Well, honey, the fourth has come and gone and I really can’t say I’m sorry. It was quite a day, believe me. We got up at five a.m. and left at seven. We got there at eight fifteen so had to wait for two hours as the parade wasn’t to start till ten. After ten or fifteen cigarettes and a couple P calls we finally got started. Our battalion was first in the parade, then came first bu (?), and then the 99th. Cannon Co. was leading then us’n. The sun came out nice and hot and did I sweat. We walked almost five miles. The people didn’t quite know what to make of it I don’t think. They were all whooping it up and yelling for us to smile but we all kept the same deadpan expression. I think they must’ve expected us to jump around and whoop and holler. They threw flowers at us and tried to pin them on us as we walked along. It was tough to keep in step as we had no music until we got to the reviewing stand. I noticed them taking pictures but couldn’t make out whether it was newsreels or not. You just can’t gawk around. The only time I moved my gourd was when they gave us eyes right. As usual my right arm went to sleep but gave me no trouble. Guess I had such a clamp on it that it couldn’t fall off.
Pro[cise] and I had a bottle apiece, he had cognac and I had champagne. We had it in the truck and picked it up after the parade. Tony went along with us too. We were ambling along and had the bottles inside our jackets (of course a blindman couldn’t see them) and when we got in front of the Red Cross some guy stopped us. He said he was looking for three Americans to come home with him that he had a bottle and thought it would be nice seeing this was our holiday etc. So we went to his house. We were looking for a place to open the champagne anyway. He had a fairly nice place but for liquor he had a bottle of their alcohol mixed with some kind of sweet stuff. It didn’t taste bad but it was pretty sickening. Thank the Lord he didn’t have much of that. His brother had his girl there but she only spoke a little English so she was out of things. He had lived 16 years in the States so he talked better English than I did. It seems in Norway every one skols everybody else every time they take a drink, then somebody gets up and makes a pretty speech about how they like Americans then we are supposed to come back with why we like Norwegians. The skoling gets pretty thick and fast and pretty soon we get to singing. That is another Norwegian custom. They go around the ring and sing some Norwegian ditty and end up by saying your name and then you are supposed to start a new song. Well, that went on for awhile and then the guy says, he didn’t know whether it was proper or not but he’d like to sing the Star Spangled banner with us. And we didn’t even know the words! What an embarrassing situation but we staggered through it anyway. Well at long last — about eight o’clock I was getting sick and rocky so I told the guys I was gong to take off. Well, they formed up and led me down to the train — I don’t know who was leading who but anyway I got there in enough time to miss the train but waited another hour and a half for another one. To top it off the train didn’t stop at camp so I had to get off in Drammen and walk to camp. Boy, was I tired! Suppose you think I’m a fine one, huh kid? But I was a good boy. Guess Tony and Pro caught the trucks back about an hour later.
I sure hope I see you soon, honey. Didn’t hear from anyone today or yesterday.
So long now.