Friday, July 3, 2015

September 7, 1969 The New Students, The Birthday Hat, The Belshe Drug Store, The Hair Brush and The Fall Clothes

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I just finished a dress for Ann and I guess she's ready for school. She has the car practically packed and plans to leave real early in the morning so she can be there by noon. Another girl is going from here but she is a freshman and had to be there today. Ann has helped her plan her classes and answered all kinds of questions. Since we got home from our trip I haven't done anything except get Ann ready so the house is pretty much a mess.

B, of course, has been real busy getting ready for the new students. They are pouring into town. I think there will be 15,000. There are 250 new teachers and they had their first meeting this morning. There is something scheduled every weekend now until late October so there won't be any chance for us to come home very soon. Parents' Day is late October so we'll plan to do that but we'd hoped we could come before that and come on to Richland.

Bob sent your letter on from Williamsburg & we were glad to get it. Do you have your new rugs yet? Don't worry about Ann's birthday. Rosalynn has some kitchen tools for her hope chest but she's just saving them there so Ann will be coming to Richland one of these days. That is, if she doesn't get so busy she won't have time. Her choir job will start soon so that will keep her there on Sundays.

I'm glad Daddy had a nice birthday & glad he found a hat he liked. I had looked them up in Sears but was afraid to order one for him.

I wish we could have seen the parade in Richland. I didn't even know they were planning one but it does sound interesting. Were there any picture in the papers about it?

We sent Bob the clipping about the drug store from the Mirror and now he wants a photograph of it (the picture I mean). We'll have to ask B's mom about it but I think that was one of Holland's pictures. He had quite a box of them.

The Belshe Drug Store, about 1920, Grandfather 3rd from left

I'd like to see Bernadine. Does her mother still live in that house across the tracks or did she sell that?

I meant to write a card to tell you when we got home but I didn't get it done & the forgot about Labor Day until I had written my letter so I'm sorry you were so long hearing from us after we got here. The telephone starting ringing the minute we got home & there is always so much to do when we first get home.

Bob & Pat are fine. He was real interested in the stones Daddy has & I wished I had taken them with me because he could have run lab tests & really found out if they were real. He had been reading about gems & talking with an old professor who used to teach gem cutting in the college. The old man had given him a book. I don't think Bob has gained much weight but he has filled out & doesn't look skinny now. I threatened to give him a hair brush for christmas because he has a bush of hair just like Buddy. It never looks combed & I think he could smooth it a bit with a brush.

It doesn't seem possible that summer could be gone already & school started again. I certainly don't have any of my fall clothes ready to wear & they'd be too hot anyway.

I hope you both are fine & that Daddy's legs feel better."

                             Lots of love,


Thursday, July 2, 2015

August 30, 1969 The Heaps of Ironing, The Nice Birthday, The Effects of the Hurricane and The Simple & Beautiful Spot

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We got home late Wed. afternoon after a wonderful vacation but we still aren't caught up on the laundry & such. Of course Ann brought home a lot of dirty clothes from Jeff. City and we washed them before we left but still have heaps of ironing. Today we have been trying to get her school clothes sorted out and I will sew next week. She has to have a white dress for the opening convocation. All of the girls have to wear white for that. She has to be there a week from Sunday.

B goes back to work next Tuesday & has been doing odd jobs. The check from the insurance man came and the Mustang is being fixed now. We are supposed to get it tomorrow. Then B is going to get it all in shape before Ann goes back.

Bob has three weeks before his school really begins but he is continuing his work in the lab that he has been doing all summer. He will work on it all semester as part of his classwork & get credit for it. The grant is all used up now but he'll be working in the lab part-time for pay as he always has.

Patty has started her teaching now. She had three days of teachers' meetings & felt they wasted a lot of time but were useful, too. There are six women who go from Williamsburg so they arrange transportation together. Patty was riding with someone else this week so Bob has the car to use.

We had your letter today & I was sure glad to have it. It seemed so long since we'd heard from you. I
hope you got Daddy's birthday letter on time & hope he had a nice birthday.

We were real lucky about our week at the beach. There was only one day when we didn't go into the water.

On the ferry to Ocracoke
That day we were feeling the effects of the hurricane. The wind blew the sand around & then started turning cold so we went sight seeing.

Bonnie & Bob flying a kite

Ann, Bonnie, Pat & Bob at play

One night we went to a play which is performed on the place where Sir Walter Raleigh started a colony in the 1500's. They call it the "Lost Colony" because it actually disappeared & they don't know what happened to it. The play is given all summer in an outdoor theatre & all of us enjoyed it.

