Saturday, November 28, 2015

September 9, 1972 The Students, The Stitches, The Psychology, The Buttonholes and The Olympics

Dear Mother,

"This has been a busy week. B's work had piled up while he was gone, of course, so he's been up to his ears in it. I suppose he'll have to spend most of the weekend in the office for the first group of students are coming in today.

Ann had her other two wisdom teeth out Wednesday morning and it was easier than last time. She hasn't had much pain at all and has felt fine except she can't chew. Her face is still swollen some. He'll take the stitches out next Wed. and Ann hopes he'll dismiss her. She's wanting to go home but we still don't know how she'll go.

Bob K. started his work with a training period and he's had to be on guard duty two nights. I suppose they have them do this so they know how the place is run. He hasn't really gotten into the psychology part at all yet.

Ann has seen or talked to several of her friends. Polly came one evening but she has to go to work by 7:30 every morning so doesn't have much time or pep left for anything. You know how she used to sleep. She works in the hospital. I think she's a nurses' aide.

We spent the week making Ann a pantsuit and I thought I'd never get it done. It is a regular, lined jacket so there was a lot of detail. I still don't know how to use the machine. It sews beautifully but if I do anything different--like buttonholes--I have to follow the book step by step.

There is going to be a jewelry class this fall with a new teacher so I have signed up for it. I don't know him at all but I hope he is good.

We haven't heard from Bob & Pat but I suppose they are o.k. Ann hoped they'd come down this weekend. She gets a little bored just watching T.V. We have done a lot of that--mostly the Olympics.

It is really fall-like--even sounds that way. I haven't had time to put away my light shoes yet and get out some others. The church is having a bazaar so I baked wheat germ bread for them.

I thought you knew that B had turned on your furnace to see if it was o.k. It was real quiet so I think you have the problem solved. If it should start popping again just call the man. I don't think you'll have much more real hot weather and fall is a wonderful time of the year.

I'm glad Aunt Nora is finally feeling better. She looked terrible and is so thin. Maybe she will be all right.

I'm washing this morning so I'd better go check the machine. It is so nice to have Ann around but we don't get much done.

It was nice to be home and nice to see everyone. Hope all the noise didn't bother you or make you too tired."



NOTES:  The Olympics of 1972 were marred by the tragic massacre of Israeli athletes early in the morning on Sept. 5.  For more information about the events:

On a humorous note, our Mom said of Sammy Davis, Jr., "I enjoy his music and I used to like him until he hugged Nixon. There's no person on earth who I'd rather hug less than Richard Nixon."

Finally, the "guard duty" was part of Bob K.'s internship experience at The U.S. Medical Prison for Federal Prisoners.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

August 18, 1972 The Early Letter, The Steamy Weather, The Stuffed Quilt, The Moving Boy and The Kitchen Work

Dear Mother,

"This should be a little earlier than usual but I thought I'd better write before the children come. I don't get much of anything done when they are here and I sure don't want to miss anything.  Bob & Pat will be here for supper tonight and I guess Bob & Ann will be here sometime tomorrow night. At least, they haven't called so we hope they are on the road. They were to get the truck early this morning and hoped to be started by noon.

We still don't know how long they will be here but probably just overnight and then they will go to Marshall to get some more furniture before going to Springfield.

After they are all gone we plan to drive toward Toledo and then up the east side of Michigan. We think we'll go to Dearborn Village but that's the only thing we have in mind. We really just want to relax for a few days and will probably be back home Friday. We'll write some cards along the way.

My sewing machine is sure nice. I haven't had a chance to give it much of a try-out but I think I'm really going to enjoy it. The cabinet looks better than I thought it would, too. My old one still sews pretty well and someone could get a lot of good out of it but I don't know whether I can sell it or not. When things settle down I'll advertise it in the paper & see what happens.

Our tomatoes are doing fine now. This hot, steamy weather seems to be good for them. They are high in the store but they never did get reasonable last year. I haven't seen the rabbits for quite a while. They probably hide out while it is so hot but they don't bother the flowers any more.

How many tops do you have finished now? Why don't you piece a quilt for a change? I get rather bored with my cross-stitch and think it would be fun to piece something colorful. I have looked for the pattern of that $2500. quilt but haven't found it and probably won't. It looked as if it was sort of stuffed as it was pieced and I don't think it was quilted. I wish I had examined it better. Long ago I saw a quilt that was made that way (in a magazine) but it was a different pattern and I didn't save the pattern. Quilt making is becoming very popular and the book stores have lots of books on it. I looked thru a few in Chicago Wednesday but didn't have much time. We went to get B some fall clothes so spent most of the day getting that done. He needs a raincoat too, but we'll have to look for that later. His old one can still be worn awhile but it looks pretty shabby.

Ann & Bob both had birthdays this week. Time sure flies. She was 22 and he was 25. We'll have a cake for them when they get home.

We thought the house north of us had been sold but I guess the deal fell thru because there is a new sign up. Maybe it will be full of students this fall. I thought I saw a boy moving in his clothes one day and there is a light at night but I never see anyone around.

I hope it isn't as hot there as it is here. The humidity is so high your clothes feel damp when you go outside.

I guess I'd better get started on my kitchen work."



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

August 12, 1972 The Steaming Heat, The Wisdom Teeth, The Gentle Person, The Embroidery Whiz and The Sewing Machine

Dear Mother,

"We're steaming again. It has rained a lot but the hot sun is out so it is very hot. Bob & Pat will be getting home sometime tomorrow. We had some cards from them and they weren't really ready to come home. They were having too good a time.

B's vacation is supposed to start Wednesday but he has to be back at school for a meeting Thursday so it is a silly kind of vacation. We think we'll go to Chicago on Wednesday though, to look for him some fall clothes. Ann & Bob will be coming Sat. or Sun. so we won't try to go anywhere until after they go to Springfield. Then we will have 3 or 4 days before they come back to have Ann's wisdom teeth out. We may go up into Michigan during that time so B can get away from school completely. If we stay here the telephone will ring all of the time.

I dread Ann's dental work but she doesn't seem a bit concerned. She's going to be very uncomfortable for a few days I know, but I'm glad she'll be here where I can take care of her.

This has been a sad week for us. One of our young friends died following childbirth and it was a terrible jolt for all of us. There was something about a blood clot blocking circulation to the brain. She had a little boy and he is fine. It was their first child. They were Catholic so the funeral was real long but the priest was a very gentle person and the family seemed to accept it all.

You are a whiz with your embroidery. I seem so slow and wanted to finish my quilt so badly before the fall rush starts. I don't know whether I can or not.

I just finished cutting out part of a dress (the skirt) so I'll be wanting to sew on it. It's going to be a long dress. I don't have one and so many are being worn now to school affairs. I thought I should have one for fall. This skirt is like Joseph's coat. It is striped and all bright colors so I'm going to put a plain dark top on it--probably navy. I bought the striped material some time ago and planned a shirtwaist but decided it would make a pretty, long dress.

B bought me a new sewing machine this week but it won't be delivered until Tuesday. I'll be wanting to try it out right away. He said I could have anyone I wanted since this will be the last one I'll probably ever buy and I chose a Sears.

We looked and shopped and I always went back to the Sears. It can do some kinds of button holes & other things that even the Singer can't. We had hoped to just buy a new head and fit it in the old cabinet because the new ones just aren't as nice as ours are but it wouldn't work that way. The new cabinet isn't very pretty but maybe it will look better when I get it polished up. I'll try to sell the old one.

We thought the house next door was sold but I guess the deal didn't go thru. There is a new sign up. The yard has been neglected and looks pretty bad.

This has been a busy week. I got a permanent, went to a luncheon one day and a dinner another besides making Pat's dress. I have a snap to sew on it and had better do it before I completely forget it.

I hope you are fine and that it isn't too hot there."



 NOTE:  The sewing machine was not the last one Dad bought for Mom. This one is in my basement, in mint condition because Mom took extraordinarily good care of everything she owned and I've never used it. Maybe when the blog is finished I'll learn to sew once and for all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

August 5, 1972 The Late Letter, The Baby Rabbits, The Good Time, The Busy Week and The Sticky Pens

Dear Mother,

"Your letter just came and I was sure glad to get it. It is never this late and I'd been worrying. I've wondered about Aunt Nora all week and I am glad to know she's back home. She must have been more run down than anyone suspected and it took more than rest to get her back to Normal. Did the Dr. give her any iron pills to take? I hope Aunt Cliffie is feeling better. Did she catch a cold or was it just too hot?

We've had some real hot weather but it's cool again and I have the house all open. Word must have got around that my petunias tasted so good for I had two new baby rabbits in the yard this morning. There are so many dogs around I'd think they'd be afraid to stay.

My tomatoes are beginning to ripen now and they are real nice. We really like them. Several big ones have been ruined by bugs or something but I should have tied them up instead of just letting them fall where they will.

How does the tablecloth look? I'll be anxious to see it. I work on my quilt every minute I can find and hope I can get it finished before long. Right now, I have a couple dresses cut out for Pat and would like to get them done before they get home.

We had a card from them and they were in Williamsburg having a good time seeing all their old friends at the college. B had given each one of them some money for souvenirs like he used to when the kids were little and we went on a trip. Pat had bought a brass candlestick & Bob had bought a spittoon. Can you imagine? They have always wanted one for decoration.

No, Bob's feet never bother him and he seemed surprised that they would at all but said he knew it was from standing on them for long hours in surgery.

This has been a busy week as usual, and B is at the office this morning. He hopes he can stay at home this afternoon. We're going to a rock show tomorrow and that should be fun.

We went to a reception for a retiring man Thursday and to a dinner for another one last night.

Summer sales are on now so I finally bought myself a raincoat yesterday. It's a little long and the sleeves are a little long but I'll get it fixed one of these days.

I'm sorry this is such a messy letter. These pens get sort of sticky at times. I don't know why."

I hope you are fine."



Monday, November 23, 2015

July 30, 1972 The Real Holiday, The Beautiful Fountains, The Roadside Stand, The Sore Feet and The Big Flowers

Dear Mother,

"Our trip to Kansas City was a real holiday for me and in spite of the work B enjoyed it, too. We drove to Bob's home on Saturday and got there about 4:00. Mrs. K. has a lovely, homey place. It is very pretty and since the daughter is majoring in interior decoration they have done quite a bit of redecorating.

Mrs. K. drove us all over Marshall to show us the town and the college there. It is a real nice town and has some beautiful, big old homes. We left about 9:00 Sunday morning and got to Kansas City about noon. B did some reading and then we found an interesting Chinese restaurant to eat supper before his first meeting.

Catherine came in early Monday morning and really showed me K.C. She showed me all the tourist spots and then we went to the Plaza which was the first attempt at a shopping center in the U.S. It is just a little city of shops with a Spanish theme in the architecture. There are beautiful fountains everywhere and it is a lovely area besides having so many beautiful stores. We looked and looked. Things were very expensive. We asked the price of a quilt in one store and it was $2.500.  You'd better start selling some of yours. This one was pieced and very complicated. I tried to find the pattern in my book but it wasn't there. I'm going to look for it when I get to a big bookstore, if I don't forget it.

That evening the working group went out to eat together and I got back just in time to go. We went to a nice restaurant down by the stockyards and had a good dinner. That was the only time the group ate together.

Our motel was close to the downtown area so I walked down to the stores Tuesday afternoon but didn't stay long. The stores downtown are pretty much run down. I guess everything has been moved out to shopping centers. There are lots of empty buildings and that looks bad. It was terribly hot too, so I just went back to the motel and read.

B finished his part of the work about noon Wednesday and we started right home. It was about 9:00 when we got here.

It rained on us part of the way home which cooled the air. We stopped at a roadside vegetable stand for some tomatoes and corn since we were looking for Bob & Pat on Thursday.

It was after 10:00 when they came because he had worked all day. He said the work was harder on his feet than anything. They got sore when he had to be on them for 24 hours. Yesterday, they spent all day getting out the camping stuff and left this morning. They'll be gone about two weeks and have lots of plans for that time. They are going to spend one day in Washington with Pat's dad & then go back to York, Pa. with him to stay overnight. That's where he works.

I have picked 3 tomatoes but the bugs have chewed on them so I don't know whether they will ruin all of them or not.

I keep wondering about Aunt Nora and hope she's getting all right. She looked so good when we were home last. Uncle Francis must really be quite a bit better if he's gaining. I'm glad he could go to Hadley's. It was probably very tiring but I know the change would be good for all of them.

Yes, Rosalynn & Ray did sell their house but they are going to build on that lot just below the Goforth house so they aren't moving away. At least, I think that's the spot. Anyway, it is close and they will live in one of the little houses until the new one is done.

I have the material to cover Ann's chair and it is really bright--big flowers. I think it will be pretty & hope she thinks so.

Maybe I'd better get to work. I want to cut out a dress for Pat so I'll be ready to sew in a few days.

Hope you are fine."



NOTE:  On the back of the photo (Dad on the left) is the notation by the press photographer, "July '72, Kansas City--Looks like you are hard at making a point".  In response to the reader's question about Dad's work at Illinois State University,  in 1972 he was the Dean of Academic Services and Director of Summer Sessions. In recent years prior to that, he was the Dean of the Undergraduate School and Associate Dean of Faculties. Throughout the University's academic, social and personnel turbulence, he remained a steadfast and stable leader. I wish our grandmother had saved his letters because they would no doubt lend great interest to both the blog and the family history.