Marian Irwin Guion in Trumbull
Trumbull, Conn., July 15, 1945
(Just for a change, I think this week I’ll write to each of you individually. I really do this each week but it may sometimes seem in addressing you collectively that I am sort of broadcasting impersonally although the fact remains that if you, son, who is reading this letter now, were the only one away from home, I would still be writing this same letter to you and saying practically the same thing to you that I am writing to yous.)
Dear Lad: I suppose no one of you in the armed services is more fed up with the whole thing then you. I have not dwelt on the matter in any of my letters because it can do no possible good. We all except the fact as unavoidable and part of war necessity and it does no good to grouse over the fact. That does not alter the fact that there exists here at home a deep sympathy and understanding of the wretchedness of it all, if that is any comfort. I know how patient you are by nature but even you probably get disgusted at times with the whole idea. I have found that when you come to some mental obstruction that must be faced, it is useless to rant and rave at the thing. It is far better to dismiss the unpleasant aspects from your mind and replace it with some hopeful thoughts. Back home here the papers are mentioning from time to time how educational opportunities will be available to the returning soldier, not only the youngsters who have had to quit before going to high school but the older men also, who want to follow up specialized lines. It is all quite vague at present but considerable thought seems to be given the subject of educators who have by war’s demands, been jolted out of their old routine and challenged to meet this new demand by newer and up-to-date methods of adult education. So it means to me that what you wrote to me a while ago about your desire to look over the field a bit before making a definite decision is not only wise, but far more likely to be possible of ending in some practical method of fulfillment educationally than would otherwise be possible if not so many were not in the same boat and the obligation of the country were not so widely recognized in the way of responsibility to you men. The fact that you are a bit older than many of the drafted men also has its advantages. You are much more sure to know what you want than the youngster who is not so mature in his thinking. I don’t mean that things stand out crystal clear as to your future path but I do mean that it will take far less to pierce the fog to see your goal that it will be for the younger ones. It may surprise you how quickly a catalyst will clear up the whole mess, if such, it seems to you to be at the present time. As Marian has undoubtedly told you, and a wise feeling it is, too, she would rather see you in a job doing this sort of thing you like at a moderate income than grabbing the first thing that comes along with a good stipend but not work you would enjoy.
My Buick clutch is getting worse and worse and very shortly I will HAVE to do something about it. And that reminds me, you wrote me some time ago telling me what to instruct the repair man to do in making the change. I have looked back among your letters to find it but cannot locate it. Can you recall what these hints were and give them to me again? Stopped in at George Knapp’s yesterday to get some ethel. (Ethel is very scarce around here these days. Ed Dolan has not had any for three weeks, and one has to stop at 6 to 8 stations before you can find one with any and sometimes not even then. As usual, he asked about you and always wants me to give you his regards when I write.
I don’t suppose you know any more than we do here but we are hoping that you’re being shipped to the south of France does not necessarily mean that you were going direct to the Eastern theater of war via the Mediterranean instead of coming home first. Anyway, we all have our fingers crossed, hoping for the best, while mentally preparing for the other. The more time passes, with current Pacific news, the nearer the end does seem.