It seems that my grandfather could think into the future and see the world his sons would return to after the war. In this letter, he expands upon his thoughts. I’m surprised at how much of what he envisioned actually came to pass.
Alfred Duryee Guion in front of the fireplace in the Alcove, typing his weekly missive.
Trumbull, Conn., January 10, 1943
Dear Leaders of Tomorrow:
You perhaps recall my story of Pat and Mike, the farmer, reading an article on the laws of compensation, remarked: “Be gory, this book sez that win a mon loses one of his sinses the others become more developed”, to which his friend replied, “Sure, and I’ve noticed that myself. When one of a mon’s legs is shorter than the other, be gory, the other’s longer.”
There seems to be compensation even in so awful a thing as global war. It seems to take a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination of men so that science, invention and industry are speeded up to unprecedented extents so that within the compass of a few years under the lash of war necessities, progress is made and at once created, that ordinarily would not normally develop short of a generation. You boys are the inheritors of opportunities the end of this war will open up. From the Bible: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and old men shall dream dreams, and young men shall see visions”.
Just a few of these dreams or visions that come to me this Sunday afternoon as I sit in front of the well remembered alcove fireplace: There is the mighty territory of Alaska that is receiving such a buildup of publicity, the mineral riches, the virgin forests that will give rise to monster lumber industries as people flock up to this new land over the recently completed highway, the fast coming airways and over the projected railway, the new industries that will spring up and flourish under the impetus of a fast-growing population.
Then there is the great continent to our south as contacts with the U. S. have been so speeded up. They will be called upon to do much to rehabilitate war stricken Europe and much of the machinery and industrial skill will be sought here. The small Central American republics, with the opening of the new highway will also need Spanish speaking Americans to act as a liaison.
If your inclination leads you to the Orient, think of the tremendous awakening war has brought to mighty China and what boundless opportunity for American engineers and industrial enterprise is opened up, particularly if the young man should apply himself to learning the Chinese language.
These are just a few of the highlights that are obvious. You will think of many others. Russia, North Africa, Australia, the East Indies, India, the war desolated Balkan countries, etc. How I wish I were young enough to begin to build with you boys for the big tasks ahead. Well, I guess that’s enough for a Sunday afternoon sermon.
Sylvia is to be married next Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and I am trying to arrange affairs at the office so that I can attend. It will probably mean having Dave leave school a bit early so the office doors need not be closed. Incidentally, at the same time Dick has to go to Shelton for his physical exam, according to a notice he received a few days ago. He has given Producto two weeks notice, whether or not, as he is about fed up on the gas rationing and all the other restrictions we civilians are daily having added to our normal routine of life.
A word to Dan. I had sort of a hunch you might be home this weekend and while I really did not expect you, we had our mental fingers crossed and just hoped. That hope will grow stronger next weekend and still stronger the week following, etc., unless a missive arrives from you to – these expectations
Tomorrow I’ll post the other half of this letter addressed to Lad and Ced..
I believe that what my grandfather envisioned played a part in developing what we now call “The Greatest Generation”. What do you think?
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