Dick, 20 years old, has just left to drive from Trumbull, Connecticut to Seattle, Washington in a 1937 Buick that Dan and Ced have paid for. He is to get it to Seattle and make sure it is ready to be shipped to Anchorage, Alaska. He will either travel on the same vessel or take an earlier sailing to arrive in Anchorage for a visit – of uncertain length – with his next older brothers. Planning has been going on for months but things didn’t work out as hoped. Dick had to leave today in order to get to Seattle before the sailing date.
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Dick finally started from here about 11:30. One thing I asked him to have done he did not take care and that is taking up the brakes. He said if they got worse he would have them fixed enroute. He also failed to have Arnold give it the once over before he left. Dick was supposed to take it over to Arnold Sunday morning, was out so late the night before (girl trouble) and in fact every night for about a week that he had to get some sleep instead.
The matter of the registration did not go the way I wanted it either. It is unfortunate that his leaving time came simultaneously with the marker renewal deadline, necessitating his dealing with someone in the motor vehicle office that would not or could not make any exception to the standard rules. At any other period it would have been possible for me to get hold of Miss Jones and see if I could fix things up a bit, but the way it was, they refused to issue temporary markers on the grounds that at the end of the 10 days Dick would not be able to bring in his registration certificate for continuation of renewal as required and he therefore had to renew his markers for the year. I should think if you sent the plates back after about a month you could obtain a rebate.
The matter of his reservation from Seattle is also up in the air as you will note from copy of letter I am writing today. It might be well to arrange things so that if Dick arrives in Seattle without sufficient funds for passage and I have not time to arrange for it here, the money you speak of as being available in Seattle might be placed at his or the steamship companies disposal as a last resort.
On income tax reports, I called the office of the internal revenue department today and learned that Lad, having lived in a foreign country for more than six months, does not have to file an income tax in the US even though he remains a citizen. That relieves Lad of quite a tidy tax payment and is the first decent thing in the way of a ruling I have heard come out of Washington lately. But you and Dan I expect will have to come across. If it was in this connection you wanted Dick to send you the pink slips for Tilo I have interfered. Dick said he would take them along and give them to you personally as they would not arrive much sooner if he mailed them, but if your report is to be in by March 15 I told him it would never do. So I find them on the kitchen table here when I came home tonight. I wonder if I cannot give you the information here without the necessity of paying airmail postage on this bulky bunch of receipts. The first one is dated May 10, 1939 for week ending 5/6/39, total earnings $17.40 deduction of $.17 making the net $17.23. These continue in varying amounts until the end of year but as this has nothing to do with your 1940 earnings I will forget these for the nonce and give you only the 1940 amounts. Later if you still want me to forward them on to you I can do so by regular mail (at that regular mail seems to get here as soon as airmail). I would advise you and Dan most earnestly to keep a copy of your report and attach all working papers showing how you arrive at your totals because two or three years from now a government inspector may get around to looking over your report and will want an explanation of certain figures. This happened to me once and because I had taken the precaution of keeping all my working sheets with a carbon copy of my income tax report the matter was easily and quickly cleaned up and I saved myself an extra tax or penalty or whatnot.
To come back to Dick. He started off without knowing what route he would take. The only probabilities were that he expected to stay overnight with Larry (Peabody, Arla’s youngest brother) at Sandusky (Ohio) and stop to see Charlie Hall at Ames, Iowa. Lacking certainty of the steamship reservation I told him I would address mail to him care of the YMCA at Seattle.
This weekend, Grandpa’s early years continue with his falling in love, marriage and honeymoon.
Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the service of Uncle Sam, Ced remains in Alaska, Dick is working and Dave is still in high school.
Why not share this story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life, in an extraordinary time period.