Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 25 November 1941 to 1 December 1941

It ended soon after 1am after which our party went to a cafe for hamburgers and coffee - then I was driven back to Maxwell Field.
The next day was Thanksgiving but unfortunately I was detailed for guard duty while the majority were on open post and I had to report at noon to receive my instructions as Sergeant of the Guard. However Thanksgiving dinner in camp was a consolation as the cooks put on a great show with 25 varieties of food on the laden tables. We mounted guard with great formality, if not skill, and continued on duty for six hours during which time a number of cadets were in trouble for not being properly conversant with this instruction; as sergeant I was able to keep away from things and avoided discovery of my ignorance.
Saturday was quite uneventful apart from my first taste of American beer which I found too gassy but I believe that Americans think our beer is too flat. On Sunday morning I was invited to lunch by one of the ladies I met at the Thanksgiving dance - a great many invitations were issued - and I duly arrived by Dime Taxi about midday (10 cents anywhere round town). After being introduced to the large family we sat down to a magnificent meal at a long table of highly polished wood laid with lace mats.
The visit was most enjoyable - the family were very kind and interested in the little which I was able to tell them about life in Britain while the house itself was fascinating. It was situated about four miles out of town with considerable grounds and was just as I imagined Southern plantation houses to be - rather like those described in 'Gone with the Wind'. The family, called Brown, have lived there for many years having formerly owned a plantation and they have a number of negro servants - one of them, aged 100, was formerly a slave.
For some of our group the course is beginning to drag and five weeks will be enough but personally I have found it interesting especially some lectures on American History; however the sooner we begin flying the sooner we shall be home.

Monday, 1 December 1941. It seems that we shall soon be on the move and the latest information is departure for Flying School on December 15.
Games are entering more into our programme both in the early morning and replacing rifle drill before lunch - volley ball is very popular and we had one exciting game of soccer during which we saw our Portsmouth star, Rowe, in action.
The main topic for today must be our weekend in Auburn which was really memorable. Mrs Wright, one of our hostesses, called for us at Maxwell Field about 11am on Saturday with her three small children, and ran us to Auburn 60 miles away. This is a country town dominated by the College which specialises in Agriculture and Engineering - indeed we were told that 70% of the population depend for their existence on the College. On Saturday the whole town was en fete for the last day of the College football season, known as Homecoming Day, and all the Fraternity houses were decorated for the occasion.
On arrival we were taken to a big NYA camp (National Youth Administration) which is run by our other host, Mr Sargent, who gave up his agricultural professorship for the post. I should mention the magnificent lunch which we had in the NYA Mess Hall - this included the largest steak I have ever seen and it was superbly cooked.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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