Stephan Lee
October 07, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Behaving Badly As a Kid
”My conduct at Coloseum yesterday was bad and my conduct this morning in church was bad and my conduct tomorrow will be good.”
To his father on May 11, 1913

Going to War
”Having a wonderful time!!! Had my baptism by fire my first day here when an entire munition plant exploded…. I go to the front tomorrow. Oh, Boy!!! I’m glad I’m in it. They love us down here in the mountains.”
To a friend at The Kansas City Star, c. June 9, 1918

Commenting on His Own Good Looks
”If but the girls of our village could see me in my dress uniform, I am of a great fear that the men would be wifeless.”
To his sister Marcelline on Aug. 8, 1918

Nursing His War Wounds
”I’ll never be able to wear kilts Pop. My left leg thigh and side look like some old horse that has been branded and rebranded by about 50 owners. They will all make good identification marks.”
To his father on Sept. 11, 1918

Becoming an Expatriate
”I’m patriotic and willing to die for this great and glorious nation. But I hate like the deuce to live in it…. I’m so homesick for Italy that when I write about it, it has that something that you only get in a love letter.”
To a friend on March 3, 1919

Revealing His Soft Side
”Idealists lead a rough life in this world…. But like hermit crabs they acquire shells that they cover their ideals with…. But sometimes something heavy comes along with a heavy enough tread to crush the shell and the ideals and all.”
To a friend on April 18, 1919

Gettings Jilted (A Rare Occurrence)
”I loved her once and then she gypped me. And I don’t blame her. But I set out to cauterize out her memory and I burnt it out with a course of booze and other women and now it’s gone.”
To a friend on June 15, 1919

Loving Hadley
”You can make me jealous — and you can hurt most awfully — ’cause my loving you is a chink in the armour of telling the world to go to hell and you can thrust a sword into it at any time.”
To his future wife Hadley Richardson on Dec. 23, 1920

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