In Williamsburg we didn't do anything different but rode the free bus to see the old town. We didn't even see Bob & Pat on Tuesday morning. They both had to go to work & we wanted to leave fairly early so just told them goodbye Monday evening. I let out a dress for her that she thought was too tight because she was afraid she'd ruin it. She is doing real well with her sewing but it is a real struggle for her. She had made a plain green dress which looked very nice & had a skirt almost finished. She didn't want me to see it but Bob brought it. It looked fine to me but she says she just can't sew straight.

We went to Arlington this time & the crowds are still going to the Kennedy grave. It is very simple & in a beautiful spot.

Robert Kennedy's grave is off to itself & looks so alone. It has a low hedge growing around the grave & a plain white cross for a headstone.

RFK Grave

JFK Grave

Once we got started home everyone wanted to get home so we drove pretty hard. I was sort of stiff from riding so long. It's much easier to stop often & walk around but that takes a lot of time, too.

All of us are fine & hope you are, too."

                          Lots of love,


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

August 24, 1969 The Wonderful Vacation, The Clean Sand, The Blue Skies and The New Hat

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We are in Williamsburg & all of us will go to Bob's for supper. Patty got along fine with her school meetings but hated to miss two days of fun at the beach.

It has been a wonderful vacation for all of us & we hated to leave Cape Hatteras. It is a beautiful, peaceful place with that enormous expanse of clean sand & blue skies.

We hope you have a wonderful birthday, Daddy.  The check is for a new hat. I planned to buy it myself but Mother & I couldn't find the size in your old one & I was afraid to guess. Maybe you'd rather pick out your own anyway.

This will probably be the last time I write while we're traveling. I've written several cards along the way but don't know how many or how good the mail service is so they may be later than this.

We'll spend tomorrow here & then probably start home Tuesday morning. Patty has to teach & Bob will be working & it's time for us to be getting home anyway.

Hope both of you are fine."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE: The menu is from one of Mom's favorite restaurants and I assume it was o.k. that she took it! This is one of the items she gave to me saying, as usual, "Take this. You'll want to keep it and someday it will be interesting."  She was right as I note the prices.  The chowder, 45¢ in the summer of 1969, now is $6.25.

Monday, June 29, 2015

August 14, 1969 The Insurance Man, The Mountains and The Truckload of Weeds

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We don't know whether Ann will be home tonight or tomorrow. She said she had so many things to take care of which she wanted to do but really didn't have to. We'll just have to wait and see.

B wants to get an estimate on the Mustang repair to send the insurance man before we leave. He's an agent in Lebanon and we had a letter from him this week so things will work out. We won't try to have the work done until we get home from our trip but we do want to send the agent an answer.

We plan to go south to Knoxville, Tenn. & then thru the Great Smoky National Park & across North Carolina to Manteo, N.C. where there is a bridge to the strip of land that goes down to Cape Hatteras. The roads will be slow because they are thru the mountains but we expect to get to the cottage about 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The place is

                                                    Lighthouse View Court
                                                    Buxton, North Carolina
                                                    phone 919 995-2371

We'll be there until mid-morning Sunday, Aug. 27th. Then we'll go to Williamsburg to stay until Tuesday morning. We'll be home Wednesday night or Thursday. B doesn't have to go back to work until Sept. 1 so we aren't going to hurry. He is out doing errands this morning but doesn't feel as if he's on vacation yet. When we get the car packed & get out of town he'll feel like it.

I've been pulling weeds this week. They come easily but I think there would be a truckload if I got all of them. You can't even see the peonies in some places.

Well, Ann came buzzing home just before supper so we plan to leave right after lunch tomorrow. She seems tired but fine.

Bob's phone is 703 229-0173 if you should need us after we leave Hatteras.

Hope you both are fine."



Sunday, June 28, 2015

August 9, 1969 The Big Mistake, The Rotten Tomatoes, The Great Time, The Interesting Trip and The Two Cotton Dresses

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I enjoyed the clipping about the old college bell. I'd like to see that campus. People have told me it is very beautiful in the spring because wild flowers bloom all thru the grass around the old buildings. We enjoy riding thru campuses and just last sunday we rode around Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois. It was alongside the road we were traveling so we stopped. This school has had an interesting history--was started by the U. of Chicago but is independent now. It has had some troubles & fired its president about two years ago. He was one of Larsen's friends and they think the school made a big mistake when they fired the man.

We had some rain last night and really needed it. Our yard was getting real brown but we keep getting a tomato or two every day. They are 39¢ a lb. in the store. Isn't that terrible? People around here aren't getting good tomatoes out of their gardens this year though. Everyone complains and I've had a lot that rot before they ripen or something eats on them.

