March 1, 2011

The Guardian Of The Perch

Southwestern Adjustment Company letterhead
Gazette Building
Little Rock, Arkansas

My dearest Mom:

I think this is the first time I have ever missed your birthday, but that does not lessen the regret I feel for doing it now. I knew it was sometime in October but the time slipped up on me. I won't ask you to forgive, for I know you have forgiven -- as you always do when your sons are neglectful and thoughtless. I wish I could make you as happy on your birthdays as I always am when I think of you, which is often. I wish it were in my power to put into words my thoughts of you so you might know that your son loves you all the time, even though he tells you very seldom.

It's now 10 o'clock and I have been in the city only an hour, having spent the day in Hope, leaving there at 5:30. The last four nights I have slept an average of about three hours each night, due to many night trains, but I shall sleep in tomorrow until about nine, and possibly feel better for it. I find a wire on my desk to meet a president of an oil company in Smackover Monday morning, so I shall be forced to leave town Sunday evening. Losses are picking up and we are both on the road quite a bit now. Frank won't get in until tomorrow night at eight. Earle is in Fort Smith attending a field conference but I feel sure he will return tomorrow morning. Rice plays Arkansas University and we are both going. I intend to look up J.J. Campbell the first thing tomorrow and then I'll see him at the dance tomorrow evening.

You asked about the Blue Goose election [Ed. note: Honorable Order of the Blue Goose, International, a fraternal organization for those working in property/casualty insurance industry]. It went badly. We had everything fixed so an older member of the firm would nominate an opposition slate to the old guard, however, they forestalled that by putting over a vote to appoint a nominating committee of three, and our bunch were so surprised that they didn't vote en masse -- not having been instructed as to that feature. My name was not on our list, though Earle's was, and the nominating committee didn't put any of our list on. They did, however, nominate me for the Guardian of the Perch (not the highest office but the next) and I was so elected and took the oath.

Of course I feel highly elated personally for it is more of an honor to have gotten it that way than by strong arm methods, but I feel that had I not been on the road the last few days preceding the meeting, we could have foreseen the places of the opposition and thwarted them. I am glad, however, that I remained so much in the background during Earle's and my planning, for it would be most embarrassing to officiate with the other officers, who are older, had they known I was "agin" them.

Note the writing. I haven't slept in so long that I'm so nervous I can hardly scribe.

The verse to Dad is wonderful and I'll keep it in a safe place so I'll never lose it. I wish I could get all your work together sometime and have it published -- may, too.

Much happiness to you, Mother.

I love you,

(Postmarked Little Rock, Arkansas, October 19, 1923)

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