Friday, September 6, 2013

October 26, 1957 A Bit of Snow, A Soggy Mess, The Good Grass, Pigs in the Basement and Working Every Spare Minute

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It is blue cold today and the kids say there was a bit of snow.  More is predicted for tonight.  Everything was beautiful last week-end and then it rained three inches this week and brought the leaves all down in a soggy mess.  We really needed the rain and our yard is green again.  The crabgrass had died and the rain brought up the good grass.  I hope the real cold will hold off until my mums can all bloom so I can see the colors I have.  The blossoms I've had are beautiful and next year I should have more.

We are all disappointed that you aren't coming.  Ann says you should bring the little pigs with you and we could put them in with the turtles in the basement.  If you didn't have the pigs I would insist that you come but I don't blame you for not wanting to leave them.

I went to bed instead of finishing this last night.  We have been to a recital this morning.  Bob & Ann both played and did real well.  Bob is getting along much better this year and I hope it keeps up.

I had a real nice time at Pen Women's Club but I was gone all afternoon and I don't think my family liked it too well.  They meet only once a month and have to meet on Sunday since so many of them work.  We had Quill Club this week, too.  I've been working every spare minute on my manuscript and have part of it re-written.  I'm going to type it up and send it with an outline of the rest.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

It is snowing outside now but I hope it stops.  We are going to a potluck supper tonight.  I have to take rolls & relishes but haven't done anything about either one.

Bob wants to go to a rock quarry to look for fossils this afternoon but it is going to be a cold day for that.

Ann is supposed to go to a Halloween party at the church this afternoon but she hasn't decided whether she'll go or not.  She is so funny about such things.  She wants to go, yet doesn't want to.

She has started singing in the children's choir at church.  They have had one session so they haven't sung in church yet.  The director is the music teacher she had last summer in school and she loves him.  I hope she keeps going for I'd like her to have the training.  She sings real well.  Bob's piano lesson is that day and he isn't interested in choir anyway.

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

                                Lots of love,


NOTES:  Pictured above was a favorite book on the solar system, published long before space was ever in the news.  All of that changed in early October of 1957 when Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union.  I have very clear memories of hearing discussions and news coverage about it.  It was a very big deal and of course, it opened the gate to the "space age" and to the race with the Societ Union.  I am very surprised that nothing was written in the letters, thinking that by the end of the October letters there would be at least a mention.  Transmissions from Sputnik ended on October 26, 1957.  Also launched immediately following Sputnik was a movement in American schools to pay special attention to children deemed "gifted".  This new area of concentration in education began over fear that the Soviet Union was surpassing America in the sciences.

About this time, school kids around the country were issued dog tags in the event of a nuclear attack.  I don't recall exactly when this happened, but I remember the debate at home about whether or not this was necessary.  Eventually we got them along with all the other kids in school.  We also had regular Civil Defense drills and were taught in school to identify locations of shelters nearby.   For some news coverage, see the video below.

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