Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 19, 1967 The Big Storm, The Next Project, The Viet Cong, The Valentine and The Heart Fund

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We have had two spring days but winter hit again and it's cold & cloudy. The weatherman keeps predicting snow but we have had only a few flakes although there is still quite a bit left from the big storm.

B has been in Chicago since Wednesday but will be home sometime today. He had planned to drive a school car but the weather warnings were so bad he went on the train. They did have some snow in Chicago and winds 80 miles an hour but it wasn't too bad. The weather seems to change so fast but everyone listens closely to storm warnings after the last one.

I've been sewing a little on my suit this week and just have the hem and blouse left to do. The neck of the jacket is sort of strange and I don't know whether I like it or not. It is deep in front & the collar stands out. That's the way it is supposed to be but I think my coat will keep it smashed until it won't look very nice.

My next project will be a new cloth for the church's communion table. One of the women bought the linen and I will do the hemstitching. It's been a long time--years and years--since I did any but I think I can soon catch on. There didn't seem to be anyone else in the church that could do it and they had hired an old woman in another town to make the last one.

B's mother sent us a letter from Uncle Oscar, and Bruce ( prisoner in Viet Nam) had written his wife a letter. This was the first real proof that he's alive. I felt like crying. Why, oh why can't that war be stopped? Of course, the Viet Cong will never stop until they are bombed out. They'll never talk them into anything.

Someone got into Bob's trunk that he had stored in an attic at school and took his summer sport shirts. It wasn't locked and they went thru all that weren't locked. That's about all he wrote in his letter this week.

The ordinary chenille bedspreads should go thru your washer fine but isn't that early American one too heavy? That would be awfully heavy when it's wet. I sent my bedroom drapes to the cleaners and they sure look better. They are not much good anymore but will have to last a while longer.

Ann got a dozen white roses for a Valentine from her boyfriend. She was thrilled to pieces.

All of us went to the church last Sunday for a program honoring our minister. He is retired now but it was sort of sad yet real nice. Their son has a scholarship and is going to school in Ireland this year and they played a tape from him during the program. There were a lot of short speeches--the mayor, council of churches, college president & lots of other big-wigs. A tea followed and it was really a nice affair.

I collected for the heart fund yesterday. I just hate to do those jobs but feel that I have to.

The broom is in the middle of the kitchen so I'd better get at my sweeping. Hope you both are real fine."

                  Lots of love,


NOTE:  Bruce was a P.O.W. in North Viet Nam from October 5, 1965 until February 12, 1973. Please use the link to read about his meritorious service:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 11, 1967 The Sunshine, The Questions, The Suit and The Housecleaning

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It is real cold but we have sunshine and that helps. The snow is still deep and some of the streets are still packed with it.

Bob called one evening and the weather is still nice there. He had been playing tennis and had painted his room baby blue. That was during vacation when most of the kids had gone home. He had first first skindiving lesson and liked it. I think he just called to let us catch up on questions. I always write a lot of questions and he never answers them.

I had a nice letter from Bessie yesterday. She has had a cold since Christmas and had been to the Dr. She liked the picture real well. Beulah wrote me some time ago and I think I owe her a letter.

You hadn't told me about the washing machine but I sure am glad to hear that you have it. Have you been washing everything in the place?

Yes, Ann is still playing for the church and still likes it. She spends her money pretty fast but maybe she'll get over that. She buys clothes usually so I guess that isn't so bad and she has been putting part of her money into the church's organ fund. It was her own idea.

I haven't done any more on my suit but it really wouldn't take long to finish it. I don't like to sew at night any more.

The last few days I have been housecleaning. The cleaners had a special one drapes so I sent the living room & dining room drapes & while they were gone I washed woodwork and such. Things look some better but I need to do the kitchen next.

This isn't much of a letter but there isn't much news. I hope both of you are fine."

