Tuesday, September 1, 2015

October 17, 1970 The Bright Sun, The Pen Women, The November Trip and The Children's Story


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We are having the most beautiful weather. It is real chilly (and frost at night) but the leaves are all colors and are really falling fast. The sun has been bright the last few days.

My cuttings are beginning to root so I have little pots all over the place. Part of them rotted but I think I'm going to have plenty.

We put the pictures up in the dining room today so it looks pretty nice in there. It looks as if I'm not going to even start the kitchen but I don't really care. There is so much going on all of the time and I hate to stop when I'm in the middle of a job.

I made myself a navy dress this week and have a brown one I want to make. The navy has long sleeves with white collar & cuffs.

I hope Buddy & Bessie do come by. It has been so long since we've seen them. We aren't going on our trip until November but that isn't long off, is it. The days go by so fast I can't keep up.

My jewelry class didn't meet this week. The teacher had a PTA meeting & I was almost glad. I've been out every night & it was nice to stay at home. We are going to our potluck club tonight but we're to be guests of a girl who used to belong before her husband died. She is going to cook a New England boiled dinner for us. It should be different.


Pen Women meet tomorrow in Bloomington so I plan to go since I haven't been yet this year. I had a real nice surprise yesterday. In 1962 I sold a children's story to the Latter Day Saints for their church paper and now they are going to reprint it. They sent me a check for $23.  Isn't it nice to have that just before we start a trip? I could hardly believe it.


I must stop & maybe I can get my dress cut out. If I get it cut & pinned then it is easier to find time to sew on it.

Hope Daddy is o.k. now and that you both are fine."

                   Lots of love,

                       Bonnie

NOTE: To read the story of the Festival Dolls:  http://www.annbkennedy.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-festival-dolls-by-bonnie-belshe_20.html

Monday, August 31, 2015

October 11, 1970 The Nice Time, The Sweet Potatoes, The Little Violets, The Beautiful Letter and The Big Books


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We had such a nice time with all of you last weekend but it was such a short visit I almost felt out of breath when we got home. I was glad to see Mrs. Simmons but we could have done the dishes if she hadn't stayed. We stopped in Springfield and ate supper so it was 8:30 when we got home. There was a lot of traffic but it was a beautiful day.

The sweet potatoes are just wonderful and cook so fast. I candied some tonight and baked some the other day. I cooked three tonight and there is still a casserole half full left. I still have the peppers but wanted to stuff them and didn't have the recipe I wanted to use and couldn't get my friend on the phone.


The little violets are perky as can be and blooming away. The foliage was sure wilted but I cut it down & pulled off the great big leaves and it seems to be all right now.

Bob & Pat came yesterday afternoon and will stay until Mon. afternoon. She has a holiday (Columbus's birthday).  Bob was real glad to have the Moss family tree but asked me first thing if we'd gone to the Elm Grove Cemetery. They had been to visit their friends in South Bend, Ind. & had gone up to Niles, Michigan and Cassopolis. They are close to South Bend & he couldn't stand to go by. He said Cassopolis is a tiny place but had a public library so he asked for a county history. They had 3 copies & he found the Rev. Adam Miller's biography in it and a print of the same picture which you have in your picture box. They also went to the cemetery where they found Sarah Kingsbury & other Kingsburys but no Kenastons.

We had one letter from Ann this week and she is fine and happy. Then today we had a letter from the family she likes so much. She gives the kids piano lessons and the man was her chorus director at school last year. They just wanted us to know how much they loved Ann & how wonderful they think she is. It was a beautiful letter and just came as a surprise.

My house looks pretty nice now but I hope I can start painting the kitchen by the end of next week. The dining room looks real pretty with the new walls & the new drapes. Sears made the drapes & they are real nice. I rented a machine and cleaned the rugs so I feel I have made progress on my cleaning.


Bob is sure enjoying med school. He goes to the classes which he feels he needs. Some of the classes for the first year students are the same he had last year and there are many other things he can do in place of them. That is the nice thing about his being a James Scholar.


He did buy the text books of the classes & is reading them. He seems to have a reading schedule set up for himself & brought two big books home with him. He'll soon go into the wards with a regular doctor and probably have a patient assigned to him.


