Jun 25, 2017

Wed, Jun 25, 1947: two boys & two girls

"Someone on the radio said the American home is the foundation & strongest thing in the world.  So many are not, however-- but we are going to make one more and we have confidence & hope that ours will be strong and an influence to the good for our two boys & two girls--Fortunately we can't see what is ahead of us, but we are going to go step by step doing what seems best & I at least am going to leave off wondering about paths we can't explore, for we can only take one at a time & must choose one at each crossroads--I suppose the crossroads will be many."

--Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Bloomington, Kans., Wednesday, June 25, 1947. My parents did, indeed, end up with two boys and two girls.

Jun 23, 2017

Mon, Jun 23, 1947: 'if a chicken drowns'

"After you left for Winfield last night I sat in grandpa's living room while the relatives gabbed. One can learn interesting facts by listening to such conversations, e.g., 'if a chicken drowns, give it to your neighbor.' That appears in the Bible--so Uncle Everett told his wife when she reprimanded him for giving a drowned chicken to a half-wit neighbor.  Since Uncle Everett is not an erudite man--quite definitely not the type to be a Bible reader, she took it with a grain of salt--until her Bible study class under the direction of Maude Haver took up a study of Deuteronomy the following evening.  Among the first verses read was the one containing in terse King James English the command which Uncle Everett had adhered to--3000 years after Moses had made it."
--Letter from my father, Bloomington, Kans., to my mother, Winfield, Kans., Monday, June 23, 1947.

Jun 19, 2017

Thu, Jun 19, 1947: worn out at 55

"Finally, Joe Naden, himself -- his head skinny and bald entered the barn to discuss the practical aspects of the unwanted rain. A victim of heart disease -- rather heavy -- worn out at 55 -- his only son a military casualty -- he seems a pitiable person to me.  He has one big interest in life yet -- His eyes fairly light up when he talks about the bumper oat crops. ‘I think it'll make 60 bushels to the acre,’ he predicts with a tone of voice alive, and different from the usual whiny voice."
--Letter from my father, Bloomington, Kans., to my mother, Winfield, Kans., Thursday, June 19, 1947.

Jun 16, 2017

Mon, Jun 16, 1947: Farmall tractor

"The tractor driver does nothing but sit--so it appears to the outsider. Pulling a lister through tough Kansas gumbo soil entails a lot of work that doesn't appear on the surface, however.  After four hours aboard our Farmall tractor I felt as if I had done a day's work.  The job is wearing on the nerves--and eardrums--more than on the sinews and muscles. The illusion of pastoral peacefulness--which I had built up over the weekend here- has left me amidst the cacophony of a growling, roaring tractor, and a squeaking, hard-pulling lister. The noise still rings in my ears two hours later."
--Letter from my father, Bloomington, Kans., to my mother, Winfield, Kans., Monday, June 16, 1947.

Jun 9, 2017

Mon, Jun 9, 1947: a stupid dream

"I wasn't satisfied with that leave-taking last night, so this is to say I love you because I didn't get to then.  Also, because after a whole week, I miss you even more.  As if I wasn't bad enough off, I had a stupid dream last night in which Southwestern faculty, railroad workers, high school friends & I were all involved. At the end, I was going to marry Dr. Mac Gregor!"
--Letter from my mother, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Bloomington, Kans., Monday, June 9, 1947.

Jun 1, 2017

Sun, Jun 1, 1947: cooked first meal

“church at Grace – cooked first meal – meat loaf, roasting ears, shoestr potatoes, tomato salad, peaches – bike riding –“

--Entry in my mother’s diary about dating my father, Sunday,  June 1, 1947, Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas.