HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

August 6, 1988

Hey, there, Udo!

This is in response to three (3) of your letters.  That is, certain subjects in three of your last letters will be covered here because I did not have the time to cover them earlier, owing to the man killing pressures of retirement.

DE SILVA’S BOOK: Your friend Arturo–and you, of course–are right about the book: literally is it amateurish.  But it discloses a side of De Silva I never suspected.  At The Forbidden City I thought of him as The Manhattan District’s answer to Torquemada.  My impression from reading the book (I bought it remaindered) is of De Silva The Consummate Bureaucrat.  What lay in his apparently icy heart was not Evil but Ambition.  The two are of course not mutually exclusive.  He was worth reading for that revelation.  It has made me a better person.

YOUR MOVE TO STAMFORD: In your letter of June 19, you described how you and Anne and Thomas were sitting on packing crates and crying uncontrollably because of the mess.  My money is still on the mess.  We have lived here more than two years, and some cartons have not been opened yet.  Moving can become a career.  You’ll see.  I tell Mary that as soon as we win millions in the California Lottery we will move to a decent neighborhood, and she grabs a kitchen knife and snarls, “then you’ll do the packing and unpacking, Julius!”  (She still doesn’t realize that my name is Fred.  She called me Leonard for a long time, too.)

HOW TO GET RICH: The “Bill C” who sent you that flier on overnight riches was not I, because you know by this time that my name is Fred (or Julius or Leonard).  However, that kind of advice is not worth following.  It takes too long.  The quickest way is to draw all your money out of the bank and bet it on a horse at Belmont or Aqueduct (or Saratoga, which is closer to you).  If you lose everything, it’s no worse than a bad cold.  If you win, it’s better than a bad cold.  The Bad Cold Betting System is widely known around the tracks.  I was put on to it by Raspy Kelly at Santa Anita.  He had gone though several fortunes and insisted that it worked.  Mary put a freeze on all our bank accounts, or I would have tried it at the harness races here.  But don’t let that stop you.

If you can turn water into gasoline, I’ll never take another drink at a public fountain, but I’ll fill up gallon cans and pour them into my gas tank.  Appreciate the tip.

If I were you, I would be making buffer solutions in my garage and selling them door to door in Stamford.  The overhead is almost zero.  The demand–especially in Stamford–is surging out of control.  “The Squire’s Buffer Solution!  Makes home electroplating or electropolishing as good as the commercial product, AND AT TEN PERCENT OF THE COST!  The cells fit conveniently behind your living room sofa. and the exhaust fans make just a whisper of sound!  Remember our guarantee: No Fumes In Your Rooms!”

John K. Herzog is now on the board of his community theatre, in addition to acting.  He is also on a committee to fix up the place.  They own the building, but it is not up to code.  He is insane with the power of his position.  Today community theatre, Morgen die Welt.  His physical condition has apparently improved to the point where he can do all these things and flourish.  There’s no place like Santa Fe.  When we win the California Lottery (it’s at 11 million now) we will buy a second home there, and go to the community theatre every night.  Next season they will be doing “Up In Mabel’s Room” and “Getting Gertie’s Garter,” paced by Brecht and Ibsen.  Season boxes are still available if you’re interested.

During July we had seventeen days well above 100 degrees, thirteen days in the high 90’s and one day in the mid-80’s.  (The weatherman apologized for that one.)  Now it’s in the 90’s and holding.  We read that the head in the East has also been pretty fierce.  That’s what you get for living there.  Sorry.

We will now take the dog team and mush over to the mailbox with this letter before the snow gets much deeper.  That’s what life is like on the frontier, Udo.  Fang and claw.

Regards to Anne and Thomas and all the Stamfordians who buy your buffer solution.  (No regards to the others.)


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