Page 2 10/3/43
The problem of Christmas packages presents real difficulties to us at home. We want so much to send you things that you want, that you will value. But when one cancels out: A. Items bigger in dimension than the government will allow to be sent, B. Anything in glass containers, C. Articles that as soldiers you are allowed to have in the limited space at your disposal, D. (If there is anything left on the list) things which because of the merchandise are unobtainable, the list becomes so abbreviated as to be ridiculous. Take camera or movie films as an example. After many telephone calls and personal visits at the camera shop I was able to arrive a short time after a shipment had arrived. I asked for 2 35mm kodascope films. They had received six to supply a waiting list of 20 customers (to say nothing of what they required for normal stock). Of course I was able to obtain only one. Another shipment they expected might be in sometime in November. No color movie films. I did want to get the latter to send to Lad, and at least one each of the 35mm for Dan and Dick. Another example, I stopped in at a United Store to get, modestly I thought, one package of chewing gum for each of my three boys in the service. The girl looked at me in horror. “Only one to a customer!” witheringly. So, gentlemen, if you will be so kind, won’t you please relieve the headaches that aspirin will not cure by jotting down and sending at once (the time is short) a list of those things you would like to have sent you, and make it long enough to allow for strikeouts due to merchandise shortage here. Dan, make this a doubleheader, because October 26th is in the offing, too.
Dan was the only heart-cheerer this week. In his usual whimsical vein he writes: “Although your son, Daniel, hasn’t yet astounded the military world by his prowess under arms, he has found adequate surcease in more intellectual fields. It came about in this manner: each day he was confronted by a poster which cried out “You are on your way if you are on your way to evening classes”. Well sir, young Guion tossed on his (figurative) bed at night for months at a time pondering the significance of the message. Result: enrollment in night school. Curricula: French, German, and (fancy this!) ART. All this erudition does not include the short course at Cambridge (not Oxford) which, he believes, he has already mentioned in a previous letter. The ‘underground’ (subway) stations in London, deep underground, serve as lodgings for destitute and homeless Londoners. Each night about 10 they curl up on tiers of metal bunks in full exposure to the public.”
Dan, you spoke also of receiving the package. Please, which package was it – – the first I sent via Meigs with shirts and Kleenex and candy and chewing gum and ships and sealing wax; or the second with shoes and paste and film and candy etc. The letter was marked “for Christmas” and might be held until then. It was in a blue paper wrapper and may have been repacked in New York. Was it?
We celebrated Dave’s birthday today in a quiet manner. Most of the things he wanted as gifts were unobtainable. He did however obtain yesterday his operator’s license. However, this won’t do him much good without gas (they have cut the ration again – it’s down now to 2 gallons per ticket). Zeke, Biss and the two kids were over to dinner, arriving late. We had the first cider from Burrough’s. Don’t you wish you had some! With this tantalizing thought, the class will be dismissed for the day.
Tomorrow, a letter specifically written to Lad and on Friday, another to the boys.