R – 102 November 17, 1940
The first sample snowstorm of the season visited us yesterday. The flakes disappeared as they reached the ground but coming down they were big downy flakes and looked just like a real snowstorm while it lasted. This storm followed what was practically a week of steady rain. Even today is overcast and Dave, who has just come in from a tramp up Long Hill way, says it is trying to snow again. I suppose the boys in Alaska will greet this news with a superior smile and wave it aside with a condescending air, but you who have not seen the teeniest, weeniest bit of a snowflake for over two years will be duly appreciative.
I have not yet started the furnace due to a lack of coal but now that the furnace is ready as far as repairs are concerned, I suppose I shall have to see how good my credit still is with Mercer. There is one thing sure and that is that we will have to have it in operation on the 28th which by the proclamation of Gov. Baldwin, is Connecticut’s Thanksgiving Day, and I have invited Elsie and Aunt Betty to be present for the autopsy on the turkey. I have been saving the Alaskan cranberries for use on that day. (Maybe I forgot to tell you that the boys were instrumental in having sent to us a pound coffee can full of little Alaskan cranberries which are said to be superior in flavor to the Cape Cod variety, although much smaller in size, probably because they grow wild.)
By the way, Lad, along about the 1st of September, I inserted a page of confidential matter in which I sort of let down my hair, and while you have replied to other items mentioned in my regular letter of that date (No. 91), you have never made reference to the matters referred to in this supplement.
Thank you muchly for the interesting 5-page letter received this week telling about your trip to Cubagua. You cleared up most of the questions I was wondering about, except the route you followed from Pariaguan to Guanita. My map, or at least the Shell map Dan brought back with him, does not show Guario, nor does it show Lecheria, but does give Punta de Piedra and Guanta. Did you ask Mr. Senior if he had any relations in Bridgeport?
I have been expecting to have you say something in your more recent letters about draft registration. Helen Plumb said she thought the procedure was that your Company would send to Americans in foreign countries, blanks to be filled out, but I do not know if this is true. I have heard nothing from the Alaskans either so I do not know what procedures they had to follow. In Connecticut there have been more volunteers than the state’s quota so no one will be drafted until the first of the year and maybe not then, if the number of volunteers continues to exceed the quota. I believe volunteers have the privilege of choosing the branch of service or the kind of work they prefer, and while I do not suppose you would be called anyway, being in what I presume would be considered an essential industry, I can come pretty near guessing that you would select diesel engine work of some sort, either in the engineering service of the Navy or perhaps, as you are experienced in transport work, you would head up some mobile division of the mechanized force in the Army that used diesels in their tanks or big gun transports, if you ever were called upon to work for Uncle Sam’s defense.
I cannot think of a thing in the way of news that would interest you, and as I haven’t heard from Alaska for some time there is nothing to report from that end.
I am glad you are keeping at your Spanish. Are classes held at camp and lessons given by regular instructor?
Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of this letter, addressed to the Bimbos in Alaska. Grandpa’s not-so-subtle attempt to shame Dan and Ced into writing.
On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. On Monday We’ll go back to Alaska in the War and June of 1942.