Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jan goes on a mission

Perry & Gene at his parent's home
1190 Elgin Avenue, SLC
July 23, 1970

Dear Perry & family,

The days go by so swiftly I can hardly believe it sometimes, and here it is the 23rd of July. Salt Lake is doing quite big things for Pioneer Days this year. We have had some thunder showers, and it is quite cool today.

Dale and his wife came to see us, and we went with them to see Hazel and Walter. Then they went to Provo. I hope they are getting along all right. We haven't seen nor heard from them since. And how are all of the rest of them? Perry, I am glad you and Gene can take Sister Fast into your home. She looks so little and frail--like she has had a real bad sickness and a windstorm would almost blow her away.

We had supper with Floyd and family one night last week. The ward Primary children were having a "Pioneer Parade," and it was good and amusing. They will soon be moving into their new house. It isn't far from June's, and it is surely a fine home--two bathrooms, etc.

We had a few bad days because of a leaky water heater. It got a good start before we noticed it and a lot of things got wet that I had left on the floor. I swept it--the water--down the drain and mopped and mopped until we could get a new one. We went with Hope and Grant to buy one at Sears--a smaller one than the old one, which was too big to get out without a lot of trouble. Dad said "they must have got the tank and then built the walls around it." Alan came and helped. He surely understands a lot about electricity and equipment. So we are all settled, but everything isn't "ship shape" yet in the basement.

Ashel and Elva and Thelma came to see us last Saturday. He was called to the Democratic convention. One of my cousins, when reading the account of Byron's funeral, noticed my name and that I lived in Salt Lake City, so she phoned and Hope and I went to see her. She lives in Sugar House and is 90 years old. She sees pretty well and has a good memory but is a little lame. She is Uncle Charley's daughter. She went to Canada to stay awhile with some of her folks. She has no children of her own. She sent me a pretty card with her address and called me "Dear cousin." So I hope to see her again and want to have my family meet her.

Our apricot tree is loaded with fruit so that will make work soon for a number of us. Love, Mother and Dad

(Next day) We have been watching the parade on the TV. After awhile, it all looks alike. It has been a nice day for it though, clear skies and not too hot. We, Dad and I, have our melon, ice cream and rootbeer here at home, and we can rest, sleep or read or watch television or whatever. I have been enjoying the parade though. Goodbye, Mother

Renee, Jan & Harriet - trip to Catalina Island, 1970
with Perry & Gene before Jan's mission
July 28, 1970

Dear Mother & Dad,

We received your very welcome letter yesterday. It's good to hear from you and know that everything is all right. We are glad there was nothing worse than a leaking water heater. I guess there was no serious damage. Our water heater did the same thing about a year ago.

We enjoyed our trip up there this summer. It surely is good to see everybody. We really enjoyed seeing our old house and see that it is so well kept up. And that tree--that is really something isn't it?

Yes, we are glad that we can have Gene's mother with us. It works out quite well most of the time. She does get rather confused at times, so it's impossible for her to live alone. But we don't want to place her in a home, at least not yet.

When we got back, our fruit was ripe. We have a plum tree and an apricot tree that were just loaded. The apricots were small, but they made 75 quarts. The plums were really good. We put up 100 pints of jelly and jam and still gave a lot of fruit away. We have two peach trees, but the fruit isn't so good. But we are going to buy some peaches to put up. We say we are going to have a two-year supply to last while Jan is on his mission. We have also found that it is almost impossible to buy canned peaches of the quality we like. Besides, we rather enjoy putting up fruit and seeing our shelves filled with nice-looking supplies.

(August 3, 1970) As you can see, I started this several days ago. We have been attending BYU Education Week. It was really good this year. I'd better send this now "as is." Love, Perry

August 26, 1970

Dear Perry & All,

We were thrilled to hear your voice over the phone the other day and glad Jan can go on a mission. Dee's boy, Wayne, has just recently come home from Germany. It seems that a lot of missionaries are being sent to South America and the land that was given to Lehi and his descendants are not being forgotten. Just recently I ran across an old Improvement Era that contained a lot of information about the South American Mission. It had a lot of colored pictures in it, and I had been studying it. So when you called, I was really interested. The land was dedicated by Melvin J. Ballard.

