Understanding the Blog

Welcome new readers!  

The Background

Both of my parents were born and raised in the small rural community of Richland, Missouri in 1920.  They were married in 1941 and moved to New Haven, Connecticut.  It was at that point when my mother began writing home once a week--a routine that would continue for nearly 4 decades.

The first letter can be read here:  http://www.annbkennedy.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-01-19T12:39:00-08:00&max-results=7

For an interesting letter describing a luncheon in which Eleanor Roosevelt was the speaker:  http://www.annbkennedy.blogspot.com/search?q=March+29%2C+1943

The explanation of the Journey to Japan is here:  http://www.annbkennedy.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html

The images (Kodachrome slides, 1953-54) of Japan begin here and continue throughout the posts on Japan.

The images (Kodachrome slides, 1964) of Europe begin here:

The Letters

After my grandmother's death in 1979, the letters were found in a closet in large boxes, each in its envelope and containing whatever photos, clippings, pamphlets, etc. were included.  They were saved neatly in chronological order and many envelopes had my grandmother's notations on them about the contents.   When I was given the letters in the early 80s I realized this cache of letters was not only a great family treasure, but an interesting social history and coming of age story as well.

The letters are transcribed just as written.  On rare occasions, I will make a simple edit--omitting a duplicate word for example that was written in haste.

About the Archives:  The dates listed indicate when I posted the letters, not the dates on which the letters were written.  Therefore, to read the earliest letters, begin at the top of the archives list.

To read in order, always scroll down and read from the bottom up!

The Images

The images on the blog are scanned family photos or slides from the family collection and photos my family and I have taken of the keepsakes, memorabilia and old stuff in my collection of things from the past.  Other images, just for fun, are from my collection of old magazines and newspapers, and are typically from the same month and year as the letter. Whenever possible, I post items which were in the letters in their entirety--booklets, programs, clippings, etc.  Many of the family photos from the 1940s can be seen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIPNS6n3gWU

The Recipes

When a recipe is included, it has been referenced in a letter and is part of my mom's extensive recipe collection.

The Experience

I am very grateful to each and every one of you for visiting the blog and hope you find a subject or decade of interest.  I enjoy your emails and comments and I admire the persistence of those of you who have read from the beginning! 


  1. What a wonderful collection. It's so rare to have this much family background. So glad you can celebrate in.

  2. Thank you for visiting the blog! I am plodding my way through the letters day to day, learning an awful lot, and looking forward to finishing the project:-) I find the 1940s to be the most interesting letters, but really love all of them. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

  3. My grandmother died in 1978. She kept almost every letter and postcard she ever got. They were in boxes in the closets and under the beds. My parents kept some and gave some to other relatives. My sister and I still have some of them. They, like yours, are a treasure.

    1. I hope that you have the opportunity to read all of your grandmother's saved letters sometime. I'm finding these from the 60s not too exciting, but I loved reading the ones from the 1940s before I was born. It gave me a glimpse at life that I wouldn't otherwise have had. Thanks so much for your comment and it's great that your family has those precious letters!

  4. Dear Ann,
    Here comes the praise that I promised you !
    Your blog is admirable. The reader can not only understand the amount of work that went into it, but also feel the amount of love, and the passion for finding adequate illustrations for all the periods.
    It is also technically perfect, clean and homogeneous from beginning to end. And even if you say that some years are less interesting, it will have another quality when it is finished : it will be COMPLETE and when you'll "put the pen down", you will be happy of what you have done...
    I have already said that I think we have many things in common. It is true. We are both active in preserving our memories and those of our families, hoping that future generations will find some interest in them. But we don't have the same methods. I shall probably never write a blog, although I might do a "Word" document. What I have done since the beginning of the world is a timeline relating to with a perfectly filed and referenced directory containing ??? thousands photos.
    I'll tell you more about this some day if you are interested.
    I am very happy to talk to you !

    1. I am very grateful for your generous comments! There are many days when I don't think I can transcribe a single word; then I think of the loyal readers who find the letters or images interesting, and I plod along, encouraged once again. The blog is not "beautiful" in the typical sense, but I do hope to portray an authentic and accurate account of life through my mother's eyes. In that regard, I believe I am being at least somewhat successful. Thank you again. I value each and every reader or visitor!

  5. Ann, I can't find it elsewhere on here, so: what's the origin of the name "Haddock and Dill?"
    I remember haddock being much like flounder and one of our favorites for fish & chips in England. Dill certainly has its uses, too, but I'm not familiar with the two combined. Any elucidation appreciated!

    1. Here's the explanation:-) http://www.annbkennedy.blogspot.com/2013/07/december-1-1956-scouts-and-three-kings.html

  6. Aaaaah, the itch is well and truly scratched! Thank you. Have a great weekend!

  7. Hoy, 11/11/2017, he comenzado la lectura de tu blog. No deseo indigestión de palabras, por el contrario prefiero deleitarme con cada párrafo, pensamiento, descripción, etc., así que lo leeré pausadamente, sin prisas, tomándome su tiempo. Ya que entreveo que tu amplia obra habrá requerido de una gestación larga y sacrificada, para crear, ordenar y escribir. Yo, como lector, quiero acompasar mis pasos a tus desvelos, aunque jamás podrían ser tan magnánimos, generosos y sentidos como los tuyos. Presupongo que ese sacrificio tuyo se habrá visto ampliamente recompensado por la felicidad que siente cuando uno, terminado el parto, tiene en brazos a su hija; en esta caso a su blog, aunque ya me enteraré si aún lo continuas, no me quiero adelantar en su lectura.
    Para mi quisiera haber tenido la capacidad de crear un blog similar.
    Te felicito por ello y en tu interior tienes que sentirte muy orgullosa, por el sentimiento reflejo que intuirás que tanto a tu abuela, como a tu madre y resto de familia les habrás hecho felices.
    Mi agradecimiento por compartir tu biografía y la de tu familia y mi enhorabuna y, como se dice en euskera "Beti Aurrera" (Siempre adelante

    1. Thank you for such a generous and thoughtful comment. I am delighted to learn that you have interest in the letters. It will take a very long time to read them, so perhaps you will search by date to find some that you might enjoy. I hope that the translation feature is adequate enough! I am certain that you would write an excellent blog if you choose to do so. It is a labor of love to create something for our families. I do apologize that the blog is cumbersome to follow. To read the letters in order, you must scroll to the bottom of the page and read from bottom to top. Always be aware that many of the letters are not at all exciting, but are just made of every day, ordinary life events. Thank you again!


I welcome your comments!