Trumbull – Dear Backsliders – Nov., 1940


Dear Backsliders:

My eyesight is strained from peering into the gloom of the interior of P.O. Box 7 in an effort to discover a letter either with a Venezuelan stamp or an Alaskan postmark on it. fourteen times during the last week (that’s two Saturdays, so no remarks about Kurtz’s not being open on Sunday, nh, nh, so there), so with no letters to answer and little local news there is not much skeleton to build the body of this letter on. A preposition is a bad word to end a sentence with. (I got to that time too)

The box with the skates and music was dispatched this week. Cost, including insurance was a $1.25. Thanks for your thoughtfulness in sending the dollar, Ced, it almost made the grade. I did not know which Spanish grammar Dan wanted, so I picked the one that looked as though it had been used most. As a matter of fact I did not discover the other one until after the box had been all but sealed with my orange tape. I did however include the two magazines that Carol Ravell sent. I should think you would follow Lad’s idea, Dan, and let me subscribe to the Spanish edition of Reader’s Digest for you.

Just after I had finished writing to you boys last Sunday and was thinking about going to bed, who should breeze in without previous warning of any kind but old boy Dick. They had left Florida the Friday before on receipt of a telegram from Mr. Kascak telling Bob he had work for him to do at home. They had practically lined up jobs to, which they badly needed as their cash had about vanished. Apparently most of their time down there was spent helping a tennis pro, who gave instructions to amateurs who desired to improve their game. The boys would work on the courts long enough to earn the privilege of playing the rest of the day, which while enjoyable (using $20 rackets, etc.) did not bring in any cash with which to buy grub or pay rent, so they had found themselves in Philadelphia on the way home with $.50 in cash and no gas. Luckily Bob had relatives in Philadelphia where they replenished their gas tanks, pocket books and the inner man and arrived in Trumbull with $.50 to the good. Dick thoroughly enjoyed himself and said it was worth all it cost. He feels much better mentally and is now looking for a job. He tried to get on the Easton Reservoir job but they said they had more than enough men and were not interested in taking on any more. He does not want an inside job. He has been doing odd jobs around the house here for the past week, and today I got them to go to town, the three of us. I got them up about nine and put them in good humor by giving them a pancake breakfast and then set them to work getting up the storm windows while I started to clean up around the incinerator. I worked this for an hour or two and then came in and started dinner. After this important function was over and dishes washed, I got them working on the incinerator again until dark. Barbara, Don and Jean have just come in and are now reading last week’s Alaskan letters. I have just asked them what news there might be for me to pass on to the absent ones, with the result as follows:

Jean and Don were the committee appointed by the Choral Society to arrange a Hollow wean party at Mrs. Miller’s last night. Ghosts, corpses, empty rocking chairs rocking, dark rooms with eerie sounds, etc. apparently sent shivers down many choral backs and undoubtedly put the proper tremolos in the voices of those members of the choir who went to church today.

Jean has had her fang removed and asked me to tell you that she is downhearted, Ced, because you have not written her. She asked me to tell you that she had an infected finger from knitting you a pair of mittens (Don says she is knitting you a pair of infected mittens) and still you have not written.

Don goes to New York tomorrow to take the various exams necessary and will probably be informed promptly whether he has been accepted or not, as in case of a favorable answer he will leave Sunday for Quantico, Virginia, for three months trial training, after which he will either be accepted or kicked out. If the former he will continue his training for another three months followed by six months active duty. Our new tenants moved into the apartment yesterday. They are Mr. and Mrs. Paul Worden and seven months old baby. He is a reporter on the Times Star and seems to be a very likable chap. She is a rather easy-going homebody who seems friendly and pleasant. Mack has already made friends with the whole family.

I am waiting to hear from all of you lads about what happened to you on the draft. Arnold and Carl both had their numbers in the first drawing, but so many Trumbull boys have enlisted that I doubt if they will be called.

In Ced’s last letter, Lad, he said they missed a car and had in mind saving up about $400 between now and February so that I could get them in 1938 Chevrolet or Plymouth with a trunk and then, if Dick liked the idea, have him drive it out to Seattle, load it on the boat along with himself and import them both into Anchorage. Dick is quite excited about the idea, the only aspect of it which he does not like being the fact that Dan wrote there were very few girls up there. As soon as Arnold heard of the plan he told Dick you would like to arrange to hitch the trailer onto the car and travel out with him and perhaps another paid passenger. The trailer would be able to accommodate four and taking it would save expenses enroute where otherwise they would have to stop at tourist’s cabins, etc. This arrangement would have its advantages as we could enlist Arnold’s aid in selecting a car and I imagine Ced would feel a little more sure about getting a car which was mechanically sound if Arnold rather than I alone did the picking. However, he will probably write to Ced and ask if there are any objections to Mr. and Mrs. A. Gibson following out this plan. Meantime Dick figures he will have to get a job as soon as possible in order to save sufficient money to pay his share of the expenses.

The furnace is all fixed up now ready for its winter’s work. After this note of $75 on my car, which is due, has been taken care of, I will see what I can do about a supply of coal. Up to the present we have been using the oil stove and fortunately the weather has not been too cold. I have had Carl put my radiator in condition for winter driving, using the new DuPont Xerox or whatever they call it which Carl thinks is better than Prestone and costs no more. That’s something Lad does not have to worry about but which you boys in Alaska would have to figure in if you got a car.

Tuesday is Election Day and feeling is running pretty high here. It looks as if the race would be pretty close, but you will both know who our next president is before this letter reaches you, so there is no use my commenting on it here and now. Only, I’m hoping. I’ll be looking for letters from both from Ven. and Alaska, in the box tomorrow, in which case even if the election goes the wrong way, I will still be able to stand it. So, until then,


For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting two 2-page letters from Grandpa to his distant boys.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


4 thoughts on “Trumbull – Dear Backsliders – Nov., 1940

  1. Mrs. P says:

    I do enjoy his commentary…especially when he has no news to report, seems they are often the better ones.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – I remember how he would give me advice or council without preaching. He knew how to get his point across.
      In 8th grade, I decided to be different and spell my name Judi. Grandpa was in Florida, as usual, and I wrote to him, using my “new” signature.
      His return letter included a short limerick:

      There once was a girl named Judy
      She spelled her name with an “i”
      instead of a a “y”

      To this day I cannot remember the missing lines, but I never spelled my name that way again !!!

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