A-105 Trumbull, Conn., December 8, 1940
On the evening of December 5th I stopped at the store for mail and found your airmail letter written in lead pencil and dated (I can hardly believe my eyes and wonder if you made a mistake) December 3rd. Anyway, I am hastening to answer it by giving you the address as requested:
Following is a list of the mailing addresses for numerous family and friends.
I am disappointed about what you say regarding sending you a Christmas present as I had something all picked out which I think you will like, but I am afraid that what you say is all too true as I checked up with the post office here and find I have to fill out eight different forms for customs declaration with each package sent and the clerk seemed to feel that it was not very wise to mail merchandise to Venezuela. What I am doing, however, is to send several small packages of trinkets under the sample ruling, one of which contains a Christmas stocking, empty, which, when received, you are to fill with the contents of the other boxes and try to capture a bit of the Trumbull Christmas spirit as you open these few and sundry packages. I hope they arrive before Christmas and will convey some measure of the goodwill and love that is it inevitably wrapped up with them and won’t need any customs declaration.
Read’s and Howland’s are all decked out with their Christmas regalia and the snow in the streets, which we have had for the last few days, the hurrying crowds, the imitation Santa Claus’, all so familiar to you, will be one of the pictures you may hang on memories wall, as you sweat and slap insects on December 25th somewhere “north of the Orinoco”.
And “snow on the streets” reminds me that aside from the beauty there is also a seamy side. Yesterday Dick, who does not work at Underwood’s on Saturday but was going down to the office with me to help out on a rush job and later take my car and go round to the various secondhand car dealers to see what he could find that would cost him less to run in getting back and forth to work than the Packard, was driving with Dave in the front seat with him and I in the back. The streets were slippery and I had cautioned him about going at what I thought was an excessive speed under the conditions, but with the overconfidence of youth and a bit resentful of being told how to drive from the back seat, he felt he knew the car was under control and paid little attention to the “voice of experience”. Turning from the Beardsley Park corner by George’s gas station down on Noble Avenue, the street was quite icy. We got down almost to the end of the park by Nobles Monument, when some cowboy, driving a delivery wagon, came sailing around the corner towards us and began skidding and weaving back and forth from one side of the road to the other. He was going at a good rate of speed and so were we.
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In a few seconds after we saw him swinging back and forth it was quite apparent that he was skidding right into our pathway and to avoid a collision, Dick swung sharply to the right, colliding with a tree with a glancing blow and also smacking the rear fender giving it a small dent. The right front fender however was smashed in good and proper. It looked as if some big strong blacksmith had hit it with a 50 pound sledge and crumbled it all in, so that it scraped on the tire. Our cowboy deliveryman however went gaily on his way. So now my new car is a pretty looking site, one of Fates little Christmas presents.
For the last week or so Mack has not been feeling so well. He apparently has a case of diarrhea and anywhere from 2 AM on every morning he wakes me up by whining and scratching at the door and before I can get downstairs to let him out he has pooped on the stairs or floor. I am about disgusted using the mop every morning but it is too cold for him to stay outdoors nights, so if he doesn’t get better pretty soon I’ll make up a bed for him in the cellar.
Your check for the month of November arrived as usual from the N.Y. office. It was the same amount as usual, but perhaps with the new job the next one will be bigger representing a raise, although in telling me about the new job you did not say anything about there being any increased salary with it. The payment of $130 for the Investors Syndicate came due, which I have taken care of. Fairbanks-Morse declared an extra dividend represented by a $10 dividend check which has also been deposited to your credit.
A letter from Rusty this week asks me to send him his overcoat which he says he left here, but I have been unable to find it where he said he left it. He asks to be remembered to you and says he will write you someday. No mention is made as to when he expects to return to Alaska although he does say he expects to see me sometime after the first of the year.
Tomorrow, the rest of this letter and then another two-part letter from Grandpa to his sons to finish off the week.