Grandpa is just ending a family Father’s Day celebration – minus his four oldest sons – and even though it’s 10 PM, he still sits down to write his weekly missive to them.
June 19, 1943
It is now nearly 10 PM, and I have been, since 3:30 this afternoon, trying to get started on this letter. Dorothy and Anne had come up last night and after dinner we sat on the cement Terrace and chatted, then they got ready to catch the five o’clock bus and found it didn’t leave until six on Sundays, and just as they got on the bus Elizabeth popped in with the children. They left about an hour ago (it is quite impossible to write with those two youngsters around), and just as I at last pulled out this machine, Dave arrived home, having been out all day with Paul and Carl and Walter to launch Paul’s new boat, and of course I had to hear about their adventures, so I am just now getting started.
First, the Aunts asked to be remembered to you. Don is off again, no one knows where but it is possible this trip he is to bring home prisoners of war from North Africa. Elizabeth yesterday went to Edna Beebe’s wedding, I taking the children to be cared for meanwhile up at the Zabels. So much for the scanty news.
This was a 100% letter week – – Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick (by proxy) made it a bang up Father’s Day for me. Jean sent me a nice card, a box of Dan’s things arrived with some toilet articles and razor blades for me, the girls brought up some crullers and a coffee cake. Your letter, Jean, as always, was much appreciated. Of course we would be delighted to hear from Dick and learn a bit about his daily work, his accomplishments, trials, etc., and I do hope when you are not there to pinch hit for him he will not neglect to keep us informed. You have certainly been awfully good about keeping us informed as to how he is getting along.
Dan, your packages arrived safely and I liked your selection of toilet articles. Thanks, old boy. I took the batteries out of your radio, as requested. They are putting you through your paces, all right, and it all may prove a blessing in disguise, but we’ll be mighty glad to see you just the same when you get that July furlough.
By the way, if you fellows want to make the most acceptable Father’s Day gift, please send me, each of you, a snapshot or photo of some sort of yourself in uniform.
Lad, I had to renew the note again at the bank. It would clear up what has now become somewhat of a mystery, if you would explain just what the situation is on that remittance that never came, as unless I can offer the bank somewhat of an explanation, it puts me in rather an embarrassing position. Every time I see them I tell them I’m
expecting daily to hear from you, and your last very sketchy reference leaves me up in the air as much as ever. After so long a silence it was good to get your two-page letter to learn a bit about what you are doing. I was particularly interested in the nice things you had to say about Marian and hope someday you can wangle an extra snapshot from her and send it to us. How do you plan to spend your furlough when you get it? What is ”goldbricking”? Good luck to you and your staff rating affair. Of course I’ll see you through your vacation funds. Just let me know the amount and when you want it and the check will be forthcoming. It’s just as easy as that. That description of the new plane, Ced, was so realistic I could almost believe I had seen it myself. We all enjoyed your letter immensely. Dan will have some interesting reading when he finally pops in.
I have just finished reading 50 Years Below Zero by Brower that you recommended and found it, as you said, a very interesting account of far North Alaska. I will also appreciate very much receiving the Alaskan Sportsman when it arrives. Thanks also for the money order.You thanked me for sending the Buick parts and paid for them but you did not say that they had reached you. I would also like to know whether the several other packages I sent reached you, as they have been charged to my account at Read’s and of course if you didn’t get them I want to follow through. Aunt Betty also asks if you received the birthday card she mailed to you about two weeks before the happy day. With that new camera, I hope you will be able to send us some snapshots. These will be welcome adjuncts to your interesting letters. Just a word of advice, if you can get film up there now for your camera, take a homely man’s word for it, it would be well for you too lay in as large a supply as you can, because here in the East there are no more obtainable, and we are told there will be no more for civilian use until after the war. Biss did get your gift and has promised to write you and also send dates of Butch’s and Marty’s birthdates. You speak of having written another letter prior to this one after Rusty’s return. If you did I did not receive it and I am wondering if I get all the letters you send. I never got your account of the end of that rescue mission you were on and I would particularly like to have it. Many months ago I told you just where the present account I have ended, and if you save my old letters and can dig it up sometime I would like to learn how it all came out. Yesterday Carl came up and said he had had a very interesting note from you. He brought along a gift for you which he asked me to send the next time a package left here for Alaska. It was a pair of General Electric aviator boots, wired for heating. You can plug them into a battery on the plane or heat them up before you leave. They are supposed to keep hot for six hours. They are a part of the aviator’s electrically-heated suit made by G.E., so you have a start on it anyway. By the way, you haven’t mentioned anything lately about how you’re coming along with your flying, and I suppose nothing new has come to light on the draft matter.
A suggestion just occurs to me that all you correspondees might like to follow. Whenever I ask a question in my letters which calls for an answer or whenever, in reading over my weekly epistles, they remind you of something you want to mention when next you write, and then forget what it is when you finally get around to it, why not make a mark of some kind on the margin opposite the item in question and then when you come to write all you have to do is to look through the last two or three letters you have received, quickly glance at the margins and you will have the whole thing there without having to wade through all the stuff I write from week to week.
Well, as I have to play Peter Rabbit tomorrow and get over to Mr. McGregor’s garden, I’ll pull down the curtain right here and bid you all a fond adieu (spelling all right on that one, Lad?)
P.S. to Lad: I did try to find that bathing suit this afternoon, but the attick was so intolerably hot and I was getting so thoroughly wet with honest sweat that I gave up my search until a bit cooler day. You’ll hear from it, however.
Tomorrow and Thursday, more letters from Grandpa to those near and far, trying to keep the family informed of each others lives.