Dear Folks,

What would you do if you found your grandfather's letters, photos, and memorabilia collection in the attic?

Steven Davis answers this question with his first novel Dear Folks.

“Such is life in the army. I never realized so much before that a backwoods man from Brock, Nebraska, could ever be permitted to get to see so much of the world and get by with it.”
— Early Young, grandfather of Steven Davis, main character of Dear Folks

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About Steve . . .

Steven Davis grew up on the family farm in western Nebraska and enjoys a career as an optometrist. This is his first book. He and his wife, Margaret, have the best of two worlds—a home in Idaho, near their grandchildren, and a farm in Nebraska, where their hearts still belong.

Excerpt from Dear Folks . . .

Private Earl Young
Camp A.A. Humphreys
5th E.T.R.
Co. B
Camp Forrest, Ga

Sept. 12, 1918

Dear Folks,
As yet I haven’t received any mail since I got those grapes but I have a little spare time between times tonight and will scribble a few lines to let you know I am on deck and feeling fine & getting fed like a fattening hog here. I can’t kick at all on the eats in this camp. I have gained about 15 pounds since I joined the army, just 7 weeks ago.

We have a scare of the measles in our Regiment, but I don’t believe everything I hear now a days.
Say, do you ever read anything in the papers in regard as to a new division or organization of the Engineers Corpse? 

If you do, you can bet your old hat that I am one of it. Our Regiment is the first one of its kind in existence in any army. Our Identification number is 207-E. We are billed for “over seas” and I find we have been since the 16th of last month.

Tuesday morning we leave this camp for an embarkment camp 18 miles from New York City, where we stay 8 or 10 days to get our “over seas” clothes & one thing or another before sailing. All this sounds good to me for I am real anxious to get to France, have it over with and get back. Our work will be to supply a Ponton bridge Regiment.We have about 300 mules, 46 wagons, 15 saddles, and 16 trucks. They say we get “sawed off” shot guns when we get across.

I was just thinking today what a nice job Julius will have when he is drafted, if he does. We need a lot more stenographers, they call for them all the time. The typewriters click all night long in the Orderly Office.

Some of the fellows live around here that fought Sept 20, 1863 on this very ground. I was talking with one old confederate and he certainly can tell some wonderful stories.

I don’t know any more to write so will close, hoping you all are as well & as happy as myself and that I get lots of letters from home when I get to France.

Write often to your son,

Private Earl
401 Ponton Park Engineers
Camp Forrest, Ga.

P.S. There is 2 boys from Iowa, 2 from Virginia & one from Michigan in this tent with me. They are all nice clean boys too. I have met 10 different Young’s since in the army.

One fellow just came in and says the Captain went double time to the depot. All the other officers are all excited too. Maybe we’ll move yet today. Can’t tell. I think we go to New York City when we move. Send telegram if anything important to say. Will stay there 8 or 10 days. Will write more this evening.

Will write from New York. Where is Millie.
Did you get those pictures? Will send some more soon. Can’t take the Kodak across with me.
It is just 7:40 p.m. now and is raining the least bit outdoors. The soil is real sandy and of poor quality here.

I sure am glad I went to College last winter. Must report to Company street.

Will write more soon. Good Bye.