December 1, 1939

Another gap. Walter went back home after his previous meeting in Washington, and now he’s returned for negotiations around his new position. For those who haven’t been following since the beginning, “B” and “Bish” refer to Dr. Bishopp, Walter’s former collaborator in screw-worm research, with whom he parted on somewhat chilly terms.

Friday Night

My dear Sweetheart & Boys,

Dr. Wakeland and I arrived as per schedule and I am finding things rather encouraging. Strong is away but he made no doubt about his wishes, though I am not supposed to know yet. This afternoon I called at Dr. B office just to say hello and for a conference later on, which he suggests for about next Thursday. He did say that Mrs. B wanted Mr. Stage and some of the others to have dinner at his home, and perhaps tomorrow night. Stage works on mosquitoes at Portland Oregon & had arrived yesterday. Bish was most cordial but moved about in his chair in an uneasy manner. Bish suggested 46 the minimum of the senior grade but Strong stated that his wishes were that I be kept at the maximum of the grade (which is $5600*). By this I would lose the Prin. grade of $200 which is not so bad. I am sure that B will try to reduce it, but I’m holding out for that much. Although official word has not been given to me I am to review Bish’s entire setup on the work and make recommendations on consolidations & future work. Rather an investigation, with a view to consolidation of all Texas stations and to recommend procedures. It was Strong’s suggestion that I work here temporarily in Cushing’s absence and to review the set up. He stated that the proposal made by Bish was not acceptable (Panama City).

December 2, 1939

December 2, 1939

Mr. Gaddis has been most helpful and is in a position to help a great deal. Annand and Roehner support the views expressed by Strong and I am quite sure of Hoyt. Claudelle has been helpful and appears to be greatly concerned on the outcome and wonders why I want 2 months leave & what I am going to do with it.

Last night Yeomans was here and I spent the evening with he and Gaddis. Tonight Claudelle and I ate together and visited until almost 10 o’clock. Everyone seems to know that I am to be here temporarily in Cushing’s place & that I am to visit field stations, but Yeomans advises me to stay with B.M. Wakeland is going to visit some larger control offices in the east for ideas. He has been obliged to agree to a consolidation of Mormon Cricket & G hop at Denver and with R.A. as an assistant project leader. The alternative was to let R.A. run crickets as a separate project, which Wakeland cannot agree to do. The matter of Messenger as another Asst has not been decided, but the odds are against it and also against all other general supervisors for such a place. It needs to be someone with fiscal experience. Otherwise, it will mean running the projects from the Wash. office. Schmidt may be Asst in charge of Mormon cricket. He is considered almost a second Quarterman, for which I am proud. Tell Polly that Mr. Townsend will be in charge as this will ease her mind until I can arrange to steal her. Claudelle thinks it impossible for me to get Polly. Kenneth should be able to get away about the 15th of Dec. & it looks like we can close the office there about that time except for a few details. Rainwater & Lugginbill will be there to summarize chinch bug survey but they will not need much help. The meeting will be at Denver on Jan. 11 or 12th & will include Extension directors and Commissioners of Agriculture with less emphasis on state leaders. Regardless of my work here or visits to field stations I am planning to be home Xmas. Claudelle is uncertain but she wants to go to Uvalde & is going to look up rates with a view of going by Chicago & make a side trip to Mpls. She may not know for a few days yet.

With love

* That’s $93,534 in today’s dollars, so Walter’s pretty high up on the government pay scale now.