoon. She asked me if I would like to stay for dinner but I told her that I couldn’t to-night as I was phoning home, and that I had a couple of letters to write. Her daughter was there too, and she goes to this canteen on Thursday nights, so she said if I liked I could come up to the house and have dinner there and then we could go down to the canteen. I told them that I spend every evening that I have off at the canteen writing letters. They are very nice and talk just like Mrs. Wittakers. If I can, I think I might go there on Thursday. I will be writing to you again on that night too.
Yesterday morning we matched down to “Sunnyside” where we stopped for a good half hour and had coffee & doughnuts. They never do much on Saturday morning, so they usually have the fellows go on a route march, just like we used to do “Stanley Park” when we marched to “Prospect Point.”
It is a miserable day here to-day. It is raining and a cold wind blowing. It sure isn’t any wonder that people like Vancouver all a fellow has to do is to go away for a while, to really find out how swell Vancouver is. Everybody I talk to that has been to Vancouver say that they sure would like to be there.
I guess by the time that you get this letter, you will probably have heard from the Navy, Rub. Don’t forget to let me know how you made out just as soon as you hear from Rub. I’m not sure just how much longer I will be hear, but from the sound of things it might only be another couple of weeks. So. Rub! if they send you hear, as they probably will I hope you get here before I leave. It sure would be swell to see you. After a person has had there basic training I believe they put you to work—I sure hope so, It will be swell to be work-ing again. It sure will be swell if we get working to-gether again too Rub.
Well it is almost time for me to see about getting my phone call through to you so hoping that you are all well I will stop here for now.
Love to you all
P.S. How did my other picture out? Will write again to-morrow.