Thursday, April 2, 2015

October 1, 1967 The Informal Get-Togethers, The Hum-Dinger, The Promise, The Racial Trouble and The Splurge

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We have had another beautiful day after a cold, rainy week. I've wanted to get outside all day but couldn't. Most of my day was spent sewing but I did a little cleaning and errand running. I've had a wool suit cut out for over a year and never seemed to find time to sew on it. This week I've tried to finish it and it is ready for the lining and to be hemmed. That takes a while but at least the major part is done. The cold weather made me get at it, because I was short of things to wear. This is sporty but will be nice for coffees and informal get-togethers.

This week has been a hum-dinger and I don't see much chance of things slowing down. It started on Sunday. We went to church and B had to serve as an elder. Then I had a S.S. teachers' meeting at 1:30. We went to a tea at 3:30 and then to a special movie at school at 6:00.

I had promised to play golf Wednesday but it rained so I worked on some church stuff most of that day. That evening we went to a reception for a visiting lecturer. Thursday I went to his lecture at school and to a luncheon for him. Tomorrow we have three more teas to go to.

Polly and Ann just came in with Polly's suitcase so she's staying all night. They don't have much time to be together anymore. The kids are all about as busy as we are.

The farm I was telling you about was where Bob used to go so much. He and Bruce went all thru school together and Bob used to stay all night out there a lot. When they got in high school Bob would help put up hay.

Peoria hasn't had a lot of racial trouble, but there is always some incident. Perhaps you read about the Bradley University students being shot not long ago. There were two couples and a gang of colored boys threw things at them & one girl was shot. She is still in the hospital. Bradley's board of trustees offered a huge reward for information and the boys (and one father) were caught. I just hope the girl doesn't die.

I feel like I really splurged this week. I bought yarn to make a dress. It was on sale for half price and I always want something to work on during meetings. It's a beautiful green and will be a winter dress (maybe for next winter if I'm slow like I am sometimes).

Then I bought two coats. One of them was on sale too and real cheap. It is black & sort of a dress-up raincoat. I actually went to town to look at them because they were advertised and I'd been looking at them for a long time. I bought it & while it was being wrapped up I saw a tweed (brown) winter coat I liked. It fit perfectly and was what I looked for all last winter but I didn't buy it. B made me go back and get it so I wouldn't be looking later. Now, I'm glad I went back because it has been almost cold enough to wear it. It is the kind of coat I can wear to football games & such.

We had a letter from Bob yesterday. He seems fine and happy. His schedule sounds pretty full but I guess it needs to be.

Hope you both are real fine."

             Lots of love,


NOTES:  It felt strange to type the words "colored boys", but I recall the phrase, as well as "Negro" still being used in the media at the time.  In the fall of 1967, the university's NAACP chapter sponsored several presentations on "Black Power" and non-violence and soon after, the term "Black" was more widely used. I don't recall when the Black Student Union was formed on campus, but I believe it was not until the early 1970s. I had not been exposed to much in the way of racial prejudice growing up, and we were accustomed to having friends, family friends and schoolmates from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. It came as a shock to experience some students' prejudicial thinking in college the following fall.

I found the Look cover above to be interesting.  Mom had read several books on Russia over the years and seemed to have an interest in it. She talked about wanting to visit it someday. At the time, I thought it was an odd choice thinking she'd want to return to Japan first. It would be many years later, but she and Dad eventually made the trips to both Russia and Japan.

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