Monday, July 6, 2015

September 28, 1969 The Errands, The Lumber, The Couch, The Upholstery and The Quilt

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We've had lunch and B has gone to the office for awhile. We have to go to a tea this afternoon but he had to work in the office a little because he never got there yesterday and his mail piles up.

Yesterday morning we had a lot of errands to run and then went to the football game in the afternoon. Last night the potluck group was here so yesterday was full. Everyone brought pictures they'd taken on vacation. No one had very many but it was fun to see them.

We found the walnut lumber yesterday. It was rough so we took it to a cabinet shop to have it planed down and will get it next week. The lumber man said walnut is like gold anymore and you can't buy it very often. We couldn't pick the pieces so there may be places that have to be filled. We're anxious to see how it looks when we get it because it sure was ugly in the rough. I got enough for the shelves and not the table. I did find the picture of the table, finally (I'd put it away so I'd know where it was and then couldn't find it) but I couldn't figure out the amount of lumber needed at all. I'll bring the picture when we come and Daddy can look at it. If he wants to make it sometime o.k. and if he doesn't it's o.k.

Our couch came this week and it is beautiful. I'm really thrilled with it. The room looks smaller but lots prettier. It has 8 loose cushions (4 seat, 4 back) and is 100" long. The old one looks nice in the study and we put the desk in our bedroom. Of course the trucker just delivers the couch crated so I had him put it in the garage. B & I uncrated it & carried it in the house ourselves. We had to take it thru the front hall into the kitchen and around thru the dining room but it wasn't too heavy and was easier to do than I'd expected.

The upholstery material I'd ordered from Sear also came but I haven't cut into it yet. I made a pattern from an old tablecloth & that took all the time I had to work on it this week except for the work I did on the legs. They were blond and I wanted to put a walnut finish on them. I guess they had a lacquer finish because it was hard as a rock & I had an awful time. Paint remover would have helped but the legs aren't big & I didn't think I'd need it so I sanded. When I finally put the stain on it showed that I hadn't got all the old finish off and they looked awful. So I did them over and now they look real nice.

Ann says she has the quilt that we had done by the woman on Ray's farm. She doesn't think it is very good work so we're wondering what it looks like.

I have to write to her today so I'd better get at it before I have to dress for the tea.

Bob is to have his first interview for med. school tomorrow in Charlottesville, Va. at the U. of Virginia. It is all day--a hospital tour, lunch & the interview.

Be sure and tell me how Uncle Floyd is. Is the cancer on the same side?

Ann said your carpet was real pretty."



NOTE: Remember Old Spice? By the late 1960s Aqua Velva was taking over.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

September 21, 1969 The Boy, The Stupidity, The Invitations, The Ruby and The Note

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Ann wanted you to see the letter I'm sending but she wants you to send it back. She was proud of it and has a right to be proud. You probably didn't get to visit with her much but she can tell a lot in a few minutes if she thinks of it so maybe she's told you about it. She took some tests after classes started because the teachers thought she should be in more advanced classes in French and Music Theory. Apparently she did fine on the tests because they moved her into different classes and gave her credit for the ones she tested out of. We were really pleased.

The boy she dates from M.U. has a scholarship for graduate school the second semester. He is doing practice teaching this semester & will graduate in January. With the changes in the draft maybe he'll really get to go on to school.

Won't it be wonderful if they really do bring our boys home & stop all this stupidity? It's about time someone had the courage to do it.

The weather is so beautiful I'd love to take a little trip but we have two teas tomorrow & a dinner tonight so that takes care of our time. We have so many invitations for next week it's going to be too much. You probably have heard about our strike. The cooks, janitors & some other workers are on strike. Students are doing lost of the work & it's all real silly. They want more pay than we have in the budget to pay them so I don't know how they will come out.

