Jun 24, 2016

About June 24, 1946: Southerners

“Well, howdy you all!
“I’m not that bad yet, but it takes will power to keep from pickin’ up that stuff, and I about lost the urge to resist, when, tonight, for about the third time, I was classed as a Luthehuah.  The first day we were here, a woman asked if we were from the South, and we admitted it was South of here – A Wisconsin boy & some girl asked me if Kansas wasn’t below the Mason-Dixon line – a Texas girl that that we were about the same as Tennessee, in geog and another Texas girl said I’d pass for a Texan from my talk. This South business is being a liberal education to me….
“Southerners.  I’ve met 2 from Georgia, 3 Miss, 2 Kentucky, 2 Tennessee, too many Texas, 3 Arkansas, 1 Florida, so I’ve learned a lot about them.  We have a lot of good clean fun about our accents, it’s as good a topic of conversation as the weather.
--Letter from my mother, Ruth Esther Murray, Sioux City, Iowa, to her family, Hutchinson, Kans., around Monday, June 24, 1946. She was part of a Methodist Youth Caravan that summer and the letter was written sometime between June 16 and 24.  This is the first letter I have written by my mother.  It was written about three months before my parents met.  The Caravan training lasted June 18-28, 1946, in Sioux City, Iowa.

Jun 15, 2016

My mother, right, with her Methodist Youth Caravan group, around June 1946. They travelled to various rural churches to help with youth programs that summer.

Sat, Jun 15, 1946: capsized

"Last Sunday afternoon was a calm, peaceful, sunny one; so when Chuck Latimer invited us to go sailing on the Potomac we jumped at the invitation.... About 5 P.M. we decided to head for home base....Then it happened! With Bob egging him on J. O. had the ship very close to the wind.  We dipped far over to the right, recovered, then the wind and wake both catching us the boat tipped far enough over to ship a hull full of water. Meanwhile, we had jumped to the port side for ballast; so the whole ship having lost its buoyancy just eased over on its side dumping us all into the Potomac....There we were--five naval officers including a navigation instructor who couldn't keep a 16 ft. vessel afloat or right her once she had capsized....Finally some people came along in a motor yacht and offered us a tow."

--Letter from my father, Washington, D.C., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, June 15, 1946.

Jun 9, 2016

Sun, Jun 9, 1946: TWA reservation

"Daddy went to Wichita Wednesday and they still had the TWA reservation so he bought my ticket to Washington....
"Daddy, Max, Stanley and two or three other fellows got the oats cut and shocked.  They were pretty good but it is getting terribly dry so we may not have any good crops....
"Our chickens are big enough to fry now.  We had fried chicken last Tuesday and again to-day.  I think I'll have to dress some for the locker because they are all going to be ready to eat at about the same time."

--Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Washington, D.C., Sunday, June 9, 1946.

Jun 8, 2016

Sat, Jun 8, 1946: double header

"Today we got our money's worth out at the ball park.  The double header with the Chicago White Sox lasted 5 1/2 hours.  After a hurried breakfast- Walt Brunkhumer and I arrived out at Griffith Stadium at 1 P.M.  Then some 5 or 6 cokes, several sandwiches, and countless arguments later at 7 P.M. we left for home after watching the Nats top the White Sox in both games by an identical 7-6 score....
"Thursday night I took in the Duke Ellington concert at the Watergate -- an improvised ampi-theatre down by the Potomac River.  In fact, the band itself played on a barge moored along the river bank... The Duke was in good concert form.  As a master of ceremonies he has poise, as a pianist tops in jazz, and as a jazz band leader his wearing of tails was quite extraordinary.  The concert consisted of his more ambitious works..."

--Letter from my father, Washington, D.C.,  to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, June 8, 1946.

Jun 6, 2016

Thu, Jun 6, 1946: Constitution Hall

"Monday we hear the Tuskegee Choir sing some special arrangements of spirituals at Constitution Hall.  It was the best choir -- in the male section, at least, that I've ever heard.  The appearance was a departure in DAR tradition.  Mrs. Talmadge, president of the DAR gave them permission to sing because it was for 'charity' - the united negro college fund; but the 'white artists-only' rule still holds for regular commercial performances.  This prompted a picketing of the program by Negroes and others bearing signs like: 'Mrs. Talmadge - We don't want charity with contempt' -- and chanting 'Keep your self respect.  Join the line.' (Meaning to boycott the program)...”

---Letter from my father, Washington, D.C.,  to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Thursday, June 6, 1946.

Jun 1, 2016

My father with two of his neighbors on a day trip to Mount Vernon, June 1, 1946.