Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Marian will soon graduate

Marian graduates, June 1966
January 28, 1966

Dear Mother,

So glad you got moved ok. We wanted to help you but you were anxious to move before we could make any arrangements to help. Glad you have such good friends in the church. I'm so thankful for all our friends in the church too. We feel as close to some of them as we do to some of our own loved ones I think, but how wonderful it is that we as brothers and sisters in the church can have such understanding for one another. It makes this old world a much better place to live in for we need the encouragement and love and understanding of those around us.

I was asked by one of the bishopric several weeks ago to give the children's story in Sacrament meeting. Perry suggested a short story which I had read and was familiar with. It isn't a church story but has a genealogy theme running thru it. I practiced it over and over and sketched pictures to go along with it. But I was so nervous and apprehensive about it all when my turn came to give it. I just can't relax ever while standing behind the pulpit.

Well, before I finished telling the story, my mouth went completely dry. You perhaps have had this experience too. Well, I could hardly talk but somehow managed to get thru it! Well, I received many compliments on it. It seems the adults enjoyed it as much as the children did. Yesterday I received a lovely letter from the bishop. I will send it to you to read too. I really appreciated it, so please return it. I feel like framing it--ha!

Then I volunteered to assist at the "open house" week of our new stake chapel which is completed now and ready for dedication. Since I teach in Sunday School, I was asked to serve as a representative of the Sunday School and introduce people to the new Junior Sunday School room and classrooms and explain our procedures there to groups of people and friends and investigators who attended the open house. (Hundreds of people went thru the building last week.)

I had to have that "little talk" memorized too, so I could give it within a given time and skillfully. Wow! It put me on my toes, but I know all of this is good for me. I shall gain better poise and get so I can talk to people with more self-confidence.

I work for the PTA by serving on a telephone committee for the senior class activities this year (last year too) since I have a child graduating this year so had a lot of people to call this week and discuss things with. That and Relief Society and visiting teaching to accomplish plus the family chasing has kept me on the go this month and now the month is gone!

I am so anxious to see your new abode. Hope we can come in next weekend. We will be having Stake Conference this weekend in our new stake building! You will too, I suppose. Your conference seems to always be same date as ours. Do hope you are well and rested up from your move.

Perry has changed jobs in his school work. He has been transferred to another school and will be a specialized teacher helping problem children learn to read. It's a new program in the Pomona district being subsidized by the government. This job will be more challenging and interesting and a change from the regular teaching schedule he has had for so many years. His book is still in the hands of the publishers, so we wait anxiously to hear from them too.

The children have all just finished a half-semester of school and finished their grueling exams this week so will enjoy a few days of letup and relax a bit while the teachers get their grades worked out. They are all in better spirits around here now and acting a little more human (poor things.) Linda surprised me Wednesday when I got home from Relief Society. She had the house all straightened up and a lot of ironing done, dishes done too, and beds changed--wow! I was so pleased. She said it was a pleasure to do it after so much studying and pressures at school--ha!

Well, so it goes. Linda really had a happy day on her birthday too, I think. She received a tape recording of her boyfriend's voice (very interesting) and a beautiful bouquet of daisies and daffodils from his parents (the bishop and his wife.) We gave her a box of chocolates.

We received Eric [Fast's] announcement of his West German Mission call. Guess you did too. My isn't he handsome! I wrote to him and sent a small contribution. We are all very proud and happy for him. Must close and get this off to you now. Hope you get it tomorrow. Love from us all, Gene

Gene, Leora and Perry
April 16, 1966

Dear Gene and all,

It was so nice to hear from you. That was a joyful surprise. But I am sorry to hear about your mother. But Gene, I noticed when I was out there the last time that she was failing a lot. Well, we are all bound to go thru this old age it seems. I have been going down now for the past 3 years. A year or two ago I was sick practically all year. Then this past year I have doctored constantly. First my stomach and then my spine. I have a hiatal hernia of stomach and if I'm not careful of my eating it bothers me quite a lot. Then when I began getting better then Arthur got sick and lost so much weight. He looked like a skeleton and I worried so much over him and when he began to improve a little then I had to hurt my spine and had to go to bed with it for I couldn't walk or hardly get in and out of bed for 6 weeks. Had to use a cane to hold my weight off my spine.

As long as I lay in bed, my back was okay. It still isn't well yet and every time I ride a short distance I'm in bed or down next day, but it is getting better. I thought I'd be in a wheel chair for a long while. I didn't get to go to Katy's oldest girl's wedding the 26th of February. Everyone else went to it. I have to hire a girl to do my housework one day a week. But maybe when summer gets here it will get okay. I guess I injured the vertebras or discs. I thought I'd broken my back.

