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“The Gang” on the steps of the Clubhouse in Pariaguan, Venezuela
That was a very powerful, high explosive, air torpedoes you dropped on our unsuspecting head and if you must have the truth, you made a direct hit. There wasn’t even time to get to an air raid shelter and we are just now getting our breath back.
In my buffeting about the world, receiving, as most of us do during the course of a lifetime, a share of good and bad, I have learned to try to turn the slings and darts of outraged fortune about so that I can see some of the good mixed in with the bad (if you don’t mind a mixed simile). So, pending receipt of your letter which will explain more in detail what is behind the postponed return, let’s see what we can salvage from the wreckage.
The first thing that occurs to me is that there is that much less danger of your being called in the draft. There is a chance that when you register (within five days of landing, I think you said) you might be assigned a number which has already been called which would mean that you would be done out of your vacation and would have to report at once. There’s been some talk in the newspapers, although I have since heard it was shelved, that about July 1 they will change the draft ages to 18 instead of 21 and 28 or possibly 25 instead of 35 on the upper limit. No immediate prospect any way of seeing how you would look in a uniform.
Number 2 concerns your income tax. The rate for this year, after Congress gets through trying to raise 3 1/2 billion dollars, is going to be pretty stiff, particularly for unmarried folks.By June 1 half of the year will be gone and as long as you are in a foreign country you are not subject to the tax, so you will be that much to the good anyhow.
Three, it will give me a chance to accumulate in your savings account a sum more nearly what you said you would like to have available when you get home, which would not be so easy if you arrived in New York on May 1.
Four, it will give you an opportunity to get busy with all zeal and go after a diesel job hard, which you can do much better, from a physiological standpoint, writing from Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela, then you could as a private citizen in Trumbull. Please write me a detailed account as to just what you have done along this line, what results, if any, have been secured, and if I can do anything here to help you speed up the work. Some time ago I sent you a list of the leading diesel manufacturers. Did you write to them all? If not, do you want me to write to them from here? If so, send me a sufficient number of SV letterheads and envelopes and the approved form of letter and we will multi-graph and mail it from Bridgeport.
In this connection I spoke to Ted a while ago and told him what you were interested in doing and he said that with his influence you could get a rating with the Engineering Society, with his help very easily, and this, it seems to me, would be a big help as with your listing on their books, they could probably refer you to many good jobs that you would not otherwise hear about. If the idea looks good why not write to Ted, care of Engineering Societies, N.Y.C. and asked him how you can enroll and put yourself in line for the sort of job you want.
I am eager to hear about the El Callao trip and also what happened on your birthday, if anything.
Have been working outside of the flowerbeds all day today and am now ready to go to bed, so good night until next week.
This is a joke Grandpa included with this letter, one in the letter mailed to Alaska and another mailed to Venezuela.
The hotel Astor hired a new bus driver and instructed him to go to the depot and announce in a loud voice as incoming trains were discharging passengers: “FREE BUS TO HOTEL ASTOR”. On his way to the depot on the occasion of his first trip he kept repeating to himself, “Free bus to Hotel Astor” until he had memorized it perfectly.
Upon arriving at the depot, however, he became confused and began to shout:
Free Hotel to Buster Aster
Free Ass to Hotel Buster
Freeze Your Ass at Hotel Astor
Squeeze Your Butt at Hotel Faster
I mean, bust your ass at the Hotel freezer.
Oh Hell, take a trolley car.