Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letters between Perry & his Mother

One of Perry's many school pictures
May 5, 1975

Dear Mother & Dad,

Since tomorrow is my birthday, I thought it appropriate to write and thank you for my birthday. Truly I am grateful to you, and as Elder Ballard said, "I'm thankful my parents didn't forget me." This is a beautiful time of the year and I was always glad that my birthday was in May.

Our visiting time was brief last Easter, but I hope we will get to see you again this summer. I hope you are well. We all love you. Perry

May 16, 1975

Dear Perry & Family,

If I hurry, maybe I can write a few lines before the mailman comes. First, the weather is nice, and we are both feeling pretty well in spite of being a little "lazy" I call it. Of course, your father can't see to get around much so he has an excuse.

Uncle Arthur Goodrich died, and his funeral was held yesterday. His daughter, Gay Bronson, asked Dad to offer the opening prayer and told him afterward, "that was the best prayer I have ever heard at a funeral." Arvil Stone, Ruth Goodrich's husband, gave the closing prayer. Ruth Stone and I are the only two left of the family. Seems a bit lonesome. Walter and Hazel took us. Hope came from Spanish Fork and went with us. Walter stopped at a hamburger stand and bought us sandwiches at noon. Dad and I are both tired today.

Did I tell you that I was honored at a Relief Society birthday for being the oldest lady present? And I was given a beautiful coconut cake, so I must be quite old!

The neighbor's dandelions are all out in bloom, and I am trying to keep them from our lawn, which is trying. Our fruit trees are all in bloom, and we are hoping the frost won't come and kill the blossoms. We are having strawberries and cream for dinner--come and join us. Love Mother & Dad

May 19, 1975

Dear Perry,

Most of the birthdays are past, and I wrote a short letter recently, but I feel like writing a bit more anyway. It is not very satisfactory to try to talk on the phone, only in cases of emergency.

It is cloudy and cold with a little wind, and our early fruit trees are in bloom. We hope there will be no frost. Saturday we went with Grant and Hope to their home in Spanish Fork. They have the old William's home. It is all repainted and furnished and is very comfortable. Grant is doing as well as can be expected, but he still needs rest.

One thing has been on my mind lately and that is about antiques. I have two old readers that belonged to my older brother--at least they have Albert's name in them. Perhaps Ruth Goodrich would lay claim to them, but since I have them in my possession, I can give them to whom I will. (Is that right?) They have very interesting articles in them. I would just as soon give them to you as anybody.

It is about mail time and there is not much of interest to write about. Arthur Goodrich's funeral left me feeling a bit lonely to think that there is only two of us left of that big family. Ruth and Arvil Stone have called on us quite frequently in the past, but now that Arthur is gone--I wonder.

The condition of the world is such that Ashel Manwaring thinks the time is short--it will soon be the beginning of the Seventh Thousand Years. Love to all, Mother

Gene, Leona & Perry at Disneyland, 1976
May 23, 1975

Dear Mother and Dad,

I have a little time this morning, so I will try to get a short letter written. I surely did enjoy the two letters so close together Mother. Gene always comments about what a good letter you write and I agree.

I am glad that you are both feeling as well as you are, and I understand that Dad is feeling better than he has felt for some time. That is good news. I hope you can maintain this way.

I am glad you both were able to make a trip to Spanish Fork and have a visit with Hope and Grant. I am often envious of the geographical closeness that some of the other members of the family have to you. I wish I could be there to see you, visit you, and give you some of the help you need. But I have to be content with just occasional visits. But then I did have the privilege of living real close to you for a number of years.

Gene and I are making tentative plans to see you again next month, about June 22 or so. We have a few details to work out like the care of Gene's mother and getting our car in proper operating condition, but this is our present plan.