That person will have a regular doctor but Bob will also watch after that patient. I think he's anxious to get started on this. He & Pat have made some friends & they have invited them over. They had two invitations for this weekend but wanted to come home.


They have gone to the football game. It is real cold but it was a beautiful, crisp day. They had decided not to go tonight & then a teacher called & offered us some tickets so they went.

Your deviled eggs were so good, Mother. I fixed some for supper last night. They disappeared like magic. I'll have to fix some more soon.

Take care of yourselves.  (The little stool is hidden away for Christmas.)"

                   Much love,

                       Bonnie


Sunday, August 30, 2015

September 27, 1970 The Fabulous Experience, The Topsy-Turvy House, The Interrupted Work, The Slow Sewing and The Long Letter


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Bob got the scholarship. He called us Thursday night at supper time & was real excited about it. They had told him that afternoon. There are 20 out of the 35 who tried for it that were accepted as James Scholars. He said the three days of interviews were the most intensive and fabulous experience he ever had. He went home with doctors two evenings for dinner and said that was fun. They talked about their experiences as medical students.

This next week Bob is to talk with a long list of doctors who are advisors to the scholars and he then will choose the one he wants to be his advisor. Then he and the advisor will plan his course of study. He can do anything he wants to do and actually doesn't have to go to class. But he must be able to pass the Medical Board examination at the end of two or four years. He says he is going to go to the classes with regular students for awhile anyway & then I suppose he'll skip those where he already knows the material that is being taught.

The professors told the kids that this was the most experimental and newest program in the country so they are banking a lot on these 20.

Those kids will probably knock themselves out working to make the program a success. Bob expects, I think, to get into regular hospital work real early. Doctors are needed so badly & the schools are beginning to see how much time they waste in the training.

Our house is sure topsy-turvy. We've been working in the dining room today so have all the furniture out of it. I finished taking the old paper off & B has painted the ceiling. The woodwork in there was painted last year but I'm going to touch it up before I put on the new paper. I guess I'll start it Monday morning.

I went to the As You Like It luncheon on Thursday & to a tea for retired faculty Friday afternoon so my work was interrupted.

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day but it has been raining and cold all day today.


My sewing is coming along slowly. I have a dress almost done. We finally took time today to mark the hem & maybe I can put it in tonight.  B still measures them for me with the yardstick.

We haven't heard from Ann since early in the week but it was a long letter and she probably hasn't had any time since. The Job Corps Director from Columbia had been to talk with her about doing some tutoring in Mexico, Missouri. He found out about the summer work she did for the church and came to see her. He works with some of the same families she did and she was pretty upset about a little boy being hurt. She's going to see him when she goes to Jeff. City on Sunday.

Hope you both are fine. I still haven't answered Beulah's letter and she will soon have a birthday. They sure roll around fast."

                  Lots of love,

                        Bonnie

Saturday, August 29, 2015

September 19,1970 The Reading Teachers, The Old Drapes, The Special Program, The Good Letters and The Long Project


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We've had two beautiful fall days after our rainstorms. With the students back the traffic is thick and there are people everywhere. There are 17,400 students at the last count. There may be a few more late ones. For the next week the kids have a chance to change their programs and that's always a mess because lots of them don't really have reasons for changing and it means lots of paper work. There is a conference of 900 reading teachers on campus so B has gone to that. He had to greet them so that means he'll have to stay for the speeches, too.

Bob and Pat came last night for the weekend. It was so good to see them and I think they were happy to be home. They love their apartment and have it all fixed now. Their phone is 312 728-3491. The telephone man gave them the wrong number when he installed the phone so if I sent it last week, you change it.

They used their old drapes from their other apartment and have decided not to buy a rug for awhile anyway. The apartment had nicely tiled dark brown floors but they were dull and the kids thought they were terribly ugly. They waxed them though and said they looked nice now.

Pat is so happy with her job. The people are nice to work with and the children are so nice and well behaved. I guess the kids think she's pretty strict but she says they really have fun and try so hard. Her room still isn't finished but she can use it and it is going to be awfully nice. The windows are still covered in plastic & plywood and she said it was pretty cold for a few days.

