Letter #22: A Mighty Effort

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 the 22nd letter of the Grandpa's Love Letters series, Grandpa talks about catching up with his work. He also realizes that working so hard is not sustainable. Part of his work involves filling out tickets related to piece work for clothing, which I imagine is tedious. 

I was surprised by the part in which the superintendent (who seems to be the equivalent of a foreman) says that perhaps Grandpa can have a week off for his honeymoon in June if he can train someone to do his job. I'm trying not to use presentism (the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts) to interpret this comment. Was the superintendent as big as a jerk as he sounds, or was this a common response? 

The back of this photo reads: Apr. 1935, Tidal Basin. Cherry Trees

The back of this photo reads: Apr. 1935, Tidal Basin. Cherry Trees

I thought this picture was appropriate for spring. Grandpa and a friend are posed at the Tidal Basin, a partially man-made reservoir between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel in Washington, D.C. The basin is part of West Potomac Park and is a focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival held each spring. Did Grandma take this picture? Her handwriting is on the back of the photo. 



Scranton Pa.

April 6, 1940

Dear Ann

I did not come home because I am making a mighty effort to catch u with my work. I worked straight through from 8.15 to 4.45 today and may do some work at home today and tomorrow besides going in for awhile tomorrow morning. If I should catch up with my work and then end up the same way again on next Friday I will not work as hard again under the same conditions. Starting Monday morning I am going to get some help in making out the piece tickets which requires a lot of detail work that anyone can do without much knowledge but a lot of time. I got my desk in from Paterson which I intend to clean out etc. tomorrow. All I need some is an outlet for my desk lamp and a rack for piece tickets with a rack for rubber stamps attached and then I'll be all set so far as desk equipment is concerned. 

The superintend [sic] came around on Thursday and asked about you and when we were going to get married. I told when and at the same [time] asked for a week off in June. He said it probably could be arranged if for a few weeks ahead of time I trained someone to take care of my work when I am gone. 

I was sorry to hear that you have to move May 1st. I can just imagine how nerve racking it will be for all of you, and especially you. Perhaps things will go along smoothly. 

Otto and Fred left at 6.00 oclock this morning. They had intended to leave last night but the New York Office called up at 5.30 last night and Otto was told to wait for samples to come off the looms and send them through. He took them direct to N.Y. this morning and I could have gone with him If I had wanted to. I intend to go with him the next chance I get. 

In closing I remain as ever you [sic] ever loving,


P.S. Please mail this card as soon as possible. 


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