Mother, you mentioned that you are thinking more about antiques. I am too, but not just because things are old or rare. Rather for me it is for their history sake and because they represent my roots. Example: The other day I was browsing through an old shop and began looking through some old records. Suddenly, before my eyes was that old song, "The Utah Trail." On the other side was "Springtime in the Rockies." I could hardly believe it--to find that old song in an old antique shop clear down here. Of course I bought it at once, and it cost me only one dollar. So if you have some old books or anything like that, be sure to save it. Any of your children or grandchildren would treasure it. And the books which you mentioned I would certainly be delighted to have.

We had a nice visit with David and family. I am glad that a few people make their way down here once in a while. They surely did enjoy it and so did we. Then again, we had them all come for dinner on Sunday for Marian's birthday.

I must go now. Please keep writing. Gene and I certainly enjoy your letters. Love, Perry

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baby Karl is Born

February 25, 1975

Dear Mother and Dad,

It was good to hear your voices on the telephone and then to get a nice letter from you a few days later. Mother, I am surely glad that you are getting along as well as you are and that Hazel and neighbors can give you some help. It seems like you have been able to get through this winter quite well without any bad colds or flu. I am thankful for that. Gene and I have both had the flu. With Gene it developed into bronchitis and she has really been down. She is just now recovering.

It is such beautiful spring weather here now. It is hard to realize that they are having snow and blizzards in the midwest. I have some Iceland poppies and some daisies that are in full bloom and they really brighten things up. Everything needs watering, and I have been trying to get the lawn watered over.

Yes, Mother, I am still getting the Church News, and I appreciate the gift that you have been sending for so many years that I have forgotten just how many. Gene and I both enjoy it and it keeps us posted on what is happening.

Little Karl Albert Hartman--about one year old
We are planning to come up there on spring vacation again. That will be the last week in March this year--about one month from now. However, Linda is expecting her baby about that time, so it is just possible that the new arrival might interfere. But we are all planning for it (he or she) to arrive when we get back. I'm not sure if the baby has the same plans or not.

Please go on being careful. We pray for you continually. I hope that arthritis will not be too much to deal with. I know it can be quite painful. Also Mother, be careful of that nose that keeps wanting to bleed. I am so thankful that you have both been able to live these many years and in such reasonably good health. I want you to continue on for a long time yet.

We are all well down here and all send our love to you. Did you know that Marian and Warren live in Riverside now--about an hour's drive from us, so we get to see all the grandchildren quite often now. I must go to bed now "so I can get up." Love, Perry

April 2, 1975

Dear Mother and Dad,

It was surely good to see you and be able to spend a little time with you. I hope you are still both as well as when we left. As for me, I had to bring a good cold back, but I am about recovered now. We surely had a good vacation--brief as it was--visiting with you and the rest of the family. It was one of the best vacations I have had for such a short time.

I know it was a bit of an ordeal for you, but I am glad we were able to get you through the doctor's examination while I was there. You were both really grand. Now we can do a few more things to keep you in good health and enjoying life just as long as possible.

Linda is doing just fine after giving birth to little Karl Albert. He is doing just fine and tonight she is away to a primary preparation meeting. That gives you an idea of her kind of spirit.

This is a short note, but I wanted to let you know that we arrived here safely and to wish you well. We surely did enjoy our visit with you and are looking forward to another this summer, so take care of yourselves. Love, Perry

April 9, 1975

Dear Perry & All,

I have one sheet of paper, so this will be brief, but there isn't much news. Dad and I went to the doctor with Walter and Hazel. Dr. Davis said he wished that he was "as good and clean a man" as Dad. Then Walter took him to another doctor in Sugar House who said about the same thing. I was surprised to see Dr. Davis sit down and talk to Dad like he had all of the time in the world. Then I was surprised to get four different kinds of pills for me, which I take every day. Both doctors told Dad to "take plenty of water and plenty of good food."

