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 addresses requested:
Grandpa lists here the addresses of 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 will arrive before Christmas and will convey some measure of the goodwill and love that is invisibly 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 around with me 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 Noble’s 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. 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 crumpled 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.
Tomorrow and Wednesday, I’ll be finishing this letter to all three boys.
Thursday and Friday will be another letter from Grandpa to his sons, far from home this Christmas season.
On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. Next week, we’ll move on to letters written in 1942.