Ye 12th day of May 1939
Dear Lewis and Clark:
Have just finished listening to Charlie McCarthy. he describes two horses he and Skinny Dugan were entering in a race, which reminds me of Dan’s description of some of the burros he has met. Charlie referred to them as “fugitives from a glue factory”.
You remember, Dan, in one of your recent letters, you mentioned the fact that you had come to the conclusion the opportunities that existed for former generations of young men no longer held much promise in this day and generation. I go with you on this thought only to a limited extent. It seems as though just about the same time, the editor of the Post must have been thinking about the same topic, for a few days after receiving your letter I found the editorial which I have clipped and am sending to you, which gives another angle to this proposition.
Here, by the way, is another interesting thought I recently ran across: “Sure, it’s a bad world, a mad world, but it’s still a world of unrivaled interest and fascination, passionate in its quarrels, partisan in its justice, pompous and pathetic in its crazy-quilt conception of law and order, forever tragic and forever triumphant, forever doomed and yet for ever on the march! Whatever condign ( deserved; suitable: said especially of punishment) (Webster’s New World Dictionary, Copyright 2003, Pocket Books Paperback Edition) punishment may be in store for the Earth, a strong recommendation for clemency will undoubtedly go with the sentence on the ground that no planet in the solar system puts on a better show.”
Your letter, Dan, describing the founding of your new camp was interesting, as well as the little chart you enclosed showing just where it is located. Also the snapshot of the beachcombers. By the way, Carl asked me to send this letter to you when next I wrote you, which I told him would be soon and probably by airmail, if I heard from you during the next few days that mail would still reach you.
And you, Lad, are responsible for another interesting letter, written in backhand, regarding progress at the new camp. Incidentally Grandma also received a letter from you also which pleased her very much. It was exceptionally interesting, and I know she shows it to everyone who has been here since she received it. The report of your conversation with Mr. Starr was interesting. I have no suggestions to offer. You are on the ground, know your own desires best and are in the most favorable position to size up opportunities. Ted has an idea that because you are steady, neat, reliable and don’t drink, you will go far fairly quickly with that outfit, but you know me well enough to appreciate my feeling that if a fellow makes up his mind after thinking about the subject coolly and painstakingly, should stick to his idea until he, with just as good reason,decides to change, and not in
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the meanwhile be swayed back and forth by every stray breeze which seems for the moment to be blowing fair, but which if idly followed may carry him far off the course which he has set for himself. I therefore applaud your thought of the Diesel idea. Perhaps you can steer your course that, through Socony Vacuum, you can reach your goal.
For instance, the company must have fleets of oil carriers powered by Diesel engines, in which branch of their service you can get your marine engineering experience. It will do no harm, at least, to make discreet inquiries along this line, if indeed you have not already done so. As for the extra time you have on your hands, Ted suggests that you put as much of it in as you can in learning to speak Spanish fluently, instead of doing things two little calves that make the mother cow mad enough to chase you over barbed wire fences, and in that connection I am enclosing a little clipping about a Trumbull man who had an adventure with a bull. You don’t need to go to Venezuela for that sort of adventure, you see.
Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday, will post a letter from Ced.