Did you get the Conference? We listened here, and it was good. Jan and his wife gave us a short Sunday afternoon visit. Grant is doing fine after his recent operation. The weather is nice here at present. Love, Mother & Dad

April 14, 1975

Dear Mother and Dad,

I am at school on my lunch period, and I have this typewriter in my room, so I will use it to get a letter written to you. This size type should make it a little easier on your eyes anyway--that is if I can avoid making too many mistakes!

I keep thinking about the good visit I had with you while I was up there this last time. It was good to see you feeling so well and hear you laugh and chuckle, so I know you are in good spirits. I am also glad that we were able to get you to the doctor for an examination although I know that part was not very pleasant to you. But now we know more what to do to make things more pleasant for you. Mother, be sure to take those pills as directed.

Leora enjoying Perry's kerosene lamp and a warm fire
Do you remember the two lamps we had with the round wicks and the mantle that fit over the wicks? They were kerosene lamps. We had them up until we got electricity. I have been looking for one like those we had. Well, yesterday I found one in a little antique shop here in Claremont, so I bought it. Now I show it off to everybody and they are all amazed at it and the amount of light it gives. Dale said, "I used to feel sorry for you, but if you had a light that good, I don't feel sorry for you anymore." It really does give a good, bright, soft light. I had to pay $100 for it, but I consider it worth it. Gene really loves it too and is glad that I bought it.

Isn't it strange the things one values with the passing of time. I guess I wanted it because it reminds me of the home I lived in that was filled with the warmth and glow of love even though we had so very little of the material things. When I told Marian about it, she was shocked that I would pay that much because my children know me as one who does not go much for frivolities. She said, "That's a lot of money to pay for nostalgia." But after she saw it, she thought I got a good deal. Particularly was this so when I explained that although the lamp cost about 15 to 20 dollars back when you bought it, that represented a lot of days of labor for Dad. He worked for about two dollars a day when he could get work. And at that price, he had to work about two weeks to pay for one lamp. So in terms of hours of labor, I really got a bargain compared to that.

We are all well. It stays quite cold here, but warm weather will break through soon. Even though it is cold, we still have a lot of nice spring flowers in bloom. We are expecting Renee and Harriet down for the semester break this weekend. They are bringing some of their friends with them. I hope we have good weather as they are hoping to spend some time at the beach.

I must go now as my time is gone. I surely love you. Take care of yourselves and God bless you. Love, Perry

PS. I wish you could see my lamp.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Little Gwen is Born, but Marian Almost Dies

July 26, 1974

Dear Perry,

It just dawned on me today that I didn't tell you we must return Iretta Vetterlein's cake pan. It's the one that I loaned to Marie Ohman. Will you please see that she gets it back right away honey?!

How did everything go for you this week? How is everything at home? Have you been alone much? Marian is continuing to heal and mend very well and the baby is so good--takes her bottles without complaining though she would much rather nurse Marian. And Marian is trying to get her milk back by eating and drinking lots and nursing little Gwen every 4 hours.

[After reading this letter, I realized that I needed to talk to some of the people involved and get more of the back story. I first called Gwen who was pleased to report of her birth that, true to her mother's prediction to disbelieving hospital staff, her arrival happened sooner rather than later, which meant that she was born on the gurney in the hallway as frantic nurses attempted to rush her mother to the delivery room.]

The doctors are all amazed at Marian--not only is she healing so fast but because of her amazing attitude to be such a conscientious mother. She cannot lift or work yet but gets up and dressed and moving around every day. Her open wound (a long one) is healing rapidly without stitches.

[I next talked to Marian who told me some more of the story. Not many days after Gwen's birth,  she suffered a ruptured appendix, which required hospitalization and a difficult recovery. Marian had not been feeling well ever since Gwen's birth, but her fever, abdominal pain and lack of strength were attributed to the birth of her little girl. The medical staff did not detect the real problem until Marian's appendix became a medical crisis and she almost lost her life.]

