The letters I’ll be posting this week were written in the spring of 1944. Lad is at Camp Santa Anita training vehicle maintenance personnel, Dan is in London helping to plan for D-Day as a civil engineer and surveyor, drawing maps for the invading forces, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, retrieving downed planes, repairing them and maintaining the fleet of airplanes for the Army, Dick is in Brazil as an MP and acting liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, finishing up advanced Basic Training.
Trumbull, Conn. April 30, 1944
Save a little verse from Marian (about which more later) this is the second week that has passed without hearing a word from any of my five absentees. Now, I ask you, how can I quote from letters received if there are no letters received?
Last week about the time I was appending a little verse to my letter to you boys, Marian was indicting a little verse to me, to wit::
In the letter we received last week
there was a certain reference,
made to the fact that we had shown
a very distinct preference!
We didn’t know – (we’ve been away
from Trumbull quite a spell.)
That Dad had reached the well-known stage
that even “best friends won’t tell”!
He seems to think that a sweet sachet
will help his cause a bit.
But frankly, Dad, we think you’ll find
that there is something you forgot !
So we are sending with this note
the things we think you need,
we know your friends will all return
if only you take heed.
And use a little every day
of each and every one.
With best regards from daughter-in-law
and ever loving son.
To which the following the reply is respect fully submitted:
That’s done it. Now the lid is off.
Aunt Betty and Jean know
The reason you sent them sachet –
You think they have B.O.
And by the selfsame reasoning
The hanky, I should say
Implies they both have fevers
That flaunt the name of “hay”.
Another thing — the envelope
By Marian duly panned
Says: from “T/3 A. Guion”
As if these words would lend
An aura of great probity
And in advance, defend
Our Marian from the wrath to come
By blaming “friend husband.”
However, judgment is reserved
In my case, till receipt
Of alleged package, now en route,
I must, without deceit
Admit, as one thing not forgot —
The height of all my joys
In having safe at home again
Not friends, but all my boys.
And now this bit of doggeral
Should meet a timely end
And what more fitting that it be
The vehicle to send
To Marian, and to “T/3 (who
We best know here as “Lad”)
In spite of all we’ve said — our best.
Aunt Betty, Jean and Dad.
Now a quick glance at the meager home news of the week. Art Mantle is home. His nerves seemed to be a bit shot but otherwise is O.K. He has 30 days leave. I have not seen him yet. Biss, her two kids, Aunt Betty and yours truly went to see “Snow White” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White_%28Disney%29 )yesterday.
Since eight o’clock this morning I have been as busy as the proverbial bee, clearing the back flower bed of stones, dumping several loads of raked up leaves, putting tar on the laundry roof where it leaks, replacing numbers on storm sashes to match frames where they had come off, cleaning out the furnace, besides getting dinner, etc.
We have as our guest Jean’s friend, Ann, from New Hampshire. Early yesterday morning they left for New York to paint the town red, stay overnight at a hotel and come home, sometime.
A letter from Barbara (Plumb) “somewhere in Italy” says: “I am well — gaining weight at a rate I don’t like to think about — enjoying everything I’m seeing and experiencing so very much. Overseas WACS, from all reports, are doing their jobs well. I saw Col. Hobby in North Africa and she certainly is absolutely charming — completely a woman. I’d never seen her before and didn’t know quite what to expect.”
My strenuous day in the outdoors, while but child’s play for you youngsters in the pink of condition, has made my bones a bit weary, do let’s call it a day, and hope the mailman will give me some quotable material for next week’s screed.
Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and Marian and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.