1935 May 3

Friday, May 3, 1935

Dear Thelma,

It’s cold and raining here to-day.  Business is terrible and how can a body, under such conditions, cheer oneself any better than to converse with the love of his life, or in other words, his loveing wife.  Here is some news for you, I received a letter from Mr. Brond to-day informing me that he has become the father of a 7 ½ lb baby boy.  He states he is extremely happy now, a son, wow!

I’m glad to hear about Sam + Celia spending a couple of weeks out Grafton.  If the bungalow is taken we will find room for them in our house.  Just see to it that they come.  You say that Dave Harris might come to Washington for a week, on an invitation from Leo.  After treating your father the way Dave has (not paying or acknowledging his debts) how can Leo do such a thing?  Has Leo gone made or is his brains softening up on him?  Leo should re-consider the matter and decide in his own favor for a change.

Doc. Birney is considering to buy a cottage out in Grafton, near the lake, where we went swimming one time.  He won’t decide he says until he has my opinion on the matter.

Before I forget about it Anna’s address is 10317 Empire Ave. Cleveland.  When you write her send her my love, don’t forget.

Yesterday I met Joe Haddad and we got about talking of his opinions regarding the party.  He is so far off that one hardly knows where to begin with him.  He claims the working class is not the majority of this country.  The S.L.P position of unionism is wrong, and Petersen’s letter to the South American socialist conference, which appeared some-time ago in the people, makes the S.L.P. merely a group of theorists.  He refuses to air his views before the section, or answer the letter of the section organizer.  He’s as good as out, now.  It’s too bad, but nothing can be done about it.  He related a conversation to me which took place between himself + Clifford.  On that occasion he asked Pat point blank why he didn’t join the Communist Party since his changed views were more in conformity with them than with the S.L.P.  Pat’s answer was to the effect that it took him a long time to join the S.L.P. and that now he is considering doing just that thing, but he wants to take his time so that he won’t be sorry later.  Joe says he would never join the Communist Party.  I’m satisfied that the two are not grouped to-gether.  However the revolution is not coming along quick enough for these people, so they are going to hasten it along, one by quitting and the other by joining a reform outfit, that serves as a good vehicle to give the labor movement a black eye.  Logic is a jewel, but evidently they don’t like jewelry.

Sweetheart, I’m trying everything I know to help me pass away the long time until I see you again. I’m lonesome and miss more the ever.  The only thing that consoles me is the thought of the joy you have brought to your folks and your folks to you.  Write me details of the plans you have for your mother’s visit here so that I’ll be posted.

Best regards to all


P.S. Do you need any money?  How are you feeling??????

Editor’s Notes: This letter is heavy with SLP news.  The party has been splitting for a few years at this point with the “old guard” interested in joining forces with the Communist Party to have a strong, unified front for change and the “new guard” who are more militant and believe the SLP can bring forth the revolution on its own.  The larger party splits can be seen at a micro level here with comrade Joe Haddad leaving completely and another comrade Pat Clifford (?) considering joining the Communist Party.  These are young men who believe in a cause but are trying to find like-minded people and a place where their views belong.  The traditional 2 party system has not been enough for them but even the Socialists and the Communists may not be the answer for them.

“Logic is a jewel, but evidently they don’t like jewelry”.  Here is some logic from SLP publications:

In 1926 the distribution of income was as follows: Richest 1% of population receives 20% of income, richest 10% receives 40% of income, the poorest 25% receives 3.5% of income.  And there are very similar numbers for the distribution of wealth in 1926.  These figures are from a pamphlet to help SLP meeting speakers answer questions and draw topics from these figures.  They also recommend highlighting these disparities with a local story like “Unemployed Man Jumps Off Bridge” or “Wealthy Woman Leaves $50,000 to Care for Dog”.

The Young People’s Socialist League of Greater New York doubled its figures from 968 members in 1924 to 2,000 members in 1932.  However, in the later 1930s its growth had slowed considerably while the Youth Communist League blew past it.  YPSL had a small resurgence in the 1960s, checkout the wiki article in the link for more details.

Still Looking for: Arnold Petersen’s letter to the South American Socialist Party Conference.  In fact, any info on the South American Socialist Party Conference.


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