My relationship with some of the leaders in the National Office of the BSA was not always supportive. I had a serious altercation with W.Arthur McKinney at the US National Jamboree in July of 1950 which took a long time to be resolved. Five years later I wrote him a letter (which I do not have) and received this response.
W. Arthur McKinney
99 Rockingchair Road, White Plains, N.Y.
Feb. 4, 1955
It was very thoughtful of you to write to me the way you did. There are certainly all kinds of congratulations due to you for the things you have accomplished and I offer them with all the sincerity that I am capable of.
Yes, indeed, I was critical of you early in your career because I felt that there was plenty of danger in it for the future of a young man. I am very glad to know that you have turned out as you have and I hope that you can follow through in your chosen profession.
Even while I was critical, there was always a feeling something like envy on my part because I had always wanted to do some of the things that you were doing. Since my early boyhood I had a deep interest in far away places, no doubt as a result of my long time stamp collecting hobby. Quite accidently, my work with the Boy Scouts of America gave me many of those opportunities. Even though it was not the major part of my work, my opportunity for association with men from all over the world was the source of my greatest inspiration and enjoyment.
You have great opportunities ahead of you and I would be very glad to hear from you from time to time if you care to write. Enough of this preaching.
Your emblem collection has already been given good use. Unfortunately, the very size of it did not lend itself to usefulness for display at the Home Office. I realized too, that it was not of much use simply stored away as a record. After discussing it with Eddie Belason, our display expert, and with Carol Sawyer who was in charge of exhibits at Shiff Reservation, we decided that the most effective use would be to send it out in portions as exhibit material. In that way, it could get more constant care.
Balason used certain pages of it at the National Jamboree in California. It was also used in a rather substantial exhibit in Norfolk, Virginia a year ago. Parts of it were used in several Local Council exhibits. I believe that Joe Brunton is sending it on to you for your exhibit. I am quite sure that Eddie Belason will give it good care.
I am still laid up at home but am feeling much better. The cold weather is not too good for me. Three weeks after I retired I was hit by a heart attack but my doctor assures me that I will get well but must be more careful. Best wishes to you George and I’ll always be glad to hear about you.
W. Arthur McKinney
Hello my Scouting friends:
Folks riding the bus would stop their chatter and listen to him tell his stories. There's stories all around us if we would stop to listen. Maybe you have to prime the pump to get them going but everyone has stories. One time I asked a man obviously in his 80s or older what was the funniest thing that ever happened to him. He began to laugh and said that he was on the city police force when they got their first cars and within a day he crashed his at a street intersection into the other car purchased by the police department at the same time. So both new cars were now laid up for repairs and he and the other officer were back on foot patrol.
She literally snarled at me "If I want your help I will ask for it!" Others in her group looked aghast at her crude response to my offer but said nothing. I responded, "Lady, I think your mother just rolled over in her grave. She probably taught you manners when you were a little girl. What happened as you grew old?" Shocked silence. This woman was obviously a wealthy dowager, supporter of the museum, etc. and used to being kow-towed to. She glowered at me for a few moments and then, reaching out her hand for my arm said "You are right. I apologize. Thank you for your offer." The group applauded.
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