Trumbull, Conn., November 19, 1944
Dear Alices in Wonderland:
(all of you)
“The time has come”, the Walrus said
“To talk of many things —-
Of Ced and Dave and Marian
And babes the stork doth bring.”
And just to be contrary we’ll start with the last first.
Saturday at 4 AM another little Hall came to town with the fond expectation of his parents that someday he would make his mark in the world – sort of a hall-mark, so to speak. Did I say “his”? Forgive the error, please. It is a little girl. And I don’t think I mentioned in my previous letters that Father and Mother Hughes are now grandpa and grandma Hughes, Jean also introducing a little girl into Trumbull Society. (Both of these little girls have been lifelong friends of mine)
As for Ced, he has just given birth to a birthday present to his dad. I call it a birthday present because that is what they said it was but it might well be an advance Christmas gift judging from the magnificence of the remembrance, the thoughtfulness displayed in its selection of the uncanny knowledge of my needs that it betokened, for it must be admitted that in glancing through sundry ads in popular magazines I have frequently read with interest announcement of the Parker Life-Time Pen and Pencil sets, only to dismiss the thought of owning one with the realization that the Scotch blood, if any, of some unknown ancestor would stay my hand in the act of withdrawing it from my pocket the necessary bills grasped there in to the faint accompaniment of a voice urging “my friends” to invest in victory bonds. Then two, there was the accompanying thought that having had in the past some unfortunate experiences in losing good fountain pens and pencils, I could not subject myself to the mental hazard of having such a thing happen to so costly and highly prized possession.
However, all these circumstances are now resolved for me who am now the happy possessor of the set in question, duly stamped with my initials, so that now, instead of envy as I turn the pages of Fortune, I now gloat. It would have been very difficult, Ced, for you to have hit upon anything that would be quite so welcome and appreciated, and you can take full satisfaction in that inner glow which comes from knowing that you really rang the bell.
Now, let’s turn our attention to Marian. I don’t know, Lad, what you’re going to do about that girl. Course I don’t like to worry you but I think you ought to know that there is someone called Heck that she mentions quite frequently and in the oddest connections, showing that she thinks of him throughout the day. She doesn’t say much about him, just mentions his name. I have even thought of writing in your name to the lady that runs the advice to the lovelorn columns but figured I’d better consult with you first. Otherwise she seems quite normal, and in truth has quite won a large place in all our hearts. Of course this is no more than what we expected would happen but in this case the realization is even better than the anticipation. Time and scarcity of paper precludes going into great detail but “helpfulness” seems to be her motto. I know Aunt Betty feels this way from what she has said and speaking from personal knowledge, whether it is work I have to bring home from the office occasionally or such household tasks as taking down screens and putting up storm wndows, she generously fills the shoes of my absent sons. Today, for instance, both before and after dinner, I accomplished considerably more in the winterizing process that I have for many weekends.
Page 2 11/19/44
I could go on at great length in the same vein, but just one more instance will show what I mean. Tomorrow she has offered to come down to the office with me in the morning and pinch-hit for some of the helpers I vainly seek to carry on the work of the Guion organization. The neck of the bottle right now seems to be an operator of the graph-o-type, and with work piling up in this department, she is courageously trying her hand at cutting stencils.
Tomorrow I will be posting the rest of this letter and a second letter from Grandpa will finish out the week.
If you find the story of family life during the 1940’s interesting, why not share it with friends or family? Perhaps they will enjoy it also.