Wednesday, October 1, 2014

November 8, 1964 The Disappointment, The Barn Roof, The Shingles and The Election

Image courtesy of

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Needless to say, I was very disappointed that we did not get to come to Missouri this week but it was really best.  The work at the office was so piled up that B has been bringing it home every night and he thought three days out of the office would really put him in deep.  Art didn't say a thing when B told him he wasn't going to Drury but we know he was relieved.  He went to the office for an hour on Thurs. and another hour on Fri. but unless he begins to improve faster than he is now, it is going to be awhile before he can go all day.

I hope you both are much better.  I suppose Daddy was patching the barn roof but I think it would have been better to set a pan under the leak.  Did the Dr. say what causes the shingles?  Lots of people seem to have them but I really never knew much about them.  I hope you are better & that they will soon be gone.

I'm looking for Buddy, Bessie, Francis, Mike & Patty early this afternoon.  Mike is playing football here tonight so they are coming to the game.  They'll have supper with us & go home tonight.  Buddy called me twice this week.  First to see if we were going to be here & then to tell me when to expect them.

Thank goodness the election is over.  The counters are still working on our state ballot.  It was a mess.  Bed sheet ballot was a good name for it & I felt as if I'd been a poor voter after I left the booth.  I think it's time for you to write Eisenhower again, Mother, and I mean it.  If Goldwater & Burch don't give up the so-called leadership of the Republican party it will surely die & we need that party. It has so many good men like Romney or Scranton or even Rockefeller (although I never thought I'd say that). I have heard lots of people say they voted for Johnson simply because they could not accept Goldwater.  Johnson would have had a rough go against any of the other Republicans. Anyway, they'd better all get to work for the country to make up for the nasty campaign.

It is cloudy & gloomy today.  We need rain but I hope it holds off until the little boys have their football game.  They play anyway usually, but it isn't very pleasant.

I've been knitting quite a bit every evening & have the back of my sweater almost done.  It is black & white and is going to be real pretty.

I've been reading the The Rector of Justin, too.  It belongs to someone in our book club so I have until December to read it. Maybe you have read about it for it has been reviewed a lot & is the story of a man who started a private school for boys. Much of it makes me think of Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven.  I'm enjoying it.

B wants to go to the cleaners & I want him to mail this so I must stop.  Take it easy & I hope you are both fine by now.

The Taylors:  Buddy, Clyde, Lizzie, Beulah & Bonnie (Aug. 1964)

The Taylors, about 1936: Bonnie, Beulah, Buddy & Lizzie

The picture is for you to keep.  We had a smaller one made for Beulah & Buddy."

                             Lots of love,


 NOTE:  Dean Burch was the Republican National Chairman.  For information on the election:

The Rector of Justin was a best seller in 1964.  For an excellent resource on best selling fiction and non-fiction by decade:

One LBJ ad which drew much attention:
And one of Goldwater's:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October 31, 1964 The ISU Homecoming, The UHS Grade Cards, The Women's Society and The Room Full of Junk

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It is another beautiful day & we hope it will stay this way all weekend.  We need rain terribly but this is homecoming at the University and there are so many things planned.  It always spoils things if it rains.  Tonight there is the bonfire & fireworks and tomorrow there is the parade and football game. The children will have company for lunch.  They always do.

Images from The Index, ISU Yearbook
They got their grade cards yesterday for the first time this year.  They had all A's & B's except Ann made a C+ in algebra.  That kept her off the honor roll but we thought they did real well.

I do hope Daddy is better & that you are o.k. , Mother.  Is it the flu?

Art went home from the hospital yesterday but won't go to the office for awhile yet.  They still don't know what was wrong except he was worn out and needed rest so badly.

I've been doing some telephoning for the church & I just hate that.  I also have to make something for their bake sale tomorrow.  It looks as if I'll have to go to the store before I can make anything.  I had finally decided to make rolls & had the milk in the pan to scald when I discovered there wasn't enough yeast.

