Mrs. Paul J. Campbell
14 Tuxedo Place
Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Dicus
December 9, 1944
Mother and Daddy,
First of all, the baby (Martha) seems to be well on the way to recovery, and I'm so thankful for that. She was happy and cheerful all day yesterday and ate a good breakfast this morning. Also her bowel movement this morning seemed almost normal and she hasn't had any fever in several days.
Now for the big surprise! We're moving to Chattanooga, and soon! Mr. King call Paul on the phone last Monday and told him he would like to pay his expenses to Chattanooga and have him come down to talk to him again. Paul told him he would talk to him again, but he was afraid he couldn't get down before spring. He told me he didn't intend to go off on another wild goose chase. So, Mr. King said, o.k., I'll come to see you. I'll be in New York Saturday and will wire you when I expect to arrive. Still we didn't get up any hopes and just didn't think too much about it. Well, he got here, bringing his son-in-law who is in the business, too, and called Paul over to the Roosevelt Hotel for dinner Saturday night. Paul didn't come home until 3 o'clock a.m., so I thought something had happened. And sure enough, Mr. King told him he had come after him and offered him the title of vice president of Fleetwood Coffee Co. And said that he had plans of actually making him the General Manager. Paul will have a Sales Manager who works under him.
King had stopped in Washington to see Frank Cheek, who owned Maxwell House Coffee Co. when it was sold to General Foods for 3 million dollars. He told Mr. King that Paul had started from scratch and done a miraculous job for Maxwell House and he'd rather have him than any man he could think of because he knew coffee from the bottom up. He said a lot of other nice things, which I am sure, just finished getting the job.
Tom, Paul had had the company looked up and Dun & Bradstreet on Wall Street (keep records on the different companies and business houses all over the U.S.) and found that they are doing a 2 and a half million dollar business, which makes them a good deal bigger outfit than G. Washington. King has a lot of money in his own right and has sold King-Dobbs to try to make a big outfit of this coffee company. As to Paul's salary, Paul said that he would rather we didn't discuss salary with anybody, but since you already knew what he made, he's going to make just about the same -- a little bit more -- with Fleetwood. He said they would have paid more, he thought, but he knew they'd expect miracles if they paid too much!!
Of course the G. Washington company has been using Paul's formulas for the broth and food seasoning all these years without paying him a cent for them, so Mr. King told him to fire into them with both feet and try to get a cash settlement before he resigned and he'd wait for him. He said he felt like they had almost stolen the money they had made for them, and he, for one, thought they should pay him something. Of course they probably will just say, "Sue and be damned!" Of course Paul isn't going to sue them and get a lot of publicity just before leaving, but we have hopes that they may at least make a small cash settlement. He's going to put it up to them nicely and tell them that he would just like to sign them over and give them a free reign on them and get them off his hands. Of course he still owns them. They may say, o.k., we'll give you a little something, but more than likely they won't. That's neither here nor there, but we are counting on the thing from them. However, Mr. King will pay for moving us and we'll have a good income and be near home, so we don't care too much.
Paul is going to see Mr. King again today and accept. He gave him the weekend to think it over. He's going to tell him he'll be there by Feb. 1. Of course instead of making a settlement the company here will probably offer Paul more salary to stay, but we're leaving anyway. Paul has not been too happy working for such a big outfit as this Wall Street crowd that owns G. Washington now, and he feels that he'll be better off down there. Too, the climate is bad and he especially, keeps a cold most all winter. Furthermore, this job in Chattanooga carries a lot more authority and respect than his present job here. Furthermore, we both would like to get nearer home.
So, Paul said for me to ask you if you thought the kids and I could come home about February 1 and stay until school is out. We'll just have to store the furniture in Chattanooga and start looking for a house, which will probably take some time. Paul would come home every Saturday afternoon and go back to Chattanooga probably Monday morning. I think it would be sort of fun. Daddy and I could have supper cooked when you come in from school, and we could have a good time.
Now for the important part. Paul doesn't want anyone to know we're coming or any of the details until just before we come. I'm sure he'll write them himself later and tell them, but act innocent until they tell you they've heard. Of course he never discusses salary with them and wouldn't have them know what he's making for the world. I know you won't say anything about this. Of course that doesn't include Aunt Ruth and Elizabeth, Mother, for I'd also like to share my good news with them, but of course don't mention salary to anybody.
I just feel like this is the nicest Christmas present I ever had. I was just getting good and sick of being away off here when suddenly this just dropped out of the heavens. I was so excited that I slept hardly at all Saturday night. As a matter of fact, I heard the clock strikes 5:30 and I never had closed my eyes. I wanted to get up, but Paul would let me -- he wasn't asleep either!!
Of course one of the kids could stay at Mrs. C's, but I'd rather have them all at home so she won't be bellyaching about it the rest of her life. I thought Dot and I could sleep in the back bedroom with the baby (Parker has a crib, I think) and daddy in the front and the boys upstairs. We could put the cot in the front upstairs hall for Dot to sleep on weekends when Paul would be home. It just all seems too good to be true.
I'm not going to mail this letter tomorrow, for Paul is going to see Mr. King and except tonight. He's still in New York waiting for him to say he'll go. Paul says there's nothing that could slip, and I don't think so, but I'll just wait until he has definitely accepted and made final plans before I mail it.
We hope that the ration board will issue us enough gas to get home, but if they don't, we're just going to take all of our next ration and use it to bring the car through. Then we can either store the car for a month or so or depend on Mr. King to let us have some gas from the trucks or something.
I'm going to bring all the clothes in my trunks and suitcases also the mixer, some linens and blankets and the silver to Scottsboro. Will just use the covers and linens and stick the other things away. I'm sort of afraid to store the silver for we have over $1000 worth of it, including everything. I'll start thinking what all I'll have to bring home, for it's just about a month before we expect to be there.
We think that will probably rent the house here -- think we can get $125 per month for it. If so, we will give someone a years lease on it and then turn it over to the real estate agents for sale at the end of the year -- giving them the privilege of showing it to prospects all along. As a matter of fact, I think the Berner's (with G. Washington) will be glad to have it. They have been looking for a house for months now and want something nice. Of course we'll have to have the downstairs floors done and maybe paper the hall and put new linoleum on the kitchen, but it won't cost too much and it is almost necessary. I'm so glad that we got all that work done upstairs, for I'm sure we could never have rented it for a decent figure in the shape it was in. It's sort of funny -- I had planned to buy new Venetian blinds for the downstairs all fall, but something just seemed to tell me to wait until after Christmas! If I had bought them, I'd just be stuck, for they are made to order. After the war, if everything goes well, we'll build a modern house in Chattanooga and then I'll buy them.
Well, I could ramble on forever, but I must close if I want this to go air mail. I'll write again soon. Don't worry about the moving being such a job. Will have the moving people do it, and Paul said that he'll just turn the keys over to Cliff Veader and tell him to do the floors paper the hall and have a negro [NOTE: Remember it's 1944] laborer of his was the upstairs floors and woodwork. So I won't have any of that heavy work to do.
I wish we could start tomorrow, but it won't be long.
Lots of love,
P.S. Monday night — Paul just called and said it was all settled. He's going to be there Feb. 1, and they're moving us.