The boys are a real handful and Cherylen is a dear, patient little girl. I am usually warn to a frazzle by the end of each day keeping them from killing each other. Getting the meals and dishes done and clothes washed is only minor details. I manage to nap each afternoon with the boys though the weather is over 100 degrees each afternoon and there is no air conditioner in this little house with a "hot tin roof"--no kidding! It's pretty bad. Surely wish we had Grandma Fast's little window fan!

[I then talked to Cherylen who, although only a child of five years, had vivid memories of this whole drama. While the adults were trying to deal with all the difficulties occasioned by Marian's medical crisis, Cherylen could only understand two things: her mother was gone and so was her baby sister. It turns out that Warren's secretary had stepped up to take care of baby Gwen while Marian was in the hospital with her ruptured appendix. But no one had consulted big sister Cherylen about these arrangements, and in her mind she worried that her little sister had been kidnapped. So after kindergarten, Cherylen walked a mile and a half to the secretary's house and demanded the return of her baby. The secretary was unsympathetic, gave Cherylen a spanking and ordered her to walk home, which she did--crying--whereupon she got another lecture for not coming straight home from school.]

Warren is playing golf with some of his buddies this afternoon. It's 6 PM now and he isn't home yet. Sometimes I feel like my good, generous disposition is being taken advantage of! Wow, I guess it's this awful heat that's getting me down today. When will it let up? Is it this bad in Claremont?

[I'm sure Warren's brother-in-law, Dale, could totally understand and sympathize with a man's need to relieve his stress on the golf course with his buddies.  After all, if your wife almost dies and you have four little children--one of them a newborn--what could be a better and more natural activity?]

Have you heard from the kids yet? Any interesting mail? Please write. Love, Gene

PS. Marian's doctor says she will not be able to take over her house and family for at least a month. Can you spare me that long?

Chris, David, Gwen and Cherylen Bodily with their
great-grandparents, Leona and Elmer Manwaring
August 12, 1974

Dear Perry and all,

It was so good to hear your voice yesterday that it is almost disappointing to think how long it takes to carry on a word or two by mail. When you called yesterday, Mrs. Campbell was here talking about her two boys. Bruce is going on a mission, and they don't know where Chris is. He just left home and has never written them. I could feel the sorrow and disappointment in her voice. Some of the neighbors say that Campbells always favored Bruce and that is why Chris left. I can't think of anyone who would try harder then Elwood and his wife to treat them both fairly.

Your father isn't feeling too well and spends most of his time on the bed. He eats fairly well but just doesn't take any interest in anything much. He says he will live until just about my birthday. Yesterday I said, "Well, are you getting better or worse?" And he said, "Worse!" The bishop came to see us Saturday and Dad had me make out our tithing check. The neighbors bring us food--that is some of them, especially on Sunday.

It was nice to see Jan and the girls two weeks ago, and we thought perhaps we would see them again last Saturday, but they didn't come. Perhaps they went home.

We surely do enjoy our nice carpet. Every time I put my bare foot on it, I have a special feeling of pleasure. The organ isn't fixed yet, but it looks good on the outside. They brought it back varnished and all of the keys in place but no bellows.

We have a fall wind today. Fall is surely coming and "Sweet Summer's going away" and "the cricket now his chirp begins" and they seem to sadly say. I must seal this letter as the mailman comes early now-a-days, so give our love to all of the folks. Love from Mother & Dad

September 24, 1974

Dear Perry & All,

This letter was to have been written earlier so that it could have gone to the postoffice today, but my usual procrastinating habits prevailed. So here I am with quite a few things on my mind that I hope I can remember to write.

We can walk on the nice, new carpet, and the organ is in place. I try to remember what I once knew, but I need to start all over again. June brought some of her music for me to work on, but I am slow. Mrs. Brunson came over and played some songs from the hymn book, and Hope and Grant came yesterday. Hope said, "Well, Mother, you taught us" (Meaning June and her how to play the organ.)

