Friday, April 26, 2013

Famous and Not-So-Famous Relatives

June 29, 1963, Saturday

Dear Gene,

Received your short letter this AM and it was the only mail I received. Seems quite a coincidence that I should happen to pick up an old letter of Herald Cox's mother and read it to you the other night while you were here, of all the great experiments in the polio virus vaccines that he has achieved and to read again that he is still director of vital research in those Lederle Laboratories. I still have the magazine section of that Sunday newspaper. It shows pictures of the other two doctors as well as one of him, where he is administering a dose of his cherry-flavored syrup to a little child.

It had been so long since hearing anything more about him. I began to wonder if those other doctors had stolen the whole show or wanted to introduce their vaccine first. Herald had introduced and tried his vaccine first in South America before these other doctors did here in U.S. [Here's the link to a Wikipedia article about this scientist who is a distant relation to Leora.]

I've taken the first two oral vaccines, 1st while living on 87th Street last summer (in a school nearby) given on sugar, and then one Sunday this year at a school since living here, but haven't taken the 3rd. I'm wondering when we should take Herald's. From what I read in this clipping, it's a 3-in-1 vaccine and the combination of groups under the direction of Sabin and Dr. Herald Rea Cox, Lederle's director of vital research.

Pauline Rea Cox with her son Herald
I suppose Pauline, his mother, is still living, but being cared for in this convalescing hospital when I last heard about her through Aunt Minnie. She was so crippled up with arthritis, etc. I think that was the last letter I'd received from her when she wrote so much about the accomplishments of her 3 sons, all seemed extremely brilliant. Pauline was talented. She had one daughter, her name was Mary Louise, but think she divorced first husband. She was a pretty little girl and the youngest child. Pauline had a talent for poetry and kept a pencil and paper nearby. Whenever a bit of poetry came into her daily busy life, she'd write it down.

I don't know which side of her posterity she inherited all this talent from. Her father's name was George Rea and her grandmother was a sister of my wonderful Grandma (on her mother's side, who married a Lee.) But she died after having several children, and my grandmother helped a lot on the younger children's care. The one I received information from about genealogy after coming here to Los Angeles was Danny Lee. He sent me that 100-year-old letter that my Grandma Orlton Young wrote her mother after my grandma had her first baby born in Missouri.

Poor Grandma hated Missouri and they migrated back to Indiana, but not before my father and his twin sister were born in Hancock County, Illinois. They were slowly getting back to Indiana, I guess, about like the Mormons when they decided to go west to Utah. But Grandma evidently wanted to be near her own mother who was living in Indiana. But this great-grandma of mine was born in Pennsylvania where she married the Orlton husband. He was a Baptist, and she was born a Quaker, so I guess her religion was a mixture by faith. My father was a Baptist too.

Anyhow, I don't know where Pauline and all her children inherited all the brains. Her grandmother married a Lee and mine married a Young, but my grandmother almost outlived all her own children. I saw her pass away when [I was] 17 or 18 years of age. Anyway, I'd better close all this reminiscing and should get some of these memoirs down in family history records. If I was living as close to Indiana as Aunt Minnie has been all these years, I'd probably have gotten more.

But we had to keep moving about, or we wouldn't have contacted the Mormons when we did. So we struggled through a depression, war, etc., to humble ourselves to be prepared when we did find a few of them in the east. I heard Cleone Skousen for a few minutes on TV last night. Accidentally tuned on the station where he was talking. He's beginning to show his age. A news commentator must have had him on for a few minutes on his news program.

I sat down here in the kitchen to write a few lines to Ricky. It's been quite a while since I wrote him, so will write him a little news about our activities, about Perry and children going to SLC, taking Dale, and you and Linda spending a week here. . . . Love, Mother

Minnie and her husband, Arthur,
on their wedding day August 27, 1913
[The following is a letter from Gene's Aunt Minnie--Leora's sister--who was visiting from Illinois.]
Paris, Illinois
August 3, 1963, Friday

Dear Gene & Family

Well, I arrived home last Tuesday around 5:40 Chicago time. It was a beautiful ride. The sky was so clear after we leveled off above the clouds. Over Grand Canyon it was as clear as it could be. I was so disappointed because we'd forgotten to purchase any colored film. It would have been perfect pictures. The cliffs and peaks of the mountains were so picturesque with the beautiful coloring of the canyon below. It was just breathtaking. But no colored film or even black & while. We went 3500 feet elevation. I got a window seat. Kay could have gotten one too but said she wanted to sit by me and that I could have the seat by the window. So it was grand. I shared though with her, finally, when we were still over the canyon.

