Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (2) – Conclusion of Lad’s First Letter Home – May, 1942

 

Lad - 1943

Wed.

Due to the issue of rifles last night, I did not have time to complete this letter. And it looks as though I may not have time to finish it tonight. We are to have a lecture at 8 PM and that is only a short time distant. If anyone tells you that we are busy, just let it pass as an understatement. Boy, from 5:45 until 9:00, with the exception of about 30 minutes at noon and 1½ hours in the evening, we do not have time to even think for ourselves. To say nothing of heeding “Mother Nature”.

May 23

I was right. I could not finish it, and then since there was to be an inspection today, we spent all free time yesterday thoroughly cleaning the barracks. Outside and in. Then today for a diet we had drilling all morning, an inspection/review early in the afternoon, a rigid inspection later in the barracks, and then about 40 of us were marched a couple of miles to the infirmary, given two injections, and marched back again. Right now my right arm is so stiff that I have to use only my fingers and wrist to write. And incidentally, I don’t feel too hot. Oh! Yes. – Yesterday we were given our first rifle practice on an indoor range. I didn’t do too bad, but nowhere nearly as well as Dan.

From things that have been said at various places and by various people who should know. – Ordnance work and the Ordnance Department of the US Army rates second to none. Not even the Engineering Corps. Apparently, eight men out of 1000 get far enough to make the necessary qualifications for this department, and then, to make things even better, of those picked men, two out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for and Instructor’s rating and the Officer’s Training Course. I am among the latter few, and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at Aberdeen Proving Grounds  (A.P.G.) (Lad’s initials – Alfred Peabody Guion) for six months or even for the duration. In any case, Ordnance men are not trained to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with ammunition, and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently, I have been picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance. Well, so much for Army Life, here. I received your letter O.K., but I’m afraid that it will not be as easy as you seem to think to write regularly for a few weeks anyway. I am busier than the proverbial bee. Time out.

Sunday –

Those injections plus a cold got me. I quit, planning to take a short rest, but the first thing I knew it was just 9 PM and the corporal was saying one minute before lights out, so I didn’t have time to write more.

Breakfast on Sundays is at 7:00 and then I spent the rest of the morning washing clothes and cleaning my equipment in general. Then, immediately after lunch we fell out with rifles and had an inspection of arms. Then, following this, we went on a hike of about 5 or 6 miles, with cartridge belt, first aid kit and leggins. We returned in time for supper and then – here I am.

Quarantine will be up one week from tomorrow night. Then, if I am lucky, I will be able to get a pass for the weekend.

However, in the meantime, I would appreciate very much your sending me 10 clothes hangers. Two of them, steel. It is impossible to get hangers here.

I heard from Babe (Cecelia Mullins, the girl he’s been dating back home) Sat. but have not received any other mail. And speaking of mail, can you give me Dan’s address?

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

How do you like the Ordnance Emblem? The department colors are yellow and crimson. The insignia is a flaming bomb.

In order to shorten the address you may use the abbreviations as shown below: – remember me to everyone and my love to Aunt Betty.

Pvt. ______(me)____

Co B – 1st Bn. – O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Md.

Love —–

Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home. On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1943, just after Lad and Marian’s wedding.  

Judy Guion 

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Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Lad’s First Week in the Army – May, 1942

 

This is the first page of 11, a long letter to Grandpa telling him of all of his adventures after leaving Grandpa at the Railroad Station in Shelton/Derby, CT, on May 14, 1942.

APG - First letter to Grandpa from Aberdeen Proving Grounds - May 18, 1942

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

We left Derby on time and stopped at Ansonia. Here a second car was filled, and after a stop at Waterbury the third car was filled and our next stop was Hartford. Here we detrained at a few minutes before nine and walked about 1 ½ blocks to the Induction Center. There were so many of us that the complete inspection was not over until 2:45. The actual inspection per person was not more than 30 or 35 min., if that much. At 3 PM the 88 who had passed the examinations out of 169, were put into a separate car and in a few minutes a train coupled onto the car and we were off. The train stopped nowhere until it got to Worchester, Mass. Here a switch engine hooked onto our car and while the train went on, we were switched back and forth, and ended up on the track going in the opposite direction. Here another train picked us up and again we were off. Our next stop was in Ayer, Mass., where there is no platform of any kind. The tracks run through the backyard of Camp Devens. Here, with our baggage, we were again given a short march and after a little discussion concerning behavior in the camp we were issued raincoats and a barracks bag, another hike to Co. B, 1st Bn., and we were issued blankets. Incidentally, we detrained at Fort Devens at 5:40, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Then came supper and bed making instructions and we were more than glad to turn in at 9:00.

Friday we rose at 5:45 A.M., policed the barracks and fell out for breakfast. Immediately after that we were taken to Q.M.C. and issued our uniforms. What a system. It takes about four or five minutes from the time you start, stark naked, til you emerge at the other end very well fitted from the skin out, and in six complete uniforms with two complete changes of everything else. Then came an Aptitude test – lunch – and a private interview. Back to the theater to be shown a film on the evil side of sex, a couple of short welcome speeches – supper – a couple of fallout calls to advise some of the men that they were leaving early Sat. morning and then to bed.

Sat – up at 5:45 and out for reveille where 10 fellows and myself were told we would be ready to leave at 7:15. A rush to breakfast, again to the medical section for injections and a vaccination, back again for clothes and we fell out at 7:21 for the trip to wherever it was. We were marched out to the same lot at which we detrained when we first arrived and here we were told to wait for further orders. We waited until 8:30 and then were assembled and marched back to the road again, a distance of a couple of hundred yards and were put onto a truck. By truck we were taken a few miles to Fitchburg where we again waited and at 9:21 a train pulled in. At the rear was a special car and we were loaded into this. By now we numbered 44. A sergeant was in charge. He would give us no information as to where we were going, not even if it were a long trip. However with spirits undaunted, we had a good time. At Greenfield, Mass., we were shunted again and changed direction of travel from west to south. Our next stop was at Springfield where we were put onto a siding and taken into the station for lunch. After lunch we boarded the car again and in a couple of minutes another train backed up and again we were off. We stopped at Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford and Penn Station. We were ordered not to mail anything or make phone calls until we arrived at our destination, so I could not write anything to you. A half hour stop in Penn. Station, while a Penn. Engine was put on in place of the New Haven, during which time we ate a box lunch, and then began a real ride. On the New Haven road we had made good time, and only a few stops, but the track was quite rough and I don’t think we traveled better than 45 or 50 M.P.H. The first stop on the new leg was at Newark and then began a fast non-stop trip. The only times we slowed down below 75 M.P.H. (according to my figuring – the mile posts were going by every 44 or 45 seconds) was when we switched from the local track to the express or vice versa. On this trip we passed two freight trains, two locals and one express. All of them moving. It took about 2 ½ or 3 miles to pass the express, but we did it. Our next stop was Philadelphia, then Wilmington and then Aberdeen. Here, to our surprise, we all got off and were taken by truck, in the rain, to our present location (see the letterhead). We were issued blankets, assigned to barracks and were glad to go to bed even though it was only 9:30.

Sunday we had nothing to do, and also being in quarantine for a two-week period, we could do nothing. I acquainted myself as well as I could with in our limited grounds, about 2000 x 1000 feet, and made a few purchases at the PX (Camp store – Post Exchange) which we are lucky enough to have within grounds and again retired.

Monday began our training and was spent in learning marching fundamentals.

Today, Tuesday, we heard from a few of the Big Shots on the duties of the Ordnance Dept., and this afternoon, more drilling. Just now we are having an inspection of all equipment issued to us. And so will end today. And, believe me, we are all glad to hit the hay at 9:00 P.M. when the lights go out.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter from Lad to his Dad, my Grandpa, all about his first experiences in and with the Army after his induction. Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home: Ced in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic; Dan, being trained as an Army surveyor in Pennsylvania and Lad, who has just been inducted and is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Lots of News About Friends and Family – April, 1942

 

Trumbull, Conn., April 26, 1942

Dear Boys:

Tomorrow is registration day for the old fellows; in Trumbull it is to be conducted at the Center School. The high schools in Bridgeport are to be used for the same purpose so Dave has a holiday – – to work at the office. Along in May sometime there will be a day when we will appear again at the school to apply for sugar registration cards, 1 pound per person every two weeks. On May 15th gasoline rationing starts. The powers have not decided whether the common people get 2 ½ or 10 gallons of gas per week, but between gas rationing and tire restrictions, it does not look as though there will be much auto driving this summer, and by the same token, Dan, I am wondering if the gas situation will induce you to change your mind about driving your car down to camp from here as mentioned in your last letter. Dick says the car is in running condition and when I read your letter I had an idea I would like to drive down with you to North Carolina and come home by bus or train after looking the place over, telling your general not to let to stay out nights and get your feet wet by leaving off your rubbers on rainy days, and in general putting my seal of approval on the new layout, but we can talk that over later.

Jack Fillman was in for a few minutes yesterday afternoon to see Dick. He looks fine, has gained 15 pounds and is with an artillery unit stationed at a new post on the North Carolina shore. Cy Linsley also called yesterday afternoon to have me witness his questionnaire. Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend) called one day during the week all dolled up in his Bridgeport emergency police uniform. It was rather amusing to see him in that outfit knowing his attitude in the past and recalling the many run-ins he had with the Trumbull police.

It has been a mild, balmy, sunshiny day and Dave and I started out at 8 this morning and walked all around Pinebrook Lake. We got home a little after 10, Dave to go to church and I to get Sunday’s dinner. On the way back we stopped for a minute to talk to Mrs. Ives, who was weeding her flower bed, and learned that Mr. Ives is in Bridgeport Hospital for observation and treatment. He is still is troubled with swollen glands, a condition known as Hodgson’s disease or some similar name. As long as he takes it easy he is O.K. but as soon as he does any work he develops a fever. X-ray treatment is being used to remedy the trouble.

Friday I attended a joint meeting of chairman of various Red Cross activities in the Town, and incidentally learned something that, in the back of my mind I knew all the time, but had evidently lain dormant, and that is the fact that the Red Cross is the liaison between the men in service and the home. For instance, when you Dan, needed money to get home you could have made arrangements with the local Red Cross field representatives. Their job is to solve family problems, providing relief where necessary, securing social histories and reports on home conditions required by military authorities in considering questions of medical and hospital treatments, discharge, furloughs and clemency. Cooperation is also rendered in securing the return to duty of men, particularly first offenders, who are AWOL. Claims both for disabled veterans and able-bodied were necessary.

Page 2   4/26/42

Red (Sirene) came home this weekend and he and Dick have been up at Plumbs this afternoon starting to get the tennis court in condition. Dave stayed home to work on getting his wheel in condition.

Elizabeth and her two tykes just came in. They had been up at the Zabel’s and are going back. Zeke is fishing. He got a couple of trout last week.

Ced, it is so long since your last letter and so unlike you to cause me to get anxious that I am wondering if you have written and for some reason or another, the letter has failed to arrive. I have thought that for war reasons there might be a strict censorship on outgoing letters, but I can hardly believe that they would stop mail entirely even though they might delete some of the things you might write. I reasoned that if you were ill or something, Rusty would write, still I cannot understand how you could be too busy to even drop me a card, knowing you are thoughtful and considerate of others. So in a word, you have me guessing. I have had only the one letter since you have returned from the glacier repair trip.

I would like if possible to hear from you in time to get off some little birthday remembrance that would reach you by June 1st, so if everything is O.K., drop me a line as soon as you get this, PLEASE, and tell me what would be welcome from home.

Lad has now about finished training a successor in his shipping department job, and the next step is to talk to someone in the company to learn what the latest news is regarding his draft status and whether he should proceed at once to try to get into the Naval Reserves.

There doesn’t seem to be any further items of interest I can think of to mention at this time. Anyway, it’s time I got a bite to eat for Aunt Betty, so I’ll close in the customary manner, the usual method of signing off as

DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll post letters written in 1943. Lad and Marian’s Wedding is almost upon them (the Army being cooperative).

