Page 2 2/17/1946
Paulette (Chiche) (Senechal) Guion
The Quotes Editor taps me on the shoulder and reminds me I have a French letter (translation by D.B.G.) this week, which I shall duly pass on to you. It says: “My very dear Dad: I am very happy to send you more news (this is dated Epinal, Jan.23rd). First of all I hope you are enjoying good health. I must say that I am doing very well. I am filling out remarkably. I have completely lost my girlish figure which makes me very proud and all I ask is that I be 3 ½ months older as soon as possible so that I might have the joy of caring for our dear baby. We work only for “him” these days. I have already done several pretty little garments and I can hardly wait to see him wearing them. For several days lately he has moved about considerably and Dan has had the great joy of seeing his son “in action”. You see I have been with Dan since last Saturday. For the holidays I visited with my sister at Douai and Dan came for me. Now I am at Epinal. You know, dear Dad, that we are very happy. We are staying at a requisitioned hotel and we are eating well. Later, Dan will take me to Douai and I shall go on to Calais where I shall continue to prepare for the arrival of your grandson or granddaughter. Thus, I shall be very pleased when I received the layette and the other things for the child. Has Dan asked you for bibs? At any rate I know that everything you send will be practical and in good taste, judging by these things you have already sent. And I believe it will not be possible to send the baby carriage, so please don’t worry too much about it. I learned only yesterday that Marian is expecting a baby in July. So you see, Dad, you are lucky — you will be a grandfather two times, almost at once. Who knows, Dad, next year I believe that you will have all of your children with you, as well as your youngest, Dave. Well, I shall stop my letter for today. Unfortunately it is still written in French. I am really not yet capable of writing you in English. But in spite of that I hope that it will please you, and so I take leave of you, with affectionate kisses, your daughter, Paulette.
P.S. Dan is seated across from me. He is writing to, but he always interrupts me to kiss me. He is truly adorable and I love him more and more every day. Chiche”
And a second P.S. from Dan reads: “I failed to mail this at Epinal. It is now Feb. 5th. Chiche goes back to Calais tomorrow — I go to St. Avold near Metz. I’ll write from there. Cable was prompted by receipt of parcel from home, open one end, empty save for a kewpie doll. What else was in that package? Got Ced’s pictures — how about some more of the family? Dan.”
Dear Dan and Chiche: What a pleasant surprise to get that doubleheader of a letter. It is always a great joy to hear from either of you but when you both write, it makes it that much nicer. I wish I could read the original French in your letter understandingly but Lad says Dan does an excellent translation job. I am wondering if you, Chiche, little daughter, are not a bit too self-conscious of your English-writing ability. One never knows what he can do until he tries. You know it is going to help you to learn to speak English more quickly after you get over here if you start to write in that language now. Why don’t you try a sentence or two at least next time you write and sort of ease yourself into it gradually? I get excited every time I see an article in the newspaper here about service men’s brides arriving in this country from England, the Continent and even from Australia. And it is quite a frequent occurrence these days. I certainly do hope it will not be so long as next year mentioned in your letter that I shall have to wait to see my “French family”. Maybe your writing so soon after the first of the year meant you were thinking in terms of 1945 and when you said “next year” you really meant 1946. I shall certainly be a very disappointed father, father-in-law and grandfather, all rolled into one, if before the snow flies again you are not all gathered under the family roof.
Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I’ll be continuing this letter from Grandpa to family members who are still away from Trumbull.