Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marian passed eighth grade with all honors again

Did we all forget how to say 'cheese'?
May 21, 1962 (Monday)

Dear Mother,

I miss you here in Claremont. It was nice being able to pop in on you whenever I had the car! Guess I'll just have to plan to take a day off here and drive into LA and visit you. Maybe I can plan to do it while the kids are still in school.

Yes, I received an announcement of Ricky's graduation too. Must send him a nice card--wish I could do more! Did you ever hear from him?

Yes, I have your sewing machine and bench. They are in my room. I am not using the machine, I am so used to my own. If you want it, I'll bring it to you?? Whatever you say.

Yes, Perry's folks came in last Friday evening (May 11th) about supper time, so I fixed more supper and served two shifts. I did this every meal thru Saturday and Sunday. They left Sunday night late. There were six of them plus our eight here, so you see I was cooking for an army every meal (or so I felt). Ha!

It was so cold, we didn't go anywhere, just stayed home and visited. But I was on my feet most all the time plus taking my Sunday School class early Sunday morning. When they left, I ached from head to foot--put the kids to bed and collapsed in my own--slept a lot the next day after I got the kids all off to school. It was about the most strenuous Mother's Day I ever had I think. But I think they all had a good time--enjoyed the kids so much and had a good visit with Perry too--so I'm glad.

Marian had a girl friend stay overnight with her on her birthday. She planned her own birthday dinner and I made her a chocolate cake. Got her some play clothes, pajamas and a big beach towel for her birthday present from us all. She liked the overnight bag you gave her. Thanks so much.

Thanks too for all the Blue Chip stamps. I'm going to get me some sheets and pillow cases with them. I need them most. My twin sheets and pillow cases are all warn out. Your Relief Society magazines finally came--all in one package--4 of them, Feb., March, April and May. I'll read them and bring them to you when I come to see you. Only one more lesson, the social science is left. Then we'll have one work day each month thru the sumer. Hope you can get started there in your Manchester Ward soon. I'd like to attend with you when I come to see you.

Your place sounds so very nice. I'm glad you're all squared around again. What do you hear from the folks back East? Write me again. We all miss you. Love, Gene

Renee admiring Dale and Jan's feats of engineering
June 17, 1962 (Sunday)

Dear Mother,

Perry got your nice Father's Day card yesterday. We all enjoyed it very much. Harriet got inspired and made Daddy a card with a rhyming verse. He got a card and a tie from some friends, and the kids gave him a box of chocolate mints. All in all, he was very well thought of. Ha!

But then he got a telephone call this afternoon from the stake president asking him to replace a fellow high council member this evening in our ward and give his talk. So he really feels on the spot just now. So I am writing you while he studies.

I also received a long letter from Betty which I will send to you. I answered her yesterday. She enclosed one of Ricky's graduation pictures. I told her I was glad that Ricky was getting to visit Emily [Ricky's birth mother] but hoped he would return soon. (I know he is better off in his father's home than he would be with Emily!)

Mother, I know I gave back the news clippings of Aunt Minnie's kids the day you moved back to LA. I gave them to you that Saturday morning when Perry was moving your things from the apartment here. I hope you can find them. [Signs of alzheimer's disease in Leora's behavior, which slowly became more and more advanced until she could no longer live alone.] Hope you get your money back for the moving expenses too--let us know.

Marian passed from the eighth grade with all honors again. She has another honor society certificate. (She received one last year too.) She is working towards a scholarship. She wants to be a home economics teacher.

Linda is an excellent typist--got an award in this. Wants to be a good stenographer. Dale finally pulled thru the seventh grade. He will take math in summer school--think this will help him.

Perry is in the midst of research and study towards writing a book which he hopes to complete within a year. Must hurry this off to you. Surely do miss you. Haven't forgotten the $1 you sent me. I'm trying to make plans to come see you! More later. Love, Gene & all

June 21, 1962 (Thursday)

Dear Gene,

Received your letter, I think yesterday, or maybe it was Aunt Edith's letter, and yours may have arrived day before. At least I answered Aunt Edith's yesterday and dropped it at the post office. That is about the same distance from me as the one in Claremont, but I have sidewalks all the way. It's on Manchester between Budlong and Vermont, so I just walk east 1/2 block to Budlong and up to Manchester, then about 1/2 block to the postoffice and there I am. We have a Safeway on Vermont between 88th and 89th, so yesterday evening from the postoffice I walked south to Safeway. While I was out and shopped a little there, I got a ride home with a neighbor that was there too. [Leora moved from Claremont and returned to LA because she missed the convenience of walking or taking a bus or light-rail when she wanted to get out.]

