These are some of the early memories of the two youngest children in the family. Dick is five years younger than Lad and Dave is ten years younger. Their memories are quite different from those of the older children.
DAVE – I remember one day, Dick and I used to fight all the time and he did or said something that made me annoyed and I picked up a box of matches… Now a box of matches was probably 100 little wooden matches in a very thin wood box. Anyway I picked up the box and threw it at him. Unfortunately my aim was good that day and I hit him in the forehead. He started to bleed. Again, I don’t remember what happened after that but I’m sure it wasn’t anything good for me.
DICK – Dave was argumentative: he loved to argue with Dad… With anybody. I used to tease the hell out of him because he’d react. A used to needle him just to make him lose his temper.
DAVE – How did I get along with my siblings, aside from Dick? That aside is because Dick used to push my buttons and get me going, on purpose. Although I have to say, it did me a big favor, because I have since learned to laugh at myself, to let things – as people say – roll off my back, and Dick would turn over in his grave if he knew this, but he was the one who set me on that path. By the time I was eight or 10, Al, Lad, whatever… By the way, if I had been nicknamed Lad, I would’ve put an end to it immediately. But anyway, Al and Dan were already in the CCC camp, and I just didn’t have much of a relationship because of the difference in years.
DICK -Ced was a thorn in my side; he kept trying to make me a more refined person.
Once, Ced spent his hard earned money to buy me a tinker toy truck.
DAVE – We had a dog, which came from Rusty, named Mack, when I was a kid. Mack was named after the Mackenzie River up in Alaska. Rusty is a whole other story. My main remembrance of Mack was one day, we were out playing in the yard and I had a stick. I held it up in the air for him to go get it and he jammed his fang into my thumbnail and it HURT.
I remember doing something to my sister one day and she threatened me with something and I said, “You can’t catch me!” And took off and ran into the yard. I was making pretty good headway but she eventually caught up to me. I don’t remember what she did to me, but I just remember that I got caught.
My mother and father used to enjoy having parties and, when they got to know Rusty, he was always welcome at their parties because he was a lot of fun. Invariably, now this was when I was very small, he would take me into the other room and show me a nickel. Now, a nickel in those days was probably like two dollars today. He’d say, “Now if you go into that other room and say what I tell you to say, I’ll give you this nickel.” Then he’d tell me what to say and I’d walk into the room and stand in the middle of the crowd, and I’d say, “Daddy’s car is a piece of junk!” And I’d get my nickel – and Daddy’s car was a piece of junk.
We had a Dodge Coupe, it had for a heater a little opening that had a cover on. When you removed the cover, the heat from the exhaust pipe would come up and heat you – yeah, some heat! It had a space, probably a foot wide, that ran behind the front seat, and whenever we went someplace that was my spot. Of course, today, he’d be thrown in jail, not just arrested, but thrown in jail, for having a kid riding up there, with no sea belt on.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting some more early memories of Trumbull, taken from the recorded childhood memories of Lad and four of his five siblings.
Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1942. Lad and Dan are both in the Army getting training in areas of experience they had before the war. Lad is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland, getting trained as a vehicle maintenance instructor. Dan is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, learning more about surveying and map-making.