|The first National Jamboree
of the Boy Scouts was quite a big event for the Scouts of the Concho Valley
Council. One of those leaders that went to the Jamboree was Marvin
H. Carr of Sherwood, Texas. He was one of the Assistant Scoutmasters
of Jamboree Troop 26 that went to this first National Jamboree. He
took $10 with him and came home with $7. Here is his story as told
in letters to his wife and two daughters in 1937, plus some photos.
LETTERS FROM MARVIN H.
CARR TO HIS WIFE ALTA AND 2 DAUGHTERS
WHILE HE WAS AWAY ON
THE BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE IN 1937.
25, 1937 Fort Worth, Texas Thursday noon
Dearest Alta and girls,
We were waiting for 3:30
and the time to leave. We got here about 6 a.m. Waited until 10:00 for
breakfast, thought we would starve but finally got to it and sure did fine.
Went through Armour packing plant at 11:00. Will eat dinner at 2:00 and
then just wait to leave. I slept about 5 hrs last night. Everything is
getting on nicely. Will write a little tomorrow. Donít work too hard.
Love, Marvin & Dad
Friday at 10:00 in St Louis
Dearest Alta & Kiddies,
We just drove into St Louis
and will be here 20 or 30 minutes so I will drop a note. We came by Texarkana
& Little Rock. However at night so did not see much. We got into Missouri
at daylight. We have been riding along the banks of the Mississippi for
the last hr. Sure some river. It seems to be up a little but not much.
I canít write on a moving train so canít write much. I sure had a good
sleep last night. Folded seats together and rolled out my bed roll.
Girl, this is some smoky
town. Sure is a maze of railroads. We will ride on to Washington over the
Pennsylvania lines. We have been on the MP & TP since we left Ft Worth.
Sure a bunch of Scouts. 13
coaches on our train. I see a bunch of Scouts from somewhere on the platform.
Must be St Louis from the parents with them.
Will mail this if I can here.
|In Washington Sunday at
Dearest Alta & Kiddies,
Arrived in town yesterday
at about 11:30 and have been moving in a hurry. We have our camp site.
Found a mess tent and kitchen already up with a few shelves and an ice
box. A latrine is on our camp site. The site is 290 x 90. We have 9 tents
for kids and leaders. We have our exhibit up and ready to go. We
had to assemble our tables. It took about 30 minutes. Busses met us at
the train and hauled us out here. We are on an island below the city in
sight of the capitol and Washington monument. We unloaded in Virginia.
We left Saint Louis and went through Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh,
Harrisburg, Baltimore & here. From Columbus to way into Penn was at
night so we did not see much. This is sure some country. The rivers are
sure wide and lots of water. I looked like I had unloaded a car load of
coal. My, I was dirty. The Pennsylvania R.R. burns coal so you see how
bad it could have been.
Here it is Monday morn at
6:00 and I will try to finish and get this in the mail. We went to town
yesterday p.m. Went to the top of Washington monument. Lady, that is some
pile of rock. Rode the elevator. Could have walked to top but was too far.
We are here with the Potomac on both sides lots of little boats and a few
large excursion steamers.
I received two letters from
you already. You mailed them Friday and I got it the next p.m. at 6. Some
I was afraid old man Asberry
would want some extra money. Guess all you could do was pay. (Note: The
water well at home had gone dry)
Seems like you are having
a few beans to use. (Note: They sold produce from their garden)
I am going to have to stop
and fix breakfast. Meals are not much trouble and they are sure giving
It rained all day yesterday
but the ground is not muddy. There is a heavy coat of grass on the ground.
It is heavy cloudy this a.m. like it was yesterday. It rained on us Sat
evening. Not much rain but the air is just full of water.
Bye and love to you, Marvin
|In camp at 6:30 a.m. June
Dearest Alta and Kiddies
I am up early this a.m.
to write and to straighten out my bank book. I am banker, and to get ready
for the boys that I will call at 7:00. We eat at 7:45. The meals are good
and little trouble to fix. I wish I had my other suit of work clothes.
I am wearing my longs around camp. I dress up to go out of this section.
We have to fix for some of
the region staff. We have Bob Billington, Mr Izley and Jim Fitch, the regional
director at home and here also.
The Jamboree opens today
at 6 p.m. There are boys as thick as white folks everywhere and 11 more
troops to come to our section today. Things are very picturesque. People
have heard of our chuck wagons, mesquite trees, cactus and horned toads
from far and near and come to see us, especially the toads.
The sun shone yesterday but
not bright. I am going to take a picture of the camp if it gets bright
enough. The films cost 45 cents here. Other things are high at the post.
