Tuesday, June 9, 2015

March 2, 1969 The Nice Birthday, The Slow Mail, The Big Book, The Silly Feet and Joy! Joy!

Dear Mother & Daddy,                  Saturday Evening

"I have had such a nice birthday. We got home about 5:30 and I had a stack of letters & cards, a package from Beulah & some flowers from Ann. I'd love to have that beautiful quilt top but don't bother to mail it--just wait and one of these days I'll come and get it. I don't know when that will be, but don't go to the trouble of wrapping & everything. That's such a chore and one of these weekends (maybe in April) we can come.

We didn't have any letter from Ann when we got home so I called her. They have had the measles in school but she's all right except for a sore throat she's had this week. She had written but it hadn't come. Mail is slow from there and sometimes she forgets to mail the letters but we hear so often that I really miss it when we don't hear for a few days. She's awfully good to write. There was a letter from both Bob & Patty.

They didn't mention her knee so I know it's all right. She has had a job offer for next year already in Newport News. That's about a 25 mile drive and there would probably be lots of service children. That place is full of Navy men. She is going to hold off for awhile. She hasn't done any teaching yet but says she has just been watching the regular teacher. She says she's wonderful and of course we're glad because that means Patty will get more help and learn more during her practice teaching.

Bob will be applying to take the Medical College Admissions Test soon and wrote for a picture he has to include. He has to pass the test before any school will be interested and I've never seen anything like it. He had an old copy to study. They sell them so kids can see what they're in for. It is really a big book of questions about health, medicine, service & anything connected. I don't see how anyone could ever pass it.

You must be having our February weather. It was terrible & the fog came in at 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon.

Does Daddy have some arthritis in one hip? It is going to be spring before long & I think everyone will feel better. The wind in Chicago was so cold it just went right thru our clothes.

While B was in his meetings I walked & window shopped in spite of the wind. Our hotel was quite a walk from the big stores but there isn't any way to go except to walk if you want to see anything. I just love the kitchen gadgets & I spent a lot of time just looking but didn't buy any. I did get me some shoes after trying on a lot & looking a lot. I have a hard time finding shoes because my feet swell & then shrink. They are silly feet but have always been this way.

I'm so sorry about Noel & thanks for the address. I'll send him a card because they were sure nice to me. I had a nice letter from Beulah & she told me he was sick. She sent me some dress material that is real pretty & a piece of crewel work to do. I've always wanted to try that & never did. It was so good to hear from Beulah. We hadn't written to one another since Christmas and I haven't written to Buddy & Bessie either. Sometimes I think I need a secretary but letters wouldn't be much good then, because I'm always behind.

I forgot to tell you about the present I got from Bob & Pat. It is a sterling copy of a colonial marrow spoon. Did you ever hear of such a thing? It is real thin & long & was used to eat the marrow out of bones in colonial times. These spoons were forged in one of the old houses in Williamsburg & they copy them in the silver shop.  I'll use it to serve cheese spread or it can be used for serving relishes or as an iced tea spoon.

It's a real different & interesting looking spoon. The kids know I love all that old Williamsburg stuff & Bob usually sends me something from one of the old stores for my birthday.

I guess I'd better unpack my suitcase. Hope you both are fine. Stay in out of the damp cold so you won't get sick & soon we'll all be able to get outdoors. Joy! Joy!"

                 Lots of love,



  1. Ann, your mother's comment, "...She has had a job offer for next year already in Newport News. That's about a 25 mile drive and there would probably be lots of service children. That place is full of Navy men." There are still quite a few as there's always an aircraft carrier being built or serviced at Newport News Shipbuilding. In 1969 Newport News was a smaller area. Around 1972, Virginia merged a number of cities and counties. The surrounding Warwick County ceased to exist and its land became the City of Newport News. There are some decent areas left but the "old" city is now blighted - daily shootings and carjackings, etc. Even rapper 50 Cent referred to Newport News as "Bad Newz" which lent some excitement a few years ago.

  2. That is interesting! I haven't been there for years and it's really too bad when a city experiences such a decline like you've described. I remember Virginia Beach, Richmond, etc. as being quite nice areas. Thanks for writing! Good to hear from you here!

  3. The worst example of a city that has declined that I know of would have to be East St. Louis. We got to Scott AFB in early '87 and one of the first things we were told was to stay out of East St. Louis. Saddest part was a faded sign by the interstate saying that Look magazine had named ESL as an "All American City" in 1963. Really sad.

    1. Yes, there have been efforts to revive East St. Louis, but I'm not sure it ever took hold. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/east-st-louis-downtown-district-awaits-listing-national-register-historic-places

      It seems that cities across rivers have the same issues like KCMO and KCKS, Philadephia and Camden, NJ, etc. I don't have an answer!


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