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Private and Public (1) – Grandpa Meets a Distant Relative – April, 1942

 

ADG - Grandpa, when I know him, early 1960's

Trumbull, Conn,  April 19, 1942.

Dear Private and Public:

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I took a suit of Dave’s into the Goodwork  Cleaners opposite my old office at the corner of Fairfield and Broad, and while the girl was getting out the slip, two other young fellows came in and stood at the counter next to me. The girl said, “name please”. I spelled it out, as I usually do, “A.D. G-u-i-o-n”, and the man next to me turned around and said “Guion?”, fished a booklet out of his pocket and handed it to me. It was a N.Y. driver’s license of another Guion. He said he came from New Rochelle, was a nephew of Dr. Guion there, and by the same token we must be distantly related.

Well, I suppose you saw in the paper that “Old Iron Pants”, Hugh S. Johnson, has ended his colorful career. From the newspaper account, my cousin, his wife, was not at his bedside when he passed away, so presumably, she is still in a sanitarium. The Blue Eagle has soared into his everlasting eerie.

Lad this week received a card from the local draft board reclassifying him again as A-1, but from what he has learned, he will probably not be called until next month and when this happens, the Producto will request further temporary deferment on the basis of an emergency, if at that time the man Lad is training for his job has not yet developed suitable proficiency in his duties to take over. If he has, Lad will then seek to enlist in the Naval Reserves.

Elizabeth today is a “fish widow”, Zeke celebrating the opening day of the fishing season by angling for finny denizens of nearby trout streams.

All yesterday afternoon and up until 12:30 today, Dave has been wrestling with the production 33,500 multigraphing and folding of letters for Ashcroft. Almost all (save some 5000) have been multigrafted and about half folded, so we’re fairly well on with the job, which originally was supposed to be delivered tomorrow, but as the first of the letterheads were only given to us yesterday instead of several days previously, we will still be able to make a “reasonable” delivery.

Aunt Betty last week went to the dentist to have a loose tooth removed and is having a new plate made which takes her to Bridgeport twice a week until the job is finished. She has been complaining of lack of pep lately and is now taking vitamin B tablets. This together with removal of the decayed tooth plus moderate exercise outdoors, now that the weather is getting suitable for her to get out, we hope will make her feel quite frisky. She has already planted some seeds in the flower boxes and has acquired a new watering can to nurse them through their babyhood.

According to a postal Barbara received from Dan, he is now at his new camp at Roanoke Rapids, No. Car., but had not yet learned what sort of activity his new work would entail. I am looking forward to a letter telling more in detail as soon as he gets settled.

I will be posting the conclusion of this letter tomorrow. 

On Friday one more letter from grandpa to his boys away from home.

On Saturday and Sunday, more special pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – News of Dave and Ced – November, 1945

 

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 18th, 1945

Dear Dave:

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 slang; or why his left arm hugs that side as his hand goes back for the stone; or why the knees been 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 done even 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 in evitable. 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. I 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 will 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 short letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (1) – Discharges and Ced is Home – November, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 11, 1945

Dear Dan and Dave:

You to being the only outlanders left, the salutation above is correct, although on second thought, it was only about five minutes ago that Lad and Marian left for Aberdeen to make that their temporary home until he is discharged, their hope being that their sojourn will not be long and of course they are hoping to get home on a pass for Thanksgiving. However, they took along a limited amount of housekeeping utensils so that if they are stuck there for any length of time, they will have the ways and means of existing until the Army order finally comes through. Anyway, they will thus have an opportunity of celebrating their wedding anniversary together, which otherwise might not have been possible in view of the fact that obtaining another pass so soon after the one this week, might be difficult to secure. It was Marian’s birthday today so we were able to celebrate that en masse anyway. By all the laws of reason, Lad should be permitted to file his request for discharge in accordance with recent public announcement from Army headquarters, but due to a technicality in the wording, Lad not being on furlough or assigned to temporary duty, is not eligible. Dick is due for return to a camp in South Carolina the day before Thanksgiving, but is today writing for transfer to Fort Devens, which, if granted, with the necessary traveling time, will give him until after Thanksgiving to report there and file his request for discharge. Here’s hoping. As far as we can figure it out now, Aunt Elsie, Anne and Gwen (Stanley) and perhaps Lad’s friend in Aberdeen will be here for Thanksgiving, besides of course, Ced, Dick and Jean, Aunt Betty, myself and I hope Lad and Marian. The Zabels go up to their Trumbull in-laws for that day and here for Christmas. Aunt Helen (Peabody Human) has gone to the Bahamas to join Ted (Human, her husband), and Don Stanley is overseas somewhere.

