Lad, Grandpa’s oldest, is the only son away from home. He’s been in Venezuela since January of this year working for a couple of oil companies. Currently, he is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, based in Caracas, and holds the position of troubleshooting mechanic. He travels from camp to camp, when necessary, to address problems that haven’t been fixed by other employees. Writing letters is one thing that he doesn’t get around to very often, but Grandpa is consistent and continues to write to Lad every week.
September 17, 1939
I don’t like your new job so much when it means that you don’t have the opportunity to write as regularly and as frequently as you used to on the old job. This particular lament is caused by the fact that this week passed again without hearing anything from you. Of course it may be that you are writing regularly and it is the postal service that is at fault. I am writing regularly to you but that does not necessarily mean that you are receiving my letters regularly, particularly if you’re hopping around yourself. It may be, too, that you do not feel like writing, in which case it becomes a rather burdensome duty instead of a change of occupation for a spell each week. In the latter case it would be better to write only when you felt like it, provided of course you felt like it fairly frequently. As a matter of fact I haven’t a whole lot to tell you this week myself.
Starting off with the weather: This last week has been quite warm, but today is a clear, cool, breezy, sunshiny day with just a suggestion of autumn in the air. I don’t want to make you homesick so I won’t enlarge on this feature too much.
Red (Don Sirene) has just spent his first week at Pratt Institute. He is boarding near the school in Brooklyn and comes home for the weekend. He is studying architecture.
I am informed that the Parkway will open temporarily on October 7 as far as Nichols on one side only where they have completed laying the cement. This is to take care of traffic to and from the Yale game on that day. They estimate another month to finish it.
A group of the older ex-Boy Scouts have formed what they term a Rover patrol with Eb Joy at the head with Mr. Ives and Tiny in the background and with Ced in some kind of a leader’s position. Dick is in it and asked me if they could use upstairs in the barn for a meeting place. I told him they could if he would clean the place up which he and some of the other boys have been doing during the last few days.
Well, the tile is now finished around my bathtub and looks very nice. It is white tile marked off in 4-inch squares in black with an all-black narrow tile border at top and sides. It makes the bathroom look larger and of course much lighter. Again I thank you, old squirt, for making this possible.
Dan has been driving his old wreck of a car 14 miles to work each day and home again and has managed to make it work the three weeks or so he has been working for the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, without serious difficulty. But yesterday the gas line apparently got clogged (no, it was Friday night on the way home) and he dropped in at my office in the Town Hall to borrow my car, pick up Dick and see if they could manage to fix it up enough to drive it home. They found the gas line had not been properly put together at a joint and had leaked. So they left it near the Merritt Parkway and Ced spent all day yesterday trying to repair it only to find that in addition to the gas line leak, it had evidently skipped and was out of time. They did get it home but it is not in running condition. Today, as luck would have it Dan heard he could get a job on the Merritt Parkway with his old gang, work which he likes better than he does the reservoir job and has accordingly made arrangements to be off with the old and on with the new, so the lack of a car won’t mean much under the circumstances.
Dan thought you would be interested to know that Benedict, Nelson and Meyers are now all back in the states. Stephenson has gone to the dogs. Nelson and Benedict were the last to see him and that was in Panama. He was drunk then and had no plans. Jim Shields has a job on the new superhighway they are building in Pennsylvania.
Chris Wells, a few weeks ago, had a smashup in which his car was mixed up with two others. I guess it was the other fellow’s fault. Chris had some slight cuts on his head, surface wounds only, but the car was pretty well smashed up.
Tomorrow the rest of this letter and on Friday I will post the short lead-in paragraph for the latest political news, a clipping and some quotes from the newspaper article.