Bob is anxious for his classes to begin but is a bit nervous about it too. Classes begin next Thurs. but things really begin for him on Monday with the interviews for a James Scholarship. There are three days of this and the kids are taken to the homes of doctors for dinner. Then they choose a few--I don't know how many--for this special program. The letter said it was an honor to be selected for the personal interviews and not to be upset if he wasn't chosen. If chosen, it would probably mean that he'd get to work on some big project underway or perhaps start one of his own. It means more privileges and that is all but that could be a lot, too.

Yes, Ann writes good letters. She is back with her choirs and her piano lessons. She really loves those little kids and I guess they were glad to see her. Did I tell you she and Bob K. had gone to an old graveyard to hunt up material for Bob's family history? He said she'd written him about it and it helped him add another name.

My jewelry class started this week but I don't know how it is going to be. We have a different teacher and he doesn't seem to know as much about it as the other one--especially the rock part of it.

Colleges across the country seem to be laying down the law. Our president gave a speech this week and made it quite clear that we weren't going to put up with things like last year. Our other state schools have said pretty much the same. I think it's about time.

Did I tell you I'd ordered wall paper for the dining room? It came yesterday so now I'll be anxious to get started on it. I'm still washing walls and such and am going to start patching paint. I've been trying to do something like that every morning but my calendar is beginning to fill up and I won't be getting very far on all my projects.


I made Pat a dress this week and have a couple cut out for myself. I would like to make myself a suit but that is such a long project I haven't even looked for material.

I owe Beulah a letter but she must think I've forgotten it. Tell her I'll write one of these days when I can slow down a bit.

Hope you both are fine."

                  Love,

                     Bonnie

Friday, August 28, 2015

September 12, 1970 The Silliest Day, The Lighter Green, The Quietness, The Queer Okra and The Opening Meeting


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This is the silliest day. It was supposed to be nice but is cold and rainy and I just turned the furnace on. The temperature is dropping because I had the house open early this morning.


I painted the woodwork this morning in the bathroom upstairs so the house is a bit smelly. I had cleaned the bath and just decided the paint needed to be freshened a bit. It didn't take long.


I also want to paint the kitchen but I don't know when I'll get started. We have to buy paint for that but I'm going to get the same thing I've used in the rest of the house. It will be a lighter green than this we have in the kitchen now.


Students are moving in the dorms today and tomorrow so the quietness is over. There will be about 17,000 this year. B met with new faculty this morning and is at a luncheon now for the library staff so today is almost like a regular school day.



Bob was so happy to get the picture you sent. He said it filled a gap. He took all that stuff to Chicago with him and worked a lot with it here before they went. He sorts & matches pictures & names and I don't know what all to check out the names.

I sure didn't expect you to send me anything out of the garden. In fact, I never thought about it. Friends gave us a lot of yellow tomatoes and some okra this week. I love the yellow tomatoes but the okra is sort of queer. I'd never cooked it before and it wasn't really too bad but I wouldn't buy it. I fried it. Since we have been getting some rain people's gardens have perked up.

My clubs haven't started yet this fall. There is an all-day meeting next Friday of Quill Club and I hope to go. I haven't gone in so long and we're going to have a covered dish luncheon so it should be fun. I won't have written anything to read but will take some sewing.

I have to give the book review for the opening meeting of Travel Club on Oct. 5 and am having a real struggle getting my book review ready. In the first place, there are other things I want to do and then it is a hard book to do. It is Custer Died for Your Sins -- a book about our American Indians. It is excellent but there is so much in it.

Bob had a letter today from the Med School to come for an interview about a James Scholar. This is just an honor (no money) but if chosen to be one he would get to be choosy about his courses and take extra courses. It gives them a lot of extra advantages. He applied for this last spring.

Bob & Pat had a call from some friends they'd known in Williamsburg and were thrilled to know they were going to live in Chicago. The boy is a chemist but couldn't find a job so is going to work for an airline. I don't know when they'll be moving because they haven't found a place to live yet.

So far, Pat has taught only one full day but had the children a few minutes the first day. The rest of the time has been meetings and just getting the room ready.

I must go clean my paint brush."

