In this weeks letter, Grandpa announces Lad’s engagement to Marian to the brothers who are so far from home.
Lad and Marian at Pamona, CA
October 10, 1943
THE BOOK OF THE WEEK
Being Trumbull’s Refuse of Refuse
Translated from the original by A. D. Guion
CHRISTMAS BOXES: How much moral fortitude have the boys in the service? Can the Trumbull contingent resist temptation? Have the Guion draftees willpower strong enough so that they can delay opening their Christmas boxes, being sent sometime during the coming week, until December 25th, no matter how much before that date said box arrives? These are the questions that the inmates of BABBLING BROOK are asking themselves, instead of the outmoded question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” Time alone will afford the answer. To be sure, the contents of the boxes are nothing to write home about (Which, following the usual custom, you will not do). We have tried to inject a little local color in the shape of certain products found locally on trees in the vicinity, while daughter-in-law Jean, has, with loving care, prepared a few toothsome bits on which you may contentedly munch (this is not a cow product add).
THE GREAT RECORD MYSTERY: For some weeks Read’s have been advertising how thrilling it would be for “your boy or girl in the service” to receive a Christmas greeting in your own voice, and to this end they set up a recording service where, under competent supervision, one could go to their store and speak your little piece on both sides of a metal photograph record which could then be sent in one’s overseas Christmas box. Yesterday (Saturday) Howland’s announced a similar service and on my way to deliver the Liggett’s menus, I stopped in and made my little speech three times on records to go to Dan, Dick and Lad. After completing my creation the operator told me I could also use the other side of the record and rather than extemporized on the spur of the moment, I told him I would come back later after giving a bit of thought to what I wanted to say. I did so and was greeted with the sad news that orders had just come through from the War Department to the effect that such service had to be discontinued and that no records made would be allowed to be sent. Read’s had already made some 400 recordings. The only one they would allow to be sent was the one to Lad, as he was not overseas. I don’t see the sense of the ruling any more than I do some of the other queer edicts that issue from New Dealers in Washington, but there is nothing much to do about it, so that idea is bust.
THIS WEEK’S FEATURE STORY: (replacing the usual column “Advice to the Lovelorn”). So as not to spring this startling news to suddenly on our indulgent readers, mention is made that under a Stratford dateline last week the Bridgeport Post ran an item captioned “Laddie Ignores War Department”! Be that as it may, the only letter received from any of the absentees last week was one from California announcing the engagement of one Sgt. Guion to Miss Marian Irwin, or to put it in his own words: (oh, damn, I just recall having left the letter in the office). But anyway, he mentioned having been hit quite hard and when he had time to get his breath he promised to send more details. SO, you Dan and Ced, look out for Cupid! Who knows but that he has two arrows left in his quiver tagged with your names! Come on, now, who will be the next? Remember I have, for a number of years, had only one daughter and five sons and the sooner I acquire more daughters by proxy, the better, so step right up, gentlemen, and place your bets.
Book of the week, page 2 10/10/43
DEAN OF TRUNBULL EMULATES KAISER: Ye shades of doom! If the Kaiser can be a wood chopper in his exile, why can’t old Pop Guion, when exiled by his own sons, chop up firewood against the coming fuel shortage? No sooner said than done. So, with my regular wood choppers chopping hunks out of Nazis and other vermin, I ups and tackles the old apple tree which blew down last winter. That was my good deed for this week. Next on the program is taking down screens and getting storm windows ready to erect. Who says I don’t miss the gang?
MOTORING ITEM: Young David, just turned 18, has now turned to motoring and has a yen to run Dan’s Chevrolet. He had some of his buddies put
it through its paces yesterday and found that outside of a battery, busted taillight and a weak starter, there seems to be little the matter. A car in running condition is a better perspective sale than one that lays out in the backyard with tires deflated, etc., so, irrespective of the fact that this plays right into Dave’s hand, if Dan consents, Dave will register the car, and I will expand what funds are necessary to put it into driving condition, with the idea that anything so spent will pay dividends when the car is sold. Of course Dan, if there is any reason why you prefer not to have Dave use the car, that is something else again. I will say, however, that none of you boys at his age drove any more carefully or with better judgment than he does.
PREDIUCTION: This is where we outrival Drew Pearson, Walter Winchell and other prognosticators, who either have not thought so far ahead or have not dared put it into print. A Reuter’s dispatch from Zürich states the Germans ”plan to remove the Pope to a North Italian town offering greater security should Rome be in danger of capture by the Allies.” This decision was said to have been taken on the grounds that the Germans had assumed responsibility for protecting the Pope and could not allow him to be endangered by street fighting. Good, kind, thoughtful Nazis. I predict: that desperate Hitler has an ace card in the person of the Pope, that he will remove him to Germany with perhaps all the Cardinals, and when the Allies demand the head of Hitler, that wily paper hanger will reply: “Full pardon for me and Mussy or the Pope and Cardinals go to the block”. When I was a boy, Theodore Roosevelt sent a message to a Barbary pirate chieftain who had captured an American citizen: “Pericardis alive, or Rasuli dead.” And what a poser this question would pose for Roosevelt and Churchill to decide. You may be sure Adolph is not overlooking the possibilities. Talk about political dynamite. This is truly “high explosive”.
SOCIAL NOTES: A week ago Saturday, Carl Wayne, while at Norfork, visited the Chandlers at Westminster. He is scheduled for his first trip in about three weeks time and after that has a chance to be made 3rd Assistant Engineer. Ethel says he is still using his selling ability, having contracted to do the men’s washing. He then got friendly with the cook and uses the galley to dry the clothes, of course charging extra for this. David Chandler is going to Prep School in Washington. Carol Elizabeth is three months old and is living with her mother when her father isdoing washing for Uncle Sam, at the Bushy residents, with Papa and Mama bushy and Daniels Farm Road.
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This was a long post but I wanted to get the whole letter in before the week ended. I hope you enjoyed it.
Tomorrow, some more Special Pictures.
On Monday, I’ll be moving ahead to 1945 and more of the trials of Dan and Paulette during the beginning of their marriage.