The first letter is a rough draft of a letter Grandpa is suggesting that Lad send to the Fairbanks-Morse Company stating his interest in a possible job after he returns to the Unites States.
Comments on the Fairbanks Morse letter:
If you have kept a copy of the draft you sent to me, Lad, a comparison with the revised version here with will show the few changes made in the text, which I think will be obvious as to the reason therefore.
The order of the paragraphs is the principal change, and this was done to make the letter read more logically in my opinion. Where I have made statements which were not facts contained in your draft but supplied by myself you can readily check them to make them correct.
I have omitted your reference to Mr. Leander being absent as this seems immaterial in the initial stages of your effort to interest the company in your services, and may better be left to later correspondence when and if they are enough interested to go into the matter further. For this reason also I have omitted any reference to furnishing the names of those whom they may write for references.
As to the latter I do not know, of course, whom you had in mind, but offhand, besides the men in authority down there under whom you have been working, you may have had in mind Mr. Hagan or Mr. Snyder of Wolverine, Uncle Ted, Mr. O’Connor or possibly Mr. Whitney (Briggs). As to the bosses down in Venezuela I should say it was more important to give the name of someone in authority who was well disposed towards you and able and willing to write enthusiastically, though he might not the top position, than to refer to the big boss, who, though he might be pleased with your work, might not have the ability to write more than the stereotyped phrases about your having given satisfaction, etc.
Saying you get along well with others conveys the same thought but does not sound quite so conceited as to say “I have a pleasing personality”. We who know you are aware that you have a proper self-respect but a stranger might assume you were a bit egotistical from this remark.
It also occurs to me that if after discreet inquiry you find that SV might have some other opening in their vast organization were diesel electric work may afford a wider scope for your specialty, it might be wiser to pursue this path a bit before leaving the organization where you have already secured so permanent a toehold. Why not get the name of the big boss in the home office in New York to whom you can talk upon your return with reference to some job the diesel field with SV. Again, just a thought, how would it be to write about the same letter as that to SV in New York and see if you get any nibbles? What about Mr. O’Connor’s desire to have you stop in and see him before you leave for home? Has anything been said about your renewing your contract for another two years? Your salary check for January came today, but it was $175 and not $200 as your letter indicated. Is that right?
Fairbanks, Morse and Co.
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Gentlemen: Attn: General Manager
In May of this year my contract with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company here in Venezuela will terminate and I will return to the United States on leave with the option of renewing my contract and returning to South America for another two years or quitting and seeking in this country a connection in the diesel field in which I am very much interested.
My present connection with Socony began two years ago as a mechanic in their Maintenance Department. I am now Superintendent of the Transportation and Garage Departments, having 49 men under my supervision.
Prior to my work in Venezuela, during the winter of 1936-37, I attended a diesel engineering course given by Mr. A. W. Hagan, chief engineer of the Wolverine Motor Works, Bridgeport Connecticut, where I specialized in the installation and maintenance of diesel engines, largely in the Marine field. The course was an intensely practical one conducted in the factory itself on engines actually under construction, and all theories and problems were worked out by the performance of actual work on the engines in the assembly and testing rooms. And of course that knowledge has been greatly increased and broadened since my work down here.
For the past two years I have been actively in contact with the daily operation of Fairbanks-Morse, Caterpillar and Cummins diesel engines, supervising maintenance of these machines which are both automotive and stationary types, involving the laying of foundations and installation of new engines. In fact, during this period I have installed and maintained two of your 36-A – 40 HP engines, each driving a 25 KVA F-M alternator for nine or more consecutive hours daily for the past year and a half, and thus have had ample opportunity to observe their excellent performance. This has but strengthened my desire to specialize in work with diesel engines, particularly in the diesel – electric field.
I am 27 years old, in excellent health, get along well with others, can handle men, speak Spanish and have had better than nine years of experience with internal combustion engines.
Have you a place in your organization where I could pursue my specialty with profit both to you and myself?
Very truly yours,
P.S. Not that it has any particular bearing in the matter, but I am sold enough on Fairbanks-Morse to have become a small stockholder.
Tomorrow and Sundfay, a few more Special Pictures.
Next week, letters from 1942. Both Dan and Lad are in the service of Uncle Sam. Ced is working in Alaska and Dick and Dave are holding down the fort with Grandpa.