In this weeks letter, Grandpa announces Lad’s engagement to Marian to the brothers who are so far from home.
Lad and Marian at Pamona, CA
October 10, 1943
THE BOOK OF THE WEEK
Being Trumbull’s Refuse of Refuse
Translated from the original by A. D. Guion
CHRISTMAS BOXES: How much moral fortitude have the boys in the service? Can the Trumbull contingent resist temptation? Have the Guion draftees willpower strong enough so that they can delay opening their Christmas boxes, being sent sometime during the coming week, until December 25th, no matter how much before that date said box arrives? These are the questions that the inmates of BABBLING BROOK are asking themselves, instead of the outmoded question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” Time alone will afford the answer. To be sure, the contents of the boxes are nothing to write home about (which, following the usual custom, you will not do). We have tried to inject a little local color in the shape of certain products found locally on trees in the vicinity, while daughter-in-law Jean, has, with loving care, prepared a few toothsome bits on which you may contentedly munch (this is not a cow product add).
THE GREAT RECORD MYSTERY: For some weeks Read’s have been advertising how thrilling it would be for “your boy or girl in the service” to receive a Christmas greeting in your own voice, and to this end they set up a recording service where, under competent supervision, one could go to their store and speak your little piece on both sides of a metal photograph record which could then be sent in one’s overseas Christmas box. Yesterday (Saturday) Howland’s announced a similar service and on my way to deliver the Liggett’s menus, I stopped in and made my little speech three times on records to go to Dan, Dick and Lad. After completing my creation the operator told me I could also use the other side of the record and rather than extemporized on the spur of the moment, I told him I would come back later after giving a bit of thought to what I wanted to say. I did so and was greeted with the sad news that orders had just come through from the War Department to the effect that such service had to be discontinued and that no records made would be allowed to be sent. Read’s had already made some 400 recordings. The only one they would allow to be sent was the one to Lad, as he was not overseas. I don’t see the sense of the ruling any more than I do some of the other queer edicts that issue from New Dealers in Washington, but there is nothing much to do about it, so that idea is bust.
Editor’s Note: I have the recording that was sent to Lad (and have put it onto a CD) and it is wonderful to hear Grandpa’s voice talking to his sons, even though only one got the message.
THIS WEEK’S FEATURE STORY: (replacing the usual column “Advice to the Lovelorn”). So as not to spring this startling news to suddenly on our indulgent readers, mention is made that under a Stratford dateline last week the Bridgeport Post ran an item captioned “Laddie Ignores War Department”! Be that as it may, the only letter received from any of the absentees last week was one from California announcing the engagement of one Sgt. Guion to Miss Marian Irwin, or to put it in his own words: (oh, damn, I just recall having left the letter in the office). But anyway, he mentioned having been hit quite hard and when he had time to get his breath he promised to send more details. SO, you Dan and Ced, look out for Cupid! Who knows but that he has two arrows left in his quiver tagged with your names! Come on, now, who will be the next? Remember I have, for a number of years, had only one daughter and five sons and the sooner I acquire more daughters by proxy, the better, so step right up, gentlemen, and place your bets.
Tomorrow I will finish off the week with the rest of this letter.