Gene, I'm sending you and children some things as soon as I can get around to it. But it's going to be delayed for a few days. Hope you will like what I send. Have so much right now to take care of here straightening up and fixing something for Uncle Arthur [Minnie's husband]. Also, he is getting his last fall's corn shelled now, has close to 9 or 10,000 bushel to shell on the place. You know so many farmers are getting theirs shelled too to empty cribs for the new crop that they have to take their turn.

He came to Lockport to get me from Kathryn's house the next morning at eight o'clock. We were still at the breakfast table. She wanted him to stay overnight so she could talk with us but he told her "no," he had to drive right back on account they might call him and tell him they were ready for his corn shellling. She begged and begged him to stay all night because she was going on duty at 10 am and had to stay until 5 pm on account of the patient's wife had to drive out to all of her farms so she knew she couldn't call her work off. So Dad and I left Lockport when she left and arrived in Paris at 2:30 pm. It's 168 miles from Lockport to Paris. It was raining hard when we left. Sure enough than Wednesday night they called him and said they'd be in to his corn cribs.

So shelled all day Thursday and will be all day today (Friday) and part day tomorrow, Saturday, before they can finish. So he always goes out and keeps count of the truckloads corn which they haul out to the elevators so he'll know that he gets all his tickets weights or loads. So you see he's quite busy and has the car, and I'm left stranded without a way to go anywhere unless I walk or beg a ride. Wish we were rich bugs so we could have 2 cars, ha. But too much expense he says to keep 2 cars in operation, insurance, licenses and upkeep.

Gene, I just had such a wonderful time in your home. I will never forget it. It was so nice to see your children and meet your husband too. I'm real fond of your family and think you have such a fine bunch or kiddies and such a nice husband. Wish we could see each other oftener. I had such a lovely day with Pierce and family too. They also have a lovely home. Pierce came in and took us out to his home. We went to afternoon church meeting and heard the program. It was very interesting and Becky played two numbers on their piano. It was so nice. She is doing so well for no more lessons than she has taken.

Pierce took us to El Monte in the evening and we took the bus into LA. I got such a nice visit with your mother too. We talked every night until almost midnight or after. And too, I think it must have been pretty tiresome for her because when we'd go places she always wanted to go along too and boy! oh boy! I do a lot of walking whenever I go sightseeing. I forget everything but that. So I know she must have gotten pretty tired, but she wouldn't acknowledge it to anyone.

We went to see 'Oklahoma' that night after you left. It was wonderful and the players were splendid in their performances. I was so glad I got her out to Berry Farm. I wish I could have afforded to have taken her on all those different tours. She worries so much over the freeways and the drivers. I guess she can't help it tho. Believe if she could get out more, she'd overcome her worries.

If Uncle Arthur will go to Arizona this winter after corn picking and after income time in January, I'll leave him in Phoenix and I'll take a bus for 3 or 4 days and visit her then because we're both getting older fast. I don't know yet what Uncle will do. You know it doesn't cost us any more to spend cold months there than spending it here during the extreme cold weather. We shut off our telephone, shut down our gas, lower and shut off water and electricity, so that expense is gone, and we were able to get a large sleeping room for $30 a month. I never eat very much whenever I'm gone, so I think it's cheaper to spend it away from these cold winters here.

The only drawback now is I'm older and can't walk as good as I used to. I used to go to the mountains and walk all over the mountains and hunt pretty stones while he sat in the car and slept. Then I'd take street bus and ride out where all the secondhand stores were and gradually walk back after hunting for pretty antiques. I'd always find pretty things and they'd be valuable too. I called it junking. That's the way I found my amethyst stone and big pearl that I set in rings. Some poor people didn't know how valuable some of the china, glass, etc, were. I'd have so much fun. He'd go sit in lobby of a hotel 'til I got back.

So if everything works out, I'll go see Leora again just for 3 or 4 days during winter. I know she'll be lonesome for a while after we left until she gets used to it. We had such fun talking. The only thing that worried her was because I'd go to the store and buy groceries to help out. She resented it, but I always do that when I go to a big city. We have a big garden here on our farms, so it makes a difference I know in town. I had such a wonderful time with her.

