Tuesday night 2/24-42
My dear Sweetheart,
The money on the repellent project $44800 became available today and things will pick up now. The present work on fumigants including tests with the Army will require approximately 2 weeks. At a conference this PM Dr. Armand is willing for Bruce to complete these. They will wire Bruce tomorrow to come into Wash. & if I can see him first I think the job he now has will be consolidated with ours and he will be my second man at Orlando. Bish has been opposing it to Armand, but Armand had agreed to it several days ago. The situation is that a lot of Bureau men are on the end of a limit due to curtailment & Armand is now looking for places for them. Our work will be filled by transfer within the division except for Mr. Glass & 4 juniors who come from the outside. Cushing will then consider transfers of others to fill temporary places vacated by men who are coming to our projects.
February 24, 1942
Bishopp is as pale as a ghost. I’ve never seen him looking as badly. I do not know if the merger mentioned in the enclosed clipping has anything to do with it. All divisions of the Bureau were called upon today to stream line their activities in line with war needs and this means that the Bureau of the Budget can then pick out ones to be eliminated or reduced. They seem to be going after it great shape. I believe that the Bureau part is confidential but it would be OK to let Simmons know.
My return ticket is dated the 27th & today is the 24th. I may not be able to get away by that time but I’ll come as soon as Bruce can get here and I can turn this work over to him. I would telephone him tonight but the only news I can get of his present address is the state of Texas. Mrs. Townsend has his itinerary and she had already gone when the conference was over. I could try San Antonio and Dallas, but anyway they can wire him tomorrow morning, and the orders for him to come here will have to come from the office anyway.
Lots of love,
My dear Ina & Boys,
I am enclosing a clipping from the Washington Post of today which is of much interest. They tried to get voluntary releases of personnel from government agencies but this failed, so now they are trying a new wrinkle. If you wanted a transfer to Wash. instead of Orlando, I imagine it would be easy because it could not be blocked in the Bureau. If it were not for Cushing I would not mind so much, because you know how I feel about the rest of them. The work at Orlando will be the most important war work in the Bureau & probably just as important as any except firing bullets.*
February 22, 1942
I kept the sedan delivery here today but I did not go out to Beltsville. It has been real cold yesterday & today and it was not especially urgent that I go over the fumigated material until tomorrow. I hope I can get away about the end of the week but cannot tell yet. I want to get the answer if I can by that time.
If you have any strong convictions about transferring, please let me know. After the war it may be difficult to get into other govt work which might mean taking the retirement. It would amount to about $150 per month at present. After about 6 yrs more or 30 yrs service would amount to about $200 per mo. I doubt if I could leave the Bureau before about 6 yrs. By that time we may be in the middle of another depression & it would be difficult to get started in something else.
P.S. Think I’ll talk to the Public Health Service. Theirs should be permanent.
* Walter is not bragging. Louse-borne typhus was deadlier than any weapon in World War I, and all indications were that it would take a similar toll in this war. An army that could prevent and/or treat louse infestations would have an immense advantage over one that couldn’t.
Sat. PM 2/21-42
Hurray for Tommy & 96 steps.
My dear Ina & Boys,
I came in early today and parked the car near the hotel so that I can go out to Beltsville tomorrow and check our tests. We certainly hope that we can get plenty of material Monday & the early part of the week so that we can finish the present tests. So far, the chlorpicrin looks pretty good & I hope that it will continue to show promise. The Army would like to use it.
February 21, 1942
Last night I went home with BM and Claudelle. He expects to leave tonight or tomorrow for Gulfport and will spend a week or more down there with R.A. He & Claudelle are OK and are so interested in each other, that I feel it would be better if I were not there. But they don’t seem to mind my presence at all.
The living material I have been sending to Bushland seems to be getting along first rate at Orlando. He seems very enthusiastic about the work. I get an airmail letter from him every few days.
The enclosures were interesting and I have taken care of them. I gave my address as Box 491 Orlando which is the office address.
What would you think of Henry going to Orlando. Can get him raised from 80 to 100 per mo. He has his faults, but is a willing worker & may be of more help where we have a larger station. I have not said anything to anyone about it yet and may wait until I return to D.C.
Thursday Night 2/19
My dear Ina & Boys,
One print of each of the photos is enclosed. I am having three of each printed and I plan to give Claudelle and BM one set, and a couple of prints of Tommy to the Cushings. You may want some of them enlarged, if so we can select and have them made at DC or Orlando.
February 19, 1942
The tests here are encouraging but I cannot bring them to a close just yet. With luck we should be able to complete them in another week. Perhaps I can be at home next week end. If the money becomes available for the new work I may leave this part for some one else & come back to get things started at Orlando.
