Army Life (2) – A Fire And A Fancy Watch – April, 1942

APG - Bob Mark with Smoky, Nov., 1945

Page 2   4/5/42

Yesterday was spring clean-up day on the old Guion Homestead. Raking dead leaves out of flowerbeds, burning dead grass, the fire, as usual, escaping back into Ives’s lot and requiring the assistance of Paul and our hose, Ives and his portable extinguisher, to prevent it getting out of control. I’ll bet it won’t take much guessing to figure out which boy I missed most when it comes to the matter of cleaning up the yard.

Your watch, Dan, is now rejuvenated. I don’t know whether this is the watch I gave you or one you bought yourself in Venezuela, but Mr. Johnson, the highest priced and most expert repairer in Bridgeport, as soon as he had the back off and looked at the works, waxed enthusiastic. “Oh”, he said in his Swedish dialect, “This is a wonderful watch, too good for a wristwatch. They shouldn’t make watches like this for wristwatches. It’s unnecessary to have 21 jewels, etc.”. Besides needing cleaning, there were several parts he had to replace to the tune of $5.50. He seemed almost regretful about parting with it when I called for it. Reminded me of those ads you read about workmen handling their products with loving care. Anyway it made my respect for your watch go way up instead of regarding it, as I had before, as just another wrist watch.

Axel, Astrid, Florence, Paul and Astrid’s other brother dropped in to see us for one day last week and asked about all you boys. Paul has left his job at Wanamaker’s and is now working at the Barnum Forge with Axel. He is married and is looking for a place to live near Bridgeport, as his wife expects an arrival within four months, and they have to get out of their Brooklyn rent by May 1st.

Aunt Betty just read an article in the paper which expressed the opinion that one of the most useful articles you could give a boy in the service these days was a can opener. (I’m wrong. It was an article in the American magazine). The theory is that while you are probably issued some kind of tin opener it is probably a crude affair that results in cut fingers. So what the folks back home ought to do is to buy the best make of fancy can openers that you twist and it doesn’t the trick neat and fast. If this coincides with your experience, say the word and Woolworth’s will make another sale.

The dusk is deepening outside, marking the end of another Easter day, not a very sunshiny one and not as pleasant a one as it might have been if my two absent boys were here under the home roof, but there is always a tomorrow to look forward to, and that is something.


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