This is the second half of a letter written by my Grandfather to his three sons, one in Venezuela and two in Alaska.
PROSPECTS FOR A JOB IN USA: this, Lad, is a difficult question to answer categorically. Newspapers and magazines are full of all kinds of answers from authorities who know far more about general conditions than I. One’s own view is naturally colored by the tinted glasses he looks through and in my case I cannot bear witness to any great pickup in business. A few of the bigger concerns in Bridgeport and vicinity, mainly those working on war orders, are exceptionally busy and hiring EXPERIENCED men in certain fields like machinists and toolmakers as fast as they can get them. Such companies as Remington, Sikorsky, bollards, rich port brass, general electric, etc., are building additional plans as fast as they can to take care of government orders in this large influx of workers is reflected in huge additional payrolls, so that the newspapers correctly report that Bridgeport has the biggest payroll total in its history. This unsupported statement however is very misleading if from that fact the casual reader gathers that prosperity throughout the city is booming. It is not. The rank and file of concerns are not feeling any boom business. My little advertising business is puttering along in low gear and just about making headway. Now all this may make my Outlook a bit less sunshiny than it might be if I were in the munitions business, and I can’t tell whether either of those viewpoints is the true one. Perhaps the normal view lies in between. It does not seem that with the demand for machinery of all kinds, both prime movers like trains and trucks and ships and airplanes, and motors and engines to drive manufacturing and agricultural equipment of all kinds and with the increasing popularity of the diesel engine, there ought to exist, theoretically at least, a considerable demand for competent, experienced diesel man. The trouble always is defined the place that is looking for men of your capabilities. And the best way I know of to go about solving that problem is to write to all the prominent diesel manufacturers (I sent you a list of their names and addresses some time ago) a letter similar to that we don’t doubt for Fairbanks Morse, get it off right away and see what it brings the way of her reply. If you get more than one nibble you can balance one against another and take the one that looks best. I would not burn my bridges behind me in any event because there are many good men I know that are still out of jobs and don’t seem to have any good prospects of getting work except as explained above in very narrow selected fields.
MISC.: the other items faintly resembling news this last week consists of my marrying two young people as Justice of the Peace.
A letter from Rufus Burnham asking me what I thought of the possibility of his starting a service such as mine in some Florida city, as he is “finding it increasingly difficult to make the grade in this high-pressure young man’s game in New York”. He also says Austin Batchelder came home from Cornell with an infected knee which grew so bad they had to amputate. He is still very sick but they hope to pull him through. You might ask Chris if he ever had any relations living in Mount Vernon, N.Y. that married into the Utz family. If so, they were very close friends of mine years ago.
Erwin Laufer came in the other night to have the notarize his answers on the draft white. Evidently it will be some months anyway before you boys will be subject to call and if things internationally develop as fast as they seem to be now, by that time you may be definite need for training speed up were no need for calling anyone else. We shall see.