Journal

28 September 1956

28 September 1956

Blanche and I heard Sylvia Porter at the Nat’l City Bank Finance Forum yesterday. Later, at Higbee’s Blanche bought some cinnamon wafers for Nancy. Nancy loves them, and Blanch says, “I’m getting very fond of that gal.”

Later at home, after supper, Kurt, Blanche, and I were talking stock forecasting. (She’s very proud of my charts – even though she really hasn’t had the time to understand my stock charts and is sure they are valuable). The thought of writing out my forecasts of the market from the charts and reading suddenly occurred to me as a means of having an accurate record of such forecasts in order for me to check back on them to determine ]my accuracy or inaccuracy of the  forecast – thus determining whether my forecasts are good, bad, indifferent, improving, etc. – without leaving such forecasts to memory – which can cutely fool you later. So – here goes:

1st Forecast: Within the next 2 months or so, not later than the end of November, or at the latest early December, and even possibly before the election, or immediately afterward, the D/J average  will hit new lows (below 468.81 D/J Average). Suez, Eisenhower, the election will influence & be the news – HOWEVER – the basic economy plays perhaps not an obvious but a real part of my prediction. Also, business conditions generally will reach depressed proportions mid-1957. The market, however, to my mind, will be discounting such depressed mid- 1957 business conditions within the next 2 (at most 3) months.

It will depend on the basic economy then as to the length of the drop in D/J averages; and it will depend on how long business, mid-1957, is depressed; how long after the next 2-3 month, it will take for a broader upswing in stocks. The D/J Stock drop should end between 430 to 450 with all probability between 430 and   440.

The would-be “she-lamb” of Wall Street has spoken from her kiddi-car.

21 September 1956

21 September 1956

Called Blanche this morning to give her a bit of dope on yesterday’s Finance Forum (Nat’l City Bank). I told her a little of my conversation with Jim Dawson – (the economist). She seized up the conversation this way: “Those people are so glad to talk with someone [to whom] they don’t have to explain what they are talking about – and can go on to say the things they really have to say.” And this is why I dragged out this notebook.

Kurt and I have frequently had, as a subject of conversation, the fact that many of the topics of discussion the two of us have had would be impossible on that level with most of the people we know. They would take too much background explanation.

Now Blanche, in summing up my conversation with Jim Dawson, brings to my attention that a poorly informed person – with a limited interest – can never be of interest to those people who could tell them interesting things. It is like compounding interest – or the parable of the talents: to those who have, more can be given. Moneywise, people find it relatively easy to understand this. What they fail to understand, and I guess I never fully appreciated it until this morning, is this compounding effect carries into all kinds of aspects. It makes me think of the funny “Pigs is Pigs” story in “Treasury of Laughter” about the railroad’s trouble with a pair of guinea pigs when they were not picked up promptly at the station.

Jobs are like marriage. Just as there is not (statistically speaking) only one person you can marry successfully – just as there is no one job you can be successful in.

19 September 1956

19 September 1956

Dr. James R. Killian, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sees no conflict between education for the gifted and the education for all. So far, he added, it has been education for all.

Edger S. Johnson – Pres. Nat’l Carbon Dev. – Union Carbide & Carbon Corp. – at dedication of new lab, Snow Road, Parma: “I assure you that we haven’t got an atom bomb to our name. One of our main jobs here is deep thinking without a lot of noise.

Dr. Killian (Principal Speaker) of research generally expressed the hope that “someone will always want to know what makes little daisies grow.”

P.S. Dear Notebook – I’m very busy right now learning things. Until I learn more and until I digest what I am learning – I won’t have much time to make comments here.

Last Monday – Blanche asked me whether I would like to join her firm as a Junior Member to learn her export business. This is all a direct outcome of my interest in investments and the consequent plunge into the long-neglected missing link in my educational background – the field of economics – and the grass is very green – completely unexplored.

Oops! I guess I have learned a little. Theresa Treer called me today to see whether I wanted her Thursday ticket for anyone for the Finance Forum (Nat’l City Bank). I didn’t because few of the people I know have enough money to invest in steak at $1.49 a pound, let along invest in stocks, and Dawson, economist for N.C. Bank is talking on investments.

We got into a discussion however where she was quite representative of the human self-interest aspect of our human species.

She had everything in Lyndhurst but transportation; except a second car. Steve, with opening his Engineering Div. on E. 185th Street had daily need of their one car.

We got to talking about metropolitan needs and she said she was certainly glad the turnpike road didn’t go along Richmond Rd. as originally planned. The property (their home included) would have devaluated.

She would have no truck with her heavenly status quo in Lyndhurst – she just wanted better transportation since they could not afford a new car. She and I also talked of the devaluation of property hitting Cleveland areas with the desegregation problem.

Actually, the conversation boiled down to this, although not expressed in these terms. We are all selfish. We want our land, money, social status to grow personally as individuals. Nothing should interfere with out gains. But – such an attitude ignores the flux and flow and change in human conditions.