Ann had a great time in Richland with all the kids and I guess you didn't see much of her. She called Monday to visit a bit because she hadn't had time to write. I guess she's almost run her legs off since the minister went on vacation. She's been doing some of his errands, too.

Did I tell you she asked the old lady to quilt the quilt you made? I hope Ann gets it taken care of because she was to take Gertie to get the lining, etc. Gertie said it should have dacron batting & dacron-cotton lining so it would be nice.

You shouldn't worry about your house every time you have club. I had a dinner party Tuesday night & ran the vacuum on Friday before. We were gone over the weekend & I figured it was silly so I just dusted & forgot about the sweeping.

Tuesday was Larsen's 37th anniversary so we had 11 people for a buffet dinner. I had melon balls, barbecued brisket, a rice dish, your 3 bean salad, corn and chocolate tarts for dessert. Then we just sat around and visited.

Two of the men know quite a lot about stones so I showed them the ones I brought home. They didn't think the blue one was real but they said the red ones looked real. They also said there wasn't anyone here that could really tell us. One of the men works for Funk's Seed Corp. and travels all over the world. He brings his wife jewelry from all these countries & she has some of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

We had an interesting trip last weekend. The wedding was in a beautiful, tiny church that looked a hundred years old but is actually about 5 years old. The altar was very old & the organ had been built into an old piano. There were 6 or 8 windows in the place and there was a canary cage hanging in each window. When the organ started the canaries just sang their hearts out. The reception was in a big lodge near by and it was real nice. The room was full of tables & after you got your punch & sandwiches, nuts, etc. you sat down at a table. When everyone had been seated, waitresses poured coffee & then served wedding cake as the couple ate it. I've never seen a reception like that.

Maybe we'll get home in time to help Daddy eat his turnips. We're still eating cucumbers from your garden & they are still good.

I've sewed a little this week & have two cotton dresses about done for myself. I need them too, & could finish them in a little while if I'd stay with it but I don't want to. I think I need my glasses changed & can't get my eyes checked until November. I made the appointment about a month ago but that was the soonest I could get in so I just have to wait.

We want to go to an outdoor church service on campus tomorrow but from the way things look now it will have to be moved indoors. The sky is all clouded up & it is pretty dark. The churches have joint services the next few weeks & this is one of them.

We'll be leaving for Hatteras next Friday morning & will get there on Sun. afternoon. After we get out travel plans made I'll write & tell you the route. Hope you both are fine."

                  Lots of love,


NOTE:  Here's a recent and interesting article about Shimer College:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

August 2, 1969 The First Dress, The Good Time, The Civil War, The Favorite Supper and The Rabbit's Nest

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It hardly seems possible that August is here. Ann's job will be over and we'll be starting to Cape Hatteras in two weeks. We are all getting anxious. Bob wrote that he & Pat had gone to Hatteras and camped last weekend. He said it was wonderful.

Pat has been making her first dress and Bob said it looked pretty good. I'll bet she did alright with it. He is enjoying his research and says he'll probably go on with the same thing in one of his classes next year.

Your trip to West Plains sounds so nice. I know you had a good time. I can't even remember when I was in West Plains last.

This has been a cool week and I've had the house open all week. It seems humid tonight but we'll leave the air conditioned off anyway.

Tomorrow we are going to a wedding at Rockton, Illinois. That is almost to Beloit, Wisconsin so we're going to make a trip out of it and come home Sunday evening. The wedding is at 2:00 so I don't know what time we'll leave there. We may go over west to Galena, Illinois. That is where President Grant's home is. It's open to the public, I think. The town gave it to him after the Civil War.

I'm getting a few tomatoes now--one of two most every day. They are terribly high in the store so I haven't bought any. We haven't had any bacon-tomato sandwiches on Sunday night yet. That's one of our favorite suppers.

I made myself a yellow knit dress this week & plan to wear it tomorrow. I fitted it very carefully--basted even--and then after I had the seams pressed it was too tight. It was sure aggravating and the seams will probably always show where I let them out. I pressed & pressed and will just wear it anyway.

Did I tell you about the rabbit nest in our yard? It's right in the middle of the front yard where a little patch of grass had died & it's full of baby rabbits. B had to mow around it last night. This is the third nest of them we've had this year. The other two were in my flower bed in the back. I think they know we won't bother them.

I hope you both are rested by now & that Daddy's hip feels better."



NOTE: Below, hear Ted Kennedy's remarks about the car accident in which his young companion, Mary Jo Kopechne was killed.