Harriet with her little dog Barney, 1970
When plans for the new magazines for the Church were published, June called Brother Greene to congratulate him and said, "You don't want a secretary, do you?" And he said, "Are you kidding?" Anyway, it turned out that the Church Office mailed her an offer for secretarial work, and she came to Salt Lake and accepted. It made her feel so good to think that they all seemed to want her, and that night at Hope's she broke out with hives. She said, "I guess I'm allergic to happiness."

Old age is really getting me, I guess. All the birthdays come and go so fast, I almost forgot my own, but you tell Dale "Happy Birthday" for us, and I'll try by next year to remember Renee and my little Harriet Lea; although, she is not so little anymore. Love, Mother & Dad

September 10, 1970

Dear Folks,

Here we are having our last little family vacation before Jan leaves for his mission. We have a cabin and are staying two nights. We are remembering when we were all here together with you folks too when the children were small. With love, Gene & Perry, Jan, Renee, Harriet

September 14, 1970

Dear Perry & All,

A trip to Sequoia National Park 20 years earlier
We were glad to get your card, and it did remind us of that wonderful trip we had in that beautiful forest. I wonder if some of those trees were alive when Columbus was? I read in a paper sometime ago that the big tree that had a driveway through it had fallen to the ground. And yes, I remember when we were looking for a cabin and you had gone inside. Renee said, "This looks like the three bear's house," and just then a bear came looking at us inside through a window. Yes, that was a very wonderful trip with a lot of things to remember.

Today is our sixtieth wedding anniversary. Sixty years is quite a long time, and a lot of changes have taken place in that time. I told your father I didn't want any big affair--just a quiet day--maybe go to the temple, which we were going to do but for the death of old Brother Burgener whose funeral is being held today. 

I very much enjoyed the dinner and program we had at our fiftieth, but things are a bit different now, so we are all busy with our own affairs. After the funeral, Hope will come and take me to the grocery store. Last night Floyd and Sharon brought us two plates of candy decorated with "60" marked in the icing.

June is working at the Church Office. Grant is still busy and on the road, and the doctors are still taking tests to try and find out his health problems. Hope has been trying to get June's home ready for her. Of course June has done what she could. Hope said last week Norma and Lorna came and helped. Lorna and her husband live in Logan. He is still in the government's employ. Afton is in Arizona.

It looks like rain. I suppose fall is coming. The teacher's strike got settled satisfactorily, I suppose, to the teachers, or for them. Walter is in Germany on an assignment for the Church in genealogy. You mentioned your apricots. Our tree too was loaded. I asked Floyd and Alan to come and pick. They took all they wanted. I kept what we wanted and gave Hazel a bushel. Hope had some on their rented place. Then later Hazel and David came and got a lot. That tree was surely loaded. Thelma wrote that she would have liked some but getting them there was the problem. Hazel said their bishop said, "We have had two years now of no frost on the fruit, but we don't know what next year will bring."

Well, we will expect to see Jan soon. I can't understand how he could have earned so much money during so short a time. Venice and Glenn came to the temple last Friday. That night we all went to Hope's and had a good chicken dinner. They invited Kerry's girlfriend over to spend the evening and the girls sang some of their old trios. It seemed good to hear them again. Glenn says when he gets to San Francisco, he will call you. Well, I better stop and get this mailed and get myself ready. Love to all your family, Mother & Dad

Summer 1970 trip to Sequoia with Jan, Renee & Harriet
September 17, 1970

Dear Folks,

We so enjoyed your letter we received yesterday. Perry and I both missed remembering your wedding day but are so happy that you were so well remembered by all those loved ones who are close around you there in Salt Lake.

Sixty years of such a marvelous wedded companionship and such a beautiful family with the wonderful blessings of the gospel are surely the highest inspiration and the tradition which Perry and I would like to carry on. We love you so much for these things and all that you have done for us and blessed us with. We are so happy that you are both so well and so active.

Jan left us yesterday. He is visiting with Marian and Warren in Sacramento today. They will see him off by plane sometime tonight or tomorrow. He will call you from Salt Lake Airport soon. He must report in the Mission Home by 2:00 pm Saturday. This will give him a few hours to call and say goodbye to all the aunts and uncles up there.