It is a beautiful day. Autumn comes slowly this year. I think I told you that Chris Campbell had left home. He came back and was at church yesterday. Bruce talked. He goes soon to Brazil. They came here after church. Bruce played the organ and Chris played the guitar. They are surely nice boys.

Every time I go out of doors, I hear a cricket chirping, and I think of the song-- "And the cricket new his chirp begins and the quail is whistling gay, 'Sweet summer, sweet summer, sweet summer's gone away.'"

I have been looking over the Book of Mormon and think how terrible are the results of sin and the thousands of people who fell because of it. There is a statement in the Bible "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man." It is rather discouraging to contemplate when it seems there should be more help in helping people to become good now than ever before.

What are all of you doing? I see the mail coming, so I will close. Love to all. Mother & Dad

A Thanksgiving from the past when our father decided
to invite some Native Americans from a local reservation
November 29, 1974

Dear Perry & Gene,

I wanted to call you on the phone, but after all, there isn't much one can say on the phone when you feel hurried. We went to Hazel's yesterday for dinner. She had turkey and everything that goes for a Thanksgiving dinner. Barbara's parents and her grandmother also were there. Hazel asked June, but I guess she felt like it was a good time to relax.

Floyd and Sharon brought us some roast chicken and a lovely cake Wednesday, so we are still eating Thanksgiving food, and I think they took some to June. Kerry Dee was released from the Army service last week, so he came back here to June's. She says he got a job right away here in Salt Lake using big equipment for road work. Julie went up to Idaho to visit her parents.

We still have nice sunshine. We have the old sewing machine out in the garage. It is still intact but needs a sanding and varnish. The next oldest things I have are two Relief Society magazines dated 1933 and 1934. I am trying to practice on the organ and June gave me some beginners music, but it is easier to play something I already know by ear.

We are glad you could visit all of your family on Thanksgiving. Love, Mother & Dad

Sledding on Elgin Avenue, Salt Lake City
Linda, cousin David, Marian & Dale, 1951
December 6, 1974

Dear Grandma & Grandpa,

Do you have any snow yet? Laura and John are always telling me we should live where it snows. They insist on hearing stories of how I slid down our street and built snowmen and snow houses. When I tell them the snow is very cold and lots of people don't like it, they look at me with unbelieving eyes.

We're all very busy but have few complaints. Marian and Warren are moving down here in a couple of weeks. Warren has a new job in Riverside which is about 1/2 hour drive from us. Love, Linda, Eric, Laura, John, Jesse and Elmer

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Elmer is born. Jan & Cara Lee wed.

Two-year-old Elmer on an
Easter egg hunt at Grandma
and Grandpa Manwaring's house
January 18, 1974

Dear Perry,

It was surely good to get your letter yesterday. For several days I had been contemplating phoning you. Hazel and Walter come quite often, and they do some shopping for us. The neighbors are good too. Mrs. Newbold the other day said, "Now Sister Manwaring, if there is anything I can get at the store that you want, just let me know for I go right by there every day." I went to the DUR [Daughters of the Utah Pioneers] meeting yesterday with Mrs. Ballard. She is always obliging.

We have some snow yet, but it is gradually thawing. Are you having trouble getting what gas you need? We still get our Social Security checks and are doing ok. Hazel and Walter saw to it that Dad and I each got a good overcoat--the most I ever paid for a coat, but it is very nice. I was good to see Jan who brought us the oranges and lemons.

Sorry to hear about Gene's mother. You have often said to me "Be careful not to fall." Well the other day I was bringing in Winder's bread and milk and caught my toe on a thick rug that Hope and June bought us and down I went and bumped my head on one of the bottles. It didn't bleed, but it is still sore. Dad can't see too good, so I try to do most of the seeing jobs.

