Page 2 of B-106
AUTOMOBILES: My bashed in right fender, according to Banthin Body’s estimator, will cost $21 to put back into condition again. Lad has not said much about his Ford of late so I suppose it is running along in good shape. Being jefe of his garage I suppose he can see that it is kept in good repair, although he did mention that on return from his trip to Cubagua he had trouble with his gas line getting clogged. As to the Alaskan car, Dan has already over $150 to his credit which ought to be enough to take care of a first payment on a $400 car. My plan is to wait until after the holiday season has passed with any artificially high market it might create among dealers who might hold out with the idea of getting a premium on cars intended for Christmas gifts, and also the fact that after the first of the year an old model becomes a year older automatically without any actual change in the mechanical condition of the car itself, but still carries a lower valuation on dealers books. Then I will contact the three or four dealers Ced has mentioned, have a talk with Arnold and see what he has in mind and in general keep my feelers out for something good.
Dick spoke of writing Dan or Ced (probably he has not yet done so) telling them he needs a closed car to get back and forth from work. He now gets up before daylight and meets a man down the road who takes him to Bridgeport and has some other arrangement for getting home nights. The Packard is too cold and costs too much to run, so he has been trying to sell me on the idea of buying your car as soon as possible so that he can run it long enough before his trans-continental journey to discover any weaknesses or peculiarity it might have and be sure of its performance before he starts on the long trek. I told him I would rather have you boys pass on the point rather than look to me for a decision.
INVESTMENTS: Lads Fairbanks-Morse stock, due to war orders, seems to be advancing in price. They have just paid an extra dividend, making the last quarterly payment $10 to his credit. Dan’s Commonwealth Edison has also just paid a dividend which is deposited to his credit. As for the effect possible inflation will have on peoples savings, it seems to be the impression that the purchase of common stocks now is the best hedge one can have in that event, because inflation means that the dollar is worth relatively less, and a dollar in the savings bank now will only by say $.50 worth of goods during an inflationary period, while stocks or real estate, like food or clothing or anything which has a quick market, will immediately rise in price as the value of the dollar falls and will thus compensate itself maintaining the same real value. As soon as prices start to rise, which is another way of saying the value of the dollar falls, you will see a rush to buy stocks before they go up, and this in turn will tend to increase the price of stocks, so rather than the value of your stocks declining, the probabilities would be just the opposite. I wish I had a sizable sum of money I could invest in stocks right now and I’d feel I was gambling on a pretty sure thing.
ADJOINING TOWNS: Lad, I am enclosing tracing from my Venezuelan map and hope you will show on it, so that I can in turn copy on my map, those towns, roads, etc., which are not shown but which you frequently mention. Ced’s letter refers to Eklunta. Dan also mentioned it sometime ago as an electric generating plant location. Have they a storage space in the camp? Is it an Indian trading post?
CLIPPINGS: A few enclosed for each of you which might have some interest.
Well, God rest ye, merry gentlemen, and may your Christmas in your far-off land be as merry as you have ever had in the old home.
More Special Pictures for tomorrow and Sunday.
Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1941. Lad is back from Venezuela and Dan has returned from Alaska. They are both wortking in Bridgepoort at Producto and worrying about their draft situation. Ced and Dick are still in Alaska and are concerned about the same thing.