Sunday, September 21, 2014

August 22, 1964 Back from Missouri, The Yard, The Plants, The Jealous Cat and The Paint

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It seems strange not to have a letter from you this week but it also seems much longer than a week since we were home.

Grandparents' home, Richland, Missouri 

The marigold looked a little wilted after I potted it but I left it outside & it soon straightened out. We've had a good rain & fairly cool weather & that helped too, While I was potting that plant I divided my Christmas cactus & maybe it will bloom this year.  I also have to re-pot that big philodendron you gave me.  I guess it used up all the food in that pot for it just about died last winter.

Yesterday I worked in the yard all day but you can't tell it. The ground was soft after the rain & it was a good time to pull weeds.  About two more days' work would clean things up but I'll have to wait awhile until my muscles limber up.  I feel about 100 today.

Ann has been planning her school clothes and we have ordered a skirt and some blouses. She can still wear quite a few things she has but I have to change some hems.  We found a pattern for the material you gave her but couldn't get the size so we'll have to wait for it.  That material is certainly pretty & we had bought her a pair of dark green suede shoes for her birthday which she didn't even know about.  They just matched the material but were too big so we have to wait for them, too.  The store was out of her size so maybe I'll get the dress made about the time the shoes come.

The white cat (Guillaume) is still here & I guess he's here to stay.  He does look better though, since my neighbor & I have been pouring the food into him.  He gets whiter every day & will be real pretty when he fattens up.  Our cat acts jealous of him now.  I think she'd just as soon he left.

Ann's arm seems fine.  She still wears the sling but takes it off for a few minutes once in awhile. Polly & her folks were going to the state fair today but Ann didn't want to go.

Bob & Malcolm went to hear Goldwater speak but didn't see any of the fair.  Mrs. Ross took them. Another afternoon the boys went out to Bruce's & helped put up hay.  Bob was the dirtiest kid I ever saw when he got back but earned a little money & they got the hay in before it rained.

We finally bought the paint for the ceilings so maybe I'll get going on it one of these days.  I don't want to paint walls so it will have to be brushed on & that is so slow.

We still can't find anything about marble but Bob suggests you try the glass grinding recipe--mix fine emery powder with glycerin & polish.  The glycerine will wash off with water.  I must stop & get the kitchen cleaned up so bye for now."

                              Lots of love,


NOTE:  While we were away, July 14, 1964...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

July 15 - 16, 1964 Paris

Meet Herman, our very patient and skilled bus driver!

After a short visit to Belgium, we flew back to the U.S., and then went to Missouri to visit family. The letters resumed on August 22, 1964.

As the trip came to an end,  the charm bracelet became complete!  In Mom's words, "Keep this bracelet and you will always remember this trip!"  I did, and I do.

For the Paris slides in video, use this link:

Friday, September 19, 2014

July 14, 1964 To Paris

Dear Readers,

There is no journal entry after Switzerland, so I must rely on my memory to fill in the details of our days in Paris.  The photos are shown in no particular order.

We arrived late on Bastille Day in time to find the streets mobbed with thousands of people in a celebratory mode making the festivities of Mardi Gras seem tame!

Rather like a charm bracelet tangled in a heap of jewelry, we held on to one another & eased our way through the crowds in an effort to find a spot to watch the fireworks.  In spite of our best efforts, we missed them altogether.  By morning, the crowds has dispersed.

We spent the day exploring the city and visiting the usual sites;  The Eiffel Tower, The Cathedral of Chartres & The Louvre, etc., and doing a little shopping.  Mom bought perfume to take home to friends, and the usual charm for the bracelet--the Eiffel Tower, of course.

We loved the views from the Eiffel Tower and Dad took dozens of photos from every angle.

No matter where we were, day or night, the city felt alive.  I thought about Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Sabrina, and understood her coming of age in a city such as this.

At the Louvre, we overheard a tourist complaining that the Mona Lisa was so small.  And yes, although small,  its every detail could be easily viewed from only a few feet away.  I have no recollection of unusual security other than an occasional museum guard.  We left feeling as if we needed a month in the museum, not part of a day.

Wandering the Left Bank was a favored activity, providing an endless selection of art and opportunity for people-watching.  I wanted to spend a week there.

We loved the Cathedral of Chartres and watching people file in and out.  It seemed that people of every creed and nationality spent time studying the architecture, and most people were looking up! The area outside was very noisy and animated, but inside it was silent in its reverence.

Mom kept telling Dad to take pictures of the magnificent stained glass, and in spite of telling her that he didn't think he could do them justice, he tried repeatedly.  There are probably a dozen slides of the windows, but none of the quality Dad would have preferred.

Seeing the Folies Bergere was quite an experience.  My brother and his friends reported seeing and hearing a gentleman with opera glasses make the comment, "My, one girl had big feet!"   It was sweltering hot and I embarrassed myself by fainting during intermission.  It drew a crowd and a Dr. who provided smelling salts, a fan, a glass of water and the encouragement that I wasn't the first one, nor would I be the last to have this experience.  It was little consolation.

It has been a bit disappointing not to have the postcards and letters from this trip, for the details & observations my mom typically provided after such trips were always extraordinary.  If you have read the letters/diary entries from the year in Japan, you know what I mean.

Thank you for traveling with us!

Kindest regards,


Tomorrow, more Paris and Belgium.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

July 13, 1964 Leaving Switzerland for Germany

Journal entries:  Always in italics.

Beautiful towns.

Hotel Palmengarten, Okenstrasse 13-17, Offenburg.  The Rhine falls.

Tomorrow, Paris.