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

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