»  Letter: Thursday, May 6, 1976

    J.R. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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Part 1

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  Transcription of Letter

From
J R Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
England

To
John Derbyshire
14 Legion Drive
Valhalla
New York 10595
U.S.A.

62 Friars Av     6-5-76

Dear Son,

If was nice to hear from you again & to know you are OK & enjoying yourself. It was nice to see your face again if it was only a photo  I think you look very well & hope you will keep so  You look very Aristocratic (with mu nose you can't look any other way) add the moustache & you look like an Aristocratic gun slinger. in all honesty you look OK & a credit to your Mum & Dad. I only wish your sister had got as much foresight & self control as you  she has the brains & could have made something of herself with one half the effort she puts in unnecessary things, but believe we love both of you & are very happy as long as you are happy & in good health & can still laugh at life, because after all its funny & the older you get the funnier it is. I wish you would'nt over do work because it will catch up with you & that will be when you find out who is your friends & I do wish you would try Yoga you can buy a book & its (all do it yourself) you dont have to go to lectures or anything like that, just do as the book sayes & only takes a few minutes of your time & I know if you do as the book says, you can laugh at all the stresses & strains of modern life & you will be an ardent fan.[1]

So you have an assistant now, but with your perfectionism I wonder how much relief he will be. as you know a boss is only as good as the men under him. He is a Romanian,[2]  how good is his English & what age & what was his wife & family like, all favorable I hope. I am surprised you bothered with your old Chevy as it must be past it now. if it lets you down again I would scrap it as the replacements must be in short supply now & it could in time cost you more than a new one then you will have nothing to see for your money. I dont mind if you dont write me seperately so long as you write often, if you only write a few lines daily like a diary then at the end of the week you have a long letter & all you have to do is post it. So you never take my advice I can't blame you, I never did at your age but I lived long enough to wish I had. I only hope you dont, because all I can promise you, "If it does'nt do you any good, it wont do you any harm"  can't say fairer than that. I am glad you understand my not coming over & dare'nt tell your Mum why, as it depress's her & I know how she feels but I like to face facts  I have had a good life & enjoyed every minute of it. I suppose I have been lucky & I find one needs a bit of luck in life & when I think how I abused it I shudder. I am begining to think there must have been iron in the flesh as well as in the blood. I feel now I am getting older I find many things are difficult to do now but were quite easy last year but I still manage to get my walk in every morning about 3-4 mile but at the end I am knackerd, where last year I was still full of Pep  So I just jog along & keep my fingers crossed. We havent had much summer yet. We are in the middle of a drought, this is the 3rd dry year & the wind in the North so the ground is cold & the prospects for next year are black. Spuds are 5/- lb  I paid 2/6 for one onion  they are 3/- pound  bread 3/6 a loaf  bacon 15/- lb  1/8 postage stamp  newspapers 1/2  you would have a shock if you where now  beer 5/- pint whisky £3-10 bottle so you see what a state we are in, still the government insists on giving money away we have'nt got. I think every one in the Government is mad. Over the years, in my time, they have brought us down from the greatest & richest Country in the world, to the lowest & poorest country in the world. when I think what a great country could have been now I feel like going & shooting the lot of them. When I was travelling around they used to say how lucky I was to have a British passport. & I remember when you could get on the boat at Liverpool to U S A for £3 & no passports then. it does'nt affect me now but I am mad to think of what we have left you to carry on with when we should have done better

Well Mum has gone to Brum:[3]  today with Aunt Cis buying material to make clothes, the old Sewing Machine has been over worked since she decided to come over, you will want a big car to carry all her luggage. Do you think its a good thing to let her drive a car. I would'nt if I was you & you will have to lecture her how to carry on, as she is still so naive & the customs are so different  I dread to think of her travelling alone so look after her & explain what not to do  I know you will think I am fussing but I know her, she believes anything anyone tells her. They are voteing for the Council to day  I dont think I shall bother. I'v no doubt Mum has told you about Judy having a bloke living with her, & my reactions. for a start its not a good example to Tessa to bring a strange man in the house, at 9 she takes all these things in & it must be embarrassing for her but if he lays a hand on her I'll be down there. its for her sake I react as I have  just for her own selfish pleasure she thinks I hate her, she told me so, but I soon put her right  I said you are my flesh & blood & I could never hate you, but you dont expect me to applaud the things you do, but if you are in trouble or danger at any time I will always be by your side so you need'nt worry  that goes for you as well, so look after yourself & write

        love Dad  X X X

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  Notes

  1. I have no idea why Dad was pushing yoga on me. I can't imagine him ever having done yoga himself. There was never a human being less yogic.
  2. This was Chris Folescu, who worked for me 1976-77. He was a much better worker than I was a boss. His wife was beautiful and charming. Chris had escaped from Ceausescu's Romania under fairly hair-raising circumstances and made his way to America somehow, then got his wife out to join him. Hi, Chris.
  3. I.e. Birmingham, presumably to visit Muriel.