New Year’s Eve, 1944 at Trumbull, Conn.
It is somewhat like old times here tonight, principally due to the fact that we have a surprise visit from Uncle Ted, Helen and Dorothy, who arrived here about noon time, so that with Jean and Marian, the old dining room table was occupied almost like it used to be. Zeke and Elizabeth and the two youngsters came in later, and Dave, of course, representing the Army, and Aunt Betty representing herself, made up the family circle. So you see we are sending the old year out in good style, tempered as always with thoughts of you boys in the background.
The girls were busy last night getting ready for their New Year’s Eve hen party tonight. They have fixed up most temptingly luscious cookies and cakes and all evidence point to an enjoyable evening in prospect.
Ted tells me he has more or less been marking time until the big boys in the government and the big financial interests get set on their Bolivian project. He expects to have a talk soon with the contracting engineer at which time he will know whether he will go to South America to start work at once or not.
Incidentally Lad, Ted says the Ven. Pete. (Venezuela Petroleum) is going along in fine shape. They are building a refinery of their own, are developing their own port facilities and things look very bright for the future. He advises holding on to the stock. And, he also suggests, that with an idea he has reposing in the back of his mind, it would be a mighty good stunt, likely to bear big future dividends for you, if you would occasionally drop a postcard showing that you still remember them, to Frank O’Connor and Mr. Kunhardt, c/o Venez. Pete. in Caracas, and in fact any of the other big boys you know at Soc. V. (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company).
Dorothy tells me that on Christmas Day they sent you a round robin from the New York Peabodies, which I trust you have already received. If opportunity presents, I shall try to get some of our guests to add some message to this letter just to vary the monotony of another letter from Pop.
Addition by one-fingered Ted – who ain’t dead (yet) came up to Trumbull with Helen and Dothoraty (Spelling ok) enjoyed seeying the “HUSKIES” now known as Dad’s grand kind (and they are grand) also admired the two beauties – who prepared such a fine dinner. Probably won’t find them here when you return if Ziegfield sees them. Hope this finds all well –
To all of you, here, there and yon, may I add my good wishes and tell you that we are having a grand time up here in Trumbull….we haven’t been here for ages. And Dave is here too, so at least we are seeing one of you. Marian and Jean have done themselves proud with a delicious dinner and completing preparations for a decidedly feminine party they are having tonight. To you who are married to them, you are very lucky….but they are too. We’re staying overnight so we are having a real spree and enjoying it just loads. Donald Stanley is due to get home tomorrow, I believe….so will be seeing him soon. He hasn’t been around since last May or about that time. I just finished reading a lot of letters from Dan, Ced and Lad. To-day it really seems as though we have all been to-gether. Lots of love. Aunt Helen.
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Here is Aunt Dorothy en route to Los Angeles – – the idea being to distribute the population evenly, – – since California has given Marian to Trumbull, I return westward to balance the California population! Aunt Helen and Uncle Ted seem to have pretty much covered the ground on today’s doings so I can only add ditto to their comments on our delicious dinner and charming hostesses – – all three of them – – Marian, Jean, and Aunt Betty. I very much enjoyed seeing the transformation which Marian has made in the back bedroom with the beautiful sailing ships. It is truly lovely – – as Dave says, “When I look around I think I must be in the wrong house!” Not meaning that the Trumbull house hasn’t always been a lovely place – – but the feminine influence got him, I guess. That back bedroom has never seen organdy ruffles before, I’m sure! We all wish you all were with us on this eve of the New Year – – and you are, in fact, very close in our thoughts and in our hearts. All my love to you – – Aunt Dorothy.
Do I daresay “Happy New Year”, fellows? It seems that that spectacular time of the year has rolled around again, but I haven’t gotten into the right spirit. (Or should I say “Spirits”) Anyway, we can certainly hope for a wonderful new year, and perhaps if we wish hard enough, we can also have a high old party here in Trumbull this time next year. In the meantime, have as nice a time as you can, and remember that the best celebration we can ever have will be when all of you are home again. Until then, best of luck and good wishes from….. Marian
“A Very Happy New Year”, boys. And let’s all hope and pray that next year at this time we will all be here in this house to wish each other a happy 1946. All my best wishes to you all…. Jean
(Note by the editor) Dave is out with Bob Jennings, so is not available to finish this round robin sort of letter.
Dan makes us all happy by writing on December 13th “a few words of assurance”. He says he has met a pleasant family in the nearby city of — and my frequent visits there keep me amused in my spare moments, and soon after this V-mail letter arrived we had another written December 2nd on a New Year’s greeting card, as follows: “To indicate how completely we are out of touch with the rest of the world we breezed blithely through both Franklin’s and Tradition’s Thanksgiving without knowing it until too late to celebrate. Intellectually I am atrophying at an alarming rate. I don’t suppose the Fates cut me out from a provincial pattern. At any rate I miss Paris deeply, often thinking how poor by comparison are the opportunities here for meeting and speaking to French people. The boys on the job here seem to be content to sit around playing cards every night. I hope we can finish this job soon. And the war too.”
Marian has just had a letter from Lad and is quite thrilled. His address is the same except that his APO number has been changed to 667 with cable address “Sans Origin”. For your information, Lad, Marian, whom you hope is “not unhappier then she need be”, is a continual ray of sunshine, and is making this a very happy household with Jean. They have just finished doing some marvelous cooking of cakes and cookies, and I think I shall dub them the “sunshine baker’s” with apologies to the Sunshine Baking Company of Long Island City or wherever it is.
In a few hours now it will be a new year. How I hope it will bring you all back safe and sound, with Peace in Europe at least. With all my heart I am wishing each of you a happy New Year. Dad
This concludes the letters I have from 1944. Tomorrow I’ll begin with the first letter of 1945 and then spend two days on the second letter.