Next we have the pleasure to present a Southern California message, from that place redolent of fruits and sunshine called Pomona. Marian says: “Here we go again! Life in the Army is very much like sitting on the time bomb. We never know whether we will go off in the next minute or whether our precarious seat will prove to be a dud. The fellows have been told that they should have some technical training, so beginning tomorrow, Lad is going to be teaching a course on the finer points of the electrical system of diesel engines. This should last about two weeks. Actually it means absolutely nothing beyond the fact that it will keep the fellows busy. So the way things stand now we should be here for another two weeks, but just as soon as I put that in writing the Army will change our minds for us. Consequently, you now know just about as much of our future plans as we do, and as to their definiteness, your guess is as good as ours. Life goes on pretty much the same these days in all other respects. Lad is back at the Pomona base now and doesn’t have to report for work until 5:45. He’s keeping busy but does not have to work as hard or as long as he had to when he was at Camp Haan.
We thought we were going to be able to send you another addition to your Rogue’s Gallery, but we were not satisfied with the finished product so the photographers are going to see what they can do about it. But it will take another two weeks to get the pictures back. You have waited this long for a picture of both of us together so it shouldn’t be too hard to wait that much longer. (Here follows a request for Lad’s flashlight.).
Aunt Betty, I’m sure Ced has been using his most persuasive powers to get you to Alaska. But don’t forget that there might be some question about your being able to smoke those cigars of yours up there. Families, you know, understand these things and make the necessary allowances, but strangers are apt to raise their eyebrows at such goings on. And I’m sure the natives wouldn’t understand at all. They might think you were on fire and bury you under an avalanche of snow. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. Besides, who is going to help me shovel a path to the garage if I come to Connecticut this winter?
COMMENT: By gorry, Aunt Betty better be making a list of folks who “didn’t warn her” — that’s to already recorded in this letter. And while Ced has introduced a new factor in the equation with his barrel of rum, you will note, Dan, the cigar episode which you were the first to recognize and record, has, like the proverbial snowball, rolling down hill, is getting bigger, or perhaps we had better liken it to the likewise proverbial stone thrown into the still water which makes ever widening circles. Careful where you throw stones, young man. Your Aunt Betty now is beginning to fear she will never live this down. As for the flashlight, armed with your keys, my Ansoutiguey importation, I mounted wearily the attic stairs after a torrid day at the office to be met with a blast of hot air. After moving several tons of boxes and cartons which my Alaskan giant had successfully piled on top of your trunk, I, at length, heaved up the lid, ransacked the tills, peeked under the bottles of iodine, etc. all to no avail, until, thoroughly blinded by the honest sweat pouring from my manly brow, I closed the lid, had just enough strength to press the lock into place, and without replacing the boxes, had just enough to stumble downstairs in an exhausted condition with the bitter sense of frustration and failure. After recovery, I phoned Babe (Lad’s girlfriend) and found she did have your flashlight, in fact it was right there handy, so as soon as I can get it from her, probably early next week, I shall send it along with the other things you wanted with the sole exception of the Boy Scout knife which I have been unable to find, even the genuine or a reasonable facsimile.
I believe this is the picture that they weren’t very pleased with.
Now for photographs. We now know that Lad’s is in the works. Dave had some taken a while ago which were AWFUL. They don’t look any more like him than the average passport photo. I wouldn’t give them space on my bureau. Dan promised to send me one from London which I surmised he had taken but if it ever was mailed it must have fallen victim to a Nazi U-boat. May I remind you that my birthday is in September, Christmas comes the latter part of December and Father’s Day follows several months thereafter. My gallery is still incomplete.
Tomorrow, the final paragraphs of this very long letter.
On Friday, a letter from Marian. Maybe she’ll have some more information.
Saturday and Sunday will be Special Pictures. Next week, we go back to 1940 when Lad was still in Venezuela.