"Nobody has seen a Roy Campanella in the state of Connecticut since you sailed," he wrote back at once. "However, I understand your problem, since we are facing a similar one at our house, so I am sending you today by airmail 140 packs of bubble gum, for which you can repay me when you return. I suggest you hide these in the bottom of a suitcase and feed them to your kids one pack a day each. In this way they should be able to continue trading with each other, even though on a somewhat reduced scale, until you come back. And who knows? They may even find a Roy Campanella."
They found six. In the very first week after the airmail parcel arrived.
I did not mind that. I did not even mind the fact that the postage alone on this shipment of bubble gum came to $41.85. What I minded very much, indeed what almost drove me crazy, was the tension.
The last eight weeks of our trip—during which I waited uneasily for my sons to discover what had suddenly dawned on me, namely, that the bubble gum tycoons had changed, their holdouts—were a good deal like living inside a steam boiler while the pressure keeps mounting.
We just made it.
Not until we were air-borne in September in the BOAC plane that was carrying us back to America did my sons tell me with a troubled frown that it was awful funny, Dad, but the one card they couldn't seem to get was a Solly Hemus, and what did I think of that?
It required quite a bit of self-control on Dad's part not to tell them.