The Skidmore News and its readers cherished every letter received from its soldier and sailor boys. Parents often brought in letters to share with their neighbors, as this one from the September 6, 1917 issue shows:
From James Parrish, Jr.
August 27, 1917
Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Parrish, Skidmore, Mo.
Dear Mother, Father and Sisters: –
Will drop you a few lines to let you know that I got your letter and was glad to hear from you. I got the money you sent me all right.
Have been on guard duty Saturday and Sunday, but will not have to go on any more before Wednesday, have been washing my clothes this morning and will fool around this afternoon. I am glad you had such a good time at the Chautauqua. This is some place here, there is a party for the sailors, soldiers, and mariners every day and every night, don’t cost a cent only car fare, that is ten cents round trip.
I don’t think it will be long before I go to sea. I hope I get on the New Mexico or one of the other new ships for they tell me we can have our clothes washed for 63c per month. That will be reasonable enough. It costs me that much for soap. Have the boys at home been called out yet? I see by the paper that all the married men with a family will be exempt that will excuse some of the fellows around Skidmore.
I wrote to Grandma and Aunt May yesterday, going to write to Fae to-day.
The closer I get to the battle ships the better I like the Navy, it gets easier for me all the time and the Navy is just what a fellow makes it himself. Harley Hitchcock is just across from Great Lakes at Camp Perry. I saw Brother Owens just before the train left the lakes but have not seen Roy Owens or Harley for three or four weeks.
Well will close, with love to all,
James A. Parrish
Seaman Barracks, U. S. Navy Yards, Philadelphia, Penn.