He will write us too. We are so proud of him. He is such an outstanding young man. Hope he can tell you all about his farewell, etc. Must hurry and mail this. Love to you both, Gene

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The grandparents meet Dale's new bride

January 11, 1970

Dear Mother & Dad,

Guess I'll do the honors of writing you again--can't wait for Perry! I'm catching up on my correspondence while I recuperate from long hours of extra activities and visits with family, friends and loved ones throughout the holidays. I just collapsed Saturday from exhaustion. I've been too tired to sleep for over a week. So my doctor has given me something to relax me and I'm sleeping like a baby now and feeling better already.

baby Laura & Cherylen, Winter 1970, Sacramento, CA
Marian and baby Cherylen were with us for six months. Her husband joined her here just before Christmas. He has been stationed at Sacramento. They moved from our home four days after Christmas and I cried after they left. The house seemed so empty and again my heart ached for the baby each day when I picked up a little forgotten toy or spoon and things they had left behind. (Marian writes that the baby misses me too.) I took care of her every day while Marian attended college here in Pomona.

We worked so hard just before Christmas making two beautiful pink-velvet bridesmaid dresses for a wedding on december 27th. Marian's best friend Gwen Denes was married to a very fine young man (a Navy officer.) Marian was her matron-of-honor and Harriet, one of the bridesmaids. It was a beautiful church wedding.

It was a lovely Christmas day--at least the kids were all so very happy. They had knocked themselves out making gifts for each other and all the family. Jan made a beautiful piece of jewelry for the girls and me. Marian sewed something for everyone. Linda made lovely fruitcakes. Dale and his wife Carolyn made us cookies and candy. Harriet and Renee saved their money and bought me an electric blender and their dad a game called "Word Power," which he really enjoyed playing with them.

The house is very quiet now with all the married children gone. It's kind of good to have everyone and everything back to normal again. I've finally got the Christmas decorations all put away again. But things just happen here all the time and now it's my mother! You wouldn't believe it but on New Years Day her rent was raised $40 over what she has been paying for the past year and a half. She is so upset about it--she's almost sick. We are thinking of moving her into our home, but she wants an apartment of her own.

Kerry [Andreasen, a nephew who had been living with the family] wants to go to a trade-tech school and is thinking of moving back to Utah as it would be less expensive for him there. We shall miss him too, but I feel it is a good plan for him. His farm work job here is becoming less and less each day because of the rainy weather. Jan is back at BYU working hard on his studies. He has told us he wants to go on a mission sometime this year too. We hope he can. The girls (Renee & Harriet) are back in school making good grades.

Perry is finally feeling some better from the effects of his operation and busy writing short stories in his spare time and trying to keep his book in circulation. (wW are determined it shall be published.) I'm looking forward for a weekend when I can fly to sacramento and visit Marian and little Cherylen. I know she just can't understand where her grandma is and why she can't come home and reach her little chubby arms out to me and hang on with a big hug. I love Linda's little Laura too, but Cherylen was so generous with her love for me.

It was so nice to hear of all of you getting together at Hazel and Walter's for Christmas dinner. We had a long-distance call from David last month too. It was such fun to have a phone visit from him--so thoughtful of him. We do enjoy your letters Mother and Dad. Hope you are both well. Love to you both, Gene, Perry & Kids

February 2, 1970

Dear Perry & All,

It looks as though the groundhog may see his shadow today. It otherwise looks like winter. We enjoyed your letter, Gene, though when you were telling how lonesome you were not seeing Marian's little girl, I started to sniff, and Dad said, "Well, if you're going to do that, I'll go and watch television."

We have a new Church President and perhaps some new Church history will be made. Sometimes I feel a sort of fear for certain trends in the future.

I thought you might like to hear about Herman Andreasen's funeral. Hope, June and Kerry and we went out together. It was a good funeral. There were many beautiful flowers, the music was good, and the speakers were two women--one a neighbor and the other a lady who had had Herman do flower gardening for her, George Albert Smith's sister. Dick Fast was one of the pall bearers. Hazel and Walter and Grant went to the viewing the night before. Ruth Lind Jones played the prelude music.

Hope and Kerry were here this morning. He hasn't found any work yet. Said he was going out again today. We gave some bottled apricots to Hope as we had a lot and, of course, Hope could not can fruit in Alaska, so it will help her and Kerry too. Grant still has some health problems.

