HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

July 28, 1994

Hey, they’re, Udo!–

Glad to hear from you after four months. (My last letter to you was in March.) And very glad to hear the news about Thomas. His new school sounds like the answer. we’re sure it’s a great relief to you and Anne that the guesswork is behind you. If he likes computers and astronomy, he’s on his way.

We’re immersed in another scorching Sacramento summer. Of course, you’ve had more than your share of heat, too, from what we read in The New York Times. (The Bee’s forecaster is the editor’s cousin. He takes his readings in the janitor’s closet down the hall from Inky Hive’s office. That way the forecasts can be put into type a month ahead.)

As you see, I’m still using my steam-powered computer. Guru stepson is working seven days a week as a result of politics in the company that employs him (and his team) on a consulting contract. One faction in the company wants the new system that Guru stepson was retained to implement. Another faction is opposed on grounds that it “isn’t necessary.” A third faction is torn between the other two. A fourth faction wants to be left alone. The president of the company doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, so he makes no decisions one way or the other. Guru stepson can’t shell out money for a new set—up for me if his contract is terminated in the next few weeks. (It’s supposed to run for another two years, but it’s negotiated in increments. Sort of like evaluating a car by attaching one wheel and driving it around to see how the public responds.) Stick to electro~chemistry, Udo. It may smell bad, but that’s a small price to pay for sanity.

The closing of The Voice of the Northern Catskills was saddening to hear. I called Inky Hive immediately. He wants an Eastern outlet, so his interest was aroused.

“What kind of a place is this Standard?”

“Stamford. Extremely intelligent people. Everybody reads. No problems with newspapers.”

“How come their paper folded?”


“Could they handle a big-time sheet like The Bee?”

“A few headlines like WILL CHARLES SIT ON ENGLAND’S THROWN? and WALL STREET STOCKS HIT SEALING! and they’re in your pocket.”

“Suppose I called it The Standard Bee?”

“The Stamford Bee.”

“Any connection with Standard Oil?”

“Stamford Oil?” “They’re pretty big, too.”

“I’ll get back to you, Inky.”

There’s where it stands. Expect a call from Sacramento any day. With circulation statistics for twelve Vibrant communities at your fingetips, you should be able to clinch the deal on the phone. If not, there’s always two morrow.

You want a local paper dedicated to local problems. Your . biggest local problem is Bergleitner. A few strong editorials by Inky Hive, and Bergleitner will be on the ropes. “Bergleitner Tries Patients Of Council!” and “Had It Up To Hear With Bergleitner!” should send him to the showers for good. The awesome power of the press at work in the interest of the little people.

For the next ten days we will entertain Visitors, some cousins of Mary’s she hasn’t seen since childhood. As soon as they leave, a couple and their two children will arrive. The woman used to work in Mary’s office. The two kids are no problem. The husband has an unusual job: he goes all over the world building displays for museums. Hard to believe that a foreign museum would hire an American company to do that stuff, but orders are backed up. Would Bergleitner be interested in a few years in Bucharest on a diorama of Lizards Of The Nile Delta? Might be worth asking. He has a curious mind.

Our regards to Anne and Thomas. Press on to heights of ever-greater distinction.

Otherwise Known As:

F C D & Mrs.


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