Theresa would have been very resentful of the devaluation of their property by a turnpike road. She likes her achievement and social status as related to her home – and – like a child will not let anyone touch her toy. As it was the road is going somewhere else. Whether it will cost more to reroute the road – taxwise (and she complained about the high taxes). She is so representative of our situation here in Cleveland and its suburbs. We want service, schools, utilities, good government, personalized service – without much taxation and a quiet peaceful settled condition forever more. But it just doesn’t work. Changes do come. Individuals do get hurt moneywise, social, and in many other ways.

Theresa would complain bitterly about her loss – because it was a personal loss.

I’m sure she would shed no tars, however over the poor horse & buggy man who lost his livelihood when auto’s [sic] came. She bought a TV set and no longer went to the movies much. She didn’t see someone had taken a money loss. She has a refrigerator (What became of the ice company’s profits?) She has a washing machine. (What became of the washtub manufacturer – let’s hope he turned to washing machines.) etc. etc.

People must adapt & change and find new solutions to new problems. Crying into a bucket over change is simple [sic] a kid balling over dropping his ice cream cone on the sidewalk because someone pushed his arm. He must realize the loss of his ice cream cone. Then he must accept the situation: cry, and then dry his tears; maybe he can talk someone into buying him another one; or be content to have another ice cream cone another day; or accept a substitute for the ice cream cone.

Billy and I and Nancy discussed telephone calls after school today. Quite a discussion.

Billy also made this remark (he got his new Science Newsletter today): “You shouldn’t have bought me that GENIAC.” (purchased last Xmas via mail).

“Why?” said I.

“Because now they offer a stand and several books with it and at the same price.

Well! Well!

Some discussion(?) followed and it amounted to this as far as Billy’s explanation of it all was concerned: “He wanted to know the theory for computing the experiments. All the GENIAC gave him was wiring problems: “a bunch of circuits and screws!”

My end of the discussion: “Theory was very fine, but no one got a ditch dug on ‘theory’ alone, you needed some hard elbow-grease.”

This ended the “discussion”. Bill retired to his bedroom muttering to himself for about 5 minutes. I caught phrases he was mutting – something about a “Slob!” or “a big Slob!”

Oh! Yes! I also pointed out, in discussing with him that there were an awful lot of people who made a good living out of monkeying around with “a bunch or circuits and screws.”

What a Slob I am!

16 September 1956

16 September 1956

The only difference between me and many other people I knowis that I am a lifetime student and reader of the written word. As Kurt says, too– it depends also on what you read – the funnies, the sport pages, and trashynovels are not what I consider reading matter. They perhaps have their placefor relaxation, but even that is doubtful.

One of the best things for a person to have is good, directed reading along general arts lines – plus specific trade (Butter & Bread) training – plus natural phenomena.

By general arts – I mean economics – history – English – art – music.

In other words – with a lifetime of hours – Everything in and of the world can be interesting. The world and its creations. People – the social customs, history and backgrounds – present changes. Food – clothing – shelter – the arts – the sciences. There is no need for boredom.

There are enough hours in a lifetime to learn something of all of these things of mankind: the language, art, education; religion, family life, society life, political life, and economic life.

8 September 1956

8 September 1956

Definition (acceptable to me) of God: “The incomprehensible, ever-present ruling intelligence and power behind creation.”

“It is of no great importance that we should call this power “God” . . . We establish an inner contact with this power as we give attention to it. Because we do not all make the same contacts, men have dared to judge and punish and kill one another in the name of their conceptions of God, which each has arrogantly assumed to be the only correct one

“Probably the designation of God as Father is largely responsible for the personal God of the child mind. This mind has clothed Him with parent attributes on a large scale and has thus kept Him anthropomorphic (manlike or resembling man). How many Gods have come down to us as legacies of the past! How many ideas of Him, colored by the minds in which they took form and shape! A just God, whose dominant principle was an eye for an eye, and who meted out punishment accordingly. A changeable God, now giving, now withholding. A jealous God, demanding sacrifice and service. A loving God, too kind to be altogether just! And angry God, destroying and laying waste. A God to be feared and obeyed, loved, flattered and praised, implored and cajoled.

“The wisest thing we can do is to abolish, once and forever, all these man-made conceptions of deity, and to give some attention to the creation of our own; to ask ourselves, “What does God mean to me?” When I turn the brilliant calculus of Truth on these products of other men’s imagination, what do I find that appeals to me? My idea of God may not be yours, not yours mine. No one has a right to impose his interpretations upon another in the form of belief or creed or dogma . . .

7 September 1956

7 September 1956

The children are off to school, but I haven’t really gotten to understand the whole day is now mine. Guess it will take a week or so to believe the fact.

School notes and comments:

Bill was quite dapper and expansive over the idea of school – he just acted as though he had received 20 shots of self-importance and value.

Nancy’s version of school as a “greenie” had funny angles to it. The prize one was a boy walked over to her and asked her what level she was in. “7B-7” she answered. “You’re too smart for me,” he said, and promptly walked away.

Another one was concerning the eccentric “Miss Joseph”. Pattie Haytas was immediately selected by Miss Joseph as secretary of the class because Barbara and Jackie Haytas were “such nice girls.”

Pattie needed some help stamping new books and Miss Joseph asked her to choose someone the help her. Pattie suggested Nancy Zachmann. Miss Joseph went into a brown study, went into a characteristic mannerism of circular rubbing of her chin with her fingers. “Zachmann” she said, meditatively. “Zachmann . . . I guess that would be all right.”

The kiddoes didn’t quite know whether she recollected Billy with doubt, or whether she was trying to place the name. Bill rather leaned to the latter explanation.

Went downtown to pay Mary Anderson ½ of her bill today and ended up spending from 12 noon until almost 4 P.M. gabbing with Mary Anderson. Met her sister, newly returned from almost 9 months of around the world jaunting with her Rotary Ex-President husband. Her sister’s most illuminating remarks were:

  1. People are nice all over the world.
  2. Her dismay at the way Americans talk disparagingly about the people of other countries.
  3. How little the world is with modern transportation and communication.
  4. If all the people in the world would just make use of what they have.

I commented to Kurt that two aspects of my personality and outlook are being furiously tended by 2 different people.

Blanche is pouring economics into on void and Mary Anderson looms up as the figure most rigorously attempting to fill up the religious void.

I’m really getting a going over.

Any other voids to fill? If there are, I’ll be battered to a pulp before my education is rounded.

Yesterday I invented “Mrs. Jones” a grown up version of Lu Lu et al.

Excerpts from Mary Anderson’s “Know Thyself” by Richard Lynch.

Speaking of Truth:

“Two and two does not make five, even though many tears may be shed over the fact.”

Truth cannot be bent to fit human emotions and desires.”

“In itself – wrong is simply a lack of truth – a negative condition.

“What is truth?” said Pilate.

We surmise and believe many errors, but Truth remains always the same. Man changes, Truth does not . . .. It demonstrates itself and is its own defense . . . Truth is always the unchangeable criterion by which our lives must be measured and tried.

23 August 1956

23 August 1956

Our 15th wedding anniversary. The highlight of the evening. We had dinner after Kurt’s presenting me with a beautifully packaged gift of underpants (by my desire for an anniversary gift instead of flowers).

Kurt, Nancy, Billy and I were sitting at the Log Cabin [restaurant] waiting for the main course. Billy, as usual when the occasion presented itself, was playing with the candle set on the yellow and white checkered tablecloth-covered table. We accused him of being a firebug and arsonist. He agreed and went on to inform us his hero was Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.

Taking a ride on the way home the long way, Nancy and Billy went over their own futures – Nancy announcing she was going to be a farmer’s wife. Billy pronounced he was not contemplating marriage – too expensive! He was going to have a bachelor’s home and Nancy and Billy discussed the size and furnishings of Bill’s future abode.

Remarks I remember:

Nancy: What do you need a library for if you are not married and won’t have any noisy children? All you need then is a card table and chair in the corner. A bed? – You can have that.

(After a discussion about a rather fancy bachelor’s quarters)

Nancy: Now that you have had your luxury – let’s cut off two rooms . . . etc. etc.

Finale: Bill read until 1 AM. I fell asleep. Kurt chafed. Marriage has its moments of frustration. Your life is not your own when you have children and you’re bound to feel frustrated if you don’t have a philosophy to cover recognition of the fact you might just as well accept it when the chess play is against you. It really isn’t the end of the game.

16 August 1956

16 August 1956

There is a definite difference between “blind submission” and “intelligent cooperation”. The first idea implies a kind of hypnotized state without active thoughtfulness on the part of the individual. By “intelligent cooperation” I mean an effort is made on the part of the individual to understand what is involved, and evaluation as to the part the individual is called upon to play – and once that part is understood and accepted – then a positive acceptance – (not necessarily an aggressive acceptance) of the role, to the best of one’s ability within the framework of the individual personality, [one] is called to play.

This whole process of “intelligent cooperation” could cover anything from the most casual mental acceptance of the thought to the most positive mental exertion and physical action. It actually implies the concentration of all one’s faculties primarily upon the essence of the moment’s and anything that is of consequence at that moment – even if it is consideration of the past, present or future.

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This idea of “Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend of man” of Edgar Guest’s is a fine thought. However, for myself, I would prefer to walk among the multitude and be of some value to man.

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Acclaim and reward from other human beings is what the worldly man hankers four. He is not sure of any value within himself or does not believe he has any valid reason for existing simply because he exists.

14 August 1956

14 August 1956

Words – and sometimes groups of words – gather around themselves often a kind of emotional meaning. These emotional meanings attract certain types of attitudes, after a time, to the word or words. After a time, these attitudes become stereotyped so that as soon as a word or words are spoken – and emotional attitude or emotional habit – response arises. No matter thoughtful examination is given to the word or words – only a habitual response.

Perhaps without our knowing it, we fall in to closed grooves and no longer examine the word or words which create habit responses.

To clarify this idea more, I will try to be more specific as to words. I am thinking of such words as:

  • status quo,
  • value,
  • truth,
  • survival of the fittest,
  • law of the jungle,
  • self-made man.