Friday, April 17, 2015

February 18, 1968 The Sweeper, The Bread, The Surprise, The Scraps and The First Graders

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I'm really late this week. It is almost bedtime and I don't know where all my time goes. I didn't get the sweeper run until after supper tonight but the phone rang all morning yesterday when I'd planned to do it.

This morning I made up a batch of bread and that took a lot of extra time but it is so good. There were five loaves by the time I finished & we cut one as soon as it was baked. It doesn't cut very easily then but is sure good to eat.

Ann wanted me to go with her to look for some spring material so we killed a lot of time looking. We did get some red, white & blue check for a suit. Now I have another big job ahead of me.

B was in Chicago from Wednesday to this afternoon so it was lonesome around here and we were glad when he got home. It has been a busy week, though. I had to go somewhere every day and that doesn't leave much time at home. I went to a coffee Wednesday afternoon, gave another book review Thursday afternoon & went to Quill Club Friday afternoon. There was a church board meeting Wednesday night, too, but I didn't want Ann to come home alone so I went with her. She hurt a finger on her left hand in gym this week and it is badly bruised. She played for choir practice with one hand and her feet so I don't know how she'll make out tomorrow at church. Polly has been going to church with her and singing in the choir.

You certainly sent me a surprise for my birthday and much too much. When the money fell out of the letter as I opened it I said out loud, "Now what's that for?" I felt real silly but I was sure puzzled because I didn't even think of my birthday. I do thank you for it and will buy something special with it but can't make up my mind yet.

Daddy has just done wonderfully and he should really be fine by March. I hope Uncle Floyd does as well. Did he have the same Dr.?

A very favorite old photo of Uncle Floyd

You should have the wool scraps by the time you get this but don't work on that quilt unless you really want to. I hate to have to do handwork or sewing. I want to be in the mood. I've been crocheting some on my suit and it's coming along pretty well.

Bob called Valentine's Day. He hadn't written so decided to call and visit a bit. He & Pat are fine. They haven't paid anything on their apartment but the woman has promised it to them & they will make a deposit when she's ready. The present tenants may not leave until the end of August which would be fine.

I'd better stop & go to bed because I really have to be up & awake on Sunday morning with my first graders. They are fun but lots of work.

Stay in, out of the cold. One of these days it's going to be Spring."

              Lots of love,


Thursday, April 16, 2015

February 9, 1968 The New Semester, The Other Book Review, The Suggestion, The Ear and The Insurance

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"After two wonderful spring days we have snow and cold again. It always surprises me how fast the weather can change. Things are still pretty busy around here but classes in the new semester should be settled down next week. B will work in the office again tomorrow.

I went to a coffee on Monday and then had a writers' workshop here all day Tuesday. Yesterday was dollar day in Bloomington and I went to town for a little while in the afternoon but didn't find much that could be called a bargain. I found some underwear and that's about it.

Jean Washburn (that's Bruce's mother) came over one day and brought a lot of stuff about weddings. Her daughter is getting married in June. They had been to a style show on weddings and it was fun to see all the pictures and ads for dresses, flowers & cakes. I suggested we pay the kids to elope. It would be cheaper but of course, we wouldn't really want them to.

Here is Mr. Brandon's address:

                    Mr. Martin Brandon
                    9th and Bond Sts.
                    Monett, Mo

I have to give my other book review next week but haven't even looked at it since I gave it the first time.

I'm glad Daddy is getting outside. The lifting is the main thing to avoid and as long as walking or going downstairs doesn't bother him it should be all right.

You may not hear much with that ear for a long time but if it starts to hurt again you'd better have it looked at.

What do you hear from Uncle Floyd? I suppose he went to Burge & I'll try to send a card soon. I don't have any now and sometimes it takes me so long to get some.

The Dr. bill sounds like a lot but really isn't when you think how long it was. Burge filed with Bankers Life for part of the hospital bill but didn't expect to collect because they believed that the Waynesville hospital had probably already filed. If they did collect anything the hospital (Burge) would refund it to you. That insurance business is sure complicated. Burge has special people who do nothing but that so Daddy should take his policy & every paper dealing with it along when he goes.