Wednesday I was hostess for a Writer's Workshop at my house.  The women bring sack lunches & the hostess makes coffee.  We do this once a month and it is fun.

That night I went to the church to the Women's Society to hear a man talk on open housing.  It was real interesting.  I don't go very often.  They are always doing things which I don't think are very important.  Every time I go they ask me to do something--like the bake sale.  They had a rummage sale not long ago & now have a room full of junk left down there.

This is Saturday and we have been to the parade.  It is real warm today & the town is really full of people.

I waited until today to finish my letter in hopes I could tell you something definite about our coming.We want to and have reservations for the affairs at Drury but it all depends on whether Art gets back to school.  There are some things he or B have to take care of on Friday & if he isn't able then B will have to be here.  We may not know till Wed. night or Thursday morning, even.  Anyway, if we come it will be late afternoon or evening Thursday.  Don't fix supper for us.  We won't start until the kids have gone to school.  They will stay with friends.  We'll go to Springfield early Fri. morning & drive back to Richland that night.  Then we'll have to come home Sat. so it will mostly be a sleep visit but at least we can see you.  B will call his mother if we don't come so you can all know.

I must get busy in the kitchen.  We have 5 children for lunch today."

                         Lots of love,


Monday, September 29, 2014

October 25, 1964 The Most Beautiful Fall, The Apples, The Homecoming, The Pen Women and Dropping Everything

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It has been such a beautiful day I hated to stay indoors but I simply had to do a little cleaning.  B worked in the yard and is washing storm windows in the basement now so he can get them up tomorrow.

This has been the most beautiful fall.  The high part of the coloring is gone now but there are still lots of gold maples around.  The As You Like It Club was in the country too this week so I enjoyed the drive.  Our hostess was one of the Funk's corn family.  They have a very ordinary farm home & I love to go there. The man collects rocks & must have a fortune tied up in them.  It is just a hobby but we hope he will give his collection to the University sometime.

B & two teachers went to Jerseyville, Ill. yesterday for a teachers' meeting & were gone all day long. That is apple country so they came home with Jonathans & red delicious.  The whole house smells like apples.

This is the homecoming weekend for our high school so Ann had to have her dress finished.  I got it too big & had to do it over but it looked cute tonight.  She had her first date last night for the football game & then tonight there is a party. Bob went to the game with some boys but stayed home tonight.

Pen Women met in Peoria last Sunday so B drove a carload of us over there.  I was dreading to drive it so he took his work with him.  The kids stayed at home & got along fine.  They didn't want to go.

Well, this is Sunday.  I didn't get this finished last night because Bob came in and wanted to talk about some clothes. When he does that, I drop everything.  He never seems to want anything to wear but he wants a red vest to wear with a navy sport coat & grey pants.  We found one in a catalog & I'll order it tomorrow. We spent all evening looking at the catalogs together.

Art Larsen has been in the hospital a week so B has had a double load. Art had such pain in his right arm that they have had to use pills & shots to control it. The Dr. couldn't find a cause for it but thinks now it is a nerve so they will probably take him to Chicago in a few days. We have all been concerned because they couldn't find out what was wrong.

B is supposed to attend the inauguration of the new Drury president in a couple of weeks but it really depends upon the work at school now that Art is going to be out awhile.  If B does come I may come with him.  Maybe I will be more sure in my next letter.

I joined the Christian Herald Family Bookshelf.  The books are $3.00 plus postage and are all clean, family-type books.  They are the kind of books you like to keep.  I got Christ & The Fine Arts & The Church & The Fine Arts for $1 a piece for joining. They are filled with poems, stories, paintings & things like that & I've wanted them for so long.  I have to buy 4 books before dropping out but those two books are $6.95 each when you buy them at the book store.  Of course, you don't have to take every book--send a card back if you don't want it.

I'm going to work in the yard a bit so I'd better get at it."

