(Stationery is American YMCA On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Forces)

Give to Allie

LaRochelle France

Nov. 13, 1918

Hello Sis:

How's business now? It's kind of on the boom here. Well, I sure have had a high time the last two days. You know the Germans quit business on the eleventh, so we had a little half days celebration. I never got such a jamming up in my life on parade day. If you got in the crowd, you had to go along for they were packed in the streets so thick you couldn't take steps over 6 or 8 inches long. Frenchies of all sorts hanging to you and pounding you on the back or dancing you over the streets and yelling "viva la France bon American soldah Finish le guerre" and singing the Marseillaise Tipperary, Goodbye Broadway, Hello France, Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here. Gosh, but they sure went wild. Whistles, bells and every manner of noise going until I couldn't hear myself hollow half the time. And flags, say, they sure lined every street and alley, the American flag was there, too.

One American soldier got a pair of wooden shoes about size 14EE and put them on over his shoes, then promenaded the streets all evening and slamming them down good and hard. Finally he got a good solid streak of pavement and gave the crowd a jig, and you'd ought to have heard the racket he made. Even a Captain came along and took a good laugh at him, and that is something rare for that Captain. Although the Captain is a good hearted soul, that was the first time in three months I've ever seen him even smile.

Yes, I was thinking when I wrote you that letter about the wooden shoe that Iva would sure put old Pete on the sick list if she had had one handy. I don't know what kind of wood they make them out of but she sure has the ring to it. No, they don't all have high heels but some of them get up in the air once in a while. Well, they just put them on like a slipper. They aren't tied on so that's what makes the heels drag and make so much fuss, eh!

No, they don't know much about a team. I saw one guy plowing today with two horses and a cow, all strung out single file with the cow in the middle.

The letters stand for Military Patrol Express. No, it isn't French; it's plain old U.S.A. I kind of think I know Lieutenant Gaither, the censor. I saw him a time or two, ha! Ha! See him nearly every day and some times several times. He is a very nice officer. Most all officers with the 35th are ok. If a fellow does his duty he won't have any trouble with any of them. They are more reasonable and fair here than the officers in the training camps were. A fellow gets pretty well stirred up in the training camps. The officers back there get pretty hard boiled at times. I guess they have to be that way to wake up some of them dead headed rookies. Some of them have about as much life as a corner stone. We have some soldiers here who don't know the war has ended, ha! By jings, its true, some of these guys sure know mighty little. We did have quite a few of that kind, but some are getting over it and some get worse, ha!

I've got a cat's ____ above my right eye now, where it came in contact with the bottom of the other guy's messkit. Yes, he is some better today, ha! Well, I must be going. Write soon.

Private L. McCoy
Co H 35th Regiment T.C.
American E. F.