We talked to Dick. He had just come from California. We received a nice card from Sister Fast [Gene's mother, Leora] at Christmas time, and I didn't get around to answering it--also a lot of others. Tell her we surely appreciated it. I hope you are all well and doing ok. Dick said Dale is coming to Salt Lake about the tenth. Love as always, Mother & Dad

May 12, 1970

Dear Mother & Dad,

Mother, I tried several times to call you Sunday, but the lines were always busy. I guess there were too many other people calling their mothers. Anyway, I do hope you had a pleasant day. Did you do something special? Please write and tell us.

Gene and I took her mother in to her old ward for Sacrament Meeting. She saw some of her old friends. Then we took her to visit another friend and then to see Pierce. So it was quite a full afternoon for us as well as for her, but she enjoyed it all very much.

Thank you for the nice birthday remembrance. Dad, we all think your rubber-stamp signature looks real good. Dad, you will be 83 on the 14th. Isn't that right? So here's wishing you a very happy 83. I surely hope I can be as healthy and useful at that age.

I surely appreciate all the effort, labor and pure unselfishness both of you, Mother & Dad, have done for your children. I pray that I can do as well with mine. And I am grateful for your example--a pattern or model to follow.

Dale is coming up there this weekend. He is going to be looking for a job up in that area. He hopes to get back into BYU this fall so he hopes to find a job and housing until then. He and his wife Carolyn hope to see you Saturday (I think.) Dale is very eager to have you meet her. I am sure you will love her. We certainly do. I don't know if they will need a place to stay, but if they do, perhaps you can give them a bed.

How is everything going? Is it getting warm up there yet. We have had a lot of cool weather lately. But when it breaks, it will be hot, hot all summer without a break. Please be careful. And write to us. Love, Perry

Carolyn & Dale on their wedding day
May 21, 1970

Dear Perry & All,

The days come and go without much change, but we wanted to tell you that Jan came and that Dale and his wife came but didn't stay long. They had already found a house and seemed anxious to be getting settled. Jan had gone to see Hope, Grant and Kerry, so Dale and Carolyn went up there and the three went to Provo. They left their wedding books here for us to look through. She seems very nice and is nice looking, and I imagine is an executive and not a "dreamer."

Hazel has asked us to go to Vernal on Decoration Day to visit the cemetery there. Then, instead of trying to come home facing the sun, stay all night at Venice's and come home the next morning. When I wrote last, I should have told you that your other books had come, and Hope and I have read them all. Hazel has the first five. They are all attractive to look at and all of the reading is informative and interesting. I didn't learn if I am to keep them or return then. Hazel asked me that question.

It is surely nice having Hope and Grant close. We are close enough that we can walk the distance easily. We had a nice Mother's Day, and Dad had a nice birthday, and we thought of you on your birthday and wondered what you were doing. Are the Church and Saturday evening Deseret News still coming?

Arthur Goodrich's son, Arthur, had a lung cancer operation. He has smoked for years. I am wondering if he now has quit. They called on us a few days ago and told us that Edith's daughter who lives close by Edith had a bomb put in their wall mailbox, and it went off in the night and blew part of the wall of the house out. Arthur said investigations were being made. The only reason they can figure out is that the husband (I don't know his name) is a school teacher and might have offended someone or some school kid.

So far, the frost has stayed away, and we might have a little fruit again this year. I learned of a way to scare birds out of the fruit trees by tying little tin plates to the branches. The wind sways them back and forth and the birds are afraid. A lady told me she tried it last year and it works. So maybe it would scare the jaybirds away. I think the season is a little late this year, but many fruit trees and flowering shrubs are in bloom. Hope you are all well. Love, Mother and Dad

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cherylen takes over feeding herself

Thursday, August 14, 1969

Dear Perry and Gene,

My, can you stand another marriage? Linda, Marian, and now Dale. If the other three follow in like manner, you will be alone too soon.

We have been getting a few improvements in our house--like carpeting the stairway and the bathroom. It looks very nice. We are looking for Venice and Elvyn and Glenn who is home on leave. How are the married folks? I would like to see the two little girls. I'll bet they are cute.

We are sending a little money for Dale. You buy something for the event. We bought a blanket for David as Hazel said they were short of bedding. David is getting a very nice girl, and you say Dale is too. David's reception is on the 25th of August and Hazel wants us to go to the temple ceremony too, and to the breakfast too.

We had a lot of apricots, and she and Walter came and picked quite a lot, and I went home with her and helped take care of them--for her and for us. All of the Mangums got some too.

Friday, 15th - Well, the folks came last night, or evening. Venice, Elvyn and Glenn and Wilda, Norman and children. The children are surely cute. Glenn went to his mission acquaintances in Nevada today, and I am wondering if he will call on you folks.

Nelson went to Alaska, planning to come back when his parents come. Now Hope writes that he has a good job with good pay, and he will stay up there even though they, Hope and Grant, come back to Utah. Hope says "Isn't that irony?" His car is here, also a lot of his clothes and other things.

Venice says Kent is saving all of his money for a mission. He is quite an outstanding boy and doesn't fall for all of the wild pranks of most of his associates and acquaintances. How are Linda and Marian? Have their husbands really joined the air force? I better get this out for the mailman. Love, Mother and Dad

Gene, Perry and Renee
December 12, 1969

Dear Folks,

Perry underwent his hernia operation this morning at 8:00. He has taken sick leave so will have from now until after the 1st to recuperate. He probably will be writing to you while in the hospital.

We had perfect weather and a lovely visit from Hope and Grant and June for Thanksgiving. Jan came down with them and it was good to see him again. We talked to Jan last night and he was so happy--said the doctor was taking the wires off of his jaws this week and he was so happy to be able to "eat normal" again though he still can't open his mouth more than an inch for awhile.

Marian has finished her quarter of schooling today and is so happy to have her husband, Warren, back for the Christmas season. They will drive up to Sacramento in a few days to find themselves a place to live. He will be stationed at an air force base up there for a few months (maybe a year)?!! We have been enjoying the baby so much. She is such a bright, sunny little sweetheart. My how we'll miss them when they move away.

We see Dale and his wife Carolyn every few days. They live only a few miles away in Upland. Linda and Eric and baby Laura come over often too. They live in Pomona.

A few days after our visit with Hope and Grant and June we had more company. My brother Dick and his wife Betty came down (Dec. 3rd) to see us. They left the children with a babysitter up there so that they could go through the St. George Temple on their way down. It was so good to see them again since their return from Chicago. They are in their home at Kearns again. Dick and family are so glad to be back home. They loved the Church and their callings, but they did not like Chicago.

My mother is fine though she doesn't see very well. She goes to church with us each week. Renee just had her 17th birthday December 8th. She is a beautiful and lovely girl. She and Harriet are both honor-roll students. Wish we could see you both. Love, Gene

December 13, 1969

Dear Perry, Gene and All,

This is a "hurry up" time of year, and I have less and less inclination to hurry. We exhausted all the news Hope had to tell us of their trip, etc., so after this lapse of time, we are wanting to hear more of how everybody is doing. The sun is shining to day, but we still have some snow.

We are so glad Hope and Grant are near and we see each other real often. Hope hasn't had her photos finished yet, so we haven't seen Linda's and Marian's babies pictures. From what Hope said, you had a real big Thanksgiving group.

Dad has had a bout with the flu, but we are both fine now. I think June is coming up to Hope's for a few days of Christmas, so we will see her too. Floyd gave us a turkey for Thanksgiving, but Hope gave us part of theirs already cooked and stuffed, so we will have ours for Christmas.

Our neighbors, the Boswell's, have been to Hawaii but were glad to get back. Everything is so "awfully" expensive. Well, tell us how everything is and everybody is. Give Sister Fast our Love. Love, Mother & Dad

Sunday, December 21, 1969

Dear Perry and family,

So many things seem to be happening to you folks that I hardly know where to begin. But I do hope all is well with you and that you, Perry, are rested and well again.

We had a Sunday School Christmas program this morning and Sacrament Meeting will be something special. I hope some good singer sings "The Holy City." Then during the week, I plan to read the "Christmas Carol" by Dickens. Yesterday Grant and Hope took us to the Cottonwood Mall and helped us pick out a suit for Dad. He hasn't had a new one for several years.

Kerry and June came to see us, and he surely looks good and seems real happy. It was thoughtful of him to give June money for their taxes. Tell Renee she is not our only Christmas child now. Floyd and Sharon have a new girl born December 13. They plan to name her Tricia. I had forgotten about Alan and Norma's girl, Randee, born December 22, 1960.

We hope Jan is ok and will forget football.

Hazel has asked Hope and Grant, June and Kerry and Dad and me over to their home for Christmas dinner for which we are pleased. Love to all. Love, Dad & Mother

Laura and Cherylen
[No date, but probably late December or early January]

Dear Mom, Dad & family,

Things are ok here. I'm still tired all the time, but Linda suggested going to bed earlier. That might have a lot to do with it. heh, heh!

Yesterday Cherylen was eating lunch and was just fussing and squirming. I had made her a sandwich and given her some pieces of apple but didn't know what else she could want. (She had been eating only finger foods because she wouldn't let me feed her and she couldn't use a spoon herself.) Just for the heck of it, I got a jar of baby spinach down and started to pour it in her bowl and let her try a spoon again. She then started screaming and reaching for the jar. She had seen Mommy feed her from a jar, so she wanted it.

I gave her the jar and a spoon. With great vigor, she began dipping the spoon into the creamed spinach and cramming it into her mouth with both hands. After eating half the jar that way, she decided it was too slow and began to drink it. She didn't get any on the floor, but you can imagine what her face looked like. Linda and I were just in stitches! Linda took a picture of her, which Cherylen was rather pleased about. What a little character she is. She's so independent! She just balks at her over-protective mother--not at all like cuddly little Laura. I really enjoy her hugs because I don't get too many from Cherylen.

I hope everyone there is all right. Did Renee ever do her science project? Renee, how are all those boyfriends? Still coming over to the house? If you want to live on campus at BYU, you should apply for housing at least by June. Love, Marian

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Another Little Granddaughter is Born

May 21, 1969

Dear family,

I just had to call as soon as I found out the good news about Jan because I knew he'd want to know right away. I forgot to mention that the good grades Jan got in seminary made quite a big difference and were actually the determining factor, so it looks as though that early morning ritual really paid off. You should hear from them in about one week. If you don't, let me know and I'll go see what's holding things up.

Eric picked up his cap and gown today and today is his last day of classes--what a relief. Eric had to go talk to one of the deans of students today. I imagine it's about his beard, but I'm not sure. I hope they don't cause a big stir this close to the end!

I'm sure looking forward to coming back to California and "home" again--I really miss the place. I think that's all the news. Hope you're all well. How's Tippy! Love, Linda

p.s. Eric just came home and said the dean just wanted to visit with him and find out whether or not he was one of those "weird hippies." Since Eric's such a nice guy who just happens to like beards, there's no problems. Whew!

Monday, June 9, 1969

Dear Perry,

Thank you for your nice "newsy" letter. You know I told Elmer I felt like we would hear something today about Linda and Marian, but I never dreamed Linda had gone to California. We are glad to hear about the baby and that that is over with. Tell Linda I didn't know we were coming to see her too when Nelson and I came. He had said he wanted to see someone in Spanish Fork, and I didn't suppose we would go to Provo, or I would have brought her a bottle of fruit also. I think that is a pretty name. I will have to write the news to Thelma. I feel a little disappointed in not getting to see little Laura Fenn. Now she will be too far away.

Salt Lake is really beautiful now--so many beautiful roses and other shrubs. That really is a good record for your family to have made in school, Perry. Maybe we will get to see Jan this summer. Jan really is ambitious. What will Renee do next year?

A visit to Utah in 1961. Renee, Dale & Harriet on one horse
and Deon Caddy, a neighbor, and David Hilbig on the
other horse. Jan and Marian are sitting on the fence.
Deon Caddy is home from the French Mission and gave his talk in meeting yesterday. I couldn't hear very well as he has a small voice, and he wasn't close to the microphone. Some others complained too. David Hilbig and his girlfriend were there and he said it was a very fine talk and a good report. Quite a few from Fourth Ward were there. Walter and Hazel came and called for Dad and me. I thought it was very good of them. Mr. and Mrs. Caddy sat together, but I know no more than that whether they are reconciled or not.

This seems a good time to stop as I know of no more news. We did get good letters from Hope and Venice the day yours came. Love to all, Mother & Dad [Leona & Elmer]

Linda with baby Laura
June 15, 1969

Dear Perry, Gene & Family,

Venice told me Linda had a baby born the 3rd of June she thought, so I need the baby's name and birthdate and year and their marriage date and I need Marian's husband's birthdate and year. I'll be glad to get these recorded if you want me to have them, but I'm not going to keep writing to anyone in the family to get their dates anymore. If they don't write and send them to me, they will have to keep track of their selves or get lost because so many act like they don't want me to bother them when I write and ask for these dates. so unless you send them to me, I won't worry over you.

We are having funny weather--more winter than summer. We get about 2 nice days and then 4 nasty ones. We went for months without any rain. We had plenty of wind. Then everyone got their hay down and it started to rain. Dee was hauling hay Friday and it started to rain. He wanted to get those bales in to the stacks so he brought up a big rack load and didn't stop to unload it. He threw a tarp over it and jumped in his truck and went down and got the rest.

It was raining quite hard when I left to go up to President Goodrich's 60th wedding anniversary, but it stopped by the time we come out. But it's cloudy and real cool--too cool to suit me. I like it warm enough where the rest are puffing. Then I'm comfortable.

I've got a big washing to do tomorrow, so I hope the sun come out and shine so my clothes can dry and not get rained on. I hope you are all well and enjoying nice weather. I wish I could go where it is warm. I get achy when I get cold. Love to all, Aunt Thelma [Elmer's sister]

Tuesday, June 24, 1969

Dear Mother & Dad,

We had a wonderful visit. We always enjoy ourselves whenever we are there with you. Thank you so much for your lovely hospitality. Our time was so short and our time schedule so crazy and unpredictable--just hope we didn't upset any of yours too much. As Perry says, "We just wanted to break the rigid daily work, school routine pattern and have a good time for a few days." And I guess we surely did. We did a lot of traveling and visiting. Perry says we traveled 2000 miles--that's an awful lot of ground covered in just 4 days!

Perry's back is getting better I think. He is exercising and getting good sleep each night and a nap in the afternoon. He has started his summer school program (morning hours only) and is on vacation til July 1st from his night school teaching. This way he can get more rest and relaxing done. Renee and Harriet are in summer school too each morning. More later. Love, Gene

Hi Folks,

We got home safe but tired. We surely enjoyed seeing you. As I said, it is good just to be in your presence. We surely appreciate your efforts to do everything for us. I know it was a real problem since we were always changing our plans. Love, Perry

Saturday, June 28, 1969

Dear Perry & Gene,

Those were good letters. I am glad if you enjoyed being here. I have told the girls that I don't worry too much when Gene and Perry come because Gene always has a lot of ideas about food and can always think of something. I sometimes think, though, I am always so slow getting all my house in order--always behind with some part of it that I wonder if people think I never do anything. It seems like with just two people in it, it shouldn't get littered or gather dust, but it does. Perry, one definition of home is "where the heart can rest," so I am glad if you can relax and rest.

It is still cloudy and stormy looking. We had our "Old Folks Day" at the church house instead of the park. It was warm and comfortable, and we had a good dinner and program. Love to all, Mother

Harriet, Renee, Perry holding baby Laura, Leora & Gene
Marian and Warren holding baby Cherylen
July 27, 1969

Dear Linda & All,

Thank you, Linda dear, for sending me the information I asked for. I like to keep track of as many as I can. I'm sorry Marian's husband had to go. I hope he doesn't have to be sent over as soon as his 6-week training is over. This old war is taking so many.

Thanks for telling me about the rest of the family. I hardly ever get to hear anything about any of you. Grandma doesn't write very often. I didn't know Dale was planning to get married. I hope he can get a real nice girl and they can be very happy. When this happens, send me his wife's full name and birthdate and year. Genevieve used to keep me up on all of this. I'd send her things I had about some she didn't know about and she would me.

Wayne really liked Marian's husband. He said he didn't get to know your husband, but he sure thought Warren was a fine man, so he will be glad to hear about him. Wayne is in Germany on his mission--has been gone a year the 5th of August. It's getting a bit lonesome here without him running in. He was a real sweet boy to his old auntie.

I thought the picture was nice of all of you. Thanks for sending it and the rest I asked for and most of all I enjoyed a letter from you. Well, I guess it's about dinner time, but I knew I had to write this now as I won't have another free day all week. Love to all, Aunt Thelma

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Worst Day to Learn

The Worst Day to Learn
By Perry Manwaring
(Written for Harriet who was very afraid of shots.)

“Good morning to you,” said the teacher, Miss Slade; the teacher who teaches the Hillview first grade. “Another new day of our class has begun. We’ll learn lots of things; we’ll have lots of fun. We’ve learned how to add. Today we’ll subtract. We may write a play and learn how to act. We’ll learn about weather; we’ll learn about rain. But first we will read from our books Dick and Jane.”

But Harriet Milligan squirmed in her seat. She looked at the floor. She looked at her feet. She twisted her hanky. She twisted her ring. To herself she said, “Hmph, I won’t learn a thing. How does she think that kids can learn lots when today is the day that we have to have shots? Soon we’ll have to line up each one in our turn. Today of all days is the worst day to learn.

‘Look, Dick. See Sally,’ it says in my book. Pooh! All Jane can do is just stand and say, ‘Look.’ I wouldn’t just stand and say, “See Sally, see,’ if some little girl squirted water on me. If it was me standing there in Jane’s place, I wouldn’t say, ‘Funny.’ I’d slap her face. Oh, today is the awfulest day in the nation ‘cause I have to line up for that old vaccination.

And when we line up, I know how it will be. We’ll have to line up in a line A, B, C. At the head of the line will be Anna Mae Abbot, and next is Bob Bliss, and then Charlie Cabot. And right next to him will be Marilyn Chugg to the end of the alphabet—that’s William Zugg.

I have to line up beween Massey and Morrill, and ‘most every day we get in a quarrel. I wish Connie Massey was not next to me. Then I’d be standing by Steven MacKee. I like Steven a lot. His hair’s a neat red. But he doesn’t like me; he likes Connie instead. I wish when we march in a row down the hall, Connie would stumble—maybe she’d fall.

She could sprain an ankle; she might skin a knee. She might have to stay home for two weeks—maybe three. Then he couldn’t like her. He’d have to like me. Oh, today I feel mean. My stomach’s in knots ‘cause today is the day that we have to have shots.

Once in a while we start with the Z, but that doesn’t change things any for me. There’s one that is last and there’s one that is first, but I’m in the middle, and that is the worst. I’d like to be last. That would be fine ‘cause nobody looks at the end of the line. Then when we march in a row down the hall, I’ll bet I could hide just like nothing at all. I’d slip ‘round the corner and then run away. But I’m in the middle, so I have to stay.

At the head of the line you get through a lot quicker, but I have to wait and get sicker and sicker. The line always stops when I’m just in the door. I wish it would stop just a little before ‘cause right at the door there is always a smell. Well, the smell of that smell doesn’t make me feel well. Standing there at the door is awfully tough because on the table there’s bottles and stuff. And needles, and alcohol, cotton for blotters. And right at the end are a whole lot of shotters. If school is to learn and a place to be taught, why do they make it a place to be shot?”

Just then the door opened. A voice said, “Miss Slade, the doctor is ready for all the first grade.” “Very well,” said the teacher. “All right. That is fine. Now children,” she said, “we must get in a line. We usually start with the A’s and the B’s and once in a while we start with the Z’s. Now we shouldn’t every time just start with them, so today, for a change, let’s start with the M’s. I think we should make this a fun little game. We’ll see who of all has the middlest name. We have Massey and Morrill, MacKee and Mulhurst—Harriet Milligan gets to be first! She’ll lead all the class down the hall to room three.” Harriet gulped, “Do you mean me?”

Then stiffly she stood up and walked to her place. (She had quite a serious look on her face.) She opened the door; the door swung out, and the alphabet followed from the inside out. They marched in a line down the hall to room three. M, L, N were first, then K, O, J, P. The first in the line didn’t have time enough to stop and look at the bottles and stuff. Right by the table was Dr. Stover. A twist of the wrist—then it was over.

They returned to the hall, waiting there was Miss Martin with all of her class from the kindergarten. There in a line, all in their places, were thirty sober little faces. One little girl at Harriet stared and said, “Did it hurt? I feel awful scared.” “Hurt?” Harriet said. “It felt more like a touch. Well, it did hurt a little—but not very much.” She took Connie’s hand as they walked down the hall and said, “I was scared too when I used to be small.”