Letter from Thomas Sun, Middlebury, Vermont, to Alfred E. Stearns, August 29, 1930


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Letter from Thomas Sun, Middlebury, Vermont, to Alfred E. Stearns, August 29, 1930


Letter from Thomas Sun, Middlebury, Vermont, to Alfred E. Stearns, August 29, 1930


My Dear Dr. Stearns,

I received your letter of the 26th of this month.

I need to explain some efore [sic] I can put forth some matters which I want to bring to your attention.

As for the two items in my account, I shall explain them as follows. The $E28.00 which I paid to Mr. A. G. Hinman, postmaster, for was a C.O.D. package from New York, where I bought a suit from a so-called "fire-sale". The original price on that suit was fifty dollars. The real amount I paid Mr. Hinman was $28.00 in check and thirty-seven cents, which I paid in cash, for postage etc. The $54.00 for the rumble seat is thus. The price I paid for the car was 550.00 dollars, coming down from the sellers original price of four hundred. The reason he wanted four hundred was due to the fact that the car, at the time of the transaction, was run only 4700 miles, which is practically new. He did not have a rumble seat in the car, and he agreed to put one in for me for fifty dollars more. By putting in the rumble seat myself, I saved fifteen dollars. The rumble seat was not a standard equipment on the 1929 Fords, and I don't think it is on the 1930 model either. There is a difference of I think around forty dollars between the Fords with a rumble and one without. The garage in town valued the car at the time of the transaction, and they thought that I paid four hundred dollars, which they considered as cheap. The reason that he wanted to sell the car was that he had another one anyway, and he was rather short of money at the time. I hope that my explanations have been satisfactory.

Now concerning your proposal of my selling the car. It seems a little bit too unadvisable at this time. I went down to the Garage this morning the instant I received your letter, and they definitely told me that I can not sell it this fall, and I will be lucky if I can sell it during the winter. I wanted three hundred dollars for it, which they consider as reasonable, but they thought, that I can’t even sell it for two hundred for the simple reason that money is scarce this year. They said that even the garage can not get rid of their second hand cars. Furthermore, my car is a roadster. In the fall, with the cold weather approaching, no one wants anything but a close car. Of course, I can sell it now, in face of the business depression and the impracticability of open cars in cold weather, but I must do so at too great a sacrifice. I will get no more than one hundred and fifty dollars.

You must know that money is scarce this year with business on the decline everywhere. To sell anything, especially second-handed, one can not get the value that it is worth. Chances are that even if the money is more scarce next year, I will be able to get better money for the car than I can at this time, if I sell it at the right time. To sell an open car with the coming of colder weather, will be too inadvisable.

Naturally the expenses on a car is higher during the summer than it is during the winter and colder weather. People drives [sic] more during the summer, thus the expense. During the colder weather, one, even I, will be a little skeptical in driving an open car. Therefore the expenses which I will incur for the car during the winter will be almost nil. Furthermore, down in New Haven, the means of transportation is so much better, that I will not have to use car to get anywhere, except for an occassional [sic] longer trip, which I will unlikely take during the winter months.

Therefore I advise keeping the car till a better time to sell it. It is purely a business proposition, and one must wait till better terms. I have the supply of a car, but there is no demand for it. In order to creat [sic] demand at this time, I must make an awful sacrifice, which I do not like to make in face of the money invested, and a good investment at that. Even if it is advisable to make the sacrifice, I doubt whether I can sell it for the simple reason that people has [sic] no money during the winter especially this year. Since this is a business proposition, I have to look at the business side of it and apply what economies possible.

I can see your point in asking me to sell the car, but isn’t it a little bit too inadvisable at this time? You said that you will not approve of my having a car in a big city, but I think I will not be too anxious to drive in a big city with all the traffic, therefore there will be no expenses for it, except for garage fees, which will be around five dollars per month.

I do not mean to anger you by my arguments, nor am I trying to keep the car against your wishes, but it is really hard to sell a car during the period of business depression and trying at the same time to get fair value on it, especially an open car in the face of winter months approaching. Those are facts, and can not be overlooked. I will, however, try to sell it by approching [sic] whatever prospects I know. In the meantime, I shall be awaiting your reply.

Now concerning Yale. I went down to New Haven and reserved a room for the year. I am paying by the week at the rate of five dollars and a half per week till October first, when I will pay six dollars per week ($6.00). I shall be paying six dollars till the cold weather goes away in the spring. The raise in room rent during the winter months goes for fuel. I shall make out a budget for each term and send it to you for sanction. I have a notion. I think it will be cheaper for me to study down there than by comparason [sic]. I know no one there, and I will not be going into this and that. Whatever expenses I will incur will be necessities. I can picture myself as just another Chinaman. I will have to be that down there whether I like it or not. If I am not that way, they will look upon me that way anyway. I found that out when I was down there last for one day.

I expect to be in Middlebury till the fourteenth of September, after that I expect to be in New Haven. But you can always reach me here at the D.U. House. Originally I planned a trip, but I am abandoning it after I read your letter.

I hope you will take this letter purely on its merits and hold no anger against me, for I mean none. Please let me hear from you again. I will do as you say, but please weigh my arguments.

Very sincerely yours


Thomas Sun


Phillips Academy


August 29, 1930


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