HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

Arthur S. Covert
112 Front Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

February 8, 1988

Dear Doktor,

I am listening to the Iowa results.  I have just decided that the only Democrat who says things I approve of wholeheartedly is Jesse Jackson.  I will vote for him in any New York primary.  But I am afraid I would be unhappy to be forced to vote for him as president.  I don’t like Reverends, I don’t think a black president could find people for his cabinet.  I guess I’m just a bigot.  But I’d vote for him against any Republican who has surfaced.

As an exercise in Cloud Cuckooland I have read The Treehouse of The August Moon, a novel by John Patrick (aka J. P. Goggen and what has become of him).  In the play Sakini (aka Zucchini) was played by David Wayne.  Thisbe’s real name was Frisby.  It was an interesting study in comparative literature.  In the novel Colonel Purdy is, although a reserve officer, the very picture of a regular Pointer type Colonel, he becomes fat and bald in the play.  On the other hand the Captain is fat and bald in the novel and becomes young, thin and hairy in the play.  Zucchini also drops about thirty years.  The Novel is long and rather dull but has almost all the material of the later works.  In it the Colonel is not brought into the act by any visiting Congressmens approval but by his inherent romanticism, when he learns that the town owns a Chinese junk he wants to go adventuring.  The play read more easily, I remembered it as a bit of fragile fantasy, it must have been the performance.  The movie uses all the play’s material and a bit from the novel to fill it out, I considered it crude.

I found your clipping on the TREBOR (you note it is Robert spelled backwards) Corp fascinating.  The limitations of the Bean Bag Bullets are so obvious.  I began to calculate and found I had forgotten most of my elementary physics and external ballistics.  But the problem is obvious, if you shoot a bullet weighing about two ounces at a velocity of about 1200 ft/sec, it will stop an Elephant, it will also knock you down unless you are a strong man properly braced and padded.  What you want to do is hit the perpetrator with the equivalent of a 220 lb linebacker moving at about 12 mph.  It is intuitively obvious you cannot do this with a gun unless it is mounted on a tank.  My conclusion is that you must go to self propelled weapons.  This is just the beginning of my analysis.  But we must keep our eye on this field for other developments.  It seems to me depression proof, what was the market in nightsticks and clubs in the thirties.



1. You think that you are being bombarded with bean bags. The proximity fuse detects you, the bag unfolds into a net. 2. You think it’s a blivet, but hidden in the shit that covers you is the transmitter that guides the second stage.

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