Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (9) – A Letter From Grandpa – July, 1934

The year is 1934. It has been a little over a year since Arla passed away. Grandpa is buried in financial debt because of the duration of Arla’s illness and the boys want to help.We haven’t had much to say about any of  the children during this time except that in the fall Biss goes to St. Petersburg, Florida, to help her Aunt Anne Stanley take care of her two children, Donald and Gweneth.

I’ll try to fill in the holes.

LAD and DAN are both working at CCC (Cuvilian Conservation Corps) Camps, Lad in the New London, Conn area and Dan in Willimantic. Lad has a motorcycle and uses it to come home on weekends and Dan tries to hitch a ride with other young men who come from the Trumbull area.

CED has taken off in his Coming of Age Adventure and Grandpa is writing this letter to him, although it takes a while to catch up to Ced.

BISS is 16 and having a fun summer with friends and not really listening to Grandpa.

DICK will be 14 in a month or so and is getting ready to go to Camp.

DAVE is 9 years old and away at camp right now. It sounds like the family paid him a visit while he was there,

Trumbull, July 30

Dear Ced,

Monday night, dishes are washed and Elizabeth and Peg are out in Irwin’s (Laufer) truck and Dick is just putting the finishing touches on his packing. He leaves for camp at 8:30 tomorrow.

But to go back. A week ago yesterday Aunt Helen and Dorothy came up and told of your visit at New York and Ossining. Dan and Lad came home. Lad of course spent most of his time on the motorcycle. During the week Arnold took off the generator which I left with Mr. Page and I also had the battery rebuild by Carr. Cost $3.75. Lad came home Friday PM, having first stopped at Page’s and retrieved the generator. We had a rush job Saturday at the office, so the whole gang, including Lad, went down and finished up a 5000 mimeograph job, run both sides – 10,000 impressions. We then got Lad’s battery. Saturday afternoon Rusty came up to get me to help him on an idea for a Lucky Strike advertising series. Dan did not come home at all this weekend and I have not heard from him. Sunday was uneventful.

Tonight I stopped at the store and got your letter from Chicago – which brings us up to date. Incidentally, here is a cartoon from today’s telegram which amused Dick. It might also be interesting to show to some of those, like the man in the Auburn who related his story about his hitchhiker experience, who seemed a bit hesitant.

One day last week we had a severe rainstorm, with wind, which evidently dislodged a chimney Swift nest in the dining room chimney. When we got up in the morning we heard a very queer noise and found two baby Swift’s who had fallen down the chimney into the dining room. In spite of Dick’s and Elizabeth’s efforts at feeding them, they expired within a day of one another and were buried under the Lilac bush near the back door.

We have been pretty busy at the office this week. George had the automatic going today, imprinting 10,000 letterheads for Mercer.

David is still at camp. After supper one day last week (ink has run out of pen) we all took a trip up to the Hemlocks (on same road as Huntington’s junk place) and paid him a visit. While he did not admit it, he seemed happy and cheerful enough, is eating better and looks well. He may come home next week. Here is a card I received from him. The little boy blue he refers to is a wooden door stop which he made up there under their direction.

That’s all the home news I can think of right now. It is certainly good to know you are so nicely fixed at the YMCA. Inside rooms are often quieter and better to sleep in than outside. I’m also glad you had a chance to visit with the Draz’s and renew old family contacts. Will be much interested to hear all about them in detail when you get back.

One man told me of a stunt some boys did in getting to the Pacific coast by your method. They would go to some leading hotel, clean-shaven, neatly dressed, shoes shined, hair brushed, etc. and ask the clerk if they might look over the register for names of people from their hometown who were checking out that day. When any were located, they would waylay them at the desk as they were leaving and briefly explain just what they were doing, where they were going, etc. and if it would be convenient if they had room in their car etc. Very often, in the case of traveling men, they were glad for the company and they liked it better than picking some unknown up on the road. The conversation I suppose would run something like this: “Pardon me, but aren’t you Mr. Smith from Bridgeport? I saw in the hotel register your name listed as from my own hometown and I wondered if you happen to be going in the direction of St. Paul, and could conveniently let me bum a ride. I came out here to see some relatives by hitchhike method and stopped to see the fair.”

I just noticed that your letter mailed Thursday at 7:30 PM from Chicago did not reach me until Monday PM. Even assuming it arrived last mail Saturday, if you stay only the four days, you are leaving today and this note, which can’t be mailed until Tuesday a.m., Wednesday noon is probably the earliest it will reach the YMCA and I’m wondering if you’ll be there.

You haven’t said anything in any of your letters as to how the finances are holding out. Have you tried to cash in any Travelers checks yet?

I’m awfully glad you are making this trip. It’s something you will always look back on with pleasure. While I hadn’t any fear whatsoever about your being able to take care of yourself, it will broaden your knowledge of human nature, affording additional opportunities of practicing self-reliance and add another interesting chapter to your journey through life. The kind of thing I wish I had done when I was your age. Just the same, I miss you, old standby, and I’ll be really glad to see you march up the driveway soon.

Love

Dad

Tomorrow, some pictures of the farm that Ced stayed at for a short time, although I believe the pictures were taken several years later.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Dan’s weddin g is getting closer althoough he doesn’t get to see Paulette very often.

Judy Guion

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