                               Lots of love,


So 1967! A paper dress to wear and toss!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 4, 1967 The Thaw, The Radio, The Disgrace, The Tragedy and The Book Review

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It's thawing today so maybe things will soon be better around here. The streets are terrible--rough & slick with ice. I've been walking everywhere I can but even that is hard to do because some people never shoveled the walks & that has been packed down by people walking thru it. It's terribly rough & slick as glass. Luckily, we didn't get the second storm that was predicted. There is still so much snow piled everywhere that parking is real hard so Ann didn't have choir practice again last night.

I haven't heard from Buddy & Bessie since Christmas. I suppose they got the picture but haven't had time to write. The radio said there were only 2 inches of snow there during the storm but there was ice and that always means trouble. There are loads of small towns & farms around here that don't have full electric power yet.

I am reading Ted Sorensen's book, Kennedy. It is really good but slow reading. I haven't read any of the Manchester book but will get it from Book of the Month Club one of these days when they offer it. That affair is a disgrace & I wish Mrs. Kennedy had sued the pants off all of them. I guess she did really win out & got the offensive parts deleted but the press sure made a big splurge of it all.

Yes, it is terrible about the astronauts. A broadcast last night said the findings show they lived 9 seconds. At least, they didn't have much time to suffer but I suppose that would seem long to them. I am also thankful they weren't in outer space. That would be awful to lose some of them in space.

Apollo 1 Crew
Ann wouldn't think of letting you have the kitten. We're stuck with it and that's all.

My arm is better and all of us fine except tired. This is registration week so B has worked day & night and will be at school all day today.

I have my book review Thursday afternoon and it went over real well. I spent most of the time on the section about Viet Nam and everyone is interested in that whether they want to be or not.

I have a suit cut out and am ready to start sewing if I ever get to it. It is such a strange color--not red but not orange--that I had a hard time finding lining & buttons. By accident I found a remnant of whipped cream that is perfect for the blouse but it was just a yard so I really had to do some figuring. It doesn't have sleeves and I pieced the collar so I think it will do. The collar had to be cut on the bias (it's a rolled one) so that took a big chunk.

It's about lunch time so I must stop."



NOTES: We were all distressed over the Apollo 1 tragedy and Mom, although always upbeat and optimistic, commented with something like, "Unfortunately we are apt to see more of these tragedies. They come with progress."  That's been proven to be true. Read more if interested:

Monday, February 23, 2015

January 29, 1967 The Blizzard, The Kitten, The Sewing, The Knitting and The Book

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Of course, you know about our blizzard. We had real spring the first of the week, then the tornadoes started whipping around and the rain came in sheets. This turned to sleet and now we're digging out of the snow. It is real cold so it is bound to stay awhile. B got the drive and walk shoveled out yesterday so we can get out. He was afraid the snow might thaw a little & then freeze. We'd have been closed in then, for sure. In the middle of that terrible storm, Ann had to go to a wedding rehearsal. Choir was cancelled but the rehearsal went on and everyone got there. B took her and called me from the church when they got there. He'll have to take her for the wedding tonight, too. A storm like this is interesting when you are inside and warm and looking out but lots of surrounding towns had no electricity, low water supply, and lots of stranded travelers that they took in. The radio station quit broadcasting regular programs Thursday and did nothing but broadcast messages for any situation. School buses were stranded & that took a lot of time to either get them back in town or get the kids in homes somewhere. We didn't even have mail delivered yesterday and that's something.

Blizzard of '67 from our front yard

We were glad Bob had decided not to come between semesters. He would have been caught in the middle of the storm and couldn't even have gotten home from Chicago if he could have come that far. The airport is still closed.

Our favorite wool plaid skirt pattern
I have sewed some this week--made a skirt for Ann and have Bob's vest ready to make the buttonholes. The material was so heavy I had an awful time with it.

We went to Peoria last Saturday and were back before noon with my glasses fixed. I also got a pair of half glasses to use while I sew or knit & watch T.V. That way I don't have to keep taking them off or set them on the end of my nose. They look funny but work fine.

How I wish Daddy had our kitten! I make her stay in the basement most of the time because she's so dirty. Poor little thing really doesn't know how to take a bath. She'll wash her face & stop. Someone told me she was taken from her mother too soon. When it gets warm I'll let her outside where she should be but I'm going to have to battle Ann about that. She's afraid something will happen to her.

