They’ll be going back to Dallas.
$3,000 translates to $38,586.95 today. Then as now, working for the government was not a good way to become wealthy. On the other hand, there was the undeniable appeal of working out the life history of goat lice.
Take it or leave it.
I have decided not to transcribe the next few work letters, as they’re lengthy and already typed. Instead, I’ll post the scans and simply add a few comments. Click the image to get the full-size version.
It seems little has changed in research politics.
Letter of Authorization
November 1, 1926
Mr. W. E. Dove, Collaborator.
Under authority conferred upon me by paragraph 2 of the Fiscal Regulations of the Department, you are hereby authorized to incur expenses as follows, during the fiscal year 1927, in the performance of official duties, under the appropriation: “General expenses, Bureau of Entomology, 1927, Miscellaneous Insects” –
To make such trips from Baltimore, Md., to Washington, D.C., and return, as may be necessary, for the purpose of conferring with Dr. G. F. White, Insect Pathologist of this Bureau, with reference to investigations of insects affecting the health of animals in which you are both engaged.
To incur necessary traveling expenses.
You will be reimbursed for actual subsistence expenses, not to exceed $7.00 in any one day, while absent from official station and in a travel status.
Chief of Bureau
Your official station will be Baltimore, Md.
A second page indicates that the total year’s travel budget for this project is $50, which would be $643.12 in today’s money.
The correspondence between Walter and Ina gets more sporadic now, as they’re mostly together. The next few items will be correspondence from Walter’s work, providing a more direct look at what it was like to be a USDA scientist in the early 20th century.
When this photo was taken, that screened porch was the United States Department of Agriculture’s primary research facility for the entire state of Florida.
Sunday 12:30 PM.
My Dear Honey Bunch,
Your letter including one from Thelma Lee came this morning. It was mighty sweet of her to write. I am marking the date on it and will keep it to show her when she is a young lady. Your letter was a real sweet one, Dear. It seems like a year to me, too.
Dr. Roark and I called on the Bakers last night and played cards some but visited most of the time. This noon (1:30) we eat dinner with the Bishopps. At 6 o’clock we are going with Mr. & Mrs. Laake & Mr. & Mrs. Fudge for a picnic lunch. Seems like a lot of going for your hubby. I can’t say that I like it, but there is no way to get away from it without being rude. We will probably enjoy it when we get started. There is just one person in the world whom I’d like to see and that is my Honey Bunch. I never want to be separated from you again. Just as soon as I can get things in shape so that I can leave I expect to come for you. I don’t know whether Bish wants me to help out on their problem or not. He probably does, but I am not interested in it. Will feel him out today.
I love you Sweetheart with all my heart and I’ll see you just as soon as I can.
Sat Nite 7:30 PM.
My Dear Honey Bunch,
We have just returned from dinner. Dr. Roark and I are going up to Bakers about 8 o’clock. Tomorrow at 1:30 we will eat dinner with the Bishopps.
This PM I gave your car a coat of blue which I believe is about the same shade as the original color. During the week I have been using sandpaper and it looks as though it will be a fair job. The garage is not very tight and the dust settles on it some but I doubt if it affects it very much. I gave the wheels the same shade of blue. Apparently they were blue, judging from the color when I sandpapered. I am not doing anything to the black metal work, but will polish so that it looks OK with the fresh painting. Don’t expect too much as I am not an expert auto painter. The job is not perfect by any means but I believe it looks better. I hope that you will not be disappointed.
Had a note from Dr. Larimer thanking for a C.E. reprint. He sends his regards to you, also.
The Fulford letter does not tell us much but we should have a letter from the Realty Co. with an idea of the sale price.
Sweetheart, I certainly do love you and I never want to be separated from you again. It seems ages since you left. I try to keep busy and that helps some but nothing can take the place of being with my sweetheart. I love you love you love you.
P.S. Dr. Roark and I found the lighted fountain in Oak Cliff last night. It is very fine. Am sorry that you and I did not locate it.
Friday 1PM. The Lab.
My Dear Little Girl,
Your real sweet letter came this morning as usual and you don’t know how much they mean to me. Mrs. Bucklin also phoned this morning to find out how the “Little Dove” was getting along. Says that she certainly misses you. She hasn’t worked lately. Was going to see a physician but said that she wasn’t seriously ill. Mrs. Pettit’s number is 4502 Columbia.
Dear, I knew that I was going to miss you and I intended to keep it to myself but it can’t be done. I hope that we will never be separated again. It helps to visit with Dr. Roark etc. but I am lost when it is meal time and also in the evenings when I should be with you.
I have one lesion on my arm which is quite distinct but it has the reddish appearance and is not yet elevated sufficiently. The hot weather helps. This is not a new one but one I had a month ago when we walked down to the Buckner Park. It has required a much longer period than usual, which I attribute to the cooler weather. I am greatly encouraged as it came from the mites.
Am at P.O. so will close.
I love you Dear with all my heart.
Am enclosing a letter from Alvis.
June 10. Thurs Nite – The Lab.
My Dear Sweetheart,
I have just written to Mother Dove and I came very near addressing this letter to Roxie, Miss. That accounts for the erasure on the envelope. I certainly do not like the idea of being separated from my “Honey Bunch.” I haven’t told you how much I miss you, but the past week seems like ages. I didn’t know that a week could seem so long. I realize how much Mother Lewis missed you when we were married.
Dr. Roark and I drove to Owenwood and the Fair Park after supper, and then by the post office. Your letter came this AM so I did not expect one tonight, but he had one from Mrs. Roark. I have had lots of visits with him recently. He is somewhat disappointed that Bish did not have the work going. Dr. Roark has been here ten days and Bish has not yet gotten the materials. I told him that he should not blame Laake or Brundy as they would have had things going if it had been left to them.
This PM I printed pictures from 1 to 5 PM. Have been at this during the past three afternoons. Most of them were Mr. Parman’s & many of them were ones that I made down there last summer. The C.E. infection looks more encouraging since the hot weather began. I believe that my physical exercise helped some.*
Good morning. I hope you slept well. I did. Am waiting for Dr. Roark & we will eat. He and Laake are golfing again this A.M.
I love you lots and lots & lots.
* To see if his hypothesis about the cause of creeping eruption (larva migrans) was right, Walter tried to give himself a case of it. He inoculated his arm with a pure isolate of the nematode he thought was responsible. In upcoming letters he’ll be talking about the progress of this self-experiment.