Stationery from the 830 South Michigan Hotel, Chicago, IL.
June 18, 1940.
My dear Sweetheart,
Your letter of Sun. night came this AM and I think you have had the answer from Mr. G. before now. I mentioned the visit of Mrs. G. when I finished talking to you and it seemed to disturb him a great deal. He had already told me of the divorce, and although I had not previously heard one word about it, and knew of no reason why they would separate, I was not surprised when he told me. There was nothing I could say when he told me, except that it would not be mentioned outside of Claudelle and yourself. If you are yet of the opinion that you would like to come to Chicago for the short time I’ll be here, let me know so that I can locate a place here and also so I can come for you & drive the car on Sunday. If the moving can wait until July 15, I think it would be better. Mr. G. said I might plan on coming to Wash. on the 4th. We expect the last week of June & the 1st week of July to be the heavy shipping period. We have shipped 106 cars so far, with 100 while Mr. G. was here.
June 18, 1940
I love you lots & lots & I am now looking forward to joining you before many more weeks. Have just written to Mr. Simmons about a house at Panama City. Orlando is a large place but I am trying to move the station from there.
Friday night [Wrong day again, I think.]
Am enclosing the pictures with negatives. The little girl’s mother may wish to borrow the negatives of LD & the little girl, or you may care to give her prints showing the little girl.
June 16, 1940
Thompson & I arrived today & we have requisitions for 51 cars of creosote oil, which will be ordered shipped when Mr. Gaddis arrives tomorrow.
I wish I knew what the Chief has in mind as to the leeway I’ll have on research. If plenty of latitude I know I can get the kind of research that is needed, but if this is not given I doubt if we will stay with it long. I don’t intend to camouflage Bishopp’s weaknesses as we have always done.
I feel that I have accomplished something this season & will get something done here. I don’t believe the Denver set up can handle a hot program, even after the help they have had this season. Yet the ‘hopper program seems definitely on the down grade, and it looks as though it will be a question of dropping men now employed on it. At least 75% could be dropped by the end of this season.
Will wait until I see you before planning to ship furniture from Mpls. Could take bids before July 1, but this appears as though we are anxious to move & I do not wish to show anxiety until I know more.
Tuesday PM. 6/11-’40
My dear Sweetheart,
Yours of the 31st was returned to the office from you and was received today. I was very glad to read it even though you had told me most of its contents. Also the card and letters from Mother Lewis and Mother Dove were gladly received. I am not returning the latter for I am sure that Claudelle has seen them.
June 11, 1940
I thought I’d hear from the Chief’s decision today but as yet no news from him. I am wonderingif he is going to insist on my going to Man & Animals. I hardly think so, but ordinarily he does not wait this long for a decision. Perhaps he had to develop some information first.
Claude, RA & all are most cordial and there seems to be quite a change in them. RA & Messenger are in the field now. Claude has made several friendly overtures and asked for suggestions on a few things. He does not seem to lock up so much. This makes me feel better though I still feel that they regard me with some suspicion. I think I’ve helped him & he appreciates it, especially on the situation in S. Dak.
The office at Chicago has been turned over to us by Mr. Corliss and they are most cordial. Corliss, Mrs. Corliss, Mitchell, Rainwater & I drove along the lake shore Sunday. There are some beautiful places even though we do not see many in passing through the city. Mrs. Simonson did not go with us as some of her relatives took her for a drive. Mr. Thompson and I will go down there on a moment’s notice, and I imagine as soon as it is time to ship creosote oil.
The buying here is about complete and within about 3 weeks the baiting will be over except for fall baiting. Montana counties have added a little spice to the program, but other than about 5 of these counties the program has been mild, indeed. The cricket program is hardly a drop in the bucket.
I found a little hotel on Michigan Ave. with good rates. All of us are stopping there except Mitchell & I think he and Thompson will stop there. It is known as 830 South Michigan Hotel, which is the street address. So far I have had no mail sent there, but should you phone or wire at night I could be reached there OK.
With love, I am
June 8, 1940
Dear Walter W.,
Tonight I went to the broadcast of the Barn Dance WLS, which is a regular show in a theatre where one buys a ticket just like any other show. I am sending a souvenir program.
