We have jumped back to December of 1939 and Grandpa is bringing Lad up to date on local happenings in Trumbull.
Grandpa presiding at a holiday table – either Thanksgiving or Christmas
Being Vol R-52 of Dec. 3, 1939
Dear Santa Claus,
Maybe you haven’t got a long white beard and a 47-inch waist but as far as the inmates of P.O. Box 7 are concerned, you are the realest Santa Claus that ever drove a herd of reindeers. And as for keeping the pot boiling, well, the fire was just about emitting its last spark when you’re cord and a half arrived. It is too bad no method has yet been invented of weighing or measuring the exact amount of happiness, joy, goodwill, contentment, and the like, so that you could gauge in some tangible manner just how much your generous gift means to all of us. Time and time again you seem to pick just the right time when the need is most acute, and then when the end of the corridor seems to be reached, lo, you open an unseen door and there is opened up a new vista. It is rather hard to get across to another with the use of an ordinary vocabulary just how much one feels, but I know you have enough imagination and romanticism in your nature to supply what words cannot convey.
It was Tuesday that the draft arrived with your letter and it was Thursday at the table after we had done away with the Thanksgiving dinner that the news became known to all present. Aunt Betty (Duryee) and (Aunt) Elsie were our only guests. (I believe Dan, Ced, Dick and Dave were also present.) As usual, I presided at the kitchen range. The menu was as follows;
Cranberry juice Cocktail
Wine (Mr. Plumb) Cider a la Burroughs (cider from Mr. Burrough’s Cider Mill)
Roast Turkey with whole canned apricots
Sweet Potatoes a la lemon Cauliflower
Olives Pickles Celery Radishes
Polka Dot pudding
Nuts and Raisins
We had a paper tablecloth and napkins to match and Dave had prepared an attractive center decoration with a cornucopia, apples, grapes and nuts. We wondered about you and what you are having and if you, too, were eating just about the same time we were. When later I read your letter we all agreed we did indeed have much to be thankful for — YOU.
The fifty bucks you insist I shall use for myself is giving me lots of fun. Every night before I go to sleep I spend it another way, each better than the one before. I did go out and spend some of it right away on some shirts, as the boys have been laughing at me lately because two of my shirts have torn quite badly under the arms, and while the collars and cuffs look all right, when I doff my coat to get supper I seem rather nude between breast and shoulder blade. Well that’s a good start anyway.
If you can imagine how we all appreciate your big-hearted act perhaps you can also imagine how we here feel at our inability to get back at you in some corresponding manner as a Christmas greeting — you, so far away from the old home and we with so many kind wishes for you that sort of need to be expressed in some tangible way and yet cannot be practically done.
Tomorrow I will post the second portion of this letter to Lad, so far away in Venezuela, from Grandpa.