Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Linda & Marian Go to College

Linda's first winter at BYU
August 27, 1966

Dear Mom, Dad, Dale, Jan, Renee & Harriet Lea

Greetings and salutations from the crossroads of the west. Everything is fine here. Yesterday Grandma and Grandpa took a nap after breakfast, a nap after lunch and then after they got up, they took another nap before dinner. And every time they took a nap, Marian and I would take one too. Just before we took the 3rd nap, Marian said she was starting to feel like a vegetable, but she went to sleep just the same.

This morning Grandpa gave a patriarchal blessing, so Marian and I walked down to Roosevelt School and walked around the playground and sat on the swings and talked about the "olden days." Then we went to the library across the street and looked at all the new fashion magizines. Then we went to a Mayfair market and bought 25 cents worth of candy bars. We gave Grandma a chocolate bar to share with Grandpa when he got up, and she reminded us of the candy bars Grandpa use to give us.

On the way home, we stopped and talked with Kathleen Caddy and her mother. Kathy is really cute. It was nice talking to her. She's a very casual person. Marian and I are getting along fine. I think it's sort of a case of sink or swim at this point if you see what I mean.

Dad and Mom, I hope everything is working out all right. I'm praying for you. Dale, you're the oldest now. We should have had some sort of ceremony and I could have kissed you on both cheeks and handed over my privileges--whatever they might be. Jan, I want you to concentrate on your eating habits. You're never going to grow up to be bigger than Dale if you don't start putting more food in your mouth then you drop on the floor. Renee, keep up the practice with the curlers, ect. You're turning into a beautiful girl. I'm counting on you to keep things picked up in that big bedroom so you can be proud to bring your friends in. Harriet, well does that "missing people corner" in your stomach feel any better now? I hope so. Keep up the good kitchen work and stuff like that.

I'm signing off now. I miss all of you, but I'm glad for this opportunity. Love, Linda

September 17, 1966

Dear Dale,

I received your undated letter today and was very glad to hear from you. You really had a lot of good news. I like very much the life of a college student so far because I haven't gone to any classes yet and life has been mostly social. I may change my mind after next week though.

I'm sure glad to hear about your job, and I hope you do well with it. You'll want to be able to keep up on your school work too--believe me you will! Right now I have to take an algebra class without credit just so I can get into the math class I will need for my major.

Now Dale's the oldest child at home
Remember how you always used to say you were going to have just a few kids and give them everything so they won't need to struggle like us? Well, last Sunday they passed out a rather appropriate poem that I saved just for you and I am enclosing it so you can write and tell me what you think.

    Good Timber

    by Douglas Malloch

    The tree that never had to fight
    For sun and sky and air and light,
    But stood out in the open plain
    And always got its share of rain,
    Never became a forest king
    But lived and died a scrubby thing.

    The man who never had to toil
    To gain and farm his patch of soil,
    Who never had to win his share
    Of sun and sky and light and air,
    Never became a manly man
    But lived and died as he began.

    Good timber does not grow with ease:
    The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
    The further sky, the greater length;
    The more the storm, the more the strength.
    By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
    In trees and men good timbers grow.

    Where thickest lies the forest growth,
    We find the patriarchs of both.
    And they hold counsel with the stars
    Whose broken branches show the scars
    Of many winds and much of strife.
    This is the common law of life.

I hope you have a good year and school, Dale, and I wish you all the luck in the world. I just asked the 8-ball if you were going to get an A in chemistry and it said, "Don't count on it." We'll hope that means you'll at least get a B-, ok? Write again when the spirit moves you. I enjoy hearing from you. Bye now. Love, Linda

September 19, 1966 (Monday)

Dear Mother,

I've just finished writing to Linda and Marian at BYU. School has started for them this week too. I really miss them but want them to have a good year up there.

Your card came Saturday. I'm so glad you're back at the Joyce Manor. I like that place. Do hope you'll stay. Please do get plenty of rest before you take on any more projects. I'm still typing stories for Perry. He writes in all his "at home" hours and is so pressured with it all. He mailed 5 more of his stories last week and is finishing up two more this week. He has about 10 or 12 more to go. Says he'll be glad when it's all finished. He wants to write another novel then and do it his own way!

Dale has a part-time job in an ice cream parlor near the school--works after school several hours. Wears a white uniform--he's pretty proud of himself. I am enjoying my new Relief Society job but have to ride with another lady now because Perry has to keep the car each day for his work. The kids enjoy being back in school again. We're all well. Love, Gene

Marian in front of her dorm at BYU
October 2, 1966

Dear Mother & Dad,

It was surely wonderful to be up there for a few days. Honestly it was a real thrill just to look at you. We appreciate your taking care of Linda and Marian. I surely hope they weren't a nuisance and a lot of expense. Were they able to help out?

It's quite a job keeping two girls in school. People question us as though we are foolhardy or as though we have a hidden income. But we only go on faith from day to day. I received another $500 check from American Book Company yesterday. It was barely in the nick of time too. We had payments due for the girls' rent plus numerous of our own bills here. This is the second time a check came from American Book like a "ram in the thicket."

I have been reading your Life Stories. They have brought many tears to my eyes. This writing business has surely been difficult. The pressure has been intense and I still have far to go. But I don't know what I would have done without it. Must close now. Much love. We appreciate all that you have done. Love, Perry

October 2, 1966

Dear Linda and Marian,

Since I haven't written you in such a long time, I will tell you what I have been doing. I sent in to New Jersey to get three 8-foot diameter balloons. Charles [Rhodes] and I are going to attach a barometer and a bunch of weather instruments to one of the balloons and fill it with helium. The balloon is made out of heavy black rubber. I've been reading about meteorology, ballooning, etc. Then we will fill all three balloons up with helium, and we will go up in the air. Charles is going to fix a gauge on the balloons to let out some helium so that we can control how far up or down we go. [I'm sure glad my brother, Jan, survived his adolescence.]

Now I will tell you about American Book. Dad got some more dough (500 dollars.) Oh yeah! Bob Borland is taking me to seminary and to school. Now I get to go to school and seminary with Cathy Borland. I will quit writing now because Dad is going to take us to Betsy Ross. Every time Dad gets his check, we will go to Betsey Ross. Oh yeah. Sincerely, truly with love, Jan

October 15, 1966

Dear Perry & family,

We received your letter, Perry, and I should have answered sooner, but you know how it is. We enjoyed having the girls here, and we were rather lonesome the next week when they were gone. They both wrote good letters. We have been "sorta" looking for them some weekend. I got their room all ready.

I was peeling and cutting some of our apples one day when Venna Bascom  came. She saw what I was doing and said, "Aunt Leona, don't peel one more of those wormy apples. I'll get you some good ones." And away she went and soon came back with two boxes of apples (two kinds) and so I have been canning, etc. They are so good to eat raw too, so very sweet and juicy. I want to send some to the girls and also some I have "put up" also some bottled tomatoes.

So you see how we have been showered with fruit and we hope to get some to the girls. I'll bet you folks miss them. Your dad said, "Linda and Marian get along so well. I haven't heard one cross word of any kind since they have been here." I am really anxious to have them come or for us to go down and see them. We'll have to find a way.

Marian and her goat
We had a real blizzard Thursday with blinding wet snow. It covered all my pretty chrysanthemums with wet snow and last night there was a cold frost, so I guess they are gone--such a short life.

I am glad you got your assignment far enough along that you could get your $500. We will rejoice with you when it is all finished. Marian said Dale had a part-time job. That is good, and I guess you are all busy. All Fall I kept thinking of "Zackary"and wished he was here to eat off our grass. [Marian's pet goat that she got at the farmers' market in downtown LA and left for our parents to deal with when she went away to college.]

Pa hasn't been too well--his legs don't move too easily, but he has been to the temple quite a lot of times and I have been once in September. Genevieve and Lorin came down last week. She feels better all the time, she says, but she still looks rather thin and pale. Her appetite is improving. June seems to be getting along with her job, and Kerry Dee is doing well. Hazel says David is doing well. Well, I will put this up for the mailman and hope all is well with all of you. As ever, Mother & Dad

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