Well, my letter is getting so big, must close and write to Pierce and Mona yet too. It was so nice to see you all. Will send you copies of pictures.

Perry Manwaring family, Claremont, California 1962
August 28, 1963, Wednesday

Dear Gene & All,

I hope Marian and her girlfriend arrived home ok and that Marian will be feeling better. She seemed so tired and didn't have much pep. I think losing her tonsils sorta sapped some of her strength. I went to the Save-on Drugstore and got her a small box of Geritol, so I hope she takes them every day--2 a day--I told her after or with her meals, and I hope she will be pepped up for school with the results of a little more of the iron content. They're supposed to be a good tonic. They helped me after that siege of flu that really got me down awhile.

I watched and listened to the colored people's big march and drive on the TV as they performed in Washington DC before the monument of Abraham Lincoln today, listened to several speeches and the crowd was very big. I didn't see President Kennedy but saw Vice President Johnson and a few more notables. It seemed quite orderly. Heard the great colored singer that Mrs. Roosevelt helped to make famous, and she is very good, quite a bit older now.

The scenes sure take me back when we lived in Washington DC and so near to the capital buildings we could just walk over there and sit in the park across from the Capitol, or as Dad and I did so often, go over to the Senate grounds to cool off in the evenings before going to bed. Pierce and I used to go so often and sit on the Capitol steps and listen to the Navy, Army, and Marine bands of different evenings of the week. We were sure living close to hear and see everything of importance. I'm glad we had that experience.

Well, I'd better close and hope Marian and rest of you are all feeling better. Suppose my sister Minnie and Uncle Art had their big day last Sunday, the anniversary. I sent a beautiful anniversary greeting and wrote a letter to them. She was wishing so much that I could be there for the event and how much she felt I'd enjoy seeing everyone and some of the old friends. But I had no desire to go--our ways and habits, besides our spiritual ways, are so entirely different. I'm happy that my living habits are simple and that money does not rule my life and material things are only to be used for our good or the good of others in spiritual living. We are not judged by how rich we are in material things but only in our spiritual living and what good we can do in that way.

Oh, yes, forgot to tell you that night before last, about 2 AM here, Richard called me by telephone and it sure awakened me quite suddenly. So I fumbled for the phone and answered it. He was at the hospital, as he works at night, and he said Betty had called him from hospital that they had another baby boy and they were going to call him by name Christian Fast. I hope they have a middle name for him too. I got so wide awake, I couldn't sleep, and I was sure tired all day yesterday. I stayed up and wrote him a letter. He couldn't talk too long as he had to answer another phone in the office. But the baby seemed good-size, not sure but think it was 6 1/2 pounds or so.

Betty's mother was with them and would be for 2 weeks. I got out some of Dad's genealogy and looked over the family group sheet of Christian Fast and his wife. They had a family of 13 with the name Christian used 2 times, the first son didn't seem to live too long. He died. Then down later in the list of children, another son was given the name Christian, so there was 3 of the same name in that Fast family. Almost feel it was overdone and I believe it is used in another group. I told Rich, as I wrote, I hoped he would have a middle name to add to the baby son's title for as he grows older into manhood, he may wish he had another name to be called by besides the Christian title. I wrote Rich all the 13 names of this one particular Fast family--think they lived in Ashland County, Ohio.

Must close and get this in the evening mail. Marian promised to write me after she got home, so hope she feels lots better and takes the Geritol that I made her a gift of. Love to all, Mother

PS. I received a nice gift of 5 glasses of Knotts Berry jellies and jams over a week ago or so. Opened one up for Marian to try. They were made up in a nice tweed basket package as packed and sent me from Kotts Berry Farm. I remember Minnie and Kay were in that shop awhile, so was I too, but didn't know she'd ordered this for me.

Marian says you let your soup blow up like a volcano. Keep it on low pressure, but start early enough to get it done for a meal. I hope your pressure-top didn't blow off and spoil it. Better clean it up good inside. Sometime I'll send you a recipe for a good "Hobo" dinner or it's called a Hobo Stew. It can be made in pressure cooker and doesn't take so long. I had some of it when Pierce, Mona and family dropped in on that 1st rainy day a month or so ago. She liked it so well that she wrote down the recipe. I think all of you would like it too. It's easily made by pressure style. Maybe sometime when I come out, I'll make a batch of it.

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