Page 2 7/26/1942
Lad: There has been considerable comment of late, both over the radio and in print, as well as in addresses both here and in England by prominent men, on what sort of conditions economically will follow the beginning of peace. Some, like the editor of the Post Telegram, seem to feel it would be a lot better to devote all our thought and energy to winning the war first and then take up the subject of what is to follow at that time. However that may be, it would seem both wise and profitable to occasionally give some consideration to our own individual problems and plan, in so far as we can, on what our own course of action may be. This might well be done by Dan whose goal is not so clear-cut and definite as yours, and Ced, though not yet in the service, has more or less mapped out a definite airplane career for himself. But in your case, with diesel in mind, let’s see what we can do here and now to look into the possibilities of the future and lay plans so that whether this war is followed by boom times or depressions, you will be more likely to land on your feet. What, for instance, can you do with your diesel instructor’s course to make it pay future dividends? For one thing, you can legitimately make it an excuse for writing to all the leading manufacturers of diesels, asking to get in touch with the key man in each plant, making engines with which Ordinance has anything to do, asking their help in placing at your disposal for instruction purposes, any charts, tables, or exhibits, etc., they may have available, asking if they might be willing to send some of their specialists to lecture to your classes on some particular phase of the problem, all of course with consent of your superior officer (I wouldn’t go too much into detail with him but just in an off-hand manner, get his consent to write to manufacturers for help), the main object even though appearing to be incidental, being to make contact with leading men in the manufacturing industry and identifying yourself as an individual thoroughly conversant with diesel matters, and doing it so definitely right now that you might be assigned to some manufacturer as the Army’s representative at a particular plant, but here again the main object would be to get acquainted with leading manufacturing key men so that after this thing is all over, they will either be induced to notify you of their own accord that they have an opening for you in their organization, or failing this, you will have established so valuable a contact and possibly acquaintance, that in the scramble for post-war jobs in private industry, you will be several jumps ahead of the rank and file. But now is the time to start what is often a long process that takes time to sprout and flower before eventually bearing fruit. The average man will wait until he is mustered out and then start. Two quotations occur to me at this moment. One from Longfellow:
The heights by great man reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight
But then, while their companions slept
Were toiling upward in the night.
And from Shakespeare:
Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good
we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
And as anything else added by me would be an anti-climax, the best thing I can do is to close this letter, with regards from
Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll have two more letters from Grandpa to his sons far away.
On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll continue Grandpa’s story about his early years as a husband and father.