Mother does not feel well during this summer and I want to ask you and Lewis Dunbar to be careful and not worry her or displease her. It will help a great deal if you will mind her, and do not cross or argue with her.
June 8, 1940 (front)
June 8, 1940 (back)
Sunday Night [Postmark suggests Walter got the day wrong again.]
My dear Ina,
Your very important news is great and we hope that the little daughter is on the way. According to your calculations the date would be some time near Walter White’s birthday. She would be grown about the time I reach 65. I am sure that she will keep both of us young and a lot of company, after W.W. and Lewis are grown. With 5 and 6 years between the ages of the youngsters, we should find it not so difficult to see them through college.
May 21, 1940
I am rather glad that we are not going to Menard, for two or three reasons including the arrival of the daughter. I am wondering about the steps at Mr. Gaddis’s house. You will need to be very careful and not undertake to carry things up the steps. Perhaps we can know something definite before long and guard against your climbing too many steps. Is the colored girl coming regularly and could she come every day instead of part time? You do not have a good place for walking, as the road is too dangerous for long walks.
I believe it is best not to mention it to the Cushings until after they go to Menard. We feel sorry for them, and as you say we can consider ourselves lucky. Feb. 19 you had completed your period and I recall that March was on time. In April it was late as we expected it in N.Y.C. You remember I went by the drug store for you while in N.Y.C., and you did not need the napkins until after we returned home. About 2 days after. May be this will help you check the date. April 12 sounds about right.
Since I wrote you I went with R.A. & Thompson to some boxing matches which were OK. The Elk Club here have a good team & there were 8 bouts with the Golden Glove team of Chicago. Denver won 5 of the 8 matches. Every day I manage to walk quite a bit and I am feeling fine. On Sat. & Sun. I get in some extra walking. Tonight I went to a movie for a change. One reel on the trophy winners of 1939, a comic & I think the other was called The House Across the Bay, across from Alcatraz prison.
Both Dr. Wakeland and R.A. seem to regard me with some suspicion, although I have been able to get R.A. to talk some. I do not see him evenings. When Messenger was here it was not a great deal I could get from him. It’s a good thing we do not have a big grasshopper program, because it would be so different that several adjustments would have to be made in the way they do things.
I love you lots & lots & I hope to see you before many moons.
I find this discussion about Walter and Ina’s expected daughter amusing, for reasons that will be apparent soon.
Sunday Night 5/19-40
My dear Sweetheart,
Yours of last night was received a few minutes ago. I certainly hope the Cushings are not disappointed in the prospect of an heir, and they should not think for a second that I have any feeling about their going to Menard. I am very glad they are going. I also have the feeling that we will get somewhere on the SW problem through him.
May 19, 1940
Even though Panama City is said to be mine, I just don’t have the feeling that we are going down there. I think the assignment would be pleasant work and we could get something accomplished. Yet, if I do not go there I just do not know of anyone else to do it. Of course it could continue just as it has been for the past few years. Bruce could not supervise Dr. King’s work, and I doubt if they would let him go just for Panama City. That would be one way of reducing Dallas. Also if Laake came to Wash., that would leave only Wells & Eagleson to be transferred. My suggestion would be that, but I doubt if the Bureau is ready to boost Mr. Bruce that much. The other alternative would be to get Mr. Lindquist down there & to move Stage to assist Dornier. That would not meet with Mr. B’s approval either. Armand wants me to go & get King in good grace of Strong.
Strong did not discuss the matter with me. My visit was very short, a hello & the highlights on the bran market & our purchases. He listened with very little comment. Thought it best not to discuss Florida unless he brought up the subject.
Am returning the statement for the Liberty Mutual Co. Please look in your check stubs. I am quite sure that I gave a check when I signed the application. Also, the cancelled check should be in the April lot & listed on the statement. If not, would you send one to them. Pls. look in the black folder with my name printed on it, under auto insurance, & I think you will find the policy & the receipt.
Yesterday PM (after 5 o’clock), this AM & again this PM I took some long walks and exposed myself to the sunlight. I can breathe much better tonight & I feel better. Will continue to do this. I believe that is why I felt so much better when I came home the last time.
The grape fruit, oranges & ham sound mighty good & it was nice of Mr. Gaddis to share them with us.