The ruby is so small I'm almost afraid to mail it so I think I'll just wait awhile longer. I've been doing a lot of reading. I could take it to Chicago but the fee for testing is very high even if it is simple to do. I guess a person pays for the know-how. Anyway, I've enrolled in a jewelry making class & the teacher talked a bit about gems this week in our first class so I'll take it to him one of these days. He is going to teach us to cut & polish stones & how to mount them. It is going to be loads of fun and I don't know whether I'll be able to really make anything nice or not but it will be fun to try.

I'm anxious to see your rugs. If they are like Rosalynn's they are real pretty. We haven't heard about our couch at all. B told Horace to send us the bill when he got it but he probably hasn't been billed yet.

Did I tell you that I finally told Bob & Pat this summer that you had made them a wool quilt? They were real pleased and maybe I can get it finished by the time they need it. Do you want me to save more scraps? I've made myself 3 dresses this week. They are double knit and the material would be fine with wool. They are sort of mid-season dresses with short sleeves so I can have something comfortable even if we have another hot spell. We always do. One is gray, the others are dark brown & sort of a green apple green. I had the material in the cedar chest so didn't do anything else this week but sew.

I'm glad Daddy has the shop for a hobby. Everyone needs one.We'll get the lumber before we come the next time but no telling when that will be. I was about to decide on another type of table I wanted but lost the picture. It's around here somewhere in a magazine but I can't find it. Would Daddy care if I changed my idea? It's all right about the desk. I had a feeling you had told me Charlotte wanted it but I couldn't remember.

I sent a note to N.A.S.A.--just copied it off the bottom of that sheet you sent--and I'll give the letter to our minister. I think he'd be interested. I can't see why some scripture would hurt anyone even if they didn't believe in God. The gal didn't have to listen if she didn't like it.

We're expecting a newly hired faculty member to stop anytime now so I'd better stop. Hope you both are fine."



NOTE:  Regarding the note to NASA, on the occasion of the moon landing in July of 1969, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin requested that NASA broadcast the informal religious commemoration the astronauts celebrated.  NASA chose not to do so because of its involvement in a lawsuit with Madalyn Murray O'Hair regarding her objection to the astronaut's quoting Genesis during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.  To Mom, it represented an omission from reports of the events that took place during the moon landing.  Read more here:

The Life article by Coretta Scott King is excellent. If interested, read it in its entirety (pg. 54) here:,+1969&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nKmWVcKWBcjvtQXylILIDw&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=September%2012%2C%201969&f=false

Saturday, July 4, 2015

September 14, 1969 The History, The Award, The Tests, The Haphazard Week and The Little Desk

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We sure have enjoyed the Mirror this week & I clipped the history of Richland. Bob will probably be interested in that. The Tyree family will be interesting to him because that is the name of the man who is head of Bob's chemistry department.

Bob called this week all excited. He had a letter from the chemistry department telling him he was being awarded the Robert L. Green award in chemistry which is $300.  It goes every year to a chemistry junior or senior but Bob didn't even know he was being considered. In fact, he hadn't even thought of it & we didn't remember there was such an award. After we talked to him we looked it up in the college catalog & it's an annual thing. That should look good on his med. applications. He has sent out only three so far but said he'd get some more done. They're a nuisance to fill out but I wish he'd get it done. He registered Friday & classes begin tomorrow. Pat's teaching is going fine. She has only one problem child & maybe she can win it over before long.

Ann called yesterday to tell us everything she's been doing, too. Her birthday package has come but I hadn't sent it on to her so I opened it while we were talking to her to tell her what it was. She was happy about the beautiful towel & wash cloth & told me to be sure & put them in her trunk. I guess she was afraid I'd be using them.

She had taken some tests & may change a couple of classes. If so, she'll move up to a harder class & yet get credit for the one she started in. They are French & Music Theory. She felt sure of the French but said there were a lot of things in the music test she didn't know.

This has been sort of a haphazard week. It is registration week so B's hours are all mixed up. Some mornings he went about 7:00 & went back some evenings. We have a strike on campus too--the cooks & janitors. The strike is illegal because they work for the state but I don't know how it is going to come out.

I wish I had some of your apples too, but they will probably all be gone by the time we get there.

This has been a short summer & I didn't get a third of the things done that I wanted to do.

We have ordered a new couch for the living room through Horace and I don't know when it will come. I plan to put the old ones in the study so it means moving around a bit. I'd like to do a little scrubbing up in the study before we do the rearranging & the paint needs to be touched up. Steve sent me a sample of the upholstery so I've been trying to find material to blend with it so I can recover the chairs we have. I finally ordered a piece from Sears. The stuff is so high you have to select carefully but it is too much work to use flimsy stuff.

I had another suggestion about walnut lumber the other day so we'll go see about it when we have time. By the way, does anyone have their name on that little desk? If not, put mine on it. I saw one almost like it this summer in an antique shop.

I'm glad Daddy can walk a little better. It sure is rough when your legs don't work right. Our next door neighbor has such a time with his legs. He's had both hips broken though, & has had trouble for years. He's the one that used to take Bob fishing."

                          Lots of love,


NOTE: This simple little walnut desk, made by my grandfather, was my grandparents' first piece of furniture when they set up their household, 1906.

Friday, July 3, 2015

September 7, 1969 The New Students, The Birthday Hat, The Belshe Drug Store, The Hair Brush and The Fall Clothes

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I just finished a dress for Ann and I guess she's ready for school. She has the car practically packed and plans to leave real early in the morning so she can be there by noon. Another girl is going from here but she is a freshman and had to be there today. Ann has helped her plan her classes and answered all kinds of questions. Since we got home from our trip I haven't done anything except get Ann ready so the house is pretty much a mess.

B, of course, has been real busy getting ready for the new students. They are pouring into town. I think there will be 15,000. There are 250 new teachers and they had their first meeting this morning. There is something scheduled every weekend now until late October so there won't be any chance for us to come home very soon. Parents' Day is late October so we'll plan to do that but we'd hoped we could come before that and come on to Richland.

Bob sent your letter on from Williamsburg & we were glad to get it. Do you have your new rugs yet? Don't worry about Ann's birthday. Rosalynn has some kitchen tools for her hope chest but she's just saving them there so Ann will be coming to Richland one of these days. That is, if she doesn't get so busy she won't have time. Her choir job will start soon so that will keep her there on Sundays.

I'm glad Daddy had a nice birthday & glad he found a hat he liked. I had looked them up in Sears but was afraid to order one for him.

I wish we could have seen the parade in Richland. I didn't even know they were planning one but it does sound interesting. Were there any picture in the papers about it?

We sent Bob the clipping about the drug store from the Mirror and now he wants a photograph of it (the picture I mean). We'll have to ask B's mom about it but I think that was one of Holland's pictures. He had quite a box of them.

The Belshe Drug Store, about 1920, Grandfather 3rd from left

I'd like to see Bernadine. Does her mother still live in that house across the tracks or did she sell that?

I meant to write a card to tell you when we got home but I didn't get it done & the forgot about Labor Day until I had written my letter so I'm sorry you were so long hearing from us after we got here. The telephone starting ringing the minute we got home & there is always so much to do when we first get home.

Bob & Pat are fine. He was real interested in the stones Daddy has & I wished I had taken them with me because he could have run lab tests & really found out if they were real. He had been reading about gems & talking with an old professor who used to teach gem cutting in the college. The old man had given him a book. I don't think Bob has gained much weight but he has filled out & doesn't look skinny now. I threatened to give him a hair brush for christmas because he has a bush of hair just like Buddy. It never looks combed & I think he could smooth it a bit with a brush.

It doesn't seem possible that summer could be gone already & school started again. I certainly don't have any of my fall clothes ready to wear & they'd be too hot anyway.

I hope you both are fine & that Daddy's legs feel better."

