Trumbull, Conn., January 7, 1945.
Dear Members of the A S F: (American Service Force, of course, to all of you except Ced, who rates his own designation, as Art’s Stationery Flyer, possibly Anchorage’s Sinister Firebug, Alaska’s Skeeing Favorite, or it might even be Anyone’s Steadfast Friend – – write your own.
Well, here it is with 1945 one week old, the Christmas tree and decorations have been laid away in camphor balls, winter has returned with a steady snowfall, income tax is drawing near and we’re not yet in Berlin.
News this week is conspicuous by its absence on the Trumbull home front. About the only item of note is that Paul (Warden, who lived in the apartment with his wife and children) has definitely received his appointment permanently locating him in Oklahoma for the duration and has sent for Catherine and the children. She has already sold her car, but as he was not able to find living accommodations there until February 1st, they are planning to stay here throughout this month. Catherine prefers to leave her furniture here, so that I may rent the apartment furnished. She is taking her washing machine and sewing machine along with her, but at present she feels she would like to come back to Trumbull when things again come back to normal.
Both Marian and Jean have heard from their respective lords and masters, but the old man, being only a father, has not heard from any of his tribe this week. I suppose Dave got back to camp safely and that Ced is still percolating as usual, but those assumptions are but due to my vivid imagination. Special message to the Benedict’s of the family: isn’t there some he-man information you can write about once in a while to your paternal ancestor. Of course I know your first obligation is to your wife but I figured once in every few months I might rate a few lines. Not that I would have you do so from a sense of duty, but merely on the basis that being still a member of the family, your other brothers and sister would enjoy hearing from you just as you, I hope, enjoy hearing from them through the medium of Trumbull headquarters, and this quite understandably is not possible in the letters you sent to your wives and sweethearts (one and the same thing, of course), because the letters they get from you are the one slender thread that unites you and they assume an importance and practically a sanctity which is not to be commercialized and spread, broadcast, for all eyes to see. I can quite appreciate this feeling and you will too, if you ponder it a moment and try to view it from the feminine viewpoint. The net consequence is that, while verbal comments of interesting news is passed on, it is not the same as having something down in black and white before one to quote in these weekly blurbs of mine. Save the love and kisses for your sweeties but get expansive once in a while and include the whole family in on your broadcasts. Lad, for instance, writes Marian, if we can read behind the few deleted words of the censor has destroyed, that he is evidently located on some old French castle and that Lad has something to do with running the diesels which supply the juice, enough at least to run his electric razor. The walls of the edifice in which they live our thick and their quarters are cold and damp. Jean reports that, for Dick, the rainy season has started and for about three months it will continue to rain harder each day and then will taper off again for another three months. Right now it is oppressively hot where he is.
Marian is “doing her bit” for the war and starts working tomorrow for Sikorsky, something to do with helicopters. We’ll know more about it later. And that’s about all right now. Meantime, keep your chin up.
Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be posting another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home, all five of them.
On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.
Next week, we’ll go back to 1941, when Lad is getting ready to come home and Dan and Ced are in Alaska, awaiting Dick and the delivery of their car.