Letter - Jamison to Hartle, May 1942
Jamison Cold Storage Door Co.
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
May 23, 1942
Major General R. P. Hartle,
A.P.O. 813, U. S. Army,
New York, New York
My dear Pete:
I was certainly surprised and glad to have your letter of April 24th which arrived on May 21st.
I am also glad to have your address. Every time I see Lucile I neglect to ask her for it as I really have intended and wanted to write to you ever since the surprise announcement of your arrival in Ireland.
One of the reasons I wanted to write you was to congratulate you on the honor which the army has conferred upon you. This, however, was not recognized by your friends as being an honor but rather as a well-earned recognition of long years of fine service as recognized from your record. This isn’t flattery because you know I am not of that nature but many of your army associates over a long period of years have told me of your fine record which you have made wherever you have been stationed, and knowing your determination, fairness and ability to accept responsibility, your friends recognize it was a well-deserved honor.
It was coincidental that your nice letter arrived the day following publication in the Baltimore and Washington papers of a photograph showing you receiving the late arrivals "down under" and which appeared in your old home town newspaper of May 20th which I brought out to the office to send to you. I was going to clip the photo but I thought you might be interested in having the copy of the edition, which I am enclosing.
There isn’t very much exciting local news because everybody in Hagerstown is busy and I mean, really busy. Have never seen the town so prosperous and I am glad to say that I have observed over the past three or four months a tremendous stimulation of interest in the fact that this country is at war and the only way to win it is for everybody to take it seriously and do whatever is possible in that direction.
Our local Civilian Defense organization I believe to be outstanding in the state, if not in the entire nation, so they decided to put on a parade Sunday, April 26th, 1942. The Governor approved and authorized them to go the limit. He and his staff attended. It turned out to be both a civic and military parade. General Mohr and his staff attended and all of the State Guard of western Maryland (about 1,000) were in the parade. The Mayor, the Governor, the General and their staffs reviewed it from a reviewing stand erected in the Public Square and believe it or not, it took an hour and ten minutes to pass the reviewing stand.
General William Preston Lane lead [sic] the military division. The parade proceeded to the park where the Governor broadcast a speech highly complimenting Washington County and advocating that other sections of the state, including Baltimore City, do the same thing.
Incidentally, the dozen or more city and county bands in the parade gave such impetous [sic] to the war interest that the army and navy recruiting stations for the next week or ten days had more recruits than in any previous thirty days. Several of the boys under the Draft Board notified us they were volunteering.
It has always been my theory that a band and a little martial music and a few patriotic speeches and a lot of uniforms will get a lot of recruits for the services.
Since you probably know rationing of materials and particularly luxuries, are weekly being put into effect, such as the sweet things, sugar, tires, gasoline, etc., and talk now is that women and liquor will be next. While the first group are bad, the latter would be worse and if they are put into effect, I’ll notify you so you can stay in Ireland where, according to the newspapers, there are plenty of "colleens". I asked your wife how you liked them but she didn’t seem to be able to answer the question. I was obliged to tell her that she ought not to worry about your being too lonely and too neglected, but strange to say, she didn’t seem concerned (maybe she doesn’t know you as well as some of the rest of us).
I was glad to learn from her recently that she had gotten an apartment in Washington because I can realize that after her wide travels and living in big cities it is pretty boring to spend continuous and long times in small towns. You probably know the Wilsons also live in the Westchester. I haven’t seen much of them lately, first, because Alex puts in about ten hours a day with no week-end leaves, and because of the rationing of tires and gasoline, pleasure and joy-riding have almost come to a stand-still. It is amazing to see the disappearance of automobiles in city traffic even at the busy hours. I was in Baltimore this week and really there are practically no traffic problems nay [any] more. Trucks and buses are of course still moving without restriction.
I was called to Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, recently in connection with some refrigeration work for the air corps and I was certainly impressed with the airplane activities, both in production on the ground and in the air, that I had the privilege of seeing. Some of the stuff they are turning out down there opened my eyes and made our poor little Fairchilds stuff look like gnats as compared to some of the things I saw.
I was called there in connection with a refrigerating installation for testing all kinds of air equipment at temperatures equal to minus 67 degrees F. with a vacuum pressure down to 29”. We are now doing the experiments to see if we can make doors that will serve the purpose. It is way below and beyond any temperatures and vacuum conditions we have ever been requested to meet, and incidentally, you may be interested in knowing that the purpose of the buildings is to test what will happen to mechanical equipment as well as the cruise at altitudes up to 45,000 feet and the above conditions are what they believe will have to be met at that altitude.
Maybe you have some of our doors in your possession. Of course we never know where they are going but we are sending large numbers to various seaboards for use wherever there are allied troops. Our only knowledge of destination is the port of embarkation.
Speaking of rationing, I was with Pres Lane yesterday afternoon having met him in that iniquitous Hamilton Bar Room and while it is very inconvenient to have tires and gasoline rationed, I just don’t know what would happen if they would ration the liquor supply—it is just suggested by one in the sound of voice that we would be very thirsty but I think it more serious than that. I believe it would cause a revolution. I can’t help but envy you in the environs of good old Andre’ Usher Irish whiskey.
Please take one or more for me.
I appreciate very much your having taken the time out to write me and I will be glad to hear from you from time to time. I will tell Lucile when I next see her that I had the letter from you.
Wishing you the best of luck, I remain,
Washington County Free Library
J. Vincent Jamison was a prominent Hagerstown industrialist and
civic leader, and a moving spirit of professional baseball for most of the first half of the 20th century.
Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library
United States. Army, Biography; World War, 1939-1945, United States; Hartle, Russell P.