This letter was supposed to post last Sunday. Instead, I posted the second half of this letter. This is the beginning of the letter. I apologize for the confusion.
Having had a New England Thanksgiving dinner her whole life, Biss can’t quite accept spending the day at the beach. It just doesn’t feel right!
Elizabeth Westlin Guion and Mack
December 5, 1934
You forgot to tell me about the Shrine Circus your teacher took you to see. What is your teacher’s name? I am still in seventh period. I was half a minute late yesterday so I have to stay one whole hour. Isn’t that the dumbest luck? I have been writing all afternoon and my hand is tired. That is why my writing looks so funny.
What became of that hut out by the playhouse? What were your marks in school? Marks close Friday down here, I think.
Thanksgiving was awful! We went to see Mr. Bailey but I don’t like him and then he took us to the beach. I don’t like the beach either. I saw a peachy collie at the hotel where Mr. Bailey stays. Mr. Bailey is going to spend Christmas with us too. Darn it. If Alfred would come down, which he wants, it would be all right for us kids and I suppose we must make the best of it because he likes Aunt Anne. She is going to see if Uncle Fred won’t come down. I only have 5 minutes of my seventh period left. Aunt Anne is going to call for me and then we are going to the movies. Dave can tell you what one we are going to see. I am sorry my reply has been so tardy but it takes time to write to each one of you and answer your letters. I want to glance over your letter and it is at home – please don’t call me Bets. How was Dick and Mrs. Boyce. Methinks I better write to them.
Thursday, 4:20 PM
December 6, 1934
You certainly wrote a letter and a half. I will try to answer it fully. Right now Don and Billy are out in back playing marbles. Billy is a little boy who lives across the street. Gwen is out riding on her bicycle. Aunt Anne is over in Tampa at the Farmer’s. She is going to stay overnight so I am chief cook and bottle washer.
I wished that I was home for Thanksgiving. It didn’t seem at all holiday-ish to me. We got up early – 8:15 AM – and got the work done and took baths. At about 10:45 AM we got into the car and drove over to Tampa to Mr. Bailey’s hotel. We arrived at 11:15 and got into our bathing suits.
Then we drove over to the Farmers and waited while Mrs. Farmer and Mr. Bailey got ready. We waited there for about 15 minutes then went down to pick up Mr. Farmer who had to work at his office for a while. We then went to Clearwater to swim. Mr. Farmer changed into his bathing suit there. No one went in until Mr. Farmer was ready for everyone was tired and wanted to rest.
We stayed there until 5:30. I stayed on the beach until 3:30 and then went to the car and took a nap. I don’t like salt water and I don’t like Mr. Bailey so I had more fun in the car.
We went back to the hotel to change and Mr. Bailey took Mr. and Mrs. Farmer home and they changed. They got back in about half an hour. We then ate dinner – which was pretty good considering where we ate it – down in the dining room of Mr. Bailey’s hotel. In the middle of the dinner an old man came in with a collie and stayed for a minute – that was the best part of the whole meal.
By then it was about 7:30 PM so Don and Gwen went to bed or at least lay down on Mr. Bailey’s bed. They all went up two stories and had a get together. I stayed until 10 then went down to the lobby where a girl was sitting. I talked to her for a few minutes and then a boy came and took her out – thank goodness. At 11 Aunt Anne decided to stay over so we registered and went to bed.
Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written in May of 1942. Lad has just joined Dan in the service of Uncle Sam and Grandpa has fewer helpers in maintaining the Trumbull House. Lad writes home and tells the complete story of his induction process, from the Derby Train Station to Ft. Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts and then on to the Ordnance Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland.