Sep 19, 2017

Fri, Sep 19, 1947: dark secrets

"And now I think it's really time I enlighten you.  When those men want to tell you all the dark secrets, you can just say you already know all about it, because here they are: Women with put-up hair aren't so attractive--but you've already seen me that way.  As Uncle Bill says, you may get leftovers on washday--but I'll try not to offend too greatly.  I've already explained that I'm not slender & graceful like the pictures of Petty girls. And you've seen me in my less sweet moods already.  So there's no more to worry about.  As for me, I can hardly wait.  Even reading a philosophy text reminds me of you!  And it was so much more fun to read it & pick out things to talk to you about."

--Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Protection, Kans., Friday, September 19, 1947.

Sep 17, 2017

Wed, Sep 17, 1947: the band

"By a moment of indecision I got myself into a job tomorrow. I think that I'll like the job, except for one factor, the necessity for being at the schoolhouse at 4;30 a.m.  I plan to hit the bed immediately after supper, hence the letter now.  Here's hoping I won't suffer from temporary insomnia.  This afternoon King approached to say, "You want to go to Hutchinson with the band tomorrow, don't you?'. I replied I might like to.  Thinking it over, it occured to me that I could make better use of the day by sleeping late and taking up Ben Hicks on his offer of a trip to Ashland to get some fresh meat.  By that time, however, they had fixed me up as a sponsor of the bus.  Nearly all of the women teachers are going.  In this particular bus, however, are grouped most of the tough boys of the school.  Helman wants a man to handle them; otherwise he would have to redistribute them among th3e various buses.  Since it would entail a change in his plans I told him that I would do it.  It should be fun--but 4:30 comes very early in the morning."

--Letter from my father, Protection, Kans., to my mother, Winfield, Kans., Wednesday, September 17, 1947. Typos per original typewritten letter.

Sep 16, 2017

Tue, Sep 16, 1947: an unenlightened bride

"Tonight I am reading 'Mourning Becomes Electra,' on Mil's recommendation. It is a very interesting play, and very long--a trilogy.  I'm beginning to see some characteristics of his work now--such as violent emotions, unusual situations, and people utterly lacking in moral fibre.  I don't think it necessary to discuss on the stage the sexual adjustment of the characters, however--for that is the basis on which the woman murders her husband.  She must have been an unenlightened bride."

--Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Protection, Kans., Tuesday, September 16, 1947.

Sep 12, 2017

Fri, Sep 12, 1947: married couples

"Tonight was the Building of the Mound.  I was thrilled as usual, at the torchlight procession, with songs and yells.  We few bedraggled-looking Seniors led the procession, but the freshman class covered nearly a block.... Tonight all I can see at the Moundbuilding was married couples, which didn't help at all.... I think I'm the only engaged girl without a man on the spot."
----Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Protection, Kans., Friday, September 12, 1947. Southwestern College had a tradition of student bringing stones and placing them together to build a mound. The school mascot is the Moundbuilders.

Sep 9, 2017

Tue, Sep 9, 1947: a thrill

"I got fairly well moved in today, worked and had a counselor's meeting. We had a meeting and the President, Monypeny & Skinner talked, Howard West led singing. We sang one verse of the Alma Mater, the first time this year & Howard said a nice introduction to it. It was a thrill-- as a Senior among a whole roomful of freshmen who probably thought we were as high & mighty as I felt about Seniors 3 years ago."
--Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Protection, Kans., Tuesday, September 9, 1947.

Sep 2, 2017

Tue, Sep 2, 1947: Japanesy gentleman

"So Sid, if you should see a Japanesy gentleman, suspiciously carrying a camera, call on you, he's no spy, just me."

-- Letter from Yoshiaki “Sharkey” Fujitani, Honolulu, Hawai'i, to my father, Protection, Kans., Tuesday, September 2, 1947.  Fujitani was U.S. Army translator, who had worked with my father in Washington, D.C., when my father was a Navy translator.

Tue, Sep 2, 1947: identification test

"To the World History and Constitution classes I gave an identification test on American & World leaders. I used forty magazine cover sized pictures and showed them with no name attached.  Many students recognized only three or four.  The highest score, 24, was made by Benny Zane, son of the school secretary.  I considered that very good.  40 out of 41 in the two classes recognized Pres. Truman and Bing Crosby, 39 recognized FDR, the only non-living man in the group.  Others among the tabulation--Dewey, 28, Stalin 21, Eisenhower, 28, Gov. Carlson 1, Henry A. Wallace 3, Senators Vandenburg & Conally 0, Warren Austin 0, Benny Goodman 11.  Several mistook Wallace for former Gov. Schoeppel....
"I met your friend, Dr. Glenn, today.  A southwestern man, Class of '34, he has a lot of vim and vigor... Also, the doctor said that he used to date Thelma Snyder when they were in college.  Then he mentioned the fact that your father later went with Thelma. 'I guess that he didn't marry her on account of the children.' he added."

--Letter from my father, Protection, Kans., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Tuesday, September 2, 1947.

Aug 27, 2017

Wed, Aug 27, 1947: a woman's help

"Since 4 P.M this afternoon I've been living in our new home. Dad and I completed the job of moving in about that time.  How I could use a woman's help and advice in arranging the apartment!
"Of course, it was meticulously clean and neat; but many problems have arisen.  Where shall I put all of my books and records?  Needless to say bookshelf facilities are meager....
"What would you do if I were to welcome you into the apartment in January by presenting the wardrobe--all dirty for laundering?  That's not a fair question. It's purely hypothetical--the circumstance."

--Letter from my father, Protection, Kans., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Wednesday, August 27, 1947. Protection is in southwestern Kansas, about 150 miles west of Winfield, in south central Kansas, where my father and mother went to college. He had a job teaching high school year for the 1947-1948 school year.  My mother finished up her bachelor's degree at Southwestern College that fall and joined my father in Protection after they married in January 1948.

Aug 25, 2017

Mon, Aug 25, 1947: wrinkled faces

"attended Phil Higdon's public sale with Dad...Farmers are interesting people.  While they milled about or followed the auctioneer around the barnyard, I stood by as an observer of the old, weather-beaten wrinkled faces.  Brush moustaches were not uncommon.  Straw hats or battered felt coverings, heavy clod-hoppers on their feet, new overalls (their best, no doubt) with a sprinkling of sport shirts & pants & even white shirts - no style consciousness here. The New York & Paris fashion designers who have women in such a dither this fall haven't made any inroads with this group in 50 years.  They smoke their corn-cob pipes & slobber their chawin' tobacco blissfully oblivious of the wonders to be found inside the tailor's or haberdasher's shop."

-- Letter from my father, Bloomington, Kans., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Monday, August 25, 1947.

Aug 17, 2017

Sun, Aug 17, 1947: our first home

"In about a week and a half I will be moving into the apartment that will eventually become our first home.  From time to time I may need to buy equipment for it--e.g. kitchen ware.  Your advice will be sought before I make any purchases...
"[William Allen White] says 'These movers were from western Kansas--...which holds a charter from the state to officiate as the very worst, most desolate, God-forsaken, man-deserted spot on the sad old earth,' That's where we'll live, honey.  Still want to marry me?"

--Letter from my father, Leon, Kans., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Sunday, August 17, 1947.  My father was getting ready to move to Protection, Kans., to teach high school.  My mother planed to join him there after she finished college in the fall of 1947 and after they were married in January 1948.