We have arrived in May, 1945. Grandpa has heard from 3 of his 5 sons this week and he quotes them all and responds to their quotes in a 4-page letter.
Trumbull, Conn., May 6th, 1945 (verging on V-Day)
For the past several days we have been in a tense mental state expecting every hour to hear over the radio or indicated through tooting of horns and factory whistles that the last final surrender has been announced by Gen. Eisenhower. The only comparable feeling is that which I have experienced several times of the expectant father anxiously pacing the floor in the wee sma’ hours of the morning waiting for the doctor or nurse to announce whether it is a boy or girl and how the mother came through the ordeal. We are optimistic and quite sure of the result but we want to hurry it up so we can heave that big sigh of relief that has been pending – – signalizing that first step homeward with all hazards passed safely and the future on ahead shining more brightly through the clouds. Of course I’m hoping that before they decide you boys in Brazil and Europe are needed in the Pacific, Japan will be tottering to such an extent that your services will not be required there and you can head for the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station and points beyond. For me the war will be over when you turn off Daniels Farm Road through the stone gate posts and the same old rough driveway shakes you into the realities of home in Trumbull.
There is a pretty good report from the Quotes Dept. today. T/4 Daniel B, S/Sgt. Alfred P. and Cpl. David P. appear on the left-hand corner of three envelopes in front of me. Let’s take them chronologically. April 19th from Dan. “Guess where I am already! Paris was a mere six-day flurry. I am somewhere in Holland. To date I have not seen in Holland (a) windmills (b) wooden shoes (c) fields of tulips (d) dikes (e) Queen Wilhelmina. As for parcels to Paulette, I doubt that they can be sent through civilian channels, but in case they can her address is Mlle. Paulette Van Laere, 8 rue de Temple, Calais, France. This is not really a letter – – it is, rather, an appendix to the letter I sent from Paris. So please don’t be surprised when you run smack into the words; “So long for now”. Dan
Brief but welcome. Reminds one of the doctor’s advice about always getting up from the table feeling a wee bit hungry. It is all right also occasionally to have a full 7-course dinner. I’d risk it, bicarbonate of soda and all. Incidentally, Dan, the local post office (Bpt) informs me that parcels not exceeding 4 lbs. 6 oz. in weight can be sent to France at letter postage rate. I figure $2.10 for the maximum weight. So now answer me some of those questions I asked a long while ago as to what Paulette would like to have and I’ll try to preserve a little longer her impression of what dear Dan’s father is. “Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise”. As to what you did not see in Holland, I understand it is there the storks build their nests on rooftops. You, didn’t by any chance purposely, omit mention of not seeing a stork?
Tomorrow, a long quote from Lad. Wednesday, Grandpa’s response. On Thursday, quotes from Dave and Grandpa’s final messages. and on Friday, another letter from Lad.