Trumbull – Too Hot To Write (3) – Extract From Ced – July, 1940

Ced @ 1945

Extract from Ced’s letter of July 21, 1940
Address: General Delivery, Anchorage, Alaska
Our present status: Room, a small one with two beds, portable wardrobe, bureau and the typewriter desk upon which this typewriter stands. The writing desk is really a wide bookcase, table high. In it we have about 500 odds and ends, including clothes, food, clock, writing material, books, magazines, etc.
Food: We both eat our evening meal at Mr. McCain’s boarding house. Mrs. McCain is a peach. She told me to tell you that she was feeding us well and not to worry about us. As far as dinners or luncheons rather, Dan has been taking his to work after making them with materials he had purchased. As of last Sunday I had been eating at the North Pole Bakery which serves two sandwiches and coffee for 20 cents. The best I could do elsewhere was one sandwich and coffee for 25 cents. Today, however, I inaugurated a plan to cooperate with Dan in buying and come home at noon and eat sandwiches in our 2 x 4 flat, which by the way, is $16 a month.
Our house is situated in one of the better sections of town and is of the conventional wood frame cheap construction type which is almost universal in Anchorage and Alaska. It has hot water heat which is not so conventional as most heating is by coal or wood stoves or hot air furnaces. The window in our room through which I can look, looks out across Cook Inlet and we can see the beautiful Alaskan sunset on the water. When we first arrived the sun set and rose at almost the same time and it never got too dark to read fairly easily. Now though, it does get pretty dark for three or four hours, and in a week or two it will be almost normal and the month’s steady rain will begin and soon after that we will begin to see signs of the short fall. The mountains around here have some snow on their summits and soon there will be more.
About a week ago some girls we met on the boat went skiing about 25 miles from here. To get back to the house, a Rose Walsh runs it and she is also very nice. Rusty may know her as everyone in town does and a good many also know Rusty. We are very pleased with our eating and sleeping arrangements and miss only a shower and possibly more room, which is a little skimpy, although after discarding the mirror from the bureau so that the bureau will fit in the corner where the ceiling slants down and switching the rest of the furniture around we have made room quite livable and even homey.
Now comes the big news: Probably you heard from either Dan or myself that Dan was clerking in a grocery store and I was working in a gas station. Dan hoped for a job on Kodiak Island surveying, but this as well as the jobs with theC.A.A. and local airbase all had not materialized when the woman who ran the store decided to get another helper as she knew Dan was not intending to stay. So, Dan was again out of work, but finally the local airbase hired him as level man at a $1.15 an hour, making a monthly pay of around $200. His hours were 2:30 AM to 12 with a half hour off for lunch and a half day off Saturday and all Sunday. Since Monday this week, for no known reason and much to Dan’s joy, he has been put on the day shift which starts at 8 AM. As for me I was on my way to work one morning when Mr. Arthur Woodley of Woodley Airways stopped me and asked me if I wanted to take the job of servicing planes. I had talked to him when I first arrived along with all the other air concerns in Anchorage and he had come from Boston originally and also knew Rusty. I suppose these two factors prompted him to take an interest in me. Anyway, I accepted and started work a week ago yesterday at $.60 an hour, six days a week and on call anytime evenings or Sunday. The work isn’t much but I am around the planes and learning a lot about them and the man around the airport. Needless to say, happiness reigns in our little domicile.
Last Saturday I was lying in bed at 6:15 AM, Dan at work, having left at 3 AM, when suddenly I was rudely awakened by some jiggling and ungodly rattling and thumping and I sat up in bed in the wink of an eye and looked out the window to see what was happening and saw nothing. But much to my surprise I knew what it was even never having experienced it before. It was nothing more nor less than a rather severe earthquake, a worser one that has been felt around here for several years. It was not bad enough to do any damage though.
One thing which I neglected to say in my former letters which will probably amuse you as it did me, coming up on the boat one of the girls aboard the ship was greeted by a fellow passenger who said to her in the course of the conversation: “Did anyone ever tell you that you strongly resemble the Duchess of Windsor?”, to which the girl replied, “No”, and then the other continued, “Did you know the Duke was aboard?” and in order to prove it, pointed it out, and can you imagine it, the”Duke” was little me. The girl later told me the story and we got to be quite good friends and she talked me into dancing which I had been a little afraid to do as I was so badly out of practice.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting more Early Memories of Trumbull from the childhood memories of some of the people who are living these later lives.

On Sunday, a letter from Grandpa written about activities going on back in Trumbull with the other children.

On Monday. we’ll start a week of letters written during 1941 after Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for almost a year and Lad is looking forward to coming home after two and a half years in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

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