Gene, I wish I was close to you so I could be with your mother once in a while. It is quite a problem when one gets old and forgetful and still wants to take care of themselves. Because we're always afraid they might get burned, fall or injure themselves in some way. It's hard to make them realize they can't be alone and yet they think they're capable and strong. Your mother has always been so independent and capable and always wanted to wait on herself and everyone else. It's going to be awfully hard on her.

You know, Gene, I never did believe in taking tranquilizers. I think they're dangerous to one's self. But doctors still try to push them on their patients. I have Leola in another nursing home now and she isn't taking any medicine at all. She had a nervous spell about a week or two after I moved her when I got sick and the lady had to give her two tranquilizers to calm her, but after two days she quit on them when she got calm and she hasn't given her anything.

The lady is so good to her. She says Leola is very good. But she likes to be quiet and sit and watch other people. Talking makes her nervous so Mrs. Goodwin just lets her alone. She takes such good care of her and Leola likes her. She doesn't do anything, only sleep, dress, eat and sit in her room. Seems happy though. Answers you when Mrs. talks to her. So I feel she is doing fine.

The other place where she was they didn't care for her. Let her hair go and didn't bathe her or cut her nails (toes and fingers.) She as in a terrible shape while there. It took me about an hour to try to comb her hair out (knots) and finally had to cut it off. That woman was supposed to give her sheltered care and keep her clean and from body odor. Some of these places aren't fit for a dog to go to. It's pitiful. I go down to see her often and she always is clean and nice. That is sure a relief. You know Gene they pay for these helpless people very good wages and they should do their duty.

I wish your mother could have come out here when she wasn't so old and I could have taken her around. Now I'm pretty helpless myself but have hopes of being better. But my age is against me for a quick recovery. Arthur has given up farming and I'm so glad. The boys are farming the ground where we lived. No one in the house. It's about to fall to pieces. Can you remember how it used to look? We still have some old furniture in it. I've sold my cabinets and electric stove. Hope I can get a little out of the other things, but it wouldn't be much. Might as well give it away.

Family vacation while we're all still together
The weather here has been chilly for this time of year. Just last week we still had snowflakes. Every time our flowers think about blooming they get frost bitten, poor things. My tulips are late. I can't hardly get Arthur settled. He just thinks he should be out farming and he's too old and not able.

Gee, I wish I could come see you all again. We had such a lovely time when we were there. All we do anymore is spend money on doctor bills and medicine it seems. Arthur wants to live on his social security and he worries for fear he can't. And I don't think this medicare will benefit us older people at all. Sometimes we wish we hadn't signed up for it. Anytime the government gives you anything you pay for it dearly.

Well Gene, I must close and thank you so much for your letters. I was so glad to hear from you. Please keep me in contact with how your mother is because I'm so anxious. I thought maybe we could be together and maybe see Ed and Bryan but now I guess it will never be. Arthur won't ride on an airplane. He's scared to pieces of a plane.

Well hope your family is okay and Pierce's too. Give my regards to them and let me hear about them also Richard's too. Wish some of you would come see us sometime. Loyd's next oldest girl will be married in June. She graduates also in June and has a school near Chicago. No great-grandchildren yet although will have 3 granddaughters married. Gene take care of yourself and God bless you all and your mother. I think of her so much. Love, Aunt Minnie

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Camping and Girls' Camp

Cheyenne, Wyoming - Summer, 1965
The following two letters are written by Marian and Linda to the family from Girls' Camp. Prior to going to camp, the family had taken a long camping trip from California, through Utah and Wyoming, to Illinois. For many years, Gene had wanted to visit her aunts from the Fast family who were still living in the old farm house where her father Emmett was raised. During this trip she was able to realize her dream.

September 1, 1965

Dear Mom,

You just don't know how good it was to get a letter from you. I just about fell off my bench when I heard them call my name (which is "Wisp" by the way). I have a real cute cabin group. They're second-year Beehives and so far I've had no problems. They all get along fine and need no babysitting. At times they're very helpful especially when it comes to doing kitchen duty. They practically did everything by themselves.

Oh! I have to tell you about our cabin. It's the worst in camp except for one other. It's condemned. The roof is just sheets of metal laid side by side with one-inch cracks in between. I hope it doesn't rain. We have lots and lots of windows, without glass. The cracks in the walls keep it well-ventalated and the floor hasn't fallen in yet. But what we like best is the mice! They run up and down Jan's guitar and keep us awake at night.

It's been very cold at night and, needless to say, I have a cold. But despite all the hardships, I'm having a pretty good time. I'm not kidding about any of this about our cabin. It's all this and more. Wish Dale a happy birthday and ask him if he liked his shirts. Love, Marian

Setting up camp
September 2, 1965 (9:30 am)

Dear Mom, Dad and Siblings,

Everything is going along smashingly. The nights aren't too cold and the days are perfect. We're going on a hike today and we are cooking our own meal with tinfoil. I'll learn some new tricks for our next camping trip--things like reflector ovens and such.

Thanks for you letter Mom. Chris and Crissy say "hi." Got Eric's letters last night. Thanks for sending them. Marian is having a pretty good time. I thought I'd tell you just in case she hasn't already.

Now kiddies, be sure to mind your mommy and daddy and be good little peeps. I trust that Harriet and Renee are doing my dishes without any trouble--like temper tantrums and fits. Dale or Jan, I do hope you will or have cleaned out that car by now. Have a good family night and remember us poor campers in your prayers. Bye now, Linda

[After reading this rather bossy letter that I wrote 48 years ago, I'm reminded of the rhetorical question my mother sometimes posed to me: "Who died and left you in charge?"

Getting water for the evening meal
October 28th, '65 (Thursday)

Dear Mother,

Received your second letter this week. I don't deserve so much attention as I am such a poor correspondent. Sorry, Mother, to be so slow writing. You have been our lifesaver so many times over the years. Perry's paychecks have been very slow coming to him this fall and we owe so many people. Bills! His new seminary job has only paid him one check so far. But we have to wait patiently. But, Mother, we will pay you back the $200 just as soon and as fast as we can. I know you feel more secure when it's safe in your bank account!

We've had several colds here since the hot weather hit us and I am suffering my second one already--sore throat and coughing too. Linda and Marian had to give up their jobs when school started--too many pressures and demands made upon them with regards to school work--study and homework. I'm paying for the piano lessons again.

I'm glad you can get away for awhile this weekend. It will be a nice change for you. Do hope you have a nice visit with Flossie too. Tell her I said hello. And do hope she has a lovely trip to Idaho and finds good weather while traveling.

Guess I'd better write a letter to Aunt Minnie. Hope I have her address. We never wrote to her about our trip because I did not think we'd have time or money to go on to Paris [Illinois] for a visit with them and did not want to disappoint her. You must have let it slip out in one of your letters to her. I'll tell her I would love to have seen her and her family but just couldn't afford that extensive a trip. It would have taken us a few more days and another $100 or more. I'm glad she has your twin sister again. Wish we could help out financially and maybe I'll have this privilege someday. I really hope so.

A Boston publisher still has Perry's manuscript about Columbus under consideration. We have been praying each day that they will accept it and publish it soon. Must mail this to you now. Hope you get it tomorrow. More later. Love, Gene

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Spider in the Piano

[This story was written by Perry Manwaring for his daughter, Marian, who loved playing the piano but hated spiders. The illustration is by Claire Hartman.]

Arachne the spider climbed up on a stem. Up, up on a limb ‘til it started to bend then farther and farther right out to the end. Right out where the breeze blew the branch to and fro. “This is fun,” said Arachne. “I’d like to let go.” So she spun out some silk, not much, just enough, let it float in the breeze, then suddenly PUFF! The breeze lifted her up in the air until soon Arachne was sailing just like a balloon.

Up over the trees and the telephone wire, and over the housetops and higher and higher, Arachne sailed up in the sky over town until the wind stopped then she started back down. Down, down came Arachne in eddies and whirls, in loop-the-loop spirals, in circles and swirls. Down she came falling. Down, down more and more. Then Marian Middleton opened the door. She opened the door to give kitty her dish, and Arachne sailed in from the patio—swish.

Arachne said, “Oh, this is quite a neat place.” Mrs. Middleton gasped, “There’s a web on my face. Quick get the dust mop, the vacuum, the broom. We’ll clean ceiling and walls in all of the rooms. We’ll get every spider. Just count on me. We’ll dust them, we’ll spray them, we’ll use DDT.” “I must,” said Arachne, “find some place to hide.” The piano was near so she crawled right inside. Arachne said, “Say, what a nice place to play. It’s cozy and warm. I think I will stay.”

So she played and explored each string, hammer and key! Then she spun her a web just above middle C. She rested and slept. She kept herself warm while outside raged a fierce vacuum-sweeper windstorm. Soon Marian’s teacher, Mr. Orlando, came to instruct her on the piano. He listened while Marian played her crescendos, her prestos, and lentos, retards, and morendos. To Mr. Orlano she’d never played finer. To Arachne an earthquake, both major and minor.

