Monday, April 20, 2015

March 9, 1968 The Beautiful Day, The Sweater, The Style Show, The Silver Pumps and The Lack of News

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It's a beautiful day but I haven't been out. Ann has been sick the last two days so I've stayed in with her. I guess she has the flu like you did. Her throat and ears hurt so much. She has started some medicine and maybe that will help. I don't get much done when she's sick except to wait on her and she feels so miserable. She was a delegate to a state safety convention in Peoria today but couldn't go, of course. She won't be playing at church tomorrow either but I sure hope she can go back to school Monday.

I hope the Dr. said Daddy was just fine and didn't need to come back. Has Uncle Floyd been out any?

I have started knitting a sweater. I've had the yarn for about three years, I think, and had started a sweater with it. I didn't like it though and raveled it out to start over again. I didn't have any hand-work to carry to meetings with me and hated to waste so much time. Maybe I'll finish this spring and maybe not but I don't do much handwork in the summer.

Did I tell you I was modeling in a style show for Faculty Women's Club this week? It was a real nice affair and it was fun to dress up in the elegant clothes.

The models could have a 15% discount on anything they wore and a pair of silver pumps really tempted me because they fit so well but I didn't buy them.

I don't know whether anyone bought anything or not.

Patty has two brothers (about 15 & 17, I think) and a sister who is 13 or 14. Pat's father is gone so much that her mother has most of the work about moving but they were supposed to be all done by yesterday. Pat's father is an engineer for candy companies & has to go where the plants are, of course.

One of our hospitals is having Open House in their new building today & tomorrow. I want to go see what they will have to offer. B has seen it but I want to see, too. They will begin moving patients into it on Monday. It will mean going all the way across town so will be an awful moving job. It's a Catholic hospital and will have some special equipment.

Bob writes that it is warm and spring-like in Williamsburg. It makes me wish we could go for Parents' Day in May but I guess we won't.

There just isn't any news and I have a lot of work to do so had better get at it."

            Lots of love,


NOTE: Mom must have given in to those silver pumps eventually because buried deep in an old box of dress-up clothes in my basement, those shoes are still hiding.

In 1967 or '68 I was appointed to the Governor's Youth Traffic Safety Commission and its purpose was to encourage safe driving practices, particularly following school parties and such. It was the same year in which I had my first (and only teenage) car accident. Interesting to note that it wasn't mentioned in a letter to Grandmother.

And although there wasn't any news, Dad had a new LP. Reaching the top of the music charts in the Spring of 1968...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

March 3, 1968 The Spring Shoes, The Nice Birthday, The Kids' Present and The Wedding List

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I haven't done a dimes' worth of work today. Ann & a school friend wanted to go to Peoria to just look around and I went with them. The girl is from England and is going to our high school this year. She is real nice & interesting to talk with. B didn't want to go and the road is real good now so we went alone. There were lots of pretty clothes but we didn't go to buy anything. We did get Ann some school shoes--loafers.

I looked for a purse to match some spring shoes I bought last week but couldn't find one. I thought I'd buy it with my birthday money. The shoes are brown patent and there are lots of brown patent purses but the shade is hard to match. When I have a chance I'll look at Wards. Sears didn't have a single one & they usually have a good selection.

My birthday was real nice. Ann gave me some beautiful artificial flowers so I put all the cards around them on the coffee table. B gave me a sterling tablespoon to go with my silver & had already given me the money for shoes.
We went to Larsen's for supper with them and Rosses (Malcolm's parents). Then we went to a movie so it was a full day. Toni came early in the morning with a candle she had made. She comes by every few days. She seems fine but I know she is terribly lonesome even with three kids.

I finished my crocheted suit yesterday & wore it last night. It is real pretty. If the weather keeps acting like it has, I'll get a lot of wear out of it this year. It stays so cold & snowed most of the day without ever covering the ground.

I've been on the "go" all week and got a new permanent too. My last one was no good at all. It just fell out the first time I washed it but this one looks pretty good.

