This is the second post of a four-page letter from Grandpa reporting on the Thanksgiving activities and news from both Dave and Ced.
David Peabody Guion
Two letters from Dave were welcome but could not compensate for his physical absence. He says: “The colonel doesn’t want to give me my furlough until he’s a little more sure what kind of position the team is in. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t guess I have to tell you how sorry I am to have not gotten the furlough – – or even have told you about it and gotten you thinking I was coming home. Oh, well, that’s the Army for you.” A later letter: Bang! All in one and a half hours my bags are packed, my equipment is turned in, I climb into a G.I. truck, I travel halfway across camp, I get out of the truck, I draw new company equipment and unpack my bags. Now I’m in a new home with the new address. What a life! In nine months I’ve been in nine different Companies – B-28, A-36, D-26, D-36, D-31, B-33, E-847, F-847, and K-840. Our whole team moved over here but there’s nothing definite as yet as to why we’re here. I was going to keep the money you sent me but I had to go a mile to pick it up and I couldn’t get off in time. They hold the money only three days. You should have gotten it back by the time you get this. Well, I’ve got a slight cold so I’m going to bed. It’s only 8:15 but I’m on KP tomorrow”.
Cheerio, old sock, there is a better day coming. It’s always darkest before the dawn, etc. I guess both you and I were disappointed that the old furlough didn’t come through in time for you to get home by Thanksgiving, but it would be even better if it came through so you could get home for Christmas. Let’s hope anyhow. It will be fun looking forward to it even if it doesn’t materialize. And am I surprised at you. Why even the man in the ad is said to be willing to walk a mile for a camel, but my plutocrat of a son hasn’t time to walk a mile for 50 bucks. No, I haven’t gotten it back yet, perhaps the whole Western Union system is paralyzed by the idea of $50 being on tap and not being called for. It is very likely that this is the first time anything like this has ever happened to them and they have no precedent to follow. That $50 may just be wandering around loose looking for a taker. Besides, it costs a $1.56 every time this is sent so you had better be careful how you throw your father’s money around. And another thing, one which should cause you great mental agitation, we left to the back door unlocked all night just before Thanksgiving in the hope you might sneak in on a deferred furlough. Now, just suppose someone had gotten in and stolen Smoky. How would you feel. I’ll just leave you to stew over that one awhile.
Cedric Duryee Guion
Now Ced, heartless Ced, with no regard at all for the feeling of new postmistresses, addresses a letter to
The publican Guion
Do we Rose Ave
which by some miraculous chance was delivered to the undersigned. There is something wrong with that boy. While the postmark on the envelope is November 17th, his letter is dated October 16th and still he has the effrontery to ask right under the date “(Is that better)”. I’ve have asked him to date his letters and now I begin to understand why he neglects to do so – – he simply doesn’t have any idea of time. He told us a while ago Big Ben was failing, but I did not realize he’d flirt with the international dateline in such a manner. I suppose the antics of the midnight sun is rather hard on the tempis fugit cells in his brain, if any. However, Ced goes on to say: Ski season is now in high gear. The temperature today is up around 40 but it has been down as low as 12 out at the airport and while a little snow has fallen on a couple of occasions, not enough to ski here in town, but one more good storm and we’ll have it. The trip to the mine two weeks ago was a grand success with 56 people out and enjoying themselves. I skied down to Fishhook at the end of the day and only fell twice. The rally last Friday went over with a big bang. Following movies of the ski competition last year when I was in Trumbull, there was dancing and a skit depicting a group of comically garbed novice skiers, all on barrel staves, taking lessons from a mock Norwegian ski instructor. One of the students, the dud, wore a pair of white silk gym shorts, a huge fur muff tied around his waist, resembling an old-fashioned bustle, a stupid looking pack on his back, and bare legs. Twice during the evening a wheel was spun and the person holding the new membership card with a number corresponding to that at which the wheel stopped, was the winner of a $2.50 award. Liquor, contrary to other years, was totally absent, due mainly to the fact that we had a different hall where no liquor was sold. Crackers and cheese and an excellent punch was supplied by the club. The punch was made in two big dairy milk cans. Each one was filled with about 5 pounds of sugar, six or eight dozen each of oranges and lemons, and about that many jars of cherries all sliced and mixed with ice cut by some of the members at Lake Spenard. Just before serving time we carried the cans out to the ladies room, and attaching a rubber hose to the faucet, filled the cans and then mixed the mass by pouring back and forth many times. It turned out as fine a fruit punch as you ever tasted and when it was gone, we poured the residue back into one of the cans, added another three or 4 gallons of water, mixed and mashed it with a hammer handle and there was so much fruit left that the flavor was as good as the original. This process was repeated once more, later on, but at some cost to flavor.” He mentions also working on the Buick while Art Woodley is a way in an effort to sell one of their planes, the fact that the people he is living with now intend to leave Anchorage, which will make it necessary for him to find other living quarters, and the list of Christmas needs for which I am very grateful.
In view of the fact that my campaign to obtain a decent electric refrigerator has resulted in absolutely no result whatever, I guess Fate will decide the question for us. It is getting rather late in the season anyway to ship to the frozen North, which fact was bothering me a bit. As I wrote you last week I did credit $10 to Dan’s account and I did receive your most welcome birthday remembrance. It was well worth waiting for and is one of my most prized possessions.
Don Whitney stopped in at the office the other day to pick up the latest mailing addresses of you boys. His address is AGF Replacement Depot #1, Armored School, Fort Meade, Md. He expected to leave for that place yesterday.
Oh, I haven’t told you about our Thanksgiving party. The girls were debating the other day which was best, to tell you boys about the things we had to eat and make you homesick or to say nothing about it and make you sore. To be or not to be: that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them. I don’t know what Dick and Lad have learned from their respective spouses, but for the rest of you there were present four fe and one he male (me), if we might exclude Butch and Marty who were suffering the aftermath of a tonsil operation and didn’t feel so hot. Aunt Elsie was unable to get up. Marion made two delicious pies. Biss contributed two chickens, and of course we had Burrough’s cider. (I can hear Dan’s groans). Most of all, we missed you boys. Oh dear me, here’s the end of the page. Anyway, that’s about all.
On Saturday and Sunday, more Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion.