Trumbull, Conn., January 20, 1946
The President is preparing a statement as to the state of the nation, so why shouldn’t I do the same as to the state of Trumbull, or thereabouts, for your information. Anyway, here goes:
Weather: So far it has been an exceptionally cold winter. We have burned coal and wood at an unprecedented rate and still haven’t been able to keep the house warm, and incidentally I am disappointed in the new furnace which is not doing as good a job as I expected it would. Last night the thermometer outside the kitchen window went down to zero and with it there was a rather high wind. Of course this brought with it corresponding car troubles. For instance, my car, halfway to Bridgeport the other morning, steamed up in spite of the fact it started without any trouble in the barn. Evidently I had not put in enough anti–freeze. Last night Jean and Dick visited the Mortenson’s in Stratford, and on starting home about midnight Dick ran down his battery trying to get it started. A few minutes after finally starting however, the radiator boiled over— so they stayed all night at the Mortenson’s. This morning, Lad started out with his car to their rescue and his Buick refused to percolate so he left it at the bottom of the drive and got mine, which fortunately did its stuff. Paper says continued cold and it is now starting to snow.
Supplies: I suppose Dan will laugh at this and remark “we ain’t seen nothing””, but it is hardly any easier to obtain food, clothes and other supplies now as it was during the war. For weeks now we have been unable to obtain any butter at all, and some days we have not even been able to get oleo. There are no points on meat but meat itself is very scarce, little variety and of poor quality. With meat strike impending it promises to be even worse. The men’s shirt counters at Read’s and Howland’s are absolutely bare. Lines blocks long form whenever a store announces a small stalk of hosiery for sale. The girls say women are now buying white stockings and dyeing them. As for Zerox, Prestone, etc., none of the service stations seem able to get out a small quantity which is immediately sold out to a waiting list. Returning servicemen are complaining about the difficulty of obtaining civilian clothes. Elizabeth has had an order in for months for a telephone, and even carpenters have to make round after round to all the lumber yards to get a few boards to make repairs on houses, and so it goes.
Strikes: Of course much of the shortage of autos, electrical appliances, etc. are due to strikes. Even the G.E. (General Electric), which for 27 years has had no trouble, is tied up and the plant is closed down. So is Bryant’s, Yale and Towne in Stamford. It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, so they say. Anyway, I had the first order from G.E. I’ve had in a long time when one of their men came in the other day and asked me to run off some payroll forms which he couldn’t get past the picket line in his plant to turn out.
Aeronautics: The local papers are full of the crash of the big Eastern Air Line plane near Cheshire, Conn., in which 17 lost their lives. It makes quite a contrast to Ced’s safe arrival in Anchorage after his long trip in his little plane. Incidentally, Lad showed last night some movies of your take off which had just arrived. They were not too good, which of course was disappointing. Lad said that while he used his light meter he evidently did not allow enough light for the type of film he was using.
For the rst ofthe week, I’ll be posting sections of this 5-page letter, written to Dan and Paulette, Ced and Dave.