If he has anything from Waynesville that has to do with the insurance, he'd better take that too. Even if he doesn't have to show any of this when he asks for the itemized statement he ought to have it along in case there are questions. I didn't have anything & didn't know much when I was trying to check him out and it would have been much simpler if I'd had the insurance papers. The offices are there in the main hall by the coffee shop. Daddy probably doesn't remember seeing them.

I forgot to send you the vitamin ad I told you about. It's a good deal."



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

February 3, 1968 The Wedding, The Two Letters, The Dust Pan, The Sponge Mop and The Apartment

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"B is working at school today and Ann has gone to a wedding. One of her high school friends finished high school in January and is getting married today. It sounds pretty young but I guess it has been planned this way for about two years. I don't know the kids nor their parents.

I've been cleaning the house a bit today. Next week is going to be busy and I wanted to do a little extra today. I finally got all my Christmas table cloths "done up" and I sure am glad. It takes so long to do one I'm almost afraid to start for fear the phone will ring & the tablecloth will get too dry & then I have to start over.

It was a treat to have two letters this week but when the second one came I was afraid something was wrong. I'm glad Daddy is getting along so well but he can't drive the car until he has his check-up with Dr. Warren. That's only another week and he can ask but I doubt if he's permitted to until the 6 weeks is up and everything is absolutely healed. It takes that long (the Dr. says) for everything inside to be healed. I know it must seem awfully long to Daddy but just remember that there won't be anymore of those awful old sick spells from infection anymore. What kind of shots does Dr. Myers give him?

We have had a lot of rain, too, and a good bit of it found its way into our basement. I don't know how long it has been since we've had so much. I could dip it up with a dust pan before I started using the sponge mop.

I'm sorry about Uncle Floyd but maybe he'd be better after an operation. Let me know where he goes & I'll try to send him a card.

Just forget my quilt for awhile. At the rate I'm going it will be five years before I could do the embroidery. I can't even find time to crochet on my suit.

This has been a beautiful sunny day but it is terribly messy & muddy. I'm ready for spring to come but I guess we'll still have a lot of winter.

Bob & Pat think they have found an apartment for next fall but he didn't tell us much about it. He made 3 B's & an A this semester and we were real happy. He was real happy over the birthday money. They had been figuring out what it was going to cost to live next year so the money was welcome.

I'm glad to know both of you are feeling better. Just take things easy until you both get your pep back. Is the ear all well?"

                        Lots of love,


NOTES: 1968 seemed to begin the era of conflict between the police and citizenry, if judging from the press is any indication. Here we are decades later, and still wrestling with the relationship between law enforcement and those they "serve".

And included with the letters were these clippings from the local papers; Bob's fiancee´ and the announcement of their upcoming wedding and some school news of my senior class and our accomplishments in poetry writing and induction into the National Honor Society.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

January 14 and January 28, 1968 The Instructions, The Green Velvet, The Book Review, The Sweeper and The Remnants

Note to readers:

During the early weeks of January, 1968, both of my grandparents were quite ill. My grandfather was hospitalized and due to my grandmother's illness, she could not be with him at the hospital.  Mom stayed with him in the hospital and the first correspondence of the year was the following brief note, written from the hospital.

Dear Mother,   Sunday 12:30    January 14, 1968

"Daddy seems much better today. Eats pretty well. Dr. came in about noon--removed tubes. Stitches not out yet but incision is healed on top. I'm fine and hope you are much better. Don't try to come back up here. We're getting along wonderfully."



Dear Mother & Daddy,        January 28, 1968

"We were glad to have your letter and know you are getting along all right. It will probably take a while for both of you to get your pep back after the flu but I hope you are already feeling better. Daddy must not stay in bed too much. He's tired of my bossing but just tell him women were made to boss men around. Anyway, the Dr. would not approve of him staying in bed so much. He must get up and walk and move around or he won't get his strength back. The Dr. wanted him out of bed even when his chest was congested. he told me it would help clear it up and the operation will heal better and faster with exercise to speed up the circulation so--Daddy--you get out that dust rag and that dish towel and go to the mail box and walk around the house when the weather is nice outside. Don't lift anything but move yourself around. How many glasses of water are you drinking? The Dr. will want to know and the goblins will get you if you fib.

