Lad has been in Venezuela for about 6 months, Dan has come back to Trumbull, and Lad is the only son away from home at this point. Grandpa continues to write every week and this letter gives us some insight as to one of the reasons he does it.
This is the second half of a very long letter. The first half was posted yesterday.
Dan broke the record last week. He sent me an airmail letter. I quote from it in case Dan is not able to get down to Pariaguan. “My little meeting with Maxudian was highly amusing. It was the opposite of what I expected, instead of a lion I found a lamb whose psychology was “I need your help. Will you let me down?” Of course I was not prepared for such tactics, so I agreed to stay for three weeks more on his verbal promise to pay salary and transportation home I heard his side of the whole story which I took with the usual mental grain of salt. He claims he has connections with the president, Contreras, and no matter what dirt is slung against the fair name of InterAmerica, new contracts are forthcoming.
I believe this part of his story, because he has supplied evidence that he has censored personally the outgoing mail, including a letter I had sent to the Engineering Society in New York which was never received! Be careful what you write was his advice.” What surprises me, if this is true, is not that he should do this but that he should admit having done so.
Still another surprise was in store for me, for a day or so after receiving this airmail letter I had another letter in Dan’s handwriting bearing a US stamp and post marked New York City July 5, which startled me for an instant into wondering if Dan had put one over and was actually in New York. However, the letter stated that it was being mailed in New York by a Fred Chion, one of the boys he had been working with in Venezuela, whom Max had sent to New York to line up some more workers to go down to Venezuela and complete the work. Dan’s principal anxiety seemed to be whether I had received the check he had sent, which, as you know, from my last letter, was received.
I at once wrote to Chion at his New York address which Dan had given me and asked him to come up to see me. Much to my surprise, he did just that and this morning he and his wife and little girl appeared. They stayed for about an hour and we all, with Ted, chatted about Max and Dan and the job. Chion expects to sail on his return trip on July 21 and will take his family with him. He says Max expects another good-sized payment from the government on July 15, so if you have not already put in your claim for the final payment you better get busy at once. Ted is cabling is lawyer in Caracas today so he may be included in the distribution of funds.
Well here it is nearing the bottom of page 3 I haven’t said a word yet about your VERY interesting letter with the plot map of the camp. This makes everything you have written about and will write about, I hope, very much more easily followed. As you say, with a few photographs I get a fairly clear picture of the whole business. You have the advantage because as I write of things here you can supply the details in your minds eye having seen them, but I have only my imagination on which to draw, and this gives a pretty wide latitude.
I see you have not yet found a new ribbon for your typewriter, and as long as it doesn’t fade out altogether I can still make the grade. Of course, if the worst comes, you can use a piece of carbon paper and send me the carbon copy instead of the original. Oh, by the way, the man Barbara referred to is one Martin Williams.
In a few minutes now I will be listening to Charlie McCarthy and it is somehow a thought to make you feel a little nearer to know that you will probably be listening to the same words and laughing at the same remarks as we are. After the Manhattan Merry-Go-Round I also keep on the same station to listen to the album a familiar music, which is to my mind exceptionally good, but maybe they do not include this on the rebroadcast. I will enclose with this letter the radio page of the Post for whatever good it may do you in trying to get other night programs during the week.
Your account of rescuing the drilling rig from the mud and your ride on the brakeless truck was quite thrilling. I should think, judging from your own experience as a boss, Mr. Leander would be pleased to realize he has someone who, when faced with an emergency during his absence, can show good judgment and initiative (particularly when it works out satisfactorily).
Am very anxious to hear whether Dan gets down to see you or not, and whether he takes the marsh buggy or the new plane, or if neither of these are in operation whether he will abandon his intention due to time, or try to make the camp in some other manner. The map you drew did not include where the new landing field is to be located. When you answer this please supply this fact and I will note it on your map.
It is a coincidence that when I opened the new package of cereal yesterday out dropped the enclosed picture of the Beechcraft airplane. Apparently from all the parking spaces provided, a good many of you folks must have automobiles. You show three, one near the old garage, one near the new and one in front of your “apartment”.
I wanted to say again how much yours and Dan’s checks helped out. It was a regular bracer, and has made me feel much better, because while one knows it is foolish to let these things bother one, you can’t help thinking of it and wondering what in manner you can get by. I feel as mean as hell taking advantage of your good nature and generosity, but I have planned for three months ahead on just how I am going to spend the checks you send me, and all of them at that to the full amount. I think that by that time I will be pretty well caught up on all but Kurtz, and thereafter I shall plan on spending only a part of your check, the balance will be invested in various securities that seem to me to be safe and profitable.
I think I shall send you a schedule of my intentions, and as. after all, it is your money, I will appreciate your comments on whether or not you approve of the suggestions before I finally put them into effect. The part that bothers me the most is that I have provided in a purely selfish way for myself. I can’t get myself into thinking that this will serve as a rousing good birthday present from my absent son, but just the same it does seem to be rubbing it in a little bit.
It is a regular hot humid July day. Aunt Helen has been laid up today because the kitchen stool fell over the other day and cracked her on the big toe. Is twice its normal size but is better today. Ted and she both renew their promise to write, and asked me to so inform you.
So long, old scout.
I was surprised by how my grandfather was feeling about the money the boys were sending home to help their father. He even went so far as to send my father his plans for “Lad’s money” and noted that he would wait for Lad’s approval before he actually spent it. He also feels selfish about using some of that money for himself, although I’ll bet he hasn’t spent any money on himself for a long time…. and it’s his birthday, for crying out loud. I’ll bet that if my father was home, he would have gladly spent that and more for his father’s birthday.
The detail in Lad’s map of the camp is exactly what I would have expected from my father. I was rather surprised that it wasn’t to scale, though. I actually have to keep reminding myself that he’s only 25 years old. Sometimes he seems much older and more responsible than his age would require. That’s probably because he was the oldest of 6 children and felt the weight of his Mother’s death on his father as well.