Trumbull, Conn, November 15, 1942
Dear Prodigal Son:
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was a great way off his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and be married, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.”
Now to be sure I didn’t fall on my neck when I saw that letter in (PO) box 7, but otherwise, I know just how this old man felt, no matter whose neck he fell on. Mailed on October 30th, it reached me November 14th, which bears out what you said about the mail service not being as good as formerly. As you may observe if you get my letter written last week, I have just about made up my mind that I have imagined the importance of letters from home to be far greater then was actually the case, judging from the response they have elicited lately as compared with formerly. I note that they do seem important enough at least for you to notice when one week is skipped, which is something, but as I said before, I have reached the point now where I am getting a little hard of hearing and seem to understand actions a lot better than mere words. And when mail service is poor it but aggravates the case a little more. However, this letter to you is fairly earned. You are the only one to receive it this week however, just to prove I am in earnest.
As to the missing letter of 20th Sept., in case it has not yet reached you, there were only two things of moment in it; one the news of Charlie Hall’s engagement to Jane Mantle, and the other far more important to me, the receipt of one of the most unique and attractive belts it has been my good fortune to ever see. It was not alone about the thoughtfulness that was behind its choice or the value it bore because of the giver, but the buckle being so typically Alaskan seemed to impress everyone who saw it with its individuality and caused such comments as, “worth waiting for”, “something you can be proud to wear”, “never saw anything like it”, “truly suggestive of Alaska”, etc. It IS highly prized, I can assure you, and will give me a daily thrill of pleasure thinking of my far away Alaskan son.
Am glad to learn you received the Readers Digest, the McK & R ditty bag and Briggs clarifier. Carl asked me the other day if I had heard from you as to whether it was the right size. I was also glad to get that first-hand information about the Alaskan highway and particularly what Dick refers to as the Chickaloon extension. Who knows but what if you continue to be anchored in Anchorage, I will be dusting off the old Buick and starting on a long journey, provided the government will let one buy tires and gas, and you will eventually find me knocking at the door of (PO) box 822.
The information contained on the back of the last page is surprising. I don’t understand the psychology behind it any more than you but think you did the right thing.
Tomorrow I’ll post the last page of this letter to Ced, which had actually been mailed well prior to the last letter Grandpa wrote, threatening to stop writing his weekly missives unless he started receiving letters in return. But in true Grandpa fashion, he sends this letter to Ced alone, thus confirming for both Ced and Dick that he is serious.
On Saturday and Sunday, two more postings of a Tribute to Arla, my Grandmother and Grandpa’s wife, who passed away ehen her oldest child was 17 and her youngest was only 7.