I leave from the Bureau in the morning for Beltsville. Mr. Lata goes with me. I see very little of the Bureau people except a few min. in the morning and sometimes in the P.M.
Yesterday I sent you a box of Martha Washingtons. No, I do not have a guilty conscience. My behavior has been most excellent, if I do say so myself.
With love and looking forward to seeing you soon.
Tuesday Night 2/17.
My dear Sweetheart & Boys,
Saturday noon I ate a dinner with Claudelle & BM down town, and then went home with them over Sunday. I went to the office from there Monday AM. Mr. Cushing came over Sun. night for chili but Deniza was too tired. She works at night at the War Dept. We had a quiet day and light visiting.
February 17, 1942
Monday & today Mr. Lata and I had some fumigations to keep us busy and there is enough for tomorrow too. It seems to be going OK but we cannot check results until the hatching takes place. I have been sending material to Bushland and he writes that the laboratory colonies are being established OK.
It looks as though the money on the first project will come through in a few days. A voucher was sent over and as I understand it, a check is to be returned to the Bureau. The other project is late, and it may be a month before it comes through. I think we have the personnel lined up and things are under way to transfer some assistants on short notice.
Mrs. W.V. King passed away on Sat. PM and is being buried at Shreveport, her home town. I have had no word of any kind from Dr. King.
I am enclosing a clipping that Claudelle gave me. I believe you knew Ardie Shaw at Charleston.
The valentines were appreciated very much and I want to thank all three of the boys and their mother.
Bellevue Hotel Feb. 12, 1914 (sic)
My dear Sweetheart,
By the time this reaches you it will be Valentine’s Day and I’ll have to get the candy when I come home, because I did not get it today. For the past 3 days I have had some luck in getting material. Two lots have been sent to Mr. Bushand at Orlando so that he can breed up a supply for tests. I have some other material tonight and if I get some more tomorrow I’ll send it down by Air Express tomorrow night. It arrives there about noon of the following day. For the tests I am getting some material now but it is not enough. It looks like we will have to rear it and ship it here for the fumigation tests.
February 12, 1942
I saw BM this AM and I talked to Claudelle tonight. Will try to see her in a day or so. On my return I think I’ll come to DC first and then drive to Orlando. Just how soon I cannot tell, but as soon as I can.
You did just right about WW foot operation.
Sat. Nite 2/7-12 PM
My dear Ina & Boys,
I am enclosing a card on the meeting tonight. The slides were OK, I used the full time, had questions and was told that the talk was OK. Mr. Stage was there from my office. Cushing did not come b/c of a cold which he is still fighting. Deniza is working in the War Dept. now and I guess she is glad to work again. They moved to an apt. near BM & Claudelle, I believe the man who owns the house is a lawyer. I cannot remember his name.
February 7, 1942
As yet I have had practically no luck in getting material. As far as the fumigation tests go, I am just where I was one week ago. Hope to get some Monday PM, which will give me something to do at Beltsville on Tuesday. The District Jail is my main bet for material.
Thursday night I went to the Wash. Ent. Soc. meeting. Ewing & Snodgrass gave talks. Saw Mr. Oman who said he stopped at Uvalde, and saw Claudelle. Mr. & Mrs. Lewis. Also saw Mr. Bottimer who is working at the Museum now.
There has been no news on the money for the other projects yet but we expect it soon.
I miss you lots and will be glad to get home. Hope we can get Bruce changed so that he can help on this. Cushing intended to try Annand on it today before FC returns. This job at present is not so much.
Wednesday Feb. 4
My dear Sweetheart & Boys,
It was great to get two letters from home, so I’m sending another one. It seems ages since I left but it was just one week ago this AM that I arrived here.
February 4, 1942
Cushing came back on Monday AM and I was glad to see him. He is very helpful on this program, even if I have not yet made any fumigation tests. My first cooperators did not come through because of the effect of the gas on the equipment and the possible danger of releasing it in the city. The quantities are small but it is a tear gas. Arrangements have been made to do the tests at Beltsville where I can borrow from three different places. I borrowed a car from a third office today, and I’ll get it tomorrow. Yesterday I purchased 24 suits of underwear for prisoners of the District jail. They will be exchanged to individuals for ones that I can fumigate.
Annand & Bishopp are at the Memphis meetings, also Prof. Harned at his own expense.