I hope your ear is feeling better, Mother. That must have hurt terribly. We should have put you to bed in the hospital, too. Then I could have helped you both. Daddy & I got along just fine.

I have sewed all week so am not caught up with other things yet. I made Ann a green velvet formal and a white wool cape and that took all week.

Then I had to give my book review Wednesday night so I spent some time on it this week, too.

I finally found time today to run the sweeper and scrub the bath & kitchen.  It hadn't been done since New Year's Eve. Doesn't that sound awful but it's true.

Next week will be easier than this week but I won't have the sewing and I'll catch up on the ironing.

I sent the money on to Bob. I know he'll be real happy to have it. We had such a good letter from him the day after I got home. They have a few days free between semesters and were going to look for an apartment for next fall. He was fine but Pat had the flu after Christmas. Both of them had taken civil service exams and thought they did real well. He is interested in a job in the department of communicable diseases in Atlanta for the summer. It would be good experience but he will take most any kind of job.

I had a letter from Pat's mother this week and should answer it soon. She will need to send the list of people we want invited to the wedding. We'll have a pretty good sized list but I'm afraid there won't be many of our family or friends that can go to Atlanta for the wedding. Bob wants B to be his best man. Ann will be a bridesmaid. The time will be here before we know it.

This is between semesters here so Ann is having a couple days off but B is sure working hard. His office staff will even be working tomorrow.

Today has been mild here so I'm hoping you're having nice weather there.

I bought a few bright wool remnants for the quilt this week & will send them one of these days.

Take care of yourselves."

                  Lots of love,


Postage is now up to 6¢

And the times, they are a changing. Note the additional button, one of Mom's.

Monday, April 13, 2015

December 21, 1967 The Letters, The Students, The Indians and The Happy Christmas Day

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We have had both of your letters this week and we appreciate the Christmas check very much but one dollar a piece would have been enough. I know you have trouble getting things done when Daddy is sick but I think the kids would rather have money. Grandmother B sent them money too, so they put it away.

Bob can certainly use it. He is working this week at a book supply house--taking last year's books off shelves and putting new ones up. It is hard work but he's earning some money and he sees his friends in the evening. He had applied for a job in this place last summer but they couldn't use him then. They apparently remembered for they called Monday morning before he got up and he went to work that day. He won't work next week, though and still wants to come to Richland. It's been a long time since he's been there. Ann doesn't think she can come so it will be only Bob and Pat. He says he will use the bedroom in the basement and Pat can have the front bedroom. They won't be able to stay very long because she doesn't get here until Tuesday.

We're having an Open House on New Year's Day so people can meet her. The announcement of the engagement is to be in the paper that weekend.

The students are all gone and the town is pretty quiet but we have been going to a string of Christmas parties. Tonight is the last one at Larsen's. Their son and his wife and her mother will be there for Christmas.

Tell Beulah that the kids' package arrived just fine and I'll write after the holidays.

The weather is miserable but we are better off than the poor Indians.  It has been so warm (58º this morning) but the temperature is supposed to drop to 15º tonight. It is pouring rain so we'll probably have snow by morning. Pat called yesterday and said it was hot in Atlanta. She wants us to have some snow so she may get her wish.

I do hope Daddy feels better and that you can go to Beulah's for Christmas day. It would have been nice is all of us could have gone to Roger's but I guess we'll never be able to get everyone together at the same time.

You probably have the package by now because B's mom got her's and they were mailed at the same time.  We'll all be thinking about you and hope you have a happy Christmas day.

                       Lots of love,


NOTES: Watch The Dean Martin Christmas Show with Frank Sinatra & family which aired on 12/21/67.

  Use the link to read about, and see images of the terrible blizzards:

Dear Readers,

Thank you for joining us in 1967. Hope to see you again in '68!  Cheers! 



