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Early in 1934, there was another tragic thing which was still affecting me. It was Doris Moore Allen's death the previous October or November, something which I did not hear about until a few months after it occurred. It wasn't a thing which was any longer as close to me as Nana's impending death because I hadn't seen Doris for nearly ten years, but it brought back a flood of memories, regrets and self-reproach for having made her very unhappy at one time. And now I grieved for her and for the short-changing she'd had from life. I never could put out of my mind the question of whether Doris would still be alive and happy if I had had a different feeling toward her and she'd married me instead. Dear Doris dead! For awhile I could scarcely believe it. It seemed so utterly unnecessary as well as unfair to her. I still look back upon it with great sadness and regret.
But in spite of these unhappy things, our own close family situation was good. Bab and Rog were beautiful children as well as bright and ingratiating and intelligent and healthy. They were indeed dreams come true. Willie was well and gaining weight. And I seemed to be in good shape. Mother was well and in Charleston, South Carolina, visiting the Landrums. My only complaint with myself was that I wasn't doing any writing although still professing to want to make something of it. As far as I can make out, I wrote only one story in 1934, a piece titled "Ashes." This shirking of my writing apparently made me quite dissatisfied but I was evidently suffering from that well known affliction which befalls many writers--the inability to write without writing. Until it's overcome, even the incipient writing genius will never amount to anything.
On our personal economic front, things were good also. The Depression was definitely on the run. Business in general was picking up although our own business was slower than the Company as a whole to pick up. However, it was evident that it was only a matter of time for us too, and with the promise of the diesel-electric locomotive, the long range prospects were almost unlimited. Although in February, there was talk of a possible period of short-time again, I don't think it ever materialized. It was about this time that I was assigned to follow the New Haven Railroad, who were becoming interested in diesels, and as a result I spent much time in 1934 in and around the New Haven area on survey work aiming at determining just what sort of power they needed for their switching. This activity will be discussed in detail in the GE Section of this write-up. The stock market was heading up at last and I made a tidy little sum for Mother by trading in it during the first couple months of the year. My diary says regarding our own situation in the market: "The promise for the stock market is good and if it materializes, we shall be situated as well as in 1929--perhaps better." This sounds very optimistic. However, our purchase of a new Plymouth in the first quarter, indicates we were optimistic.
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