Thursday Night 11 PM.
My dear Sweetheart,
Was glad to get the letter from you today but more than surprised about Thelma Lee’s marriage. The little rascal. I think I could have found an entomologist for her who would have been almost human, but it is not any easy matter to pick for some one else. In fact one does pretty well to pick for himself and is fortunate if he can pick his own teeth. Am glad that no one scolded her for it. It was a kid like way of doing it and I think everything should contribute to make the union a success. I don’t blame Paul for the early marriage when he had a chance to get her, because Thelma Lee is beautiful and might find some one else before he returned. If he does not return to college, can he earn enough to support Thelma Lee? She is worthy of a good man and I hope he is made of the right metal [sic]. Is he going to work on a ranch this summer? Thelma Lee said something about visiting on a ranch in West Texas, and I wonder if he is going to work out there. Would he make a good man for screw worm control? I shouldn’t ask this because the chief is set on not having another program. It may be forced on him, however.
February 4, 1937
Bruce goes back to research, the chief told me in no uncertain terms that he simply would not have a man like that to head one of his offices. The best we could do was to get Bruce fixed up as well as possible, and I think he is reconciled to the transfer though at first he wanted to resign. He didn’t seem to have a grasp of his responsibility and his work with McGehee was not coordinated. The two offices should have functioned as one but both of them seem to have had the idea of winning support of the men. McG had passed the word of Bruce’s transfer to the men before it was generally known in the office. As a result, he got his letter from me on his failures, but that on account of his good work we were not discontinuing his services but were transferring him to a field assistant’s job. The letter told him that the position would close the latter part of April. Strong really did not go into McGehee’s case very well, but made it known to me that he did not think either Bruce or McGehee had been state supervisor. McG is as slow as Christmas and as contrary as the devil. Bruce was fast enough but also contrary. Both of them gave unnecessary favors to the men even to the extent of stepping beyond their authorities.
Since the storm struck I have been tightening up and have also been reducing expenses by eliminating some field men and in several economies at the office. Before Strong returned to Washington he sent me word by Dutton that I should drop every man that we could dispense with, and not have an abrupt closing in April. Five men are going off in West Florida Saturday, three in Georgia one week from Saturday and one was dropped in Fla. before Strong got here. The others are being combed carefully.
Dutton and Strong spent a week in the field, and Spencer spent a few days (two) at Gainesville offices. Before he left he was pretty well satisfied on the business end, and did not find anything other than what Strong had found on his first visit. Strong’s field trip gave him a better insight to the work, and Dutton indicates that Strong was pretty well pleased. Dutton assured me that my status in the Bureau was a secure one. He said “you are already made by the work you have done.” He indicated that a job was developing for me, one of putting control into research and somewhat of an efficiency man. The job would be a temporary assignment to the Secretary for work in other Bureaus and that Strong would not agree to release me permanently for other assignments or jobs out of the Bureau.
It seems that the Secy made such a request from the different Bureaus with an idea of introducing improved methods by temporary assignment of men in other work as efficiency men. Strong has not discussed this with me but Dutton says that this is in the making. He thinks that I ought to be assigned such a job in the Bureau to work with Bureau research groups and that I should travel among them all of the time. Strong and Dutton can’t understand the ultra conservatism and caution employed by research men and their failures to grasp significant facts of importance in control and they want to inject them with some hot apple sauce.
I was not told of my short comings on this program, but I recognize one in my organization which did not come up here. I organized the work so as to keep Roberts and Bruce free of vouchers etc., so as to keep them in the field and so as to place this on the state leaders. Bruce was inclined to interpret this as no responsibility of his regarding state offices and to consider each office a different unit. He did not seem to think that he had a responsibility in their work but acted as more of an official handshaker. Roberts on the other hand, felt every responsibility keenly and worried about some, much more than he should have. The result is that Roberts’s stock is pretty high. When Roberts gets here and becomes oriented I’ll leave for San Antonio. I’ll probably be here all of next week and plan to drive a car to New Orleans for Hollingsworth. Will take a train from there.
I love you Honey and things are OK as far as your husband’s connections are concerned.