From Camp Kearney, Calif. (Johnson)
April 28, 1918.
Dear Ones at home:
I received your letter today and will try to answer. I am glad the boys are over the measles, suppose Arthur has about all the measles he wants.
The weather is fine here, it stays about the same all the time. You will have to excuse my poor writing as my gas mask is such a nuisance. Co. E got their masks at noon today and we have to wear them for 48 hours hung around our necks, day and night.
I am getting along fairly well shoeing horses; they have been rushing us to get the horses ready for the hikes. I think our company is going on a hike this week; don’t suppose I will get to go. I will tell you of my trip I took last Sunday morning. I went to San Diego, went down to the harbor where the ships dock, it was a sight; the bay was full of boats; there were large and small steam boats, row boats and motor boats, there were also three Japanese war ships. Every few minutes there would be a steamboat coming in or out, they would come puffing by making the water fly, there were a number of people fishing and you could see someone pulling a fish out of the water all the time. The sea gulls were thick. I stayed till 11 a.m. then went up town, took dinner, and was sitting under some shade trees wondering what to take in next when my friend David Anderson came up to me; we decided to go to Ocean Beach, that is about 10 miles, we took a street car and went out, it was a nice warm, still day, but the ocean was rough—you know how a heavy wind and rain storm sounds—that is the way the ocean sounds. We went to the edge and walked out on the rocks, a wave would come then the water would run back. We could walk out quite a long way, but we had to get back before the next wave came, I was a little slow, the water struck the rock I stood on, it splashed me with water and got my foot wet. There were lots of people there, men, women and children with bathing suits on, some resting, while others were going out over the big waves. We came back to town and took a street car for the park where the Panama Exposition was held—that is a fine place for scenery. We went through it; I got sime views I will send you. They have some animals such as bear, buffalo, antelope and monkeys, also land and sea birds, old Indian relics, human skeletons and statues, petrified humans. We climbed to the top of the California building; we went up stair after stair, it seemed there was no end to them; I played out and stopped to rest, my friend went on and left me; but we finally got to the peak. We could see San Diego, Camp Kearney and some islands in the ocean. We went back to town and got our supper, then took in the theatre and went back to camp—got there about 12 o’clock.
Tell the boys to write, I like to read their letters as well as they do mine. I am so busy I have to write a family letter for all.
From Ervin to the loved ones at home.
Ervin G. Johnson