This week, I have moved forward to 1944, a time when all five of Grandpa’s sons are serving the war effort in one way or another. Lad is in California, with his new bride, Marian, training vehicle mechanics for the Army; Dan is in London, with trips to Paris, probably drawing maps for the coming Army invasion; Ced is working as an airplane mechanic at an airfield which has been taken over by the Army; Dick is in Brazil, working as an M.P. and acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workmen; Dave has been in the Army for about six months and is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, for further training before being sent overseas.
Magnus Colcord Heurlin (Rusty)
May 24, 1944
Sure wish to thank you for taking care of frames for me. Will someday show appreciation for lifts you’ve given me. But plans have taken a change with me on these frames being sent here. May have you deliver them later on to someone in Anchorage who may take care of selling my work, as then would only need 2 frames — one gold and one silver to show paintings in — judge type of frame best for pictures I sent to this person in Anchorage — send picture without frame and tell him which kind to use. This is a more practical arrangement. So hold on to them until you hear from me on this score.
Cashed your money order and went to Bureau of Indian Affairs Office to pick you up some ivory. In same mail came a check from Harry Olson of Anchorage for whom I was going to do some work. But come to find out that they are sending all their ivory over to office in Juneau. Next best thing I can do is to pick up stuff direct from natives on trips to Pt. Barrow. Will stop at Diomede where Indian Affairs got ivory, was in hopes of getting here so I will get the jump on them here over there. But what may be of greater value are whale bone baskets made farther north, as the art is slowly passing away and most all this work is real art.
Ice is still reflecting into sky blinding light. Looks like you were going to lose but Army on turning point of war with regard to invasion. We had invasion pool here – month by month — but will not take any chance until month of July. For some reason or other I peg July 5th but who cares what I think anyway. I could be wrong on this psychological analysis. That means — look it up in the dictionary!
You wouldn’t like it here — grapefruit 90 cents apiece — lemons 20 cents apiece. Why should I eat them just because they are not to be had during winter time up here? Never went in for them much before says I to greedy storekeepers so can wait till I get back on the farm someday where fruit will be a carrot (for the eyes) then pounds of tomatoes for the gut.
Was over to the flying preacher’s house at a little gathering tonight and we all turned to pages this and that and sung hymns. Find it rather difficult at times to sing with tongue in the cheek. But soon he is taking me on a trip to ___________ in the Piper Cub. Went down to Solomon with him few weeks ago and attended church with him there. Getting to be quite religious these days and seeing as much of Seward Peninsula as I can. Attended Catholic services at Nulato on way over and was invited to dinner at rectory where I had a delightful repast with Father Band and interesting evening with the 3 sisters. It is nice or good to see how the different men of the different clergy live.
How goes the flying? And how is your daffy boss treating you these days? Nothing new here — marking time only for the breakup. Old Hankus Morgenthau put his hand and seal to distinguished service citation on behalf of War Finance Program whereupon beautifully centered and over pale blue lithograph of Minute Man is this number, name, with “Rusty” written between C. H. It is a neat little tidbit of parchment but I did so want to get a Purple Heart. Feel wounded as it is, so I think that I should – Enuff stuffy stuff so’ll be writing you anon – when I have something interesting to tell you.
Best to all friends in Anchorage as ever and thanks again for taking care of the frames.
For the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to his scattered family.