Monday, July 23, 2012

One out of sequence and back to the IRS

The post below this one, is a letter to Dad's youngest sister, Eileen. Somehow I skipped it yesterday, so I am posting it today. I also got word from the law school that the IRS penalty appeals officer ruled that I need to pay all of the penalty. It has been a kind of through the looking glass and onto the roller coaster type of ride. When I started with the penalty appeal a year ago, I said that 'it isn't about me, I didn't ask for it and why will open'. Today I am thinking, 'what is the way that is opening?' We will petition to go to tax court and could be dealing with this until next March. It is amazing how long this process is.

August 7, 1944


Dear Eileen,

            Did you ever expect to get a letter from me? Well, it won’t amount to much but I dash off a bit of one for you.

            How’s everything doing back home from your point of view? What do you do? Wash gobs of dishes and help with the washings and stuff like that I reckon. I suspect that you find time to read a few magazines too.

            Why don’t you drop me a line sometimes. I don’t really know you anymore, we need to get aquainted again. Do you know it has been almost two years since I came to CPS? The twelveth of this month I will be 2 years old.

            Do you and the old folks get out to a show once in a while? We have one here in camp every two weeks. We have had pretty good ones most of the time. We had a good Bing show, Holiday Inn. Then last week we had “Claudia”. That is a good one too. I had seen it down town in Elkton last fall but I didn’t mind seeing it again. They have quit having shows in town and there is a rumor around that they are going to make a cold storage locker out of the building but then another rumor gets out they are are going to have shows again. They used to have a good one once in a while.

            There were some girls visiting camp that are teaching in the Japanese internment center at Tule Lake Calif. That’s about 300 miles south. They didn’t interest me as they were a sort of frouzey lot. One of the guys invited them up for a swimming meet they had down at the river. They had all sorts of races in the water. It wasn’t bad at all. We had some pretty good swimmers. I havn’t learned much yet tho. But I hope to before the summer is over.

            Well, dash me off a letter some of tese days and tell me what’s cooking.

                                                            Your brother

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Patterns and Cecil Hinshaw

So I still seem to be in a seldom writing pattern here. This is one of Dad's more interesting philosophical type letters. He talks of patterns of belief and mentions Cecil Hinshaw. I think at this time Cecil became the president of Penn College, which is now William Penn University. Dad went there for one semester before getting drafted. My uncle Eddy also attended for a while. Cecil also came into our lives in Colorado, he became the head person (not sure of the title) of the AFSC office that was located in Denver. This was in the early 1960's. The important fact to me was that he had a daughter named Esther. The Hinshaws showed up in Denver and at Mountain View Meeting around the time I was 10 or 11 years old. Esther and I became friends and were often the only kids in meeting. We would sit through meeting for worship without any trouble and then play around on the chairs or if there was a business meeting sit in the back and read books. My sisters were old enough to say they did not want to attend and if Esther had not been there I might have dropped out as well. One of my favorite memories with Esther was when we were at Family Camp and we all hiked up to one of the high mountain lakes in Rocky Mountain State Park. Esther and I were ahead of the others and when we reached the lake we were taken by the beauty of it all and decided to go clear around it. We did just that, walking cross country over boulders and around bushes to the opposite side of the lake, there was no one there but us and at that end of the lake clear water came bubbling down over the rocks, we laid down on our stomachs and scooped up and drank from the stream. One of the best tastes in the world. When we looked up the others had arrived and we continued on around to join them. I can still remember the peacefulness and joy of our romp around that lake.

Augut 11, 1944


Dear folks,

            How are youn’s by now? I got this last letter in record time. Someone went down after the mail on Wed. afternoon and Your letter was in it. I usually get them on Thur.

            It seems that you are getting a little rain. That makes it hard to get straw in but you seem to be getting some in anyway. Say how much can one of those pickup bailers do in a day? The farmers around here have a lot of hay and they use a buck rake and stationary baler. Some of the fellows have been working with them and they claim that (the farmers) they can bale it faster this way than they could with a pickup. A pickup baler would cut down on the number of men they would have to hire.

            I’m ripe for a little discussion on religion and what-have-you. One of the fellows here has heard Ceicel Hinshaw and knows a little about him. He says that he went to Harvard and came back with some different ideas that some of the local preachers didn’t go for. Maybe that is what he was meaning. If he thinks about religion the way I do he couldn’t preach and maybe he isn’t. I’d like to know what is meant by the spiritual level of a college. I wonder what he means. He seems to be a go-geter and that is good. But this spiritual stuff is so vague to me. I never could figure it out. I used to think that Penn had no spiritual life and I think I was right if what I meant by spiritual was manifested by lots of prayer meetings and Bible study. But I have a hunch that now I’d think Penn was plenty spiritual.

            Here’s and idea that just soaked through me the other day. I guess it has been floating around the world for a long time. You and I have a pattern figured out that we would like to see people fit themselves into. The Church has a pattern and each minister has a pattern/ Society as a pattern, the Gov’t has one and just about everybody and every group has one. They would like to have everybody fit into their own special little pattern/ Their pattern isn’t perfect. They themselves can’t fit it. I know I certainly can’t fill mine. But still I want to fit other people into it. Do you follow me. Whenever we talk to anyone or in raising children people try to make other people in their own image. I am beginning to think that isn’t good. I wan’t my brothers to be pacifists. You wan’t them to be good workers and efficient and to be Christians, Dad. While Mother wants them to be Christians then good workers. Mom’s pattern makes people go to church every Sunday. Makes them work in the church. Your’s Dad makes them express part of their religion by doing a good job. The kids each have a pattern thay would like to fit you parents into. The Gov’t pattern for a young man is that he be in the army. If not then if he measures up to a other set of standards he may bu the grace of the Gov’t got to a CPS camp. When he gets there. If his ideas are such that they fit in general with the CPS ideas and aren’t too far from the composit pattern of CPS men he will enjoy his stay in CPS. If the thoughts that he thinks are far more radical he may find that he don’t fit our pattern and have to go on to a Gov’t camp or to jail or 1-AO. The thing I wonder is how far do we dare to go in assuming that we are right? How far can we go in making others conform to our pattern? I have been studying a little history lately and I have remembered the history I learned in school. It seems to me that most of the progress that civilization has made has been made by those who were way off the beaten track. Look at Christ. He certainly didn’t fit into any pattern of his day. I don’t know as he tried to make people fit into his pattern either. He just went about doing good. Then the people couldn’t stand it so they tried to get him to fit their pattern and whipped him and threatened him and finally killed him thinking that they had at last conquered him. But he has lived on for 2000 years.

            Well, that is one thing that I have been thinking. I don’t know maybe I am on the wrong track. I’m still looking. I hope I never get to the place that I think I am the only one that is right. What do you think?