(This continues the letter addressed to Lad)
The mail service from Alaska is getting worse as the bad weather arrives. This week I received two letters from Ced, both sent by airmail but one dated two weeks prior to the other, although both came on the same day. I say “dated” as a figure of speech only, as Ced doesn’t bother to put any date on his notes and the only way I have of telling when it was mailed was by the postmark and if this is indistinct as frequently happens, I have no way of telling when it was sent. (Ced please take note) Dan also wrote a very deep treatise on the lifecycle of a glacier which would startle the whole scientific world if published and leave Darwin with his theories trailing well behind. Dan also writes that there has been no conscription draft registration in Alaska to date but it is rumored that Jan. 22nd may be the day. Perhaps they passed you up also although it was my understanding that every male citizen with in the age limits would have to register.
Dear Ced: Alaska must be a backward country, or are you in reverse? Every time I want to read your letter I have to get a looking glass. Better watch your carbons next time and might I also suggest that a piece of fresh carbon paper would at least make the reading of backward letters less than doubly difficult. However, any letter from you, no matter how dim and indistinct or reversian, is always welcome but it stops me from proudly exhibiting it as a word from my Alaskan son, which may after all be just what you intended. The airplane wing momento is interesting and clears up some of the questions in one’s mind.
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As to the questions about registration, at some convenient opportunity after the holiday rush is over, I shall try to get hold of Miss Jones in the Motor Vehicle office and ask if the best method is to take out temporary markers to be sent back from Seattle upon arrival, what complications pulling the trailer will cause, etc. By the way, what is the registration fee in Alaska, and what rulings, if any, do they have on trailers? I have not seen Arnold to talk to since his marriage and all I know about his intention to go to Alaska has been hearsay. If, when you wrote to him, you suggested he get in touch with me, and he has received the letter, he has not yet done anything about it. Dick, with his overtime at the Underwood, is getting about $20 a week, so by the time comes for him to leave, it is probable that he will have sufficient funds to do it comfortably.
What little news there is I have covered in the other pages so after telling you that I enjoyed your last epistle much, I shall dwell on a subject which, right now, is causing me most concern and that is the matter of Christmas gift transmittal to you boys. I have been expecting daily a letter from you or Ced which will give me some idea of what would be acceptable gifts and what you have ordered from the mail order houses, sizes, etc., so that I could be guided accordingly. What with the poor mail service this letter has probably been delayed and has thus far failed to reach me. By the same token, if transmittal from here to there is just as poor, I am wondering if you will receive by Christmas anything mailed now. Anyway I have taken a chance and mailed you and Ced each something and if I don’t hear from either of you tomorrow I shall take a further chance on sending something to Ced which may not be the right size but which he can send back to Sears Roebuck at Seattle to exchange for the right size and style, or if it is a duplicate of something he already has, he can exchange it for something entirely different. I am also sending each of you a special Christmas stocking with some jimcracks enclosed just to remind you of the past Christmases in the old home and remind you, if you need any reminder, that even though mountains and rivers and glaciers fill many of the miles between us, in spirit you are quite close. Just the same I shall miss you all very much – – more so on Christmas than any other day in the year.
Well, it’s long past my bedtime because I have spent an hour or more trying to make the automatic stoker function. The pin that operates the worm gear that takes ashes out of the bottom of the furnace has sheared off and I have been trying to dislodge whatever it is inside that makes the warm gear bind. I have sheared off at least a dozen pins without success so I guess I shall have to shut the furnace down until the repair man can come and take the thing apart, if necessary, to remedy the difficulty.
So, good night to you all and continue the good work of sending your thoughts frequently back to headquarters.
For tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be posting another letter from Grandpa to his boys so far from home during the holiday season.
On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll bring you some more Special Pictures”.