Aunt Elsie Duryee
Trumbull, Conn Aug. 24, 1941
Dear Boys, each and every:
This has been a full-up day, and only now at 7:30 have I had an opportunity to get started on this, my weekly scandal sheet.
As soon as I got dressed this morning I went down to the station to pick up Elsie thence over to Elizabeth’s house so that she could see how her married niece was fixed from the housing standpoint. Home and to breakfast, and then preparation for the big family dinner. Present: Aunt Betty, Elsie, Lad, Dave, Grandma, Helen, Dorothy, Burton, Elizabeth, Zeke, Butch and Marty (the latter a silent partner) making an even dozen at the table. The Peabodys and Guions pooled their resources so that the repast consisted of lettuce and tomato salad, turkey with Grandma dressing, roast ham, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, Laufer’s fresh picked Golden Bantam corn on cob, homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream and homemade (Grandma) coconut cake and coffee, and candy. Oh yes, lemon and lime punch. Dave donated flowers to decorate the table. While dinner was being prepared the Peabody’s all went down to New Rochelle to look at a new apartment Burton had picked out. We sat down to dinner about 3 PM, and finished the dishes about five. Then Lad took a car full of Guions and Peabodys for a ride from which they have not yet returned. Zeke and Elizabeth left a few minutes ago to return home with her two little sons.
The barn is about finished as far as painting goes but I still have to get some windows to replace those which were smashed out over the years. I am also having a man come to repair the gutters and leaders and Bob Peterson I expect, will come soon to finish up putting up new cellar windows. Dave washed the car this morning and polished it up, but how it will look after its trip this afternoon remains to be seen. The gasoline shortage so far has not affected us beyond the talk stage although Carl did close down his station all day today.
Lad started to work Thursday with the Producto Machine Company, where Ross Footherop is now working and who was instrumental in hiring Lad. He seems to feel confident that if Lad were called in the draft he would have a good chance of obtaining a deferment because of the machine tool work the company was engaged in making. He is starting at $.40 an hour, in the stock room but with the assurance that he would not remain there long if he showed any aptitude along machinist lines. At least it is a brand-new experience for him. Hours, 7:30 to 5:30. It is almost too soon for him to say whether he is going to like it or not.
I was almost despairing of receiving a letter from Alaska this week also when the carbon copy to Grandma, sent to New Rochelle and forwarded from there up here, arrived, and a few days later the original enclosing the money order (thanks, Ced). (8 o’clock and the automobiists are just returning. Lad took them to Lordship where they saw the new landing field, etc.)
Here is Elsie to say a few words for herself:
This is distinctly a birthday party with a capital “B”. Although it’s two days past the legal date I was given a real party in the form of a dinner with most of the Peabody family and Guion family present with the exception of three very prominent members. We had delicious green lemonade, delectable brown turkey, delightful yellow corn and luscious white coconut cake (homemade by Mrs. Peabody). Doesn’t your several mouths water to the extent that it must be almost a stream? Besides that “they” insisted on presenting me with a monogrammed box of stationery, a box of my favorite licorice candy, a dollar bill you know from whom, two tiny hand modeled figures from Mexico and a box of jasmine tea from China. All this in spite of my request that they omit gifts.
By the way, I wonder if Dan ever got the two copies of the ski magazine. I’ve never had the niceness to write even a postal to you all so that the only thing stands out and I want that you should have received that. He may have mentioned getting them but I haven’t heard. Never mind, anyway, it doesn’t really matter.
The shop is still doing business at the old stand. Most of the spring and summer business has been poor, but we are now beginning to feel the effects of the expansion of war industries and are getting more business. This is offset somewhat by the difficulty of getting merchandise – stockings, silk things and leather goods, etc., all of which are going up in cost.
Well, others are clamoring to write you, so as my ideas are slowing up, I will say toodle-oo and so long – from Elsie
Tomorrow, the second half of this letter.
This weekend, I’ll begin posting the story of Ced’s coming of age adventure to Wisconsin and North Dakota to meet his Peabody relatives.