We visited the Smithsonian
yesterday. Will see a big League Baseball game today I guess. I canít start
to tell you about the Smithsonian. It is too big.
We had a big arena display
last night for our section. Ed Shumway in charge. About 700 Texas boys
The weather has been nice
and cool. The rain has not been disagreeable because of the grass. Of course
it makes things damp. Bit it has been cool . I wish I had a light jacket
now but too lazy to go after it. I am wearing my shorts from home yet.
Will dress up this a.m. I may have enough undies to last through. Sleeping
is fine. No mosquitoes as yet.
Sweetheart, I will close
now and try to drop another note in the a.m.
I love, Marvin
|Wednesday morning, Dearest
Well the Jamboree is officially
going. We were to be at the opening last night and it was raining so we
stayed at tents and went to sleep. We were at flag raising at 9:00. A very
Yesterday afternoon instead
of the baseball game we took the ďrubberneckĒ tour. Hired a bus at 70 cents
apiece and went over the city. We had a dandy guide and really saw the
city. All the government buildings of importance, White house, Capitol
and Ambassador row. Zoo, prominent homes and all.
We have our insignia now.
Just pin and ribbons made of felt and change each time.
I have not sent any laundry
but some of it that cam back is terrible. I can do better in cold water
and if it doesnít look better I will do my own.
The tour business is very
confusing. We never know thirty minutes ahead of times just where we are
I have had the paper sent
to you but I guess it will be late in getting there. Save all of them.
Am making a few pictures. My feeding end is going on very nicely.
Hundreds of visitors come
through to see West Texas. It is threatening rain but have occasional sun
shine. Just thunder heads. Sea Scouts are camped below us. Bye and be a
good girl, Marvin
|July 3, 1937 Friday 5:15
I did not get to write yesterday
and have been gong and so busy I have not time to tell all about all of
it. Wed. We went to the Bureau of Printing & engraving and Bureau of
Investigation. That night we walked back to the arena and saw 25000 boys
in one group with their flags and all, some show. Yesterday morn it was
the museum of Natural Hist. And p.m. was a baseball game. Washington vs
Boston score 3-2 Washington. This a.m. in camp to straighten up odds and
ends and to write. Not too much sight seeing in camp. Visitors all the
time. Some one has to stay here all time but there is always some one that
wants to so that works o.k. It is one mile and half to gov. triangle where
we start seeing things. Saw capitol, Library of Congress, Shakespearean
Library and slums. We have been walking a lot. A taxi is 10 cents if we
get as many as 8 in the taxi. We have a region display tonight. Mt Vernon
in the a.m. and Annapolis tomorrow evening. It is nearly supper time so
I must kiss off and write later.
5:45 p.m. Dearest Sweetheart,
Received your letter of
Tuesday today. I hope you donít feel so blue today. It seems all was wrong.
I have written every day but one. I donít know why the letters are so slow
getting there. I get your letters in 24 hours.
So it is more trouble with
the (wind)mill. Do what you want to but I believe leave it until I get
home. I will be glad to get back to take care of everything.
We went down to Mt. Vernon
by boat this a.m. About 1500 on one boat. The bunch went to Annapolis this
p.m. It was another dollar so I stayed in camp and went to town. Got a
haircut and watch crystal. My old crystal was about out. They are not back
yet and may not be until it is late.
I am feeling fine and lots
to eat. I have an eye headache a little now not bad. The weather has been
fine. My sheet and canvas and raincoat has been barely enough to keep warm
under. They say that is strange for it is supposed to be hot. It rained
again this morning about sun up but cleared off and has been fine all day.
I am going to clean up, shave
and put up and put on clean clothes if I get them back and try to get to
church in the morning. We had service here last Sunday.
I guess I will be back in
Angelo either Monday or Tuesday about 7:00. We have a 12 hr wait in Ft.
Bye and love and kisses
|Sunday 3:00 p.m. Dearest
Sunday p.m. and all boys
sitting around writing letters, sleeping reading and entertaining visitors.
Had a big dinner, rice, fried chicken, pea soup, green beans, ice cream.
Boys & girls, lots to eat.
John E. (Robbins) and I went
to church this a.m. and sure felt at home. Saw John Paulís (Gibson) mother
and dad. Rita Foster, Robert Coffman, Bro McMillan preached. Saw Susie
Randolphís sister, a Mrs. Mitchell. The people were very friendly. The
church is about 5 miles from here so we rode a taxi 35 cents each. Robert
Coffman brought us back. He is here as secretary to Rep (George) McMahon
from somewhere in North Texas.(Colorado City). These fly can certainly
Airplanes are flying over
all the time almost any time you look they are in the air. Tri motors,
4 motors, biplanes, and Zeppelins. They pass over this point to N.Y. and
north & east. If you have received a newspaper, you see where we are.
