Army Life – Dear Boys (2) – Bits of Family News – May, 1942

Page 2   5/10/42

It’s too bad you boys can’t claim exemption on account of paralysis of your writing fingers. As far as I know, secondhand, Dan is too busy planting flowers to write, no word having come from him this week. This could be borne with more fortitude if the phone had rung last night and a voice said, “This is your son, Dan, at the Bridgeport Railroad station”. I must say he is impartial in his neglect as Barbara is considerably burned up about her inability (to get a letter.) I did get a postal from a Mrs. Beckwith of Roanoke Rapids, who very kindly wrote what she calls a “keeping–in– touch” card to me telling me she had met Dan, was inviting him to supper and had a son of her own, about his age, in the Army.

And I seem to have lost my pulling power with you, too, Ced, for in spite of my splendid example of invariably writing to you backsliders once a week, come hell or high water, I can’t seem to get either of you on a weekly schedule. I hope Lad will do better because it will be pretty tough having three boys away and not hearing from any of them regularly. I know it’s tough to have so exacting a father, but that also, you can blame on the war. Maybe I’ll stop writing for a month or so and wait for you to ask some questions. It’s too easy having home news fed to you without any effort once a week. Maybe you wouldn’t mind so much at that, and then where would I be?

And speaking of asking questions, Dick was asking today if Ced wouldn’t write him what the labor situation was at present at the airbase, if they still needed men and were still paying the same salaries. From a few remarks he has dropped, I surmise jobs and salaries here do not compare favorably with his Alaskan experience. In your next (?) letter home, Ced, tell us a bit about how you are getting along with your flying, which you haven’t mentioned for months. Was your boss successful in getting a deferment for you? Have you filled out your questionnaire yet?

This week I managed to get three packages off to you, which I hope will arrive in time for your birthday. Two of them are from Read’s — not much but just to let you know you are not forgotten. I also sent, direct, a box of miscellaneous junk. A couple of small items will gladden Rusty’s heart when he is confronted with an overdone batch of apricots cooking on the stove all night. Be sure to let me know when they arrive so I can put in a claim for them if they are lost in transit.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Among the news briefs are these: a new Gray Line bus now runs to Trumbull, up Reservoir Ave., as far as Ray King’s place, just beyond the Merritt Parkway. Wardens have a new washing machine, his present to her for Mother’s Day. Next month she has to go to the hospital for a minor operation. Speaking of Mother’s Day (today) Aunt Betty thoughtfully arranged a bunch of lilacs (which are now in bloom) on the dinner table today in memory of your mother. Yesterday, at the town hall, I united a couple in matrimony. Lad is trying to sell his car. He’s trying to get $750 for it. He paid $900. On account of tire and gas rationing, the market is none too good. If he can’t get $700 for it, he will store it for the duration.

The following letter from Grandma: “I have been on the half and half sick list since February 16th. The first two weeks, Dorothy had to stay out of school to care for me. It made it pretty hard for her because she wanted to keep up with her studies, along with doing the housework. I am feeling much better. My heart was quite bad for a while. You may be surprised to know we are both staying at Kemper’s, who have moved into this lovely large house which they are renting. They are renting their own house. Last Sunday, Kemper and Ethel left for Vermont, to be gone until Tuesday. I would like very much to make you a visit and enjoy the lilacs but it may be some time yet before I can and by then the lilacs will be gone. What an experience Ced is having.”

From your old


Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting Special Pictures. I want to tell the story of Lad’s entrance into Uncle Sam’s Army in one chunk, which will fill (and then some) a week, the next time we visit 1942.

Next week, I’ll be posting a few longer posts so I can finish 1944 completely.

Judy Guion

3 thoughts on “Army Life – Dear Boys (2) – Bits of Family News – May, 1942

  1. Mustang says:

    Human parents are the only ones that are dedicated to keeping the youngsters in the next. We would have better children if we kicked them out sooner, rather than later.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mustang – At what age do you think this should happen? At the end of high school? Should they be responsible for their own college education? I see your point and many parents today allow their children to have no responsibility for their own behavior but make excuses for them instead of making them “face the music”. I believe a child can begin learning responsibility for their own actions as early as two or three. I see no reason why children shouldn’t be responsible for chores around the house – and they shouldn’t be paid to do them. An allowance might be given at about 8 so they can lean the value of money and how to manage it.

      Any thoughts from you ? Anyone else ?

      • Mustang says:

        The problem begins with parents heaping tons of presents upon their children at a young age … more than they need, actually and I think this confuses children and leads them to attention deficit disorder. I also believe that we give children too many options, starting with toys. Spoiled children make lousy adults. There should be a present exchange, but I prefer books to toys, and ones and twos are preferred to dozens of toys they never pick up and put away.

        Yes, chores from an early age, beginning with cleaning up after yourself: room, bathroom, tub, shower … taking out the garbage. These are things are add to the household (or community) effort. No, one is not paid for cleaning up after themselves.

        I think allowances come from more difficult work out of the home: cutting grass, raking leaves, helping put in the Spring flowers, carrying mulch from the car, washing outside windows, and things of that sort. Maybe even cutting the lawn of a neighbor too advanced in age to do it him or herself … not charging him or her for the service, but earned by parents to reinforce community effort. If the child wants a bike, a baseball glove, a bad … let him work for the money to purchase it. And if you do pay the child an allowance, let the child also learn how to manage (save) their earnings. By the time they get ready for college, they will understand that college is their responsibility, not their parents.

        Yes, hold the children accountable; teach the child to praise in public, chastise in private, and all of this beginning very young. No public scenes at the grocery store, and no acceptance of “I’m sorry.” The words mean nothing if too readily repeated, and if not earnestly felt.

        Just a few of my thoughts. Thank you for asking …

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