Richard (Dick) Guion
July 13, 1941
Richard, dear, I am almost overcome. I almost collapsed over the handlebars of the car when Dave brought out from Kurtz’s a letter from you – – a record in these days of high speed production.
And right off I am going to start to disagree with you. You must admit that others are better judges of whether or not a letter is interesting than the writer of same. Well, not only I thought it very interesting but almost unanimously every other member of the family independently came to the same conclusion. Get rid of that inferiority complex pronto. Of course it is never well to be smugly satisfied to the point where the attitude stifles all incentive to do better, but the point is you should not discourage yourself from writing with the idea that your letters are uninteresting. Therein is a challenge to keep on until, through experience, you yourself acknowledge that you are becoming more proficient. (Isn’t that a clever little argument to keep the ball rolling?)
Now to make it easy for you. You mentioned having been transferred to the reinforcing steel crew. Just what is that? What do you do? Do you help in laying steel mesh afterward to the surrounding by pouring concrete for foundation of buildings? Or is it some other form of building construction in which steel reinforcing is used? If so, what type of building? What is your particular work? Here we are home here, knowing absolutely nothing of what you are doing except what you tell us. Naturally we are interested and while it may seem very prosaic and perhaps uninteresting to you, anecdotes of the work, the boss, your fellow workers, etc., is all welcome detail to those interested back home. Am tickled to death you are doing so well financially. I also think you are wise to save money for the future. Someone who has seen ups and downs like anyone my age has, knows that a period of plenty is almost sure to be followed by relatively hard times. It is nature. Day and night, winter and summer, storm and sunshine, etc. And so, many people that are not wise, come to the point where they say to themselves, “Oh, if I had only been foresighted enough to put a little aside instead of blowing it all in foolishly. Of all I spent I haven’t a thing to show for it. Where did it all go? etc.”. I will be very glad to take care of your surplus for you, but at the same time I, I would caution you, as a measure of healthy self discipline, not to give full rein to the very natural feeling under the circumstances to blow money in without restraint, which is a very bad habit to encourage in oneself. But, hell, I don’t suppose you want a preaching letter even if it is half expected from a parent.
By the way, you mentioned the rate per week but you do not say on what hour-week it is based on. Do you frequently work overtime and are you paid time and a half when you do so? Another thing, when you send the money order, please have it drawn on me at Bridgeport, as this is where I would cash it (Kurtz’s usually doesn’t have enough on hand). Another way to do it and save the charge for money orders would be to endorse and send me your paycheck in full every other payday (once a month) retaining the other one in full for your own expenses, budgeting them on a monthly basis. (Ask Dan as to the proper method of endorsement). Some of the money you send home I would advise putting into the Building and Loan. Send your book home if you have it with you or tell me where to find it if you left it at home. With your misappropriating idea in mind, I will follow the custom of extracting $12 per month for mortgage interest, taxes, etc. By the way, Ced, please note I have just paid the tax bill on your car declared last year, amounting to one dollar and 88 cents. This of course will be the last. I have also paid your insurance premium out of the last check you sent home.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the other half of this letter from Grandpa to his sons, but especially to Dick, the son he hears from the least. Thursday and Friday, a letter to Lad from Martin and Flor Williams, good friends from Venezuela.