Letter #19: Work Straightened Out

I'm continuing my series of scanning, transcribing, and annotating my grandfather's love letters to my grandmother leading up to their marriage in June 1940. The letters are chronologically organized and preserved, using the methods I discuss in detail in my book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs

In Letter 19 of the Grandpa's Love Letter series, Grandpa is getting things done! The way he talks about work is similar to how I think about it. As an archives and records management consultant, I love creating order out of chaos. For me, that usually means advising clients on improving how their information flows throughout its lifecycle. For Grandpa, that means streamlining the creation of garments. 

The way he describes the system of garment manufacturing and how it should be improved makes me realize that he is a process-driven thinker, like myself. He could think through a process from start to finish and improve it so that each step added the most value with the minimal amount of work. That's what I do for a living as well! Frankly, I never felt very close to Grandpa, but discovering this about him made me feel like a part of him lives on in me. 

Here's one of my favorite pictures of him at work. Who took this picture? It's in a large format (8 x 10), so I wonder if it was a professional office shot?

 On the back, "1943" is written in pencil. 

On the back, "1943" is written in pencil. 

I love when Grandpa mentions cultural references; his comments give me some clues to research. He wrote about Comerford Theater in a previous letter. At the moves, he saw I Take This Woman, a 1940 drama starring Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr. 

Looking at old newspapers, I found an ad for Dr. R. Loewit, an optometrist at 18 Church Street in Paterson, New Jersey. 

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March 18, 1940

Scranton, Pa.

Dear Ann,

I do not know yet when I will come home this week-end. Things may turn out so that I will not be able to leave until Saturday morning and then I may come home by train. 

I worked late Friday night and Saturday morning trying to get some of the work straightened out on both my old and new jobs. Today I was so disgusted with things that I could not get out of the shop early enough. At present, on the job I am taking over they have too much system which requires twice as much detail work as is necessary. Almost the entire system will have to be changed or it will be a 16 hour day job for one man or an 8 hour a day job for two men. 

I also will have to see Dr. Loewit as my glasses broke on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps I will have to have stronger lenses. 

Otto and I spent a quiet week-end, the best part of which was a 2 hour walk at Lake Scranton. Saturday I saw "I Take this Woman" at the Comerford Theater. It was the first time I ever saw Hedy LaMar [sic] out. 

The weather was miserable on Saturday. We got home before 6 o'clock and did not go out at all at night because of the snow, etc. 

I have not forgotten about Pa's birthday. I have a card picked out for him already. When I get home I will have to buy his gift yet. 

Give my regards to all. 

In closing, as ever you have my love. 

Your Sweetheart

Ray

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