Trumbull – Dear Trio From Alaska – Sept., 1941

This post is going to be a bit longer than usual. I decided to update a program in my computer and it has been three days since I could use my naturally speaking software. This post was planned to run yesterday and today but that wasn’t possible. Sorry for the length but I hope you enjoy Grandpa’s usual insights and information.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 14, 1941

Dear Trio from Anchorage:

“Hay”, he sneezed, feverishly, “downt dnu dnow that this is the time to write to the boys?” “Oh, yes.” I replied impatiently flicking a fresh nose drop from my proboscis, I might’s well (kerchoo) do it now”. So here goes.

When Dan’s account of his Homeric adventure loomed across the Trumbull horizon, it didn’t take me long to decide that here was an antidote too much of the news filling the papers nowadays regarding bloodshed, bombings, sinkings, assassinations, reprisals, etc., a clean wholesome note among the discordant welter of sounds that might bring a moment of restful sanity to a war – crazed world. Why selfishly keep it to myself? Why not share it with a waiting audience? No sooner said than done, and presto, when editor (can’t recall his name at the minutes (brain is numb anyway)) of the Post Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, CT) glanced through the article he agreed that it was worth giving a whirl; asked further for photos of the author (you will laugh at his use of Dan going into “a friend’s house), it wasn’t long in getting into print. And it got quite a reaction, too. Our insurance friend, Covill, was the first, then the manager of Sherwin-Williams glad handed me and told me he was quite interested in the article and envied you – – “would like to do the same myself”. Then last night Miss Hawley called up and said she was so interested in reading about the boys and want to know more about Dan and Ced. Of course all the Trumbull folks and family were interested but this can be taken for granted. I am enclosing a couple of extra copies in case you will want to send them to your friend in Homer or your boss. I mailed a complete newspaper to you containing the article, just for the hell of it.

Yesterday Ced’s welcome interesting letter arrived and one also to Aunt Betty with a second money order enclosed which you can be sure is doubly appreciated, not only because of the kindly thought that started it on its way, but also because of the generous amount which I’m going to have great fun spending in something that I want. I have not yet decided which of several things it will be but I will let you know when it is an accomplished fact. And speaking of birthdays, Elizabeth came over with her two kiddies in the afternoon, made me a birthday cake, but could not stay to dinner. I splurged by blowing myself to a porterhouse steak with mushrooms, grape juice to drink, mashed potatoes and ice cream. Aunt Elsie sent me a birthday greeting card, the folks from New Rochelle a round-robin, Aunt Betty her usual greeting card with double the regular amount and Lad and Dave, either or both, supplied me with a box of cigars and a new pipe.

Dorothy is back in Trumbull again. For some reason not yet divulged their new apartment was not as satisfactory as Trumbull so she called up Friday and asked if she could come back to stay with us a while. Grandma is staying in New Rochelle to take care of Burton and Helen is leaving tomorrow for Brownsville. A few minutes ago Burton drove up with Grandma and Helen and they are now in the kitchen getting a little supper snack before they start back to New Rochelle.

It certainly did appear as though you all enjoyed your Labor Day holiday – – Dan with his interesting Homer trip (and I felt after reading it I would like to be about 20 years younger and go homesteading there myself) and Ced and Dick with that interesting instructive and enjoyable trip to the mine. I could not help but muse on the fact that while you at last saw Independence Mine,  (  ) it was about a year later than you expected to see it and then under very different circumstances, sans Rusty, etc.

For the last few days there has been a tang of autumn in the air, there is no evidence yet of the leaves beginning to turn to their gaudy fall wardrobe. I went out and chopped a few branches for the faire this morning, but stopped pretty soon as the hay fever began to get familiarly fresh. Pretty soon, I’m sorry to say, we will be having the furnace cleaned out (I spent several hours on the kitchen oil stove some weeks ago) and will be back again in the old winter groove. Lad is still plugging away at his new job at Producto. He has heard nothing one way or another as to his draft call. I hope both of you will escape, but if it does come I really feel, aside from the curtailed income, it will do you a whole lot of good to get the training and live the life that they make you live, with its regular hours and hardening exercise. And if you do get called you will probably be able to get into some line of work that will be interesting and will go to it with all your hearts and ability like you have other things and make good on the job. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) dropped in to see us (principally Lad) the other day and I should say it has completely transformed him. Much as I dislike to admit it things do look as though it would not be long before we are really in a shooting war, in which case I still don’t quite see eye to eye with you that the Hitler breed will understand any other language than cold steel, and we would be lots safer speaking this language to him in self-defense, although there are always two sides to every question, I am not sure that all the dire predictions one hears as to what is going to happen to us and the world will actually be as bad as some of our extremists would have us believe. Like every other big question, I think the truth lies in between the isolationist view and that of the warmongers. Nothing really turns out as badly as the extremists prophesy will happen. That applies to you if you are called in the draft. You’ll find is has its good points and if you are wise you will make the best of a bad situation as you know the man is unbeatable who makes every kick a boost. I have faith enough in your fund of common sense to know that I will be proud of whatever course you take.

Ced, you’re a little joy spreader. Your kind words about my letters and the welcome they receive are very reassuring, because ofttimes I feel my letters are hardly worth reading and I anticipate your sense of disappointment when you get through and say to yourself “Well, there is darned little in that letter”. On the other hand I never feel that way about the letters from you boys (particularly Dick’s, Here! Here!), So I guess maybe old Bobby Burns was forever right when he made the remark about ’some power the giftie gie us see oursels as others see us ‘.

As day wanes and dusk begins to creep over the landscape I find my brain doing likewise, and rather than permit it to trail off and this letter end in a thin trail of smoke I will stop now while there is still enough left to typewrite a  virile snappy



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