               Love,

                   Bonnie

Thursday, August 27, 2015

September 6, 1970 The Nice Boxes, The Elm Grove Cemetery, The Scrubbed Apartment, The Promised Wedding and The Dessert


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It was just like Christmas when Bob & Pat got back from Richland. The boxes are really nice and I wish you could see them now. I lined them with red velvet and then put my jewelry in mine. Ann really likes hers, too, but put her stainless flatware in it. She got home about 8:00 last night and loved the beautiful towel set. It went right into the hope chest. She was also happy to get the aprons. I think she just had one. I was happy to get a new apron, too, and have been wearing it. The red and white quilt is just beautiful. I just wish I could find time to start some of the quilting. I have an address of a woman in Bloomington who quilts but I never did check on the address to see where it is and I don't know anything about her.

Bob and Pat had such a good time with all of you but weren't ready to come home. They still wanted to go see Aunt Nora and wanted to go to the Elm Grove cemetery. Aren't they a sight about this family history? They keep digging and keep adding names and dates. We didn't have time to go thru all the old pictures and letters but want to before they take them. They pulled out a few of the pictures they especially wanted us to see and they brought things from Belshes. They came back yesterday afternoon and will stay until Monday.


Pat had a school meeting Thurs. and liked things about the school. Her room will be in a new section and things weren't finished so classes won't really begin until next week. Bob's first day is Sept. 24th so he still had time to work around the apartment. When they went back after being in Richland the apartment was all scrubbed and clean. The painters came back and finished all the painting yesterday so now they can really settle down. They have everything straight and put away but have to get some filing cabinets for their desk and a rug for the living room. They bought an unpainted chest of drawers and Bob will paint that next week.

Ann has to be in Mason City at 6:30 today for the wedding rehearsal and then a dinner. I hate for her to drive back alone but Bob K. had meetings at M.U. today and couldn't come with her. The wedding is at 4:00 tomorrow so she won't stay for the reception. She should be able to start back to Fulton at 5:00 and that's not bad. She should have just said "no" to this wedding but had promised so long ago she couldn't back out.


We're going to Watterson's for dessert tonight. It's been a long time since we've all been together. We seldom see her kids. All of them are in ISU and Lynn will be thru in January. She will teach deaf children.


Hope you both are fine."

                Lots of love,

                     Bonnie


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 31, 1970 The Writing, The Yard, The Wedding, The Tomatoes and The Cleaning


Dear Mother & Daddy,

"There isn't any news to write but it didn't seem quite right for me to be skipping a week of writing.

We wish we could have come with Bob & Pat but it is too long a ride for a half day's visit and that's all we'd have had. They leave here Saturday and we couldn't have stayed until Monday.

Today is a beautiful day but yesterday was really hot. We worked in the yard after lunch so I have some sore muscles. I can't remember ever neglecting the yard as we have this summer. B has kept it mowed but I haven't kept the flower beds at all so they are a mess.

Did the Dr. ever say what is wrong with Aunt Beatrice? How old is she?

Ann will be home this weekend but I don't know whether she's coming Fri. or Sat.  She is playing for a wedding on Sunday in Mason City and has to be there for the rehearsal Sat. afternoon. The wedding is at 4:00 so that means she'll be late getting back to school. I wanted Bob to come with her so she wouldn't have to drive alone but she didn't know whether he could or not. She may bring her roommate--a St. Louis girl.


The leaves rustled like fall this morning and the school buses are running so summer is almost gone. We have found a man who sells tomatoes so we've really been eating a lot of them. They are 10¢ a lb. or $2.75 a bushel which beats 29¢ in the store. They are just delicious. I may get a bushel this week and put some in the freezer for soup. I use a lot of canned tomatoes in the winter and had quite a few in the freezer last year. I have to cook them, of course, but that's easy. I tried freezing them raw one time and it just doesn't work. We don't like things half frozen & that's how you have to eat them. It is the same with melon.


I want to do some cleaning today so I'd better get at it.

There isn't much to eat around here either so I've got to do something about that before the kids get home.

Hope you both are fine."

                  Lots of love,

                     Bonnie

NOTE:

The Life article's conclusion on the American diet in 1970: "What our society has done is to push more and more of us into this sedentary zone, where, in effect, we have three choices. Either we are going to be hungry all the time or we can step up our activity, or we are going to get fat."