Another of the older boys friend’s corresponds with them in Venezuela and later in Alaska. I have a clear impression that these boys were friends for most of their lives, starting in school in Trumbull. I don’t know if writing letters was something that “everyone” did, but I think this was rather unusual, especially for boys. It also helps explain what is going on in the mind of 20-somethings prior to WWII.
This picture to the right was taken in 1938 after the hurricane hit Trumbull and a lawn mower engine was used to pump gas. I believe Arnold Gibson is on the left, Charlie Kurtz is in the middle and Carl Wayne is on the right. This was sent to me by my childhood friend, Cindy, who is a photographer by trade, and is compiling a pictorial history of Trumbull’s early years.
THE RED HORSE SERVICE STATION
CARL E. WAYNE March 14, 1939
Dear Lad and Dan:
I have kept neglecting to write this letter to you but now things are happening so fast that I must write you while I still have the urge.
Undoubtedly, the most important news to you will be to learn – now brace yourself for this – – that your sister is married! She and Zeke eloped Saturday morning to Virginia and were married there. I will try to find a clipping and enclose it in this letter. They came back Monday and are going to live with the Zeke’s people I believe. I have not seen either yet.
Next in this March of Time is that I have finally acquired the station as you have already surmised.
Business has improved considerably. Of course I lost some of those charge customers but have been fortunate enough to gain more new ones. (cash) Last week we had completed 22 lubrication’s in six days. Ray Feller is working with us now.
That seems to be the main news. Aside from that there was little else except that Bill Hennigan has a baby girl, Bill’s father bought the house where Red Jennings used to live in the orchard, I sold your father three tires and tubes for the town truck, Ike Brinsmade has built a nice house across from Kurtz’s store next to Searles, Art, the barber, is moving out because he can’t make a living, Bill Slawson is engaged to be married soon, my Dad was in an automobile accident and has been in the hospital seven weeks, Emanuele Kurtz has gone to Florida, we had the worst snowstorm here since 1885, Arnold is still out of work, Nellie got drunk and wound up in Maryland, I have finally gotten the Auburn so it starts more quickly and runs longer and Kurtz’s cat had two black kitten. Dan, please note, do not criticize sentence structure, or pencil.
This is one of the few nights I stayed home and have crawled into bed without the necessary writing material except this pencil.
Well here it is Friday morning. I have acquired a fountain pen.
Ethel and I took a trip home to Jersey in the terrible sleet and snow storm to see my Dad. He is walking now and should be out of the hospital in a few weeks. All this trouble is the result of sliding on the ice and running broadside into a stone wall. The motor was pushed back under the floorboards and they extracted him with crowbars. He does not know how it happened, because of the shock. His jaw was broken in (15) places but has knitted with the exception of one place where almost a quarter of an inch of bone must fill itself in.
Bissie is back. I saw her but for a minute but not to talk with.
Arnold told us yesterday that he had written you so I won’t repeat the story of what happened on the trip.
In a way I envy you where you are, with all the nice warm weather, but feel that you both must be a little homesick by now
The taxes here in town have been raised and people are all excited and up in arms, holding meetings almost every night in the town hall or school.
Cecelia stops in frequently and lets me know how you are. Her Ford is still the same Big Headache to her but she makes the best of it and grumbles on a little.
I shall be glad to hear from you both soon.
Dan, please do not think that I did not appreciate those humorous cards which you sent. The only reason why I did not acknowledge them is that this lease business and trouble with my Dad developed and seemed to leave little time for writing.
With best regards to you both,
I found it quite interesting that Carl wrote the boys to tell them all the latest happenings in town, even though he says “Aside from that there was little else except…” and went on to list 13 events going on. He told the boys more about what was going on in Trumbull than Grandpa ever did. I was just amazed.
For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-magazine, with several articles and stories from my family, you can click the following links.
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Lost & Found –
Mrs. P. – I know this all happened years ago…but, I am so happy for her!
Lost & Found –
Mrs. P. – So, my next question is does Zeke live in Trumbull and is Biss back in town, now?
Lost & Found –
Mrs. P. – It’s clear that between the new station and his dad’s accident (which he completely under-emphasized in the beginning) he has had very little down time. But the news of the elopement was too over the top, he couldn’t keep it too himself and had to stop and write. So, am I getting this right? Biss is married to Zeke now?
Once that was off his chest, his feet hit the ground and the rest of the world caught up with him. I chuckled reading your end comment as well as the others as we all found the humor in his news reporting. This was clearly a descriptive letter that captured the interest and enthusiasm of keeping his buddies informed.
Seeing a sample of the actual letter, I am even more in awe with the task you have taken on in regards to sharing these letters. I struggled to decipher some of the words and in doing so recalled my own experience in reading and understanding the penned works of others. I’m sure it had gotten easier by now, through repetition and being familiar with each person’s style of writing. I just wanted to share again my appreciation for what you’re doing on your blog.
Lost & Found:
gpcox – I started laughing too: nothing else new … I could just picture him trying to get all that info out in one breath – good thing he was writing it.
Lost & Found:
Gallivanta – It is a great newsy letter. If it were written by a female it would probably be callled gossipy.
I am by no means proficient at blogging but happened to notice that my earlier comments now have (pending) next to them. Perhaps if you check your blog admin they may be able to be recovered there. Not sure if this would work but you could give it a whirl and see if it works. I’d be curious what the results are…if you do try.
I checked and they are not listed in comments, pending, spam or trash. I’m frustrated by my inexperience because they were some great comments. I even lost the “Likes” !!!! At least I think I learned something from the experience.
I remembered I save my comments that come from WordPress to my email account so I just copied and pasted. Tomorrow, I’ll try to reconstruct my replies. It’s way to late !
This picture is a wonderful addition to a great letter!
I apologize to those who have already left comments on this post. When I tried to add the photo, the spacing was disjointed and distracting, so I had to delete it and re-post. Unfortunately, I lost the comments also.
Not an electric generator – a lawn mower engine!
My father said:
“This was taken after the 38 huricane when they hooked up a lawn mower engine to power the gas pumps until electricity was restored.”
Cindy Arendt firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the correction, Cindy. I’ve already updated the post.