21 August 1986

Hey, there, Udo!–

WHERE’S FRED? asks the adjacent logo. The answer is: Fred has been gone for more than a week to Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Malibu.

HOW COEM? Well, we have a new granddaughter (now 3 weeks old) and she was brought from Houston by stepson and daughter-in-law to be baptized in the same church in Malibu that daughter-in-law was baptized in. So the whole family got together at the church and then went to the beach club where Fred got the top of his head sunburned because he forgot a hat. That’s how come.

If there are no more questions, may I have the next slide, please? Thank you. Now… here we see the topping turbines installed at the Hudson Avenue station. These turbines… excuse me? My time is up? But, I just star…

Many thanks for the photo of Thomas Wilson Pratt Slatin, soon to be an Old Etonian, after which he should have a distinguished career of his own choosing, using the name T.W. Patt-Slatin, or T.W.P. Slatin, whichever seems more appropriate. It is clear from the photograph that TWPS knows Why The Fireman Wore Red Suspenders which means that he probably knows Why The Chicken Crossed the Road, and What One Wall Said To The Other Wall. Possessing these Street Smarts, he will take no guff from the other Etonians, even if they do make him wear a top hat.

By way of attempting to return the favor, I enclose a xerox copy of a color photo of the three reasons we moved to Sacramento. Unfortunately we do not have any originals to forward. They are still awaited from the photo studio. The next stagecoach may bring them, or just a load of calico and gunpowder. At any rate, the young chap at top center is Steven, below him is his younger brother Sean, and at left is Mary Katherine. The two boys are capable of leveling a government housing project to the ground in 45 minutes, without breathing hard. Mary Katherine is still too young to participate in community activities of that kind. Also, she does not seem to have the temperament. She prefers to pull books out of bookcases. She may find a career in The Library of Congress. We rejoice in their presences, but keep wrecking bars out of reach.

ROLLING MEADOWS is the site of one of Northrop’s divisions. I think it used to be the Hallicrafter’s organization. Are those the people you are dealing with? Even though I am retired from Northrop, I can’t help you there. Sink or swim, Udo, I’m afraid.

PUERTO RICO: we have never been there. We have a nephew who was born there while his father worked for Waterman Steamship. He has never been back. Does that mean something?

HOT WEATHER: it was hotter in the Santa Barbara-Santa Monica-Malibu area than in Sacramento, while we were there. It was also very humid, which is untypical. We are glad to be back where it seldom gets much warmer than 105 or 106. We don’t care for weather that is unreasonably hot.

JOHN K. HERZOG: sorry to report that JKH is facing a double cataract operation in September. First the left eye, then the right, as soon as the left is usable. His morale seems to be pretty good, considering the fact that he is more or less on his own and will have to get around with one eye for quite a few weeks, if fwhat we hear about these oeprations is saccurate. Right now the left eye is apparently useless, so he navigates carefully to the store and back only in daylight. No complaints. He is just annoyed at the inconvenience, or so he says. No doubt he is apprehensive about the outcome, as who wouldn’t be. From what we hear, these operations are more or less routine now, and the only variable is the recovery time, which depends on the general health of the patient and the severity of the cataract. Meanwhie, we correspond as always. Apparently he is able to use his word processor without difficulty.

RAY POWELL: Ray is truly the mystery man of politics in New Mexico or anyplace else. He has never held political office by election, at any level. He was apparently handed the Democractic nomination unopposed, although someone else came in at the last moment and was handily beaten back. The New Mexican is curiously silent about Ray, always calling him “the other candidate,” or some neutral designation like that. Seldom by name. A very curious campaign. Ray’s playform seems to be nothing but platitudes, and not very well chosen because too many of them are outdated. John and I await his rousing call to bring back the Five-Cent Fare. On top of colorlessness, his staff work is clumsy. (He doesn’t show up where is promised, and does appear to empty halls because no one knew would be there.) But NM is heavily Democratic, so he might win easily. You could write and tell him that your Canyon Road house is up for sale, and is suitable for a Governor’s Mansion. He would no doubt reply that he is Solidly Behind The Working Man and Will Fight Communism Wherever He Finds It, on Canyon Road or elsewhere. He will conclude by thanking you for your support. But it might still be worth a try. Quote him a price that’s twice the market value, and see what happens.

MONARCHISM: the effort languished while we were downstate, but will be resumed with redoubled vigor. How would “Sir Harvey” and “Lady Anne” appeal to you? “Lord Harvey”? “Earl of Greenwich”? Advise soonest. My next letter goes directly to Buckingham. One does what one can for one’s friends.

Fred C. (“Knee breeches”) Dobbs

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