Most fun I’ve had since I got out of RCH (FGK 236)

Pincher Creek, Alberta

April 26, 1954

Dear Margie

My but I’ve neglected you shamefully lately. Im really ashamed of myself, but the excuse, same as always is that I’ve been busy.

Here I am writing a letter while lying on my back, just like I used to do on my blessed old frame. I’ll tell you the reason why later on.

i was supposed to come up (as you know) in about a month’s time from March 19th to get my brace off but heard nothing from the hospital about what day etc. so, mom phoned Dr T the other day to find out what to do. He told me to start taking my brace off at supper time for a couple of weeks and leave it off till bedtime if I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. Then I am to start taking it off after school hours (not much of a promotion) for another two weeks. After that Im supposed to go up to the “horse pistol” and I hope, get it off for good. So I’ll see you sometime in May. Last time I was up, I phoned “Hamers” about the pictures (I still haven’t got them yet by the way) and she sounded as good as ever. I wanted to go over and see her, but it was quite a distance and Dad and Mum wanted to get home, as usual.

You didn’t happen to get home for the Easter holidays did you? It would certainly have been nice if you did. I came home the Tuesday before Easter and have been here ever since. I’m going back to Lethbridge tomorrow or Wednesday.

The night I came home, Tuesday, I got in on the 7:00 bus and right after supper went to church for a special service for confirmation candidates. You knew I was getting confirmed didn’t you? Well now you do. After the service we went over to the height school to a play that the United Church Young People were putting on. Ted was the leading man and Sharon Bratz was the nurse. Remember Sharon? The one that came in with May that day, perhaps you don’t. It was called “Take your own Medicine” and was really hilarious. The cast really did their parts well.

Here it is the 6th of May and I’ve just now got around to adding a few more lines. Gosh I’ve been busy! I must impress that fact on you or you’ll think I’ve just been forgetting you. Well I haven’t!!!!!!

Gee it feels good to get out of “Uswald” for a while each day. I’ve got the ugliest “puffs” on my hips from it and it exaggerates my plumpness a little bit too much!! Am I ever getting fat kiddo!!!! (I enjoy making exclamation points as you notice. They’re more exciting than just periods or question marks).

I went to the High School Party during the holidays. I wasn’t planning on going but then when nobody seemed to think it would hurt I decided to go. Did I ever have fun!!!! Most fun I’ve had since I got out of RCH. Verna was there looking wonderful as ever, but was on the lunch committee and seemed to be doing most of the work so Ruth Watson (Ted’s sister) and I went in and helped her a bit. You better not tell anyone up there about the dance for fear they might not approve. I doubt if it matters because Dr T said I could do anything within reason, and I think a few waltzes is within reason don’t you? However maybe a few other people might not.

May 7. Third edition

I may finish this episode before I get to the fifth or sixth edition.

Give my love to Miss Horner and the rest. Tell her I started a letter to her a month or so ago but haven’t finished it yet. Tell her not to give up hope though.

Oh yes! While I was home, the ladies in a neighbouring district put on a little kids dance. All the little brats from miles around went to it to, presumably to learn how to dance. Mom and Auntie Dorthy thought Charlotte and I might like to go and help teach them. So we went!!!

In one corner, there were really little ones tottering around supposed to be playing “drop the handkerchief” with some poor frazzled mothers trying to help. In another corner were the poor, tired, bored fathers playing cards and gossiping. Up on the stage was the orchestra consisting of a piano, accordion, and a violin; and in the rest of the hall where Charlotte and I were were all the young dancers playing around like a “bunch of young cattle in a pen” as Marjory put it. The evening consisted of pushing kids around until you forgot what you were doing yourself almost. Then we ate and a so-called cowboy sang four cowboy songs and a lot of others showed off we had another dance and then went home. What a night! And yet we had fun!!!!!!!

Last Saturday (May Day) the Shriners were down here for the weekend and had a parade. Anne and I went. After it had gone by we started to run up to the store where Annie’s mom works to tell her to be sure to watch. There weren’t many people on the sidewalk as they were all out in the streets so I guess we would attract attention running up the street at such a rate. Anyway suddenly we heard everybody behind us start to laugh but we thought they were laughing at the parade so we didn’t look back. All of a sudden I saw something black stick out in front of me and some went around each of us. Something dug into our sides and it felt like I had a shock or something. We turned around and here it was the “black devil” from the parade he had a long black fork with a little battery on the end and he would dig that into people and give them a shock. Anne and I both got one and I was never so scared in my life, nor so humiliated. I couldn’t look anybody in the face on that street without having them sort of grin and make me feel worse then ever. I wish I had fainted or something and got that guy whoever he was into trouble. After we got over our scare we were just plain mad.

Say “old bean”, why don’t you get Dr Townsend. Maybe he’d get you out of “that place” soon. I didn’t think you’d ever get mad at Dr Walsh. I always thought he looked sort of sleepy. (I’m sure glad I’m not wishing throwing distance from you right now, I’d probably get a roll of toilet paper in my face). Or would I?!!!!!!! Anyway I don’t blame you for wanting to get out. You’ve sure been in there long enough!!! Im glad to hear you’re walking on crutches that’s quite a bit “promotion” or whatever you call it.

Well, I suppose I better do my exercises and go to bed. I promised Miss Mason I’d do them faithfully and I guess I’d better not let her down. can you keep a secret? I missed two days in a row, so I’ve been doing double-duty ever since. My old stomach and back muscles are still going “flippity flop” though. Gee I wish they’d improve!! When I get out of my brace I just eel like I’m going to break or fall and my back will end up in one corner and the rest of me in another.

Say hi to Helen and Lillian and Maryanne and anyone else you see that I’m acquainted with. I hope to see you all before too long. I told Mom to write you a note Marg and apologize for my neglecting you because I didn’t have time, but by grabbing a minute here and there I managed to get a few pages done. You may get a letter from her anyway though as I won’t be writing home for a while. I hope you can read this shameful scrawl. The reason I’m using pencil is because I can’t find my ink. It’s lost on my desk somewhere.

bye for now “sweetie”

heaps of love and loads of kisses,


PS don’t go and get measles or something. I want to see you when I come up this time. I’m afraid Im one of those people that write an awful lot and tell very little

love Janet


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