Thurs May 16, 1940.
My dear Ina & Folks,
The sleeper plane was just fine and for the first time I actually undressed & went to bed just as one would in a Pullman. From Cleveland we traveled upstairs most of the way (about 10 to 11 thousand feet). At Cheyenne Mr. Messenger joined me for the rest of the trip. Have spent two past evenings with him as he has been in the field & will leave again Sat or Friday night. R.A. is doing just fine. Dr. Wakeland is away with Mr. Dutton.
May 16, 1940
Two years ago today I had the first big fire built under me by a delegation from ND, then drove to Fargo that night. Was having trouble with one of my Butchers then. Today it is quiet and things are quite different for a grasshopper office. It has a disturbing pulse but no headaches.
The pictures made on our arrival at Great Falls seem fair & the ones of the falls look as though they will print OK, but the others did not show up well enough to try prints. Will mail them as soon as prints are obtained.
I have not written to anyone about not going to Menard and I think you should let Mother Lewis know of it. Could you break the news gently? Believe we should not say much about Panama City yet. I hope the Chief feels well enough to discuss it here Saturday or Sunday, although I do not intend to crowd him for any opinion or reaction. Think he will give it of his own accord & will give an opening for a discussion if he feels anything like normal.
Walter is apparently still helping with the grasshopper program as it gets going under new management, which is why he’s traveling back and forth between Denver and Washington. Meanwhile, it sounds as if he’s considering taking a post at the USDA research facility in Panama City, FL instead of the screw-worm facility in Menard, TX.
My dear Ina,
I mailed the checks to the Skellet Co. for storage, the New England Mutual & one to Mother Dove.
Will bring checks & deposit them at Wash.
May 8, 1940
May 8, 1940.
Dear Lewis Dunbar,
What kind of a boat are you building? It sounds like an Irish submarine (a brick bat). Will it float? Will see you Sunday.
Wednesday Night 5/8-’40
Dear Walter White,
I had some very good news on your school work and we want you to know that both Mother and I are very proud of your fine record. At the rate you are going in school you should be ready for college at an early age, and should get trained for your life work while you are young.
The grasshopper program is small in comparison to the past two years, and it seems perfectly natural to be working on it now. I plan to leave here Friday PM and should reach Washington on the B&O Sunday morning about nine o’clock, if I remember the schedule correctly. I’ll be there in time to eat Sunday dinner with you.
My dear Ina & All,
Polly is a good cook and I enjoyed her steak dinner & the visit. She wanted to know all about all of you. Later she brought up Mr. Messenger & I think I anticipated her and put her straight without offending her. Poor Dr. Wakeland will never get wise to Messenger’s dual personality, & the dislike that all have for Mr. M (except Polly).
It rained tonight & I went to a movie by myself. “A Million Years BC,” & it was interesting.
May 7, 1940
My dear Ina & Boys,
I missed you very much today. Last night I went to dinner at Mr. & Mrs. Townsend’s, and he doesn’t talk any more than I do. Mrs. Townsend served a nice dinner with roast beef and I enjoyed the dinner and visit. They have a big Persian cat to play with, and she finds it difficult to keep cat hair cleaned from the rug & furniture.
May 5, 1940
Friday night I took Polly & a Miss Cagle (one of the girls at the office from Georgia) to eat and we walked out to Polly’s apartment and visited for a couple of hours. I am to eat some of Polly’s cooking Monday night. I think she still likes Mr. Messenger pretty well and I have an idea that I’ll hear more about it later. I think the Bureau has done pretty well by him. He seems to be scrambled and I think he has had more than he could handle. R.A. seems to be feeling fine and seems to have improved some during the past two years. I hope to work pretty close with him so that he can do this work in the future. Beckwall seems to be much more agreeable since she had her operation, and she misses Quarterman too. Dick Thompson is the same and it will be a pleasure to work with him again. His good nature and smile seemed to be the principal asset for a good morale in the office. Wakeland is a sick man and I don’t know whether he will be much help or not. RA says that he insists on being at the office and this means that the three of us will be here.
It is about 60º here during the AM & PM and 84ºF on Friday. Quite a change from the snow at Chicago.
With all my love,