Posted in Letters, World War 1

“If I could barber all day I couldn’t carrie my money”

[This is 9th in a series of letters written by Private A.L. Gooch to his parents in Duncan Arizona, while he served in France during WWI.  This letter was written 8 Sep 1918.  Original letters are in possession of Dayna Gooch Jacobs, King City, California. Envelope missing. Transcribed by Dayna Jacobs. Slashes in the transcription indicate line breaks.  Links to other letters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]

Some Where In France

Sept 8, 1918

Dear Mother:

Your letter of/ July 3d received and you/ know how proud I/ was to get it.  I also/ got a letter from/ Aunt Sarrah and Pinkie,/ and five from Doll/ all in a bunch./  I am realy too tired/ to write when I have/ time and then I have/ to slip off, for every-/ body wants a hair cut/ I cant begin to do it/ all.  I get to work/ about two hours evenings./  If I could barber all/ day I couldnt carrie/

[pg 2] my money. [Note:  A.L. Gooch was a jack-of-all trades and worked as a barber back home in Duncan, Arizona] I have had/ two pay-days here and/ they failed to take out/ the allotment Dont know/ why, But I sent you/ $285.00 of Franc’s a few/ day’s ago.  That means/ $50.00 in American money./  And  I still have my/ pockets full of this/ stuff they call money/ here but it looks/ like soap coupons to me./  Will send you some/ more soon.  If I dont/ spend it all at the sal-/ vation army but for/ doughnuts.  We can buy/ most any thing we/ want here at the/

[pg 3] commissary or the/ Y.M.C.A. and just/ as chap as we can/ buy in the states./  As there isnt many/ thing’s we want/ for except letters/ from home, it seams/ so long to wait./  I guess you think I/ neglect writing, But/ I cant write every/ time I would like/ too. I guess there wasnt much/ to the letter I got from/ Jess, and I am sorry/ I written to Doll the/ way I did, But I hadnt/ heard from her in/ so long, I thought her/ letters aught to reach/

[pg 4] me if Jessie’s did.  But/ I finaly got the letters/ she written and answered/ them, Guess she will/ get over it.  And dont/ think that I let/ anything worry me/ for you cant worry/ in the army. Well I have seen our/ anti air craft guns fireing/ on [‘enemy’ crossed out] enemie/ aireoplains, also saw/ enemie gun’s fire on/ our plains but haven’t/ saw any brought down/  Can hear the guns/ roaring all the time/ But it doesn’t worry/ us any we sleep sound./  This is just about/ as interesting as the/

[pg 5] hunting trips we/ use to have. Ma I havent met/ any Adventist boys/ as yet.  I sent you/ the slip I signed as/ an iclanaglegment [acknowledgement?] to/ the Adventist church./ I am sending my/ searel number to/ be used in writting/ to the government in/ case you dont get/ my mail or loose/ track of me.

Write me soon as you/ get the money I sent/ you.

Please dont worry/ about me mother for/ I am doing fine and/

[pg 6] feeling good.  Sure/ would like to see/ those kid’s.  Tell all/ hell’o and to write./

With love and best wishes

Your son

Pvt A.L. Gooch

Troop A. 314th M.P.

Searel No. 2186203

American E. F.

Censored bye

R. McClaushan (his signature)

Lieut. Inf. M.A.

P.S. heard from sis and Bob but haven’t answered yet.


I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

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