                       Lots of love,


Sunday, September 28, 2014

October 17, 1964 The Leaves, The Reading, The Material, The Golf and The Big Crowd

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This is a wonderful summer-like day.  The leaves are all colors now and really falling fast.  I hope we can get them raked before they get wet.  I have a very few scraggly mums but the frosts have taken every thing else outdoors.  The little marigold Daddy dug for me dried up in spite of all I could do.  It looked all right at first.  Then the leaves wilted & dried but it bloomed until the stems were brown.  I guess the water kept the blooms opening but it looked so queer.  Did you ever see an elephant ear bloom?  I have one in the house and it has the queerest flower--a little like a Jack-in-the-pulpit.

I've done a lot of reading this week when I should have been doing other things, I guess.  When I start a book it is just too bad--if it's a good book.  We had stopped our book club membership & didn't plan to join one but I was tempted too much.  My first book was about Albert Schweitzer & was real interesting.  A bonus book was Ernie Ford's hymn book.

B spent two days in Urbana this week at a meeting but came home at night.  I thought it would be easier for him to stay over there but he didn't want to and of course, I was glad.  He's been puttering around the car today.

This morning Ann & I went to Bloomington and got material for a dress. She decided against a suit but got green wool for a dress.  She wants it made rather plain so it shouldn't take too long.

I've worked on a shirtwaist for myself this week & it would be done if I hadn't read so much.  After I've sewed & sewed I get so tired of it I have to stop for awhile or I start making mistakes.

Bob is out playing golf.  They have had some instruction in gym & he thinks he's learned quite a lot.

The Faculty Women's Club had its fall dinner Wed. night. There was a big crowd but I don't know many of them anymore.  We have over 100 new ones this year & the same last year.

Hope both of you are fine."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE:  For more on Schweitzer and related book reviews:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

October 10, 1964 The Poor Letter, The Pictures, The Citizen's Committee and The Same Stuff

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"My letter last week was such a poor one I'll try to do better with this one.  It is a beautiful, bright day but has been real chilly.  I keep hoping we'll get some warm days again when I can work in the yard but I don't know whether I can find any time to do it.

The Sea of Marmara

B & I showed our pictures at the church supper last night.  We don't go to the potlucks much anymore. The kids don't like to go at all and a few times when I'd have food ready B wouldn't get home in time.  It's a nuisance to get food ready to take out & cook a meal for the kids, too.

B has been awfully tired lately.  He goes on the run most of the time.  He is serving on a citizen's committee to get some gov't. help with enlarging our hospitals & building one new one in our area. That has meant several committee meetings.  It should be a short term committee but there is a recommendation that there be a permanent one.  He might not be asked for that but I suppose he'd serve if he was asked.

Wednesday night we went to a lecture one of our dentist friends was giving on his painting collection.  He collects pictures done by local artists on local scenes. He told the history of the places--had old newspapers & books to go along with his pictures.  It was very interesting but there was only a tiny crowd because Senator Douglas was giving a speech in the same building.  He had a pretty big crowd but from the newspaper report he must have said the same stuff all of them have been saying.  I'm sick of it all & will be glad when it is all over.

I'm sure happy about Beulah's new washing machine but just wish she could have had it long ago.  I had a real long letter from her today.  I never did get around to writing to Jerry.  Beulah seemed so pleased with his school work & her whole letter sounded so happy.

I'm still sewing & Ann still wants a suit made. I finished the wool dress and it looks pretty good.  At least, I'm wearing it.

Ann's arm seems fine & never bothers her anymore. She's too busy to think about it really.  Neither of the kids seem to have an extra lot of homework but there are other interesting things to do.  Ann is singing in two chorus groups & playing the piano in one of them. That keeps her practicing piano a little & I'm glad.

Today is Dad's Day on campus but we don't have to go to anything this afternoon.  There is a football game tonight & we'll all go to that.  It's going to be cold.

I went to a brunch this morning & it was real nice. There were over 50 women there--two women had the party at Wesleyan University.  They served omelets, fruit salad, muffins & coffee. Then they served chocolate pie.  It was all delicious--an easy way to entertain.

