Monday, August 3, 2015

March 29, 1970 The Craziest Storm, The Air Force, The Little Something, The Girls' Dresses and The 1970 Census

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Things are really lively around here this weekend. Ann got home Tuesday without any problems and then Wednesday was a rainy and finally snowy day. Of course, you heard about all the snow in Chicago and we had it too, Wednesday night and Thursday. Bob & Pat's flight was cancelled when they got to the airport Thurs. morning so they took another plane to Baltimore and got one to St. Louis from there. They called us & told us about the change so we went to the St. Louis airport instead of Chicago. It was the craziest storm I ever saw. We had so much & there was just a smattering down toward Lincoln & none in Springfield. By the time we got home Thursday evening it was almost gone. It is still quite cold though.

Pat's brother, Michael, was sent to Rantoul (Chanute Air Force Base) only last week so Bob & Pat went after him this morning and he'll stay with us until tomorrow evening. He is Ann's age so we have all been having fun. He volunteered for the Air Force in January & has been in Texas. He'll be here until mid-summer so we'll probably see a lot of him. He said this was the first time he's been in a home since he left Atlanta.

Bob K. will be here sometime tomorrow afternoon. I don't know how long he will stay. All of us are going to Chicago on Monday so Pat can have her interviews. Then she & Bob have to leave for Williamsburg on Tuesday. She has to teach on Wednesday.

They both look fine. Bob has gained quite a lot of weight but looks good. He was too thin. He still has his beard and it looks nice but I have a feeling it won't last much longer. It will have to be trimmed a lot soon to stay looking nice and I doubt if he's willing to fool around with it.

I'm sorry that you haven't been feeling well, Mother. don't you think you ought to have Dr. Myers look you over? Maybe it is some little something that he could take care of right away. He'd probably tell you to go to bed until you feel better & that's the best advice anyone could have but I know you wouldn't. You can lie around on the couch, though.

The girls' dresses were fine and they were thrilled with them. Ann's had to be seamed down a little around the waist but that was easy to do. My dress is ready to hem but I probably won't do that until Ann goes back. Today I've let out some pants for Bob (the waist) and hemmed up a raincoat for Pat. They brought winter clothes home to leave. It has been 70º in Williamsburg and the flowers are blooming.

We got our census questionnaire today but I haven't looked it over yet.

Bob has been printing pictures in the basement tonight & he & B did some last night. He cleaned off his chemistry table and fixed it up with all of B's old printing equipment. I'm glad we've kept it all these years. It was a little sad to see him throw out all the little bottles of chemicals & broken chemistry glassware that he used so long but he wanted to get rid of it.

 Ann is making cookies & they sure smell good. I wish you had a plate of them.

Take care of yourselves and Mother, you get some extra rest so you'll feel better. The work will wait."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE:  Take a look at the census form for 1970. It's amazing that so many people complied and submitted it.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

March 22, 1970 The Pussy Willows, The Running Around, The Travel Club, The Dirty Garage and The Oldest Fraternity

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Well, spring is here, such as it is. We've had some sunshine today but it is cold & acts as if it will stay that way. Everyone is so tired of it. The pussy willows are out but nothing else shows any life. When it does get warm everything will burst itself growing, I guess.

I'm awfully glad you sold the lots and hope the man gets his loan o.k. I wouldn't want to build a house now. It would be all right if the contractor was a good one but I hear more complaints.

Horace and Mabel called and talked with us both the other night. They had tried to call on my birthday and we weren't home.

I've done a lot of running around this week but managed to sew in between and have the girls' dresses done now. They don't know I've made them and I just hope they fit.

I'm hostess for Travel Club on Monday and then Ann will be here Tuesday. I wish I didn't have to have Travel Club now but am lucky it isn't in the middle of the week. Toni is supposed to give the program. She is going to show pictures she took last summer--mostly on the Isle of Man. That's where Watty's family came from and she visited some Wattersons on the island.

Bob called one night this week to tell us he has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. That is the highest honor a student can make and we are so proud we could pop. It is the oldest fraternity in the U.S. and was started at Wm. & Mary in 1776.

