He is writing to one of his best friends and climbing partner John Thune Sr. Salathe gave his gear to John Thune Jr. when he retired from climbing near the Matterhorn in 1958. I have a picture of this gear transaction and other pictures that might interest you as well.
Hey Ken. Is John Thune, Jr. still alive? I got to know him when I worked for Galen in Emeryville (96-'00). John was in his '90s, lived in Oakland and jogged around Lake Merrit every day "at a snails pace," he said. I remember he liked seeing all the young ladies out running. He told me the story of climbing up to Salathe Ledge with John S. in 1947 (?), before the FA with Axe Nelson. We enjoyed having a cup of coffee and chatting in the gallery. He always seemed to come when Galen was away, anyhow, I have fond memories of those chats. He was such a lively, young spirit, and in excellent health.
I know John Thune Jr. is still alive and as far as I know his dad still is too. I ran into John Jr. about 2 years ago. I will see if I can find his email. My address book is missing and I think my 2 year old through it in the trash though I hope I am wrong.