R-120, Trumbull, Conn., March 9, 1941
As I am not on speaking terms with my estranged son, Dan, or more properly speaking, he is not on writing terms with me, will you please convey my best wishes to the old Wolverine and tell him that every week I read over his letter of February 5th (the last time I heard from him) just to kid myself into thinking that I hear from him more than once a month. Once in a while I get some secondhand news from Barbara, such as the fact that he has bought a movie camera (the new one I bought and sent with Dick will give you two movie cameras between you three boys which ought to result in some rather interesting momentos of your Alaska visit in the years to come.) Dan has obtained such wonderful colored stills with his camera, I am wondering if it would be possible with a colored film in a movie camera to get some views of the Northern Lights. Lad sent some good colored views of a sunset in Venezuela, but that phenomenon of sunsetting does not lend itself, because of the slow change, to the variations of the Northern Lights. And in this connection, I don’t recall whether or not I told you that after receiving Ced’s suggestion in his usual modest tone asking if I could spare the old movie camera, it occurred to me that as we no longer have a 16mm projector, the old camera would not do us much good even if you did take pictures with it, so I made arrangements to get a new 8mm camera on time with the understanding that if he could sell my old 16mm camera he would reduce the price by that amount. Later he decided that because there was a film still in it and he could not examine it in the proper manner, he would rather not take it in and be responsible for to the purchaser. He did say if I wanted to let it go cheaply he might sell it to a young fellow in a gas station. Then it occurred to me that if Dick took it to Anchorage he might get some pictures on the way with the film that it contained and on arrival you might be able to sell it secondhand to better advantage than I could here. So if you can get $15 or even $10 for it from someone up there it would help toward the purchase payments on the new one.
As I wrote you in my other letter, Dick had left when yours written Feb. 19th arrived (on March 5th) but I immediately got an airmail letter off to him care of Charlie Hall at Ames, Iowa, where he intended to stop enroute, giving him your last minute instructions. As he left without taking any sheets or blankets (I am not sure of this) I suggested that if he had time upon arrival at Seattle he might buy some if he had enough cash left. I did not mention anything about Mack’s passing, as I thought I would not give him anything to feel bad about as he expected to be homesick anyway and driving alone for so long a distance would be bad enough without anything else to feel bad about, so please save the letters I write from now on so he can catch up on the home news when he arrives.
I am completely disgusted with the airmail service. The penny postal you sent by regular mail to Dick some time ago seemed to make better time than your airmail letter. Barbara (Plumb, Dam’s girlfriend) tells me Dan says Rusty has arrived. He went by train across the continent, took the boat from Seattle and made several stops enroute and evidently arrived before my airmail letter to you telling of his starting. I am therefore going to send this by regular mail. I would like you to check up in comparison with my other airmail letters and see if this reaches you any sooner.
I filled out the registration slip and sent this with your receipt to Monsanto .
Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of the letter, addressed to Lad.
On Saturday and Sunday, the story of early Trumbull memories continue.