B is cleaning out the dirty garage. Oil had leaked out of the old car and the floor is a mess. It really is too cold for him to be out there but I guess he couldn't stand it any longer.

It is rather quiet around here. School is out for Easter vacation and lots of people have gone away. There were lots of people downtown today, though. I went to get a haircut and there were lots of shoppers. People are getting ready for Easter, I guess. I don't have anything new and don't care. I have started a dress and hope to get it done before the weather gets warm. Wool things still feel good.

Hope you both are fine."

                         Lots of love,


Saturday, August 1, 2015

March 14, 1970 The Potluck Hostesses, The Weaving Exhibit, The Beautiful Snow, The Curly Beard and The Easter Vacation

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I'll get an early start with my letter for a change. My house is cleaned and I have my table set for 12. The faculty is having a potluck supper tonight and I'm one of the hostesses. I have to make coffee & have bread and butter. They bring the rest and all of us go from the different dinners to school for dessert. I don't know how many hostesses they have in all.

We had a wonderful time at Grinnell. B worked, of course, so I didn't see much of him. There was also a woman from Minnesota to help him and they even talked about the work during breakfast. I expected to have all of the time alone and meant to write letters. I did get a letter written to Beulah but that was all. We got to Grinnell in time for a choir concert and then were taken to dinner in the student union. One of the professors was taking care of us so we went to his home for dessert. I went back there for lunch the next day and his wife and I had a real nice time together. We went to the art department of the college to see a weaving exhibit & browsed around there.

It had started snowing hard right after lunch and by Tuesday morning there were 9 inches. It wasn't cold and the sun came out so it was beautiful. We hadn't taken our boots but the walks were soon shoveled and the roads cleared.  The highway was fine all the way home even if the weatherman said there was freezing rain. We didn't see a bit of it. It has been spitting snow and it's real cold. Sometimes I wonder if it will really get warm.

Bob says spring flowers are blooming in Virginia.  I think they sort of dread the Illinois winters. They did go to Virginia Beach to see the eclipse. He said it was wonderful and he took some pictures. Sometime ago he told us he had a beard and would send us a picture but none has come. He said it was red and curly. Can't you just see it? He planned to shave it off before he comes home but I almost wish he'd wait until he gets here. I didn't tell him that though and he probably has shaved it off by now because Pat didn't like it.

Ann will be home for Easter vacation a week from Tuesday. I can hardly wait for her to get here. She doesn't write as often as she did last year but I know she is busier too. I guess that is good but sometimes I wonder how she gets it all in. She's playing piano for the Drama department now while they are rehearsing a musical comedy & also coaching a little boy that has a part in it. She thinks she'll get paid for it but would probably do it anyway. She still like her church job, too.

I guess I'd better get myself fixed up a bit and the coffee going. Hope you both are fine today."

                      Lots of love,


Friday, July 31, 2015

March 7, 1970 The Very Pretty Car, The Rabbit's Nest, The Hard Winter, The French President and The Solar Eclipse

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Spring must be trying to get here. Today is a beautiful day and we saw a big flock of geese heading north.

We have been to Chicago and came home with a new car. It is a little lighter green than Ann's with a dark green top--a Buick. We looked last Saturday but had to think a while about it because it is a 1969 model but new. We read about this dealer in a magazine and saw his ad in the Chicago papers. There isn't much difference in the '69 and '70 models so we decided it was a good buy. We had a choice of this one, a grey, or a gold but like the green best. It is very pretty.

We have another rabbit's nest in our front yard, in fact, she has made two and they leave such a big hole.

I know Uncle Floyd is happy to get out in the truck. We heard the St. Louis weather today and it is 60º there. I know if it gets warm so they can be outside a little they will both feel better. All of us will, for that matter. This has been a hard winter on everyone.

We didn't see the French President. I think he arrived the night after we left. Chicago didn't want him to come & I can't say I feel much different. He simply got the kind of reception DeGaulle has been handing us.

B's mom got mixed up about when we were going to Chicago so hadn't written. She just wanted to visit a little bit. I guess Mabel gets around now but is careful.

