Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 10, 1944
Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Chief Ski Instructor,
Your Dad greets you, your wives greet you, your Aunt Betty greets you and even Smoky wags his greeting spelling out in dog.dot and dash system, which perhaps Dave, with his specialized signal training, might be able to interpret as Christmas good wishes from those whom Ced addresses in his last letter as the “Inhabitants of the house by the side of the road”. And while it is a bit difficult, without Rusty’s imagination, to achieve the full Christmas spirit with all Daddy’s little candles scattered to the four winds, there is an event in the offing which presages the advent of some real Christmas cheer, to wit, the following letter from Dave:
“This time I’m not going to make the fatal mistake. All I’m going to say is that it looks very much as if I’m going to be home for Christmas. But you will not be sure till I get there. If I pop in on you Christmas morning don’t be surprised. But on the other hand, if I don’t – – you’ll know that I couldn’t get off for Christmas but that I’ll be home sometime in the near future. Last night, I got a call from the Western Union saying that the $50 are still waiting for me, so I picked them up today. I’m going to keep the money so that I can get home when (and if) I get my furlough. Winter has set in at Camp Crowder. It’s pretty cold and the fog is so thick you can hardly see the barracks next door. We have an eight hour night problem tonight and it’s so soupy out I think I’ll have to get “lost” and come back to the barracks.”
Evidently, Dave, keeping my fingers crossed DID do some good. I’ve got two fingers crossed now, and shall have until the 25th and while it interferes a bit with running the graphotype and pecking the typewriter it will have full compensation if it works.
As to your P.S., Jean, Biss and Zeke all prefer Camels, which, as you surmise, are unobtainable here and would be right welcome. Jean’s second choice would be Luckies, which is also what Marian would like to send to Lad (she doesn’t smoke cigarettes), and while I have tried to convince her you don’t want to give her something to send to someone else, even though it is her husband and your brother, she insists that they would be welcome. Jean would also like a Sgt. pin (see sketch). Aunt Betty would like toothpaste, (Phillips Milk of Magnesia preferred but not mandatory) or a bottle of Listerine. If they had any ordnance insignia of any kind at your PX, maybe Marian would like that. A bottle of hair tonic (Pinaud’s Eau de Quinine or a reasonable facsimile thereof, unobtainable here, would suit me fine). And now the inevitable counter question – what do YOU want? Of course it is superfluous to add that the finest gift of all will be your appearance in person, but you know that without any need to mention it.
Marian has heard from Lad. He is “somewhere in Southern France”. It is colder there than he expected it would be. His trip across was uneventful for a wartime passage, good weather. Incidentally, Dave, Lad says he will be unable to do anything about your watch, so evidently you will just have to wait until a new supply arrives at your PX.
A letter from T/5 Donald F. Sirene, 31333518, 1661 EUD, APO 837, C/o PM, New York. (Note Dan, he has the same APO number as you have, does that mean he is stationed anyway near you?) Like Dan, he got to Paris on Armistice Day. He also expected to visit Paris on Thanksgiving and intended to inquire of the Red Cross where he could locate Dan. He says that while Paris is a very beautiful city of parks, monuments and statues, there are none of the latter that can compare with that statue in New York Harbor.
Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be posting the other pages of this letter.
On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.
On Monday, I’ll be posting letters from 1941, when Lad is still working in Venezuela, Dan and Ced are in Alaska and looking forward to a trip in the spring when Dick will deliver a car to Alaska.