Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 18th, 1945
When the renowned Florentine sculptor, Michelangelo, during the middle ages, was commissioned to do a figure celebrating the city’s deliverance from the Borgia’s, the only material he could obtain was a block of marble of wrong proportions. It was too narrow for its length. However, time being short, the young artist went to work with what he had and gave to the world one of its great masterpieces – “David”. Visitors who look upon this statue of the shepherd lad in battle against the mighty Goliath seldom realize why the right arm of the youth clings to his side as his hand reaches for the sling; or why his left arm hugs that side as his hand goes back for the stone; or why the knees bend just as they do. The artist was working out his idea within the available space given him by that odd-sized block of marble. That he could create his great work within such narrow limits is astounding. One miscalculation would have meant failure. And the moral for my own “David” far away at this Thanksgiving season? Well, rough and uneven are the materials handed to most of us out of which to carve our destiny. They frequently are not the ideal shape which we would have chosen. It is quite natural for us to curse the luck that makes the present state of things inevitable. The wiser ones choose to bless the fate that imposes such challenging necessities upon us, for it is the attitude we take towards life’s limitations which determines whether the outcome is to be a masterpiece or a mess.
Of course you will see in this allegory just another attempt by “the old man” to take some of the bitterness out of the present pill you are swallowing. Fortunately, from personal experience, I know it works.
Ced is now on his way to Alliance, Ohio, to check up on the progress of his plane, stopping enroute at Pittsburgh where there is in progress and annual convention of the Federal Union enthusiasts. I am hoping that tomorrow there will be some word from him as to what progress he is making. In any event, whether he flies back here and lands at the Monroe field or comes back by train, he expects to be with us for Thanksgiving. Whether Dick will also be with us is at the present moment somewhat uncertain. He is right now toying with the thought of going back to his South Carolina base as ordered, starting tomorrow, hoping that in tomorrow’s mail he might receive word which will make that unnecessary.
And Marian writes: “back to Army routine — no matter where we move the routine seems exactly the same. We have a very nice room with private bath and separate entrance in an apartment building — more or less. By that I mean there are about four apartments (ours is the only single room) all attached to the main house. The hallway is about 2 ½ feet wide. We like it but if we are going to be here much longer, we will look for a real apartment because eating all our meals out is much too expensive. Lad is being transferred into a new Co. so we’ll know a little more about our plans in a day or two. We learn he will remain in this new holding company until the 50-point deal gets straightened out, when he would get his discharge. The Army picked yesterday to give him an influenza shot so he didn’t feel much like doing any anniversary celebrating. We went to a USO dance but came home early. At least we were together, for as it worked out, he could not have come home on a pass.”
I hope they will be able to get home for Thursday’s dinner.
Tomorrow and Wednesday, the rest of this letter, on Thursday, news from Marian and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa.