Army Life – Rusty’s Fantastic News – March, 1942

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Trumbull, Conn.,  March 22, 1942

To my reading public –

Dear Sirs:

I’m sort of in a “I don’t know nuthin” mood today. I learned through Aunt Betty that Barbara mentioned something about going down to Ft. Belvoir this weekend to visit Dan, but I don’t know whether she went or not. If I had seen her yesterday I should have given her some mail that has accumulated here for Dan — nothing of great importance, to be sure, but an accumulation that I forgot to give Dan last week in the excitement of his homecoming. Oh yes, there was, among the bunch, a letter from Ced that arrived a day or so after Dan left for camp. (Remind me, Dan, next time you come home if I should not think of it myself).

Another thing I don’t know nuthin about is how Ced is getting along but I did get a letter from Rusty mentioning the fact that Art Woodley remarked he would be glad when the repair crew all got in again. Evidently, he flies over where they are working and drops down their food to them. Rusty pictures Ced as a baby Robin looking up with his mouth open as an extra big supply is dropped for Ced’s capacious maw. One short paragraph in Rusty’s letter contains the best news I have had in a long time even though it is some years overdue. He says: “These are busy times for me. Never had work going so well up here. Have 13 pictures to paint after I complete three murals for $1000.” It is not so much the financial end, although that is nothing to sneeze at, so much as it is the evidence of recognition of the merit of Rusty’s work. That is only the beginning I hope. There is happy portend in the fact that Rusty is working in Sidney Lawrence’s old studio. Let’s hope it means he is taking up where Lawrence left off and is going on to bigger and better achievements as Alaska’s own artist. I wish I were on hand right now to share your satisfaction, Rusty, old scout, but no matter how many miles stand between, it’s going to give me a heap of satisfaction to hear of what I believe now that it has started, a steady forward march. So, don’t hold back any good news because you fear it will be taken for immodesty on your part. I want to share it with you because as you know, I have always felt, and so did Arla, that sooner or later you would come into your own. The hard sledding up to the present time makes the arrival all the more enjoyable. I feel like throwing my hat way up high, and to hell whether I ever get it back or not. (Oh, you think it’s my old one hey, well, I’d feel the same even if it were brand-new).

Rusty Heurlin – Image Results

Lad has learned they are looking for men with diesel knowledge in Navy bases and is looking further into the matter. The fact that he has to wear glasses seems to be the only deterrent. A call came in over the phone this afternoon for Dave and the Boy Scouts to organize a searching party to find a couple of little boys lost in the woods over Blackhouse Road way. They were found. Last night I did my bit as an air raid watcher, being stationed at the Town Hall glued to the phone from 6 to 10 P.M., relieving Dave who went on duty at three P.M. The job is to receive and instantly transmit any air raid warnings from headquarters. We didn’t get even a test call. This first day of spring has been a typical April day, a burst of sunshine, a shower, a snow squall, a few howling gusts of wind. Five minutes ago the sun was bright; now it is raining. We have enough coal to last for a couple of more days and then I think I’ll let the furnace go out and use oil stoves “for the duration” (of winter).

Don’t forget to say your prayers and keep your nose clean.


For the rest of the week, I’ll be continuing with letters from Grandpa to his reading public. It sounds as though Rusty may be receiving letters also.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll begin a series of letters written in 1944, when all of Grandpa’s sons are scattered all over the world helping Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion


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