This is the second half of a letter begun yesterday from Dave to his father. He is attempting to answer questions that Grandpa has asked him in previous letters, but ends up following a rabbit trail in his mind back to his childhood in Trumbull.
Dad, I guess you’ve been reading the stories on what a varied supply of necessities the Army K.X. has for its soldiers – but one thing the Army seems to have slipped up on our Jacks for automobiles. Maybe you should write to your friend Franklin. Ask him to have some sent to P.X. 8, in Camp Crowder, Mo. tell him it is very urgent because you don’t know how long your son might remain in above mentioned Camp. Then after he has it sent here I will buy it and send it on to you. Of course you could just write to him and have him arrange to make some deal with the officials so that he could send one directly to you, but you know Franklin and his boys, they’d much rather make it complicated. After all, if it took some time to get to you, you may not have any use for it when it gets there, and then you could put it out in the backyard and let it rest. Then you to could do your part in this way – you could be like a lot of other executives who are helping to win the war by letting a lot of valuable things rocked in their “back yards” – my, aren’t I bitter today?!
And lastly, an explanation of my talking about “virgin blood”. What do you mean you don’t know how I figure it that way. Don’t tell me you have any shady ideas about your youngest son, who has had such a sheltered life – having been brought up by a good and wise father – and we mustn’t forget to mention all the other sons who struck their fingers in the pie to help bring up this last of the present generation of Guion’s – Lad, who, although tried to help me with various things and explained very interestingly many things (one of which was a four hour discourse on oil well digging) nevertheless, told me more than once – and I can vividly remember the tone and inflections of his voice – “don’t do that, David!” Then there was Dan – he tried SO hard to get little Davey to go swimming, spending many hours with me at Ye Olde Swimming Holes – he who tried to get me outside to get some tan on my back – also to try to get me to play tennis (in this last attempt he succeeded – a little anyway) – one other thing. He also spent a summer yelling ” Hefalump” to me – our own secret code word meaning – “You look like hell – straighten out your shoulders”. then there was Ced who insisted that I stop palling around with the boys who were my friends. – Ced, who very quietly made me feel like less than nothing when he found out I had been “borrowing”from his collection of pennies. This, by the way, is something that up till now, as far as I know, has been a secret between Ced, Dick and myself. I hope, Dad, that you and all the rest don’t think too harshly of me. I learned my lesson OH SO WELL from Ced – although I don’t remember now just how he cured me. Then there was Bissie – the most vivid thing in my mind as to her part in bringing me up was the day I was raising a little hell around the house while she was trying to clean it up. “Do you want me to spank you!?– there’s another sentence that I can still remember well – but why shouldn’t I – I hear her use it all the time now – when I’m home – on her too cute little muchachos. Anyway my answer – seeing as how she was a girl and couldn’t run as fast as I – was “yes”. They’re off!I tore out of that old house of hours and around to the lawn over by the screened porch where, as I remember, fear and exhaustion overcame me and I went down pleadings so that she would feel sorry for me and not spank me. But alas – I didn’t know enough about human nature, I guess – four there, out on my own front lawn insight of the street – my own sister BEAT me! oh, the shame of it all!! of course I MAY have had it coming to me! then there was Dick, I could write twenty pages on the way Dick helped to bring me up by hardening me to the mean people in this world. The idea was a good one – but I didn’t like his system of teaching. I guess he believed in the “experience in the best teacher” theory. Anyway, he led a happy teen-age life teasing the pants off of his kid brother. Come to think of it – I think we should mention here my good cousin Donald Stanley, who, when with Dick, really did a bang-up job of making both Gweneth and I enjoy their visits. Thinking back on it now – it was probably the best part of my life so far – but at the time I didn’t think I did anything from the time Dick and Don got together – but cry, because they were picking on me. Of course the prize experience was the nights that has been so often mentioned at the dinner table in later years – the night we were all out on the screened porch raising a little too much commotion for the older set – until finally we were threatened to be split up if we made any more noise. Of course my version of the story is a little different but basically it is the same – we all agreed that I kicked out the window on the stairs – and we all agree that I took a good tanning from my riled father – but one thing I can say – no one remembers quite as visibly that spanking – my last one by the way – as I do. Unless as the old saying goes “this is going to hurt me more than it does you,.” – And Dad’s Hand Hurt As Much As My Little Rear-and Did. Anyway, Dad, If It Did Hurt You, You Didn’t Cry like I Did. Golly – When I Started off I Didn’t Know I Was Going to Write Anything like This. There Are No Hard Feelings Left Now of Course , but it’s a lot of fun thinking back on those terrible days when nobody liked me in the whole world was against me. Poor Dave. Damn – I’m still but a kid, I guess, but I’d like to live over again all those days that I thought at that time were so terrible.
Times growing short, Dad, just a couple of more lines. I suppose there are a lot of things I could tell you about C. PX. – But during my last week of it – I still have it, but I’m getting it under control. I started a couple of letters to you while I was out there – but I just never got them done. As I said in the beginning of this letter I haven’t as yet received any shipping orders – if you don’t hear from me – or if you hear nothing to the contrary – it will mean that I’m still at Crowder. I’ll let you know as soon as possible when I find out anything definite – I’m at the Service Club – I was using one of those typewriters I was telling you about – 10 cents for 30 minutes – well as you can see, I ran out of time just after ice truck the “l” in “letter”. I hope to hear what Der Fuehrer has to say today – maybe it will be something worthwhile. My love to all, Dave
I just read this elongated letter over and realized that I started to explain what I meant by my “virgin” blood – but then I got side-tracked when I started feeling sorry for myself in my “dark youth”. In short – I meant by “virgin blood” that the chiggers, up ’til that time(they thought) had not polluted my blood with their bites. But then I went on to say that they would be fooled because I had already been bitten. I thought that it was clear enough at the time – but I guess not – anyway – there’s the explanation – the defense rests. By the way – I don’t think I was bit three times while in the field. I did get stung by a bee though – right in my eye
Oh – tell Bissie -I grew a mustache while I was out in the field. I still got it – but I’m going to try to get some snaps taken of myself today and then shave it off. I don’t like it a bit. One of the boys told me it looked “sexy” – and I guess that’s about the best description of it.
Hope to see you soon,
One more note –
the way my envelope is addressed is the approved way for this company – but don’t bother changing the plate – you probably won’t use it anymore than once more anyway.
Tomorrow I will be going back in time to April of 1939 when both Lad and Dan are in Venezuela. Lad is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company where he will be maintaining the diesel engines for their pumps. Dan is still out at a camp in the field with no supervision or food. He is still employed by Inter-America, Inc. but management is struggling.