R-76 of May 21, 1940
I am in no mood for writing letters right now. I agree with Hamlet that “the times are out of joint.” The evening paper blares forth the headline: “Germans Reach the Channel 1,000,000 Allies Cut Off French Ninth Army is Broken.” Here in this country we are in a wave of hysteria, hastily voting billions of dollars for rearmament, the stock market goes haywire, and no one knows whether they are going or coming. Maybe you’re not so bad off away from it all, minding your own business.
If you take the trouble to check up the date of this letter you will see it is Tuesday– the first time in over a year that I have been so far behind schedule in writing to you. It came about through the fact that Dan wanted to go to the fair before he left for Alaska and thereupon all decided to go last Sunday. I was trying out a Studebaker for the weekend. Ced had to go to work at Tilo at eight o’clock Sunday night, so some of us decided to get an early start. Ced, Dave, Jean and myself therefore left Trumbull at 7 AM in the Studebaker, leaving Dan and Barbara and Dick to come down later in Ced’s Plymouth. We all met by prearrangement at the Danish building at 1:00 for dinner and then separated again until five o’clock when Ced had to leave. He went alone. The rest of us reached home at 11. I had at first decided to come home with Ced and write to you as per schedule, but Dave and I lost track of the time and when we finally arrived at the meeting place where we were to find Ced at 5 PM, he had already gone. Well, methinks, I’ll write to Lad on Monday night after supper, entirely forgetting that I was to attend a big town meeting to decide on the town’s budget for the coming year. When that was over it was time to go to bed, which brings us up to tonight and the present moment.
The Guion lilacs came out this morning. I left a bunch for Mrs. Kurtz and Mr. MacKenzie, took some to the office and very tactfully gave some to the cop who directs the traffic at my corner to take home to his wife. And speaking of cops, Johnny Austin died Sunday morning and I attended the funeral this afternoon. Enclosed is a clipping — the final piece of publicity that Johnny will ever get.
And speaking of clippings, here is a rather interesting “column” on the oil situation with references to Venezuela. Things are moving so rapidly internationally, however, that by the time this reaches you the setup may be entirely different.
Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter concerning various stock prices and history, and a few final tidbits of family news.