Dan is now a civilian working for the Army as an independent contractor. He is travelling to various European countries and surveying the American Cemeteries. Paulette is staying with the Rabet family as she awaits the arrival of their first child.
Daniel Beck Guion
Paulette (Van Laere )Guion
Trumbull, Conn., December 9, 1945
Dear Dan and Paulette:
The news from our “European relations” hasn’t been arriving in such quantity as to necessitate my hiring a larger PO Box, but I assume in Dan’s case it is because he has been busy traveling and surveying in various parts of occupied territory, and in Paulette’s case, due to lack of confidence in her ability to write perfect English. You should not feel self-conscious about this, my dear, because whatever you do, it will be a whole lot better than we here could do if we tried to write you in French. Aside from the pleasure of hearing from you direct it will help me to get the things you want to have me send from the lists Dan has sent from time to time. It takes so long for things to arrive that it seems too bad not to be sure in the first place they are just what you want.
I hope if you have not already done so you will answer some of the questions I have asked in former letters. If you knew us better, daughter Paulette, you would not be afraid that we might criticize your spelling, grammar, etc. but would instead respect your courage and good nature.
This week, Dan, I got off to you a box of cigars. I wrapped them in wax paper so they would not dry up if too long enroute. First I thought of sending them by first-class mail but not knowing the red tape and perhaps the high duty they would be subject to at your end, if indeed they would allow them to be imported at all, I felt it would be safer to ship by the established method which we know bypasses customs and eventually arrives, even if somewhat delayed. It seems as though with all the boys coming home there would be continually less overseas mail from this country to handle and with facilities already established, boxes should take less time to handle and distribute at your end.
The camera situation here is still bad. No new cameras are being advertised in spite of the nearness of the Christmas season and the big market this would mean for manufacturers and dealers. There came in the mail addressed to you this week, a booklet from the U.S. Veteran’s Administration on information as to continuance of National Service Life Insurance. Lad advised holding it here for you as you have several years in which to decide about conversion. I also received notice, quite properly that your regular monthly check as a soldier had been discontinued and I suppose the other check you mentioned has not yet had time to go through the routine. Anyway it is not yet put in an appearance. That has not delayed purchase here of any of the things on your list — that is due to lack of funds, but there is about a 50% casualty due to lack of goods. There is a theory that many manufacturers are now producing goods but are holding them in inventory until after the first of the year because by doing so, they will avoid paying the high taxes prevailing this year. By waiting until after Jan. 1st, when the reduced tax schedule goes into effect, they will increase their net profits and have just as good a market as they would now because the latent demand would still be there. Strikes and lack of raw material may also add to the scarcity. Things are slowly getting more plentiful but they have a long way to go yet before they are anywhere near normal. We are now having great difficulty getting sugar and butter, the former because of rationing and butter because, while rationing is off, or perhaps of the fact that the supply is very limited and frequently not attainable at all. We are gradually getting baby’s layette things together but unless I hear from you to the contrary, Paulette, I thought it would be lots better to wait until after the Christmas rush is over before trying to send them overseas. I hope this arrives in time to bring you all our best Christmas greetings, and that’s considerable of an understatement.
Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.