Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 17, 1944


Dear folks

            Well, what-do-you-know, I’m out at Big Creek this week. The wash and shower room out here burned down last Sunday and I am more or less building a new one. There are about 5 or 6 guys helping me. I’m having a good time out here. I had never stayed here before. I have worked out here some but have commuted from Elkton. There are a swell bunch of fellows here and the food is good. I don’t know whether I would like to stay out here all the time or not. I suspect I could manage pretty well tho. I am using a borrowed typewriter. I didn’t bring much of my junk out as I won’y stay long. I’ll probably get done sometime next week and be back at Elkton again.

            Getting part of the land all paid for sounds good. I reckon you are sort of happy about it. Changing your loan over sounds good to me too.

            How’s the farm work doing? Are you having a slight lul since the oats are all harvested anf thrested at the same time?

I can’t seem to think of much to write. I have been doing a little reading. Another guy and I got a great big book out of the library in Eugene. THE INTALECTUAL AND CULURUAL HISTORY OF THE WESTERN WORLD It os about 2 ½ inches think and has about 1200 pages. I don’t know if we will ever get it read or not. It isn’t a regualr history. It deals with trends of thought rather than dates and wars and the like. It is very interesting, especially for a history book.

            I suspect that that story in the Young People’s Weekly is by the same Lillian Smith. She has grown up in the south in a rather well-to-do family and has come to see the injustices that go on there between whites and negros. She publishes a paper called SOUTH TODAY. I havn’t seen any coppys of it but I understand that it is good. I guess she can get by with saying quit a bit down there because they think she is one of them and not an outsider like so many of the people have been that started a reform. I don’t have a copy of the book that I read. The camp bought two coppys and they were keet busy all the time for several months. I think there were two other bookmarks in it when I read it. I would urge you to get a copy of STRANGE FRUIT, it will give you a different idea of the negro proplem in the south. We now have three negro fellows in camp. The last one was studying law when he was drafted I understand.

            It is funny the Evelyn hasn’t gotten a school yet. I thought that teachers were rather scarace, That agency sure gets a good rake off. Does that happen every year she gets a job or is it just a [typed over] That will take a [typed over] one year proposition? 20% is a lot of dough to pay to have job. But I suppose it is no use to have money tied up in an education if you can’t get it out. I reckon that is what they figure when they make a charge like that. That will take a lot of here first year’s profits. I’ll bet she will make more money than any of us.

            That camp is good for Eileen I imagine. It sort of amuses me to think of them trying to get a little Farmer’s Union propagands down them, I understand that the Farmer’s union is really going goos in around the Trenton N. Dak. Camp. That is where I am think of transferring to.

            This will amuse Harry. There was a new guy just came into camp a couple of days ago. He had been in the camp in Big Flats New York and had taken some furlo before coming west and visited several of the friend’s work camp. At the on in Idanapolis Ind. he met a girl named Caroline Zelliot. Imagine that. He was somewhat sold on her. She sent a helo with him to me. The guy’s name is Bob Wilson and he is from Ill.

            Well I can’t think of anything else so will sign off.

                                    With love and stuff

Enclosing a copy of my Co-op write up on what I want out of life. What do you think of it?


Outline For Community Cooperators

                                                                                                Bernard LeRoy Aldrich

I. What am I seeking from life?

            A. Vocationally
I am not certain that I could mark out a very narrow field. I would want something that would come under the general head of Creative. I am pretty well convinced that cooperation can help solve a lot of out problems. Great deal can be done to propogate it be speaking and writing but it seems to me that my field is simply living it.

1. As far as actual work goes I think that carpentry and cabinetmaking interests me more than anything else.

2. My next interest would be in farming.

            B. Avocationally

1. I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping people. I would like to incorporate this disire with my vocation. However helping people isn’t always materially productive. I would like to spend quite a bit of my leisure time doing things for people and helping them do things themselves.

2. I derive a lot of enjoyment from stimulating discussions and simple ‘bull sessions’.

3. I enjoy reading and hope to continue my education in this way also.

4. I like outdoor sports and hope to be active in at least one the year around. Especially if my work keeps me inside.

            C. Personally

1. Marriage---I am planning to get married some day, but at present I don’t know who it will be.

2. Children---Certainly.

II. How do I plan to achieve these things?

            A. Short term plans

                        1. Immediate post-CPS plans
I plan to get into some community co-operative. If this one doesn’t materialize I will look for one that suites my general requirements and will take me in.

                        2. As far as this co-op is concerned
a. Under the proposed plan of settling in a rural community near some large city. I could assume the responsibility for the farm work if the group so desired I would also hope to spend considerable time, perhaps in slack farming season, in a community wood-shop and machine shop.

b. Under the proposed plane of seeking employment in some city were certain members could continue formal education. I would seek employment along carpentry and cabinet-making lines. Plumbing and metal work also interest me. I have also enough printing experience to get a job in some small job-printing shop.
B. Long term plan.
These are pretty tentative. Even my day dreams are a little vague. Here’s what they look like.
1. If our co-op should take up its existence in a rural community either immediately post-CPS or a few years afterward:

a. The wood-shop and machine-shop might evolve into a community shop where the local people would come to make repairs and gagets and I could help them. In so doing I could get better aquainted with them and perhaps be able to stimulate their thinking.

b. I might take further training along shop lines and become qualified to teach in a progressive school which the other members might set up in the community.

            2. If this Co-op fails to materialize I would probably seek another one.

III. Personality traits
These are some things that I have noticed about myself that might hinder harmonious living in a co-op group. Most of you have probably noticed them too, and more. My purpose in expressing them is to aquaint someone who doesn’t know me with my peculiarities and to let you know that I am aware of them and trying to overcome them.

A. I become irked with people and tend to become rather bitingly sarcastic.

B. I am not particularly witty but attempt to be funny all too often to attract attention. My attempts usually fall flat. My jokes tend to be at other people’s expense.

C. I am likely to be critical of other people. Consiquently few people make a good ‘first impression’ on me. However, given a little time there are few people I don’t learn to appreciate a great deal.

D. I am slow to meet people and feel a little ill at ease with strangers.

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