R-111 Trumbull, Conn., January 19, 1941
My dear little shavers, all:
During the last few years in my position as Advertising Manager of the Bridgeport Brass Co., the series of advertisements I had been running in the trade papers having to do with the “History of Sanitation”, involving much original research, led to demands from various trade organizations, technical schools, societies, etc., for lectures on the subject, illustrated with stereopticon slides which I had someone prepare, and on one occasion my schedule took me to Alabama, New Orleans, Jacksonville, etc. Your mother was fond of travel, Aunt Helen and Aunt Dorothy, at that time, were in library work in Jacksonville and in view of the fact that the Brass Company was paying my expenses, I figured I could economically take
Arla Mary Peabody Guion – portrait
your mother along with me. I did and we had a very enjoyable trip (I don’t recall now just how we arranged to have you children taken care of in our absence). The last leg of our return journey was a steamer trip from Savanna to New York. We set sail one windy afternoon, the weather just having cleared beautifully after an all-day rain. As the pilot guided the ship out of the harbor, many of the passengers crowded to the port side of the boat to witness an old woman in one of the lighthouses whose custom was to wave to outgoing steamers, to be answered by a toot from their whistles. This she had done, so the story ran, for some 20 years, never missing a day, in memory of first sailor lad who, years before, had sailed away with the intention of coming back to marry her. She never heard more of him and as the days passed and she waited and watched every ship for the long expected one, her faith grew into a tradition which the sailor folks respected and aknowledged by their whistle tunes each day they passed her home, with the light at night shining in the window and her waving a white cloth in the daytime. Now of course my little ones, there must be a moral to this story, which is this: the father that waits for letters from absent ones that don’t come, gets a species of toots from the local post mistress when he hurries in of a morning all agog and hies with a soul full of hope and nervously twitches the dial of P.O.Box 7 and finds – – no, you’re wrong, only a Bill from the plumber, a circular from the local Congressman offering to send a government pamphlet on the love life of the Honeybee and a trenchant remark as to why one should take a public speaking course in 10 lessons.
The above is just a brief introduction to the statement that neither from Venezuela nor Alaska, during the last fortnight, have there been any missives. Of course, it may be that horrid little flu germs have attacked all the airplane pilots that carry mail from these distant ports to the land of the free and the home of the brave, but the fact remains that I have not had any real messages from you boys THIS year – – think of that! “Oh judgement thou art fled to brutish beasts,” etc. And if I don’t get something tomorrow to fill in the void, I’ll almost be afraid to approach the mailbox and will gradually develop the habit of sneaking up on it, in a furtive manner, and glancing rapidly to left and right to make sure nobody is ambushed, ready to laugh. I will hastily dart forward, wrench the knob and rifle through the contents with mingled hope and fear, and I am sure you will not want to see your erstwhile, stalwart Dad reduced to such a role.
You may surmise from the length of the attempt above to get across the simple facts that no letters have been received from you this week that there is not much news of a local nature to record and in this assumption, you would be correct. Carl has heard nothing more about when he will be called and told me the other day he had about decided to take a chance and get married anyway. He invited me to go to the Motor Boat Show with him last week at Grand Central Palace, but due to short notice, I was unable to do so. He went alone.
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This week I have had Mr. Smithson here to paint the kitchen and my bathroom. He will probably work a few days this coming week to do some odd jobs here and there. If I can manage to get the floors treated and some new rugs we will look fairly presentable.
Town affairs have been seething again this week. Following a bitter town meeting called by Sexton’s group for the purpose of putting the Town Clerk and Tax Collector on a salary basis, Dave Cronin, who presided, ruled the meeting had been properly adjourned but Sexton’s crowd did not think so and called another meeting of their own on the basis that the former meeting was illegal. They then resolved to sign a petition calling a town meeting over again for the same purpose and threatened to have the States Attorney rule on the illegality, but the second meeting the selectmen refused to call, stating it was called by an “un-American group”. This, of course, aroused Sexton’s wrath and they are threatening all sorts of dire results, but up to the present time nothing tangible has developed.
A letter from Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) says Kemper and Ethel (Peabody) have gone to Florida to close a real estate deal down there and that Ted and Helen ((Peabody) Human) have moved to Brooklyn, 269 Prospect Place (for your address book).
We all went down to see a movie last night at the Warner Theater. Gary Cooper and Madeleine Carroll starred in a Technicolor picture of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_West_Mounted_Police_(film) ). It was very good. Dick was thrilled with the scenes of the Canadian Rockies and hopes the Alaskan scenes will be just as good.
Last week visited upon us a real winter blitzkrieg – – one of those famous ice storms which did so much damage last year, only this was not so severe. It was bad enough, however, so that the school authorities decided it was too dangerous for school buses to run, much to the delight of sundry school children. It started out as a cold rain which froze as it landed. My car, when I came to start it for the homeward trip, was completely encased in ice. Of course the windshield was obscured, but, ah, methinks, my defrosting device will soon remedy that, but, sad to relate, it had picked that very occasion to go out of business, so Dave spent some miserable moments scraping my windshield with a nail file until some measure of vision was afforded. Next day I took it around to Doyon who found that the fuse which was on the circuit which operated the defroster motor had burned out. A light covering of snow still covers the ground and the weatherman predicts possible light snow tonight and colder tomorrow. Dick has been skating quite a bit lately and feels ambitious enough now to try figure skating. They have been going to that Shelton place where they charge for renting shoe space.
At the local church, they are trying out various candidates each Sunday. Today the man who married Bessie Lee of Long Hill, took the pulpit, but Dave did not express himself as being very favorably impressed.
And that, my little shavers, is just about the limit of any mention of anything that even slightly resembles news, and as I have not the ability of Dan to write interestingly about mundane topics, I may as well quit, with the usual love and kisses.
I’ll be posting a letter from Grandma Peabody to Laddie tomorrow. On Wednesday, another letter from Grandmother Peabody, this one to Ced. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to Venezuela and Alaska.