This letter includes a large portion of Grandpa’s dry wit as he tells the boys all about Lad’s fiance and asks quite a few questions, as he does quite often.
This picture was taken in about 1945 when a fellow serviceman of Lad’s visited the Trumbull House and took a few pictures – although he and Smokey are the subjects of this photo taken (probably) by Lad.
Trumbull Hospital, Clinic and Sanatorium
A.D. Guion, Chief Butcher
October 17, 1943
To members of medical staff
Everywhere, Just Everywhere
Last week we sent you a new package of our famous Cupid Serum specially developed by Dr. A. P. Guion of California. It is now time for a follow-up treatment. This one is stronger and more potent than the last. In fact, its effect is said to be permanent. It has been aging in the wood (my head) for about a week and is now ready for administering. Hold your chair, brace yourself. The needle, Dr. Watson. “Arrangements have been made, so far as is possible for a soldier, for us to be married at her home near San Francisco, on November 14th. We may have to suddenly changed plans but to date everything looks O.K.” Marian has an apartment in South Pasadena which they will continue to occupy, which, though small, will do, because neither of them will be there during the day. Indeed, its small size will be a convenience in that housekeeping problems will be simplified. Now I suppose you will be interested in the
Case History of Miss Marian Irwin
Marian (Rider) Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin
Berkeley High School Graduate
San Francisco State University Graduate
She was born some 27 1/2 years ago on the West Coast, and is a college graduate. She taught school for a few years, after which she did some traveling, but whether she got as far as Connecticut the record fails to say. She then accepted the position she now holds as Executive Secretary of the Campfire Girls, and presumably, like Boy Scouts, can start fires without matches, so that Lad will not suffer from lack of hot meals. She has one sister (married, so you bachelors need not let any false hopes arise) and a married brother. Her father, whom the prospective bridegroom has not yet met, is a factory distributor for Westinghouse (did somebody mention an electric toaster for a wedding present?). In spite of the fact that Marian is in an electrically minded family, Lad writes “things have been running like a well-built turbine — direct connected, I assume.
P.S. to Marian: under separate cover last week I mail you a photo of my eldest son, so you can see what you are getting, through the camera’s eye. Object, matrimony. (That gives me an idea — perhaps I’ll start a matrimonial bureau for my other unmarried sons).
Lad: you did pretty well in covering some of the high spots, but to complete the record, here are a few questions that occur to one: Will it be an afternoon or evening wedding? Will you wear your uniform? As long as I cannot officiate as Justice of the Peace in California, I assume it will not be a “justice” wedding but at her home by a clergyman. (Episcopal or some other denomination?) Can you secure a long enough leave to permit any sort of honeymoon, and if so, what and where? Are you driving to Frisco in the Buick or going by train? Do you need any money? (Foolish question). How much? What did you do about an engagement ring? Will Marian be entitled to the $50 wife allowance monthly from the Army, or does this happen only when the soldier is married before he starts working for Uncle Sam? What would you like for a wedding present? (Better let Marion answer about 75 % of this one). Would you like me to send you any of your belongings? What are your plans, or perhaps we had better say, hopes, after the war is over? And by the way, while we have that small photo of Marian, I don’t know whether she is short or tall, blonde or brunette, plump or slim (I know your answer to this one – “just right”). Whether she has voted for Roosevelt all her life, and still intends to do so the rest of her life, and whether she likes a father-in-law with Hay Fever? Oh I could go on and on, but real generous answers to these few questions as a starter will do for now. You can think of a lot of other things I’d like to know. There is one thing I do know and that is one month and one week from today I am going to feel like a very distant relative. In my wildest dreams I have never envisioned the fact that anyone of my boys would be married without my being there to help shove him off the dock into the sea of matrimony. That just shows to go you, that you can’t count on anything for certain in this old universe — a runaway married daughter, A hand-tied son and now this one by remote control. I know how busy you both will be from now on until the big day, but if you, one or both, can seek a few minutes to write more it will do somewhat in taking the disappointment out of the fact we can’t be on hand to throw a few handfuls of rice.
Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter.