Monday, September 24, 2012

July 26, 1933

Brentwood [California]
July 26

Dear Fay:

I suppose that you have cussed me by now for not writing sooner, or is it a cussing matter with you? I owe about three letters now. I have intended for the last two or three days to get busy with a pen - but I didn't until now.

Things have been happening here thick and fast. My folks came down for a few days and they had to be entertained. And I have been working ever since the first of July except for a few days in between jobs. But in spite of that, I have not earned any fortune yet. I worked for a while at two-bits an hour and then for fifteen cents. This last job is over now and I think I'll land another tomorrow. The fruit business is very uncertain. You don't know when you are working and when you are not. I was just layed off at 2:00 afternoon.

My job consisted of piling boxes that had just been through the box washer in the largest fruit drying plant in the world.  The boxes were quite wet when I get them, and I was also wet after a minute or two. It was a sloppy job, and hard work for only fifteen cents an hour. I sometimes had to pile as many as five thousand boxes in a day. now if you would like to use a little simple arithmetic (is that spelled correctly?) here are some statistics that I have gathered. The lugs (or boxes as you will) weigh 8 lbs a piece and the water from the box washer weight another lb. 9 x 5000 = 45000 lbs which is 22.5 tons. I carry the lugs 3 at a time which gives me 1666 2/3 trips with the three boxes over an average distance of 30 ft. 30 X 1667 = 50,010 ft = 9.47 miles in 10 hours work.

This is a great country for scenery, and while my folks were down here I got to see quite a bit of pretty country. We drove down to Santa Cruz and Monterey and all along the coast. You get a lot of good practice in your Spanish by just trying to pronounce the names of the towns down here.  I swam in the ocean. It was hard work. The water is pretty heavy to swim in. We also drove through a big redwood forest in the Big Basin. The drive was beautiful. We took two days to make the trips. It was nice and cool on the trip, too. That  was something. It's hotter than hell here. This valley that Brentwood is in is called Diablo Valley because of the heat. It was 110 in the shade today. I put in 9 hours work with a scrub brush yesterday under a tin roof with the temperature around 105 all day.

Although when I am working I am just one of the hired hands. Mr. Williams is the big boss. He rides around in an Oldsmobile and smokes expensive cigars, etc. Everything he and Aunty (Mrs. Williams) do is expensive. I have a good hunch that Mr Williams makes around $350 a month. He  made $100 more than that last year. So he can afford an expensive car and expensive habits. I drive the Olds around once in a while. I wish that you were here. We'd go for a spin tonight and a moonlight swimming party. Moonlight swimming is swell down here. I went swimming this afternoon with a fellow from the place I was working (the dry yard). He and I had just got layed off at the same time.

What are you doing now days? Going on partys and dancing and everything I suppose. I have been to just one dance here and it was a flop so far as I was concerned, although I did learn about one guys love affairs. They included an incident concerning a Filipino and a knife. When I am working I don't bother hunting up amusement. I just go to bed. You know how i love to do that.

I don't know when I shall be home again. I may not get home until the latter part of August. I'll work here as long as I may. In spite of the heat. I rather like it here. But I will be seeing you soon - not soon enough of course.

Well, give my regards to your folks. Tell the snipe sisters "hello" for me. (Maybe they will take offense at that nasty word - so show it to them) tell everybody "hello" for me. Even Pat. Write soon.

Lots of love,

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