Saturday, September 28, 2013

Little John is born

Laura with baby brother John
July 6, 1971

Dear Perry,

For a long while I have had it on my mind to write and wishing to be able to visit without the cumbersome job of writing.

The 4th has passed. We tried to watch the parade on TV, but it wasn't very good--too much interference or something. I remember you saying you didn't like parades. I suppose you did too much marching and drumming in the hot sun. I thought of the poor folks who had to walk in the hot sun clear out to Liberty Park.

I wonder if anybody told you about Kent Bascom being a winner in the privilege of going to Europe with his music group? He has turned out to be a very good singer. They plan to go (that is some of them) to the London Temple, and he took his temple recommend. They go to all of the big cities of Europe. I hope we get to see and talk with him when he gets back.

Walter and Hazel came and painted our front room and kitchen and stairway to the basement. Then they came the next day and picked cherries. There were quite a few, and we have tried to give all the folks a taste. It was hard to keep them from the birds and the kids who seem to think that things like that are public property.

Dad and I went with Hope when she went to get Renee at the airport then went to Provo and saw her apartment location. She is a sweet child--so free from vanity. I think Hope and Grant and June have seen her since. I wish you would send us one of Jan's letters. We would surely like to hear from him. I asked Renee what Harriet would do without her and she laughed and said, "I don't know!"

We were glad to get word about Linda and Marian and Dale. It kind of seems like they belong to us. We went to David's ward when his and Barbara's little boy was blessed and named Michael David. They are very happy about him. Then that afternoon we went with the Hilbigs and Barbara's folks out to her parents place and had an outdoor picnic.

Hope is coming to take me to the bank and to the store to get something to eat. Love from Mother and Dad

July 12, 1971

Dear Mother and Dad,

It surely was good to get your letter. It has been a long time since we heard from you. In fact, I was just thinking I should write you--that perhaps it was really my turn.

It doesn't look like we will get up there this summer. Both of our cars are too old to make the trip, and with Renee in college and Jan on a mission, I don't want to buy a new one just yet--not with the economic situation the way it is now. But we are surely glad that Renee got to see you. Both she and Harriet have been wanting to see you especially since neither of them got to see you last summer when Gene and I and her mother came up.

We are surely pleased with the reports we hear from Jan. I will enclose a couple of letters. In fact, I will try to do that frequently. I am sure he would like you to have them and I'm sure you will enjoy them as we have. I hope he will find time to write you occasionally too.

I am supervising a summer reading program again this summer like I did last summer. It is a pretty nice job, and once everything is set up it is not too difficult. But I only work five hours a day for five weeks and then I will be "unemployed" again until school starts this fall. However I have been asked to employ my writing skill in writing materials about famous Mexican-Americans. It is on a consultant basis although I will be doing some of the actual writing. Also I still have my evening job so I manage to keep busy even though I am not rich.

Grandpa Manwaring, Grandpa Hartman,
Uncle Dale with Eric and baby John for his blessing
Did you hear about your new great-grandson, John Leslie Hartman? He was born on July 1. Linda is getting along real well. I suppose you will be getting more of the statistics later. Needless to say we are very happy.

Marian and her two were down for three weeks then Warren came and joined her. We surely did have a house full for a few weeks. We all helped Linda and Eric get their house fixed up. They have moved into one of those big old homes in Claremont. They surely have a lot of room but it surely took a lot of fixing to get it livable.

That was very interesting about Kent. Please take care of yourself. Are you keeping cool? It's real hot here now. Love, Perry

July 16, 1971

Dear Folks,

Perry has been holding up his letter to you till Marian sent back some of Jan's letters. They came today so will enclose a couple of them to you. He was transferred out of La Paz (the capital city) to a small jungle town in the southern part of Bolivia. He loves the people so much and especially the small villages.

We are all keeping very busy this summer. I've been putting up Linda's apricots and trying to help her some too though she really is doing so well! They have a beautiful baby boy and are so proud of him.

Harriet is taking a history class in summer school but is making plans and saving her money for a trip to Salt Lake and to Provo to visit her sister Renee. Must hurry. Do hope all is well with you both. Love, Gene

August 10, 1971

Dear Folks,

Perry and I are spending some time today at the Pomona Public Library. While he is reading and looking up some things, I thought I'd write a few lines. I've also made copies of Renee's and Jan's last letters, which we enjoyed so much, and will send them on to you to read too. Please let others of the family read them too.

We are so proud of all of our children. They are working so hard and conscientiously at their life's work and church callings and are showing such love and appreciation for each member of the family. You probably don't hear much from Dale and Carolyn. They both have jobs in their ward's MIA. She has a girls class and Dale has the boys plus he is the music leader also. He is a welder and works for a man who is a member in their stake. He is hoping to get back into school this fall too. Little Charlotte Renee is a real joy to us all. She reminds me some of Dale as a baby--so coy and full of smiles. She is a real beauty with deep blue eyes, dark auburn hair and Dale's dark skin. She is 10 months old now.

Maybe you've heard from Linda. You probably know they have moved into Claremont. They are renting a large old house on Indian Hill Blvd., so they are only about two miles from us. They moved in about 2 weeks before little John was born. She worked so hard and fast to get it ready for the new baby--even painting the baby's room and trying to keep everything watered outside.  She had a heavily-loaded apricot tree and peach tree among others in the backyard that would have died. The college kids that had lived in the place before them had sadly neglected the place.

She is so determined to keep the place up and make it look good. She and Eric are still painting inside. They have a large kitchen and back service porch, even a pantry, a dining room with built-in cupboards and drawers, a big living room and a closed-in sunporch. There's a big bedroom in front and another in the back. The floors are bare, but they are hardwood. She and Eric have only acquired the bare essentials in furniture, nothing new.

Laura with Grandpa's spring flowers
My mother and I gave Linda a little maple rocking chair after the baby was born. She was so pleased with it. The ward members gave Linda and Eric a wonderful party about 2 weeks ago. They got such a warm welcome and also so many nice things for little John. Little John is growing and thriving and Laura is an alert but sweet little girl who loves her mommy and daddy so very much.

They attend church so faithfully. On the last week of July we had our BYU Education Week here in Pomona Stake. Linda and I attended (taking the children too) and she expressed a desire to go to the temple before it closed. So Perry and Linda and I went in early on the last day of July. We enjoyed it so much.

We have been trying to live through (comfortably) this 100 degree-plus weather we've had for over a week using our cool basement room in the hot afternoons. My mother has an air conditioner in her room or else she couldn't survive--she suffers the heat so. Perry and I have gone in to Los Angeles and once to Laguna Beach to the Art Festival and have escaped the heat some that way too.

[Either Gene never finished this letter or the closing page has been lost for it stops abruptly here.]

Laura, Spring 1971 at Grandma & Grandpa Manwaring's
August 12, 1971

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

We just developed some film we'd had in our camera awhile, and I'm enclosing a copy of one Eric took of Laura up at Dad's place last spring. I know you'll enjoy seeing how she's grown.

We're all fine but suffering from the heat and looking forward to cooler weather. Eric's planning to re-enter college this fall with the intent to become a shop teacher--a job he feels he'd prefer to what he has now. We certainly would like to accomplish this goal and pray that we can.

We're having lots of fun fixing up our big, old house. We work on one room at a time and get it just right then move on to the next. Since moving here, we haven't had time to watch TV once, which I think is wonderful.

Tell Renee and Harriet hello for me when you see them. I believe they're planning on a visit with you this weekend. Certainly hope you're enjoying good health. Love, Linda

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