I guess we used Aunt Betty’s car sometimes because my Dad and Aunt Betty were very close. Aunt Betty used to buy a new Buick every year and we used it a lot.
In about 1918 or 1919, Dad bought a new Franklin Touring car. My mother used to drive Dad down to the station (in Mount Vernon, NY) and he’d go into New York City where he worked. Then she’d come back home. She go back and get him later. One day, she backed up to turn around after the train had pulled out, and ran up on a hydrant. The wheels of the Franklin were about 20 or 21 inches. She got out of the car and there it sat up on the hydrant, all out of shape. She stood there and looked at it, she said everything was skewed, the doors, the frame … And that was a wooden frame of course. She had to get help to get it off there. We moved up to Trumbull in that car. I guess Dad decided to sell it shortly after we moved to Trumbull.
In Trumbull, I went to the old Don Sirene’s house, which was a school. It had two rooms with a sliding door between them. The first, second and third grades were in one room, the fourth, fifth and sixth grades were in the other. The teachers were two sisters, one in each room. Ms. Hawkins taught in the second building. That was the building that was moved. They put a basement under it and made some minor changes and made a firehouse out of it. We had outhouses outside – one for the boys and one the girls. We had a water cooler, a ten-gallon jug with a pushbutton on the bottom, no ice, and a wood stove. Both buildings had a wood stove – we kids used to get the wood for it.
When they opened Center School, I was in the fourth grade. It had four rooms upstairs and four rooms downstairs. It was shaped like a square.
The Barn with the little trap door above the entrance.
At the Trumbull house, one of the things we used to do, one of the high points, had to do with the little trap door over the barn. We opened the door, tied a rope to the beam at the top of the barn, ran it down and tied it to the big Maple out beside the Summer Terrace. We used to have a wheel on it and we’d go out the door and hang from the wheel. We’d slide all the way down and get off by the big Maple tree. A pretty fast ride, too.
We had a swing on the upper end of the property, near the stone pillars. We had a knot in the end of a single rope and tied it to a tree on the hill. We’d take hold of the rope, take a run and then swing out almost over the road. Don Stanley fell off it and broke his arm. His father never really forgave us.
The Gang at the Trumbull House on the Summer Porch.
Lad is behind the guy in front, dressed in white; Dave and Dan are in front, behind the guy in white.
Our house was the center for the local population. All the kids our age congregated at our house because of everything, and my mother, of course. She was very pro-social, in her own life and in ours. She was a wonderful woman.
Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the Army. Lad is getting further Training at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland, and Dan Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina for more Training in surveying and Map Making.