Baker, James

Letter
Date:
March 31, 1945
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
March 31, 1945

Dear Mom and Dad,

I wrote you a note from Mrs. Sayers' when I was in London so you know that Stan and I managed to get together at last. We had a good time too but best of all, I think Mrs. Sayers managed to reach the ‘knot inside' Stan that was worrying him and I also think she managed to smooth it out, which was even better. I knew she could do it if only he would let her, and I knew she would probably succeed where I had failed. So now, I hope Stan is OK again. He is in ‘blooming health' physically, just a little fed-up mentally. I don't know where he gets the idea that everyone in the world is out to-do everyone else but at present, that is his attitude. I tried to reason it out with him, but I'm afraid I wasn't very successful. But there is no need to worry about him as you evidently have been doing, he's OK.

While I was in London, I went down to RCAF. HQ. to see about getting the ‘power of attorney' that you asked for drawn-up. The man who does them was not in, but his clerk took all my particulars and promised to send it off to me in a couple of days. So as soon as it comes, I am going to send it to you. I don't suppose you will have time to use it but just in case you need it, it's there. This war is not going to last much longer in fact - as far as heavy-bombers are concerned, I believe it is nearly over. That is the ‘European war' I mean. Out East it is a different matter. I am not going to go out there unless I am compelled to because I have had six years of this life and I consider that is enough to give my country. It is time I started making my ‘own way'. As I have told you, I have decided to go back to University. I have told you what my plans are regarding my training. I am not sure yet whether to go to UBC. or University of Toronto, but that depends upon another factor which is as yet uncertain. I will tell you more about that later. I am doing directed reading in ‘Philosophy' now and am finding it very interesting indeed. I have also been busy composing a Squadron poem, have completed it at last. It's not too bad though certainly not as good as some I have done. There really doesn't seem to be much more to write about. By the way Mom, I want to thank you very very much for those two letters in which you explain your philosophy of life. I hope you'll never know exactly what they have done for me because I hope you never know exactly how far I stepped off the ‘straight and narrow'. It was rather silly of me but after Sadie threw me away the second time, I began to wonder what was the use of leading this kind of life, no one seemed to appreciate you any more for it. Well, those two letters of yours helped me back on again. And on top of that, I find that people do appreciate the kind of life one leads because - well, I'll tell you more about that when I'm more certain myself. She is very nice though. Now I must close. My love to all of you and a special hello to Grandpa. I shall be home before this summer is out.

Your son,

Jim



Tootoosch, the Thunderer

Written in January, 1945 in the midst of bombing operations carried out with 426 Squadron RCAF. based at Linton-on-Ouse near York, England. 426 Squadron was the ‘Thunderbird Squadron'. "On wings of fire" was the Squadron motto. Tootoosch was the Haida name for the Thunderbird

God of the sun, inhabitant of skies
Where flash the fork-ed lightning's jagged flames
From storm clouds black and fiercely ominous;
God of the Ravens - mighty thunderer
Tootoosch, thy totem lives and breathes again,
Once more thy lightning's flash and thunder's roll
Strikes terror to the craven hearts beneath.
Thine eyes dart flames, destroying those whose deeds
Have earned thy wrath. Amidst the raging storm
Thou came and brought thy fledgling-brood with thee.
On wings of fire - fly they now with me
And sing that cataclysmic song of thine,
‘The chant of death' that only they can sing,
For that they live and - dying, live anew
In those that surely fall after them.
Each night they'll sing their trackless way
Amidst the stars that thou dost call thine own
And bring thy curse unto their enemy.
Thy clutch will be within their curving hulls,
The eggs of death - that thou didst prophecy
Would burn the tents and scatter pestilence
O'er all the land where dwell the hated race,
Will nightly rain upon their naked heads.
And we who live and are thy savage brood
Desire only this one boon of thee:
A warrior's death, a warrior's home in eternity.




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