It is April, 1941, and Lad is expected to arrive home in the next month or so. Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for almost a year and Dick has just driven from Connecticut to Seattle to deliver a car to the boys. He is planning on staying for a while and is looking for a job.
A – 126 Trumbull, Conn. April 19, 1941
To the “Off-With-the-Old-On-With-The-New” Boys:
Some day when I get real good and sore, I’m going to write a letter on loyalty to the old folks, or how to hurt a Father’s pride,, or how a year or so of girl pulls stronger than a decade or two of parental care, or some such theme. And in said letter I will point out with much force and clarity of expression the shame and abject misery felt down in the heart but carried off nonchalantly or in the spirit of bravado openly wen time after time the father is asked about his boys are and has to reply “I have not heard from them for two weeks but Dick’s girlfriend got a letter 10 days ago in which he says he is working in the weather Bureau and just recently Dan’s girlfriend says in about a month Dick may get a job at the airbase”, but it’s too much bothered to write to the old man and tell him these things. Let him find out, if he wants to, by asking questions of the girlfriend. After about a month or so, after my conscience troubles me enough, I will reluctantly, from a sense of duty, write the old guy some stale news and of he isn’t isn’t satisfied, he can go jump off the dock. Fathers aren’t much use except when you need something then they fall down on sending expected remittances, but girls, that’s something else again. Of course it is quite likely that I will never get to the point of writing such a letter, so the youngsters will never get to know what goes through an oldsters mind on such occasions, but it would be a nice thing once in a while when old faithful Ced has to skip a week for one of you other bright lads to cut short by a paragraph or two every seventh or eighth letter to your girlfriend and let a little pity well up in your heart or one whose sex appeal may not be so great but who has not entirely lost all interest in your affairs. For two weeks not a single letter has arrived from any of four boys, although I am given to understand several have reached Trumbull and Stratford. I certainly expected to hear from Lad before this telling me what boat he is sailing on, but nary a word from him either.
So now that that is off my chest and I hope has duly registered where it will work a permanent reform, I will pass on to other subjects. Arnold and Alta just drove up to their old Packard while I was outside pruning some of the bushes, to ask if I had heard any news from Lad or the boys in Alaska. He said he was buying a motorcycle so he and Alta could get here and there quickly.
It is absolutely perfect day. Balmy, warm, sunshiny, a cool breeze, all the trees budding, the grass fresh and green, early flowers bursting into bud, birds singing, in fact, all the signs of spring. Your grove of Walnut trees, Dan, are growing hardily, but the little orchid-like flowers that you planted in the corner by the evergreen trees does not seem to be coming up this year. Our new tenant, Paul, is about 500% improvement on Zeke, as far as working of the yard is concerned. In fact, yesterday he helped quite a lot, pruning trees, edging flower beds, mowing lawn, etc. Right now would be the time Dan would show forth in all his glory and trees and plants and flowers would show forth his praise. So, you see, it is not only your letters that I miss, Danny boy. Up in your room, Ced, the little blue boats on the wall are still showing their white sails to the breeze carrying my thoughts far up north to Cook Inlet where I fancy they are tacking back and forth as you look out of the window in your room in Anchorage. Dave says Barbara’s letter said something about skiing not being very good because the snow was soft. I thought of this when I was in the attic today and saw Dick’s skis (I think they were Dick’s) carefully put away in a frame. First, I wondered why he had not taken them with him and then it seemed as if he might have been wise to leave them here after all.
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Dave and I spent last Sunday (Easter) at New Rochelle, as per schedule and had a pleasant time. Helen and Ted was there, also Burton and later in the afternoon Kemper and Ethel and their two children dropped by. Ted looks pretty well but says that while he is gradually getting better he still has to be very careful and cannot yet go after the kind of outdoor job he likes. He is checking and inspecting the erection of new buildings for the government as part of the large Brooklyn Navy Yard. He asked to be remembered to you when I wrote.
Aunt Betty writes she has heard nothing more regarding the reorganization of the Shop but believes things are going along nicely. She still expects to start her Trumbull sojurn hear about the middle of May. Mr. Plumb remains about the same. Helen (Plumb, Barbara’s sister) says some days he is feeling pretty miserable and others he seems quite comfortable. He enjoys receiving mail so I have, every other day or so, mailed letters. At the New Haven Hospital.
Mr. Ives has had Reynolds to plow up the small garden plot back of the house where he is planning to have a small kitchen garden.
Sexton still is stirring up things.At a town meeting the other night, which I did not attend because of a cold, I understand Bailey all but called Sexton a liar.
I just received from Eastman Kodak two more South American colored films taken by Lad and am looking forward to Alaskan films sometime in the future. I suppose the things Dick took with him arrived safely and of course I am much interested in hearing about the car, etc., when some of you get around to writing.
There is little further news to report other than what is contained in the enclosed newspaper clippings. There is a Streit article that I thought might interest Ced, and Dan, I thought would particularly enjoy the tax report form.
Tomorrw, I’ll post a letter regarding Lad’s future employment and for the rest of the week, we’ll be hearing from Grandpa.