Trumbull, Conn., October 8, 1944
Dear Jack Armstrong, the aaaaaal American Boy:
Of course if you haven’t been listening to the radio lately and followed the adventures of this wonderful youth who accomplishes so much on a diet of Wheaties, you will fail to get the full implication of the compliment being paid to you in being so addressed. Be that as it may, you may rejoice that the blood of pioneers flows in your veins and you may hand down to posterity that your sire at the age of sixty swung a lusty axe, and un-dismayed by hurricanes that back in these days visited the section known as New England, and in spite of blisters, tackled the job single-handed with such vigor that he even hit himself on the forehead with an axe (fortunately it was the broad end) due to swings so mighty that he literally fouled electric light wires (you needn’t mention that they had been brought low by a tree falling on them). However no harm was done either to wire, forehead or axe, save perhaps a little injured dignity. In other words, much of the brush has been cut away from the smaller limbs and what now remains is the sawing of the big trunks which would probably be accomplished much more satisfactorily with the aid of certain soldiers now in the U.S. Army or an Alaskan pilot-mechanic. The next step would then be an S O S for a certain technical expert who already has in his mind the plan for mounting a circular saw to be operated by an auto motor and thus make short work of the ten foot pile of logs and branches that still have to be sawed to length – – thus adding home improvement #3 to #1 Method for flattening tin cans, and #2 Blower for outdoor incinerator. Up to this point however I must confess it is Dan whose services I have missed most, and hearing his cry of T-i-m-b-e-r as another denizen of the forest succumbs to his well-placed strokes, might even be surprised by the stamina, initiative and sustained devotion to the job that Dick and Dave might evince after working a while for Uncle Sam. However, I guess that’s enough of this which might be entitled “much ado about nothing”.
Now e’ill move over into the subject of hometown gossip. Lad’s friend, Myron Whitney is, or was a short while ago, in a Bridgeport Hospital where he was taken for treatment of some bad burns when a steam line burst in the plant where he is working and scalded him. Dan will be interested to know that there is a young man who met Barbara in Italy and seemed enough smitten with her to come to Bridgeport to meet the Plumb family and stayed there several days (perhaps the entire time of his furlough) as I understand his father and mother are both dead. I have not been informed whether the feeling on Barbara’s part is mutual. Carl, I am informed, Ced, is now on a transport. Charlie Hall is somewhere south of the equator in the Pacific area, which is about as much as Jane (Claud-Mantle, neighbor and friend to the older boys) knows about it. This morning, Dave, Bob Jennings, McClinch and Ed Young, all in sailor outfits, came to call on Catherine. (Catherine Warden, who lives in the apartment in the Trumbull House with her two children, Skip and Susan, her husband currently in the Armed Forces) Bob says he will be in Sampson for about six months, McClinch has sailing orders for the 18th of this month and Young is at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. The club has all but passed out. The place is a wreck. It looks like what I imagine a gambling joint looks like after being raided by the police. Broken glass scattered all over the floor, playing cards strewn in every direction, furniture out of place. It is probable that not all this mess is attributable to the members, as I came home one day and found Skip and Susan in there having a most delightful time, throwing things around, down the stairs and in general having a riotous time. It seems that a couple of boards in the little cubbyhole door at the back had been ripped off and the children had gotten in that way and were playing “the wreck of the Hesperus””, the Sacking of Rome, or maybe to be up to date, the bombing of Berlin.
Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter.