I will be using the entire week to post a six-page letter from Grandpa with quotes from other letters he has received and news from France.
Two letters from Dave this week, one received a day after the other, but due to war restrictions, it is impossible to tell which was written first, from where or in fact any of the answers one normally would like to have. The first says:
“Here I sit aboard a ship in a small shaded spot on deck. Inside, it’s out of the sun but unbearably hot. By now it may be warming some at home but I imagine you are still bundling up when you go outside. Here I sit without a stitch of clothing on me but an identification bracelet, my dog tags, undershorts and a pair of combat boots. I’ve had a lot of time to think since I left the states – – sometimes I believe I have too much time. You get pretty low once in a while if you allow yourself. But I’ve had time to plan and dream for the future too. I’ve had time to see the mistakes I’ve made in the past and wish I could repent for them. I’ve had time to think of the fun I had at home – – the perfect and easy life – – how lucky I was. I long to get my hands in mimeo ink and have job after job put up to me till I get irritable. I’d like to have a rip snorting argument with any one of my brothers now – – just for old-time’s sake. All these things may sound like I’m homesick – – well, who isn’t? But remembering my fun in the past acts as a morale builder. It will help to keep me going when the time comes for me to leave this aristocrat’s life on board ship. I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for the world. Some people pay for it in money. We’re paying in another way but even that has its good cause. I’ll come back with lots of stories – – I have a few already – – and lots more memories. I’ll come back smarter and be better able than ever to make the Guion Adv. Co. the biggest and best establishment of its kind in New England. Big talk? You just wait and see! Do you remember when I told you of our company mission, etc., when I was home? Well, it will probably work out pretty much the way I told you but it will be a little better than I expected. We’ll have a big Christmas dinner in ’46 — I figured 13 in all, counting sisters-and brother-in-law, and nephews, and overseeing it all, Aunt Betty. We’ll have lots of fun. Butch can rip four or five of my piano rolls, and we’ll let Marty pull down the tree – – after all, he’s got to have his fun too. It sounds sarcastic, that last part, but really it would be worth it if I could be there to see it now. But I can wait till ’46. Don’t worry, Jean, or you either, Marian, they’ll be home before then, but I’m figuring on getting in on the fun too, so I pushed it up to December, ’46. O.K.? Well, pretty soon they’ll say “Chow down for troops” and I’ve got to get some clothes on before they’ll let me eat, so, think of me once in a while, and remember every day is a day closer to THE day.”
The second says:
“Still somewhere in the Pacific. Dear Gang: Well, here I am again, same time, same station, but it will be a pretty poor program today. If you’re doing nothing but baking in the hot sun or sitting huddled in rain (beginning of rainy season here, there just isn’t much to talk about. Also there’s that added feeling of the censor’s hand over you, just waiting to come down on your shoulder. They haven’t told us what we can or can’t write, so I put down what I think will pass and then hope for the best. I understand they’re holding our mail till the shows over anyway. I guess you’ll be getting all these letters I’m writing at once. It’s against the law to put the date on them, so you’ll just have to guess what the order is. We can’t number them either. We still haven’t gotten any mail yet and it’s rumored we won’t get any for two or three months – – but who knows? Well, nothing said, but it’s another letter. Dave.”
You bet it’s another letter, Dave old son, and right welcome even though we can’t find where or when. This is Easter, and the first thing this morning over the radio came Adm. Nimitz report of the invasion of the Ryukus, and I couldn’t help but speculate whether, when the beachhead has been thoroughly established, this would be the first place your new outfit would be turned loose on to set up communications. As to the censor, you must be sticking well within limitations as not a single word in any of your letters so far has been censored. Oh, by the way, Friday, Mrs. Rubsamen came in the office and asked about all the boys, especially you. She wanted business cards printed with her name on as representing the Mutual Life Insurance Co., having decided to take over her husband’s place as a solicitor of life insurance. She said to tell you Sandy is Seamen first-class stationed at Wildmere, N.J., and hopes to make O.T.C. He is very enthusiastic about the sea and wants to continue in the service after the war. She asked particularly asked to be remembered to you. It’s funny you should have mentioned the office in your letter because I think it was last week’s letter I mentioned the same thing, probably because I have been thinking more and more lately how big a help it would be if you were here. I have had Natalie and a school friend of hers from Stratford this week helping and George is pretty faithful about coming in nights, but I know we could get a lot more business if we went out after it, but this would do more harm than good if we can’t turn it out. An unapproached prospect is still a prospect but a dissatisfied customer is not, so we’ll just hobble along on one leg until you can get kicking with both feet sometime after December, ’46 date aforementioned.
Tomorrow, Grandpa quotes an earlier letter from Lad to Marian about a trip he took to Aix. On Friday, Grandpa has some words for Dan.