Arachne was thrown from the place she had sat to high C to low C and back to B flat. Arachne said, “Oh,” when she’d set herself straight and counted each leg to be sure there were eight. “That was awfully rough, but still it was fun. I think I’ll crawl out to see how it was done.” She spun out some thread and fastened it so, gave a small jump and let herself go. Marian ran. She screamed, “Mother!” Hide me! A spider came out and sat down right beside me.”

Arachne was puzzled to get such a buffet. (She hadn’t heard about Little Miss Muffet.) “Come, come. Don’t run,” said Mr. Orlano. “Come back to your music here at the piano. Don’t be so fussy, so foolish, so furious. This spider won’t hurt you. It’s just a bit curious. A harmless house spider, a nice little fella’. Let’s see what it does if we play Tarantella.” Marian said, “Well—maybe—all right. I’ll do what you say if you’re sure it won’t bite.”

“Come here. Play like this,” said Mr. Orlano. And he played Tarantella on the piano. So gay was the music, so lively the sound, Arachne climbed up and just danced ‘round and ‘round. Then Marian laughed and had so much fun that she stayed there and practiced ‘til quarter past one. And Marian looked for Arachne each day to come from her hiding and dance as she’d play.

Then Arachne one day floated out through the door out into the world where she’d come from before. Back in the garden she spun a web fine and hatched out some babies—one hundred and nine. I’m certain she told them about her long ride through the air to the house, how she sailed right inside, of the girl in the house and of Mr. Orlano, about Tarantella, about the piano.

Then each little spider climbed up on a stem, up, up on a limb ‘til it started to bend, still farther and farther right out to the end, right out where the breeze blew the branch to and fro. “What fun,” they all said. Then they let go. Just where they all sailed I can’t possible know, but one might just be there in your piano. And if you take a peek perhaps you may see a little arachnid above middle C.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Linda's baccalaureate service will be Sunday

March 23, 1965 (Tuesday)

Dear Mother,

Your letter came yesterday. I'm gone all day on Mondays till 5:00. I take care of a 1-year-old baby girl all day Monday each week. I get $10 for the day, but it is easy work. So I read your letter last night when I came home. Glad you had such a nice visit with Dick and his family. I'm like you--I hope Ricky comes home as per schedule and gets out of the Army without any complications. Frankly, I think he will. I believe Dick just does not want to build up your hopes, and I really think he and Betty will want to coax Ricky to come back to Utah.

I really hope Ricky will stay here in California if this is what he wants. After all, he is a man grown and 21 years old and should be given the privilege to decide for himself. I just feel there would be many more and better opportunities here for him and his future than in Utah.

Linda and Marian each have such good jobs with real future in them, which I know they would not have found in Utah. Linda's job could work into a high-paying private secretary job. Her boss has promised her that this could work into a permanent position if she wants it and applies herself. She likes the work and is taking a pride in it. She is in a brand new office building and has a room and a desk all her own.

Marian's job is a little harder because she is working on her feet all day. She stands by the dentist's side and hands him the proper instruments, etc. But she likes it and is learning fast. His patients all like her very much. He too promises her permanent work.

The gold and green ball was a beautiful success last Saturday evening. Our Linda was one of the most beautiful debutants on the program that evening and Perry and I were so very proud when she stepped to the middle of the stage in the spotlight and walked down the stairs so slim and tall in her beautiful, sheath evening gown. Pictures were snapped of her and I will want you to have one too. It was an easy dress to make--the top is white lace and the skirt a leaf green. She wore a pink sash over this. Her father got her a pretty pink carnation corsage. There were 25 debutants in all in our Pomona Stake and they all received a beautiful gift of a silver serving dish and a silver spoon. This just thrilled Linda.

I must hurry this off to you. Your money is safe in the bank. Don't worry. Do hope the hot applications on your eye will heal it and when you return to the doctor's office next month, he'll find it all fine. I do have your little blue jacket. I'll bring it to you one of these days soon. Must run. Love, Gene

Perry get's his Master's Degree, Summer 1965
April 13, 1965

Dear Mother,

Surely wish I could come see you soon but must finish some sewing I've started for the two youngest. I've been suffering terrible headaches the past two or three days--sick headaches. Can't understand why.

Perry and the boys have built a new stairway down to the basement and will continue with the building till they have completed a nice finished room and closets and shelves for the boys down there. They are so happy with this work. They want a room so bad! During the rainy weather Perry has had time to do this.

Jan has a birthday coming up soon--Saturday. I think he will celebrate it by taking a friend to Disneyland this Friday. Perry promised him a watch for his birthday and we are saving the bluechip stamps for it. Do you have any more you could contribute to the cause?? Ha! I think we need one more book. He is such a good boy and really deserves it.