Ann hasn't had any sewing in school since the eighth grade. They can't take just a course in sewing. It has to be one of the Home Ec. classes which doesn't include much sewing and too much other stuff that Ann doesn't want.

My sweater is moving along real slow because I haven't been working on it. The knitting actually goes fast because it is on big needles but I have had a sore arm and I thought the knitting aggravated it so I quit. It seems to be sort of a neuritis and is getting better.

I've been reading instead of knitting and from the length of the book, it will be awhile before I finish. It is Sorensen's book on Kennedy and really is a wonderful book. I think every potential president or government official should read it & study it like a textbook. I bought it months ago but hadn't read it.

Hope both of you are fine. Take care of yourselves."

                    Lots of love,


Sunday, February 22, 2015

January 21, 1967 The Glasses, The Letter, The Keys, The Carload and The Centerpiece

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We've had some of the cold weather, too, but today was quite mild and tomorrow is supposed to get to the 50's. I hope it does because we plan to drive to Peoria to get me some glasses. I got new lenses from the big clinic here and had them put in my old frames. I was told the frames were cracked but the optician couldn't tell, of course, how much longer they would last. Their frames are so expensive I said I'd take a chance and use them and then they lasted just thru the weekend.

I guess my letter was late because I had sent it with the pictures. I'm glad you liked them because I thought they were real good. We liked the tinting too and one of these days I'll do mine but that finish is very hard to work on.

Bob called us on his birthday and was fine. He was in the middle of exams and worried about the English. That's always hard for him. It seems strange when the math and chemistry are so easy for him. He has a job working for one of the chemistry professors. The man has a government contract to do some research and Bob will run some of the experiments. He had worked three hours this week and gets $1.00 an hour. That's the rate for student help. He won't be home between semesters because he said he's so behind with everything. I'll bet he hasn't even unpacked all his suitcase from the Christmas trip yet. He's starting skin diving lessons right away too so I guess there are too many things to do. In two weeks he will register as a sophomore. He has enough hours with last summers' work. He and one of his roommates plan to go to the Florida Keys during spring vacation (as Easter time) so he won't be home again until June. That's a long time.

I took a carload of people to a Pen Women meeting in Peoria last Sunday and it was a nice trip. The day was cold but sunny and now we have a wonderful divided highway all the way.

We were guests of our bank last night at a dinner meeting. The speaker talked about Wills and it was very interesting. They gave the table centerpieces away as door prizes and I won the first one, believe it or not. It's a beautiful arrangement of spring flowers--real ones. I could hardly believe it because I never win anything.

B and Ann are both gone so I guess I'll put on my pajamas and watch TV."

                       Lots of love,


NOTE: I'm not sure what Mom might have watched on TV that night, but perhaps it was Gunsmoke.
I do know that we had watched Bob Hope entertaining the troops in Viet Nam earlier in the week. While we knew that only a small percentage of service men and women actually saw his shows, it was somewhat reassuring to see the enthusiastic audiences.  Watch here:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

January 7, 1967 The Cold, The Choir, The Vase, The Book and The Prophecy

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It is terribly cold today and the wind is blowing a gale. The snow is real fine and if it really snows hard we'll have a mess with the drifts. B is working at school today and Ann is practicing the organ. The choir will be singing old gospel songs this month and she's working them. She has two weddings coming this month and that will be something different. Did I tell you she played for the New Year's Eve services at Second Presbyterian Church? The minister called at noon that day and said their organist was sick. She practiced about two hours on the music and did all right.  At least they sent her $10. for it. It's a three keyboard organ and is supposed to be the best one in town.

This week seems a month long. We went after Larsen's on Monday afternoon. Their plane was a little late but they were fine and had a marvelous time. They brought me a beautiful vase.

Bones had their usual Swedish party that night and the kids went there for supper and we went over after we got home from Chicago.

Then we took Bob back to Chicago Tuesday afternoon.  We waited until after school so Ann could go with us. Bob met a friend from school as he got on the plane so I guess they sat together. He was anxious to get back but I sure hated to see him leave.

