We received your letter…

2130 S. Hobart Blvd. #4
Los Angeles 7, California
March 29, 1945

Dear Brabra:

We received your letter (letters)…and were very glad to get a “report” on doings on the home-front. We keep so “complicated and unfinancial” that we keep everybody writing exclusively about our problems to the exclusion of what you-all are doing n’ that.

We went out amongst ’em again Sunday. You may remember Maude and Walter Lewis from Detroit.  Maude was Maude Goins, I believe, before she married Walter Lewis who lived on the West Side and ran around with Harold Glenn.  She went to Plymouth. I didn’t remember either of them…I never remember people unless I know them pretty well.  He said he knew Henry very well (Perhaps Henry will remember him) Anyhow, we went to their home for dinner. They have a little cottage, and two little girls, and he drives a bus (semi-elite) Valeria Tandy (now Mrs. Valeria McCreay) was there too.  We hashed over what everybody still in Detroit is doing and where all those who are away are and what they are doing, etc.  They like California and are planing to stay if they can move all of their relatives out here.  After dinner five other semi-elite couples arrived (just like the movies … except we didn’t motor out to the Country Club for Cocktails) We played some silly game … Polino or something for pennies…My luck not being very good I lost my six pennies quickly and spent the rest of the evening calling out the cards.  They played as though the future peace of the world depended on it…the women especially…not bad looking howsomeever. (Note from my mother inserted – that’s the only reason he played. leering!) After several hours of it…they began to drop out with spots jumping before their eyes n’ that…concentration always gives my people either a head ache or puts them to sleep.  Since they were trying to be elite they all developed headaches.  A very nice time was had by all…’cept I can’t put up with no bunch for six hours without being very weary…very very weary. (incidentally marriage has improved Valeria…or perhaps it was the baby. (I mention this so you can tell Hugh, who I believe use to “go” with her.)

We also descended upon Hollywood the other day. (See enclosed invitation) Walt Disney is trying to bust into the production of Religious films which is supposed to be developing into a little gold mine as soon as the war is over.  He’s trying to “fix-up” a lot of old pictures for re-release to churches.  His idea is nuts…the pictures won’t fit into any church program … but he’s going to try because he has a million dollars tied up in old pictures that can’t be released any more through the old channels.  Cathedral Films is the “Big” Religious film Prodction company.  They’re trying to “encourage” Disney to come on into the field because there’s not enough production going on to meet the needs of the churches.  Churches have to know that films will be available before they put several hundred dollars into a projector.  (I’m going to show Louis, Paul, George, Hugh, and Henry the point where we also ought to go into the production of films soon as I get home… I’ve already re-designed Louis’ garage into a sound-studio for the production of movies and film-strips…they are very lucky boys!) Anyway, we descended upon Hollywood.  Reverend Galloway drove us out in his big Buick…We were late as my folks always are…and he drove like Pee-wee…with the same disregard for life and limb, I mean, but without the finese and flash that Pee-Wee displays, of course. The Studio is out from Los Angeles…where the sunshines all of the time…and the air is clear. Because they are making Training films for the army in addition to entertainment films the place was full of guards who demanded a pass every ten feet.  He has a little city all his own…not so large as the other studios…but much larger than anyone would need to produce animated pictures…except for the Hollywood glamour.  We passed Warners Studio on the way (see map in invitation) They were not working because of the strike.  Pickets were at every gate…just like the movies.  The stars refuse to break a picket-line (most of them being communists…except Eddie Brackeen who is a Republican) We looked for Peter Lorie and Sidney Greenstreet (our favorite actors) but couldn’t find them in the mobs around the gates.  Disney has a super-fine projection room with a big glamorous control channel in the center of the auditorium for editing “rushes” and that…The poor preachers who were guests stumbled about as though they were lost in a world of sin about which they knew nothing…and were properly awed and amazed…and dumbfounded.  They made speeches about this great new medium and the kindness of Mr. Disney who was going to help the churches with his great talents and that…very disgusting humility! In the midst of it all Reverend Galloway was darting about like a little termite trying to meet people and introduce me to the “right people as his friend, a Visual-Education expert n’ that.  I got so tired of chasing after little dumpy blad-headed white men to shake their limp moist hands and leer at them that I was O so happy to meet them.  Galloway, who has a considerable sense in most things, makes quite a point of this sort of activity.  It may pay dividends but it’s too strenuous a life for me…I’d rather be a wall flower.  Doris enjoyed the glamour…and kept interrupting the pictures and the speeches to “suggest” that we open a studio in Detroit in connection with the church.  She wanted ot operate the controls, I could tell.  That there Louis would have a “tinkering fit” if turned loose in a sound studio…such “pretty machines” to be fixed n’ that! I don’t think the fact that the most delicate mechanisms are sealed and should be sent back to the factory for adjustment would stop him, at least not until he broke them all up one time! Well, I suppose that’s all the news from the “ON” front at present.  I KNOW that Pee-Wee and Gladys are in there fighting every minute on their own little “ON” fronts (La Moor…La-Mor!) tell Henry & Hugh I’m trying to get back to Detroit in time to build ’em a new chicken coop this Spring…THIS IS THE TIME FOR EGGS n’ that… If they don’t get “rich” now, ain’t no use talking about it later!

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“Brabra” is my father’s sister, as are Gladys and “Pee-Wee”.  Louis, Henry and Hugh are his brothers. Louis was a doctor who loved to tinker and build things and take things apart. Henry and Hugh were conscientious objectors who farmed during WW2.

The pass and the map were not included in the letter that has come down to me. To learn more about the Hollywood strike in 1945 click on the photograph to the right.

This is the last letter in my collection from Los Angeles to Detroit.  The next letter arrives in November from Springfield, Mass. I wish I knew how that eventually came about. There are several newspaper articles that I will be posting that announce his appointment to St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield. Articles, photographs and letters to come.

3 thoughts on “We received your letter…”

  1. This series of letters document a really interesting time for the film industry and California. I’m learning so much from reading them.

  2. As you know, I’m of an age when I remember a lot of this stuff, but these letters and your follow-up articles have added to my knowledge. It’s never a lost day when you learn something new.

    Thanks and peace…

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