Ann called yesterday or Thursday, maybe. When I'm gone so much I get mixed up. I was gone Thursday afternoon to As You Like It Club and all day yesterday to a Writers' Workshop.

We haven't heard from Bob & Pat this week but I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't at Virginia Beach this weekend to see the eclipse.  That was to be one of the best places to see it and they camp there sometimes. We get the William & Mary school paper and Muskie is to be their commencement speaker. That should be very interesting.

We're leaving early in the morning for Iowa. I'm going to try to write to Beulah and to Buddy while we're there. B will have to work and I'm hoping they won't have anything at all planned for me. They invited me to come and know I'm coming but I sure don't want to be entertained.

Hope you both are fine."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE:  For more on French President Pompidou's March visit to the U.S.:

Watch a news broadcast of the eclipse:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

March 2, 1970 The Jewelry Making, The Wonderful Time, The White Lace Volkswagon, The Little Violet and The Draft Board

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Your lovely card was here when we got home last night. Thanks so much for the money but the card would have been plenty of birthday for me. I'll probably buy me a tool or something for my jewelry making.

It was after 8:00 when we got home last night but we had a wonderful time in Chicago. B had to go to meetings most of the time but it was a change and that helps. I just browsed around and window shopped although it was pretty cold for that. One of my friends was with her husband so we shopped around together and that was fun.

The meeting was over at noon yesterday so we went out to the Auto Show which has been going on all week. We had never been before and it was fun to see all the beautiful cars and the fancy cars which were made just for show. There were purple ones and orange ones. One little Volkswagon looked like white lace. They aren't for sale of course. The show was in the same place out by the stockyards where they have the political conventions. It's a huge place and there were a lot of cars to see.

I'm tired today but we are going to a potluck supper at 6:00. I'm going to take peas and I have scalloped potatoes in the oven.

Next Sunday we are going to Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa for a couple of days where B has to do some work as a follow up to a study he helped do about a year ago.  I think they want to have a teachers' training program and are supposed to have made some changes this year. One of Ann's friends goes to school there but I don't know whether we'll see her or not. We'll leave here early Sunday morning and be home Tuesday evening.

I hope Daddy isn't working hard on that table for me & I sure don't want him working in the shop when it is cold. What kind of wood is he wanting for Ann's box? I don't think she cared what it was made of or how big. She just wanted something Daddy made.

It seems that Uncle Floyd has to go to Springfield real often. Do they give him x-ray treatments? Maybe that is what makes him feel so bad. They are awfully hard on some people.

I know how you feel about Ann. She still seems like my little girl, too, but she sure can take care of herself. Sometimes I can hardly believe that she manages so well. She directed the school choir a couple of days this week when the teacher was out and she taught another music class last week. I'd sure like to sneak in and listen.

My little violet is blooming now and it is such a pretty color. I hope it keeps going now that it's started.

The Faculty Women's Book Club meets with me in the morning at 10:00. I just have to make coffee and set the table. Another girl will bring the coffee cake. I've had to do a little cleaning today because 10:00 comes awfully fast--especially if the telephone rings a few times.

Bob had a letter from the draft board telling him to appear for a physical but it was a mistake. Someway or other the letter hadn't been sent from the med. school saying he was accepted. It is all o.k. now and he won't have to have one at all. We thought maybe everyone was being examined but they say no. Bob was relieved. He knew they wouldn't draft him but he'd have had to transfer the exam to Virginia and miss a day or two of school.

They (Bob & Pat) are going to have to fly home during Easter vacation. Pat just has a few days off so there isn't time to drive but they feel she must find a job then if she can. It will be sort of hectic but they have it all planned.

Hope you both are fine and thanks again for the nice birthday."

                Lots of love,


NOTE: For a little bit on the history of the Chicago Auto Show of 1970:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

February 21, 1970 The Gorgeous Day, The Level Headed Boy, The Embroidered Quilt, The Little Violet and The Steel Wool

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It's a gorgeous day so we're going for a ride after awhile. Our car has been such a mess B ran it thru a wash this morning and is having the oil changed. He likes to do it himself but couldn't fit it in today & wanted it done before we go to Chicago. We will go Wed. afternoon and leave the hotel Saturday noon & be home by supper time. We will be at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. If you need us you can call and just ask for B to be paged or leave a message for him to call you.

