The Old Homestead
Trumbull, Conn., November 29, 1942
That’s done it! The “pathetically yours” on your last letter, I mean. It would be an adamantine heart indeed they could disregard so mute an appeal to one’s innate sympathies. However, if the Thanksgiving dinner provided by Uncle Sam to you was within shooting range of the one Lad captured at Aberdeen, no sympathy need be wasted as far at least as the dinner is concerned. Of course the home surroundings, the spiritual accompaniment of friends and family which we like to believe has something to do with the occasion, was of course missing, and we here missed that as much if not more than you did.
The “company” china
The only extra we had here were Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s girlfriend, who lives in Stratford) and Aunt Elsie. Tomato Juice cocktail, olives, cranberry jelly, turkey, beans, sweet potatoes, Mince pie, cheese, nuts and raisins, fruit and cider with spice cakes, all served in the dining room on “company” china seems to successfully satisfy the inner man.
Today Lad was home again for his last visit prior to leaving in a day or two for points west. After dinner today we all sat around Aunt Betty’s little radio in the kitchen and listened to Churchill’s inspired oratory. (The End of the Beginning November 1942) November has been certainly a big plus as far as good news from various war fronts is concerned. If favorable reports continue through December, we will reach the threshold of the new year with higher hopes than we have enjoyed for many New Years past.
Elsie heard somewhere that Austin Batchelder had finally passed on to the great adventure. Events like this give one to pause and be thankful, that with as many young folks as we have in our own immediate family, all are alive and in good health. “And when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, He’ll write not that you lost or won but how you played the game”. And remember what the old Westerner said: “Life ain’t the holdin’ of a good hand but the playin’ of a poor hand well.” So much for today’s moralizing.
Dick has been running into a spot of trouble with his car lately. I say his car but it is really Dan’s which he has registered in Dan’s name and has been driving around since his own car kicked back on him. Yesterday seemed to be a clogged gas line and all this morning in the rain he has been trying to coax it to leave its anchorage (Word reminds me of Ced), somewhere in Stratford and return peaceably home.
I am getting considerably concerned about gifts for you boys’ Christmas. I have no idea where Lad will be on that day. And have not heard from Ced as to what he may need and yet we are told that packages must be mailed by Tuesday next to reach distant points in time. To complicate the situation, not only are products scarce (outside of clothing), but those still on sale are in many cases subject to priorities and for such reason not available. Lastly their high cost and accompanying low resources are adding a few more monkey wrenches in the midst of the complicated mechanism.
To sum it all up we are beginning to have it forced home on us that there is a war going on and we can’t expect to have things as usual. The only thing that doesn’t change is the hopes and good wishes for the future of his sons that is the main spring in the existence of their DAD
Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, now in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, Flint, Michigan and Anchorage, Alaska. Then a letter from Lad and on Friday, a Christmas card to Ced.