Week 10: “Dere Mable”

Subtitled “Love Letter of a Rookie,” this is a comic collection of letters a fictional soldier in training camp writes home to his girl. Bill is a private, then at some point he’s a corporal, then I think he’s a private again. He’s in the infantry, then the artillery, then the infantry again.

Through it all, he is a combination of Gomer Pyle and Amelia Bedelia.

“Some one say that we was the highest payed army in the world. Besides all this money we get our bed and board. I guess they dont know that in the army bed and board mean the same thing.”

“The other day we was all lined up in the company street and the sargent says ‘Inspecshun arms.’ I lays down my gun an rolls up my sleeves.”

“Dere Mable” was written by Edward  Streeter and illustrated by G. William Breck, both of the 27th (New York) Division. Streeter is best known for writing “Father of the Bride.”

There were at least two sequels, “Thats Me All Over, Mable!” and “Same Old Bill, Eh, Mable.” It’s all very silly, but the endless toll of the dead and missing becomes overwhelming sometimes and this is the ultimate change of pace.

2 thoughts on “Week 10: “Dere Mable”

  1. I have this book! I found it at a used bookstore in Boston. The illustrations are great–so funny. I didn’t know there were sequels!


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