Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister
Trumbull, Conn., August 23, 1942
It gives me great pleasure to lead off this evening with a broadcast from our guest artist, Miss Elsie M. Guion, who had, this day, had the honor of entertaining in connection with a joint (cut out those remarks about “some joint”, etc.) celebration of birthdays.
Thank you, Mr. Guion, and how do you do, Sons o’ Guns. We, the celebrants, have had a great day, and speaking for myself, I am enjoying a rare Sunday both from the standpoint of a workless Sunday and also a Sunday at Trumbull. I’ll not dwell on the birthday, because, oh well, I’ve had too many of them, although they’ve always been swell. Today’s brought an odd assortment of gifts, but I asked for it. Some luscious big ripe tomatoes such as we don’t get in the big city, a loaf of unmatchable Soderholm’s Swedish rye bread. The rest I didn’t order: A bottle of delectable domestic Port Wine, a box of all American licorice candy and some coconut cupcakes. Aunt Betty’s gift was a birthday card with an appropriate message and a dollar bill tucked almost out of sight – but I found right soon. I’m quick that way.
Dan, I’m responsible for the Cookie Wookies. I hope it didn’t taste as wacky as it sounds but I didn’t have a chance to sample it. It’s a poor substitute for letters and my resolutions to write even a postal that never materialized. I’m slow that way.
Christmas Brochure for the Accessory Shop, Inc.
The Shop (inside Grand Central Station) goes on – for better for worse. The Station seems to be filled most of the time now that automobiles are not used so much. Constantly, uniforms, singly and in bunches, pass through. Yesterday seemed busier than usual. But you should see the Station and also any part of New Your City in a Blackout. Any city street, utterly black, is a most interesting “site”. The Waiting Room in the station has to go completely black because it has windows high up that evidently can’t be blacked out.
Now I’m done except to send an affectionate hello to Ced, and to wish that, like the rest of us here, that we could grasp his hand and say “It’s great to see you again.” So long.
Thank you, Miss Guion. You refer to a “rare” Sunday. Now, that’s too bad. I did so try to have it “well done”. But then, as in most meals, one gets his just desserts. Dick (who was also celebrating a birthday), shy, modest and retiring as usual, “can’t think of anything to say”, so he is passing up this golden opportunity to hurl a few verbal bombshells at his absent brothers.
We had eleven round the festive board. Starting at my right and making the circle were: Lad (home for the weekend from Aberdeen, Maryland), Elsie (Guion, Grandpa’s sister), Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt), Elizabeth (Grandma and Grandpa’s only daughter, known as Bissie to friends and family), the two grandsons (Butch and Marty Zabel) (spasmodically), Dave, Zeke (Raymond Zabel, Bissie’s husband) , Dick, Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s future wife) and yours truly. The vegetables were fresh from Mr. Laufer’s (a neighbor across the street) garden and consisted of lima beans, raw tomatoes and sweetcorn. The two chickens were also native Trumbull products. Katherine (Warden, who has rented the apartment with her husband, Paul, who is also in the Armed Services, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) made the cake from Guion ingredients and it was right good. Naturally, as on all similar occasions, we missed Alaska (Ced) and North Carolina (Dan).
A hard shower sprang up before the meal was over which gave the lie to the sunshine with which the day had started. Lad is out calling but will be back before long and he and Aunt Elsie will entrain together for New York later this evening.
Tomorrow, the rest of this letter from Grandpa to his absent sons.