Saturday, February 20, 2016

May 4, 1974 The Luncheon Program, The Pretty Yard, The Cherry Tree, The Basement Mess and The Overdue Letters

Dear Mother,

"It is a wonderful day and I'd like to work outdoors but there is too much going on today. We are going to a luncheon at noon and a play tonight. B has to be part of the luncheon program and it will last half the afternoon. It is to honor a librarian who is retiring.

Our yard is so pretty now. B mowed again last night and I pulled weeds. There are still lots of weeds and I want to move some peonies. It is going to be too late if I don't get it done soon. If our neighbors would only mow their lawn. It looks awful. The fall leaves are still there. They never raked any at all. I think the cherry tree next door is almost dead. It has always been such a beautiful thing in the spring but there are only two or three little blooms in the very top. There isn't a sign of a leaf and I think there should be by now.

My sewing is done and the machine closed up for awhile. Patty wants a pants suit for her birthday but that is in June. The white dress looks real nice. It is heavy so is going to be warm for summer but may turn out to be right in air conditioned places.

Sally & Steve stopped a few minutes on Tuesday. We didn't have long enough for anything except for them to eat a sandwich but it was good to see them anyway.

Sally said her mother had a blood clot in her chest and was in the hospital. Have you heard from her?

We haven't heard from the children this week. I sure miss them when they don't come home. It has been so long since any of them have been here. Bob still plans to have time in May and hopes to come to Richland.

We're still waiting for the man to come about the basement. We have to get something done and it will cost a fortune, I know, besides all the mess. I hope they don't have to dig up the yard around the foundation. We can't use the recreation room for entertaining at all the way it is so I'd like it fixed. If we didn't have that room down there I wouldn't care. We'd just let the water drain out and forget about it.

I'll try to write Beulah and Buddy before long. I owe them both letters but don't have time for anything. Maybe things will slow down soon, but I don't see much hope for the next month.

I must stop and get dressed for the luncheon.

Hope you are fine."



NOTE:  There are a lot of great memories associated with the family rec room in the basement. It was big enough for roller skating, playing ping pong, having sleepovers and parties, but after a rain or a big snow thaw, it was always a bit wet!

But now, watch the Kentucky Derby, May 4, 1974.


  1. I went to the 1966 Ky Derby when I was 18. Long day in the infield, humid, hot, unrelenting sun, throngs of drunken humanity. Guys going around selling "mint juleps" with a withered stem of mint, mostly crushed ice stained with perhaps a tablespoon of cheap bourbon, but you got to keep the souvenir glass. That was enough for me and every year when I look at the crowd in the infield I feel slightly nauseous. I used to think that it might be fun to go and sit in a box in the stands but my tolerance for crowds is about nil any more.
    Oh, I empathize with your mom about the basement. A workman had to get into my crawlspace a couple of weeks and said the plastic vapor barrier was "floating on puddles."

    1. I've never been to the KY Derby and never had much interest. For some reason, Mom loved to watch it (and The Preakness) on TV. We thought this was very amusing and she knew the horses and jockeys as well. Attending the Derby was a big deal for some of my southern college friends, hats and all, but it seemed to me that for most of the world it meant heat, dust, crowds and just what you have described.

      A wet basement must be the quintessential American dilemma, and always has been:-) Thanks so much for commenting on a very ordinary, springtime letter!

  2. I enjoyed your blog, I'm quite keen on horse racing and the KY Derby is a famous event, it looked a close finish.
    That sounds like some basement if it was big enough for roller skating! I hope it was able to be repaired?

    1. Thank you, David. A racehorse is certainly a beautiful thing to see. Such power and speed!

      The basement had a smooth concrete floor, but a drain was closed when tile was put down. I don't remember that it ever got completely fixed in a way that prevented water from seeping in on occasion. I guess we'll find out in a future letter whether my parents thought it was really fixed once and for all! Thanks so much for reading and for writing!


I welcome your comments!