We haven't done anything more about the dining room furniture except to write for some folders.  I keep hoping I can find what I want for this may be the last set we'll ever buy.  The one we have has been a good one & we've used it hard.

I hope both of you are fine & will stay that way."

                                 Lots of love,


NOTE:  About the arm--It was fractured while arm wrestling with my cousin when we visited our grandparents in August.  Really dumb.

For a biographical sketch of Senator Paul Douglas:

Friday, September 26, 2014

October 5, 1964 The Weekend, The Suit, The Dress and The Awfully Short Letter

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"This has been a busy week-end. Yesterday B & I went to Chicago and being gone all day meant a lot of things didn't get done. We looked at some dining room furniture but didn't buy any.  I thought I knew what I wanted but couldn't find it.  As long as our chairs hold together I guess it's all right. The kids stayed at home.  They hate to go & we were home by supper time anyway. Then all of us went to a football game & it was real long and we are tired tonight.

There was a lot going on today.  I poured at a tea for new faculty people, then we went to an Open House a group of boys were having & in a few minutes we have to go to the funeral home.  The retired head of the music department died last night.  She had been a very busy woman even after she retired and had a lovely gift shop here in Normal.  She had cancer and didn't have it very long.  She was never married but has a lot of nieces & nephews who have always come to see her.

 I've sewed hard again this week.  I finished a suit & a dress. The dress doesn't look right to suit me so I'm going to do something more on it. I don't know what exactly.

This is an awfully short letter but B is waiting to go & if I don't mail this now it will be terribly late. We are all fine & hope you are too."

                         Lots of love,


NOTE:  In the news:  It would come as no surprise that the controversial Warren Report would continue to stir theories and investigations for many years.  Part of the supporting evidence below:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 26, 1964 The Rain, The Sewing, The Topsy-Turvy House and Tea for 25

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"It has been pouring rain all morning but we need it terribly. The grass got green again after some showers but I guess we need a lot of moisture. The leaves are falling pretty fast and this will probably bring more down.  Bob mowed the lawn this week and it looks pretty nice.  B is working at the office this morning but planned to spread fertilizer on the lawn this afternoon.  Too bad he couldn't have done if before the rain. B painted the trim he intended to but the whole house needs painting outside. It will have to wait for another summer.

I have sewed all week and still have a lot to do. I made myself a shantung-like dress except for the hem and belt.  I still have to do that but the dress is sort of olive green and rather plain.  Then I have a blouse for Ann all done but the hem and have started a jumper for her.  I suppose it would be better if I finished one thing at a time but lots of times I have to have help measuring hems or Ann has to try things on. The few times I've tried to finish things I've always had to do them over.  Last night I cut out a two piece gray wool dress for myself but I may not even pin it together for days.

The house is topsy-turvy but I was so tired of cleaning & scrubbing that I've let it go.  My tea last Sunday was very nice and there were about 25 here.  When that was over I could relax a little.

The As You Like It Club met for the first time this fall on Thursday.  It was a very nice luncheon since the club is celebrating its 50th year.  Two charter members still attend.  One of them gave the history of the club as the program and it was very interesting.

Daddy probably isn't very far off on his bird count.  They are migrating south now and they do come in droves.  Bob has been out with his binoculars and he says there are lots of warblers around.  We see them only in the spring & fall & last year we had three of them fly into our front window--two were killed but we picked up one & held it in our hands a few minutes and it finally flew off.

I have a lunch cloth partly done too, but I just work on it once-in-a-while. I have some yarn left from last winter and I want to start a sweater right away.  Mrs. Hager has a nice pattern she's using now & if I have enough yarn I'm going to borrow it.

It is noon so I'd better start some lunch.  Bob wants to eat.  Hope you both are just fine."

                            Lots of love,


NOTE:  Life's prediction was certainly accurate.  "In the not-so-far-out future, communication satellites will provide an astonishing assortment of global services, including instant reports on natural and man-made disasters, universal TV entertainment, telephone service anywhere--in short, a chance for everybody to keep an eye on everything."