Trumbull, Conn., March 1, 1942
A Message from Virginia of interest to Alaskans:
Dan writes on 2/26.42:
It seems that the Army knows how to keep us extremely busy especially when I spent my weekend in Washington with one of those snazzy Trumbull belles. Verily, I find time only on Sundays to write to you-all. The income tax still is relegated to pending business. This meager message will have to serve until Sunday. I am well, and too occupied to be dissatisfied with military life.
A Message from Alaska of interest to Virginians:
Now that this two-way correspondence has been adequately covered I will revert to commonplace doins at home. Well, to start off with Army gossip, Don Whitney, I understand, is now at camp Polk, La., in an armored tank division. I suppose they figured that in the course of his experience at the Stratfield he had become a somewhat familiar with tanks at conventions, etc., and he knew something about running them (out). Chet, so his bride informs us, is at Fort McClellan, Ala., in a training Battalion that has been put in charge of a squad. Today is the first anniversary of Carl and Ethel’s wedding and they have gone down to New York, same as they did a year ago, to celebrate. Dick and Jean were invited to go along with them. Jean (nee Hughes) was also invited but as she had arranged to spend the day making a dress to wear to a visit to her soldier husband she could not go along.
Last night Elizabeth came for a visit in an effort to see if Dave or someone could not be prevailed upon to come over to her house and take care of the children while she and Zeke went to the movies. As Dave was out and in fact Aunt Betty was the only one home, she unfortunately drew a blank. Butch improved the few minutes he was here by turning on all the switches on the electric stove – – thus proving himself somewhat of a live wire. Lad worked until 3 o’clock today at Producto and Dave hitchhiked back and forth to Newtown where he tried out for a play they are giving. In consequence, my Sunday dinner was served in three installments, 12:30 for Dave; 1:30 for Dick, who got up so late he did not have time to eat more than a tomato, and 2:30 for Lad and the rest of us.
I would that I were gifted with the pen of a Dan or a Rusty so that I could, with a suitable degree of humor, write the Saga of the Warden’s pet cat. It seems that their erstwhile pet from the species felinus, was originally wished on them by some kind friends with the thought it might make a playmate for Skipper. As an innocent little kitten it’s sex was not immediately discernible, but as the days grew into months it became apparent, particularly at nightfall, that this little gray ball of fur was the cat belle of the neighborhood and attracted many ardent suitors whose serenades were the hit (where aiming was good) of the neighborhood, and Guion’s backyard soon became the rendezvous of male adorers from far and near, all bent on the age old idea of propagating the species. Skipper mistook the kitten (emboldened I suppose by hearing his parents talk of the rubber shortage) as an elastic toy and when not tying the animal into knots endeavored to see how far it would stretch. Thus Pussy led a very busy life, dodging Skipper in the daytime and seeking solace and refuge in the amours of sundry admirers at night. One morning as I glanced out of my bedroom window in time to see Dick come home from
Cat Tale no. 2 3/1/42
(I don’t know whether that is the appropriate spelling of tale, under the circumstances) his night shift and before he had time to get into his night shift (pun), he dallied long enough to rescue poor pussy from our Apple tree to which she had evidently been driven by the ardent attention of three or four rivals who patrolled the base of the tree, evidently not fancying the swaying bow as an ideal nuptial couch. There was a gleam in Dick’s eye, and a Mona Lisa smile that forbade no good to someone, although at the time its true significance did not penetrate the state of intelligence that one has attained at that hour of the morning. Anyway, the smile, which I neglected to say was not in his eye, soon turned inward to hibernate for a few days and finally emerge in the guise of a full-fledged idea. I don’t know the shocking details, and never asked questions, but a few mornings later, my 22-cal. Repeater was missing from its accustomed place, and loaded, as I afterwards learned, with bullets supplied by Paul Warden himself, whose job is the inspection of Remington cartridges, was successful in snuffing out a few of the nine lives. Dave, I learned, held the delecti until it became a corpus delecti under the well-placed aim of Deadeye Dick, and thus Skipper lost a flexible companion and the world generations yet unborn of pussycats. The Wardens, who smoke a famous brand of cigarettes, were nonchalant about the whole thing which leads me to surmise if there were not some collusion somewhere along the line. Sleep has been more peaceful of late.
Aunt Betty, who by the way continues to send love every time she sees me writing my weekly outburst, has just reminded me that I neglected to tell Alaska about Trumbull’s visit to Virginia. As per schedule, last Saturday morning Barbara and Lois caught the train which was an hour late at Bridgeport, right through to Washington. On arrival they had a bit of trouble locating Dan at the Camp then spotted him coming out of a telephone booth where he had gone to call them up. They watched the dancing for a while, then went to Washington and had dinner. The girls went to a friend’s house and Dan, after vainly trying to find a hotel where he could put up for the night, finally found a place where he bunked with seven other fellows. Sunday they spent “doing” Washington. Then Dan had to get back to Camp. The girls slept until about noon and took the train home. Apparently they all had a good time and are hoping for a repetition. As far as I could gather the only want of Dan’s I can supply is coat hangers.
This is going to shock Ced. Dick has bought a 1937 Ford sedan from Blue Ribbon for $295. Color green; tires, fair. No heater or radio. Unable to get markers until he furnishes a birth certificate which he has sent for. Did not get markers for Dan’s car. Is intending to write Dan to ask whether he wants his old car sold or put in storage. Dick’s idea is that I use the car daytime for work (thus saving tires on Buick), paying running expenses, while he uses it nights. The main reason for his getting a new car is that I have had to get tough on account of the tire shortage in letting him take the car on frequent occasions when his old car (Dan’s) was too small to accommodate the number of young folks he wanted to go to the movies with, or Stratford, or what have you.
And that just about brings us to the end of the record. So, signing off until next time, this is your same old
I’l finish out the week with a quick postcard to Lad from a Trumbull friend and another letter from Grandpa to Alaska and Virginia.
Saturday and Sunday will be more Special Pictures. Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in October of 1943 concerning Lad’s marriage to Marian Irwin.