Lad relaxing at the Swimming Hole at one of the Venezuelan Camps
September 3, 1939
You and Hitler have one thing in common as far as I am concerned and that is the faculty of keeping the other fellow guessing. For three weeks, up to a couple of days ago, I had not heard from you and was beginning to wonder what it was all about. However as I write on this sunny Sunday afternoon, with war clouds gathering darkly in Europe, and read over again your short letter in lead pencil written August 15th from Iguana #2, I think I have discovered the reason for the delay. Enclosed you will find the envelope in which the letter came. You will note that the extra postage represented by the stamps on the back were not canceled, due to the fact that probably some careless postal clerk only glanced at the stamps on the front, figured there was not enough postage for airmail and sent it by regular mail. You therefore have three good stamps to use over again. I hope this means that someday soon I will be likely to get two letters during one week.
I suppose that with radio what it is today you are receiving foreign news as quickly as we get it here. There is not much use therefore in my commenting on the situation because it is hourly changing so rapidly that two weeks hence when you receive this the foreign lineup will be entirely different. There was one aspect regarding this war situation however, as far as you are concerned, that gives rise to some interesting speculations. Oil products are a very important war commodity, and while the U. S. may adopt measures in the interests of neutrality that will prevent American companies from directly selling oil and its derivatives to nations at war, your company is producing oil in a foreign country and some way may be found to supply the undoubted demand for oil from the fighting nations that will cause a great increase in demand for production, which in turn I should surmise would step up your activities in drilling, which in turn might mean that those already engaged in this work who have had some experience would be given additional opportunities to forge rapidly ahead. There is another phase of the thing which has interesting speculations for you. If greatly increased gallonage of oil is to be shipped abroad there must be a correspondingly greater number of tankers to carry it, and if these new tankers are powered by diesel engines there might well be an increased demand for men with diesel engineering experience. This, of course, is a longer range proposition, and it may be the war will not last long enough to permit the building of enough tankers in time to make the demand for diesel operators acute. I confess I don’t altogether like the idea of a boy of mine on board a ship during war time carrying so important a war material and so naturally a target for enemy subs.
If the war does last and the nation’s production of machinery and metal products is speeded up, I assume that as before, New England and specifically Bridgeport, will have another boom. Which will be good while it lasts, no matter what may happen afterwards. In this case I may be able to climb back a little bit from an income standpoint and not have to depend so much on the generosity of my loyal sons even though I appreciate the willingness and the great spirit that is back of it all.
Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter.