Trumbull – Spring Cleaning With Fire – April, 1941

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A-125    Trumbull, Conn. April 12, 1941

Dear Offspring:

How appropriate to open this letter with so apt a salutation. You are off (don’t mistake my meaning, gentle reader; off in the sense of away, distant from, and not in any sense addlepated) and Spring is here, hence you will readily perceive how these words spring off of my nimble fingers as they bring you this Easter message from Trumbull. Of course, it really isn’t quite Easter yet, being only Saturday night, but on the morrow, since we have been invited, Dave and I, to New Rochelle, where Grandma will serve us a dinner: so I am taking this opportunity in the old dependable spirit to make sure you are sent your regular weekly newsletter.

It is Ced who has held aloft the standard this week, no message having been received from Lad, Dan or Dick. And by the way, Ced, I cannot let the opportunity pass without commendation on your new typewriter ribbon. It removes the lurking fear that perhaps my eyesight is failing rapidly with advancing years.

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

My cold still hangs on but did not prevent Dave and I doing some work around the yard this afternoon. Of course we would have accomplished about three times as much if Dan had been here but we tried to live up to his standard in the matter of raking leaves, trimming bushes, chopping wood, etc., to say nothing of my old specialty of working on the incinerator winter accumulation. Dave swung the sledgehammer, lustily smashing many little cans to kingdom come. Yesterday, Good Friday, being a holiday at the office, Dave and I spent outdoors also on a cleanup orgy. In the forenoon we started raking the front lawn, cleaning out leaves among the Iris near the front cement steps. The only rake we could find was the wooden one I bought for Dan to use on the leaves, and that soon broke. We then resorted to fire and did a fairly good job in the gutter and outside “lawn” up to the hedge.

It was such a nice day and we both felt so in the spirit of the thing that I hopped in the Buick and motored down to Sears Roebuck, bringing back with us a wheelbarrow, a regular steel rake, a bamboo rake and a flexible wire rake. Returning home, we put the wheelbarrow together, had lunch and tackled the grounds in back of the house. After raking a while we had some burnable piles and to these we set fire. One of the piles of rubbish was in the angle where we did the sawing a couple of years ago, in back of the barn. Just about this time a sudden veering of the wind carried sparks into the long, dry, dead grass in Ives lot and in a minute it was fanning out rapidly. I got busy with a broom but it gained so fast that I called Dave. Mr. Warden (in the apartment) came out, Mr. Ives joined the band, Harry Burr came up from his cottage and a couple of Boy Scouts, seeing the flames, came over so that between us all it was not long before we had everything under control, but it did do a good job from our property line to the wire fence and from a line about opposite the old Playhouse in back to the stone wall.

Elizabeth dropped in this afternoon with my two grandsons and says there is a likelihood of their soon buying a house in the north end Bridgeport, up around the Bethany Chapel Log Cabin district.

I have been expecting all this week to get another letter from Lad giving me details as to when he sails, what boat, etc. Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend) expects to take the day (or half day) off, Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) expects to drive down also if his arrival coincides with the school’s spring vacation, Don Whitney might go, and Carl (Wayne) also would like to do so if he can arrange it.

And speaking of Carl, I told him to send me an itemized bill of items pertaining to the Alaskan Buick that Dick had charged, instead of mailing it to Alaska, my idea being that you might like me to pay it from funds here. It totals $27.20. I am sending it for Dick to check, and then if you will let me know what you want me to do about payment, I will be guided accordingly.

Mr. Plumb’s condition is unchanged, and I think the family hold very little hope of his recovery.

There has been quite an upheaval in the teaching staff in Trumbull. Carson has resigned to take a job in Manning, Maxwell and Moore. Jane Mantle has been hired. However the enclosed clipping will tell the story.(Not found)

I will be much interested in hearing about Chuck Morgan’s trip. It seems as though they ought to have been able to get through. Can you picture how amused some of Hitler’s generals would be at the inability of the US Army detachment to get more than two thirds of the way and that a month behind schedule? Probably it is not only Serbs and French and Belgian and Dutch that could profitably study a page or so from Germany’s blitzkrieg primer. One doesn’t have to be ruthless to be efficient.

People keep asking me when Dan is coming home, or if he is coming home this summer or questions of similar import, to all of which I replied that he has not written me even a hint that he might do this thing although he may have written Barbara to that effect. If he cares to clarify the matter in his next letter home it will give me something definite to say in answer to these rumors that keep popping up.

Of course I am looking forward with keen interest to a letter from Dick telling me a lot more in details than the very sketchy information he has given me so far about his trip. If he were of a different temperament I might surmise he was so sore about not receiving extra funds that he was taking this method of showing displeasure. I know better, but then the affect is the same. I will also be much interested in hearing both from Dan and Ced as to their opinion in detail on the car, it’s ailment, Dick’s trip, their comments on Dick’s prospects for a job after talking with him, etc., etc.

Remember me to that old redheaded pal of mine (Rusty Huerlin) when next you see him and tell him I will be very much interested to hear from him on several matters we talked about before he left. Tell him also that Mack went to his happy hunting ground, without doubt, thinking of Rusty.

Well, it is a happy Easter wish for each of you, my pretties, and I bet you don’t go to any sunrise service that can hope to rival that one you attended given by the Booth boys.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more early memories of Trumbull.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1942. Lad, in Aberdeen, Maryland, is training to be an auto and truck maintenance instructor. Dan, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is training to become a surveyor for the Army. Both get home whenever they can.

Why not share this site with someone you know who might enjoy reading about one families experiences during the 1940’s.

Judy Guion

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