Well, Lad has come and gone. Grandpa’s first paragraph says it all. At least he has some good news to report – he’s finally heard from Dick, so now he knows where all of his sons are, even though they are getting farther and farther from home.
September 12, 1943
I don’t know whether it’s old age, hay fever or a general letdown after saying goodbye to Lad (probably a combination of all three) but I’m
feeling a bit low right now and not at all in the mood to write a nice, cheery letter. The week has seemed to go so quickly. It hardly seems any time at all since Lad walked into my office last Tuesday and relieved me of worry that he might have been involved in one of those severe Labor Day train wrecks. He hasn’t put on any weight and looks about the same. It was mighty good to see and talk with him, even though half (more than half in fact) of his furlough time was spent just in going and coming between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
I really should feel all pepped up after the pleasant birthday celebration that marked the days dinner hour. Elsie and Elizabeth joined the festive throng, Jean made a delicious birthday cake which she got up early to make, in spite of the fact she needed the sleep, having been up late the night before. Then it being a beautiful, breezy, sunshiny day we all went outside afterward fr some picture taking. Another event beside Lad’s presence to mark a high spot was the receipt of a letter from none other than Dick, and earlier in the week, the second V-mail letter Dan has written from England. He apparently is stationed not far from London, as he speaks of frequent visits there and of enjoying his visit in England.
Dick says he is allowed to state he is in Brazil. He purchased a pair of boots there. “To all appearances these boots are of average quality and the purchaser feels he has made a ‘shrewd deal’ until he starts out on a rainy day. He sets out jauntily on a short stroll with his shiny boots kicking up little sprays of sand (of which there is an abundance). After having traversed a few hundred yards of damp sand he suddenly becomes aware of a slight dampness on the soles of his feet. Not wishing to ruin his new boots he decides to return to the barracks and put on his G.I. shoes. Halfway back the dampness has definitely increased to a wetness, and by the time he reaches shelter the papier-mâché souls are trailing along behind and his toes leave neat little imprints in the sand. Feeling slightly frustrated, he consoles himself with the thought that there is a war going on and we have to be satisfied with inferior quality products. On every article in town there are two prices — one price for ”Joe’s” (American Soldiers) and another price (about 2/3d’s less) for Brazilians. All kidding aside, though, I like it pretty well. The people have accepted the American soldiers and act friendly most of the time”. Thanks, Dick, old son, for the letter and of course I am glad to know you enjoy getting my weekly efforts, poor as I know some of them to be.
Aunt Helen phoned me last night to wish me many happy returns. She is leaving for Miami the day after tomorrow and hopes to get up to see us on their next visit to New York, whenever that may be.
Grandma writes she has had another bad spell. She says: “Dorothy is following doctor’s orders, insisting I must have my breakfast in bed and that I must not do any kind of work that may tire me. So you see I am really good for nothing. I am more than sorry it turned out as it did with my stay in Trumbull because I really enjoyed being there with you. This letter seems to be mostly about myself but I thought I would explain as near as I can that my illness is more or less serious.” Incidentally, if any of you boys could find time to drop Grandma a card now and then, it might be something you would not regret.
She further says that Aunt Anne has given up her job with Condé Nast and wants to get work in New York and live there. Donald has been back to this country for the second time (Newport News, VA) and has probably left again. He is fine and evidently enjoying his work. Charlie Hall and Jane Mantle, as you probably know, were married. Mrs. Ives gave a party for Charlie and Jane, Carl and Ethel, and Lad and Babe (Cecelia) on Saturday night.
Well I guess that about winds up this evening’s effort, so let’s call it quits for this week, with best wishes from
Tomorrow, we’ll have another “Tribute to Arla”, probably with some memories of her young children. Then on Monday, a special Tribute and on Tuesday, we’ll go back to Venezuela to find out what Lad is doing in 1939. At least he’ll be the only one away from home for a while.
For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-magazine, with several articles and stories based on letters and memories of my family, prior to and during World War II, you can click the following links.
Issue 1 Click Here
Issue 2 Click Here
Issue 3 Click Here