Saturday, December 6, 2014

July 24, 1965 The Mess, The One Room School, The Casket and The World's Gentleman-- Adlai Stevenson

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We're really in a mess this morning. We started to paint the woodwork and then had the cloak closet in the hall taken out. Everything is piled in the living room and the plasterer is here fixing the wall so we can paint. The carpet is a fairly light green--random clipped, they call it, so it really hasn't a pattern. We are repainting all the walls a very light green--almost white. It is hard work and takes at least two coats to cover the green that is on now. We'll be pretty and clean when we get done.

It has taken me almost a week to get started on the painting because so much has been going on. Ann got poison ivy at camp and when it came out in her face this week we thought she had something else so took her to the doctor. It was poison ivy and he cured it in a couple of days but said that the stuff can stay on unwashed clothes for six months. Then I went to the eye clinic and that always takes a half day. Thy are so busy and slow. I need stronger glasses for reading. Ann also had to have the braces checked and everything like that cuts into work time.

Sunday night the Governing Board for State Colleges was here and there was a reception and dinner for them. Tuesday night there was a community dinner as part of the centennial and the Governor came and we went to that. That afternoon the University dedicated a one room school (a museum) on campus and we went to that.

It is authentic in every way--named for one of our graduates who taught in it years ago and was also one of our teachers later.  She died only last year but knew the school was to be named for her. We wish she could have lived to see it dedicated.

Everything in town stopped on Monday, of course. The memorial service for the community was in our field house.

It was lovely and the family came. Our tall dorms made security too risky so the President did not come out but he did go to the church and cemetery as you probably know. We weren't invited to the church, of course, and made no attempt to see the funeral procession. Thousands of others did, though. We did go to the church Sunday night about 10 and crowds were filing thru the church. The church has a big open hall (used for meetings, dinners and other things) beside the sanctuary. The crowd went thru the sanctuary, into the hall past the casket and out the back of the hall. There were flowers across the altar in the sanctuary (baskets and even some little bunches held together with foil that children had probably tossed there) and all around the four walls of the hall. The casket was covered with a flag and roped off. Around it were the wreaths from the President, United Nations and Jackie Kennedy. Hers was all white mums about three feet across. The others were as large or a little larger but had a lot of greenery and ribbon on them. The other flowers were all colors and kinds. One bouquet was red, white & blue. No one knew who sent it. Billy Graham sent a cross (there were three--all white mums).  Mrs. Truman sent one of them. It was the most beautiful thing imaginable. It was 4 or 5 ft. tall, covered in very tiny white mums & there was a cascade of lavender throated white orchids down the center.

I still feel that Mr. Stevenson would have made a wonderful president if the people would have let him and I mean after electing him. Anyway, he showed his greatness in the U.N. and perhaps that was better, who knows? One writer called him the World's Gentleman and that he was!

It is terribly hot here but I hope you are still having cool weather. Take care of yourselves."

                      Lots of love,


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