Trumbull, Conn., July 12, 1942
Daniel Beck Guion
As you may have noticed, for the first time in several years I missed out last Sunday on my regular weekly letter, the reason being I was flitting from hither to yon. Dan had come home on a 10-day furlough and I decided to take a few days off (the first I had taken in several years – – since the trip to the Gaspe, as a matter of fact), and go back with Dan, stopping off to see Lad on the way home. We started, Dan and I, on Friday, taking the bus from Trumbull to the Bridgeport station, train to New York, stopped off for a few minutes to see Elsie, thence by shuttle to the Pennsylvania station and P.R.R. (Pennsylvania Railroad) air-conditioned train to Washington. As Dan had a return ticket by bus from Washington to Roanoke Rapids, I decided to follow the same route. Outside of the N.Y. subway during the rush hour, I have never traveled any distance on a more crowded conveyance. We started from Washington at 5:15 P.M. Friday, changed buses about midnight at Richmond and arrived at Roanoke about 2 o’clock Saturday. Dan took me to the only hotel, a very pleasant, clean little hostelry – – the only one in town, and while it was lots hotter then Trumbull, I had a good-sized outside room. Dan called for me next day about 8 o’clock informing me he had gone to report but as they failed to call his name on the role, he had the morning free. After showing me about the town a bit we took a very interesting two hour trip through a big textile mill after which he showed me through the Armory where they are stationed, ate lunch and spent the afternoon calling at the homes of some very charming southern families, friends of Dan, who all expressed in very tangible manner the reputed spirit of Southern hospitality that one hears about and which is so different from our rather cold northern manner. It being very hot and humid, neither of us felt like eating much so we had a light lunch and went to the local movies. In order to make proper connections by train for visiting Lad, I had to take the 5:15 train from the next town early Sunday morning, so I said goodbye to Dan, went back to the hotel and retired a bit after nine.
Up again at 4:30 Sunday, made the train O.K., arriving at Washington at 9:25. Had breakfast in the railroad station, left on the 11 o’clock train arriving at Aberdeen about 12:30, phoned to Lad after arriving at Camp and found he had to attend class, which, however, left him free for the afternoon from 3:30. We had a most interesting tour of this immense encampment, inspected Lad’s tent, had a most delicious army supper, walked around some more, tried to find a place where I could stay all night but being a 4th of July weekend, they were all filled up. Said goodbye to Lad and started for the 10:45 at Aberdeen which however did not arrive until almost 11:30. Because this train was late I missed a connection at Philadelphia for the 1:15 New York train and had to wait until 4:00 A.M. I reached New York just in time to miss connections for the Bridgeport “milk train” but finally arrived tired and sleepy at my home town at 8:30. To Trumbull by bus where I snatched a few hours sleep and went down to the office. Altogether I had a most interesting trip, in spite of the difficulties incident to poor train connections, and of course enjoyed seeing my two sons in their natural habitat – – to say nothing of the pleasure of seeing them and meeting their friends. As I review the few hours spent with them I couldn’t help but be reminded of a recitation my father used to give which made quite an impression on my boyhood mind and by contrast, how different my trip was to that described in “The Old Man Goes To Town”, which I will try to find time to copy and send with this letter.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter with news of Ced and bits and pieces of information to Dan and Lad. On Friday, the poem “The Old Man Goes To Town” , regarding different experiences a father has with his three sons as adults and his reflections about how they were raised.