R-107 December 22, 1940
Chief Mechanic Lad
What a help to Santa Claus such a team would be! Dan could plot out the route, Lad to tighten up the bearings, see that antifreeze was in the radiator, and Ced for piloting. And oh the number of disappointed little bastards there would be on Christmas morning. “Santa Claus makes forced landing on Half Mile Tundra. Esquimaux steal Christmas stocking gumdrops. Halfbreed children purloin sleds and skates consigned to Conn. chimneys, etc.” Ced, with his jaws clamped tight and a glint in his eye, arguing it out with Santa and insisting that H-23 should have had an overhauling first and the wings doped, Dan seated on a broken propeller blade writing a humorous account of the toy giraffe that stuck its neck out too far for once, and Lad figuring the torque that would have been necessary to carry it to the next landing field, if equipped with diesel engines. (Note: plot copyrighted. Movie rights NOT for sale)
Carl dropped in for a brief visit last night and tells me they have definitely set February 22 as the hitching date. They are planning to take their wedding trip on a freighter cruising in the West Indies. And talking of marriages, Helen Plumb arranged a nuptial job for me on Christmas eve at the Town Hall. Evidently the young man intends to give his wife a Christmas present. Dick stopped in to talk to Arnold today and brings back word that Arnold will not be able to save enough money for the Alaska adventure until sometime in May. He wants to go all right but can’t make it sooner. Perhaps he has already written you to that effect. Dick, too, I surmise would prefer to go later, for the following reasons; a – not having trailer to sleep in would increase costs, b – the longer southern route they would take would take more time and cost more, c – it would be pleasanter traveling in May than in March, d – it would give him opportunity to save more money for expenses. He asked if I knew any particular reason why you want to the car so early, would roads be usable that early, wouldn’t you need extra time to pay transportation costs etc. To all of which I of course had not the answer. There is one angle of this thing from a practical standpoint that interests me, viz: If May is too late for you and Arnold does not figure in the trip, I can hardly expect him to take the same amount of time and interest in helping to decide on what used car to get than I could if it were to pull his trailer. Think it over and meantime I will try to get Dick to write you more fully on his conversation with Arnold instead of passing it on to you secondhand.
No word from Lad this week, but I have Ced’s written Dec. 6th, mailed the 7th, received the 16th and Dan’s of the 5th, mailed the 6th and received the same day as Ced’s.
Business, except for a few large war orders that make big newspaper talk is generally slow. I lost Miss Denis last week, which leaves only George and I to carry on, which is enough unless things pick up. She has landed a stenographic job in Washington at $27 a week with the Aviation Division.
Despite this, our Christmas here, thanks to the generous donation enclosed with Ced’s and Dan’s letters and Lad’s authorization in his week-before-last letter, promises to be a happy and generous one. I will admit I have not bought anything for myself, but will surely find some funds left in the kitty after all bills are in and accounted for. You boys are all very considerate and generous and it does one father’s heart good to know it. You make me have, deep down in my heart, a full realization of the words “a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year” that are so often but glib words without real significance. If all men everywhere would follow in their daily dealings that same idea of goodwill toward others that came to us on that first Christmas Day, we could forget the controversial immaculate conception, etc., and still come pretty close to a heaven on earth.
A letter Dave received from Aunt Dorothysays that Gwen and Don are spending Christmas with their father in Vermont. She says nothing about Anne, so I have written and invited her here but as yet have received no answer. I also heard from Sylvia who is living on a large estate at Manhasset, Long Island, taking care of some English refugee children that these wealthy folks have taken in. I also wrote Sylvia asking her if it would be possible for her to spend Christmas here, but under the circumstances expect a negative answer. At least it will give the poor child a feeling that she is not entirely forgotten in this land of her adoption away from all her childhood friends and her mother’s folks here.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter and the rest of the week will be filled with another long letter from Grandpa, the final letter of 1940. This story line will then move on to 1941.
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