                             Lots of love,


Thursday, July 2, 2015

August 30, 1969 The Heaps of Ironing, The Nice Birthday, The Effects of the Hurricane and The Simple & Beautiful Spot

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We got home late Wed. afternoon after a wonderful vacation but we still aren't caught up on the laundry & such. Of course Ann brought home a lot of dirty clothes from Jeff. City and we washed them before we left but still have heaps of ironing. Today we have been trying to get her school clothes sorted out and I will sew next week. She has to have a white dress for the opening convocation. All of the girls have to wear white for that. She has to be there a week from Sunday.

B goes back to work next Tuesday & has been doing odd jobs. The check from the insurance man came and the Mustang is being fixed now. We are supposed to get it tomorrow. Then B is going to get it all in shape before Ann goes back.

Bob has three weeks before his school really begins but he is continuing his work in the lab that he has been doing all summer. He will work on it all semester as part of his classwork & get credit for it. The grant is all used up now but he'll be working in the lab part-time for pay as he always has.

Patty has started her teaching now. She had three days of teachers' meetings & felt they wasted a lot of time but were useful, too. There are six women who go from Williamsburg so they arrange transportation together. Patty was riding with someone else this week so Bob has the car to use.

We had your letter today & I was sure glad to have it. It seemed so long since we'd heard from you. I
hope you got Daddy's birthday letter on time & hope he had a nice birthday.

We were real lucky about our week at the beach. There was only one day when we didn't go into the water.

On the ferry to Ocracoke
That day we were feeling the effects of the hurricane. The wind blew the sand around & then started turning cold so we went sight seeing.

Bonnie & Bob flying a kite

Ann, Bonnie, Pat & Bob at play

One night we went to a play which is performed on the place where Sir Walter Raleigh started a colony in the 1500's. They call it the "Lost Colony" because it actually disappeared & they don't know what happened to it. The play is given all summer in an outdoor theatre & all of us enjoyed it.

In Williamsburg we didn't do anything different but rode the free bus to see the old town. We didn't even see Bob & Pat on Tuesday morning. They both had to go to work & we wanted to leave fairly early so just told them goodbye Monday evening. I let out a dress for her that she thought was too tight because she was afraid she'd ruin it. She is doing real well with her sewing but it is a real struggle for her. She had made a plain green dress which looked very nice & had a skirt almost finished. She didn't want me to see it but Bob brought it. It looked fine to me but she says she just can't sew straight.

We went to Arlington this time & the crowds are still going to the Kennedy grave. It is very simple & in a beautiful spot.

Robert Kennedy's grave is off to itself & looks so alone. It has a low hedge growing around the grave & a plain white cross for a headstone.

RFK Grave

JFK Grave

Once we got started home everyone wanted to get home so we drove pretty hard. I was sort of stiff from riding so long. It's much easier to stop often & walk around but that takes a lot of time, too.

All of us are fine & hope you are, too."

                          Lots of love,


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

August 24, 1969 The Wonderful Vacation, The Clean Sand, The Blue Skies and The New Hat

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"We are in Williamsburg & all of us will go to Bob's for supper. Patty got along fine with her school meetings but hated to miss two days of fun at the beach.

It has been a wonderful vacation for all of us & we hated to leave Cape Hatteras. It is a beautiful, peaceful place with that enormous expanse of clean sand & blue skies.

We hope you have a wonderful birthday, Daddy.  The check is for a new hat. I planned to buy it myself but Mother & I couldn't find the size in your old one & I was afraid to guess. Maybe you'd rather pick out your own anyway.

This will probably be the last time I write while we're traveling. I've written several cards along the way but don't know how many or how good the mail service is so they may be later than this.

We'll spend tomorrow here & then probably start home Tuesday morning. Patty has to teach & Bob will be working & it's time for us to be getting home anyway.

Hope both of you are fine."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE: The menu is from one of Mom's favorite restaurants and I assume it was o.k. that she took it! This is one of the items she gave to me saying, as usual, "Take this. You'll want to keep it and someday it will be interesting."  She was right as I note the prices.  The chowder, 45¢ in the summer of 1969, now is $6.25.