Bob called to visit last Saturday evening. He and Pat both had colds but were all right. I think they are both anxious for school to be out and it won't really be long. Time goes so fast.

Ann called Sunday morning. She got a diamond for Valentines. Isn't that something? She has gone with this boy for over a year. He is Bob's age and is doing graduate work in U. of Missouri. His home is in Marshall. He has been here several times and we like him. He has beautiful skin and sort of reddish blond hair. They don't have any immediate plans because they want Ann to finish school and him to finish his masters--psychology. He seems very mature and level headed.

I've been working a little more on my embroidered quilt. It is almost finished but seems slow because the cross stitch is so solid. I've never seen any of the quilt blocks here. The tops are always in strips.

The little violet you gave me is full of buds now. It hasn't bloomed since you gave it to me except for the buds that were on it then. I fed it though, & now it is getting ready to start again.

I spent 2 days this week doing the floor in the kitchen & bath. I scrubbed with steel wool to take off all scratches & then put on two coats of wax. It sure looks pretty but I felt like an old woman when I finished because I did it on my hands & knees.

This isn't much letter but I'd better get cleaned up or the day will be gone and we won't be out of the house."

                       Lots of love,


NOTE: In order to jog the memory of the level headed boy, the diamond came the evening we saw this movie. Fortunately, I didn't have to dive for the ring. When I told Mom about the movie she said,"Hmm! Maybe I should see that one!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

February 14, 1970 The Awful Weather, The Major Operation, The Writing Group, The New Rock and The Scalloped Potatoes

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This is letter writing day. I just finished letters to the kids and want to write Mabel, too. I guess she is having a bad time. She still can't stand and her arthritis bothers her always, of course. She takes exercises to keep limber but can't do that now so I feel awfully sorry for her. She's in a wheelchair and Horace and Sid are doing the housework.

I hope you two feel better today. It is this awful weather that makes us all feel draggy. When spring comes we won't know how to act. The temperature stays around zero and there are snow flurries most any time. I do better when the sun shines even if it is cold but today is another dark one.

I've spent most of this week working in the basement every chance I got. There is some order down there now but there is still a lot of work to do. B hopes to clean off the work bench this afternoon. That's a major operation and I didn't make much headway with it. Our recreation room needs to be thoroughly cleaned and have a fresh coat of paint. Some of the floor tiles need to be replaced too but I don't know when we can get to it.

For three evenings we worked on income tax returns. Ours was fairly simple but Ann's was a mess. She has to file three--National, Illinois & Missouri. We think we have them right but the instructions are so poor they are hard to follow.

I haven't done any writing in a long time. I try once in awhile but can't get any done. Things have to be quiet and you have to keep at it and I just can't find the time. Quill Club is a writing group. They read things they have written and the group makes suggestions for improvement or possible places where the manuscript can be sold. It is an interesting group and real helpful to anyone who writes. I've been in it so long I can't just drop out but I don't always go.

The public schools had Lincoln's birthday as a holiday so our jewelry class didn't meet this week. Each session is three hours long but that time just flies by. I had a new rock to cut so I missed going to class. We went to a rock shop last weekend and I bought a little piece of tiger eye. It was cheap but from what I've read since I bought it, I don't think I got much. It will be fun, anyway.

Our church is having some sort of convention for young people this weekend and they are feeding them supper at the church tonight. I have to make scalloped potatoes for them. I was glad they didn't ask me to keep some of them overnight. We did that once before and the kids were nice but it was a lot of work, too.

Our kids are all fine. Ann really had a good time at the wedding in St. Louis. Several of the girls went from Fulton.

Spring will be here one of these days."



NOTE:  Erich Segal's book, Love Story, was released on February 14, 1970, and published in part in the February issue of the Ladies Home Journal.  The film, released in December, had everyone weeping into their popcorn!