Seems to me I do remember you giving me the envelope of newspaper pictures of Aunt Minnie's granddaughters. I'm just wondering if I was crazy enough to send them back to you and thinking you hadn't seen them. Did you look in all the letters I've sent you since I'm moved here? Anyhow, I cleaned out my desk and looked everything over and didn't find it.

So Perry was called on to make or give a talk on Father's Day in the absence of someone else, but that should not have been too hard since he's a father of 6 active members in your family. This would have been a good time to have mentioned what our forefathers of the Church means to us as to the gathering of our ancestors and doing the temple work for many of our ancestral fathers that were never LDS. Might make some of the LDS more conscious of those they are neglecting in not being interested in this work of their forefathers. . . .

I notice Betty seems to be worried because I'm here alone, as she thinks, but I'm used to this big city and buses can take me everywhere I'd choose to go. Probably will have a chance to go to the temple more again since moving back. . . .

Leora's twin sister, Leola
Ricky is not a child anymore. He is 18 years and is considered a young man, beginning himself to realize he will be out on his own and will try or should try to make his own decisions. I know what it means, but I lost both my parents at age 10 and then had to live at that age with a person really too much older than a mother would be and Aunt Bell was too dominating. I should have decided at the age of 18 or 19 to have done the things I wanted to do without too much domineering interference.

There were two things I wanted or would have liked to have studied--one, to have been a trained nurse, but was not encouraged in that. Aunt Bell said, "Oh, that's a life of slavery," and of course I'd liked to have studied more music and voice. I had the talent of a great singer, but never received the encouragement. That would have taken more cash than I had, but she didn't help, so after all, when she is dead and gone, strangers get all her estate that was left.

So I wish Ricky was around me now. I'd encourage him to go to the college of his choice and by taking a prep course, maybe he'd discover what he'd like or whatever his talent might be and go through school. Ricky loved to read a lot and could always relate so well what he had read. Pepperdine College is near me here. He might make a very good instructor if given a chance, but he should get away from the family now, for he'll be made to feel he'll have to still do babysitting for the family.

Aunt Bell always let me go and visit my grandma and sister and aunts and uncles and cousins. Of course, my sister Minnie always was along with me. Later, as I got older, I'd go see them alone. She trusted me for she knew I'd come back home. . . . Better close, Love, Mother

Jan and his Green Hornet
June 30, 1962

Dear Harriet Lea, Renee, Jan, Dale and Marian and Linda Lou,

Dear grandchildren, we look back with pleasure to our visit with you and try to picture in our minds what you are doing now that school is out. Your yard was so pretty, yet I know that it takes quite a lot of work to keep a yard pretty. so I know the boys will have some work there keeping down the weeds etc. When do the apricots ripen? By the way, Jan, everyone who looks at your picture thinks it is of David.

One day recently, Grandpa and I went to Hazel's house. I suppose David's dog still remembers our car for he rode in it a few times. So as soon as we stopped and I opened the door to get out, Laddie, David's dog, bounded in and up on the back seat and laid down with his head on a pillow I had put in there for occasions when I wanted a back rest. He is a big, brown beautiful dog, and it was laughable the way he stretched out there on the back seat. David scolded, but he wouldn't come out, and David had to get in there and pull him out. David and Walter came down here to get some manure that they had hauled here several years ago from your father's chicken coops. Grandpa was glad they came and asked for it.

I have picked some sour pie cherries, but the robins are so greedy, they won't let them get ripe even. The other day, I went there wearing my big straw hat and a bucket tied around my waist, but the robins were not at all scared. I picked up a big stick and struck out at the branches, but one robin flew around on the other side of the tree and kept on picking at the cherries. Another one flew away with a ripe cherry in his bill. I suppose he was taking it to his nest. Oh well, I like the robins, and I guess I shouldn't mind if they and their little ones have some. I don't think we would want all of them. Harriet and Renee, I'll bet you could draw a picture of me and the cherry tree. Haha!

What did you do with the little kittens? Did you keep them all? And if Jan and Dale can help keep the yard nice, Linda and Marian can do a lot of work helping with the house work and sewing and mending. It takes a lot of mending, it seems, to keep clothes going. On our way home from California, Kerry Dee was telling how he and Dale and Jan changed all the sheets and pillow cases downstairs when we were there. He thinks you boys are real workers.

Well now, I think I have told about all the interesting things I can think of. Love from Grandma and Grandpa

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