Trumbull, Conn., Jan. 13, 1946
Dear fugitives from the home fireside:
There is nothing much to report so far this year as far as eventful happenings at home are concerned. Lad has been busy all week devising and putting into practice ideas for burning garbage accumulations in our open air incinerator, Dick goes tomorrow for his aptitude test in Bridgeport, Jean for the past week has been valiantly fighting grippe germs (she is better now, in fact the four of them have gone skating this afternoon to the Shelton Rink), Marian keeps well, as does Aunt Betty and yours truly. Paul (Warden, he and his family rent the small apartment) is expected home this afternoon; I have been busy getting my new file into shape. The cold spell gave place last week to some milder weather which melted most of the snow but today it is colder again with “very cold” promised for tomorrow.
Dan Guion surveying cemetaries in France
As to incoming mail, three days in succession this week have witnessed letters arriving from Dan, not in order of their dispatch, however, — 20th of Dec. from Paris, 27th from Passy, 11th from Aix-en-Provence. For the sake of continuity I shall quote them in order of sending rather than receipt. After expressing desire to have a fur coat ordered from Sears as a Christmas gift for Paulette, which I am not sure can be sent because while it is within the weight limit of 11 pounds there is a question as to whether it might exceed the limit imposed by the post office on size of package, which fact I am looking into before ordering, Dan goes on to say: “This is the famous “Midi” of Southern France, but you can’t prove it by me. Ever since we arrived the weather has been quite cold. It snowed three days ago and the sun, shining each day since, has only half melted the inch or so that felt. We are pushing on today for Sraguignan.”
Second letter answers letters asking sundry questions from which I learned all parcels should be sent as before to Army address, it is doubtful whether stamp collection clippings should be continued, and persons for whom wedding and engagement rings were desired are already married, material desired is to trim outside of bassinet. He also asks for civilian clothes, which I shall dig up and send provided the moths have not claimed them first.
The last letter says: Christmas at Calais! One year ago I was just falling in love. We ate dinner on Xmas eve last year at the home of Hubert Desfachelle, not dreaming at the time that it would be he who would marry us and never realizing that he would be Mayor of Calais! He is quite active in the Communist Party and was swept into office unexpectedly last fall. His impersonation of “Monsieur le Maire” for our wedding was prophetic. Chiche and I were his guests this year (Dec. 23rd) in his private loge at the municipal theater. The days in Calais (Sat. to Wed.) flew by incredibly fast. We thought of you all in Trumbull — wondered if we’d be there next Christmas. Papa Senechal says he’s going to write you another letter. Big excitement on the finance front. The rate is suddenly halfway normal — hard to get used to the new value of the Franc. Next survey job will be after Jan. 1st at Epinal, not far from Nancy. My conscience has just given me another lecture on the old “abusing father’s kindness” theme — but what the hell!
I will be posting each day, for the rest of the week, portions of this letter from Grandpa to family members still away from home.