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.

Aug 14, 2017

Thu, Aug 14, 1947: the city by subway

"Overconfidence as to my ability to travel the city by subway caused me to end up in the middle of Harlem--some eight blocks from my destination.  I had climbed board the 7th Avenue local which entered the Harlem branch of the tunnel some blocks from 18th St where I started.  A white among thousands of bustling, hurrying blacks-- as well as leisurely, relaxed Negroes-- I know how it feels to be 'different.'...
"If you can cook sukiyaki to go along with the chopsticks I own -- you'll make a dandy wife.  Chopped up meat fried in grease - to which is added soy sauce, onions, bean sprouts, sugar, salt, soy bean cakes, etc. - there you have the recipe."
 --Letter from my father, Decatur, Ill., to my mother, Estes Park, Colo., Thursday, August 14, 1947 (writing about his recent stay in New York).

Aug 11, 2017

Mon, Aug 11, 1947: bad habit of daydreaming

"Patsy has caught me smiling broadly several times while I wrote this letter, and keeps asking me what's funny. I am developing a bad habit of daydreaming, too. a d I som times get lost  n my musings and she br ngs me back again by asking what's so funny."

--Letter from my mother, Estes Park, Colo., to my father, Bloomington, Kans., Monday, August 11, 1947.  This typewritten letters has several typos.

Aug 6, 2017

Wed, Aug 6, 1947: something of a dream

"I'm happy to hear that your father is engaged.  A man in his position is quite handicapped without a wife.  Perhaps she can slow him down sufficiently to prevent recurrence of those periods of nervousness. You describe her as a very nice lady, and I'll be anxious to meet her....
"You asked my opinion on a girl who would like to kiss me this minute.  She's something of a dream since we are 2000 miles apart, but I love such a dreamer and I'm one myself.  I'd like to kiss you my honey.  X.
"All my love,
--Letter from my father, off Rhode Island, to my mother, Estes Park, Colo., Wednesday, August 6, 1947. 

Aug 3, 2017

Sun, Aug 3, 1947: the married state

"Uncle Bill has been telling me all about how to treat you in the married state.  He says it's particularly important to have good meals on wash-day and ironing day.  It seems Aunt Clara doesn't always do that."

--Letter from my mother, Colby, Kans., to my father, aboard McCard, Sunday, August 3, 1947.

Aug 1, 2017

Fri, Aug 1, 1947: think about you

"I have decided maybe it's just as well I don't have a big picture of you, because when I stop & look at the ones I have, I really begin to think about you and wish you were here."

--Letter from my mother, Hutchinson, Kansas,, to my father, aboard USS McCard, off Rhode Island, Friday, August 1, 1947.