A-114 Feb., 5, 1941
Here are the passport photos as requested. Maybe with this simple statement I should close the letter with a “very truly yours”, but in that event you’d miss out on a lot of the fun I had getting them.
First, let me say that the envelope itself was addressed to 231 Fairfield Ave., whether this made the difference between my getting it Saturday or Monday, I can’t say. I only know that when I got to the office Monday morning it was waiting for me. 871 Main St., it is now, my dear Sir. I think you must be getting old. At least they say a sign of old age is where one remembers things that happened years ago more clearly than those that happened but yesterday, wit, you recall definitely the dates you went in to have your passport pictures taken at Corbit’s but forgot your father moved his office to a new address.
Anyway I immediately called up Corbit and told him over the phone when I wanted. They explained that with passport photos and such small views they did not bother to file them according to names, the cheap price not warranting the system necessary to file them in this manner, that it would be necessary for them to look through films of all such photos taken for the past several years (they did not even file them according to dates) and as the job was a long drawn out one looking through thousands of negatives they would have to have a copy of the prints to recognize the negative as they ran across it in looking over their stacks of files. I of course had no prints. There was only one clue and that was the side view, as they said they seldom took this particular combination. They asked if you wore glasses, had a mustache, a mole or other distinguishing characteristic. No. I gave them a little sob story as to how important it was, that you could not get home without it, that you were stuck off in the wilds where no photographer was available, etc., etc., and they finally agreed to tackle the job and told me to come into their shop at 10 o’clock Tuesday and they would show me what they had found.
At 10 o’clock Tuesday I duly appeared in Mr. Corbit, the girl and myself looked over hundreds and hundreds of negatives for 45 or 50 minutes and then I had to leave to keep the business appointment but I asked if they would look through the balance (we had only done about half) and let me know if they came across anything that looked likely. They said they would but I had visions of their quitting as soon as I left. I heard nothing more from them all day Tuesday so decided to look through things at home, particularly for a sheet I remember seeing about 48 different small views of you taken from different angles. So last night I searched. All in vain. So I was just about to sit down at the office and write you a disappointing letter telling of failure when Corbit rang up to say they had about a dozen different negatives, any one of which might be of you, and would I come in and look them over. My spirits rose again and at lunchtime I called there again. One after the other proved duds and my spirits were sinking lower and lower until right near the bottom of the pile, who should be peeking out at me but my long-lost Laddie boy. That was about one o’clock today. I immediately ordered 12 full face and six side views, which they promised to have ready at 4 PM today. Exactly at 4:00 I called and they were ready. I paid them the two dollars asked and started back to the office to get them off to you airmail tonight with a brief note. When I reached the office there was a customer waiting to talk to me, two urgent jobs that had to be taken care of, and as soon as these were done some deliveries had to be made and then I had to hurry home in order to get supper started. That brings us down to the present moment, so as I said at the beginning, here of passport photos as requested. Makes quite a little story about nothing.
Now the joke would be for you to say, I didn’t need it after all, or a fixed it up so the old ones would be okay.
Heard from both the Alaskan termites this week. They’re both cussing about the draft which they have just had to register for.
This is some of my secondhand Spanish gathered from Dan. Perhaps the realization that this is Richard writing you may cause you a quite singular reaction, but I, also, find it quite startling and unprecedented. I was just about to tell you about my selling the Packard but I find that Dad has already notified the absentees of the doing in of the poor old bus.
I daresay if you meet me in some poorly lighted place you wouldn’t know me from Adam. I have no doubt grown taller and matured slightly since last you saw me. There will also be a great change in the Junior member of the remaining trio. He no longer plays in the sand bed or scares little children. His mind has developed so that now he can grasp the deeper things in life such as homework, eating, breaking windows, stealing apples from Kurtz’s store, and throwing rocks at passing cars, scaring little children, and other constructive things.
As usual, I find it difficult to think of more material to write about so I may as well beat you Hasta la Vista. Arnold told me he had written you concerning Alaska on your return to the states, so I am waiting to see, or rather hear from him, what the reply is. I hope to see you before too many years have passed. Two years is a long time after having lived for about 17 years under the same roof. No es verdad?
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a draft of a letter Grandpa has written with the suggestion that Lad send it to Fairbanks-Morse with expressing interest in a possible job with them once he had returned to the United states. Grandpa includes his comments on what he put into the letter. I’ll also include the final draft, although i have no idea if it was ever sent..
On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting a few more Special Pictures.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Judy,
To you and your family from Pacific Paratrooper…
GP – Thank you. May you enjoy the holidays with your family and friends.
I love the warmth in this letter, and the conversational manner in which it’s written.
Jen – This is what is so special about letters. People write them as if they are talking to you. This is how Grandpa spoke to his grandchildren also. It’s sad that people don’t write letters any more.