Works in the Herald 1934

Fourway Farm,
August 31st, 1934

Dear Ab.

We have received you last letter, and have took due notis of the two great decisions that you have come to. At least I suppose they are great decisions, since you have said so, and as fur as we can make out they are (1) You are thinking very serious of taking up art, and (2) As you are now 21 and have a vote, you are thinking of giving it to the Communist candidate.

Well, well.

Be that as it may. But as you don't seem to be seeking any advice from me or your ma, I don't see why you should trouble to mention these things much less write a whole letter about them.

Howsoever, if you wish me to comment on your great resolve, which I regards mainly as growing pains, all I can say concerning art is that a long line of horny-handed sons of soil on both sides of the fambly tree aint apt to perduce a genius in the painting line. But I once seen a panzy plant growing in the middle of a paddick of wheat, so a man never can tell.

As regarding the Bolshevick leanings all I got to say is that eether the old James stick is petering out and starting to get flabby about the gray matter, or else it has perduced a ideelist of sich a wonderful quality that he ought to be kept in a glass case. If you are a free and independent worker are willing to give up your liberty and good living so that remote posterity may perhaps, very likely, get some probable or possable benefit out of ut, well we ought to be getting down on our knees to you and nocking our foreads on the ground.

I have read a fair bit about this subjeck, Ab, and I met one bloke who was in Russia recent, and by and large, I looks on the Australian Bolshevick or Communist as a bloke what is willing for this generation to give up a pretty fair living and deny its sons and gransons a pretty fair living in order that its great-gransons, in course of time, may perhaps win a pretty fair sort of living wot is just about as good as the sort of living their great-grandfathers give up in order that their great-grandsons might win it.

I know it sounds a but mixed, but think it over, Ab.

Personal I looks on Bolshevism as a intresting but pretty dilly experiment so long as it don't come too near me.

It's like this: If I was intrested in a bloke trying to invent a pretty strong sort of high explosive it wouldent be my idear to get in the same room with him when he was doing it. I'd much rather he done his experiments in the middle of a paddick -- a good big paddick -- while I could sit on the fence and watch him through a telyscope.

Sich is my comments concerning art and Communism. Your ma concurs without any added comment ixcep to say if it gits much warmer you better leave off you flannins and wear your light summer underthings. Which, considering the latest simtims, strikes me as a very practical and wise remark.

Well, Ab my boy, I still hope one day to write a letter applauding some of your scheems and idears. Meantime, with great fortishood and patience I still manidge to remain

Your aff. father,

P.S. You ma and brother Joe sends their love. - J.J.

Herald, 1 September 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003