APRIL 20, 1943
FORT WORTH, Texas, Monday—We reached Fort Worth, Texas, in the very early morning hours, and found someone at the station to drive us out to the ranch. Everyone there had given up waiting for us, and so all the lights were out. However, we got in and found a light, and my daughter-in-law, Ruth, suddenly realized that we had arrived and came to greet us. From all accounts, she thought there would be no train arriving last night.
We passed a good many trainloads of boys yesterday, going from one camp to another for training purposes mostly. I was particularly interested in one group. They were aerial gunners and looked a very competent, vigorous group of young men, who would give the young lieutenant in charge of them plenty of work if he tried to keep up with them.
Just before their train started, some of them dashed on board ours to get an autograph from me. I signed one on the platform and then refused to sign a dozen more, in order to get them back on their train, for it was about to start.
Our little granddaughter, Chandler, was off to school before I rose this morning, but the two little boys, Elliott, Junior; and David, were on hand to greet us. David has learned to walk since I was here last, and it is amusing to see his older brother guiding his rather uncertain footsteps.
This is a lovely restful home atmosphere but there is little time wasted by its mistress just at present, since she not only runs the ranch, but has taken a nurse's aide course and does her required numbers of hours of service.
Everywhere you turn in the house there are reminders of the father, who is so far away. Photographs, books, saddles, and pictures all speak of his interests. The older children, of course, have such a vivid memory of his presence, that I think they will be able to make him a real person even to little David.
How many men there are today whose little children will have to learn to know them after their babyhood is over! This is just another sacrifice made in this war. It may seem insignificant, and yet robs both father and child of something never to be recaptured.
There are certain things in this house which have associations for me. Most of the things which belonged to my father. Because his name was Elliott too, they have come into the possession of our second son. As I write, I look at a small oil painting of my father on a big, old hunting horse, which I remember very well. They stand in a Long Island field with dogs around them, and you feel that the man, his horse, the dogs and the countryside were all on friendly terms. The horse's name was "Mohawk." He could jump anything and was never weary.