Dad was always picking up to the phone to right a wrong or warn one of his children regarding what he saw as impending doom. He was constantly complaining of odors emanating from E.F. Drew, a local chemical company which manufactured edible oils and cleaning supplies and dumped wastes in a nearby field that was later deemed a hazardous waste site by the EPA. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/accomp/success/pepefld.htm. Having worked for a chemical company, he knew the odors were potentially dangerous, and he was correct.
Dad saw nothing wrong with calling my brother in the middle of a job interview to inform him that his tire pressure was low. This was obviously embarrassing to my brother and was a situation where the telephone was a dangerous tool in Dad’s hands. But that was Dad, never hesitating to call anyone to make a complaint or try to rectify a problem.
With that in mind, I should not have been surprised when I found a letter regarding Dad’s family in the National Archives files from Cordell Hull, who was Secretary of State under President Roosevelt. At the time the letter was written, my father was the only member of his family who had successfully returned to New Jersey and was then stationed in Atlanta, Georgia with the Army Medical Corps. Apparently, Dad was having difficulty obtaining the necessary funds to bring the rest of his family home, so he picked up the phone to inform the State Department of this. After reading the letter from Secretary Hull, it was apparent that Dad was no stranger to the Secretary of State.