Life in Alaska – Dan Writes to Lad (1) – July, 1940

It is the end of July, 1940, and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for almost 2 months. Fortunately, they found jobs immediately, but have now found jobs that are much closer to what they had wanted. Ced is working at the Woodley airfield and Dan is working at the military air base. The following letter is from Dan to his older brother Lad, still in Venezuela.

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

Anchorage July 28

Hermanito Mio,

Here I be where you might have been, well there you are where I might of been, and opposite sides of the continent, at that! I suppose you never appreciate the present…. Even the future or the past seems more important. At least, that is how it seems to me. Here I am in Alaska, sort of wishing I were home or in South America. When I was home I was wishing to be either in Alaska or South America. When I was in Venezuela I was wishing I were home or in Alaska! And apparently I am not getting over it! I often think of Venezuela with nostalgic yearning. The few times we spent together crop up in my memory now and then…. The first time in Carora, when Carl Nelson was on his way out…. That time you came out to Totuche with news of Ted’s accident…. And later, when you picked me up on the way to Carora, with a bar of chocolate and ”Bush”, and the meal of cheese and crackers in a café…. and the pounding on the door of the hotel Commercio to wake up the mozo who slept just inside the door…. Alas! You appreciate such things only in perspective.

The present soon becomes the past, so it seems most important to make the most of it. The only news you have heard of our present (Ced’s and mine) has come to you, indirectly, through Dad. Naturally the reports have been colored by his point of view. Here is mine! We drove, neither loitering nor hurrying, to Seattle in what was not a very interesting trip to makeUncle Sams USA seems rather drab after the exotic atmosphere of Latin America. We saw the plains and the Badlands and the mountains, but for the most part they were very much what I had expected them to be. Further, living in a car is not a very restful experience, so I was glad to get to Seattle and find a few days on my hands in which I could relax.

This letter is quite long so tomorrow I’ll post another part of it telling a very interesting story about running in to a “hometown boy” in Seattle. I’ll post the rest of the letter on Thursday.

Judy Guion

4 thoughts on “Life in Alaska – Dan Writes to Lad (1) – July, 1940

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    What struck me about this letter, written in July 1940, is the absence of any word about the war in Europe. I think it filled up our newspapers back then: Hitler began the Battle of Britain, clashes at sea… It would be on my mind if I were their age! ;-)

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Koji – I think it is still too early for Americans, in general, to be thinking of the war as it pertains to them. We were staying out of the War in Europe and I think it was another year before the boys start mentioning it.

  2. Arla says:

    I certainly do enjoy my father’s writing style. Could you send me a copy of that letter? I’d like to add it, and any others you have, to my Dad’s notebook of letters from/about Venezuela. Thanks!

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