April 16, 1957 – Letter: Very unusual letter written to the Bureau of Water Supply from a John M. Noon:
Without [asservity] possibly ‘asperity’, animosity or acrimony, or reservation, I am writing you again about the Prudence and Elmtree site of reservoir…the work of the world is governed by cold hard facts…these men worked in very bad weather…curtailment of work now…I am of the belief the work will continue, not because of the Governor or the Mayor’s efforts to keep Maryland beautiful, but in spite of this fact.
I would be in your office now…in my 70th year…unmarried and pensioned.
Also I believe with Tolstoy, the Russian socialist and writer, that time rectifies evil and resistance is useless, because truth is inexorable and governed by laws of nature and conditions create problems that men must solve for his survival, not to mention, salvation. Christianity may have helped but it is not too much in evidence, as all the old evils still persist. If this work is finished, I must point out the four open holes…filled with water from the rains…children 3-16 roam this area and are endangered by this fact, be it accident or design, they are a menace…never ending brush fires. Fire apparatus are denied access…an accident could be disastrous, as all these war housing units have not the usual rubber insulation on the wiring.
I am firmly convinced all the travail in this region stems from the same source, the attitude of the officials toward the area as being the jungles populated by backward hill people and “dumb pollocks”. They have their faults but neither makes it a practice to deny their children the right to a happy childhood, to fortified against the vicissitudes of existence when they must be self sustaining. These hill people are not particularly friendly to anyone, even their benefactors, or themselves…the parents are not at the moment, the concern, but to practically disenfranchise the youngsters to the point they will eventually become public charges or inmates of mental hospitals because of harassment, and neglect makes bad economics, if nothing else.
Of course it is the law of the pack rat to rag the stranger. All the foreign born coming here at the turn of the century suffered this ignominy – – and one “bloody blooming Finny” son of a bitch who was with Kipling in Sudan in the 80s as linguist-interpreter, who had an American born son in 1888, who can get up on his one good leg and “give them hell” and it wasn’t Harrigan, it was me.