March 17, 1943
                                                                                                                            Wednesday evening

Dear Mom & Dad,

     How are you this fine winter day?  I sure hope you are all right.  I got back OK and everything is going nice here now. I sure had a wonderful time while I was home and I sure hated to come back here.  Dad, I didn’t realize you worked 4 to 12 Sunday and I’m awfully sorry I didn’t get to say good-bye.

     Well the weather here was swell when I came back but yesterday it turned cold and now everything is frozen again.  I hope they have arm weather down her in the summer time.  This morning we fell out and were carrying lumber for board walks and we almost froze to death.  About 9:30, sergeant Smith called me in the office and told me from now on, for the next four weeks I am to report to the gym at 9:00 in the morning until noon, and I asked him why and he said a lieutenant from the base was holding a class teaching jiu jitsu and there was supposed to be one man from each company there.  Then when the course is over, we are supposed to be instructors in judo in our respective companies.  I’m really enthused because I knew some of it and this lieutenant is a judo artist, so when he teaches us we’ll know the stuff pretty well.  He taught us wrist locks and how to break bear hugs today.  In a course of four weeks we should know plenty because we go up there every morning six days a week, and that would be 24 lessons.  I am supposed to get gym shoes and trunks now so when these guys pay me, I’m going to town and get some.

     How is everyone else there at home?  Tell them I said “hi” and to write to me.  I’ll close for now, hoping to hear from you soon.  I’ve quit writing this letter four times to play ping-pong, so if i is hard to read, you know why.  Bye for now.

                                                                                                                                   Your loving son,
                                                                                                                                        Elwood

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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