This is one of Pop’s letters. I’ve edited out some of it and am breaking it into two parts once again.
……. I am afraid that for all I pretend that I am a Christian, I am not too familiar with the World’s greatest book The Bible. It was interesting indeed to hear that one of our old Sailor sayings came originally from The Bible. Ho! I do not take The Down Easter. Wish I could, but I am magazine poor now. All the school kids these days pester you for subscriptions so that they can win prizes for themselves and their School, and while I applaud their industry in getting out and selling, still to an old salesman I rather deplore the methods. There is a little too much corporation involved for my taste. All the same between Janet and myself we subscribe to really more magazines than we can afford. On the other hand what better way to spend ones time than in educating ones self.
……… Now he (Bob) is getting married one day and going into the Army practically the next day AND I don’t know but what before, as he got his Draft notice day before yesterday. Well he WOULD NOT listen. ………. He has great faith in what the Army tells him. They told him that he would not be called until June the 28th. I told him they would damned well call him when they felt like it. They told him they would send him to San Francisco to School for a year, that he would have a fine job and be a non combatant. I told him that if and when they needed men, they would send him where and when they choose.
…….. Then of course “ole Daddy Bird” also keeps me in a constant state of agitation. I guess I don’t belong in “the World of today.” I was thinking just last night while reading some New England History how improvident people are today. You know Mr. Lufkin, when I was a kid it was my job to cut the Winters wood and anyone who did NOT have it cut and filed in the woodshed when Winter came was in sad shame indeed.
Believe it or not a mans character was judged by the kind of a “woodpile” he had stacked up in his shed or yard in the Fall. Many a lazy and improvident family that I knew when I was a kid damned near froze to death at times because of lack of preparation for the winter.
It was not only the heat that you must have but the food also. Mother and I were busy from Spring until Fall. In the Spring we dug Dandelion Greens and salted them down in large stone crocks. The we got our Garden started on of course stored everything that could be kept in the cellar or “root cellar”. Then when the different berries cam along in their season it was preserves and Jellies and Crabapples, Etc. When the Mackerel were running I caught those and they also were salted down in wooden kegs for the Winter. Then of course there was the Pork and the Deer shot around Thanksgiving and the rabbits and whatever else was around for food. The fact is that even the poorer of us never went hungry or cold, unless through fault of our own. Today “its let Pop do it”. No matter that he is old enough to remember the times I am describing and would like a little surcease from it all. The Kids are the “boss” today, and in the Matriacle Society that we live in Mama bosses Papa also. Well the Hell with it I say!
By the way your short note with regard to some Mr. L. Burke of Seattle just came in (and thanks for the fine rec.) Now I don’t know what this is all about but think perhaps it is Pete. HIS name is also Leon R. Sinclair (Jr.) and he of course lives in Seattle and teaches at The University of Washington. Perhaps he gave my name and where I work and they are checking on ME as well as him. Huh? Anyway we are going to call him tonight and will try and find out what it is all about. I think he is probably looking for a Summer job in Seattle. He generally goes to The National Park in Jackson Hole you know, but last time we talked to him he said he could get his PhD quicker by a year if he worked in Seattle in the Summer instead of Wyoming, but his wife of course if from Wyoming and she gets homesick so up to now anyway he has gone along with her wishes and spent the Summer time working as head of the Rescue Squad in the Grand Tetons. Since his teaching Fellowship only pays $2500 a year and they have two children they have quite a struggle (another reason I get so mad at Bob, I would rather help the more deserving). Whatever Pete does he will do well you may be sure. He has absolutely the finest mind of any person I know, and his character is the same.
For all that he has been a MAN since he was six years old, he is very shy about talking about himself. Heavens knows I don’t think there is anyone in the Country who could come up with better recommendations than he, but I suppose he hates to brag. WE never even knew he was President of his Class, or elected to The National Honor Society or any of those things until we read it in the Torrington Register. He hates self praise. Not me! I believe “the wheel that does the squeaking is the one that gets the grease” as my Grandpop used to say.
Anyway the person who hires him for anything will be getting more than their fair share of both quality and character believe me! Many (if not most) of the proudest moments of my Life have been the result of some of his fine accomplishments.
He is of course like his “ole man” in one respect and that is that he is fiercely independent, and resents any and all injustices and has no patience with ignorance. That of course led to a few arguments with me in his youth for lets face it. I AM ignorant! He set me strait on many a subject that I went “wandering around the Mulberry bush” on and I am grateful to him for it. Although I am intolerant of many things I should not be, I am much less so for having a Son like him.
We miss him terribly as we have not seen him for five years! We have never seen his lovely family and we know that they ARE lovely because Janet’s Brother has been here from Seattle or nearby and Bob was out there. We did not need their references of course as Pete is the kind of a boy who would marry a fine person and a fine mind like himself.
……… I would not be at all mad if you sent the page about Pete along to him. Will type his address at the end of this letter, or if you are ever in Seattle to read it to him over the phone. I can’t always express myself to him, even though I can to you, and as I said many thanks again for MY fine reference.
Tags: Pop's Letters