Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
Camp Trumbull, Conn.
May 3, 1942
This will probably be what Roger used to call “a quick one”, as it is late, I am tired and besides, there is not much in volume of news to report this weekend.
I am late getting started because this has been a busy day hereabouts. To start at the beginning, yesterday afternoon, after getting lunch and donning my old clothes, I tackled the semi-annual job of cleaning out the incinerator. Lad was working, Dave at the movies and Dick asleep, so I started soloing. The first job was to gather fuel as the darn contraption was full to overflowing, and there being much to burn out, I needed a full supply of wood. So around the yard I goes, with the wheelbarrow, picking up sticks, broken limbs from trees that the winter had treated roughly and in general, cleaning up the yard. Later Paul came out and between us we rigged up the old blower that used to be in the furnace, cut pieces of tin to seal up the front, spliced up wire enough to give sufficient length and for the rest of the afternoon ran a little blast furnace, which with frequent stokings, did a very good job. I kept it going during supper and until about 10:30 P. M. Then I came in and gave the kitchen floor a thorough cleaning – – the first it has had for many moons. I guess Dan did it the last time (how I miss that boy on these days when there is so much to do outside and in, too). This took me until about midnight.
This morning, after getting dinner in process, I started to clean out the cans, melted bottles, burned-out garbage, and as a byproduct, two suffocated rats. Lad and Dick were out horseback riding and Dave had gone to church, and, as I needed baskets to put the rubbish in, and all the baskets were filled with ashes, these had to be emptied. In this Paul helped and David, after coming home from his devotions. I worked away merrily, as the saying goes, until about 2 P. M., came in, took a bath and put dinner on the table. Meantime, Lad and Dick had come home and started to take the lawnmower apart for it’s seasonal cleaning. This took them until about 3:30 when they came in, got washed up and we had dinner. After dinner, Mr. Ives, who is home again from the hospital, offered the use of his trailer to take the 25 or so filled baskets down to the end of the driveway so that the town trucks could pick them up during their annual spring rubbish collection. Lad then cut the grass and returned some empty oil cans we had borrowed some weeks before and I got busy repairing faucets in the bathroom, which were leaking and needed new washers. Thus, tired but with a sense of accomplishment, I turned to the job of setting down these homely facts for posterity to gloat over and let you boys out on the firing line know that we are carrying on as usual.
page 2 of 5/3/42
The mail from Alaska this week revealed the fact that Ced, inspired by war customs, has been building up a reserve of letters and launched quite a heavy barrage all at once. Rusty added an epic of humor which caused great grins but had to be suppressed from general perusal by feminine eyes. It was sort of a “low–down” on Ced’s activities and it was quite far down, at that. It will make good reading when Dan next shows up in these here parts. Ced’s letter, containing an interesting installment number two on his rescue expedition, a birthday letter to Lad, and news that these two ex—New Englanders have again moved, forsaking their cabin for more prosaic quarters in town. We were all much relieved to hear from Ced and to know he is O. K. and has nothing new to report armywise, a message to Carl, which has been dutifully delivered, and a comment on improved radio programs complete a very brief summary of his letter. Shoot em’ along as you write ‘em, old scout, and don’t hold out on us for so long a period, please.
Yesterday Lad got notice from his draft board to appear for another physical examination this coming Tuesday and in another envelope, a formal notice to report for duty in the US Army at Derby, Conn., R. R. station on May 15th. If his company succeeds in getting a further deferment for him, as they will probably try to do, it may alter his plans, which are to go to New York soon and find out what he can do about enlisting in the Naval Reserves.
Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), I hear, received a letter from Dan, in which he states that if posterity inquires what he was doing to help win the war, they should be told he was planting flowers in front of the Roanoke Rapids Armory.
Mr. Burnham writes he is back in New York again with his old advertising agency. He does not say where he is living or whether the family came back also, but I heard a rumor that he had bought back his old Larchmont Gardens house again. (Larchmont Gardens was the first house that Grandpa and Grandma Arla bought, in Mount Vernon, New York, and where he and Rufus Burnham first met. They were life-long friends.)
Among minor items of interest is the fact that Monday, I registered, along with other oldsters, at Center School, the apple blossoms are in full bloom and the lilacs are within a day or two of coming out. Next week I suppose I will have to apply for sugar rationing cards and the week following, gasoline rationing starts. Dick has not got his retreaded tires yet but hopes to do so this week.
Aunt Betty is enclosing a violet, which she picked herself for you from the cement Terrace flower bed, and with this gentle little thought, I will bring this May Day letter to a close.
The rest of this week will be devoted to Lad’s entrance into Uncle Sam’s Army.