Trumbull, Conn., July 25, 1942
Dear Boys of the North and South:
Beside my table as I write are three books – dictionary, Bible and Atlas. The latter is the one last called into service and that’s because of just a hint dropped by that boy Dan in a letter to Barbara that the last of many rumors is that Dan’s outfit may move to Hagerstown, Maryland, when and where, if at all, still shrouded in as impenetrable mists as those gathering about the top of Mount McKinley. Anyway, the Atlas says Hagerstown seems to lie in the famous Shenandoah Valley, not so many miles from the Potomac River, sheltered on the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the crow flies, just as if anyone wanted to fly like a crow, it is about 80 miles west of Aberdeen and only 40 miles distant from the abode of the Chandler’s at Westminster and all about 39° 31’ long.
Had a little set-back yesterday. Peeking through the glass that Uncle Sam has so thoughtfully provided in the door of the mailbox, I discerned the well-known red, white and blue quadrangles that I have come to know as indicating a letter from Alaska. With eager fingers I twirl the dial, pounce on the letter and in the act of hastily tearing the envelope to learn the latest news from my woolly esquimaux, when my eye is arrested by a “please forward” line at the bottom and further reading reveals that it is directed to the x-Alaskan, Dan. Ced, with clairvoyant power and with that thoughtfulniss that has always characterized him, has anticipated the thoughts that run through the mind of the expectant father and there on the other side of the envelope, for all the world to witness, promises to follow with another letter home, still leaving one a bit disappointed, but nonetheless, still expectant.
And speaking of expecting, I had a letter recently from Mrs. D. G. Sanford (recognize this as Peggy?) who admitted she had just read an advertisement of Parker Pens showing the deep distress of a boy in the Army who failed to get a letter from home. (Someday I am going to write an ad of my own about the father who didn’t get a letter from his boy at camp). Anyhow, she was so moved by the touching pathos of the thing that she sat right down and wrote a note asking me to send her your several addresses. She goes on to say that she and Dudley are expecting an addition to their family about February 1st. He is called into service in Sept. She is at present in Whitehall, N.Y., where her husband is engaged in a road building job.
I was beginning to think that this would be another week that would fade into the past without hearing from any of you boys when a letter from Dan gladdened our hearts. I don’t know where he picks up his fancy stationery, but a letter even on tissue that occasionally replaces Sears Roebuck catalogs in certain places, would be welcome. He writes in his usually cheery vein, says the intense heat has moderated somewhat, reports his sixth illustrated lecture on Alaska, has again side-stepped Officer’s Training School for the more practical experience he hopes to obtain in his present job and ends with a tribute on “young Richard’s superb treatment of the epic ooze episode at Tungsten Mine”.
Dan: thank you for sending the home addresses of those cordial and friendly folks on whom we called.
Ced: Have you yet received the first shipment of tennis balls?
Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of this letter from Grandpa to Ced in Alaska, Dan in North Carolina and Lad in Maryland. Thursday and Friday will be two more short letters from Grandpa to his sons away from home.
On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be continuing Grandpa’s story from the beginning, where we have reached a time when his family is growing and jobs are a big concern.