Dec. 29, 1943
Hope everything turned out well up there over the big week-end. My letter and packages as well as money for Ham’s family’s presents must all have arrived late. Oh, well!
All the presents you sent were swell. The books look especially interesting, and undoubtedly the R. and Js. will smoke well. The stocking too was well filled in every sense of the word. I’ll write to the kids and Dar individually. There was some bad luck about some of the other presents. Both H. and E. and Uncle Johnny, for instance, gave me Reader’s Digest, and Mrs. Lowell (!) gave me “Naturalist at Large.” Dave Kersting (of the one leg) sent me “The Ship,” which I was in the process of reading and had practically finished, and though I don’t mind keeping that, I’d like to exchange the others if possible. A letter to the Digest might be answered with, “Pass on your extra copy to a friend,” but the “Coop” could hardly say that about the book if, for instance, one of you took it there after my sending it up. I’d like to save Mrs. Lowell any trouble, but will probably be honest and could ask her where she got it. Lack of local demand would be the excuse any local book-store would use for not accepting it in exchange.
Several presents are yet to arrive from Grandma, Mrs. Farmer (did I tell about her?) and perhaps Gardiner. Aunt Judy, Anna, Judy, all “came through,” and Nance’s packages arrived yesterday. I must have got altogether about fifteen cards too.
Though my outfit didn’t fly after all on Christmas, this was because of poor weather, and we had to stand by in case it cleared. It took until to-day for that!
Catching the 5:51 to Jax resulted in my missing Xmas dinner, as that event here wasn’t until evening after all. I was to stay with the Gibbses, but they had had theirs at mid-day as it turned out. I had hoped to get in on at least the tail-end of some kind of dinner, turkey or not, but was too late, so it was lucky I had had a precautionary omelette on the train.
I went to the dance with Harriet and her pleasant, one-armed beau, but since the lady is engaged to a third party (Capt. in England), three didn’t make a crowd, and I got to and from the party in nice company and with a minimum of responsibility. Harriet is an attractive and interesting girl (Vassar grad) and very likely would have asked me to take her to the dance had I not originally regretted the invitation for the week-end, not then realizing I’d get Sunday off, but because of being engaged she is not as popular as she once was, so the other man was welcome. Almost all my Jax lady friends were there, and there were plenty of males to keep things (sweet and young) circulating. Though presumably every girl had a “date,” it amounted to a regular “cut-in” affair, a rare event, however, these days. It could even be compared with a better than average post-deb affair in Boston as to size of crowd, desirability of dance floor and speed of circulation, though I shouldn’t say they averaged quite as pretty as Boston girls, and certainly they are as a whole far less intellectual and generally informed. Knowing the cream of the crop, however, made things very pleasant indeed except for the competitors. Of course, as in so many places now, the queens of them all are married. One for instance, is the Paynes’ older daughter. She got married a short time after I met her and even before I ever met her parents, whom I have now got to know so well. Another who got married even before I met her majored in Beethoven at Smith and is supposed to sing beautifully. Certainly she is beautiful herself. Ho, hum! No, neither was at the dance, one being away with her baby, the other about to have hers.
Well, there was nothing to do on Sunday except sleep it off, listen to some of Harriet’s records and the Philharmonic and call on some more friends.
Returning here was a little grim. The first train, supposed to leave at 10:30 P.M., was too crowded (I never even got through the gate). The next, supposed to leave at 11:00, got off close to 2:00 A.M., arriving here about 4:45.
Well, that’s my rather pleasant week-end for you. Expect to hear about things up there before this reaches you, as somehow it usually turns out.