Trumbull, Conn., June 21, 1942
In true K. Kyser fashion, I have been putting myself through a series of mental tests and believe I have the right answers. There’s Lad, to start off with the oldest. He is at the Proving Grounds. “Proving what?” you ask. Why, proving that no matter how tired or overworked he is, he can still find time to write a weekly letter home. Dan has recently had T-5 tacked onto his name. I don’t know how the C. O. got wind of the fact that he is very reticent about boosting morale of the boys back on the home front, but I suspect “T” stands for taciturn raised to the 5th degree. And as for Ced, it’s beginning to dawn on me that the word Anchorage, according to Webster meaning that to which anything is fastened, must refer to the difficulty Ced finds in prying letters free from his typewriter. In any event, Lad is the only one this week that has kept the home fires burning, and to him, therefore, on this June day go our grateful thanks.
Lad’s car is not yet sold but the wife of the man who was interested in it called me up yesterday and said her husband was still interested. I told her the least we could accept was $675 cash. She said her husband would probably get in touch with me later as he still had bought no other car. The morning following that on which I received Lads letter naming this bottom price, as I went out to the barn to get into my own car, I saw that Lad’s left front tire was as flat as they ever get, so I had Carl come over at once to fix it up, so that I would not be embarrassed in having my customer come up to look at the car and find the tires kaploot. (Siwash for flat.)
The Government has just passed a new miracle, as they say in Green Pastures, to the effect that all notes for less than $1000 must be paid off within a year, and accordingly the bank notified Lad, through me, that the current payments of $50 a month he had been paying were not large enough to comply with this ruling. I pointed out the hardship placed upon the boys drafted into the service at that low rate of pay, even with the proposed raise, in paying off debts contracted in good faith and with every indication of being able to reasonably meet payments while employed in industry, under the new ruling. They agreed with me that it was most unreasonable but pointed out they had not made the law. I finally took it up with the head of the bank and finally wangled a renewal of Lad’s note without further payment on principle, but with interest, until August 5th, by which time it was thought that some adjustment might be found. That is the way the matter stands today.
Lad says he is now about starting and 8 weeks technical training course, at the end of which time he may be permitted to bring down a car. He had mentioned the possibility of perhaps coming home this weekend, so I got an extra box of strawberries from Mr. Laufer for dessert and kept one ear cocked for a phone call until 10:45 last night – – and then sadly retired to my little bed.
Dave’s school term is pretty nearly over, but I hastened it a bit by keeping him out of school Thursday and Friday to help rush out a 15,000 letter mailing for Ashcroft which had to be in the mail last week to comply with a government ruling (They are doing 100% war work over there). We did it, too, although we were delayed in getting the necessary letterheads until Wednesday noon. He is
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developing into quite a considerable help to me in the work at the office and is getting on to things in good shape. I may put him out on sales work this summer and he is considering the advisability of changing his school course from college prep. to commercial. The only full-time employee I have at the office has returned from a two weeks honeymoon and then had to stay out half the week with a cold, in addition. In spite of this, if I hear from Dan favorably, I may be able to arrange to get off for a few days to go down to see Dan and Lad in their natural habitat, leaving Dave to run the office and Aunt Betty to hold down the doormat.
Dick has received notification to appear for his physical exam at Shelton at 2:30 Tuesday, and Red also received a similar notice for the same day and hour later. The latter, however, is trying to get a deferment so that he can finish his summer course at Pratt.
The sewer drain pipe, which for a week has been leaking back into the cellar and filling the house with a most unholy stench, has now been fixed, and while there is still water in the cellar, the bad smell is clearing up. This condition has prevented our making a search of the cellar for old rubber in the national drive to “get in the scrap”.
As there seems to be no further news of interest to report, I shall and with a little poem:
A stamp’s a tiny, flimsy thing
No thicker than a beetle’s wing
And yet, ‘twill roam the world for you
Exactly where you tell it to.
But Dan and Ced too often fail
To put the damn thing in the mail.
Tomorrow, another letter from Lad at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland.
This weekend, and every weekend following, I’ll begin at the beginning. Many of you were not following my Blog over three years ago when I began publishing the Guion Family Saga, or as I call it, A Slice of Life. My grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, wrote his Reminiscences while traveling “around the world” on a freighter. He had quite a bit of time to remember bits and pieces of his life and decided to write them down for posterity, and his grandchildren. After he is married and starts a family, I will include the childhood memories of his children, which I recorded.
I believe this will give you a chance to get to know the man I called “Grandpa” and the author of many of the letters you have been reading. I hope you enjoy the beginning of the Guion Family Saga.