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1 THE YEAR 1934 [[short line]] 1934 was a year of mixed outlook for us. On the one hand we could look forward again with optimism to our own future because at last things had turned up, my job seemed assured and the tight squeeze we'd been in had finally begun definitely to ease. On the other hand, while Willie and the children and I were in good health, it was determined that Nana had cancer and there was a good possibility that she hadn't long to live. Late in the summer, Willie and I took a memorable trip to Canada with Barbara and Charlie Reed, most of it in Quebec Province and lasting about eleven days. We returned to Erie on Labor Day. The stock market was at last on the upswing and that was good for us psychologically. However, Nana's condition cast a shadow over the year. As business began to pull out of its long decline, the diesel-electric locomotive began its sensational commercial development from a bunch of experimental units to production designs. I was fortunate to get into this activity and to be assigned to our relations with the New Haven Railroad on their diesel program. In 1934, we participated with the New Haven in a series of switching service tests whose purpose was to determine what type of locomotive they required for this work. I spent a lot of time on the New Haven in connection with this and established contacts and friendships that were to last for many years--in fact, with Phil Hatch, they are still active. I undertake this write-up of 1934 with comparatively little material with the exception of the Quebec trip, of which I kept a diary of sorts, and the New Haven tests, on which I kept numerous notes. But my diary otherwise covered a grand total of five days throughout the year. And there were a few photographs, which are included. So, all in all, the pickings are pretty thin and not even enough to jog my memory to any appreciate extent--except Quebec and New Haven, and these will dominate. There was one other item, a short story I wrote which was inspired on the Quebec trip, and which I shall include in its entirety. Forman H. Craton Erie, Pa., December 28, 1973.
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