Thanks so much for the money for the kids' wedding present. I'll be glad to do the shopping but I don't really know yet what to get. I'll go ahead & cash the check & put it away until we decide. I would like to spend it for something they can keep. They will need sheets all right but they wear out so I might use the money for a piece of silver or something like that, if it's o.k. with you. Pat said once that she'd like to have one of those fluffy dacron comforters but that would wear out too. I'll start looking around a bit and one of these days I'll find the right thing. Did I tell you I'd had a letter from Pat's mother? I had sent her my wedding list. They are in the process of moving so she has been busy but they should be all moved by March 8. Pat had said that their home had been sold for an apartment building & her folks were shopping for a house. They had lived in this house 13 years so that probably means a lot of junk. It made me tired to think of it.

Maybe you'll start having some warm days before long. I hope so & then you can both get out more. Everyone seems tired of winter.

Take care of yourselves."

                       Lots of love,


NOTE:  The Beatles "Lady Madonna" was released in March of 1968. Mom's comment--"That's got a catchy rhythm!"

I don't know what the birthday movie was, although the most recent release would have been Planet of the Apes and it wouldn't have opened in Normal, Illinois yet. I suspect it might have been The Graduate, released in December of 1967. I don't know anyone who didn't see it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

February 25, 1968 The Snow, The Cupcakes, The Tea, The Cake and The Quilt

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"There is still some snow but today has been so spring-like. It will sure be nice when we can all get outside again.

It has been a fairly busy week. I was hostess for a church meeting Wednesday night so spent that day making cupcakes to take.  Thursday night we went to a play at school and tonight we're going to a basketball game. Springfield, Missouri is playing here. There was a reception for the teams this afternoon but we didn't go. We don't know many anymore and just didn't care about it.

Ann was an usher at a concert last night but we don't have tickets for the series so she went alone. She didn't care much for the woman who sang.

I had hoped to finish my crocheted suit and could have but my arm started to ache and I had to stop working on it. It won't take too long to finish it but I can't work on it steadily. It seems to cause my muscles to cramp or something.

We're going to a tea tomorrow and I'd love to have it to wear but will wear something else.

Bob didn't have much to say in his letter this week.  One of our friends had been in Williamsburg & had taken him and Pat to dinner. They had shown him some places in Williamsburg & had a good time together.

Ann has baked a cake today for a girl friend to give her boyfriend for his birthday. The girl cannot cook and works on Saturdays. She doesn't have a mother so Ann made a huge chocolate for her. The girl bought the materials. It really looks delicious--has three layers so it a tall one.

I thought the wool scraps were pretty too, but if you used them together in one block it must have been pretty gay. A whole quilt like that would sure be pretty.

Uncle Floyd got along real well, I think. He didn't have to stay as long as Daddy, did he?

Ann's hand is fine but has a little blue on it yet. It was bruised real deep and is still a little sore. She doesn't have any trouble playing the organ, though.

It's supper time & there's not much to write, so will say bye."

                      Lots of love,


Friday, April 17, 2015

February 18, 1968 The Sweeper, The Bread, The Surprise, The Scraps and The First Graders

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"I'm really late this week. It is almost bedtime and I don't know where all my time goes. I didn't get the sweeper run until after supper tonight but the phone rang all morning yesterday when I'd planned to do it.

This morning I made up a batch of bread and that took a lot of extra time but it is so good. There were five loaves by the time I finished & we cut one as soon as it was baked. It doesn't cut very easily then but is sure good to eat.

Ann wanted me to go with her to look for some spring material so we killed a lot of time looking. We did get some red, white & blue check for a suit. Now I have another big job ahead of me.

B was in Chicago from Wednesday to this afternoon so it was lonesome around here and we were glad when he got home. It has been a busy week, though. I had to go somewhere every day and that doesn't leave much time at home. I went to a coffee Wednesday afternoon, gave another book review Thursday afternoon & went to Quill Club Friday afternoon. There was a church board meeting Wednesday night, too, but I didn't want Ann to come home alone so I went with her. She hurt a finger on her left hand in gym this week and it is badly bruised. She played for choir practice with one hand and her feet so I don't know how she'll make out tomorrow at church. Polly has been going to church with her and singing in the choir.

You certainly sent me a surprise for my birthday and much too much. When the money fell out of the letter as I opened it I said out loud, "Now what's that for?" I felt real silly but I was sure puzzled because I didn't even think of my birthday. I do thank you for it and will buy something special with it but can't make up my mind yet.

