1944 Handwritten Diary Fairbanks Alaska Denali National Park Brundidge Holt
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1944 Handwritten Diary Fairbanks Alaska Denali National Park Brundidge Holt :
“To know what is right and not do it is to lack courage.”
“January 10th, well the papers for Windy Creek were signed at 10:30 A.M. Later I deposited lease and deed in escrow to the F.N.B. We are to fly out early tomorrow. I made a ______with the pilot (Herd) to fly me then down the R.R. to _____, circled there a few times then over to the ______to look for a possible landing place near those beaches. I met that Jean again. She seems to go for me in a big way and I suppose I’ll have an affair with her soon. I don’t know who or what she is yet. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll see Della…..”
“January 13th, well around 10:30 the plane finally got off the ground. I felt darn leery watching them scraping ice off the wings. We were so crowded in the ship we couldn’t move. I was in front with the pilot. It wasn’t bad flying along the river but when we were about down to Nenana, the motor wasn’t acting right. Bob said there was ice in the carburetor and turned back. We made the airport ok and set down easy. Try again tomorrow. I called up ____ in the evening and spoke to Joan ________. Robo is temporarily boss there. I asked him to tell Clarence B. about the place. But what I really hoped was that Della might be there when I called. Didn’t see or hear from Jean Wangle. She has the rep of being a gold digger.”
“February 29th, at lunch run into Harry Bronson just in from ferry. He was here in the evening and we talked till past midnight. About ______, about Della. So I know all about Della now in a general way. They are living in a cabin two miles down the track near Rozansky’s. Not much of a place and cold and lonesome. Five of them in a room the size of my bedroom. Poor Della, lonely out there. The child’s name is Beverly Ann, a sweet cute kid. It is lighter than the others, it looks like me, so Henry says. Of course I am its father. Della too knows it. Della has not changed. She as free as ever, as proud, as grand and generous, as unjust and cruel. Della, just as she was. The relationship between her and Neil has not changed. It is the same. The same spineless doglike devotion and loyalty on his part, the same attitude of hers towards him.”
“March 2nd, I put in the request for Della today with Crawford direct and tonight it was played right at the beginning of the program. “Shubert’s Serenade” for Della Brundidge at Ferry Alaska from “An old friend of long ago.” I’m sure she heard it.”
“March 6, in the morning I called at Noyes’s office and got R’s letter. It was mailed in B.A. on February 23rd. It is a letter of sad news from Arg. Now rises for me the great question, shall I or not? This is the last cross roads of my life, which turn shall I take.”
“March 9th, to the slough A.M. to watch for the arrival of the teams. Going across the bridge met Alice walking on the other side. She said “hello” pleasantly. I looked all over for her later. Saw her then standing at the McIntosh’s corner talking to someone. I stopped, said “Hello Alice.” She was horrible, drew back as if I was something that had popped out from under a rotten plank. I walked on. In the evening to the H.S. gym to watch the parade and election of “Miss Alaska”. Minnie of course was elected. She was breathtakingly lovely. These girls…like Alice, Minnie and Della. They are so lovely, so charming….”
“March 12, while I was in bed reading around 11 or so, the radio playing there came a request for, “Three Shiftless Skonks Are We” dedicated “to Neil and Dick at Ferry and to Hay in Fairbanks.” I wonder who that was. Mrs. Bronson? I had to laugh like hell.”
“March 13th, about 11:30 at night I came home. I packed in some wood then turned on the radio. The first request that came out was to me, “From an old friend of long ago”, it was, “It makes no difference now.” From Della. She heard the request I had played for her on Saturday the 2nd. And this was her reply. Strange that I just happen to hear it. Sat down and wrote a short note to her. I said…it does make a difference and you too know it. How is Beverly? We shall meet again.”
“March 19th, Just now at the restaurant, at 10:30 P.M. I met Pringle who had just come in on the F. from Ferry. I began to ask about Ferry and sure enough after about 1 minute he started talking about Della. He talked just as low down rotten about her as everybody always does. Now according to all reports, Della hasn’t changed at all. She is just as she was and so is the life she leads. Neil hasn’t changed either. He takes it as he did then. Della is Della, nothing has changed. Is low, down and rotten and unfair and dishonest as ever and as I at last know, as grand and fine and glorious. The rottenest person I know, yes and the grandest. Oh yes, sure I’m lucky I did not marry her. I would have been the unhappiest fellow in the world. And the happiest too….”
“April 9th, the moves against Denmark and Norway are being carried through with unbelievable breathtaking speed and precision. I don’t know how it has been carried out. ____ it came notice 24 hours of the French-British announcement (which no doubt has ______impressed the world) was a shattering reply but it must have been bull ____ (for S). It’s preposterously impossible that these moves could have been prepared and carried out on the spur of the moment within 20 hrs. Denmark submitted without resistance. Copenhagen was occupied early in the morning. The situation in Norway is not so simple. German troops are landed all along the coast yesterday from across Denmark as far north as the Russian border. Including Oslo, Bergen, _____, _______. How in hell did they get there. The sea is supposed to be controlled by Britain. Oslo has been occupied and a new government been established, welcoming the _____ and ____the allies. But, the old government has established itself in the _____, decreed ______and there seems to be some fighting. I do not understand the military situation. The ______ can not possibly have landed large forces (tho they claim to have transported 32,000 men over on planes??) and I believe the situation of some of the landing parties must be desperate. Meanwhile the British Fleet is coming across the North Sea bald headed. A terrific battle ____ __ ____ is to be expected. It was to have begun already. If the _____air fleet can defeat the British fleet….the next few days may be decisive for the world”
May 25th HIS LAST ENTRY
“Buying my ticket. Met Mrs. Shumaker and Grace at the depot. Nice (both of them). Up to _______and stayed at Andrews New Roadhouse. Heard some new scandal about _____, etc. I had sent a letter to Della on this train telling her I was coming. Asked her to leave a message for me at post 369 if she did not want to see me. So at 7:00 P.M. I started hiking. The nearer I came to ___ the stronger became my doubts. For 2 years I have dreamed of the moment when we should meet again and now when every step was taking me nearer, stronger and stronger became my doubts….Why was I going? What good could come of it? Perhaps it had not been Della who had waved to me from the Roadhouse Wednesday...? Is it even possible to walk back into the past, no matter how we have longed for it? On I went and on…..Reached 369. There was no note from Della. I sat down on some ties. Perhaps she had not received my note, perhaps she just distained to answer. Undecided to sit there, just a few hundred yards from her cabin watching the trail through my glasses. Should I go to her, should I?? I saw the smoke rising behind the bushes from her cabin .After a while I saw a man, wearing a white cap with a rifle come out on the trail. Neil? I thought so. I watched him through the glasses a few minutes, thought he was coming my way. I got up and walked back. A quarter of a mile up the trail I stopped turned to watch the trail again through my glasses. Here (__ __ __) had disappeared. I waited an hour there watching. Perhaps Della would come out to the trail to look for me. She did not. At 10 P.M. I started hiking the long trail back to ____ Reached the Roadhouse at and that was my reunion with Della.”
CONDITION OF ITEMS:
Handwritten items such as diaries and letters are never usually in mint condition. I try and describe my items the best way I can and post as many photos as I can. If a diary is tough to read for me I always say so in the description. If it is in bad condition I also say so and I usually describe the condition at the end of my descriptions. I have never, or I should say rarely, had a handwritten piece be in mint condition and there is a very good reason for that; they are made of paper, they’ve been carried around sometimes for 100’s of years and have been opened and shut hundreds if not thousands of times. So, please keep all of this in mind when purchasing diaries and letters from me..
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