Ced, in Alaska, with, I believe, a company plane.

          I mentioned Ced. Yes, he’s home. Got home Wednesday night and came in almost like Santa Claus. We were all sitting around the kitchen table, supper just being over, when in through the dining room walks Ced, as nonchalant as you please, having scorned to come in the back door, choosing rather to shinny up the front porch, onto the roof and in through the hall window, this procedure being necessary by virtue of the fact that I had put up storm windows on all the French doors on the ground floor and the front door was locked. He had flown down from Anchorage to Seattle in his own company plane and from there took the train to Ohio, where the Taylorcraft two-seater plane he had ordered was being built. Thence by train to New York, where he stopped in to see Elsie and Aunt Anne before “dropping in” on us here. I am going to ask Ced in a minute to write you a little more about the plane, etc., so I will not go into further details on that now.

The new furnace is in and working (but not paid for yet), and thanks to Dick and Ced, all the storm windows are up — the first time in many years, it seems, that I have not had to do this job myself. I doubt if they realize how much of a help they have been, as Saturday afternoons and Sundays furnish so little opportunity to do what is necessary. Also the little time Lad has been home he has been a great help in furnace regulation and other jobs of a mechanical nature that have needed to be done for a long time. It’s been so good to have three of the boys home together, but naturally only 3/5 as good as the ultimate. Anyway it’s the biggest score we’ve had in quite some time.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will complete this long letter from Grandpa to Dan and Dave, and on Friday I’ll post a note from Marian.

Judy Guion

A Message From Virginia of Interest to Alaskans – A Cat Tale – March, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., March 1, 1942

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

A Message from Virginia of interest to Alaskans:

Dan writes on 2/26.42:

It seems that the Army knows how to keep us extremely busy especially when I spent my weekend in Washington with one of those snazzy Trumbull belles. Verily, I find time only on Sundays to write to you-all. The income tax still is relegated to pending business. This meager message will have to serve until Sunday. I am well, and too occupied to be dissatisfied with military life.

A Message from Alaska of interest to Virginians:

 

 

Now that this two-way correspondence has been adequately covered I will revert to commonplace doins at home. Well, to start off with Army gossip, Don Whitney, I understand, is now at camp Polk, La., in an armored tank division. I suppose they figured that in the course of his experience at the Stratfield he had become a somewhat familiar with tanks at conventions, etc., and he knew something about running them (out). Chet, so his bride informs us, is at Fort McClellan, Ala., in a training Battalion that has been put in charge of a squad. Today is the first anniversary of Carl and Ethel’s wedding and they have gone down to New York, same as they did a year ago, to celebrate. Dick and Jean were invited to go along with them. Jean (nee Hughes) was also invited but as she had arranged to spend the day making a dress to wear to a visit to her soldier husband she could not go along.

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Last night Elizabeth came for a visit in an effort to see if Dave or someone could not be prevailed upon to come over to her house and take care of the children while she and Zeke went to the movies. As Dave was out and in fact Aunt Betty was the only one home, she unfortunately drew a blank. Butch improved the few minutes he was here by turning on all the switches on the electric stove – – thus proving himself somewhat of a live wire. Lad worked until 3 o’clock today at Producto and Dave hitchhiked back and forth to Newtown where he tried out for a play they are giving. In consequence, my Sunday dinner was served in three installments, 12:30 for Dave; 1:30 for Dick, who got up so late he did not have time to eat more than a tomato, and 2:30 for Lad and the rest of us.

