Dave is 15 now and entering High School. He’s also showing early signs of Leadership. Every week when my Grandfather sat down to write his installment of information for his sons, he used carbon paper so that everyone had copies of each others letters, keeping everyone informed of what was happening in the lives of the family and of friends and family in Trumbull. These two letters were sent at the same time as yesterday’s letter to Dan and Ced in Alaska.
August 11, 1940
Dear Alfred, Dan & Ced:
I find that our dear father has mentioned the forming of the new dramatic club in Trumbull. Here’s the lowdown: about two weeks ago there
was a dance given by the newly formed Recreation Council. I happened to be there. Why? I don’t know, but I saw Mr. Davis and asked him if he thought the Trumbull Recreation Council would sponsor a dramatic club if they were approached on the subject. Instantly he seemed to become interested and called Mr. Lynch (the Recreation Supervisor, hired by the state for this town) over and introduced him to me. Mr. Lynch (he wishes to be called Tom) and I made a date the following day and discussed the matter more thoroughly then. I learned that Tom was a professional dancer and that because of the small crowd at the dance, he decided to give free dancing lessons to those who were interested. I am one that is interested and am now enjoying dancing lessons. Next week I am going to Winnipesaukee with the scouts.
Last night I played Bingo and won an electric mixer and beater. It is a cheap one but serves the purpose.
In spite of flunking Latin and Algebra, I am looking forward to the opening of school in three weeks. I will enter Bassick, which will seem like heaven compared to the hellhole they call Whittier……
Well so long…..
Trumbull, Conn., U.S.A.
August 11, 1940
All the news I could think of is contained in the attached letter to the Alaskan branch of the family. Duplicates of the newspaper clippings referred to therein are enclosed to you also.
By the way, did you ever hear any more about oil in the Josephina field? Probably with the oil situation as it is at present with so much of the continental market shut off from U.S. producers there would not be much object in pushing new drillings so your holdings of Venezuela Petroleum may have to be put away in camphor balls for a time.
Aunt Betty is a bit concerned because after having that copy made which she sent you of the Duryee lineage, she has been unable to find the original from which the copy was made. She has looked everywhere it might have been mislaid but so far with no result. It occurred to me that as Duryee has left, you may not have any immediate use for your copy and might send it back so that she can at least have a copy for her archives.
A famous Englishman a century or so ago, the Earl of Chesterfield, once wrote to his son on the benefits of foreign travel, as follows: of journeying’s, the benefits are many: the freshness it brings to the heart, the seeing and hearing of marvelous things, the delight of beholding new cities, the meeting of unknown friends, the learning of high manners. But those who observe and inquire into the situations, the strength, the weakness, the trade, the manufacturers, the government and constitution of every place they go to; who frequent the best companies, and attend to their several manners and characters; those alone travel with advantage; and as they set out wise, return wiser.” ( Written in October 1747.)
I thought of this the other day when Dave mentioned he would certainly be glad to see you again and asked if it were next May when you intended to come back to Trumbull again at the expiration of your contract. An interesting thought and, while now it seems still a long way off, time has a habit of passing fairly quickly and it will seem to us all so good to have you back again.
With the idea of making it possible to go modern and tell the story of daily happenings by pictures, I am thinking of making your gift to Dick for his birthday take the form of a camera or photographic supplies of some sort, as Dick lately has shown a desire to use a camera. I’m going to try to see if I cannot make some dicker with the people I get a movie projector from to give me a break under the circumstances on a camera, and then we can keep you supplied with snapshots of home doings that we are not able to do at the present time. In checking up further with the projector matter in mind, I learned that Eastman also gets out an excellent quality 8 mm projector at a lower price than that charged for the Bell and Howell, and in view of the fact that you have one of their cameras perhaps it would be wise to stick to the same make throughout.
I have done nothing yet regarding the purchase of a new car, as things financially are not so hot, particularly on the stock market value of securities, and probably will not until the threatened German blitzkrieg on England materializes one way or the other. I hate right now to commit myself to paying $50 or $75 a month installments until I can see a bit more clearly how I am going to get it, and at the present time the look ahead is not too clear. It seems as though business in this country is all ready to go ahead if given half a chance. Wilkie’s election would probably do the trick.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the “History of Our Duryee Family”, the one that Aunt Betty (Lizzie) seems to have lost. This is the copy she had made and had sent to my father. Whether she ever found the original or whether my father returned this copy to her, I really don’t know. Just one more mystery.
Just a reminder that gpcox will be doing another Guest Post next Tuesday, the 12th, writing about the various vehicles used by the military during World War II. It’s very interesting and includes quite a few pictures, so don’t forget to let your friends and family know about this special post.