Sunday, April 12, 2015

December 16, 1967 The Good Idea, The Big News, The Gloomy Weather, The 90 Kids and The Wool Quilt

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We've been dashing around all morning so we could go meet Bob about 6:00. We'll have to leave here in about an hour and I'm trying to get my hair dry. We mailed your box this morning and hope it gets there on time and in good shape. Charlotte's & Jerry's packages are in there, too. I'm going to suggest to Beulah that the kids stop exchanging gifts but I don't know what she'll think. I didn't even think of it when we were home. Ann thinks it's a good idea.

We have big news. Bob gave Pat a diamond and they plan to be married after school is out in June. They'll get an apartment and finish school at William & Mary. She is a year ahead of Bob and will get her Master's there too while he finishes his senior year. Her name is Patricia Anne. She has long, dark blonde hair and is 5"7". We all think she is wonderful--maybe because she plans to be a teacher (mathematics). She is coming the day after Christmas and Bob wants to bring her to Richland very badly. I don't see how we can manage it but we'll try to let you know. Don't stay home expecting them or fuss about their coming for she's real easy to have around and just a plain, sweet girl.

Bob wanted the announcement in tomorrow's paper but didn't send the picture in time so we'll get it done maybe New Year's. It is too late for the Christmas issue but we'll send you a clipping when it comes out. B is writing the rest of the family.

I've waited about their Xmas cards until I had time to write about it.

We have had the gloomy weather, too, but today is gloriously sunny. I haven't had time to even look at the gloom, though.

I had one day at home this week. Then I went to 4 Christmas parties and a concert and we had about 90 kids here for a party afterwards. They were all so dressed up and polite that it was a real nice affair.

I hope Daddy's fingers are healing. I'm going to call him Calamity Sam if he doesn't stop doing things like that. Is he careless or trying to work too fast? And if he's working on that book holder for me tell him to take it easy and wait a while. I still haven't had a chance to go to the lumber yard but I will. And Mother, don't hurry with that wool quilt. I haven't touched my knitting in a long time but I like to have pick-up work.

I must stop and dress. The old clock keeps moving ahead and I'm not ready to go to Chicago.

How is Uncle Floyd? They seem to have a time.

Take care of yourselves."

                      Lots of love,


Saturday, April 11, 2015

December 9, 1967 The Fire, The Weather, The Meetings, The Show and The Letters

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I have too many irons in the fire so I'm behind with everything. B and I spent yesterday trying to get our Christmas shopping done so I didn't get my letter written. It rained all day long and is still raining off and on.

I hope the weather clears up before next Saturday for Bob will be flying home that day. We still don't know the time because he hadn't picked up the reservation but will tell us in this week's letter.

B has had meetings almost every night this week and I've been trying to get our cards out and a lot of other things done.  I cut out a white wool dress a long time ago but it is still on the pattern and I won't even try to have it made by Christmas. There are lots of things going on and I'd like to have it to wear but have given up.

Ann was in a school program this week so we went to that. It was a variety show to make money for the speech and dramatics clubs so they could enter contests and things like we used to do.

They had a good show and a good crowd. Their chorus Christmas program is this next week.

We all had letters from Anna, the Italian girl. She had such a good time and was such fun. She said our church was different but she enjoyed it. I was surprised that she wanted to go rather than go to Mass for I told her we'd get her to Mass if she wanted to do that. A few years ago she would have had to go to Mass. I guess that points out how different things are now.

The wool quilts I have are about 80 x 100. The blocks are 10" finished and it is a real nice size. It is pretty heavy but has a heavy flannel back. So if I put sateen or something like that on, it would be lighter but still warm. You make it like you want to when you're ready to start and there is certainly no hurry. Work on it when you want to for I sure hate to have to work on something when I'm not in the mood.

I have a stack of Christmas letters to write so I'd better get at them. I have to make a batch of cookies this afternoon and we're going out for dinner.

Hope Daddy feels fine again and that you are both all right."

                        Lots of love,