We get the San Angelo Standard
every day but of course 48 hrs. late.
I am glad my letters are
getting home and you are feeling better. Why donít my girls write to me?
I am not sure that this
will get off today but I think it will. I hope I get one after while. If
nothing happens I will be in Angelo tomorrow morning I will let you know
later. If you see the Scotts tell them Billy is getting on fine. He lost
his hat but his Uncle came down and bought him another . (Personal note:
Billyís son, is now the scoutmaster for two Marvin's great grandsons).
We go to mass convocation
tonight at the arena. I guess I will go down if I donít have to pay bus
fare. I am down to $7.00 now. Maybe I will make it o.k. I had my shirt
and shorts laundered. They looked fairly well. It is sure hard to find
souvenirs here that look suitable.
By and love & kisses,
|Monday 1:30 p.m. Dearest
Nothing doing today. It
has rained all morning so I stayed in camp. Part of the boys went to Arlington
cemetery to the Unknown Soldiers tomb for the flower ceremony. I stayed
around, napped and talked with the boys. (Personal note: The Mertzon troop
took part in the ceremony at The Tomb last Sunday, July 29, 2007, and great
grandson Dylan Tate took part in laying the wreath). I stayed around, napped
and talked with the boys.
A cruiser in the harbor fired
a 21 gun salute at 12:00 noon about 100 yards from us.
I forgot to tell you yesterday
that after services yesterday Bro. McMillan married a couple before church
Last night we went to a mass
convocation at the central arena. Some show but not much religion. Heard
a Jew, Catholic, Mormon and Protestant. We will go in tonight to hear the
Marine band and watch the fireworks.
I didnít get a letter yesterday
but was not so disappointed for I had two the day before.
I do not find so much to
make pictures about. I have snapped two. I may look around for another
one or two. I am having one or two negatives developed that I want.
Well, Sweetheart, I canít
think of much to write. You should be getting the paper and it will tell
you a lot.
Bye, love, and kisses Marvin
|Tuesday 7:00 Dearest Sweetheart,
We went up to the fireworks
last night. Certainly was some display but nothing more than I saw at Dallas
and Austin when I was in school. Rode up and walked back.
We rode to town this a.m.
Went out to Arlington Cemetery and Tomb of Unknown soldier. Passed Leeís
Mansion and then back into town and through the Smithsonian for about three
hours. We had sandwiches fixed and did not come home for lunch.
Went to the Philatelic Agency
and looked over the government collection. It was good. Did not buy any
stamps. Went to three collectors shops. I spent about 75 cents. Sure saw
some stamps. (Note: He collected stamps) Got back to camp at 5:00. Had
good supper. Been a pretty day and had good sunshine this p.m.
I am going to the section
arena tonight to see what kind of stunts they put on. I had an invite to
the stamp meeting but I could not get off. I have not received my special
I sure could read the girlís
letter and glad to get it. Gene must stay well and be able to help.
Love and Kisses, Marvin
We go to the main arena tomorrow
p.m. and stay until after the show. Will take our supper in sandwiches.
We put on our big show. President Roosevelt will visit us. Thursday we
see the president and Friday we get to packing.
|July 8, 1937 Wednesday afternoon
Dearest Alta & Kiddies,
All the boys but one are
in the arena and practicing for the big Stunt tonight. I am guarding camp
with the help of one boy. I will not get to see the big show tonight but
I donít feel bad. I am missing a lot of hot work up there now getting ready
for it and someone had to stay here.
I have been trading some.
Sold some of my cactus for 25 cents and two horned toads at the same price.
I found them loose in camp so I just sold them. We have had several visitors
today. I am going down in the morning when we review the president along
Constitution Avenue. We will start packing tomorrow afternoon and loading
on the train. Plans are now that we leave here between 4 & 8 Friday
and into Ft Worth Sunday a.m. Angelo Monday morning at same time.
They serve us in paper plates
& cups. Issue a box of dishes for 36 every evening. It is more than
we need and can use so I am saving them. I have 300 or 400 ahead by this
time. I am going to try to bring them home. I donít know what luck I will
Still feeding us as much
as ever. All we can eat. It is hot today. Real Washington weather I am
told. Sure glad we will be leaving in a day or two. We have not had any
mosquitoes yet. If it gets hot for few days they say we will. I have not
received any mail in two days now. Hope nothing wrong.. Bye & love,
We want to thank Frances
Carr Tate of Tarzan, Texas for providing us this photos and the copies
of the letters of her father, M. H. Carr.
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