Daddy has just done wonderfully and he should really be fine by March. I hope Uncle Floyd does as well. Did he have the same Dr.?

A very favorite old photo of Uncle Floyd

You should have the wool scraps by the time you get this but don't work on that quilt unless you really want to. I hate to have to do handwork or sewing. I want to be in the mood. I've been crocheting some on my suit and it's coming along pretty well.

Bob called Valentine's Day. He hadn't written so decided to call and visit a bit. He & Pat are fine. They haven't paid anything on their apartment but the woman has promised it to them & they will make a deposit when she's ready. The present tenants may not leave until the end of August which would be fine.

I'd better stop & go to bed because I really have to be up & awake on Sunday morning with my first graders. They are fun but lots of work.

Stay in, out of the cold. One of these days it's going to be Spring."

              Lots of love,


Thursday, April 16, 2015

February 9, 1968 The New Semester, The Other Book Review, The Suggestion, The Ear and The Insurance

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"After two wonderful spring days we have snow and cold again. It always surprises me how fast the weather can change. Things are still pretty busy around here but classes in the new semester should be settled down next week. B will work in the office again tomorrow.

I went to a coffee on Monday and then had a writers' workshop here all day Tuesday. Yesterday was dollar day in Bloomington and I went to town for a little while in the afternoon but didn't find much that could be called a bargain. I found some underwear and that's about it.

Jean Washburn (that's Bruce's mother) came over one day and brought a lot of stuff about weddings. Her daughter is getting married in June. They had been to a style show on weddings and it was fun to see all the pictures and ads for dresses, flowers & cakes. I suggested we pay the kids to elope. It would be cheaper but of course, we wouldn't really want them to.

Here is Mr. Brandon's address:

                    Mr. Martin Brandon
                    9th and Bond Sts.
                    Monett, Mo

I have to give my other book review next week but haven't even looked at it since I gave it the first time.

I'm glad Daddy is getting outside. The lifting is the main thing to avoid and as long as walking or going downstairs doesn't bother him it should be all right.

You may not hear much with that ear for a long time but if it starts to hurt again you'd better have it looked at.

What do you hear from Uncle Floyd? I suppose he went to Burge & I'll try to send a card soon. I don't have any now and sometimes it takes me so long to get some.

The Dr. bill sounds like a lot but really isn't when you think how long it was. Burge filed with Bankers Life for part of the hospital bill but didn't expect to collect because they believed that the Waynesville hospital had probably already filed. If they did collect anything the hospital (Burge) would refund it to you. That insurance business is sure complicated. Burge has special people who do nothing but that so Daddy should take his policy & every paper dealing with it along when he goes.

If he has anything from Waynesville that has to do with the insurance, he'd better take that too. Even if he doesn't have to show any of this when he asks for the itemized statement he ought to have it along in case there are questions. I didn't have anything & didn't know much when I was trying to check him out and it would have been much simpler if I'd had the insurance papers. The offices are there in the main hall by the coffee shop. Daddy probably doesn't remember seeing them.

I forgot to send you the vitamin ad I told you about. It's a good deal."



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

February 3, 1968 The Wedding, The Two Letters, The Dust Pan, The Sponge Mop and The Apartment

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"B is working at school today and Ann has gone to a wedding. One of her high school friends finished high school in January and is getting married today. It sounds pretty young but I guess it has been planned this way for about two years. I don't know the kids nor their parents.

I've been cleaning the house a bit today. Next week is going to be busy and I wanted to do a little extra today. I finally got all my Christmas table cloths "done up" and I sure am glad. It takes so long to do one I'm almost afraid to start for fear the phone will ring & the tablecloth will get too dry & then I have to start over.

It was a treat to have two letters this week but when the second one came I was afraid something was wrong. I'm glad Daddy is getting along so well but he can't drive the car until he has his check-up with Dr. Warren. That's only another week and he can ask but I doubt if he's permitted to until the 6 weeks is up and everything is absolutely healed. It takes that long (the Dr. says) for everything inside to be healed. I know it must seem awfully long to Daddy but just remember that there won't be anymore of those awful old sick spells from infection anymore. What kind of shots does Dr. Myers give him?

We have had a lot of rain, too, and a good bit of it found its way into our basement. I don't know how long it has been since we've had so much. I could dip it up with a dust pan before I started using the sponge mop.