Talked with Hoyt this PM. I called upon him for a little visit. He does not seem like the same one to me. Like the others (Rohner and Spencer) he is strictly in line with Annand & without regard to Strong or the past. I’m disappointed in him, but of course I did not try to draw him out or to ask for anything. A friendly visit regarding the dog fly control & the present work, then he suggested a young man from Colorado for the new work. Wakeland is here and sent word that he wanted to see me. I’ll see him tomorrow and I’ll guess that he mentions the same man. Also Cushing & I are calling on Major Stone tomorrow AM to get some gas masks, & for a conference.
Every division of the Bureau is getting a cut except Man & Animals & it is getting two new projects amounting to $94,000 on defense. Also the dog fly control program is coming back to the Bureau. I am to talk to the Biological Society of Washington on Sat. eve. 8 PM for 35 min. on “dog fly control in N.W. Fla.”
There will be no money for control of salt marsh mosquitoes & sand flies & Dr. Williams is returning to malaria in the USPHS.
Sent Kodak pictures last night. New ones not yet developed.
My dear Ina & Boys,
Yesterday morning we had an air raid drill in the agricultural buildings, which amounted to a concentration of the personnel on certain floors at designated places. There was nothing exciting about it, but some of them seemed to like the idea of being wardens or First Aid people.
February 1, 1942
Mr. Hall phoned that his neighbor was a secretary to Congressman Sikes & asked if I would join them at noon. We had lunch in the Capitol Bldg. with the Congressman and Mr. Terry Lee the secretary who lives at Marianna. It was a sociable visit with some discussion of the dog fly control work. The Congressman asked if anyone objected to the use of creosote, and I told him that they did not make it known to me. We heard of one unfavorable comment which anticipated the use of creosote but that none was used on such premises. Also told him of the Park Supt. at Santa Rosa who wanted to know if shore birds walking on treated grass would be burned. Mr. Sikes said that not a single complaint had been received by his office, and that he had heard favorable comments on the work. They expect to get a project through for the Bureau.*
Most every research division is to get a cut, except Man & Animals. Prof. Harned expects to be reduced from $145,000 to $120,000. There is much uneasiness in the Bureau. Rumors float about on moving the whole Bureau to Kansas City or somewhere else. They have no instructions to move, but may get them. From what I can hear, Annand is making a lot of changes and they are coming gradually but fast enough to put things on edge. Different ones have told me that my standing was ace high now, with no comments on what it has been. They expect Mr. G to be shorn of most of his projects but do not say in what way. I’ve seen Bish a few times and I’ve never seen him as worried looking as at present.
There is some good news on retirements. Anyone can retire before he is 55 if he has had 15 years service, but will not draw any retirement money until he reaches 55. Then he can get 15/30 of 70% of his regular rate of pay at the time he quits. The rate increases with years of service and one must retire at 62. Dr. B is about 60, so that he could not be in longer than 2 more years. I would expect King Parman and Laake to retire within a couple of years, though I am not certain of their ages.
There will be a memo on the subject of retirement before long & it should give all of the information we want. Until then we have this to think about, and I think it is OK.
With lots of love to all of you.
* Remember, this was a project that involved spraying thousands of gallons of oil and creosote over the beaches near Pensacola. Priorities were different in 1942.
My dear Sweetheart,
When I mailed your letter last night I thought of the Jax property & I put a note on the outside of the envelope. Could you write the Tax Assessor, County Clerk House & ask for our statement for last year. I would do this, but I do not remember the description.
January 29, 1942
This AM I called upon Major Stone and I learned more of his exact needs. When I determine the fumigation periods & can get a portable fumigation box I am to get it into use at Camp Jackson at Columbia S.C. I found a fairly good article on chloropicrin & believe it may help a lot because the Army prefers to use this material.
Miss Trembley & I called on the City Health authorities this PM & we believe we will have some addresses to work soon. Also we are getting an arrangement with the jail authorities.
This PM Mrs. Cushing was in the office and I asked her to eat dinner with me. We ate at the Chinese restaurant and she left for home as soon as we finished. She had a letter from Claudelle saying that she (Claudelle) and BM would be back on Feb. 5. It was written from Harbinger.
Permission was cancelled by the Bureau for our attendance at Memphis. This would have happened even if I had been able to go there. Bish will go but I did not ask him to read our papers.
I have been invited to talk on dog flies before the Biological Society one week from Sat. if I am here & it looks like I’ll be here. I think Mr. Stage asked Dr. Simmons to send the slides. If not, will you ask Dr. Simmons to send them to me at the Bureau. I’ll write him in a few days.
It was a pleasure to visit with Mrs. Cushing. The Bureau visits are so unsatisfactory during the day that it is a relief. There is a lot of uncertainty in the changes about the Bureau and most of the folks seem jittery. Things are not like they used to be and we have to recognize that fact.
With love to WW, Lewis, Tommie and my wife,
Sincerely & always,