This is the final chapter of this “elongated screed”, with a letter from Dick and comments by Grandpa.
“Lizzie of the Klondike” refers to the first section of this letter which quotes a letter from Ced trying to convince Aunt Betty (whose name is actually Lizzie) to move to Alaska.
Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion
Dick has thrown down the gauntlet and challenges all of you individually and collectively to a contest to see who can invent the best reason for failure to write letters home. On Sunday, July 23rd, he had a real brainstorm. It was so overwhelming in its intensity that he immediately sat down and committed it to paper. Here it is:
“I just thought of a marvelous excuse for my not writing more regularly. How does this sound? Assuming that you like to receive letters (and who doesn’t) I wait until I am sure you have given up all hope of hearing from me and then spring a surprise attack. The letter, of course, is a typical one or two page affair beginning and ending with the same old salutations but – the element of surprise!! That’s the secret. There is only one fallacy, the – – upon receipt of said “delayed-action bomb”, you will probably ask yourself: “From whence comes this stray epistle, and who be the bounder that sits at the end of the pen and scratches aimlessly on this sheet. What manner of man (or mouse) is this thing that calls itself Dick? Have I ever been acquainted with it? Of course, I know what your reply will be. Why doesn’t this fellow write a little more often that we might become a little better acquainted.” I really enjoy getting your weekly letters, Dad, and think your idea of including extracts from the others is quite the thing. The latest rumor is that this base won’t last very much longer. In that event I should and probably would be sent home at least by Christmas. I feel hopefully certain that the European phase will be over by November 15th but not before November 1st. I want to thank you for buying that slip for Jean’s birthday. She certainly liked it very much and has probably told you as much. Everything goes well here. There are about 40 Army jobs I would much prefer to my present work but about 400 I would much less rather be doing, including all the jobs I have had so far. Give my love to Aunt Betty and Smoky and keep lots for yourself. My love for Jean will have to wait until I get home.”
Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)
COMMENT: Jean has been too busy this week with her vacation to miss your love. After giving the whole place a thorough housecleaning, with incidental jobs like putting up new curtains as a sideline, preparing the meals even to the extent of doing the shopping, you can all see that she is having a very lazy vacation. Aunt Betty has therefore had leisure to smoke many of her cigars and when I come home nights I find her butts lying all over the house.
The weather here, to revert to a very complacent subject, the past week has been as hot as I have ever seen it for so long a stretch since coming to Trumbull.
Perhaps it is just as well I didn’t hear from Dave this week, as if this letter had to be extended over to a sixth page to include his quotation, your eyes would probably give out. However, I cannot bring this to a close without passing on a bit of local news. The Trumbull post office, which for 26 years has been located in Kurtz’s store with Emanuel Kurtz as postmaster, will soon have to seek a new location. The President of the United States, in his great wisdom, has appointed a new acting postmaster – Mrs. Mary Ann Pimpinelle (daughter of Micky Langdon), as of August 1st. Mr. Kurtz, as you may have realized, is a Republican. Everyone is speculating as to where the new post office will be.
It is about time, don’t you think, that I brought this elongated screed to a timely end. Anyway, Jean is waiting to have me set up the projector to show some of the slides, and of course we should not keep ladies waiting, so, with a hearty ta ta, I still remain,
Tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Marian with the latest news from California.