The Letters: Greg's Complete Letters

Basic Training: April 23--July 4, 1972

Fort Knox, Kentucky

Company C, 17th Bn, 5th Bde

7.  Greg

May 8, 1972

Dear John:

Gave Sally your address instead of John Perk since I see her every day. She didn't say anything 'cept thanks when I gave it to her.

Coming sometime next week, exactly when I forget, is Cherry Hill's prom. Hopefully next year I will go.

Had a driver's ed. Meeting today for an hour. Mr. La Scola, my teacher said that we should be getting our permit by the second week in June. Probably before school is let out. Gotta drive this coming Thursday at 4:30. We'll go down Michigan toward Ypsi, and thru it too. This would be the fourth time out on the road driving. After Thursday there will be just three more driving times before It's all over. Unless you come home for awhile on leave before July, I will have my license before you see me.

You're lucky if you're getting good warm weather. Since Sunday and for a couple of days starting this week, we are in for cold, wet, and dreary weather. Nothing at all like summer.

Too bad you car isn't getting any buyers despite all the ads as well as an ad on the bulletin board at Cherry Hill. Bill said he wouldn't mind buying it if he had the cash.

Most of next week will be filled with tests. And they're not even the finals. We'll be taking tests on Monday thru Wednesday. On Friday, for the first 3 hours in the morning, there will be an Awards Assembly. We'll have 4th hour and the remaining 2 hours we'll be watching the Senior Swingout.

Other than that, nothing much has been happening. No dances for a couple of weeks and there's only about 3-4 weeks left.

Take care, man

P.S. Mary Beth White asked me about you--when you were going in. I know you don't want her to know your address, so I won't give it to her. 

12.  Greg

May 12, 1972

PVT. John J. Schneider
Co. C 17th BN 5th TNG BDE
Fort Knox, Kentucky 40121

Dear John:

I'm typing this letter in 5th hour typing class. Today's a free day so I decided to type a letter.

Man, I was about to go out toking tonight. A friend of mine goes to Inkster High and he can get any kind of drug he wants from Over there. He was going to try to get a nickel bag and I'd split it with him. We planned on going out in the park by ourselves and toke. With any other friends we wouldn't get as much to smoke. But he couldn't get the bag because of such short notice. Thursday he asked around. Friday (today) he's not going to school because all the whites who go are asking for it. It's the blacks' national holiday as he put it.

Sally told me that she got 9-1/2 pages from you. Wonder why we only got 7 pages at one time? I'm just kidding.

Tonight is the prom. All seniors are excused in the afternoon because of the preparations for the prom. They're going to the Rooster Tail.

In case you haven't heard, we might have a buyer for your car. Mrs. Healy told Mom she'd call her sometime last night about someone who might buy it. As far as I know Mrs. Healy never called. That's all the information I know. Mom told Mrs. Healy all about the car. She (Mom) doesn't know who the prospective buyer is.

Next hour (6th) I have a geometry test. I filled up 3 cheat sheet up with stuff I need to know. I gotta get at least a high B to still hope for a B for the quarter on my report card.

The next dance here is May 26 and the last one is June 2. Mike will get guest passes for Perk and Kiester.

Mom and Dad are going to use the money we'd spend on a vacation on fixing up the upstairs bathroom. What they're going to fix I don't know. Mom ordered new wallpaper for the downstairs bathroom.

That's all for now.

Your brother,

Advanced Individual Training (AIT): July 9, 1972--March, 1973

Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas

3rd Enlisted Student Battery

64.  Greg

July 30

Dear John,

While you're busy there in the Army, things have been quite slow around here for me. I work only a couple days a week--whenever my boss calls me in. And when I am working I'm just sitting around with nothing to do in the warehouse.

There was a street dance last night on Morely Street. The one section of the street was blocked off. Two live bands played in someone's driveway by the garage opening. The first band played some of Black Sabbath, Mountain, Hendrix, and of their own. It was pretty cool. The first band was better than the second. There were a lot of Cherry Hill kids there. It lasted from 7-11.

Friday night I went out with a couple of friends and we went out in the park across the street behind the woods and toked up. I smoked five "j's" and was stoned. We heard that the street dance was that night, but we soon found out it wasn't 'till the next night. We were going to go.

Last Monday morning, while Mom & Dad were still up north, I took the car out and a friend of mine and I went and bought a dime bag off a cousin of my friend. Then we split it up. I still have about ¾ worth.

Couple weeks ago I bought some rolling paper from the WarehouseII. Kevin Newell asked me about you.

Some friends, Mike, and I are going to see Bread at Pine Knob Sunday, Aug. 27. We're going to sit on the grass for $2.50 per. Starts at 7:30. I hope I can get the car for that night.

Signing off,

75.  Greg

14 Aug

Dear John,

After a lot of confusion I finally have my ride up to Pine Knob settled. Lynn will drive us up there to see Bread. I was hoping dad would let me take the car up there. But he wouldn't.

Only 24 more days until school starts on the 7th. I really can't wait to get back into school. This summer really has been drab. Last summer there were rock concerts every Friday in Garden City Park! None this year. Only one party that I knew of -Cloutier's. And when you don't have the car, it makes it worse.

This is about the fourth week since I've worked. I don't think my boss will call me in ever again. Right now I really could do with some money.

There's this guy, some friend of yours I think, who always waves whenever I see him. And I don't know who he is. He drives an orange Volk's and he's got blond hair, all combed back. He's been to all your parties I think.

Looking through the past couple yearbooks has me thinking that I'm going to miss going to Cherry Hill. All the dances, sports events, and float meetings are really what make up Cherry Hill. It really made me sad to think that I only have two more years left of high school. Up to junior year, school's been pretty fun but it won't be half as fun as my last two years. I've never really had what you call a girlfriend, like what you and Mary had. It'd really be beautiful to have a girl who cares about me and likes me a lot. I hope during this school year I can find one like that. That'd really make the year. Having the car will open new doors in my social life. No more dumb walking around Garden City on Friday nights. I am really looking forwards to school. Hope it turns out like I hoped, or better.

Getting back to the business about the girlfriend. I look around me everywhere I go and I see these kids you'd never expect they'd have a girl, and yet they do. And then I look at myself and say, why not me? There has been some girls who have liked me before but most of them I haven't. Three years of my teenage life has passed by-three practically wasted yrs. I'm determined not to waste the remaining three years. I gotta start making something of my life. The teenage years are supposed to be the best of anyone's life.

If only I had the guts to just go up to a girl I like and ask here out or to dance. But I'm afraid I'm too chicken, and That's what's hurting me. Hopefully, this school year will be different. But It's up to me. It must be nice to have a steady girl. Maybe this year I'll experienced it.

I'd be interested in any thoughts about this from you. Thanks a lot.

Your brother,

90.  Greg

Tuesday-Sept. 12

Dear John,

We're finally back in school after a long summer. I'm pretty well satisfied with my classes. It'll take a while before I can get to know the people in my classes.

One of my classes is Basic Drama fifth hour. Debbie Franklin is in there. I wonder if she writes to you.

I looked over the list of scheduled dances. The first will September 22. Homecoming is Oct. 14 and the Prom is May 8, (I think).

Despite having my license since July 9, I still can't have the car out by myself. I don't know how Long it will be when I will. Too long.

I have been helping Mr. Hayes next door changing his backyard as you knew it before, into a beautiful bi-level yard. He brought in loads of dirt into the yard and we have covered it with the top soil. He is going to plant grass seed. It'll look really different by the time of your next leave.

Heyes's going to take me rabbit hunting when he goes. He's also promised to take me "skeet shooting" practice is what I think he calls it. He brought home from work some lights and a strobe light. Couple of the lights flash color. The strobe needs a new bulb. He's selling them for about $16 apiece. I might buy his strobe light.

So much for this little letter,

127.  Greg

Jan 10, 1973

Dear John:

How's life been treating you? I hope you can look optimistically about life during your stay in the Army. That may be the only thing to save your sanity down there.

Well, so much for the introduction. You won't be able to get a POW bracelet for still a while. They stopped selling them at Cherry Hill this year. VIVA is an organization in California which sells the bracelets. I just got the address yesterday. But a friend in school can get one in Detroit by picking one up. So, instead of writing to California, I'll have my friend get one. It may be a couple of weeks before you will get it. I'll send one as soon as possible.

Don't know what the weather's like down there, but up here It's been cold. Despite the temp in the 10-20's, we've had little snow. The ground is all bare and brown right now. Out in the park there's a natural ice rink where I've gone skating the past 3 days.

Mom's really anxious to know whether or not you have gotten your clothes yet. She has them insured. Dad wants you to write as soon as possible.

That girl, Vera Gregorian, who you met on that ski trip 2 years ago, keeps asking when you coming home on leave. I keep telling her since your orders were changed, you don't know when your coming home. Wonder if she still interested?

Since I have moved into your bedroom, I have made some "drastic" changes. The rest of that wall was paneled, the other wall and anything else that was blue has been painted "sierra gold." Your posters on the paneled wall are undisturbed. In addition to the 3' x 5' flag on the opposite wall, there's a James Taylor poster on the right hand side of the mirror. The room looks really great now. Even the ceiling was repainted.

Mark wants to know if you still want those old, brown cowboy boots you have. The ones you wore to work at Edison. He's interested in them.

Bill and Lynn are sharing Grandpa's house for 3 months while he vacations in Florida.

Mom and Dad are anxious to hear from you via mail.

Signing off,

128.  Greg

Jan 15

Dear John:

Finally got your POW-MIA bracelet. I'm sure you'll like it. On the back of the card included with the bracelet, is an order form, in case you want another one.

This is sorta my Christmas gift to you.

Your brother,

[This was enclosed with mom's next letter.]

Quartermaster School: April 1--September, 1973

Fort Lee, Virginia

Company P (Stu Enl) 2nd Bn USA, QM Sch Bde

143.  Greg

[Postmarked March 30, 1973]

Dear John:

It's been a long time since I've written to you. Maybe you'll like Virginia better than Texas. I am glad you were stationed closer to home. Last Saturday and Sunday nights Cherry Hill put on performances of "To Kill A Mockingbird." I was in the play portraying a prosecuting attorney convicting a black man of assault and rape. The play was very successful. The half-filled auditorium for both nights was a pretty good crowd. After the play Saturday night, the cast and crew went to Little Caesar's for a party. The live entertainment consisted of a piano player and a guitarist. Songs to sing along with were shown on a screen from a slide projector. In all, it was one of the best times of my life.

Mom wants to know if you received a subscription notice from SKI magazine. She sent one notice down to you in Texas with your Texas address on the envelope in place of the Inkster address. She wrote your Texas address on the cellophane window of the envelope and she's afraid that it might rub off. Another notice of subscription arrived here today.

I heard that Gary Kiester was getting married from Debbie D'Angelo. Did you know about that? Who is he getting married to?

Mike told me that Debbie Franklin was dating one of the teachers at Cherry Hill. The teacher was the junior class sponsor, Mr. Bihun. That surprises me.

Wedding plans are being made now and That's what we hear a lot about now around the house. I'm looking forward to being an usher in the wedding party. I've never worn a tuxedo before.

Only about nine more weeks to go until we are out of school. That's one thing I'm not looking forward to. My entire social life centers around Cherry Hill. If I can get a job this summer it won't be so bad.

With Grandpa coming home from Florida this Thursday, Lynn and Bill will be coming home. Bill will be sharing Mike's and Mark's bedroom when he gets back. So I'll keep the bedroom to myself. I really enjoy the privacy of that room very much.

There isn't any room in your record cabinet for the records you sent home, so I'll just put them on your bed, along with your guitar.

Mom sends the stamps with love.

Signing off,

Camp A. P. Hill, Bowling Green, Virginia, (TDY - i.e. temporary duty) May 10--Sept. 1, 1973

151.  Greg

[Birthday Card postmarked May 15, 1973]