December 7, 1941 (Jap. bombing day at Hawaii)
Dear Lone One:
Whatever winds may blow, some heart is glad to have it so,
So blow it east or blow it west, the wind that blows that wind is best.
Is it sheer optimism in the face of incoming news flashes interrupting regular radio programs that prompts me to start this letter with the above statement? No; it is more personal than that. It has direct reference to you and your philosophical acceptance of conditions as to your draft status which you expressed in the letter I received yesterday written on November 24th. (It seems a waste of money to buy airmail stamps for such poor service). It seems to me you have adopted a common sense attitude, and now that war has actually come and the United States has been attacked by our little brown brothers there would be no place for refusal to serve in the nation’s armed forces on the basis of non-belief in the efficacy of war, no matter how sincere and idealistic the holder of these views might be, so, as I have said before, the best thing is to go along as gracefully as possible and extract every bit of good for yourself you can out of whatever situation you find yourself in and in so doing, really serve best the things you hold dear.
And perhaps I was also influenced a bit in opening my letter with a quotation by the imitative instinct – – you having followed a corresponding course in yours to me by extracts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
I note that yesterday was Dick’s scheduled day for sailing. If he did so, I’ll bet there was some excitement on board when the news flashed over the radio that two U.S. ships have been torpedoed off the Californian coast in addition to the bombing attack on Hawaii. It looks as if he has started in the nick of time. You do not say so in your letter but I assume Dick is going to follow his original intention of stopping on the way home to pay a visit to Walt Disney’s studio. Dan made the trip in two weeks without any stopovers, taking the southern route, and by the same timing, Dick would be arriving at Trumbull only a day or two before Christmas. While I’ll be awfully glad to have so many boys at home for the holidays, I’m going to miss the one absent one all the more. All the yearning and affection that for so many years has been scattered is now concentrated on my one precious absentee. If I was sloshing and really let down the bars the way I feel now, I would be writing you a paternal love letter because I’m really awfully fond of you, as you may have surmised. And along this line, if it takes so darn long for letters to reach you, this may be the one that reaches you at Christmas time and should therefore bring you holiday wishes from the home folks. And it does, if large measures of goodwill are any indication.
And that brings up another subject which has been concerning me considerably of late. The letter I got from you over two weeks ago expressed great uncertainty whether the next few days would find you in the Army or still deferred. Until I heard definitely, it seemed unwise to ship a Christmas box to you, first, because if you were inducted, the character of the things sent would vary and second, I wouldn’t be sure where I ought to send them to reach you in time. So every day I delayed, hoping the mail would supply the answer and it was not until late yesterday that word came that you had a breathing space until February. So as early as I can this week I shall get a love token off to you and hope it reaches you in time for Christmas.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the second page of this letter.Wednesday and Thursday, another letter from Grandpa and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to the Ced, the only son away from home.