As I mentioned yesterday, during the rest of the week, the posts will be long because I plan on including all of this 7-page letter.
Trumbull, Conn., March 25, 1945
Well, what will the menu be today? We have quite a choice of viands from which you may choose – – an Alaskan delicacy, two French specialties and an appetizer from the Pacific. Oh, you’re hungry today and want the whole bill of fare? O.K., but if I fall by the wayside from wariness, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
As it is difficult to decide which is the most interesting, we will serve them in chronological order of receipt. The first from Lad dated March 11, “somewhere in France” – “Two weeks ago, I tentatively decided to attempt to write you once a week, probably on Sunday. However, last week I was kept quite busy in trying to keep the Diesels operating correctly with large sudden load changes, and didn’t get enough time. So, I’m attempting to do it again. The load, thus far, has been very even, and if it keeps on, I’ll be able to finish this without sudden and unexpected interruptions. However, if anything unusual happens, I may have to drop my pen and run. But here goes. I have received all by Feb. 4th letters, and I have these in chronological order and will comment upon them in that order. Jan. 28th and Feb. 11th, I’ve already answered and destroyed. Jan. 7, ‘45, although over two months old and sent regular mail, I received this letter last Thursday. It came with the letter written on Feb. 25th, the last one I received. Some difference, eh? The only comment I can make on this letter excluding a remark about Paul’s good luck in getting a permanent assignment in Oklahoma, due to censorship restrictions, deals with the theme which has been present in quite a few of your current letters and will serve as an answer on that point to all of them. In writing to Marian each night, as I try to do, I cover everything that I can write about, and there isn’t much except weather, how I feel, what I am doing in general, and food. Therefore, if I were to write to you of happenings it would be almost word for word from Marian’s letters, leaving out words of endearment and subjects of a more or less private matter. In writing to her, if I recount something of interest to you and the rest, dealing with other than above mentioned items, I attempted to write it in such a manner that you can take it directly from verbal dictation or from the letter itself, depending on Marian. I have written only five letters of the latter type: (1) an air raid scare we had at our first APO address, (2) too vivid a description of our quarters at our present APO, (3) description of a trip to a French barbershop, (4) description of our first APO quarters, (5) trip to Marseille and return by trolley and truck via Aix. So you can see that I’ve really not felt that it was necessary to write to you. But, as I stated earlier, I’ll try to write something every week or two. I think I can understand your frustration, too. Jan. 14th, ’45. Dan’s Christmas poem is wonderful. What a guy! I’m still hoping I can get a chance to see him and his bride-to-be before we are again shipped too far away. Ced really has quite a literary style, too, hasn’t he? I sort of envy both Dan and Ced and the way they can so adeptly write what they think and
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put it across in an interesting way. I love your direct quotes from their letters. The frost Ced mentions is very similar to a formation we had here a couple of times. It is really very beautiful except it is always formed over here during a fog. The temperature of everything is below freezing and the fog freezes upon contact with any and all objects. So Dave was AWOL. I’m glad there were others with him to help him prove his point. The Army really frowns upon lateness, saying there is no excuse for not being where you are supposed to be.
I’m glad Marian and Jean are able to so adequately replace Crawford’s Laundry Service. It must be quite difficult for laundries to operate now with no help available, and expensive. Speaking financially, Dad, I don’t know whether you were including me in your “Money Sense” remark or not, but it is very hard to allot money to a number of different sources # # # # # #. Jan. 21st, ’45. In this you start off with a remark about how eagerly your weekly “blurbs” are awaited. To the still single boys, I imagine from previous experience, they are one of the brighter spots in the week. To me, and probably to Dick, they have become secondary in importance, but none-the-less, just as eagerly expected and sought for as previously. The letters from our wives (respectively, not bigamy) are more personal and don’t cover the Trumbull news and your personal views in the old ADG manner to which we have, through circumstances beyond our control, become accustomed. I personally find myself wondering what happened when I don’t receive one during the week. The only suggestion I have to better the service, at least to the E.T.D. is to send the letters airmail. In another letter you discuss the advisability of V-mail, but since we are on that subject now, let me have my say now. V-mail always comes by air and now and then it is a day faster than airmail, but in general, airmail also comes via plane. Once in a while, due to lack of cargo space, it is placed aboard the fastest ship coming across and that is because, if cargo space is full one day, the mail on the morrow will more than likely require all space that will again be available and a back-log will gradually be built up. Upon occasion, there may be a light cargo which would allow this backlog to go across, but since it is not known ahead of time and such a circumstance may not occur for weeks at a time, faster service is assured by using a fast steamer. Once or twice, apparently on one of these light cargo days, even regular mail has been placed aboard a plane, because I’ve received regular mail letters in 10 or 12 days, which is regular airmail time. V-mail, although always assured of air transportation, is very limited as to contents and for that reason is not as satisfactory. I knew about the kitchen chairs before Christmas even, but I didn’t know that the Spinning Wheel had moved. Its present location should be far more favorable, particularly under present restrictions on gas.
For the rest of the week, I’ll be continuing this very long letter. Tomorrow, we have more from Lad plus Grandpa’s comments to him.