It’s the middle of 1941 and Lad will be coming home soon. This week I’ll only be posting two letters, but using all five days, to bring you up to date on all the family news.
A-131 May 25, 1941
Now why should I pick out you alone to address my letter this week? It is not because I have not heard from others because I received from Dan another one of his intensely interesting and well-written epistles. It is not because any news value this might have is uninteresting to anyone but you. It is not for a thousand and one of the reasons I might mention. But maybe you have guessed it by this time. It is in lieu of a birthday present and Boy, it ought to be good on this account, but I sadly fear it will not come anywhere near what it ought to be to do what I consider adequate justice to the occasion. But then that is an impossible task, for even someone as good as Dan is in setting down in words his thoughts and feelings. I am the one who ought to be celebrating the anniversary of the day that saw your arrival on this muddled old world, because it is such sons as you that make fathers happy and in their secret souls rejoice that no matter how far they might have fallen from the ideals they started out with, here is an accomplishment that is really worthwhile. Baloney, did I hear some light minded youth remark? Well, maybe it is to him, but my suggestion is to wait until he has a boy of his own of your age and then pass judgment. You must have had the experience of coming across some bit of writing that makes you say to yourself: “That is just what I have been trying to say but could not find words to truly express my thoughts.” Well, that was my reaction when I came across a “letter from a father to his son” some time ago. I am sending a copy of it on to you because it does say what I have myself felt. I hope you will read into all this an attempt on my part to do what is, in the hackneyed phrase of the day, wishing you many happy returns of the day.
Now as to something a bit more tangible. I did order a book from Read’s to be sent to you and I did airmail a birthday greeting a few days ago, but my real birthday gift to you has not been dispatched because many weeks ago I wrote Dan a little personal note, which, if the mail has been up to standard, would have reached him in time to get a reply back so that I could have sent you something you might really need and therefore appreciate because of its usefulness. Every week I have expected a reply but as none has arrived I am forced to this conclusion: that it has not even yet reached him. In this letter I asked him to let me know what gifts from his observation of your everyday life would likely prove most acceptable. As it is now too late to get anything off in time to reach you by June 1st, I am deliberately deferring sending you a gift until I have had time to get your reply direct giving me a choice of several things for which you might have a particular yen. You will realize it will give me real pleasure to do this little thing, so please reply in the same spirit.
No further word from Lad, but if he sails on the Grace Line at about the time he thought he might be in the last letter received, he ought to arrive in New York on June 5th. He expected to cable a definite sailing date when this had been settled but as no cable has yet been received in the June 5th date would have been predicated on his leaving La Guira on May 30th, it may not be able for him to make this boat, in which case, according to the new Grace Line schedule I just obtained, would mean he would arrive on June 11th.
In the same mail I received your letter mailed May 14th. I also received one from Grandma who says they celebrated her birthday on Sunday the 13th. She received a nice long and interesting letter from you and a birthday card which “I appreciated very much”. Helen and Ted have left for Washington where he has a new job.
Elizabeth says the final papers for the purchase of her new house will be signed next Saturday but they do not know when they will move in, as the people that sold them their home have to find some other place to live, which is considerable of a problem these days, as you may have learned if you have been reading the Bridgeport Sunday Post lately. And by the way, that six months subscription will be up sometime soon. Do you like it enough to want me to continue it? Back to Elizabeth’s house. It is just over the Bridgeport line in Stratford, off Barnum Avenue. I have not seen it but I don’t imagine it is very pretentious as they paid less than $4000 for it.
I was interested to hear about the First Aid course which has been initiated. Apparently they need a first assistant to First Aid the leader when he takes headers into the snow and damages his hips, knocks out his wind and strains stomach muscles. It also looks as though you would become a full-fledged flyer before your birthday. Congratulations!
Elizabeth was down with the two children today. Martin is getting very cute. He has big blue eyes and because he is not as popular with his paternal grandparents as Butch, his mother seems to think all the more of him. She says he is much brighter and more intelligent than Butch was at his age.
This is the first part of a very long letter wishing Ced Happy Birthday. Tomorrow, the second half, and on Wednesday, Birthday wishes from various friends and family. Thursday and Friday will be devoted to Lad’s arrival home after two and a half years living and working in Venezuela.