Do you have any news about Aunt Harriet? Is she still at the rest home in Peoria? I know she wanted to be back home in Princeville by March. I would like to send her something but don't know which address to use.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy your stake conference. Ours was earlier. I'll send you some copies of Deseret News Church section. We get them each week. Must close. Perry is taking the kids to see "Mary Poppins" tonight for helping him pull the weeds on the property. Hope you are well. Love, Gene

May 5, 1965

Dear Perry,

Yesterday I looked at a calendar on the wall and said, "Why it is the sixth today!" and your father said, "Why, it is Perry's birthday. Let's call him quick." So without any further thought, we called you. Later we realized it was the April calendar sheet. We were getting ready to go to the temple, so we had to hurry. But anyway you could thank it for the call two days before your birthday. We were glad to hear your voice and glad you were all well.

The snow is falling and the lawn is all white. I suppose there will be a frost tonight. Our apple trees are all in bloom. We went to Vernal Sunday with Gladys Slaugh Jacobsen and attended the funeral of Frank Slaugh Monday. It was a very good service, and we saw and talked to a lot of old friends and relatives. We stayed with Dee and Mary at night.  Dee is having health problems, and Thelma was recovering from the flu. Said she gave the doctor eleven dollars last fall for cold shots--supposed to prevent it.

June just phoned saying she was thinking of your birthday but didn't have a stamp. She had just mailed the family letter and it took her last stamp. We received a letter from Veda--poor girl. She appreciated your coming to see her. Do you like the Church section? We are renewing it for you.

Surely would be nice seeing all of you. Somebody write and say what you are all doing. Love to all, Dad and Mother

Linda's graduation picture, 1965
June 11, 1965

Dear Mother,

Received your letter 2 days ago. Linda got the pretty card from you yesterday. She has been receiving pretty cards from all the relatives and friends almost each day since mailing her announcements. Aunt Harriet sent her $5. Isn't that something! We sent her one of Linda's pictures and wrote her too. Linda wrote a nice thank you.

Linda's baccalaureate service will be Sunday afternoon at 4:00 o'clock out at Chaffey College campus. But the graduation is next Thursday evening here in Claremont. She is saving a ticket for a reserved seat for you. Hope you can make it. Plan to stay all night with us since it is an evening affair. We do hope and pray that the best will be done for your eyes and admire you for your persistence in seeing the doctors and doing everything you can to get help and improvement. You surely will.

Have you written Aunt Harriet. I do hope so. She wants to here from you. We are all fine. Marian has her contact lenses now--very happy with them. More later. Love, Gene

Monday, May 6, 2013

Birthday reminiscing

Gene Fast born February 10, 1920
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
February 7, 1964 (Friday)

Dear Gene,

You have another birthday coming up, so you will be starting another year to end it in 1965 in February, and I hope it will be a year that will bring much happiness and success to all the good plans that you and the family expect to accomplish for the betterment of all. I still can picture the beautiful city where you were born and I think it is just as pretty a place as anyone would like to choose as a birthplace, even now.

We don't seem to get many pictures of that city even on TV. I did see a little bit of Milwaukee several months ago on TV. It was the main street, Wisconsin Avenue, where the big Boston store and Gimbel Brothers department stores were located. Gimbels was near the edge or side of the Milwaukee River where the bridge had to raise up to let the big lake boats go through. Across from Gimbels, a nice, big theater was located. There were so many beautiful parks in that city and we seemed to manage to be close enough to take strolls through them and so you youngsters could get a chance to play.

Gene & Richard
656 Layton Blvd. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Another park we lived near was the beautiful rose garden somewhat like the only one we have here in Los Angeles. Of course South Shore Park was a pretty spot right on the shores of Lake Michigan and many strolls were made over there when we lived nearby it. We seemed to have quite a few visits from the family of the Fasts on Dad's side no matter where we lived in Wisconsin. We somehow always had room for them to visit in our homes no matter where we lived. It really makes a good picture to remember as we look back into our younger days. I only wish that Los Angeles could be as beautiful.

Flossie and I got to see and talk to a fine little family from Milwaukee last July when she and I were celebrating her birthday at Olivera Street. We walked over to the Union Station and saw a young family waiting for their train in the patio there. They had two little boys and one little girl. They had spent a vacation here in Los Angeles. Flossie noticed the children and began talking to them and we asked if they were going on a trip, found out their vacation was spent here, so were returning home, and they lived in the Bay View sector in Milwaukee where we had lived. It was a thrill for me to talk to them. They seemed to be a little disappointed in Los Angeles, and I couldn't blame them much. It really made me feel a little homesick to see Milwaukee again--it's beauty of parks and old Lake Michigan. Well, I've taken you on quite a reminiscing trip for your birthday. Now will have to come back to California and Claremont where you're living and will celebrate your 1964 birthday with your family.