I'm trying to read a book on Southeast Asia for a review but it is going to be awfully hard to review. It's like a geography lesson, almost.

I read part of that Jeanne Dixon's prophecy but wish I'd read it all and saved it. I've heard a lot of people talking about it.

We really enjoyed the clippings. SMS seems to be doing just fine now but the clippings made me wonder if Traywick wasn't to blame for a lot of the trouble. Something is wrong somewhere.

Ann's kitten is doing very well but I still wish we didn't have it. We've been letting it upstairs when we can watch it closely so it will learn but it cries a lot to come up all of the time. It is a loving little thing and wants to be petted.

I've started knitting on another sweater just to have something to take to meetings and to Ann's music sessions. It is raspberry colored mohair. Ann wore the one I just finished to school and I guess it was a hit with the kids and some of the teachers. One woman wanted the pattern but she'll have to copy it by herself for that's too much trouble.

I still don't have all the Christmas decorations put away. Most of them have been carried to the basement but they aren't in boxes. Bob couldn't get everything in his suitcase so I mailed a box of things to him.

I had my eyes checked yesterday and have to have stronger glasses but just for reading. I thought I might have to have bifocals but he didn't want me to wear them all of the time. Maybe I'll get some of the half-glasses one of these days.

Hope both of you are fine and Daddy is over the cold."

                      Lots of love,


NOTES: The little clipping was from the local newspaper, The Normalite.  We would often gets calls asking if there was any news to share.  Mom would shout to us, "Anyone have any news?" If all 3 of us were there, the response was always a resounding, unison "No!" The paper was notoriously inaccurate no matter what was reported.

Pictured above is the green vase the Larsens brought back from their trip to Denmark.

Leland Traywick was the President of Southwest Missouri State College from 1961-64, but I don't know what the "trouble" had been on campus.

As I recall, I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect of interrupting New Year's Eve plans to play for that late night service.

Friday, February 20, 2015

December 31, 1966 The Last Day, The Front Window, The Green Crepe and A Little Ironing

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Here it is--the last day of another year. I guess all of us have a lot to remember--both good and bad--but the good outweighs the bad.

I'm beginning to dread for Bob to leave. Things will be so quiet. I don't get much done when the kids are home but don't care. He came home complaining about the cafeteria food so I've tried to cook things he's ask for. We still have the tree up and I may wait until everybody is back in school to take it down. It is so pretty. We have it in the front window and people have told us they enjoy it.

Bob's vest is real nice. When I had it all done it was a little too big so I had to seam it down but that turned out to be fairly easy. So I cut off the pattern to match and maybe I can make the next one just right. This one is dark green & looks real nice with a sport coat he bought when things went on sale.

There are lots of sales going on but I haven't gone to any of them. I'd like to have a plain winter coat but I can get by without it. I have a pattern to use with the green crepe when I can get at it. I borrowed the pattern long ago but never had the right material & this is just right.

We had a little dinner party Wednesday night. Some of Bob's friends were coming so I called Toni and had her family come. We ended up with 12. The kids played Monopoly after supper & didn't want to leave but she can't stay in one place very long. She is doing fine, though.

We are going to a New Year's Eve dinner tonight as usual. The same crowd gets together every year but I wish they'd stop so we could just stay at home.

Some of the people are getting so old I would think they'd rather stay at home, too, but they always seem to enjoy it. Toni will go & eat but plans to leave early.

When the Jello crowd celebrates:-)
Bob has a date with an old high school friend and Ann is going to play for a midnight church service at the Bloomington Presbyterian Church. Their regular organist is sick & the minister called Ann about 1:00 this afternoon. She has gone to the church to practice.

I must stop & do a little ironing. I'm trying to get Bob's clothes ready for school."

                Happy New Year & lots of love,


Here are some pictures

NOTE:  A friend gave me a kitten for Christmas. I knew immediately that it was probably not the best idea since all of us were busy all of the time. I suspect we'll hear more about it in upcoming letters because the kitten was a kitten in every sense of the word, very naughty, a bit wild and very cute.

Dear Readers,

Thank you for reading another year and I hope you'll return for 1967! Happy New Year!

            Lots of love,