Hope and Grant are in Spanish Fork. I told June that we heard more often from Hope when they lived in Alaska. June is quite tired of her job, but I guess there isn't much she can do to make matters better. She went to Denver for the holidays to be with Kerry and Julie. He came and got her, which I thought was very good of him. When it was time to come back he brought her to the airport to take the plane. She said there was quite a bit of disturbance in the air. June said she had ridden in bumpy cars, jolty wagons, etc. in her life, but she had never before had such a "bumpy" ride and was so relieved to get to the airport. She had to call Floyd to come and get her in the middle of the night as the plane got in late.

The mail just went one way, so I will try and get this out. Love, Dad & Mother

John, Jesse, Laura, baby Elmer visiting Great-grandpa Fast's
grave with Grandma Manwaring, Great-grandma Fast and
her good friend, Flossie
January 31, 1974

Dear Gene and Family,

I doesn't seem possible that January is just about gone. Where does the time go? I was surely saddened about the condition of your mother. I just can't realize that there is a question of her not being able to walk again. How I wish I could see her but that seems to be out of the question now at this distance. You said they keep her quite tranquilized. Does she know you at all times. I do hope she is as comfortable as they can make her.

Also hated to hear of the deal of Walt Fast. If I remember correctly, he was nearing the century mark. What a remarkable life he has led. I suppose Leadelle is still alive, but I understand in a home of some kind.

This is such a beautiful day that I feel like taking off, but I do have things to do. They are tearing up the street in front of my house and what a mess that will be before it is finished. I wonder why they are always working on the streets that seem to be in reasonably good shape.

You say you are going back to school. I think that is wonderful and I am for it if you have the time. The old saying is if you want to do anything bad enough there is always time. Hope you are over your colds. I feel fine and hope it continues. I go almost every afternoon to see my sick neighbor and do believe I am not thankful enough for my blessings.

I see I have a beautiful rose in bloom. Just had everything trimmed around the place and it looks nice. My folks in Oklahoma want me to sell and come back there, but I lived there twenty-five years and that is enough. It was cold while there but not much snow--some sleet I hate as I am not too sure-footed, and I do take it easy so as not to fall.

I have several letters to write so all for now. I hope you can keep me posted as to your mother if only a short note. My love to your family, Flossie

March 5, 1974
[This letter was accidentally posted in the 1973 collection. A shortened version is reposted here.]

Dear Perry,

As I look out, I see a foot of new snow and a huge snow man across the street and little children playing in the snow. This has been quite a storm, and you folks should have had some of it. But the sun is shining now and the day is nice.

That was quite an experience for all of you when Linda's baby was born, and we hope all is well now. [Frederick Elmer Hartman was born in the car in the way to the hospital.] We were so glad to hear that the little boy, [Jesse's,]  heart is perfectly normal now. Your father is quite pleased with the baby's name. You spoke of your descendants and carrying on the name.

Jan and his girlfriend were here some time ago and invited us to be present, if we can, to their forth-coming marriage in the Provo Temple in July, I believe. (Dad says Salt Lake Temple.)

Next day: Well, the world is still white. The roads are clear though, and we are feeling ok. We have had quite a wind. Hazel said it was taking the shingles off from their house. She says the wind has more force at their location where it comes down those mountain slopes.

We have heard that Wilda has a baby girl. Grant came down several days ago to see his doctor and took me to the grocery store. He is not feeling very well. Did you read in the paper of the death of John Goodrich, my brother. Ruth and Arvil came here and told us about the funeral.

Well, I had better get this in the mail. Love, Dad and Mother

April 2, 1974

Dear Mother & Dad,

Perry will be taking his spring vacation next week. We plan to drive up to Provo and Salt Lake leaving here Saturday morning early (April 6th.) We would like to spend the first night (Saturday) with you folks. Jan plans to meet us at your place too. We expect to be arriving at about 6 pm or we hope not much later.

We are planning to meet Cara Lee's parents Sunday perhaps as they are coming to SLC from Burley for this occasion also. We will leave Harriet here to take care of the house and yard for us. She is also working for the local pharmacy here nearby and enjoys her job.