I'm slowly getting over my stepladder tumble and it surely made me feel plenty sore in my lower-middle back muscles. My right hip bothers me some yet besides the lower section of my abdominal muscles, so I keep wearing a girdle to help keep me supported. Doctor said I had a very bad strain so hope to get over it entirely someday. It's hard for me to be kept down by any affliction let alone a sprained back and muscles.

Enough of all our complaints but hope Dale is getting lots better--also Marian and her friends. Better not take strolls on these mountains. Gene, since you called me by phone and talked quite long, I want you to take $5 from the $25 I loaned you to pay for the call. Hope the call wasn't over $1. Keep the balance of the $5 for your birthday, so you only owe me $20.

I write Richard but guess they're s busy with that big family. They just don't have time to write anyone. He'll have a birthday coming up next month, but it will not be an easter birthday for him. He's only had one since he was born--that was his 11th. Did you have any of that dust storm this week? Guess it was yesterday--one that is called the Santa Ana. I could see quite a haze on eastern slope of mountains. I get such a good picture of the mountains and city up here on the 4th floor on north side of this middle apartment. I see the city in all its colors by night, and it's quite up here. Must close. Love to you and all, Mother

Perry in his yard in Claremont
1190 Elgin Ave.
February 7, 1964

Dear Perry and Family,

Hazel told us last night of Marian's fall. My, we hope it is not serious. Now right after Dale's misfortune too. Now don't any of the rest of you have an accident.

We enjoyed all of your letters. Dale said he almost had too much to write about since we saw him last. Jan mentioned a job he had, and we wondered about it. Renee said she would send us a story she wrote, so don't forget to send it, Renee. That cute little Christmas card that Harriet Lea made is put away in my box of keepsakes. All of those cookies, cakes and candy that Linda and Marian were making should have lasted till now, or should they?

Well we are fine here. It is a nice day today, but cold, and there is still snow on the ground. I saw quite a few robins yesterday though, so spring is just around the corner I guess. I found a get-well card in my box for Marian. It isn't as up-to-date as I would like, but it is the best I can do at present.

Grandpa is in the other room listening to his records for the blind. It is surely good we can have them for him. Goodbye and love to all, Grandma (Leona)

May 2, 1964

Dear Perry,

We have just been sitting by the front window watching the snow come down--anyhow four good inches--and it is wet. It wasn't quite this kind of weather forty-two years ago when you were born. Our beautiful forsythia bush, all in yellow blossoms, is bent over nearly to the ground all loaded down with snow, and we are wondering what Claremont is like.

You father has had a bout with the flu, but I believe he feels better today. We both went up to Dr. Davis and got our flu shots too, but I guess he should have had his a few days sooner. We feel like the verse on Pa's card is appropriate because we are hoping that everything will work out well for you with your Masters [degree.] June said, "I have a lot of confidence that Perry will make it all right."

We have just this last week finished the Book of Mormon talking records and enjoyed it. It is surely a wonderful privilege to have those records for the blind or nearly blind.

Forty-two years ago, the weather was a bit chilly, and we had a little heater in the front room. Our coal was fine--no lumps--and when Grandma came down she said, "Well I would like to get enough coal in this stove to warm it up--just once." I remember Pa soon got some good coal however. Your sisters thought, and we too, that a baby boy was just the most wonderful thing that could come to us. Love and a good birthday, Father and Mother

October 15, 1964

Dear Mother,

Received your letter yesterday that you wrote on our 20th anniversary. Enjoyed hearing from you again. Alan Hunt paid us a surprise visit Saturday evening (Perry's nephew's friend). He lives in your ward now Mother. He says he has been looking for you each Sunday. He wants to know if you need a ride to church. I think he is very serious about Afton (Perry's niece) Genevieve's oldest daughter because she was here with him. They are a handsome couple. She flew down here from Salt Lake to spend a day and then flew right back. It was fun to have them drop in for an hour or so.

Perry is painting the bishop's [Hartman] house (outside) in all his spare time, so we have little time to do anything. I earned $60 at the Pink Lantern [a gift shop in downtown Claremont]. All through now. I wanted to take a trip up to Oakland to see the new temple and go through before it was dedicated. So many of our friends have gone and are gong. But Perry is working all the time and can't get away. He wants me to go alone. would you like to go? It would be at least a two-day trip driving. The temple will be open till the 25th. I am taking care of Betty Houser's 6-year-old boy tomorrow through Sunday while they go up! Went to Relief Society work meeting yesterday. Singing Mothers practice first from 9:00 to 10:00. I enjoy the singing better than work meeting!

I gave Perry two good white shirts which I won in a door prize last Friday while downtown shopping. First time I ever won anything in my life, but they drew my name and I nearly fainted. Perry was really surprised, and I was so tickled because he really does need clothes so bad. So then he insisted I buy me a new dress or a suit, which I did. We went to a movie on the evening of the 13th.

Yes, I'll be on the election board again this year. Glad you've got your voting over with, and I'm sure you voted the best way. I'm so sorry we don't have some better leaders in there to vote for and put in to represent our wonderful country. I can sense the dangers, the threats, and the corruptness creeping into our government--the evilness and evil leaders already in--but I feel so helpless about it all. What can I do but pray and serve in whatever way I can?

Renee will get her braces for her teeth tomorrow. She must wear them for several years and this will cost us about $600 before it's over. Harriet next year! Aren't you glad it was only me to wear them in our family. Wow!

Glad you're feeling better. Marian has just gotten over a siege of flu. Love, Gene

Friday, May 3, 2013

We have been from ocean to ocean

Linda, Jan, Dale, with cousins Kerry Dee Andreasen
and David Hilbig at the beach
1190 Elgin Ave.
Salt Lake City, Utah
September 5, 1963

Dear Perry & Family,

It was wonderful to get so many letters and cards in the mail. It made me feel very important. And then there came a little box on Monday with a card and a pair of hose. Thank you Linda and all of you. Sounds like Gene and the girls were going to get something real interesting at Pasadena, but as for the beach, Dale doesn't inherit his love for the water from me.

Jan may have been more interested in go-carts and dogs
than practicing his guitar
I am so glad Jan got his guitar. I wish we could listen in some time. That was a cute little Grandma picture Harriet sent. Well Grandpa bought me a pretty cake, and then June and Kerry Dee brought one, so I suspect we have had more than our share of sweets.

The weather is a little cooler now and it is really enjoyable. Last Saturday night Hope and Grant phoned "Happy Birthday" and Hope said, "Mother and Dad, how would you like to go to New York with us when we go to get Nelson?" Of course Elmer and I have never aspired to such a trip, and we could hardly come down to earth for several days. They really mean to go if everything goes well and will see some of the interesting historic places along the way. They told us it wouldn't cost us a thing and that they wanted us to go while we could enjoy it. Just imagine it! It will be the first part of October. So Linda, those hose are just what I need, and I am going to get myself new garments, and I will have to ask advice on what clothing (dresses) to take.

June thinks her work as clerk (full-time) is the hardest job she has ever had. I hope she can stay with it. Kerry is getting so tall. We got a notice of Dick and Betty's new boy. We are picking plenty of tomatoes from our own little patch for table use and have quite a few Delicious and Jonathan apples. I have put up a lot of the summer apples. Last night Floyd came and fixed our hot water tap and brought some sweet corn on the cob, a small watermelon and a dozen pints of carrots. We keep eating. Surely would be nice if you could come this way again for a day or two. Love to all, Mother & Dad

PS. Perry, Ruth Goodrich plans to write, sometime, stories for children--some of them true--that happened in her lifetime. Thought you might be interested.

October 30, 1963

Dear Perry and all,

It may not be a line to say "hello" as I can't follow the line, but I hope you can make it out anyway. We had a wonderful trip. Now we have been from ocean to ocean. Grant and Hope had some friends in Washington DC and they took us around so we got to see a lot.

Then we went to New York. They got a taxi to take us around. We sat on the dock and saw the ship come in. Then when we got Nelson, we went to the Niagara Falls, the Hill Cumorah, Sacred Grove and to Carthage Jail. They have it just as it was at the death of the prophet Joseph and Hyrum. The well is the same. A young man who was born just two miles from the jail told us his father was so bitter he would not let his mother join the church. I asked him how he came to join. He said he joined while in the service. His father is 45 now but has that old persecuting blood in him. His boy that talked with us could surely see the truth.  So I thought of the old adage, "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." I also thought of Gene and of her parents being converts.

Linda and Marian, isn't it nice to have parents that know the truth and then take and lead you in the right. Well, I could not read this so if you can get one word of it, you can do better than I can. I just go across the paper feeling the way to make the words. But I was so anxious to write to you. Your mother is back from the store. I will let her take over so you can enjoy it better. Love to all, Father (Grandpa)

Dear Folks,

This is October 31 and we are expecting some "trick or treaters" tonight, so I have been to the store. Do the children have that custom down there? Your father (grandfather) has told you a few of the high points of our trip. The weather was unusually good for this time of year--no storms at all and all the trees, shrubs and groves were in all their colors, and it seemed all the roadsides were lined with beautiful woods. It seemed to me that Nebraska was one vast plain. Of course a lot of the time we traveled after dark.

Harriet Lea
We thought we would like to get some little thing for each of the grandchildren but left it mostly up to Hope to do this buying as Dad and I have handicaps. I would like to see Harriet Lea's face when she puts on that little wristlet. We looked at several antique shops but prices were out of this world. Nelson is surely a fine boy, and he has done a lot of thinking and is more mature, and he is really a good-looking fellow. It is a little late to get into school, and I believe he wants to get a job.

Floyd said to us last night, "Well how does it seem to be the most traveled couple in the whole family?" We really have traveled quite a distance. The Mississippi, the Susquehanna, and the Platte rivers were all larger than I had imagined. And the Niagara Falls are tremendously larger. Grant likes to tease me about the Dry Gulch in Roosevelt and it being named in an irrigation company. So every big stream we came to, he would say, "Would that fill the Dry Gulch?" or something like it.

Last Monday we went to Arthur Eiscombe's funeral in Orem in the chapel where Genevieve and Lorin go. There were a lot of one-time Basin people there.

We have had a little rain lately and a frost but it is lovely again today and it feels good to have the heat on in the house. I wish we could see what the boys and girls are doing and how school is going. Elmer said to tell you his eyes feel better but the sight is not much better yet. His next appointment is in December with his eye specialist. We hope for his sight recovery.

This letter arrangement is quite a jumble, but I will send it anyway. We have missed the mailman, so Elmer will take it up to the highway. Love to all, Mother

December 6, 1963

Dear Perry & All,

We received your letter Perry, and Gene's card and Harriet's letter. It is so good to hear from all of you once in awhile. Now that Grandpa doesn't get out much, nor I, we do watch for the mailman and the newspaper. Elmer listens to the radio quite a bit. The television is hard on his eyes. He got out this morning to clear the walks of snow as we got some last night--not so much--but it is blowing and it is cold.

Floyd and Sharon have their first baby--a boy. That pleases Floyd, and he is sure happy. It was born Sunday morning, and it was Don Mangum's birthday also. They took us up to Little Cottonwood Canyon Saturday afternoon to see the vaults in the granite mountainside. My, that is a wonderful feat. They have their own electricity and water. Elmer said, "Well, we are not so different from the Nephites." A good place for genealogical records.

We had an enjoyable time on Thanksgiving Day at Floyd's and Sharon's. I was glad they asked June and Kerry Dee too. Perry, we were really impressed with your letter about Columbus. June read it too. He really had a spiritual attitude so he could be guided by the spirit of the Lord, and it was important enough to be mentioned in the Book of Mormon. I hope you can get your book as you desire by the New Year.

We listened to a man talk in our Sacrament Meeting on why he left the Catholic Church, and he was studying to be a priest. It was very good. He said 95% of the people in Ireland are Catholics. I wish the Kennedys could hear the gospel. Maybe President will now, in the spirit world. We heard the service for him here in Salt Lake in the Madeline Cathedral, and they had it interpreted in English, but the service in Washington was so meaningless--all that mumbling. Did you read the funeral service in the church section by Brother Brown. That was really a wonderful talk I thought.

I don't suppose we will be doing much for Christmas, but as long as we can be well and hear some Christmas music and eat a good dinner, I think we are wonderfully blessed. I am glad if you could use the apples. I almost wish we had sent more. We can't eat many, and I have a lot of applesauce, so I am glad you used them.

Elmer has kept talking, so I have made a lot of mistakes. He is going to the store with one of our neighbors to get a few groceries as we asked Floyd to supper tonight. Our neighbors are very thoughtful of us. We will likely write again and send a card for Christmas. Love to you all, Mother & Dad
Jan and Tippy

December 10, 1963

Dear Perry, Gene & All,

There are a thousand things I would like to ask about all of you. I wanted so much to get some little thing for you folks, but it has been so difficult to get up or down to the stores--bad weather or something--that I just couldn't make it. I always like to remember some little thing for Renee's birthday, but I have failed there too.

The girls and boys have been so good about sending us cards and little notes all fall that we really do owe them a debt of gratitude. We hope the whole family enjoys a beautiful Christmas. I'll bet Jan can play the accompaniment to a lot of Christmas songs, and your family could really have a concert. With love to all, Mother & Dad

PS. Tell Gene's mother we often think of her and give her out best wishes too.