Transcribed by James Fox, September 2004|
from the Deposit-Coach Fox WW2 Letters Collection
Sgt. Lester E. Page (letter 1/4)
Deposit H.S. Class of 1935
Ft. Sam Houston, Texas
November 17, 1941
Well I guess I am a little late on sending my congratulations on another unbeaten football season but I am sure glad to finally hear about it. You certainly had a great team in the one game I seen.
My favorite Texas team hasn't been doing so good the last couple games and will have an awful job on their hands Thanksgiving day if they beat Texas A.&M. As a matter of fact I don't believe they can do it this year.
With a little good luck I might be able to see a game this New Years at the Cotton Bowl game at Dallas. I am trying to get a ticket for it already and just have to hope I get the day off.
By the way believe it or not I am trying to play some football again myself. I am on the 38th Squad. We have played two games to date and have won one and tied one. We are favored to win the Post Championship. But it looks like tough sledding though. The lines and backs here are certainly big bruisers and a good share of them are College players. The regular center here was All Army Post Center for the last two years but I have managed to play at least fifteen to twenty minutes in each game and that is enough in this rough army football and how rough. I never did see any rougher.
The coach of our team was All West Guard at Nevada. He certainly is a sticker for hard work to. He gives us about an hours Calisthenics every day and no loafing in the practice either. Believe it or not I weigh 184 lbs stripped now and feel the best I ever did in my life. We play all night games. We certainly have a beautiful stadium to play in here at the post. By the way we have a good way of stopping all fights. The Army band plays the, "Star Spangled Banner", and everybody naturally comes to attention and the referees and coaches manage to get things under control. Pretty good plan if you should ask me.
Well Fred I hope you and the boys have a successful basketball season.
Your former student,
Lester E. Page
Sgt. Lester E. Page (letter 2/4)
June 4, 1944
Sure was somewhat surprised this evening when one of the boys in my squad came in and handed me a gang of letters. Had been going to mail call the last few nights with not much results and then tonight when I didn't go I received several of them. Naturally as you can guess one of them was from you. It sure took that letter a long time to get here seeing as how it was mailed in April and it is now June. Why Ill bet you have had answers from some of the other boys a month ahead of this one.
You certainly did think up a good idea as usual when you decided to let all of us fellows have the old hometown dirt.
That title of Principal sure don't seem right to me, probably none of the other boys either. We will always remember you as "Coach" the fellow who could sure put us through our paces and in our places. It most certainly paid dividends to and gave old Deposit High a good reputation in sports long before it became centralized.*
As for these fellows playing as good a game now as when they did against Hancock, they sure wont let the old school down. Remember when you used to say hit them low. Well sometimes a fellow can't get any to low. I sure do believe that any of our fellows who happen to be in the infantry in this was will show you how it is done.
Notice that they are taking a number of your faculty members away from you. But then this service has to have some smart people to keep us dumb ones going. Say if they keep on their won't be anything bur Mrs. In that school faculty. But then they can all say they got one of those square shooting Deposit boys.
We still get a Pep talk here now and then but nothing like the ones from the "Coach". Never will forget one that I and one other boy got before a Sidney football game. Guess it must have done some good though for it was the only good game I ever did play.
As for us all getting together and talking it all over after the war, I would much rather be there in front of Brown's Drug Store when it is all finished and have you tell the things your boys did right or wrong during the days game.
I'll bet some of the boys will be glad to have you coach a team for them when this is over but if they are like myself they will go and see another Deposit High team win a game and say They are good but not like the teams Coach Fox put out in our day.
Sure do hope that you send some more of the dirt and tell Gene* to keep his pitching arm in shape. Might make the Major leagues yet.
P.S. I have noticed that the old school is represented in all the types of service in this war. They always were all around men.
Hope you can manage to read all of this.
*[[In 1938, all the 1-room (Common School Districts) schools closed and Deposit became a Central School District; Gene? ]
Sgt. Lester Page (letter 3/4)
October 13, 1944
Well I noticed they let you out of Columbia* alright. Didn't know but what they would have you all signed up to coach them. As for making the old place any better than what it was when we left I can say that it sure suited me fine. Never will be any place that I will be more eager to see.
From your letter I find that there is lots of fellows from home over here also. I only hope I have the good luck to run some of them as I did in Italy. Gosh Coach don't you think I could get a job in school teaching History seems as how I have seen quite a lot of these Mediteranean Countries.
Yes I can sure agree with you that the boys you coached had guts and didn't quit but they also had someone to teach them how to use their head. Why some of the boys here managed to play the French a couple games of basketball and beat them to. Even got in on one game myself. They know the game to and I saw one fellow about sixteen who sure would have made another one of the many great centers you always had on your clubs. They have an awful hard time getting any basketballs though. Wanted to buy one of ours but Uncle Sam don't allow that.
So Everett Buck suggests a Varsity D reunion when this is over with. I most certainly agree with him and believe it would turn out to be a swell time. I'll bet that Everett and Paul* both are just slaying these Mademoiselles alright for there is certainly plenty of them to slay alright. Right pretty to if I may say so.
So we have an honorary member of the Varsity D for I know he will be elected at once. Anyone you put in a good word for is plenty good enough for us and must be a swell fellow. We also have a lad from your hometown* in this company and I have told him about you a many times. He used to be our mess Sergeant and is one sell fellow. Maybe you know Martin Christiansen he says that he remembers you as being quite an athlete.
Say I know one fellow that you don't owe any bets for doing anything extraordinary and that is yours truly. Especially in baseball boy I could sure put up some cyclone whiffing the air. But it sure was great trying.
Say the boys sure laughed when they noticed that Pvt. on the heading of my letter. You see I have always been a N.C.O. every since coming in this outfit and they thought that was pretty good.
You don't never have to worry Coach all of your boys will continue to play like Champions.
*[Columbia University, where Fred Fox studied summers for a Masters' Degree; Everett and Paul Buck; hometown Naugatuck, CT]
Sgt. Lester E. Page (letter 4/4)
January 28, 1945
I just today received your December letter relating all of those good old memories of the great teams you used to coach. I honestly can't see how anyone else can ever expect to equal the record of your teams. They might have been a dumb bunch of lugs in someways but they seemed to have it at the right time. Boy they sure are going to need it now to especially those boys over here in the snow and I mean snow. It seems that it keeps right on coming this way the biggest share of the time. To bad we didn't take up skiing for a sport also.
I notice that those Janitors are really keeping you in headaches. Has Alton* left as yet, maybe he can stick around. Their will never come another one like Gene Kelsey though and I don't think any of the fellows will forget him.
Boy I can say that I was sure glad to hear that you finally bagged a deer after all these years of hunting. I understand that Jeff Hightower* also knocked one over. His buttons didn't bust off from his shirt did they.
Well I think maybe that Varsity D reunion maybe possible if the Russians and the soldiers here on the western front keeps squeezing in on them. I am just wondering what kind of a goal line stand they will make. Lets hope they are not as tough as Hancock used to be.
Gee was sorry the boys didn't make out better in football and here is hoping they have a successful basketball season. Whatever you do don't forget to tell us about some of the games you referee their should be some good ones on your schedule.
See you at that Varsity D reunion.
*[Fox studied summers at Columbia University for a Masters Degree; Alton ?; Jeff Hightower - school busdriver and Poolhall proprietor]