We're all fine and looking forward eagerly to seeing all of you. Love, Gene

April 28, 1974

Dear Mother and Dad,

It was surely great to see you again. That was one of the best visits I have ever had. We had a good visit with you, and I even got to shovel snow off the driveway just for old times sake. I also had a very good visit with Hazel and Hope, a brief visit with June and a telephone conversation with Venice.

Hazel has written me that Dad hasn't been feeling too well lately. Dad, I hope you can recover and get to feeling up to par soon. I am always amazed at how well both you and Mother are doing for your age. Be careful you don't take any falls.

Things are beautiful here right now. Flowers are blooming and it smells so much of spring, particularly early in the morning, that it reminds me that it will soon be my birthday. I always did think spring, May in particular, was a good time for birthdays.

Thanks again for helping us have such a good time. Since I've been home, I've felt like turning around and going back again. And maybe we will before too long, say maybe about June, but July for sure. Love, Perry

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"The Little Kiddies Look so Cute"

Linda, Eric, Laura, John & little Jesse
September 17, 1973

Dear Linda,

Thanks for the picture. Thanks so very much. The little kiddies look so cute and happy. It is good of you too, but I think Eric would look better with some of his hair cut off. But that is just my idea, and Dame Fashion is quite a dictator.

We have a few breezes lately--just a forewarner of fall and winter. Warren called on us, and we were glad to see him. He and Marian are glad, I'll bet, that he has finished that course.

We had quite a lot of fruit in our orchard this year. Floyd and Hazel helped gather it, and Hazel put up some for us. It could be scarce next year. We had another "Labor Day Breakfast" and I kept thinking of the time that you and Marian went down with us. Do you remember? That was quite a long time ago.

I can't remember if you met my brother Arthur Goodrich when you folks lived here. He has cancer, "full of cancer" the doctor says. He is still cheerful and we talk on the phone almost every day.

Linda, I am sending you five dollars for you or the little kiddies (as you please) and wish we could just slip in some and say "Hello." That little boy, Jesse, looks like a perfectly well child now. Is he? We just were able to say hello to Jan when he called to get his books.

Kerry Dee, with his wife and two children, called on us Sunday. It was his birthday Saturday, but I don't know how old he is. June, Grant and Hope were with him. Kerry and wife have two children, and they live somewhere in Colorado.

You all look so happy. Love and best wishes, Grandpa and Grandma

November 26, 1973

Dear Perry & All,

Thanksgiving is over and a new week is here or beginning. Last week I kept thinking of the poem "When the Frost is on the Pumpkin," and thinking too of you as you used to like to read it. Now it is snow and more snow.

We went to Hazel's for Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed the day very much. David and family were there. When we got home, Floyd and Sharon came with a roast chicken, cranberry jelly and pie, so we really have been eating Thanksgiving dinners.

We got your Thanksgiving card, and Hazel and I could hardly count the "twenty" you mentioned, but we did. Walter told us of his boyhood in Germany when he could hardly remember ever having enough to eat. I can hardly imagine it. Then when the war came, it was worse.

Grant is in the hospital with the chest hernia problem, and Hope has been staying with June. There seems to be some infection I believe. Poor Grant, he has had quite a time. For quite a while he had ear aches in the fall. Dad has been out shoveling snow and now has gone to sleep. Did the BYU folks go home by plane or by car?

After all of this snow, I keep wondering about Ashley Valley and the snow they might be getting and about Thelma shoveling herself out. It would be nice to hear about all of the Perry and Gene Manwaring families, etc., but for the present, I will just hope that everyone is well and happy. Tell us about the Provo group when you can. Love, Mother and Dad

Gene, Perry, Harriet, Jan & Renee
December 17, 1973

Dear Folks,

I have been waiting for Perry to write but won't wait any longer. I'll write today. Poor Perry has been sorely afflicted with poison oak ever since Thanksgiving weekend and another Saturday 2 weeks later when he and Dale went into a lemon grove nearby to cut wood for the winter. We got a nice supply of wood for our fireplace, but Perry is surely suffering for it and has finally gone to a doctor and got a cortisone shot for it. It covered both of his arms but is beginning to heal now.

We enjoyed your letter so much. Have also heard recently from Hope and also Venice. Each of our children at the BYU has written us too about a wonderful Salt Lake visit last weekend to see you all and told how much they enjoyed their weekend up there.

They probably told you about our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and weekend. Harriet even got to go with Perry and pick out our Christmas tree at a big Christmas tree farm. We haven't cut it down yet!

You've heard about my mother's fall and hospitalization. She is still recovering--won't be able to walk for some time to come. She is in a small hospital here in Claremont now and we go in to visit her everyday. It is so sad to see her so immobilized. My brother Dick with some of his children came down for a few days after Thanksgiving to see Mother and all of us. We were so glad to have him here.

I talk to Linda every day on the phone and she comes over often. We go shopping together and to Relief Society together and I tend her little boys (John and Jesse) when she and Laura go to Primary each week. It is such a joy having her near by.

We miss Marian and family so far away in Northern California and write her often. She and Linda miss each other too and sometimes call one another on the phone. They are planning to come down for Christmas even though Marian is lately suffering morning sickness again. Linda is very "heavy with child" now but never complains. I enjoy her and her family so much.

The children probably told you I am making plans to go back to school again. Starting next semester (about February 1st.) It's a two-year state college not far away. It's an art course. The college is very near Dale and Carolyn's big home in Glendora. Guess you've heard about them too. Dale and Carolyn have a big, lovely home where they take care of 5 county boys. This job pays them very well and Dale now plans to get back into school again full-time. They are both happy with the work and love the boys who are in their charge.

Perry is back at Montview school again this year after so many years as the reading specialist there. He enjoys the working with children so much. He is still researching and writing too whenever he can. We are both in the ward choir and must practice twice a week now. I am also singing with the Relief Society choir and go to practice each Friday morning. I shall hate to give this one up in February.

Our weather is beautiful again--everything so green and Christmas flowers and holly blooming now. I love this time of year here. Linda's lemon and orange trees are heavy with fruit, which she shares with us each Chistmas. Wish you could see California in December.

We especially enjoyed our visit with Marian and family this fall too. Would love to live in Northern California some day. The forests and hills up there are very beautiful. I'll send you Marian's address, also Dales: Mr. & Mrs. Warren Bodily, 1615 S. Dora St., Ukiah, CA 95482 and Mr. & Mrs. Dale E. Manwaring, 160 N. Valley Center, Glendora, CA 91740. Linda's is: Mr. & Mrs. Eric Hartman, 1201 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711.

We are expecting all of the children home sometime this week. Must hurry and get everything ready. Perry will be writing you soon. Love, Gene

December 20, 1973

Dear Mother and Dad,

Well it's one more Christmas and I suppose among all the other things Christmas is, it is a time of remembering. I am glad I can say that all my Christmases have happy memories. And among my happiest Christmases were the times we had the least. That ought to tell us something but still we go on year after year looking for happiness in the world's goods.

We are all well. I guess we will have all the children and grandchildren here for the holidays. Marian flew in Tuesday night. Warren will come Saturday, and our three BYU students will come tomorrow.

You probably heard that Gene's mother fell and broke her hip just before Thanksgiving. She had to have an operation and she is now in a convalescent home. Poor thing, she has a hard time understanding why we sometimes have to go through the things we do.

I guess you have had a lot of snow and will probably get a lot more. Please be careful and don't try to get out and do things more than is wise. I must go now. We surely wish you a merry Christmas and thank you for all the merry ones you have given us in the past. Love, Perry