I'm sorry about Uncle Floyd but maybe he'd be better after an operation. Let me know where he goes & I'll try to send him a card.

Just forget my quilt for awhile. At the rate I'm going it will be five years before I could do the embroidery. I can't even find time to crochet on my suit.

This has been a beautiful sunny day but it is terribly messy & muddy. I'm ready for spring to come but I guess we'll still have a lot of winter.

Bob & Pat think they have found an apartment for next fall but he didn't tell us much about it. He made 3 B's & an A this semester and we were real happy. He was real happy over the birthday money. They had been figuring out what it was going to cost to live next year so the money was welcome.

I'm glad to know both of you are feeling better. Just take things easy until you both get your pep back. Is the ear all well?"

                        Lots of love,


NOTES: 1968 seemed to begin the era of conflict between the police and citizenry, if judging from the press is any indication. Here we are decades later, and still wrestling with the relationship between law enforcement and those they "serve".

And included with the letters were these clippings from the local papers; Bob's fiancee´ and the announcement of their upcoming wedding and some school news of my senior class and our accomplishments in poetry writing and induction into the National Honor Society.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

January 14 and January 28, 1968 The Instructions, The Green Velvet, The Book Review, The Sweeper and The Remnants

Note to readers:

During the early weeks of January, 1968, both of my grandparents were quite ill. My grandfather was hospitalized and due to my grandmother's illness, she could not be with him at the hospital.  Mom stayed with him in the hospital and the first correspondence of the year was the following brief note, written from the hospital.

Dear Mother,   Sunday 12:30    January 14, 1968

"Daddy seems much better today. Eats pretty well. Dr. came in about noon--removed tubes. Stitches not out yet but incision is healed on top. I'm fine and hope you are much better. Don't try to come back up here. We're getting along wonderfully."



Dear Mother & Daddy,        January 28, 1968

"We were glad to have your letter and know you are getting along all right. It will probably take a while for both of you to get your pep back after the flu but I hope you are already feeling better. Daddy must not stay in bed too much. He's tired of my bossing but just tell him women were made to boss men around. Anyway, the Dr. would not approve of him staying in bed so much. He must get up and walk and move around or he won't get his strength back. The Dr. wanted him out of bed even when his chest was congested. he told me it would help clear it up and the operation will heal better and faster with exercise to speed up the circulation so--Daddy--you get out that dust rag and that dish towel and go to the mail box and walk around the house when the weather is nice outside. Don't lift anything but move yourself around. How many glasses of water are you drinking? The Dr. will want to know and the goblins will get you if you fib.

I hope your ear is feeling better, Mother. That must have hurt terribly. We should have put you to bed in the hospital, too. Then I could have helped you both. Daddy & I got along just fine.

I have sewed all week so am not caught up with other things yet. I made Ann a green velvet formal and a white wool cape and that took all week.

Then I had to give my book review Wednesday night so I spent some time on it this week, too.

I finally found time today to run the sweeper and scrub the bath & kitchen.  It hadn't been done since New Year's Eve. Doesn't that sound awful but it's true.

Next week will be easier than this week but I won't have the sewing and I'll catch up on the ironing.

I sent the money on to Bob. I know he'll be real happy to have it. We had such a good letter from him the day after I got home. They have a few days free between semesters and were going to look for an apartment for next fall. He was fine but Pat had the flu after Christmas. Both of them had taken civil service exams and thought they did real well. He is interested in a job in the department of communicable diseases in Atlanta for the summer. It would be good experience but he will take most any kind of job.

I had a letter from Pat's mother this week and should answer it soon. She will need to send the list of people we want invited to the wedding. We'll have a pretty good sized list but I'm afraid there won't be many of our family or friends that can go to Atlanta for the wedding. Bob wants B to be his best man. Ann will be a bridesmaid. The time will be here before we know it.

This is between semesters here so Ann is having a couple days off but B is sure working hard. His office staff will even be working tomorrow.

Today has been mild here so I'm hoping you're having nice weather there.

I bought a few bright wool remnants for the quilt this week & will send them one of these days.

Take care of yourselves."

                  Lots of love,


Postage is now up to 6¢

And the times, they are a changing. Note the additional button, one of Mom's.