I would that I were gifted with the pen of a Dan or a Rusty so that I could, with a suitable degree of humor, write the Saga of the Warden’s pet cat. It seems that their erstwhile pet from the species felinus, was originally wished on them by some kind friends with the thought it might make a playmate for Skipper. As an innocent little kitten it’s sex was not immediately discernible, but as the days grew into months it became apparent, particularly at nightfall, that this little gray ball of fur was the cat belle of the neighborhood and attracted many ardent suitors whose serenades were the hit (where aiming was good) of the neighborhood, and Guion’s backyard soon became the rendezvous of male adorers from far and near, all bent on the age old idea of propagating the species. Skipper mistook the kitten (emboldened I suppose by hearing his parents talk of the rubber shortage) as an elastic toy and when not tying the animal into knots endeavored to see how far it would stretch. Thus Pussy led a very busy life, dodging Skipper in the daytime and seeking solace and refuge in the amours of sundry admirers at night. One morning as I glanced out of my bedroom window in time to see Dick come home from

Cat Tale no. 2    3/1/42

(I don’t know whether that is the appropriate spelling of tale, under the circumstances) his night shift and before he had time to get into his night shift (pun), he dallied long enough to rescue poor pussy from our Apple tree to which she had evidently been driven by the ardent attention of three or four rivals who patrolled the base of the tree, evidently not fancying the swaying bow as an ideal nuptial couch. There was a gleam in Dick’s eye, and a Mona Lisa smile that forbade no good to someone, although at the time its true significance did not penetrate the state of intelligence that one has attained at that hour of the morning. Anyway, the smile, which I neglected to say was not in his eye, soon turned inward to hibernate for a few days and finally emerge in the guise of a full-fledged idea. I don’t know the shocking details, and never asked questions, but a few mornings later, my 22-cal. Repeater was missing from its accustomed place, and loaded, as I afterwards learned, with bullets supplied by Paul Warden himself, whose job is the inspection of Remington cartridges, was successful in snuffing out a few of the nine lives. Dave, I learned, held the delecti until it became a corpus delecti under the well-placed aim of Deadeye Dick, and thus Skipper lost a flexible companion and the world generations yet unborn of pussycats. The Wardens, who smoke a famous brand of cigarettes, were nonchalant about the whole thing which leads me to surmise if there were not some collusion somewhere along the line. Sleep has been more peaceful of late.

Aunt Betty, who by the way continues to send love every time she sees me writing my weekly outburst, has just reminded me that I neglected to tell Alaska about Trumbull’s visit to Virginia. As per schedule, last Saturday morning Barbara and Lois caught the train which was an hour late at Bridgeport, right through to Washington. On arrival they had a bit of trouble locating Dan at the Camp then spotted him coming out of a telephone booth where he had gone to call them up. They watched the dancing for a while, then went to Washington and had dinner. The girls went to a friend’s house and Dan, after vainly trying to find a hotel where he could put up for the night, finally found a place where he bunked with seven other fellows. Sunday they spent “doing” Washington. Then Dan had to get back to Camp. The girls slept until about noon and took the train home. Apparently they all had a good time and are hoping for a repetition. As far as I could gather the only want of Dan’s I can supply is coat hangers.

This is going to shock Ced. Dick has bought a 1937 Ford sedan from Blue Ribbon for $295. Color green; tires, fair. No heater or radio. Unable to get markers until he furnishes a birth certificate which he has sent for. Did not get markers for Dan’s car. Is intending to write Dan to ask whether he wants his old car sold or put in storage. Dick’s idea is that I use the car daytime for work (thus saving tires on Buick), paying running expenses, while he uses it nights. The main reason for his getting a new car is that I have had to get tough on account of the tire shortage in letting him take the car on frequent occasions when his old car (Dan’s) was too small to accommodate the number of young folks he wanted to go to the movies with, or Stratford, or what have you.

And that just about brings us to the end of the record. So, signing off until next time, this is your same old

DAD

I’l finish out the week with a quick postcard to Lad from a Trumbull friend and another letter from Grandpa to Alaska and Virginia.

Saturday and Sunday will be more Special Pictures. Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in October of 1943 concerning Lad’s marriage to Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion