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

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